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The One Percent Gift List 2017

Herry Christmadays everyone! It’s the most expensive time of the year once again! The gift-givingest time of the year! The fatteningest time of the year! Being that time of the year, it’s time to once again go out and shop the shit out of every mall, retail outlet, mom and pop shop, and box store in the hopes of finding those perfect gifts for those perfect people in your lives! Of course, sometimes we all need a little help getting inspired to find a decent gift, which is where lists come in. And holy hell, does Christmas season gives us LISTS! Lists up the cakehole! Lists for your country cousin, your urban cousin, your dog, your secondhand friends, your friends with benefits, all of them!… Except the person who can afford anything. What kind of thoughtful gift can you give to your One Percent friend? Well folks, that’s why I’m here. Your One Percent friends need things that make them feel rich and powerful. You need to plonk some real cash down for them, so let this short list be your beacon!

 

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Apple I Computer

Now, this is just a cool little novelty gift. The thing about household brands is that they all started out somewhere by some nutjob who, rather than inheriting their money like a good One Percenter, did things the HARD way and invented something! Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs created the original Apple I computer in 1971. They made about 150 of them before creating the Apple II. The Apple I came with 4 KB of memory, which could be expanded to 48 KB. It was also equipped with a 1 MHz CPU. The keyboard and monitor had to be supplied by the poor sap who bought it. That means that the Apple I is completely useless today, which means you could probably get it for spare change is its value was applied in today’s financial terms. But this thing was created in 1971, and apparently it’s now a collector’s item. So when one went on sale at Christie’s in London recently, it cost $210,000, which is probably the 1971 price of $666.66 (yes, seriously) adjusted for inflation. And be sure to buy your friend the keyboard and a TV to act as the monitor as well. They’re in the One Percent. Don’t be a fucking cheapass.

UNICEF Cargo Flight T-shirt

UNICEF Cargo Flight T-shirt

Yes, your friend is a One Percenter. But like their big hero Donald Trump, they feel the need to do something to show that THEY CARE. Remember when Trump went to Puerto Rico and gave paper towels out to people who lost everything in the flood? Yeah, your friend has to do something like that, but, you know, without having to interact with anyone. What to do? Get one of these $300,000 T-shirts. Show a little bit of support for UNICEF without actually taking any time to commit to or, you know, DO anything. Everyone will know they care!

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Super Hello Kitty Jewel Doll

Yes, Hello Kitty is a kids’ item, but your friend hasn’t been so busy doing their One Percent business to have forgotten about their kids, right? Hello Kitty is always popular everywhere! This cute little kiddie toy was created in 2009 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Hello Kitty. Sure, your kids may just want a nice, big plush toy to hug since because you forgot about them, but this cute little toy will make every Hello Kitty hug feel just like one from your One Percent friend: Cold, hard, and no life to be found, with its 1939 pieces of white topaz, 403 pink sapphires, two black spinels to represent your friend’s cold, dead eyes, and a 1.027-karat diamond on Hello Kitty’s signature bow! See, no one says a good parent HAS to be there, especially not when they’re out at business meetings, with hookers, at fancy restaurants, and doing all those other things that make forgetting about their kids a breeze!

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Antarctic Nail Ale

Are you going to give your One Percent friend a bottle of wine for Christmas? Pshaw! That is SO cliche! Yes, I realize wine is timeless, but there are One Percenters who are less interested in being timeless and more interested in being hip, trendy, and just plain cool. And what’s hip, trendy, and cool? Craft beers! Australia’s Nail Brewing Company can help you out with this one. They’ve been producing craft beers for over ten years, and one of their concoctions is Antarctic Nail Ale. No, it’s not an India Pale Ale, which is the go-to voice of cool beers, but tell me something: What IPA was brewed with ice straight out of Antarctica? Yes, it was flown in in the form of an iceberg, melted in Tasmania, then taken to Perth to be used in this brew. Unfortunately, I can’t get a description of the flavor notes contained in this beer, but that’s excusable; only 30 bottles were ever produced. They range in price from $800 to $1815 per bottle. The fact that no one knows what it tastes like is just as well. A good One Percenter isn’t going to drink it, after all. They’re just going to look at it and let it sit, going up in value.

