Thoughts on the Fyre Festival documentaries
1. Rich white people are the Dodo birds of modern times.
Most of us remember learning of the Dodo bird in elementary school when we discussed other extinct animals. I don’t compare rich white people to Dodo birds because they have ANY chance at all of becoming extinct — rich white people will survive every other group of people on the planet most likely. No, I compare them to the Dodo bird because the reason the Dodo bird is no longer with us is that they were so oblivious to threats around them, not used to having predators, that they were hunted into extinction by sailors who’d just walk up to them and kill them. Rich white people as a demographic are in no threat of ever leaving us. But THOSE rich white people — the ones who went to the Fyre Festival — almost certainly came close to leaving us forever. As embodiments of the larger overall rich population, they were prime specimens of what being accustomed to everything going right and having their money make all things around them “glorious events”, look like. So much so that they never saw “sending Ja Rule” $250K for a “villa” on some random island for some obscure inaugural music festival, as a rickety idea at best. Those rich white people definitely almost became extinct. By the time night fell on that island in the Bahamas they were running around fighting over water, mattresses and pissing in tents to claim them as their own.
2. Poor people almost always, bear the brunt of the misfortune when the impractical, frivolous, whimsical ideas of rich people go wrong.
Plenty of people expressed the red flags they saw to both Billy McFarland and Grant Margolin that this festival would never work in the timeframe they’d set forth. No one expressed these concerns more than the local Bahamians who throughout both documentaries gave the festival creators the famous “Conceited, facial expression” throughout the entire production. And who would know best? Some rich arrogant guys who didn’t know a damn thing about the local geography, infrastructure, weather, and culture — all of which ended up becoming contributing factors (not the contributing factors) to why this entire endeavor failed? Or, the local citizens who live and work their everyday?
The Bahamian citizens who didn’t have a booming economy or infrastructure were looking exceedingly forward to this festival working out and the estimated five years of economic contribution to the area that the festival was supposed to deliver over its contract. Because of these expectations, these local mostly poor, black and rural people worked for free often on the belief that the money was going to come. They worked long, hot, hungry, exhausting hours on the belief, that these rich guys were going to pay them and that this festival was going to bring a lot of money and opportunity to their country. And when all of that completely collapsed so profoundly, it was they who were sh*t out of luck on lost wages, hopes, and dreams for the region, while McFarland literally moved on to his next scam.
3. Ja Rule, “Between Me And You”, you’re just as
I’m sure most people are sighing, thinking “of course he was”. However, as someone who’s not followed Ja Rule’s life since Columbia House would give you 12 CDs for a penny (and not much then either). And as someone who only casually followed the reports behind the Fyre Festival debacle when it first happened, it appeared as though his friendship with a scam artist was used to lure people into giving their money away for the event. In that context, he seemed like he’d been used as well.
But after I watched the Netflix version I fully understood just how intertwined Ja Rule was throughout the entire thing. It’s laughable he even tried to give his “bamboozled” speech via Twitter in an attempt to proclaim innocence. Dude was in line with McFarland throughout the entirety of it. He was his partner in the development of the Fyre App which they were trying to launch fully at the end of the festival. He was on conference calls, site visits, planning photo shoots, the whole nine. I don’t think Ja may have fully understood the entire financial issues that would eventually befall McFarland and his fraudulent money activities, but there’s no way Ja didn’t have his doubts that this festival was not feasible, yet, he still ran around “Livin’ it Up” on camera, like this was about to be the largest, greatest experience anyone attending was likely ever to have in life.
4. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real as hell.
This entire Fyre Festival catastrophe would’ve never occurred without this malady that millennials (and Gen X’s too) have of needing to be apart of the “big thing” that’s happening especially as it pertains to social media. McFarland and Co. were able to dupe thousands of young people out of their dollars with sleek marketing, graphics, and videos and a few Instagram posts by models who made it look like “if you miss this, leave the planet”. They didn’t even have actual imagery of real accommodations nor the island these people would eventually be visiting when they booked these flights and gave out debit/credit card numbers to pay for it all. All they had was the word of models, folks like Kendall Jenner, a damn orange screen and video; and then people just rained money down on the McFarland vision like it was a stripper at Blue Flame.
5. Billy McFarland will be back, probably as POTUS some day. I would say that I’d hope the citizens of the U.S. would have the good sense to never elect a McFarland as president but we kind of already did that back in 2016. Honestly, if there’s one thing the pious, working-class, good Christian citizens of America love, is the up, then fall from grace, then rise again of a rich, privileged, upper-class, whoremongering, fraudulent, white man. You’re probably thinking those two descriptions don’t match. But ha! You’d be wrong. Cause to this group, a man’s wealth, ability to smash women while married, have a bit of a legal “hiccup” and still return wealthier than ever, beating all the odds, is clearly a sign that “God” has chosen him.
I doubt that McFarland could ever be president, although technically, as far as I understand, there’s nothing that would legally bar him from doing so. What he will do most likely, is return with some other tech company. People will label him a great “redemption story”. He’ll make millions, laugh about the lessons he’s learned in some 20/20 interview, while the poor citizens of the Great Exuma island of the Bahamas never fully recover from all that was lost in the Fyre Festival that wasn’t.