It's Friday, which means (at least for some of us) that it's payday! Which for most of us also means being able to pay rent, go grocery shopping, and splurge on a microbrew instead of PBR at the bar this weekend. This playlist, inspired by Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl," is all about women's relationships with the green: wanting and needing it, wishing and working for it, pretending to have it, and not caring either way.
One of my close friends pointed out when I began to write this series that I wouldn't have the opportunity to explore a freelance writing career if I weren't able to take risks with my own earnings. And she's completely right. Bitch is wonderful, but as an independent, nonprofit publication, blogging for them doesn't exactly pull in large amounts. If I had a family dependent upon my wages, I would have found a more traditional academic or salaried nonprofit job that allowed me to have a reliable income, but I probably wouldn't have had time to write this series for this audience. At least in part, my current class privilege is what allows me to write about class privilege.
On ABC's Revenge, the story is uprooted from the Second Empire in France to the modern-day Hamptons. The heroine is Amanda Clarke turned Emily Thorne, who seeks revenge on her old neighbors after her father was wrongly convicted of a terrorist plot, leading to her placement in foster care and, ultimately, juvenile detention. When she turns 18, Amanda learns her father made a few well-placed investments and inherits unimaginable wealth. And—like Dantes becoming the Count of Monte Cristo—she morphs into Emily Thorne, returns to the Hamptons, and strategically destroys the people who did her wrong.
Understandably, when telling a story in a different historical moment, and changing the genders of the protagonists and villains, and removing any of the original political context, you end up with something quite different. What endures, though, is the connection between wealth and villainy.
In the past few years, being broke has become something of a communal experience in America, to the point that television can no longer just air constant streaming coverage of millionaires and their matchmakers, their real housewives, their stylists, their babies, and their real estate, without seeming completely out of touch. Network television's response to the financial crisis is CBS's 2 Broke Girls.
A very special thank you to the Countess LuAnn of the Real Housewives of New York for supplying the title to today's post. I doubt this is what the Countess was going for, but she brings up a good point: what's the difference between having money and having class privilege? Is there one anymore?