Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's All About... FINE LIVING.

If you haven’t heard of FINE LIVING, it’s both a network and a website that targets rich folks without ideas as to how to spend their cash. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to watch FINE LIVING Network because my cable package doesn’t include it. Believe me, if I had FINE LIVING Network, it would definitely shove CNN and Bravo out of their top spots on my channel lineup.

However, I do have a computer, so the other day I decided to visit FINE LIVING online. It covers “lifestyle” (should you be unable to create your own), travel, food and shopping. Basically, FINE LIVING is a big advertisement for five-star destinations. Most of all, to The Redhead and me, it’s very amusing.

At the FINE LIVING homepage, note the section called “Practical Living”. I didn’t open that section, but I’m pretty sure when you do, it doesn’t take you to the Wal-Mart website. Perhaps it lists all the kiddie financial planning summer day camps in your area. Anyway, some helpful articles at FINE LIVING include:

- Rediscover sake!
- Best destinations- Harrod’s January Sale! (I am not kidding.)

One of the top searches at FINE LIVING online is “Wines over $1,000.00”. Honey, if you need to go online to FINE LIVING for advice on which $1,000 bottle of wine to buy, I can assure you that you won’t know the difference from Wine A or Wine B. Rather, drive over to Liquor Barn, pick up an $8.00 bottle of Little Boomey, and put that in your Baccarat decanter. You’re not going to notice the difference between that and a bottle of $1,000 Wine A.

There was a fun test on the website called “Fine Living IQ”: “Are you a connoisseur*? Merely an expert? Heaven forbid- an amateur? Or worse yet, a slug? Take our Fine Living IQ test to find how you rate.” Well, I took the quiz and according to the folks at FINE LIVING, I am an amateur. Quelle horreur! Sacre bleu! Insert other French expletives here!

In the section “FINE LIVING Every Day”, they had helpful articles entitled “Make Your Tailgating Memorable”, “5 Things You Need To Know About Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Appearance” and the popular “Luxury Sips Everyday—Proper Decanting, Preserving Open Wine, Storing Wine.”

Soon after our discovery of FINE LIVING, there was a flurry of emails between The Redhead and I skewering the concept of such idiocy. Following are the contents of those emails:

The Redhead:

“It's all about being targeted by predatory focus group studies that decide you are the poor sap that's going to fall for this fairy-tale bullshit. It's all about the hopeless insecurity felt by many when they find they really CAN'T keep up with the simple, lively, and creative lifestyle projects demonstrated by editors with a huge production staff. It's all about the idea that you need to be so fucking cool, day and night, from bow to stern, inside and out, private and public, from now till the end of time, that you are trapped in a maelstrom of self-induced tail-chasing forever. It's about FINE LIVING.”


“It's all about having about a dime less than God and then retiring in your 30's to paint shitty amateurish pictures in your custom-built studio in Santa Fe. It's all about squeezing your ex-husband dry in the divorce and opening a homeless shelter/day spa in Fiji. It's all about useless crap that won't mean anything to you once you've purchased it. It's all about FINE LIVING.”

*(Here, FINE LIVING offers a definition of “connoisseur”, in case you aren’t sure what a connoisseur is, yet you are one, according to the FL quiz. Note the tutorial on the French root words for “connoisseur”, so you can memorize it and bore your equally pretentious and stupid dinner guests) “A connoisseur (Fr. Connaisseur, from conoistre, connaitre meaning “to be acquainted with something”) is someone with a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts or an expert judge in matters of taste.”

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