In these times of massive furloughs and viral shedding it’s hard to hold onto anything, let alone find any kind of diversions or escape valves. In early April it was reported that French police turned back a private jet from London trying to get to the Riviera – the highfliers were 7 men (40 to 50 years old) and 3 women (23 to 25 years old). The men were from the Ukraine and worked in high finance and the women were in the “escort biz.”
They had hired a villa in Cannes. But when the plane hit the tarmac in Marseille, the police refused entry since they couldn’t prove their trip was “essential” via an international travel certificate. Very Jeffrey Epstein to be sure, but in the “Covid” era? For those with the cash — where there’s a will there’s a private jet and that show still goes on. Meanwhile, the new season of the very popular “Billions” has started. I watched the premiere and am not sure the story of perverted middle-aged New York City billionaires pushing their power around with no soul and getting away with it is so riveting anymore.
It is fascinating what has become irrelevant overnight — like most celebrities and high rollers. Can anyone really imagine going to Vegas in August for a sanitized blackjack or plastic-coated slot machine, masked strip clubs, let alone a deluxe $450 a night hotel room marked down to $35 with maids NOT in hazmat suits? Maybe the new slogan should be: “What happens in Vegas, isn’t happening in Vegas.”
The celebrity culture vanished because of what they stand for; grand indulged lifestyle and narcissism. No one can relate to that anymore – not even on YouTube in quarantine. I love Daily Mail’s headline page: “Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid 19” – with pictures of model(?) Emily Ratajkowski still flashing her backside in her transparent thong swimwear and headed to her private beach. Do we cheer for this?
Looking at isolated movie stars “feeling everyone’s pain” in their luxury homes trying to figure out how to mop their kitchen without their staff to help feels insulting — not funny. Only Oprah gets a pass in her Instagram post calling for help on how to stuff her own duvet cover. That is an honest struggle.
I also will give a partial nod to Naomi Campbell for becoming the “poster girl” for Coronavirus safety. She took her own infamous obsession for being hyper-hygienic and filmed herself taking a flight in April from LA to New York in a full hazmat suit and goggles with matching suitcase and gloves. She even showed her whole in-flight survival routine – sanitizing her seat and displaying her self protection kit of vitamin C, special wipes and disinfectant liquids. At least the woman walks the talk even if she does take First Class and seemed to have an entourage and cars waiting at both ends of the trip.
Campbell then returned to her YouTube show “No Filter” interviews done in early Corona of celebrity pals like Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Anna Wintour, and it all disintegrated into typical celebrity humble brag and total disconnect.
Now that we’ve reached record Great Depression unemployment, the last people I want to hear from are “stars” from any stratosphere. And that includes royals, specifically ex-royals!
But the Queen stands alone and came to the rescue yet again with her VE Day 75th Anniversary message of “never give up, never despair.” She handled her lockdown tribute brilliantly. “It may seem hard that we cannot mark the special anniversary as we would wish — instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty. They are filled with love and care that we have for each other.”
Who can top Her Majesty? Actually, the entire nation did by responding to her speech by opening the windows and doors and taking part in a giant sing-along of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime anthem “We’ll Meet Again,” now the theme song of Covid 19.
Once again, the Queen gets the nation back on its feet in hope. Thank God she seems to have the last word of late.