That’s Some Pricey Garbage Art


So we stopped in this gallery in Palm Beach.


And there lay this piece of “art”.


Well, I’m not sure–is this really art?


The proprietor explained that this is made up of scrap pieces of metal from the garbage dump like from old discarded automobiles. 


The artist welded the garbage together, painted it, and voila there it is–some very pricey art. 


Who pricey you ask.


Take a guess.


No really. 


No, you’re too low. 


Try again. 


No, you’re still too low.


Not even in the ballpark. 


Okay, I’ll tell you, but only because you asked so nicely.


It starts with a 95.  


No, not $9,500.


No, not $95,000 either. 


That’s right $950,000!!!


All this “art” can be yours if the price is right. 


Can anyone say “irrational exuberance” again? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The Wealth Effect

So some wealthy people are good and they use their blessings and good fortune to help others.


Yet, others think that they “have it all coming” to them, and they flaunt their money and look at others who don’t have what they do as pure trash–unworthy to occupy or breath the same universal space or air that they do. 


Visiting Palm Beach yesterday, I must say that I saw too much more of the latter than the former. 


Some people were nice, but others were incredibly arrogant. 


With my Jewish head-covering (yarmulke) and our mundane vacation wardrobe, we got more than our share of looks–with one older lady who was wearing fancy clothes and talking to another literally sneering at us with her nose raised in contempt as we passed. 


People whispered as we browsed the fancy stores where a shirt, skirt, or bag averaged around $10,000!


Even a large (over-sized) coffee table book was almost $1,000.


Yes, we did not belong there to buy anything, and were just respectfully browsing–and frankly, we are human beings too.


In the end, we were subject to some good old-fashioned racial profiling by the Palm Beach Police, who pulled us out as we were entering an Uber by the gorgeous beach and fancy schmancy Worth Avenue. 


At least 3 police cars surrounded us and took us toward one of them for questioning. 


They said to my wife that Chanel called saying a woman in a “hot pink” top and black skirt had stolen a pair of sunglasses. 


My wife doesn’t wear sunglasses!


We told them matter-of-factly that we weren’t even in that store–although we did pass by there–and my wife wasn’t wearing a skirt, but rather pants.


They looked in my wife’s knapsack that she opened and it was almost empty except for some travel items for the day. 


Then they said that the suspect that been called in had high heels, which also my wife didn’t have–so basically the description didn’t match and it didn’t make any sense why they even pulled us over.


Hey, did they bother to check the store’s surveillance tapes to see what the thief actually looked like???


So after they proceeded anyway to run my wife drivers license for any outstanding warrants–hey,  at this point might as well try for something–we finally, we got the:


Oh, so sorry for the inconvenience and have a nice day folks. 


Another officer winked at me. 


This whole thing went right along with the scene of the high-end looking Palm Beach patrol car that they have off to the side of the road immediately when you get over the bridge to their luxury island–clearly conveying the message:


Non-wealthy people not wanted here!


We are watching you!


So this is part of the land of the free and the home of the brave, but where the sickness of money pours from their narcissistic veins. 


But interestingly enough, right over the bridge going in the other direction–after you leave this island paradise–is the hospital. 


I’d bet that they probably all have nice, private rooms for these monetarily rich people, but for those that are spiritually bankrupted, I’m sure that their money doesn’t buy them what is truly important in life like health, meaning, happiness, or love. 


For the ones that are driven by corruption, greed, and arrogance–what they get is a dirty evil little soul.


And like Sodom and Gomorrah–these things usually don’t end well for them. 


If they manage to live out their stink-in rich years, I think G-d will probably send them back one day, but instead, theirs will be a story of riches to rags–so they learn their lesson and learn it well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Heart And Soul Of The Matter

So I had a beautiful conversation with an older gentleman who works in a menial job for minimum wage for most of his life. 


But this person was shinning and smiling ear-to-ear. 


What happened, he got offered a job to work in a lovely school as their cook. 


He’s been doing this as a special treat for the students once a year, and they decided to bring him on to do this full time. 


He pulled out his phone and proudly showed me a picture of himself in the classroom surrounded by all the children.  He was in an orange sweater and stood out in the middle of all of them and with a smile that lit up the entire room. 


He told me how the children thought of him as a celebrity chef and the teacher even organized autographs by him for the children.


