The Fyre Festival was a trial run of the ‘B’ Ark


You all know the story of the Douglas Adams’ ‘B’ Ark, I’m sure. It’s about a planet that packed up a bunch of people into a spaceship and sent them off to “colonize” a new planet.

“Yes, so anyway,” he resumed, “the idea was that into the first ship, the ‘A’ ship, would go all the brilliant leaders, the scientists, the great artists, you know, all the achievers; and into the third, or ‘C’ ship, would go all the people who did the actual work, who made things and did things, and then into the `B’ ship – that’s us – would go everyone else, the middlemen you see.”

The subset of the population loaded up unto the ship were telephone sanitizers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, and management consultants. It seemed a bit overzealous — hairdressers and security guards at least are quite useful. Especially since I’ve discovered people who are far more useless than that lot. You see, I watched two documentaries about the Fyre Festival last night. Two of them — one on Netflix, another on Hulu — so you can just grovel in schadenfreude all night long.

You quickly learn that the most useless people on Planet Earth are ‘social media influencers’, people with the job of promoting ‘social media influencers’, and people who pay ‘social media influencers’ for doing nothing but looking pretty and posing. The guy who set up the grift called the Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland, is a compulsive liar who embodied many of the same shallow values as the people he bilked, but the difference was that he avidly ripped into the populace. He was like an animated gummi bear falling upon a bowl of barely set jello and devouring everything in front of him. He’s a terrible, awful, weak person who found his niche and then fouled it so badly that he is currently serving a 6 year sentence in prison.

Of the two, I thought Hulu’s Fyre Fraud was better at exposing the phony promoters, like FuckJerry (how edgy!), a company whose sole business is pumping out sophomoric memes and promoting self-promoters. Fuck FuckJerry. Netflix’s Fyre, though, goes deeper into the harm McFarland caused to good people with real productive jobs, like all the Bahamians who were lied to and tricked into working long hours of manual labor, scrambling to try and get this trash ‘festival’ assembled, and were then never paid.

And then the whole thing collapsed so quickly, as all the trust-fund babies and pretty people spilled onto the sand on the day of and discovered it was all lies.

I now know how easy it would be to fill up the ‘B’ Ark. All we need to do is pay Kendall Jenner $250,000 to tell the kinds of people who think she has anything to say to climb the boarding plank, and they’ll go, guzzling champagne and taking smirking selfies as they scurry aboard. Good riddance.

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    ”Good riddance.”

    You say that now, but just wait until our civilization is about to be wiped out by a plague spread by a dirty telephone… or whatever the equivalent would be in this case. I’m sure there is something these latter-day Eloi are good for. There has to be some important niche they fill for maintenance of society.

    Right?

    Yeah, I can’t think of anything either. Good riddance, then.”

  2. says

    Off topic but very thankful.
    Thanks so much for leading me to Geoff Wilkins. I had never stumbled onto him previously and have now been absorbed by his collections of things and people I hold dear.
    May the spaghetti monster smile on you.

  3. Arnaud says

    “I now know how easy it would be to fill up the ‘B’ Ark. All we need to do is pay Kendall Jenner $250,000 to tell the kinds of people who think she has anything to say to climb the boarding plank, and they’ll go, guzzling champagne and taking smirking selfies as they scurry aboard. Good riddance.”
    Isn’t that Elon Musk’s plan?

  4. says

    This review suggests the miscreant responsible for the entire clusterfuck was paid for his participation in at least one of the documentaries! While the poor bastards out in the Bahamas are still left twisting in the wind. Failing upward: the wealthy white person’s superpower.

    This “B Ark” of which you speak– it will be programmed to fly straight into the sun, right?

  5. Matt Cramp says

    The Hulu doc is better at holding FuckJerry to account because the Netflix doc is produced by FuckJerry. The Hulu doc also paid McFarland a pretty significant chunk of change for his appearance.

    I suspect both are, in their own ways, part of the grift.

  6. lucifersbike says

    I, too, could happily draw up a long list of people to pack onto the ‘B’ Ark, but I used to have bullshit jobs myself, and suspect most of these people are silently screaming for escape. I still can’t watch “The Office” because it is all too horribly real. i was lucky – even if I earn a lot less now, I have been able to follow my vocation.
    Part of my work involves contact with fraud victims. I would like to think I impress them, and the law enforcement agencies, as professional, sympathetic and competent. I have to admit that there is often a nasty little voice at the back of my head muttering “You did what? Gave them your PIN and account number? Bought a second-hand Bugatti from Moldova? How could you be so fucking stupid?” I’ve got no sympathy for rich idiots who blindly follow the Facebook or Instagram hordes; but poor people get hurt by these arseholes as well.

  7. says

    The best depiction of “work” I know of is about a minute long, and comes at the start of a Private SNAFU cartoon. I’ll relate it (probably paraphrasing, but you can compare it to the cartoon, where it’s right at the beginning).

    SNAFU is in a room with shelves in it, picking pairs of boots out of a pile taller than himself, reciting as he goes along, “Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half Charlie. Nine and a half Bennie. Nine and a half Charlie.” He places them on the shelf without half looking. Boredom and fatigue are evident. “Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half Charlie. Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half… David!”

    His face lights up with joy at the brief novelty of the pair of 9-1/2 Ds. “Hmm!” He places them on the shelf, almost reverently, and returns to the pile. “Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half Benny. Nine and a half Charlie…” A moment of camera magic, and we fade to the last pair of boots. He leans against the shelves for a moment, then looks up and whistles loudly. On this cue, another pile of boots, also taller than him, drops from the ceiling, and he resumes. “Nine and a half Charlie. Nine and a half Charlie…”

  8. chrislawson says

    Is everyone aware that Douglas Adams was only making fun of useless people as a sly setup for satirising a culture that would banish useless people in the name of efficiency, only to be wiped out by something that those “useless” people would have prevented?

  9. methuseus says

    @jkrideau #11:
    In addition to that link you provided, there’s the fact that actual, useful people (the type where things would fall apart if they disappeared) are told that, in order to further their career they have to join the legions of middle-managers who are in that space of not mattering.
    @chrislawson #13:

    Is everyone aware that Douglas Adams was only making fun of useless people as a sly setup for satirising a culture that would banish useless people in the name of efficiency, only to be wiped out by something that those “useless” people would have prevented?

    Douglas Adams had a more nuanced view than that. He wanted to point out the fact that people fail at anything that they make as absolutes. They took away all the “useless” people and happened to remove some useful people along the way. Basically “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. Invariably when people make such broad, sweeping decisions, they don’t completely think through all the consequences of their actions.

  10. Matthew Herron says

    …the most useless people on Planet Earth are ‘social media influencers’, people with the job of promoting ‘social media influencers’, and people who pay ‘social media influencers’ for doing nothing but looking pretty and posing.

    What about those who sell likes and followers to social media influencers? Maybe those are included in the second category.

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