Showing Off

Several years ago, Kim Kardashian was robbed in her Paris hotel room, and the popular response to this event was horrible.  It prompted this response from me on these pages, and I stand by every single statement I made back then (please go and read it before continuing).

All that said, I have to say that it makes me wince when today’s glitterati  and sports heroes show off their conspicuous wealth.  Here’s one example of some guy getting robbed of his $72,000 watch, and another example of stupid display:

That’s former Disney-girl and now-slut-extraordinaire Bella Thorne.  I can only hope that what she’s wearing on that single wrist and hand are paste, and not real jewels;  but somehow, I don’t think that’s the case.

I used to know a fabulously wealthy man who had a habit of buying his wife expensive jewellery, and paying a small fortune to have the pieces scrupulously copied in glass and gold-plate so that she could wear them in public.  I once asked him why he bothered buying the real thing at all, if all she was going to do was wear the fakes.  His reply was priceless:  “The real stuff is an investment;  the fake stuff is for her ego.”

I have no answer for any of this, by the way, because I don’t think there is one.  Criminals are always going to target the wealthy;  and if the wealthy want to wear a neon sign on their bodies that says, “I’m rich!” and goblins see the signs and act accordingly, I guess that’s just the way of the world.

As for Amir Khan:  I cannot imagine spending over seventy grand on a watch that ugly, but as we all know, wealth can’t buy you taste.


  1. You buried the lede. How was he possibly robbed at gunpoint in London, where gun’s are prohibited? It must be some sort of insurance scam.

    Also his butt ugly watch was worth £72k, not $27k.

  2. He lacked the balls and the intellectual horsepower to protect his property. He’d give up that sphincter too if the robber wanted it. Typical of todays males. All hat, no cattle.

    1. “All hat no cattle” deserves to be a song lyric. Something with the tune, “All about de base, no treble.”

  3. If your wealthy friend was buying diamond jewelry, then his ‘investment’ has its foundations on sand; someday – and probably sooner than later – the de Beers people’s ability to artificially prop up the diamond market by choking off supply will come to an end, other sources of diamonds will enter the market and the price of diamond jewelry will crash.

    OTOH if your friend made his wealth himself he probably knows this, and is ‘investing’ in gemstones with less questionable ‘value’.

    Years ago I treasured a VHS tape of Rita Rudner’s stand-up comedy. One of the many reasons was her introduction where she called attention to a necklace that was an anniversary gift (mild applause) “It’s fake. (Pause for audience reaction) I requested fake. Call me paranoid, but I don’t want anything around my neck that’s worth more than my head!”

    1. Diamonds are not a good investment. Mined diamonds hold their value but still resell for a fraction of retail. Now that they’re making amazing quality lab-created diamonds (pretty much identical to natural diamonds) there’s not much upside to buying natural diamonds anymore.

      1. Rubies and their near twins Sapphires (one element different used to be the truly valuable gem, but even those are now lab made. Emeralds? Probably not them, either.

  4. Amir Khan is entitled to do whatever he wants with his money, but spending $94K on a wristwatch strikes me as foolish. I’ve never understood the logic of spending large amounts of money on a small object that is easily lost, stolen, or broken. I feel the same way about spending nearly a thousand dollars on a luxury fountain pen. I don’t know about you, but I’ve lost numerous pens in my life, and I’m sure I’ll lose more of them in the future. If I owned a Mont Blanc pen that cost $895, I would be afraid to take it anywhere for fear of losing it or accidentally giving it away. I would probably keep it locked in a safe, preventing anyone from seeing it and marveling at how wealthy I must be. So what would be the point of owning it?

    As for wristwatches, until a few months ago, I made a point of wearing a simple analog watch of the sort that you can buy for about $20. It told me the time, and that’s all I needed it to do. I only upgraded to an Apple Watch because my cardiologist recommended it (for its heart health features), and even spending a mere $360 on that seemed extravagant to me. I can’t imagine spending nearly a hundred grand on a watch that isn’t any better at telling time than the $20 watch I used to wear.

    Sure, a jewel-encrusted watch is a great way to flaunt your wealth. But if I wanted to spend $94K to do that, I think I would buy a Porsche 718 Cayman or a Tesla Model S.