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Blendtec Smoother Q-Series 20 Amp

It was between this or a saucepan, but I thought the saucepan was more of something your One Percent friend would give as a gift to Jeeves. A blender is more of a true do-it-yourself meal-maker, and this sucker is one of the most powerful out there. More to the point is that blenders tend to be loud, but the 20 Amp here is equipped with a copolyester sound enclosure and a muffled motor, so your friend can get their juicing done in peace and quiet worthy of the yoga classes they’re making the smoothie for! And the designers are even willing to reduce the height of it by eight inches by building it into your countertop! This baby costs $1199.95. That may seem a little low, but Blendtec also offers a six foot tall frozen food dispenser with paristoltic pumps that can place six different items into the 20 Amp. It’s sold separately at $22,105.

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Leiber Precious Rose

Your One Percent friend is rich. But they’re not running around with that cash hanging out of their pockets, are they? Yeah, sure, they COULD do it – they can afford to pay for the protection that would keep them from getting mugged. But there’s also the horrible inconvenience of it. So what do they put that money in? Handbags! And here’s a rich handbag worthy of a rich person. Judith Leiber’s unique handbag has a unique rose shape you just won’t find with other bags, but it also has a whole lot more going on. The $92,000 price tag also buys the metallic kidskin, 1016 diamonds, 1169 pink sapphires, and 800 pink tourmalines which line it. The metal parts are made out of 18-karat white gold. Yeah, maybe it comes across as a little bit extravagant, but you’re rich, and that makes you an elegant, unique snowflake. And yes, this thing is unique; only one was ever made.

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GnG Golden Delicious iPhone Case

If your One Percent friend has to do things that are considered “practical” – like, you know, carrying their wallet in a fancy bag – that means they probably need to carry other things too. And you’re not about to let your One Percenter carry their precious phone in a plastic shell like some kind of sucker, are you? That’s why there’s the Golden Delicious! The culmination of 12 months of development, this kingly $100,000 phone holder has a 1mm subshell made with 140g of 18-karat gold, a carbon fiber inlay, and 200 diamonds. The outer logo features another 400 diamonds, but it can also be customized! Customization prices will vary depending on what’s used for material.

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Goldstriker 3GS iPhone Supreme

The current president of the United States is all about gold. No, he doesn’t know anything about how to actually earn it, or make it in any way, but he certainly knows how to surround himself with it at every turn. This cell phone is something he would be proud to say he created! Stuart Hughes of Goldstriker International is known for giving plebe items like phones and video game consoles the Supreme treatment: Decking out their halls with gold and diamonds. This $3.2 million treatment for the 3GS iPhone places it in a casing of 271 grams, 22-karat solid gold. It trims the screen with 53 1-karat diamonds, covering the home button with a rare 7.1-karat diamond. The price also gets a nice granite case with Kashmir gold and Nubock top grain leather interior lining. It’s exactly the sort of phone that the sitting president, who famously considers the White House bathroom a downgrade from his gold-plated bathroom in New York City, would love! Okay, well, he might consider this beneath him too, but still.

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Detective Comics #37

The May 1939 edition of Detective Comics must have seemed like any other edition of the comic series. It was about a detective, right? Except this particular detective was dressed in a black and gray suit that vaguely emulated a bat. The character caught on, and today, Detective Comics #37 is known as the first-ever appearance of Batman. Yeah, this is an important collector’s item. It can auction for $1.38 million. For contrast, Batman didn’t get his first officially-titled comic until spring of 1940. That one runs for a paltry $359,000.

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Goldloft 18K Gold Dumbbells

From the catalog of Miss Gwyneth this year, you have evidence: Lifting solid gold can make you stronger. So will lifting the $125,000 price tag in dollar bills.

