Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘luxury items

Smell of your money; (Jan. 5, 2010)

            I explained in a previous post “Color of your money” that liquid money (currencies and banknotes) are not neutral and that it has lost its mythical concept of a “lubricating” medium to facilitate exchange of merchandize.  This post is investigating the other attributes of money on family and close relative relationships and how it might have contributed to change in value systems.

            Money has acquired an “intrinsic” value independent of the barter value that most economy thinkers tried to perpetuate the concept for over a century; that is since money is mainly an oiling mechanism to encourage and expand commerce then money should be dissociated from the economic factors of national worth. The fact is the lubricating notion of money was tampered with since after US independence when Britain regained its monopoly over issuing US money supply. When the authority refrains from accommodating economic expansion by infusing more money in the market then money overvalues: particular merchandizes gets practically more expensive, internal market shrink, export is slowed down, and commerce suffers because of lack of liquidities.  For example, when a person is in need of liquid money then he is at disadvantage when bargaining for the right price of goods that he is trying to sell as liquid money is overvalued.

            The dollar is still powerful though it is not worth a dime if accounted on factors such as national debt, gold reserves, or even manufactured goods.  The liquidity of the dollar as being accepted a global currency for global exchange is its fundamental power; the dollar is steadily being challenged to be replaced by a basket of valuable reserves indexes.

            This article “Smell of your money” examines the effects of money in the affective sphere among family members and close relatives. Sociologist started with the hypothesis that money will enhance rational “cold” interactions among family members and thus, money will eventually tarnish the traditional family value standards.  Currently, sociologists came to the realization that it was changes in the value systems that affected monetary exchanges among family members. For example, working wives decide on either a proportional (equity) division of incoming salaries or stubbornly insist on equal shares in the household expenses even though women might be earning less than men. Why this irrational decision for equal shares? In this struggle for acquiring autonomy and equality between genders in society then, a wife might react as if “equitability” is promoting the perception of older generation values of man economic dominance and power in the household.

            Money has different smell and is not neutral relative to its sources.  For example, single mothers smell money differently: money received from State welfare systems is accounted differently than money acquired by other means; thus, money is spent and viewed differently.  Money gained from prostitution is lavishly spent on luxury items.  At first, we might attribute this lavish behavior as “re-investing” in the business: to catch high scale clients you have got to look it!  Then, the luxury trend makes room to a different smell of money: luxury generates luxurious behaviors that are not easily broken.  Money from prostitution is set aside for personal class statue appearances and reactions to society perception for this oldest of businesses.

            Another example is related to divorce cases. Adultery is always and originally an affective hurt that might lead to divorce.  Adultery behavior is mainly mentioned and then takes the fore front in monetary negotiation in a divorce deal when one party does not feel that the division is fair. Then, the issue is “how much was spent to entertaining the lover?” Adultery thus becomes an important economic factor for dilapidating family “confidence” and traditional value systems.  Adultery remuneration is thus comparable to winning the lotto: we feel free to spend lavishly this extra windfall that was not earned from our sweat.

            Another example of smell of money is the gifts to family members.  Gifts are transformed from gifts in kinds into liquid money, though verbal “contracts” are usually attached on how money should be spent. In the 1920’s, US social assistance to the poorer classes attached clauses on how money aid should be spent: social workers acquired vast supervisory leverage to controlling the recipients of money aid. Maybe one day, verbal contracts will be accepted by courts as information and communication technologies become standard tools in most family applications.

            Change in value systems is the upper order factor that easily explains social transformations but they are the consequences of intermediate direct factors.  The intermediate factor is expansion and development of economic base that generate various wants and needs. The immediate factor is the transformation, due to economic expansion, to the creation of various forms of liquidity in money such as checks, credit cards, and technical facilities to withdrawing cash money.  Forms of liquid money are not neutral: they qualitatively contribute of value transformations within family relations.

Cannes, the French Riviera (May 18, 2009)


The yearly film festival held in Cannes, the Mecca for transacting movie rights and distribution contracts, is eminently a style fashion show for the Superclass, especially women.  Producers, directors, actors, actresses, fashion designers, promoters of all kinds of products and services converge to transact audio-visual services, luxury items, and mostly young flesh.


