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Hi. I'm Jaime

Find joy in the little things. Travel when possible. Pet all the dogs. Use hyperbole and curse words prodigiously. Write it down. Always ask about hot sauce.

Fyre Festival, Influencers and Other Assorted Bullshit

Fyre Festival, Influencers and Other Assorted Bullshit

We are three weeks into 2019 and I've already gotten a second degree burn on my arm and cracked a molar.

Obviously, my body is being run by Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. 

So, let's talk about those two ding dongs and how the hell we got here. 

I watched the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix a few days ago and I have questions.

Just, so many questions.

The first of which being literally what the fuck? 

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Sun-splashed beaches, hot girls in bathing suits, live music and a chance to spend a shitload of money.

Just because Lebron took his talents from South Beach, y'all know it didn't stop existing, right? You can get all of these things and cafe con leche in Miami at any time. 

You do not need to pony up thousands to guys like Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. 

And speaking of - does Ja Rule have some cultural cache that I slept on?

I realize that my pop culture consumption as of late has been relegated to true crime podcasts, John Mulaney's Netflix specials and Frasier reruns but I can't possibly be so out of the loop that I missed Ja Rule's resurrection.

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I thought he went out with trucker hats and those tiny little useless scarves we all promised not to wear again? 

Lastly, who, in the year of Our Lord 2017, pays literally thousands of dollars to see Blink 182 and Disclosure? 

I understand traveling to shows and spending somewhat irresponsible amounts of money on seeing live music. 

I've done it and will likely do it again (NYC, Boston and Nashville for Kings of Leon, Texas for Austin City Limits and let's not kid ourselves - I'd sell my spleen for Springsteen tickets) but really? You're gonna drop dolla's dolla's on the dudes that dropped Latch? I mean, I like that song as much as the next girl but....

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I get it - Fyre wasn't about the music. It was about the atmosphere, the experience, the ambiance and above all - the influencers. 

I'm not an idiot. I realize that the point of advertising is selling a fantasy but the advent of online influencers seems so much more pernicious. 

I think most women understand that they can't be Charlize in Dior but maybe you could be Instagram model... if you lost weight, got eyelash extensions, got your brows microbladed, got collagen injections for your lips....

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Expensive, yes but more attainable than being a golden South African goddess. 

Influencer advertising is more pernicious because it's more present.

Charlize in Dior evanescences in a cloud of J'Adore the moment you turn the page. It's a one time interaction but influencers are lurking every time you scroll through your Instagram feed. 

That's how Ja Rule and Billy McFarland were able to bilk hundreds out of thousands - by constantly reiterating fantasy in your face every time you opened your phone. 

Those chuckleheads took it to a fraudulent extreme (No, Ja. It's not false advertising. It's fraud) but you see lesser examples of it on the daily.

You might not be able to frolic with the Hadid sisters on a beach but you might be happier/more fulfilled/a better person if you tossed your head back and laughed in quaint, brick-lined alleyways, ate vividly colored acai bowls, lived in a veritable jungle of succulents and ukatasana'd in Lululemon.

So, you do and what happens?

You spend 25 minutes trying to take the perfect shot and miss life happening outside of the alley and you spend more money on shit but does it heighten the experience?

Is your immune system more powerful because you spent $13 on a fruit bowl? Are your legs stronger because you bought luxury leggings? 

Are you a happier/more fulfilled/better person or do you just appear to be one? Is that appearance enough to make you genuinely happy? 

The consistent and meticulous sculpting of your existence, the curation of every aspect of your image and vigilant maintenance of your "personal brand" sounds both emotionally and financially draining as well as well....super bullshit. 

You know what my "brand" is? Eating cheese, hanging out with my dogs and cursing a little more than I should.

Also known as being a fucking person and not a commodity.

And I’m happier for it.

I am not here to sell myself like some sort of emotional Fantine

Much like Bukowski, I am here to drink beer (or gin), kill war, laugh at the odds and live so well that Death will tremble to take me.

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