 

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The Annual One-Percenter Christmas Gift List

Well, it’s that time of year again: You rush out and buy gifts for everyone you know. And then you come to the realization that you have that one rich friend who lives the life you envy, and can’t figure out what to get them. Then you get into a big funk about it and start to wonder if you should even bother trying to buy a gift for a person who has everything. And then you come to the conclusion: Yes, of course you should! The incoming president is an egotistical billionaire, so if anything, thinking of your One-Percenter pals is going to be more important than ever! And that, readers, is why I’m here: To give you all a decent starting point for what to buy for Christmas for your One-Percent friends. After all, it’s not the gift, it’s the thought, right? Except in their case, it’s also the gift.

Panavision PSR 35mm Film Camera Used to Film Star Wars

I feel almost bad about including this, just because I’m a huge Star Wars freak myself, and this is an honest-to-god piece of real movie memorabilia. It’s not some cheap junk camera that you’re going to use to try to make your own home porn movies. It’s something that you’re going to toss into an out-of-the-way corner of your house to show all the visitors to make yourself feel cool. Think of all the iconic scenes that could have been filmed using this thing: The Cantina scene in Mos Eisley, the trash compactor scene, that big fucking Star Destroyer flying overhead… It would be harder to come up with a set of the more inconspicuous scenes in Star Wars to dissuade you from buying this. This is something ANY movie nut would love to have. And it recently sold at auction for $625,000, which makes it the most expensive vintage movie camera to ever be sold at auction. The big problem with nabbing this for your One-Percent friend should be obvious: There’s only that one right now. So if you’re thinking of trying to pick it up at auction yourself, you should take a knife or a silenced gun and learn how to sneak to the room’s light switch VERY quickly.

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Kopi Luwak Coffee

What we have here is a One-Percent answer to a very common need: Coffee! Coffee is the robust, smoky, bold liquid that wakes us up in the morning, and therefore it’s something your One-Percent friend will find essential to hold onto their One-Percent status and not end up giving it all to a megachurch Minister who is more One-Percent than they are. But you can’t be cheap and buy your everyday Folger’s for your friend. They have exquisite tastes, which means you should go out and buy them a nice pack of Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee. A little bit of this coffee will impress your One-Percent pal not only for the price – $600 per pound and $50 per cup – but for the bean collection. Kopi Luwak is from Indonesia, and it comes from beans which were eaten by the common palm civet, partially digested, and then let out the other side. The name of the coffee comes from the Indonesian word for coffee – Kopi – and the local name for the animal – luwak.

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Dussault Apparel’s Trashed Denim Jeans

Let’s be honest: I’m not sure what business your One-Percent friend would be doing moving around among the blue jean-wearing plebes. Anything that can be taken care of can be taken care of on the One-Percent oasis, right? Or if not, surely someone can be hired to run the common errands for them. But oh well, some One-Percenters have certain eccentricities, and when the need to satiate them arises, they can’t go out in their usual velvet and silk ensembles because the regulars can smell it. A good pair of blue jeans is essential camouflage, but surely you don’t plan to go out to Poor Palace or whatever it’s called for a mere $100 pair of the blues, right? Well, Dussault is here for them with a pair of $250,000 jeans that come studded with rubies, diamonds, and rose gold. Surely no one will notice.

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Tod’s Alligator Skin Cover iPad Case

Damn near everything these days is about the iPad. They’re good to conduct business transactions, they’re just plain good for business, and they’re important if that business revolves around legitimate business transactions of the white collar sort involving offshore holding accounts. An iPad, though, is only as good as its casing, which means you can’t just send your One-Percent buddy’s butler to the mall for a cheap Star Wars case to attach to it. You have to go with the good stuff. Tod’s, a luxury firm in Italy – you’ll want to remember that no quality goods have ever come out of Slovakia – hand-makes these cute little iPad cases out of the world’s finest alligator skin and sells them for $4900 apiece. Be sure to get one in every available color: Blue, brown, or tan!

