We start not far from the remains of a tiny village. The village was destroyed, and then buried under orders from the soviets for being too radioactive. It was buried out of the Soviets desire to cover up the accident more than anything else. Ironically, the name of the village translated to English is called 'Diggers', kinda prophetic really...
Click here to see all the pics.. | digg story
Anyone putting together a time capsule in 2006 need have looked no further than a bottle of Bling H2O as the most apt representation of that year. The world's most expensive bottle of water was, literally, the high watermark of the kind of conspicuous consumption that prevailed before the credit that allowed such lavish spending was mercilessly crunched a year later.
At $55 a bottle, Bling H2O was wrong on so many levels. It was hype personified: Paris Hilton was said to let her dog drink it and yet a blind taste test revealed it was indistinguishable from tap water. It was environmental madness: water shipped from a spring in Tennessee to Hollywood, London, Tokyo and other "style centres of the world" to be enjoyed by jet-set hollow-heads. (The frosted glass bottles, "exquisitely handcrafted with Swarovski crystals", were labelled, thank goodness, as "reusable", though.) And, for good measure, it somehow threw in some sexism, too: the marketing of the water featured a naked woman (sorry, she did appear upon closer inspection to be wearing a thong made of crystals) in a rather unlikely pose propping up a bottle between her buttocks and her heel.
I present to you - without any need for commentary or adulteration – the marketing blurb that accompanied BlingH20:
Bling H2O is the inspiration of Kevin G Boyd, Hollywood writer-producer. While working on various studio lots where image is of the utmost importance he noticed that you could tell a lot about a person by the bottled water they carried. In Hollywood it seemed as if people flaunted their bottled water like it was part of their presentation. Whether the bottles had a cool shape or came from an exotic island, none truly made that defining statement. Bling H2O was fashioned to make that defining statement. The mission was to offer a product with an exquisite face to match exquisite taste. The product is strategically positioned to target the expanding super-luxury consumer market. Initially introduced to hand-selected athletes and actors, Bling H2O is now excitedly expanding it's availability. Bling H2O has been featured at many recent celebrity events including the MTV Video Music Awards and television's biggest event, The Emmys. Bling H2O is pop-culture in a bottle. But it's not for everyone, just those that Bling.
I'm convinced that students will be studying and dissecting every sentence of this statement in decades to come. Indeed, we should start printing flyers for distribution with this blurb, but with the heading: "Stay Alert - Let's Never Allow This to Happen Again." Even Forbes – the Heat magazine for millionaires - has gone as far as placing it in its annual "Most Outrageously Priced Items" list.
One might have assumed that the economic shakedown would have spelled a watery grave for Bling H20 and all that it represents. But, alas, it appears that there's still exists an elite group - a last vestige of bling - who have yet to stop partying like it's 2006. The first clue came whilst reading through the rider that Michael Jackson has reportedly requested for an upcoming private gig for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. The rider is said to include a request for "nine top doctors to be on site at all times, 11 gourmet chefs, 1,200 bottles of the world's finest bottled water, Bling H2O, and six massage therapists".
Yes, I know it's best not to look to Michael Jackson and Russian billionaires for lessons in how to surf the economic crisis, but the most surprising aspect of that rider was not the need for nine doctors, 11 chefs or six massage therapists (how many people can you have doting on you at one time?), but that Bling H20 was still in business. Furthermore, I now learn that Bling H20 is also available in plastic bottles for a more affordable $20. The only concession to the recession is that they're marked down from $24 on the Bling H20 website.
So, given that new awards are all the rage on this site at the moment, I think this is time to launch yet another: the Wrong On So Many Levels Award, or, if you prefer, the Wrongies. What other items for sale are out there that should be named and shamed as being totally incongruous to our times?