July 14, 2002

Rich Prick of the Week

Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be stillborn. -- Henry David Thoreau

Steve Bing, or as some British tabloids call him, Bing Laden, could be petty and ridiculous enough to earn the distinction of Rich Prick of the Year, but letís not be too hasty to tie up the title for a year when there are so many worthy contenders.

There are 100 senators, for example, enough to supply two reliable possibilities a week for a year. They are all wealthy men and most of them have the souls of beggars. And that barely scratches the surface of the celebrated class of rich and disgusting.

There are no adjectives to describe the monumental absurdity of the adulation that is given to people in America merely for possessing huge amounts of money, though obviously in more cases than not it seems that they must leave all honor and dignity -- practically any vestige of humanity -- outside the entrance to the society of the rich.

Consider this fool Steve Bing, who is the inheritor of a billion from his real estate magnate grandfather. In the news reports on this guy, we are told very little else about him, as though that is enough to make him fascinating to us. It may be all there is to him. But he has made the news because of two separate disputes over paternity.(see Ananova, Telegraph, the July 8 People magazine and the August Vanity Fair.)

In one case he denied being the father of Elizabeth Hurleyís child. In DNA tests it was proven that he was indeed the father, ending a dispute that was played out in front of the world. Then at practically the same time this same rich kid is accused by another billionaire, Kirk Kerkorian, of having fathered a child of Kerkorian's wife.

Bing must be very proud now because not only is he famous for being rich for no reason, but also now because his sexual member has apparently been very active -- and unusually fortunate by any normal manís standards.

Try to imagine the unfathomable arrogance of this man who managed somehow to get a woman to sleep with him who is acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful creatures on earth, someone who is all over magazines all over the world merely for being so beautiful, who is both a supermodel and a successful and well-paid actress. When she gets pregnant by him she tells him, and rather than being honored and thrilled, he makes a public scene, accusing her of lying -- as though she needs any of his precious money -- and goes to the length of having a DNA test to try to disprove her claim.

The man is a swine. Why Elizabeth Hurley would fall prey to such a petty creep is unimaginable. Maybe she deserved him, who knows? Maybe she was dazzled by his money.

Who among the non-millionaires could imagine being so petty, publicly insulting and degrading one of the most beautiful women in the world, accusing her of lying and scheming merely for claiming correctly that she was giving birth to your child? It could only happen among the super rich. Maybe the rich are different. Money in vast concentrations has an uncanny power to accentuate greed and selfishness in its possessors and to transform people into deformed monsters. There are so many examples that seem to indicate that there is an inverse relationship between human decency and wealth. Now we are in an age when the concentration of wealth in some cases is so obscenely massive that it renders the possessor of such a fortune into a creature the moral equivalent of a paramecium.

But wait! Our Bing has competition for lowest life form in his own arch enemy Kirk Kerkorian, also a billionaire, who is alleged to have directed some underling go through Bing's garbage to get dental floss from which he could derive genetic material to prove that Bing is the father of the child born to Kerkorianís wife. In response to that, Bing is suing Kerkorian for $5 billion for invasion of privacy. How preposterous and colossally petty is the behavior of these wealthy slimebags?

Where do the children of these creeps figure into all this? Does the miracle of life mean anything to them? Does the beauty and innocence of a child touch them at all? Why couldnít these billionaires bestow great gifts upon these children and be joyous that they know them, rather than treat them like nothing more than an object someone may use to extort some of their precious cash? They are so unbelievably egotistical, petty, greedy and distorted that all they can think about is that someone is going to cheat them out of some of their incomprehensible quantities of money.

These are billionaires, people who could do practically anything that is humanly possible. They could feed the poor, educate whole cities of young people who have no educational options, fund medical research to stop diseases, build museums... the list is endless. They could do practically anything -- but what do they choose to do? It seems exceedingly rare that the rich let their money do anything but feed their egos and their greed until they become deformed monsters.

Money they have, but they show little sign of imagination or even the barest trace of human dignity.

The Republicans, the errand boys of the rich, are fighting hard to take away estate taxes so that people like these will not be required to contribute anything to the public good and can hold on to as much money as possible from generation to generation to do whatever they want to with it, to solidify an enduring class of super rich separate from the rest of us and above the laws that limit the behavior of the lowly masses. I think itís a bad idea.

-- By David Cogswell

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