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Hastens Vividus Bed

Sleep is another one of those great universals which no good One-Percenter dares acknowledge. Sleep is for the rich and work is for the poor, right? That’s why a One-Percenter needs a bed that lives up to the wealth they inherited. Hastens presents the Vividus bed, designed in Sweden, which has been described as sleeping on a cloud. It certainly sounds nice, and it will sound even nicer to your One-Percent friend with a $59,750 asking price. It will sound even better to them yet one your friend ganders at the $700 concrete slabs the people who do the work all sleep on.

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Chopard 201-Karat Watch

Yes, it’s pretty easy to keep time these days with everything up to and including your own eyeballs having the ability to keep time digitally, but sometimes you just can’t beat that old retro charm. A good mechanical watch can be a nice little addition to a good power suit, as well as a cool gadget that your geek friend can use to show their love for all things steampunk. This cute little accessory from Chopard, will allow your One-Percent friend to both flash back to the simpler days of Victorian yore while being glittery and ostentatious at the same time. This Swiss watch features a pink diamond of 15 karats, a 12-karat blue diamond, and an 11-karat white diamond, presumably because they decided making it a white diamond somewhere between 12 and 15 karats would have been pushing it. After making those heart-shaped diamonds the centerpieces, Chopard then threw in 163 karats of white and yellow diamonds just to be on the safe side. You know, in case the original three weren’t enough. And I’m going to assume it tells time according to the atomic clock! At least, for $25 million, it fucking better.

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Pear ANJOU Speaker Cables

If you think all cables do the same thing and work the same way, you must be part of that OTHER percentage of people. The Pear Cable Corporation is here for your One-Percent pal with the ANJOU Speaker Cable, a good 12-foot length of cable which Pear says will “allow new levels of sonic accuracy to be explored.” Obviously, you, the 99-Percenter buying this for your One-Percent friend, probably believe the $7250 price tag is there to cover the advertising tagline that’s telling us that. And that a combination of “proprietary hybrid geometry,” “ultra low electrical resistance,” and “fully annealed 99.999% pure oxygen free copper” are what’s allowing these levels to be explored. Dave Clark, an editor for the high-end audio magazine Positive Feedback, said these cables were “very danceable.” Perhaps the best part of getting this gift for your One-Percent friend is that the James Randi Educational Foundation is giving you an opportunity to join the exclusive One-Percent if you get it for them! How, you ask? It’s easy: Just prove beyond any reasonable doubt, or questionable doubt, or really any slight facsimile of a doubt at all that these cables work better than any other cables on the market!

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William Shakespeare’s First Folio

This is a first edition of Shakespeare’s original plays, and like the Star Wars camera up there, it’s a pretty damn cool collectible for literature buffs which needs to be bought at auction. In 2006, it went off for $5.1 million, so be sure you have your little trick with the light switch and silenced gun mastered before tracking it down. If you manage to get ahold of it, this sucker has some priceless words written on it. It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare died, and it has a treasure trove of 12 plays he wrote that were never printed anywhere again, as well as a lot of the favorites you’ve come to know and love. So pony up so your One-Percent friend can speak with the erudite “thous,” “verilys,” “thines,” and “thys” the upper crust was known to speak with before Donald Trump killed all but about 100 words in our wonderfully quirky language. And maybe if there’s a time continuum snag involved here, you can convince your friend to burn the original copy of Romeo and Juliet and fucking rid the planet of it for good.

