Tuesday, February 05, 2019

FYRE in the hole


I can’t think of a sitcom or recent comedy movie that made me laugh as much and as hard as FYRE: THE GREATEST PARTY THAT NEVER HAPPENED. I saw it on Netflix. There's a competing one on Hulu.  It is more of an examination of the organizer and the scams he ran.  Well worth watching.  I just found the Netflix one more fun and dealt more with the actual event.  

Anyway, here’s the scoop:

A slick charismatic sleazeball named Billy McFarland decided to stage a Woodstock-like music festival/fantasy/wet dream for rich entitled Millennials. He was going to secure a private island in the Bahamas, put everyone up in luxury beach villas, fly them all there on private jets, provide top chefs to feed them, top shelf booze to lubricate them, and hear such super groups as, uh, Blink 182. All for only $12,000 a person. But hey, it was a way to kill a weekend.

Billy (short for Bilko I believe) and his in-groovy organizers put together a promotional video filled with super models and all the excess one one-per-center would want. These guys knew how to exploit social media and completely sold out within days.

Now all Billy and the gang had to do was deliver. And that’s when the fun began. Everything that could go wrong did. They were kicked off the island, had to scramble to find another one, the luxury villas were hurricane tents, the caterer quit, music acts pulled out, super models were nowhere to be found, and Billy was going through money like water, working around the clock to mount this boondoggle.

Speaking of water, they had shipped over truckloads of Perrier but they were held up in customs. So Billy asked one of the gay organizers if he could take one for the team and blow the customs guy to get their water. And he agreed to do it.

And all that is just the set up. The real comic payoff comes when the hipster partygoers arrived. The world’s greatest exclusive party became LORD OF THE FLIES. Also invited were “Influencers.” Is anyone more insufferable than an “Influencer?” Just too cool for school. To see them inconvenienced is worth the time to see this documentary. 

I suppose if I were a better person my heart would go out more to the festivalgoers who paid a fortune only to get royally fucked over. But these are the people who get into clubs while you wait in lines behind a rope. These are the Donald Trump Juniors of the world. As comedian Rob Fuches says while guesting on CONAN, “If you paid thousands of dollars to go on a trip to see Blink 182, that’s on you. That is Darwinism at its finest.”

Since every attendee had iPhones there is video of everything and like I said, it’s a Schadenfreude extravaganza. Check it out. You’ll probably see the 24 year-old asshole who cut you off last week with his Tesla.  And again, the Hulu documentary is also excellent.  It's more like young Donald Trump if he had been caught. 

25 comments :

slgc said...

It's got to be better than watching the State of the Union Address tonight.

Thanks for the recommendation!

Peter said...

I wasn't previously interested in watching this, but now that I know I get to laugh at obnoxious, rich, hipster millennials, count me in!

Regarding the Trump comparisons, don't hate me for saying this, Ken, but there are worse people in the world than Trump. I hate him too but George W Bush was a far worse president. Trump is a piece of shit but he's yet to start a war based on lies that killed tens of thousands of American troops and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Yes, I know there's still time and he may well end up starting his own war, but for now, Bush wrought more death and destruction to enrich his oil buddies.

The reason some people suddenly view him through rose tinted glasses is because he wasn't a bombastic loudmouth going round throwing insults at people. He didn't need to. His VP, Cheney, was the real president and he did what he liked.

Trump is a thin skinned, mean spirited, self serving, horrible conman. But until he does something as bad as what the Bush/Cheney administration did, I'll still hate him but not as much as I hate Dubya.

James Van Hise said...

Yeah, when I heard about this I couldn't generate any outrage over the problems of the idle rich. After Trump's tax cut (83% of which benefited the top 1% of Americans, and only now are Trump's drones realizing this), Walt Disney's daughter posted a video explaining how she and everyone else in her position didn't need that tax cut, and those who got it are mostly using it to buy super yachts, which is apparently the latest fad among the super rich. So the ones who were screwed at that concert have long since been made whole again.

Frank Beans said...

I ain't gonna watch this "documentary"--I could barely take the trailer. After about 30 seconds (with nauseating techno music underneath, I might add), I was like "OK, got the the point. Rich twits were suckered by a com man out of their stupid $12,000 allowances. Back to their repulsive families for them." Schadenfreude--yes, I share it. It doesn't change anything about our world though. Robber baron assholes will still control everything, their pampered children will still burn their unearned money, while the wealth gap grows and grows.

If you are like me and prefer reading to over-hyped reality shows, read the late, great Anthony Bourdain's MEDIUM RAW, which in one chapter he carves up spoiled rich-kid losers like a side of beef.

Unknown said...

I couldn't stop watching this documentary. My constant thought, "even Ken Levine couldn't make this shit up"

Daws said...

It was Evian, not Perrier.

And the movie was frickin' hilarious. My wife and I watched it this weekend and we kept gasping and covering our mouths in shock as the shit kept piling higher and higher. I am literally surprised no one was raped or murdered during this entire thing, from the concertgoers to the idiots that tried to put this thing on.

Dodgerdog said...

Ron Funches -- hilarious dude.

Myles Warden said...

The Trump comparison is spot on. The way Billy was allowed to fail up and given business opportunity after business opportunity even though he was never really successful with the others was PEAK white privilege. He should've been stopped after that credit card nonsense just like Trump should've been stopped after his 3rd bankruptcy. Also, he is STILL scamming and people assume he'll figure out a new business/scam once he's released. Insane yet very familiar story.

Richard Pryor said...

And not only is it Hulu and Netflix but the resin toy community has responded in its own inimitable fashion: https://dollarslicebootlegs.bigcartel.com/product/andy-king-fyre-fest-mvp
pretty on point.

