Affluent Avengers: Episode 1: Fighting injustice, racism, and other important stuff.
“Okay, okay, everyone please quiet down, so we can get this meeting started,” Lars calls from behind a podium in the backyard gazebo of his Beverly Hills home. Adjusting the microphone, he asks, “Did everybody get some wine? Do we need some more cheese?”
The other four members of the League sitting in the gazebo nod heads in satisfaction. Lars taps the microphone. “Hello, my name is Lars and most of you know me as Lars the author. I thank all of you for joining me today and taking part in what I’m sure will be a valuable service to society.
“As most already know, I write epic novels about traveling with the goal of bringing happiness to less fortunate people unable to travel. My career as an author began in a rickshaw taxi on my way to a spiritual retreat to Calcutta. During this ride, the man pulling me along the streets caught my attention, and thinking deeply of this man, I came to realize his life’s travel deficiency made him a prisoner to customer destinations. My heart broke realizing he never experienced New York or Malibu, and soon, the travel deficiency plaguing millions of people worldwide became apparent to me.
“Inspired by this experience, I quit school to write books about the unfortunate less-traveled and began traveling the world on a quest to understand and write about the plight of the less-traveled. Today, I continue to write about the less-traveled people of the world and ways to combat travel deficiency.
“My dealings with travel deficiency brought a deeper realization that as a trust fund beneficiary, I have the unique power to change the world. We all do. Knowing I needed to act quickly, I called my friend Giorgio who proved instrumental in putting together the League of Extraordinary Trust Fund Beneficiaries. That is why I asked each of you here today to combine our trust fund power and help the world. I believe we can achieve a lot of good, and that is why you were messaged on Facebook and asked to develop ideas to help society. Today, we will each take turns introducing ourselves and presenting those ideas. Thank you.”
Everyone applauded as Giorgio stood and took the podium while wiping a tear from his eye. “Wow, that story of travel deficiency breaks me up every time I hear it. Thanks, Lars. Hi everyone, my name is Giorgio, and I’m a part-time hypnotherapist. As a hypnotherapist, I have seen my share of human suffering. Recently, I helped a client overcome a serious past life experience causing nightmares. In one of her past lives, her family forced her to marry a man she didn’t love, and as a princess, she couldn't disobey her father. Tragic, I know. During our counseling sessions, I realized there must be millions of people unable to reconcile past life experiences. I thought we might help these people if we could figure a way to make hypnotherapy affordable? That is why I am here. I want the league to help me find a solution to this terrible problem. Thank you.”
As Giorgio exited the podium, everyone applauded and spoke amongst themselves,
“Maybe an application for the iPhone?”
“Yeah, like a self-hypnotizing app that you use to work through your problems.”
Lars spoke above the voices, “Okay, those are some great ideas, but today we’re just doing intros and presenting our concerns. Next week’s meeting is for strategies.”
The group settled as a pretty, young girl took the podium and tapped the mic. “Can I go?”
Lars nodded and the young woman said, “My name is Skylar, and I’m an Instagram model and micro-influencer. People think I’m lucky to be born beautiful, but Instagram modeling is tremendously difficult. Since the age of fourteen, I devoted hours of my day to perfecting the selfie and best backside angles. This is to say nothing of the hours devoted to body sculpting and tanning. Ten years of homeschooling and hard work finally paid off with five hundred thousand followers and two ad clients.
“Success makes me appreciate the little people who are not blessed with attractiveness. One morning while tanning, I thought about some story I heard about some guy who worked really hard and how his work rewarded him with more than money. You know, like good feelings and stuff. So, I thought, that’s me. I’m that hard worker, and I need to share my experiences.
“My vast knowledge and experience with Instagram modeling could be used to teach ugly people to better themselves on social media. So I want to help people become little stars of their own on Instagram, so they don’t feel like losers. I’m hoping the League will help me actualize my dream of helping the digitally less fortunate.”
The group applauded as Skylar stepped away from the podium, and another pretty girl stepped behind the podium. “Hi everyone. My name is Tina, and I’m a stay-at-home social advocate for many different issues. I advocate on Facebook by making little movies about important social issues such as the dangers of vaccinations, the need for breast augmentation for positive body image, and the risks associated with reading too much. Recently I glanced at some headlines and got really upset because of all the racism out there.
“Every day, some poor black person is getting beat up or killed by cops. Having dated a couple of black guys and one Hispanic during my semester at community college, I believe I am in a unique position to help black people with racism. I’m hoping to enlist the help of everyone in the group to find ways to advocate for blacks. Thank you.”
The group applauded and excited talk ensued,
“Maybe we should make one-hour movies about racism and post them on Facebook each week?”
“An hour seems like a lot; do you think there is enough racism to talk about for an entire hour?”
“We might need to break it up into smaller segments.”
Lars spoke above the din, saying, “Wow, this is great, but we still have one more person.”
Everyone quieted down as a young man took the podium and adjusted the mic. “Hi everyone. My name is Tommy, and those who know me call me the Big Brain. I got that nickname, having earned a master’s degree in outdoor recreation and personal, positive psychology. I work as a counselor for kids who need help coping with affluence. Unlike us, many rich kids lose sight of what is important in life and develop deviant behavior. I work with these kids to get them back on track, and during my work, a serious issue plaguing good affluent people came to light. This little-known problem is known as the Trust Fund Inequality.”
The group murmured in confusion, and Tommy waved his hands, calming them. “I know; this complex problem sounds scary, and it is a grave issue, so let me explain. You see, Trust Fund Inequality refers to the unequal affluence shared amongst the trust fund beneficiaries of the world. If you can imagine, there is a trust fund continuum, with trust funds like ours being on the high end of the affluence continuum. These trusts categorize as "Paris Hilton Trusts," which means an unlimited supply of money to deal with life’s problems. Now, at the opposite end of the spectrum is the Average Joe Trust Fund which may only pay a few thousand dollars a month to the beneficiary.”
The League gasped in horror, and Tommy shook his head. “Imagine life for the thousandaires. Imagine juggling your trust fund dollars between a new car or landscaping your yard. Imagine living on a budget or having to get a job.
“Sadly, I don’t know the answer to this problem, and I’m hoping the League can help. Thanks.”
The group stood and applauded as Lars approached Tommy to shake his hand. “I think we all know which social issue we’re tackling next week. Great meeting, everyone. Let’s adjourn, and I’ll have Isaac open the bar and make some martinis.”