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Team in the National Hockey League

Okay, we all know nothing excites a One-Percenter more than a new opportunity to make more money hand-over-fist without doing a whole lot, but your friend will almost certainly be disappointed at your cheap-shotting them here. This is a hockey team, after all, and it requires they make an effort to establish the team in the public consciousness; as opposed to a football team, which would make money even if they blew up the stadium during a game. But it’s still a professional sports team, which is always a good opportunity to gouge an entire city. And an NHL team would be comparatively cheap to run. It’s the NHL which is expanding to try to include teams in every city with populations of 100,000, and the ever-thinning talent pool means your friend can be as cheap as they want with the roster because there soon won’t be enough superstar or even starting-caliber players to go around. On your end, to get them the team, the application is $10 million, $2 million of which is non-refundable. Then the franchise fee is $500 million, which is considerably less than the $700 million the National Football League’s newest team cost the city of Houston. Yeah, they might have to do some work to get the team visible, but if even if they blow it, they can always take the team to Canada. Or Tucson. Knowing the commissioner’s line of thinking, probably Tucson.

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LELO INEZ 24-karat Gold Dildo

The very same one recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow, because a list of nice gifts for your One-Percent friend just isn’t complete without a GOOP gift from Miss Gwyneth. Right? Right!

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With thanks to The Most Expensive Journal at most-expensive.com.

The 2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Your One Percenter Friends

The 2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Your One Percenter Friends

It’s a question we have to ask ourselves every year: What Christmas gift should we get that one person in our lives who can afford to buy anything? In our materialist frenzy, many of us start to forget that One Percenters are every bit as human as you or me, and that makes it dangerously easy to forget to include them on our Christmas card lists. How do you think they would feel about that? Of course, that leaves the question of what the perfect present to get your One Percenter friend would be. Above all, it should be thoughtful – and by thoughtful, that means you should have put some thought into the kinds of things the uber-rich could buy themselves to live the uber-rich lifestyle. That’s why I’m here! So, without further ado, here’s a list of awesome gifts for the One Percenter in your life. After all, for you, $500,000 is merely the cost of your house, but for your One Percent friend, it could be the tenth luxury sports car for his nine-car garage!

Techinvasion 24 Karat Gold iPhone Passive Horn Amplifier
This is basically a pure gold version of one of those vinyl record amplifiers cartoon characters are always slamming down over each others’ heads. Therefore, it has a certain retro charm, at least for those who know what vinyl records are. Instead of it being attached to a 24 karat gold record player, though, this one stands on its elbow, and the iphone is shoved into the top to amplify your music and possibly your favorite movies and TV shows, which you’ll presumably be watching through a corresponding telescope. Those of us who play RPGs know that these things have to be fairly awesome by default because we’re used to seeing gold get used to make a lot of other unlikely items in our favorite video games. Right? No RPG characters ever complain about how useless their gold weapons and armor are. If not, you know the $1041 price tag probably justifies the quality of this thing. As an added bonus, if one of your friends is a soft phone talker, you won’t be forced to endure the work of pressing the speakerphone and volume buttons anymore!

Van Cleef and Arpel’s Poetic Wish Watches
A nice pair of his and her watches which might be the prettiest watches I’ve ever seen in my life. Hand-made, hand-painted with real potraits, and you can never go wrong with a nice timepiece because people rarely join the One Percent without being real sticklers about punctuality. The company’s watch harvest manager calls it a classic friendship story: Boy meets girl, romance gets sparked, fate keeps them apart, both left longing. It’s a basic plot to a soap opera romance, but since this one has characters who are stuck in time so you can’t have your heart ripped out when the bitch stepmother poisons the girl to a dramatic terror music track, it’s worth the $1,090,000 price tag.

Bulleit Woody Tailgate Trailer
This is a trailer from interior designer Brad Ford which is sort of a mini-bar you can tow behind your car. It other words, it’s a natural device you can use for tailgating, making it perfect in case your One Percent friend is a sports fan. You know what kind of lives the One Percenters lead: Always locked up in the trapping of the high life, your sports fan One Percenter just feels the urge to go out and join his fellow fans for a day of grilling and barbeque. Just imagine what kind of hero your friend would be to the other fans, pulling up in his Ferrari, pulling the $150,000 Woody Tailgate Trailer equipped with the finest scotch available, along with a selection of excellent wines from Italy and France. Then he’ll pull out the less-expensive caviar, which the rest of the fans will probably be grateful to try. I mean, your friend can’t offer them the nicest perks, right? It’s not that kind of crowd. This is the 300-level seat crowd, after all – the cheapos who are only paying $200 per ticket. Which is the price your friend decided to just set and not go any lower, since your friend is also the team owner.