His whole life, he questioned his worth, and now he felt recognized, appreciated, and loved. 


I told him that I thought he was indeed quite a special person. 


He said to me, you may have a talent or be special, but you have to recognize it–and he repeated aloud again at least three times emphasizing more and more on RECOGNIZE it. 


Surely, after so many years, only now was he being recognized and more so, recognizing it himself. 


Apparently, someone who worked in the school was also a renown food critic, and she had nothing but praises to sing of him. 


Talking with him, I felt my eyes being opened. 


Everyone can do good with their lives and have worth. 


We have to recognize it in ourselves. 


We need to just be given an opportunity to show it and share it. 


It doesn’t matter what you are or earn.


It matters where your heart is.


For many, they earn gazillions, but their heart is a heart of stone. 


For others, they may earn minimum wage, but their heart is a heart of gold. 


It’s not the money, it’s not the power, it’s not the prestige…it’s the heart and soul of the matter. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

They Really Think They Deserve It

Sometimes I come across people with enormous wealth and power. 


Many wield it like they own it and deserve it. 


I wonder sometimes with billions of other people in the world without adequate food, water, plumbing, medicine, or a solid roof over the heads, how the mighty can think they are above it all. 


Do they look around–do they see anyone else but themselves?


They seem drunk with themselves and what they have–and very overconfident.


Worshipping self and all the honor and materialistic success–they forget where it comes from and what they are supposed to be doing with it to help others. 


Yet, G-d and His angels can strike in but a split second. 


Those that are high and mighty can be brought low and those that are in the depths of despair can be uplifted. 


But at the will of G-d Almighty.


At the top, people may erroneously think and come to believe that they are smarter or more deserving–and so what’s theirs is theirs for the taking and keeping. 


They think “To hell” with everyone else–they are the little people. 


Perhaps, they even come to enjoy squashing them underfoot.


They really believe and savor the power and even think it’s forever. 


Yet the wheel of life turns and often abruptly–illness, accidents, misfortune…it comes seemingly from nowhere when G-d breaths justice. 


How silly of the powerful and wealthy to think they are the untouchable and the forever mighty. 


G-d sees the good and the bad in the people–and ultimately, there is no escape from the King of Kings. 


Wealth and power are earthly and fleeting, but the will of G-d is all that endures. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Gazillions Baby!

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So being a millionaire is no longer anything.


You’re still considered sort of a poor schlub!


Even a billionaire is not such a big deal anymore. 


It takes at least $2 billion to make it unto the Forbes 400 Richest Americans List


Further, a recent episode of CNBC Filthy Rich Guide asks who will become the world’s first trillionaire!


They say trillionaire as in a number with “4 commas”–never really thought of it that way.


…but it’s definitely a big,(1) big,(2) big,(3) big,(4) big number.


Jeff Bezos of Amazon with $90 billion currently in the bank and growing fast is forecasted to be the one who will make it. 


So no longer are we betting on which mega corporation–Apple (with a current value of almost $830 billion)–will become the first trillion dollar company.


We are talking individuals with that much moolah too. 


So with the median net worth of Americans a measly $69 thousand dollars, it’s no wonder that billionaires like Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank) calls more than one entreprenuer looking for an investment, a cockroach!


What’s a shame is not only the complete social inequity and class system that we have and that continues to grow with those in McMansions and others homeless, but also that so many can’t see that what’s really important is not the beautiful pocketbook full of money, but the decent soul filled with good deeds! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Feeling A Little Relative Deprivation

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So this was a little funny-sad. 


We were taking a walk.


And we passed these two houses side by side. 


One, this tall stately-looking all brick manicured corner house.


The other, this cozy and sort of beat up little white siding house. 


The juxtaposition of these two as neighbors couldn’t have been funnier. 


Sort of like strong and determined Rocky and the nebbish that couldn’t. 


Listen, there isn’t anything objectively wrong with the little older white house.


Taken by itself, it may actually be a nice place to live–as I said, it’s sort of charming (even while the other is commanding)! 


But when you put it against the big new brick fellow, it’s just a story of relative deprivation ready to be intensely felt. 


Both have a roof over their heads…and both in the same nice neighborhood. 


Yet neighbor and neighbor–but for no reason, one ends up feeling probably a little shitty–that’s putting it in comparison, of course.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)