    1. Our oldest bought a really expensive Apple Watch with the money that he earned from his first summer working. Our initial response was that it was foolish, but then we concluded that it was just fine because he decided what he wanted to do with the money he earned by working. Hard work = something I want isn’t a bad equation to learn at 15. He didn’t buy a new one when that one broke so he might have even learned to manage his money a little bit too from the experience.

      Or not. He is only 20 now.

    2. I used to buy $3 sunglasses because I lost or broke them all the time. A buddy of mine convinced me to splurge on designer sunglasses by telling me that I’d take better care of them if I spent more on them. I discovered he was absolutely correct. For me, that holds true for most other luxury goods like watches and cars.

      There’s no logic behind wearing a Rolex or buying a Porsche, when a $2 quartz watch keeps better time, and a $15k Hyundai is cheaper and more reliable.

      Logic hardly factors in.

  5. That watch has been stripped of it’s diamonds and tossed in the trash because it’s un pawnable. ( assuming that it actually had real diamonds and not fakes ). But the story is illustrative of the difference between new money and old money. Bella and the Boxer need to display the wealth because they still can’t believe they have it. Old money doesn’t need to do that and actually goes out of their way to downplay the wealth.

    I’ve been the homes of Old money, and the directions are usually the same. Turn left down the unmarked single lane road 2.3 miles after the intersection. In 200 yards give your name to guard at the gate. Then stay to the left at the next two Y’s untill you get to the main house.

    1. Well, it isn’t quite that clear cut. Old money sometimes buys things that other old money will recognize and appreciate (and perhaps envy). And those same things? New money doesn’t even know what they are, which is what marks them as new money.

      New money makes a splash by buying something. Old money doesn’t need to, because Grandfather Smythe bought the equivalent back in 1910. Thus; Now money makes a big fuss out of buying a Picasso. Old money quietly displays a Turner some ancestor bough direct from the artist.

      New money buys a fantastically expensive Supercar. Old money quietly has the 1927 Duesenberg refurbished…for the 20th time since purchase.

      1. New money goes to the furniture store for more furniture. Old money goes to the attic.
        Boy, my home looks like old money. Some things match, most do not.

  6. Moses brought 10 commandments down from the mountaintop. If we paid more attention to the last one, about not coveting, we’d have a whole lot less of the thievery, murders and adultery. And we’d all be a lot happier too.

    1. Didn’t you know? God is irrelevant. I read that in the New York Times, so it must be true.

      1. Fifty four years ago, the NYfT said God was dead. Can’t they get their stories straight?

    2. I’m not conversant with the original language, so my theology may be faulty, but it seems to me that a key point is to not covet THE ONE THAT IS YOUR NEIGHBOR’S. You may want AN ox, AN ass, A wife. The commandment doesn’t (to me) forbid that. You only sin when you want to take the ones your neighbor has.

      Anyone familiar enough with the twists of serial translation to speak to that?

  7. That name brand stuff if interesting, I went to work for Richemont in their US repair center out by DFW airport in 2009 in order to get good health insurance and make a bit of money working with the Montblanc brand. There are over 60 watchmakers in the facility and Richemont has the following brands, it owns include A. Lange & Söhne, Azzedine Alaïa, Baume & Mercier, Buccellati, Cartier, Chloé, Dunhill, IWC Schaffhausen, Giampiero Bodino, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Peter Millar, Purdey, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin and Van Cleef & Arpels.

    Lots of fun stuff and one day a friend of mine brought a Woman’s Vacheron watch over to my bench, it had been sent in for cleaning and she asked me how much I thought the retail on that watch was. I held it in my hand, it was covered with diamonds and I guessed about $50K and she laughed and told me I was off by $200K since it was a $250K watch. We worked in a large facility where we had to take off all metal, wear special shoes and walk through a metal detector and then go through double doors into a high pressure area that was designed to keep the dust out. That was a fun job for me as I turned 65 and could get medicare insurance. I got to see a lot of expensive stuff owned by folks whose names I recognized and laughed at the prices of the goodies they owned.

  8. Judging from the puffed lips and butt-ugly claws …uhhhh…..fingernails…, her mother was a Ubangi bitch bred by a grizzly bear.

    1. The ‘Ubangi’ (actually a name made up by a Ringling Bros. Publicity man) were a tribe of mild mannered, fairly Christian Africans who were persuaded to tour with the circus so they could raise enough money to buy a new radio (one version) or build a school. They were mildly bewildered by the whole thing, returned to Africa when their contract was up, and so far as I can discover never bothered anybody.