Prada Skis
You know skiing hasn’t been the popular thing for about two decades. What’s big nowadays is snowboarding, but snowboarding seems so commoner; so 99 Percent. When your friend goes skiing, s/he goes skiing, wearing a pair of elegant ski blades on feet. And there’s not a whole lot which will be more elegant than this $500 pair of skis, developed when ski maker Volant teamed up with popular fashion designer Prada. They’re guaranteed to always look awesome, even after your friend slams into a tree.

Pennwick F5 Sports Car Custom Golf Cart
Its been said that golf is nothing but a nice long walk that’s been spoiled. Of course, that makes it the highest and noblest of all participation sports for your One Percent friend. But there’s one thing that spoils golf itself – those weird little carts they drive around on the greens in order to catch up to their golf balls. They look like the cheap cousin of hockey’s Zamboni machines. And hockey is so, well, pedestrian. But those carts are also necessary, so your friend has to suck it up and sit in… Those! Well, Pennwick is here to act as a salvation to your friend. No, your friend probably isn’t in need of another fancy Italian sports car, but life is always better with one, right? And for $20,500, now your friend can recreate the experience of driving the family Ferrari on the golf course. Golf carts never have to feel so 99 Percent again!

Fantasy Treasure Bra
Miranda Kerr debuted this baby back in 2011 at the Victoria’s Secret show in New York City. It features 142 karats worth of diamonds, and with a $2.5 million price tag, you can probably be sure none of them fall off during the course of a regular business day, so no commoners, you know, pick them up and try to sell them or something. Think of all the famous chests that have worn bras like this: Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima, Kate Upton… Hey, your One Percent friends shouldn’t have to wear such pedestrian duds if they’re not driving pedestrian golf carts!

JetLev R200
For the sci-fi-loving, adventure-and-thrill-seeking One Percenter, there’s this $99,500 gift. All of us have seen the likes of Buck Rogers, The Jetsons, or The Rocketeer, and dreamed of owning such a convenient, back-held form of travel. Real jetpacks, however, are a big pain in the ass – they weigh a ton, and getting them into the air requires a lot of rocket fuel. So there’s this alternative, which grants unlimited usage as long as they have a nearby water source to keep drawing from. If that’s making you think twice, just remember: Your friend is in the One Percent, and can easily afford to truck around with a nearby swimming pool going everywhere. And if your One Percent friend is a fossil fuel power magnate, this will have the added bonus of maybe changing his mind on hydro power.

Oswald Haerdtl Candy Dishes
While on the subject of stuff from out of science fiction, here’s a candy dish that looks like a dome-shaped alien spacecraft! These beautiful candy dishes are masterworks of crafsmanship, but more importantly, they’re also light and designed in a way which encourages elegant handling, which will probably be a relief to the butler. There are three different designs which cost $314, $353, and $432 individually. The actually all look the same, but you can trust a rich, high-end designer who says they’re different, right?

Row Rina Fringed Cashmere Cape
You can think of this as a snuggie which you can get away with wearing in public. It’s a blanket, but it’s a blanket that features nice bodyline and clothing cuts like a fringed trim, shawl collar, open front, and it was made from cashmere! In Italy! All elegant things come out of Italy, right? If your One Percent friend can’t appreciate Italian nativity, they can at least appreciate the $3190 price tag. If they can’t, they’re probably not real One Percenters.

Lobmeyer Tulipmania Water Pitcher
This baby has hand-painted tulips on the side and a very special way of holding the water on the inside. Or at least it better have a special way of holding water. At least, for the $428 price tag, it better have a special way of holding water that can’t be deciphered by the photo. Maybe there’s a secret filter? At the least, you should expect it to be able to hold all different kinds of liquids, especially alcoholic liquids.

