Billionaire Branson: I want to live in Virgin World
Okay, can there be a cooler billionaire in the world than Richard Branson? Can there? It’s crystal clear that good old Uncle Warren (Buffet) has gone senile. First he’s complaining that he doesn’t pay enough in tax and now he’s “forgetting” to pay it at all, suing the US govt for even having the temerity to bring it up. Jobs is dead, Gates is a nerd and George Soros is still trying to atone for his questionable antics during WWII by becoming a one-world, global overlord. Rupert Murdoch plans to live forever while zany corncob Ted Turner seems pitifully lonely and slightly suicidal. The rest are just so fricken boring you’ve probably never even heard of them anyway.
But not Richard. That man just seems to get more awesome as time passes.
Every story, every interview, every public appearance the man makes only bolsters his image of a brilliant, driven, reckless playboy. His brand of being someone so in love with the outside of the box and his addiction to doing things differently is priceless. How does the man even find time to sleep? Everything he ever attempts seems like the efforts of a superman. But he’s no superhero. He’s just a little ol’ billionaire.......named Richard.
Consider. When a terrible fire broke out on his hyper-exclusive, big-shot, celebs-only Necker Island resort it was Branson himself that was rushing about the place rescuing people. And he did so naked. Now, assuming that there were no press on island at the time of the catastrophe, the only way anyone would really know what happened is if Branson told us himself. And he did. Richard felt it necessary – nay, integral – that the rest of the world know that whilst rushing to his guests’ aid his own “little Richard” was bongling about front and center. (insert firehose joke HERE). Again, if you could be a billionaire, why would you choose anyone else?
So a new ad for his Virgin Mobile makes perfect sense. It’s another in a long-line of Virgin commercials celebrating the unique personality that is Richard Branson. The spot purports to follow young Richard from his earliest days, all the way to the interstellar mogul he is today. The ad is great, showing baby Richard first trying out wireless communication by yanking the cord from his mum’s landline. We see him running a rock n’ roll lemonade stand and then delivering newspapers with freaky accuracy, all while sporting his trademark goatee and Cheshire grin. Later, he is portrayed (wearing an orthodontic headset no less) musing aloud that “someday we’ll talk with our thumbs!” as his friends question his sanity. No, not crazy, just perennially ahead of his time. Yes, Richard did get slapped a lot (which the commercial shows in spades) but in the end emerges once again so far above the rest of us that you wonder why he even bothers to care. But he does. Cause he’s Richard Branson....and “he is here to service you.” Naughty Richard you cheeky monkey. Oh, behave!
Well here we are, neck-deep in a global financial meltdown, surrounded by inflating loans, smothered by crashing house prices, no jobs and say-anything politicians shrieking about “those insanely rich, capitalistic, blood-sucking pirates that have all the money.” I wonder how good King Richard floats so effortlessly above it all? Why don’t we hate him like we hate all the others? He makes billions too doesn’t he? He has islands. And jets. And tax shelters. And accountants. Why isn’t he “part of the problem?” Why aren’t we dragging his fetching little European derriere into the street for a public whipping? Beats me.
I guess it’s sort of like those folks protesting animal cruelty. They always seem to spend their time on the good looking animals, like polar bears, and dogs, and rabbits. When was the last time they marched for catfish? Or rats? Or fat, smelly pigs? Only Branson could somehow bend a knee to the Occupy bunch and actually get away with it. We’re told to hate all rich capitalists but dang Richard is just so rocking cool that we think its a-ok that he’s so rich. In fact, considering the guy is so dedicated to serving us – to meeting our every need – why don’t we just give all our money to Richard? Forget governments and even countries. We’ll live in Virgin and Richard will make everything all right again. I just hope this time he’s wearing pants.