Since the advent of TV the movie industry has faced frequent crisis.  Every now and then you read “Cinema is sick, dying, finished, or dead” but it keeps transforming and cutting expenses, except on promotional budgets that steadily increase. Heavy money are invested in promoting the actors and actresses in magazines, fashion, and charity events; cooked up marital problems and cheating adventures are sneaked into tabloids just to keep them in the spotlight.  The video and DVD revolution has kept families and the adults of over 35 homes but the new generation has to be out and gather in large facilities.


Trend adapter consultants evaluate their ideas of what the new generation (people aged 20 to 30) wants and desires. The new generation is navigating the internet and communicating their interests. The gathered information is statistically analyzed by the trend adapter researchers.   It is the new generation that will be spending money on fashions that suit their characters: fashion on display in luxury shops are already out of fashion and have generated the cow cash. Mostly profit is in luxury accessories from belt, to shoes, to necklaces, and shawls.


A few renowned actors/actresses are wealthy but most of them are subsidized by the industry to look rich and glamorous; the industry pay the rent of the mansions, luxury cars, hotels, cloths, and diamonds just to keep their stars in the spotlight for their fans.  Most of those who walk on the red carpet are paid pittance for many years until they pay off their dues to be set free for reconsidering initial contracts.  The same goes for directors who meet with new young promises on luxury yachts that do not belong to them.


Producers of movies usually wage on one successful movie out of ten failed ones to stay in the active life.  A producer read a book; he is interested in the story, sort a wonderful idea that suits a movie strikes his imagination.  If the right of authorship is available for purchase then he contacts the author and tenders the lowest offer.  Mind you that 60,000 books are published yearly just in the USA and fresh authors crave recognition; especially if their books might be screened. 

Generally, the new author who spent five years writing his “master work” is satisfied with $10,000 that the producer pay as option to reserving the rights for three years. If the book is screened then the author would be paid an additional one hundred thousands dollars plus 2% of the net benefice that never materializes because accounting in Hollywood is designed to show deficits.  The producer needs the signature of the author on the contract so that “THE STUDIO” might consider seriously extending credits for a movie.  The producer makes the round of the studios that he previously worked with.  Most of the times the producer calls up the author asking him to mail back the contract because the time for his ingenious idea has not come.  In the rare occasions that a studio gets excited for an idea then the next phase is for the producer to hire a screen writer, the cheapest ever.  Many drafted scenarios are mailed to the producer and never to the author.  All political connotations in the scenarios that might offend the conservative strata of the public are eliminated.  More love encounters and sex scenes are added; the viewers should be shedding tears, the loved one has to disappear and then be found.  What was a brilliant idea reverts to what it should have boiled down in the first place: a man loves a woman; a man loses a woman; and then a man recovers a woman.  Otherwise, the story has to compensate in more violent actions, car chases, visual, and sound effects.

            The studio has many ready projects to shoot but has to deal with distributing the ended films as widely as is feasible to movie theaters worldwide. The producer has to wait or locate an “independent” distributor.  Independent distributors make money if one out of ten movies is a hit.  In general, distributors are second order producers who decided to be front for “dirty money” investors who need to “clean” their money and generate legitimate income.  It is a costly investment to purchase chains of movie theaters around the world and those with deep pockets of “dirty money”, generated from illegal or illicit transactions, don’t mind taking calculated risks. For example, the famous actor Robert Redford turned producer and then director; he had to break the distribution roadblock by creating “Sundance Film Festival” to encourage independent directors.  Redford has failed to enter wider countries such as Europe and India.  Distributors do not invest a dime in the entire process of producing a movie and yet they make most of the profit.

            The tightly closed club of two thousand billionaires that meet once a year in Davos, Switzerland, under the name of World Economic Forum is formed of very few who acquired their wealth legitimately.  And yet, those powerful figures think that they are endowed “legitimately” to resolving world poverty and instability.


The French Federation of Fashion Designers is very powerful.  Not many competitors can join the Federation and powerful political contacts are needed to enter this sacro saint association.  It was established in 1868 and has registered the trade mark “Haute Couture” and fights savagely anyone who uses this expression without its consent.  There is this ceremony every six months (that is the time span of fashion) of “Premiere Vision” (First Viewing) closed to the public. This tradition lasts three weeks and starts in London, then Milan, and ends in Paris. The French Federation has the exclusivity of publishing the catalogue of the two major yearly events (ten thousands copies), of selecting the two thousands journalists and photographers, the mega buyers, and the place for the events.

note: most information from Paulo Coelho.  i feel he did his research.




June 2023

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