$mOnEY$MONEY$money$: Huguette Clark died yesterday.

~ Cabaret ~

Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go ’round.
A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go ’round.
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money
If you happen To be rich,
And you feel like a
Night’s enetertainment
You can pay for a
Gay escapade.
If you happen To be rich,
And alone, and you
Need a companion
You can ring-ting-A-ling
for the maid.
If you happen To be rich
And you find you are
Left by your lover,
Though you moan and you groan
Quite a lot,
You can take it On the chin,
Call a cab, And begin
To recover
On your fourteen-Carat yacht.
Money makes the world go around,
The world go around,
The world go around,
Money makes the world go around,
Of that we can be sure.
(….) on being poor.
Money money money- money money money
Money money money- Money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
If you haven’t any coal in the stove
And you freeze in the winter
And you curse on the wind
At your fate
When you haven’t any shoes
On your feet
And your coat’s thin as paper
And you look thirty pounds
Underweight.
When you go to get a word of advice
From the fat little pastor
He will tell you to love evermore.
But when hunger comes a rap,
Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat at the window…
At the window…
Who’s there?
Hunger!
Ooh, hunger!
See how love flies out the door…For
Money makes The world…
…Go around
The world…
…Go around
The world…
…Go around
Money makes the
The world…
…Go around
That clinking
Clanking sound of
Money money money money money money
Money money money money money money
Get a little,
Money money
Get a little,
Money money
Money money
Money money
Money money
Money money
Mark, a yen, a buck
Get a little
Or a pound
Get a little
That clinking clanking
Get a little
Get a little
Clinking sound
Money money
Money money…
Is all that makes
The world go ’round
Money money
Money money
It makes the world go round!

—–

Why hello there, no it’s not Liza with a ZING!, it’s me, Vanessa Libertad.  Blogging about – well, money.

Huguette M. Clark died yesterday.  Know who she is?  Neither did I until I arrived at work this morning, turned on the computer, and Yahoo, MSNBC, and the NY Times bombarded my screen with her presence.  She was a Copper heiress who did absolutely nothing, but inherit billions of dollars from her brilliant businessman/entrepreneur father William J. Clark, lived a lengthy reclusive life, and died at 104-years old without clearly designating whom or what is to inherit her $500 million dollar fortune.

Working my office b-job in the lower-middle class Latino neighborhood of Huntington Park, California, I cannot stop thinking or reading about her.

Why such a fascination, a curiosity, a burgeoning obsession with this unreal specimen? Why do I now suddenly care so much about Huguette Marcelle Clark?

Huguette was born to mother (teenage maid turned second wife) & father (60-something year old billionaire widower) in 1906.  She collected dolls, was married once for 9 months in her 20’s (which was dissolved because he said she wouldn’t put out and she said he deserted her), and lived reclusively from 1930’s-ish through 1963 with her mother.  After her mother’s passing in 1963 up through 2011, she lived entirely alone (except for hired maids), secluded in either her ginormous NYC City apartment or in NY Hospital Wings (even while in good health).

According to caretakers, she liked to watch “The Flinstones” A LOT and once gave her only close friend $10 million to buy property.  She didn’t donate much to charity and seemed mostly to invest in the upkeep of mansions she never visited like her Santa Barbara property, which she hadn’t been to since the 1950’s.  Out of William Clark’s 7 children, she was the youngest.  At around 13-years old her elder sister (age 16) died of meningitis.  She later “excavate(d) a salt pond and created an artificial freshwater lake across from Bellosguardo,” which she named Andrée Clark Bird Refuge in honor of her sister.

When she was 19, her father died.  Between ages 26 – 33, 3 more of her siblings died.  The strange details of her sad, exquisite, and relatively invisible life — from infancy to death — are both heartbreaking and enviable.