Skinning House Hunters International

Skinning House Hunters International

Recently I overheard a woman on a reality TV show who was trying to buy a house complain that an ideal pad she was looking at didn’t have enough of that Spanish charm. Ordinarily I try to stay away from the realm of reality TV, unless it involves upstate New York and/or food, the latter preferably involving Guy Fieri in some way. There was something about this woman that really irked me, though, as I caught several snippets of her in full-on talking head mode making a big deal over Spanish charm. I don’t know; I’m thinking it maybe had something to do with the fact that she was buying a house in Valencia. As the narrator took great care to keep reminding the viewers, this is the third-largest city in Spain, coming in just behind Madrid and Barcelona. According to Wikipedia, there are well over 800,000 residents of Valencia. It’s easy for me to conclude that a fair number of those residents are Spanish, but I’ve never been to Europe, so what do I know?

Welcome to House Hunters International, a show that drives me nuts. This show has a veneer of spoiled mockery and a ring of extreme haughtiness from the One Percent. Ever since this show came to my attention, I’ve always seen it as the television equivalent of Gwenyth Paltrow – the heiress who reminds us lowly knaves that we are, in fact, nothing more than lowly knaves by offering her opinions on living life to its fullest. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. The problem steps in when it appears that the way to live is by spending money. Then spending more money; perhaps on a nice blouse which costs more than my entire wardrobe.

The times I’ve suffered through this show, I’ve frequently wondered why all the episodes have commons themes, no matter where they’re taking place. One is that the buyers always seem to have budgets which could afford the entirety of South Buffalo. Another is that the cities are all glamor centers. I’ve never seen House Hunters International make a play at a couple relocating in the other direction – wherever they go, it’s always from wherever to your Kyoto, or your Aukland, your Vienna, your Rio de Janeiro, or if the episode is about a non-American expat headed in our direction, it will be New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. None of these are people from the creative class arriving with idealistic visions of turning the place onto its head. You’re not going to see anyone trying to move to whatever the non-American version of the Rust Belt is. (Spare me the diatribe about how Europe’s decimated economy means the entire continent is basically the Rust Belt now. You know what I’m talking about.) Well, okay, there were one or two episodes revolving around around Reykjavik, the capitol of Iceland. Also, the show seems to have a weird bias against single people, families with kids, seniors, gays, and minorities. Are you anything other than a 30-ish straight person in a relationship? House Hunters International will ignore you.

This show is basically selling to people who are viewing the rest of the world through the quaintness lens. I have very little doubt that nearly everyone who appears on it is seeing their new home mostly as tourists who are expecting to makes their purchases with the expectations of finding nothing but an extended vacation. It occurs to very few of them that they’re really going to uplift and re-pot themselves in an entirely different culture in which the language is different. Even if they manage to learn the language, they’ll also have to learn a somewhat bastardized form of it because whatever language they’re learning has slang expressions of its very own. Trickier still will be the unspoken cues which people use from day to day to communicate. There will be things natives will try to convey through between-lines spoken expressions and plenty of gestures they’re not going to get.

Another thing I’ve started wondering in light of that idiot in Valencia up there is, just what do they plan on doing while living in this country? If you’re living in Spain, Spanish charm shouldn’t be a qualifier for deciding your living quarters unless you’re going to go hobnobbing exclusively with your midwestern-accented buddies. I suspect the realtors on House Hunters International are little more than tokens. Afterward, the newly-nationalized residents are going to hang out with other expats or have a cultural pressure breakdown. I’ve read about non-American cities having America-towns, the same way this country has Greektowns, Little Italys, and Chinatowns.

Basically, this show is a travelogue for rich people planning extended vacations or long excursions for the occasional tax purpose. It’s not informing us or giving us windows into the lives of anyone. It’s mocking us, and that’s all.