      1. Nothing against the so-called Ubangi tribes, just mentioned them because they attributed female beauty to enormous lips and inserted discs into the cut space between gum and lip to stretch them out.
        Big fat carp lips, especially disproportionate upper lips, have become the beauty mark of the glitterati ever since Julia Roberts arrived on scene with her enormous upside down mouth.

  9. Right after I got married, my great uncle gave me a man’s ring with a multi-carot diamond in it. It was one of the gaudiest things I’d ever seen in my life, as it screamed “I want you to think I’m rich”. He asked me if I was going to wear it every day. I said “, I am on a college campus every day and a lot of nights. Do you want me mugged and killed for a ring? Heck, no, I’m locking it up.” We got the jewel appraised at $7k at the time (mid 90s), and my mother ended up buying it. If it comes back to me through any inheritance, I’ll sell it first.

  10. Gee no comment on his butt ugly wife? Looks like a mannequin. All cosmetic surgery I suspect.

  11. I bought my wife a jewelry box ages ago and added some stuff to it over time for birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas etc. She wears some of it but I didn’t spend crazy money on most of it.

    You’re absolutely right that wealth can’t buy taste. Quite a bit of this expensive jewelry is just gaudy and tacky with a big price tag


    1. If you doubt that wealth cannot buy taste, and never has, look at the galleries of art payed for my the Medici. There’s SOME glorious work, and most of it is in absolutely DREADFUL taste.

      I think we have the illusion that New Wealth buys vulgar crap, and the wealthy of ages past didn’t because, mercifully, a lot of the vulgar crap that the wealthy bought in, say, 1875, has been consigned to the attic, burned during a war, or quietly buried. In a way it’s a pity that we are now frantically preserving all kinds of old things just because they are old. For every Bradbury Building (LA, look it up, it was used in Blade Runner and is absolutely gorgeous) there are scores of claptrap houses treat were bug ugly when they were built, and have been getting worse for a century or more.

  12. How many wealthy liberals donate to the cause du jour without realizing the consequences of catch and release of criminals?
    We are seeing the goblins showing up in more expensive neighborhoods these days because, as Willie Sutton famously remarked, “That’s where the money is”.

    1. I’m not surprised at all. As Barry Soteoro said, “elections have consequences.” Now those moonbats with more money than brains is going to learn the hard way that the policies of the racist Democrat death cult are harmful to every aspect of society and hinder American strength and prosperity. The downside is that it will take a lot for these insidious imbeciles to learn and a lot of innocent and smart people are going to get hurt while they learn their lesson.


    2. Loony leftists in Los Angeles are getting upset that the consequences of their politics is coming to THEIR neighborhoods. THEM, who always vote for more freebies for the hoodlums.
      Even the mole for the Leftists and Criminals, the District Attorney George Gascón, who thinks bail is an inequitable idea, and that catch and release works for fish, why not criminals, too, has a recall drive pending. He does cut a fashionable figure for a campaign photograph, though.

  13. I worked on a probate trial decades ago where there was some really high end jewelry involved (eight digit stuff.) At that level, it automatically comes with the fake.

    When the wife wanted to wear the real stuff, the insurance policy required her to submit notice to the underwriter in advance, she could only wear it at home, security had to be present when it was removed from the safe and until it was returned, and she was limited to like four evenings a year.

    So when they would throw a party, she would file a notice and get to wear her jewelry.

  14. Amir Khan, and his odious wife – couldn’t have happened to better people . Just as well we have gun Laws in the UK, otherwise they’d be lining up like a firing squad to have a pop at that w*nker.

  15. Unless Bella Thorne bought that bling herself, her photo could also count as some guy getting robbed of 72k pounds. If she did buy that bling herself, it is probably paste or whatever the cheap imitation is called nowadays. She knows as well as hunters do that you need the right bait to catch what you’re looking for, and it need not be a rare antelope to catch a lion.

  16. I lucked out. My wife of 38 years doesn’t do jewelry. No pierced ears. For the past 20 years she doesn’t even wear her wedding rings cause she doesn’t want to damage them. Over the years I’ve bought her a few necklaces and bracelets and she’ll wear them a couple times and then right into the box forever more. She has a few other good points too. That’s why I keep her around. grin

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