Bling Empire: New York Review

Bling Empire: New York Review

Ultimately, members of this elite clique consider their resources—earned or inherited—as their own to spend on themselves and those they care about on their terms. “Richard demands a lot from everyone,” says Tina. “I don’t even have time to do anything else during the day. So he needs to calm down a bit.”

“When you grow up with money, it’s hard to make friends,” Dorothy says in a confessional. “I want to be generous and generous, but I’ve only just met you. That’s why I can’t be nice to people.”

Both Dorothy and Tina suffer from insomnia and keep each other company through sleepless nights. Richard calls her one night and names his medical company. He says it offers services that can help — acupuncture and treatments for stress, anxiety or depression — and that he’ll open up to them as friends. After the call ends, they decline the invitation, calling it a “loaded pitch.” The two never show up for the appointment or text Richard to warn him. “How could friends put me in a position to look so bad at work?” Richard asks sheepishly.

Confronted with their absence, Dorothy and Tina say they never asked for an appointment. They say his invitation came with lyrics that said, “This is very important to me and the mental health field, so I hope you’ll help me tell this story in the best light,” Richard says , he had offered to help Dorothy with whatever she needed since her arrival in New York; she replies that she never asked him for anything, but that he asked a lot of her. He tells Tina he’s inspired by the size of her audience and her potential to change the world. She replies that hearing words like “your audience” makes them feel taken advantage of.

bling empire it’s not about Asians; It’s about wealthy people of Asian descent, and this season touches lightly on inequality and opportunity, even when it’s between those whose resources are plentiful and those whose resources and influence seem limitless. Unlike previous seasons, where the LA group’s only friend who isn’t rich, model Kevin Kreider, seems naively content to go along with it (at the expense of the appeal). a free loader) and stare at their excesses, Richard is desperate to rise to their wealth and influence – and that leads to conflict. Wealthy people are not used to feeling exploited and have the privilege of saying no.

As a native of New York, I watched this season primarily to see how it would treat my hometown. In a way, New York City is an obvious setting for this show: it’s home to more asian people than any other city in the US, and the population is growing rapidly. Yet 23% of the city’s Asian residents live in poverty. The ways bling empire come up short, should have been clear to me. While it contains cultural themes viewers might relate to—challenged relationships with parents, rituals celebrating the Lunar New Year or honoring the dead, and plenty of food—the tedious hopes of the average Asian trying to get ahead were never what this show was about.

Still, I was amazed that a show with an Asian cast and fanbase lovingly spotlighted the Greek immigrant community in Queens’ Astoria neighborhood while also punishing the Asian-American performer who was actively, if clumsily, pursuing the American Dream: Richard .

I can’t help but stand by Richard’s side. But the show makes him harder to sympathize with than it should be — he’s no sympathetic misfit. His portrayal is a self-centered man, unaware that his acts of kindness are perceived as self-serving. He seems motivated more by a desire to appear magnanimous than by any intuition about (or interest in) what people actually need or want. Raised by his mother after his parents divorced, Richard has an uncompromising focus on success and advancement. His Instagram name is @chairman_chang. He is no stranger to the power of networking. These things make me ashamed of him, but I also understand his anger. What kind of friends wouldn’t use their social media to support cancer research when your mom has cancer? Or call to let you know they can’t make it to your clinic? What this argument shows is that Richard just isn’t very good at networking, not at this level.

The writer Xochitl Gonzalez recently made a convincing case for destigmatizing social advancement the Atlantic, as nurturing these relationships can meaningfully improve a person’s lot in life. Wealthy people, Gonzalez argues, constantly use their social capital for advancement, but it is widely considered their right. On the other hand, if someone from another class tries to climb the social ladder, social advancement is seen as a brazen transgression, a moral transgression. “Wealth and the things that can provide it — elite education, private club invitations, stays at exclusive resorts — come with a cascading effect of trust, deserved or not,” she writes. For those who are not wealthy, who do not have that privilege of trust, the secret to successful social advancement is “not to see what people can do for you, but to see people. You will find out where they grew up, which books or series they like, how old their children are, what they might have in common. You don’t come into the space to use people, you come in to meet people.”

on bling empireEven Dorothy tacitly admits that: “I’m surprised at how tactless Richard is, aren’t I? You’d think he’d be better at it.” She tells him their exchange was more about exploitation and less about friendship. She makes it clear to Richard that she didn’t ask anything of him – he can’t offer her anything she needs.

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