I guess when you’re little you don’t think so much about money.  I didn’t anyway.  As I grew older, however, I slowly came to understand how necessary money was to the creation of experiences: art projects, vacations, working cars, kept homes, fine dinners, stable health, college educations.  Money always felt like a moody butterfly that fluttered in and out of existence at the will and demand of an invisible Oz.  I never minded it’s tempestuous enter and exit game, however, as I always felt blest to have or make the exact amount necessary for whatever experience I wished to create.  As a result, I learned to value the invaluable: art, books, love, food, family, conversations, witty friends, old shoes.  Designer this and nose job that not only seemed extravagant, but abhorrently wasteful.  I learned to stretch a dollar a long way.  This sort of whimsical relationship between me and money worked out pretty well up until about a year ago.

Since then, it’s been dawning upon me that money isn’t the type of thing one should have a tooth-fairy relationship with.  It’s dawning upon me that in our present global village, the exchange of goods & services between human beings is now almost completely represented by an exchange of money … and that in fact, money makes the world go round.  Money separates billions of people into unnatural classifications and creates social hierarchies / caste systems.  It funds wars and mass murder.  However, money also funds after-school programs, pre-school teachers, medical research, film projects, natural preserves, architectural restorations, etc.  Money’s a powerful thing.

I’ve also realized money isn’t THE THING it buys.  It isn’t the candy bar or the hummer or the golden globe or the royal crown.  Money is energy and energy is the power to create anything you want — a bomb or a voting booth.  You give somebody money — the power to create — and you’ll see who they really are at the core.  Their values will reflect in what they choose to create.  Money isn’t the root of all evil.  It’s just the mirror held up to it … I’m coming to believe.

The relationship many people have to money, many of the people in Huntington Park for instance, is that money, like power, is reserved for the puppet strings of a select elite. For the white people or the hustlers or the corrupt politicians.  There’s a permeating belief that even if we’re smart enough to make money, we’ll always be making it for someone else because we’re not inherently powerful enough to keep it.  The Man (the government, the credit card companies, the banks, the politicians, etc) will find someway to cheat you out of your hard-earned money, to drain your energy, to steal your power …

I’m starting to recognize this poverty-mentality, this powerless frame of mind.  It assumes:

As if we, the little people the worker bees, aren’t worthy or capable of understanding, nourishing, and managing our money — our personal power.  As if only The Clarks, The Vanderbilts, The Rockerfellers, The Helmselys were chosen by Mother Nature to make money and distribute it amongst us.  As if we’re children waiting for a tooth to fall out so that the magical fairy will decide its worth and … if we’re lucky … leave us a buck under pillow while we sleep … maybe …

I feel that the reason Huguette Marcelle Clark has weighed on me all day is because I can’t fathom anyone with THAT much money — THAT much power — doing close to nothing with it.  She had such limitless potential to create art and help heal other people and preserve nature, etc.  Yet, she exerted NO energy — spent no money — on anything like that … just on keeping herself hidden away for almost an entire century.  The 20th Century: One of the most glorious and tumultuous periods in human history.

It’s sad, really.  I guess you can have all the money in the world, but if you haven’t any personal power — birth-given or decidedly cultivated over time — it’s as if you never had a dime.  Once you pass away, the vultures (lawyers & half-nephews/nieces) swarm above the great yet unused energies/power/money you’ve left behind, baking under the hot sun, for no one in particular.

Advertisements

About vanessalibertadgarcia

Vanessa Libertad Garcia is a Cuban – American writer & filmmaker who grew up between the burbs’ and hoods of Los Angeles. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she’s completed a myriad of successful projects that tackle both the film and literary worlds. Ms. Garcia has worked in various capacities as writer, director, and producer on fiction films such as the HSF/McNamara Arts Grant recipient “A Two Woman One Act” and documentaries such as “Maid in America,” which debuted on PBS’ Independent Lens. Two films out of the many, which have screened at top festivals such as The Los Angeles Film Fest, The Habana Film Fest, Cinequest, and Outfest to name a few. Ms. Garcia has had writings published by venerated literary staple Lambda Literary and the up-and-coming Amor Fati. Her first book “The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive” is drawing laudable reviews. It’s available for purchase at amazon.com, barnes&noble.com, and many other sites. She presently has a feature film titled “Dear Dios” based on the books’ characters and a second book — the collection of poetry “Bloody Fucking Hell” — in development. View all posts by vanessalibertadgarcia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s