Big Fat Green-Eyed Monster

I have a theory. You might not like it.

Over the past few days, we’ve been subjected to regular news stories about bankers earning huge, fat bonuses, despite the fact that hardly any of us can see what they might have done to earn such enormous sums, and despite the fact that, in the last couple of years, our taxes have kept them in business. Most public sector workers wouldn’t know a bonus if it was brought to us in a spangly pink wheelie bin with a mariachi band and ticker tape accompaniment.

To take our minds off the bankers’ fat paycheques, some of us have been watching a Channel Four series which invites us to poke fun at the lives of the British traveller community. Every week, you and I, the middle classes, have gathered on Twitter to mock the gypsies with their awful LED-infested puffball wedding dresses, curious moral code, and – most of all – their ability to spend seemingly endless amounts of money whilst apparently doing very little to earn it.

Bankers and gypsies, then. Not so very different, really, and this brings me to my theory:

If most of us are honest with ourselves, the main reason we object to the bankers and the gypsies is that we are, fundamentally, jealous of them.

For many of us, the ultimate ideal is to be able to live a lifestyle which has us beholden to no-one, yet able to afford to travel the world, live in our dream home, drive a fancy car, keep racehorses, or whatever else floats our superyacht. For all but a very few of us, this dream will never be achievable. Any of us lucky enough to win, say, the couple of million on the lottery that would mean we could tell the boss where to shove it, would have done nothing to earn the money. We would be, essentially, no different than the bankers and the gypsies. And yet, with one or two notable exceptions, nobody begrudges a lottery winner his or her good fortune. Most people cling to the hope that, one day, it will be their turn, and that when it comes, it will simply be a stroke of good luck. It remains, theoretically at least, within their grasp for as long as they keep buying tickets.

So, when we complain about the bankers’ champagne lifestyles or the gypsies’ expensive cars, is it just possible that we are jealous – not of their wealth, but of the fact that we feel obliged to earn, to justify, to deserve what we have, while they are able simply to accept it as their entitlement?

I told you you wouldn’t like it.

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~ by somethingblonde on February 15, 2011.

One Response to “Big Fat Green-Eyed Monster”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alison Birch, somethingblonde. somethingblonde said: Big Fat Green-Eyed Monster: http://t.co/YAuJvgS #bigfatgypsyweddings #bfgw […]

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