Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Wisdom from Bling Empire


I was not the first to learn about Bling Empire, which really looks like a clone of Singapore Social, I was told that I would enjoy it by some friends, so I decided to hate-watch a few episodes. 

What struck me was that the producers probably learnt quite bit from making Singapore Social so Bling Empire was a lot funnier than Singapore Social and much easier to relate to. I even found it easier to watch than the latest season Disenchantment.

I will not really introduce the characters here, I think folks should watch it if they have the time. 

Instead, I will talk about three useful lessons I learnt from the series :

a) Rich people will test others before befriending them. But so should we!

Kevin is a Korean-American model and he befriended Anna Shay who is a wealthy heiress of a weapons manufacturing empire. In one episode, Anna invited Kevin to her home and gave him really expensive clothes. Kevin's friend Kane tells him that it's really a test and that rich-people want to test whether a person is greedy before deciding to befriend them.

I like the idea of testing a person before deciding to invest time on them, but I don't think this should be the sole province of the rich. We are always investing time on our friends. 

For ordinary mortals like us, I think a really good test is to see whether the person is punctual - this shows conscientiousness and how much they value your time. Another reasonable test is to just eat at a hawker centre - I don't like Singaporeans who think they are too high class for hawker food. That's just fucked up. 

b) If you are "irrelevant", go upmarket and service the really rich people

Another thing I really enjoy about Bling Empire is the cast of astrologers, fortune-tellers, shamans, hypnotists and spiritualists on the set - with the hypnotist possibly being the most credible on the set. This is so cool, I don't even care if the scenes were faked. 

What I really believe is that it is possible to become so wealthy that some personal problems simply cannot be solved by science and a highly trained charlatan can just be paid to make a wealthy person feel good. 

In Singapore, artists threw a fit when people labelled them as being "Irrelevant". I think part of the problem is the artist's alignment with the woke and liberal values. It's a senseless adoption of the poverty mindset. More than anything, an artist can turn a $20 canvas into a $2M painting so poverty is optional.

If anything, a shaman is even more irrelevant than an artist, but a shaman can make really good money administering to the ultra-wealthy. But you need Charisma. I can imagine a good-looking Singaporean googling up  "Barnum Statements" and creating a second career as a paranormal channeller with a "third eye".

Also, us finance folks should not take ourselves too seriously - An economist is just a shaman with mathematical equations and a few data-sets.

c) Alpha women should not date fake alpha males

You can laugh at fortune tellers or shamans but sometimes their advice and wisdom are really spot-on and you wind up beating yourself up for not being able to see life in such simple and pithy terms.

One side plot is superwoman Kelly is dating ex-Red Power Ranger Andrew and she's stuck in a toxic relationship, so I think a shaman was called in intervene (That alone is WTF ! ). He said that an alpha woman should date an alpha male but it seems that she's in a relationship with a fake alpha male who is actually just a useless couch potato posturing like an alpha.

I was in a conversation with a friend who has an interesting opinion on how the smartest Singaporean women should date ( they seem to come from only two schools in Singapore ). My friend feels that they need someone 10x more kuai-lan and capable than them, or find some beta who will be a willing slave to them for life. 

Scanning the financial blogosphere, we cannot think of anyone that kuai-lan who is unmarried to suit these alpha women. Sadly, we cannot think of a willing slave too. 

If my daughter turns out to be intelligent but also unfortunate enough to inherit my interest in financial blogging, she may be stuck with the kind of guy whose smartest move was betting on GME and making $100,000 last week. And he will be mansplaining it to her for months thereafter. 

If she's unlucky, he will remind her what a financial genius he is for the rest of her life. 

If this happens to my daughter, I'd prefer she remains single. 

Anyway, friends always think that I will watch Suits or Billions. 

They think too highly of me - this week I'm bingeing on Bling Empire. 


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