Nobody likes traveling through the LAX airport, one of the many airports serving southern California. It’s crowded and hectic, jammed with luggage-toting people heading east and west and crammed with the fast food outlets and franchise shops you find in every airport.
So, nobody likes traveling through LAX. But you know who really doesn’t like LAX? Movie stars. Star athletes. The random celebrities who have somehow become famous in America despite their apparent lack of any discernible talent or known accomplishment. They hate rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi, being recognized despite their ever-present sunglasses, being photographed by paparazzi and the masses alike, and being pestered by fans for an autograph. God forbid that they should have to hobnob, unprotected, with the common folks who buy the tickets to their movies or games or watch their reality TV shows.
So what do you do if you’re on the Board of Airport Commissioners that controls LAX and you learn of the evident dissatisfaction of the rich and famous with LAX? Tell them, sorry, but they’ll just have to suck it up and endure an occasional interaction with the plebes when the celebs pass through a facility built largely with public funds?
Nah! You vote to authorize the construction of a private lounge for the glitterati in a converted cargo facility, where the celebrities and sports stars and one-percenters can use a private parking lot and access area, sip wine and eat brie in posh, ultra-private suites, and be whisked off to their boarding areas in private shuttles if they’re unfortunate enough to be traveling by a commercial flight. Of course, they’ll pay for the privilege of being shielded from the smelly, bustling peasants, and the operators of LAX will earn additional millions in revenue from the fees paid by the VIPs and the company that will run their special little enclave.
It’s just another example of the trend toward kowtowing to the rich and famous and allowing them, for a price, to be removed from any of the unseemly disruption that is part and parcel of everyday life for the common man. They can pay to skip lines at amusement parks, pay to bypass the standard security screening at airports, watch movies at private screenings, sit at private boxes at sporting events, avoid buying their own groceries, hire private assistants to handle their daily affairs, and otherwise avoid the hassles that are all-too-familiar to the rest of us.
There’s nothing to be done about it, because money talks, and airport commissions and sports franchises and restaurants and other businesses are perfectly happy to honor the celebrity desire for separation . . . for a hefty price. But just remember, the next time a celebrity tells you who to vote for, or offers their confident, all-knowing assessment of how to cure the country’s or the world’s ills — the speaker is someone who probably has only a hazy understanding of the realities of everyday life and who would rather shell out thousands of dollars than walk through an airport concourse with the likes of you and me.
So why in the world would we listen to what they have to say?