Richard Pryor said...

And not only is it Hulu and Netflix but the resin toy community has responded in its own inimitable fashion: https://dollarslicebootlegs.bigcartel.com/product/andy-king-fyre-fest-mvp
pretty on point.

Buttermilk Sky said...

It's like THE MUSIC MAN if the nice people of River City were pampered trust fund brats who deserved far worse than a cheese sandwich and a wet tent. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the unscrupulous exploiting the unspeakable. The real victims, the Bahamians who did the actual work, will never be made whole. Why didn't this guy get a Madoff-size sentence? I wanted to knock that grin off his face with a stilson wrench.

therealshell said...

Well, they weren't the smartest guys in the room. Quick question- why do so many Millennial males have giant beards ?

Aaron Sheckley said...

Peter, no one said that there weren't worse people than Trump; it's pretty much a given that, in the whole of human history, there have been worse people. The fact that there were people worse than him in no way lessens what an incredibly awful human being he is. Ken didn't say he was the worst person ever. He didn't even say that he was the worst president ever. What he did was use Donald Trump as a paradigm for entitled, spoiled, corrupt wealthy people...the Donald Trump Juniors of the world, where Trump is their malignant spirit animal. And if Trump isn't an archetype of entitled rich corruption, then there is no archetype. If your standard for comparison is that no one can ever be labeled as spoiled, corrupt and evil simply because there is always someone worse in the world, then any criticism of anyone is pointless, unless the world comes to a consensus as to who the absolute worst person of all time is...and then you can only criticize that person. That's nonsense. Dick Cheney was an evil shitbag; it's fine to point that out. Donald Trump is a lying con man; it's just as fine to point that out too. If Cheney was President right now and couldn't keep from venting enraged toddler-like comments multiple times a day on Twitter, no doubt people would be mocking, criticizing, and hating him too. The world's big enough to contain multitudes or really awful human beings; the actions of one don't negate the actions of another.

Earl Boebert said...

I believe it was Evian, not Perrier in the BJ anecdote.

(Don't get up, I'll let myself out ...)

therealshell said...

@Aaron: are the film rights to your post available ?

Frank Beans said...

Lying shitbags, corrupt tools, and bigoted ignoramuses are the only constituency the Republican party have anymore. Trump is their "leader" because he is so blatantly all three of those things, and the diseased voting base doesn't give a shit. In fact, they love what a corrupt moron he is, because he beats up on black people, immigrants, black people, liberals, and black people.

Did I mention black people?

Joe Blow said...

Aaron Sheckley, perhaps Peter’s point was concerning the frequency with which Ken vilifies Trump. I don’t know anyone who likes Trump, with good reason, but comparing him with a previous corrupt President to point out that there really are other awful people does not imply you can’t criticize Trump.
You, however, get the gold medal for repeating the same point over and over and over again in the same paragraph until it was maddening.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ken, Took your advice tonight and traded one con man for another and dumped trump for Billy. Janice B.

MacGilroy said...

Sounds like the film is just a reboot of The Magic Christian.

WizarDru said...

I'm curious about the two documentaries. The Netflix one apparently is much slicker and more entertaining, but the Hulu one doesn't involve 'FuckJerry', one of the social media promoters for the Festival who is as complicit in the fraud of it as Ja Rule and the rest. That fact makes me wonder if the Netflix documentary is skewed, but I have no idea.

I do find the idea of 'ha ha, fuck those millenials for spending their money stupidly, they must be rich and entitled and deserved it' kind of upsetting. As if it's OK to put people at risk if they have enough money. I get Schadenfreude as much as the next guy, but that seems excessive. It's also worth noting that most people paid $600 for tickets, not $12000. The assumption that everyone was a mega-rich trust fund kid simply wasn't reality, apparently. A handful paid for the high-end package, but most didn't. It was cheaper than many mega-concerts like Coachella. Although if they paid $3000 for the entire trip including flights, that isn't unreasonable. Did people laugh at retirees getting trapped on a cruise ship during a hurricane after paying a few thousand dollars to see the Bahamas and getting sick? It just seems unnecessarily mean to me.

sueK2001 said...

I felt sorry for the island community..and the local laborers that never got paid. The below the line people that were left holding the bag is not where the humor lies..but maybe that's just me.

Andy Rose said...

It's not quite as dramatic, but you may also be interested in the story of Caroline Calloway, a social media "influencer" whose initial surge of Instagram popularity has been followed by years' worth of failed and abandoned projects. She recently planned a series of four-hour creativity workshops for her fans, charging $165 per person. Over the course of a couple of weeks, virtually every perk promised for the workshop evaporated because, apparently, she didn't realize that event planning is actually work.

The author who had been looking into this mess -- Kayleigh Donaldson -- sums up a lot of influencers quite nicely: "Calloway’s main problem is that she doesn’t want to be an artist or a storyteller or a writer: she wants to have made art, to have told stories, to have been a writer, to have taught, and so on."

http://www.pajiba.com/web_culture/the-case-of-caroline-calloway-and-her-creativity-workshop-tour.php

mike said...

Peter above is absolutely correct. The murderers in the Cheney administration got away with numerous war crimes; the only folks who got punished were those who REPORTED those crimes. Absolutely sickening how these miserable bastards have been rehabilitated: Look, he gave Michelle Obama a piece of candy! What a great guy!

slgc said...

we wound up watching the Netflix documentary this evening. OMG what a disaster!

Thanks for the recommendation - it's fascinating.

Gail said...

Felt sorry for the local labor though. They were royally screwed. The festival goers got what they deserved - spending all that money without checking things out first. The funniest part was when Bilko got the same people to pony up again for another failed venture. What asses!