The rich are bad everywhere

I couldn’t get past the opening paragraphs of this article.

While thousands of Ukrainians were fleeing their submerged homes after a catastrophic dam explosion last week, high-society Russians gathered for a glitzy restaurant festival in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, just 500 miles away from the devastating flooding.

The event, called Gastreet, saw some 5,000 citizens pay up to $2,000 dollars for the opportunity to listen to some of Russia’s top businessmen, restaurant owners, and influencers over the course of five days. The event also included concerts, lavish nightlife experiences, and gourmet dinners.

If there’s one thing that was made clear at the Sochi resort, it’s that no amount of Western sanctions, Kremlin restrictions, or spillover violence within Russia can stop the country’s rich and famous from living large—despite the raging war in neighboring Ukraine.

Ummm, yes? Is this news? Do you think this is a Russian phenomenon? People are starving in the US, and we still have our Met Galas. America continues to bomb Afghanistan with drones, it’s just too boring to make the news, while influencers get paid to pose with beer brands. Our public schools continue to get almost daily visits from fanatics with assault rifles, while a reality show called Bridezillas has been running on cable for almost 20 years.

Any time you have colossal economic disparities, you’re going to get these kinds of contrasts. Neither the oligarchs of Russia nor the investment bankers of America are going to feel any pain, and they’re all going to frolic in the wreckage of other people’s suffering.


  1. wzrd1 says

    This is an entirely new phenomenon, never before witnessed in human history.
    Never before have the wealthy and powerful wined and dined while the poor suffered and starved. Just ask Louis XVI!
    Or I dunno, maybe dust off a history book, such pages are replete with examples.
    Although, given the spillover from the war, holding such an event only 500 miles from the war crime site may not be the best of ideas. They might get a visit by Russian deserters holding pitchforks and torches.
    Is it me, or is Putin seeming to avoid high floors on buildings that he’s visiting lately?

  2. stuffin says

    “while a reality show called Bridezillas has been running on cable for almost 20 years.”



  3. raven says

    Russian forces blocked rescue efforts after Kakhovka HPP …

    Yahoo › lifestyle › russian-forces-blo…
    2 days ago — On June 11, a Russian attack on a boat with civilians trying to evacuate from the east- bank in Kherson Oblast killed three people and injured …

    It is even worse than that.

    While the Russian ultra-rich were partying, the Russian army was actively preventing anyone from rescuing the people who were caught in the flood.

    The Russian army also didn’t make any efforts to rescue people and have prevented the UN or anyone from sending any help into the area they control.

    Amnesty International accuses the Russian occupation authorities of “callous disregard for human life” and “violation of its obligations as the occupying power.”

    Read also: Special forces rescue five Russian soldiers drowning after Kakhovka dam explosion, capture them – video

    “Their failing to undertake an organized evacuation, blocking volunteers’ efforts to support civilians affected by the floods and taking evacuees without Russian passports through ‘filtration’ violate their obligations as the occupying power and endanger lives.”

  4. says

    “while a reality show called Bridezillas has been running on cable for almost 20 years.”



    Because people like to see assholes and trainwrecks.

  5. robro says

    Is this where someone says, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”? I’m pretty sure this is the attitude of the oligarchs no matter their national identity.

  6. StevoR says

    @drksky : “Because people like to see assholes and trainwrecks.”

    Pretty sure posting anuses on social media & telly is about as verboten* as posting / showing (female esp) nipples is..Oh wait yeah metaphorically speaking.

    Or IOW coz ppl are jerks and sadly liek watching predictable rubbish where douches be douches and feces hits fans.

    .* Yeah Deutsch, anglais** is stealing another word from you and adding its diversity to our own. Resistence is ..schaudenfraudlicious?

    .** Yeah I know Anglais is Francais for english not Deutsch for english but in fairness, well dunno.. my Deutsch cést tres mal.

  7. StevoR says

    ‘Cept I do remember from embarrassing experience that you need to be very careful how you pronounce the seemibngly simple ggood night – Guten nacht..

  8. leovigild says

    America continues to bomb Afghanistan with drones, it’s just too boring to make the news,

    This is incorrect: the Biden administration stopped all drone strikes in Afghanistan after withdrawal. That’s why it’s not on the news.

  9. mond says

    Yup, this type scenario has featured in fiction.
    I always remember the original 70’s Battlestar Galactica where they are fleeing the Cylons and and resources are scarce.
    One of the ships has the great and good on board living it up as there fellow citizens starve. The folk in charge find this out and redistribute the resources.
    Unfortunately in our non-fiction world there is no Starbuck, Apollo or Commander Adama to take from the haves and give to the have-nots.

  10. David Utidjian says

    leovigild @8:
    Apparently this was in the news 2.5 to 2 yewars after the “pullout”:
    “31 July: Ayman al-Zawahri was killed in a drone strike conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency in Kabul.[57] The Taliban said that the strike was conducted on a residential house in the Sherpur area of Kabul. The New York Times, citing an American analyst, reported that the house struck was owned by a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, a senior official in the Taliban government.” Source: Wikipedia available in many other places.

    There were two other strikes listed on the wikipedia page since the “pullout”.