Rich people are just like you, assuming you are also a nine-foot lizard from the Andromeda galaxy here to harvest gold for spaceship fuel. But even if you don't believe that obviously correct theory, there's no denying that having billions of dollars warps the mind so badly that they might as well be aliens. After all, consider how weird some of the world's most famous tycoons can get:
Sixteen years ago, Mark Zuckerberg was just a college kid with a simple dream: What if there was a website that allowed you to rank Harvard co-eds by hotness? This was so brilliant that the whole world queued up to throw money at him, without even waiting to hear the second half of the idea, which unfortunately turned out to be "and then the website will undermine global democracy and slowly drive everybody insane." (We're paraphrasing here.)
Cut to 2020 and your aunt is in federal prison after breaking into a vaccination clinic with a Supersoaker full of bleach, while Zuckerberg is richer than ever. His current net worth is north of $100 billion, a number so large that by the time you finish typing it you have to go back and add another zero just to account for inflation.
One of the great paradoxes of Zuckerberg is that his look gets progressively worse the richer he becomes, to the point that there's probably a mysterious painting in his attic where he resembles Brad Pitt in a Burger King uniform. By our calculation, Zuck has enough money to get a different fancy haircut every second for the next 40 years, yet his current style is so bad he got lightly roasted about it during a recent live Congressional hearing. Do you know how bad a haircut has to be before Congress tries to intervene? But it's also possible that those boorish politicians were too dumb to understand the classical brilliance of the billionaire's bowl cut.
A theory first suggested by Twitter user Trillburne holds that Zuckerberg's hair is a deliberate tribute to one of his idols: Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar. It's no secret that the Facebook founder is a huge fan of Roman history. He even honeymooned in Rome, telling the New Yorker that "My wife was making fun of me, saying she thought there were three people on the honeymoon: me, her and Augustus." He later named one of his children August. And there's no denying that Zuck's hair does bear a suspicious resemblance to the Caesar cut popularized by Augustus.
It's kind of worrying that Zuckerberg, who has long been rumored to harbor presidential ambitions, appears to be modeling himself on Augustus, the cunning dictator who successfully finished off the Roman Republic and made himself emperor. But maybe Zuck should be the one really worried here, since he was apparently given the Augustus haircut by his wife Priscilla Chan -- and Augustus himself was rumored to have been poisoned by his powerful wife Livia. And that's why you gotta be careful about who you invite on your honeymoon, buddy.
As CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey is basically hell-king of trainwreck island. And he's apparently dressing to match, having adopted a look best described as "depressed millennial Rasputin." Seriously, the dude looks like he spends every board meeting caressing a snake and whispering that the Dark Lord's power grows stronger by the day.
Now, there's two things you need to know about Dorsey. The first one is that he definitely did not send his beard hair to chicken-murdering pop witch Azealia Banks so she could make him a protective anti-ISIS charm. He's been very clear about that, no matter what Vanity Fair heard. The second thing is that he's not really, like, about the money, you know? Instead, he's using his time as head of a major social media network to go on a journey of self-discovery.
Most recently, he's been experimenting with a new diet where he eats just seven small meals a week (an earlier attempt to fast all weekend, every weekend, apparently resulted in hallucinations). Because when you're rich, it's not a mind-eroding eating disorder, it's biohacking! Seriously, we give it about three weeks before Silicon Valley guys start biohacking tiredness by jamming their hands into toasters. Around two years ago, Dorsey also started taking regular ten-day silent retreats, where he lives in a bare room in some exotic monastery and cuts off all communication with the outside world.
To facilitate this, Dorsey has been pushing major decision making off on his subordinates, which is unfortunate at a time when Twitter has been taking major heat over racist and threatening content, only some of it from the actual President of the United States. During one outrage, for instance, Dorsey was incommunicado at a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar -- which then itself caused controversy after it was pointed out that Buddhist monks were leading a genocide in that country at the exact same time. It's not a great look when your company has to respond to complaints with "Sorry, our CEO dressed himself like a necromancer and flew his private jet to starve himself in the Murder Monastery for the week, can we get back to you on Monday?"
Unless they have a life-threatening social media addiction (more on Elon Musk later), the lives of the super-rich remain a mystery to us common folk. Does Sergey Brin dress Larry Page up like a deer and hunt him through the forests of Borneo? Maybe, but we'll never know. Except that every so often something happens to blow the lid off and reveal just how weird the billionaire life really is. Which is exactly what happened last year, when Jeff Bezos took to Medium to announce that he had some dick pics coming out.
According to Bezos, it all started when the notorious National Enquirer tabloid published photos of the married billionaire and a woman named Lauren Sanchez. Bezos asked his security team to investigate the source of the photos, at which point the Enquirer freaked out and tried to blackmail him into dropping the investigation by threatening to publish even more salacious photos, including a "below the belt selfie -- otherwise colloquially known as a 'd*ck pick." Bezos refused to agree and instead made the whole thing public on Medium (although we think he should have gone a step further and launched an OnlyFans).
But why would the Enquirer be so desperate to avoid an investigation? Well, here's where things really get crazy. Bezos was text buddies with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who regularly sent him "hilarious" memes like "Arguing with a woman is like reading the Software License agreement. In the end you have to ignore everything and click I agree!" When the security team investigated, they discovered that one of the prince's videos contained an encrypted downloader, which started sending mountains of data from his phone the moment he clicked on it. Meanwhile, the Bezos-owned Washington Post was harshly criticizing the prince for murdering reporter Jamal Kashoggi.
So did Saudi Arabia leak Jeff Bezos's nudes as revenge for a particularly scathing editorial? Bezos certainly seems to think so, noting the Enquirer's close ties to the Saudis. The tabloid denies this, insisting that Lauren Sanchez had actually sent the photos to her estranged brother Michael (as one does), who sold them for $200,000 cash. Who knew that rich people's lives were every bit as crazy as they looked on Real Housewives? Although we are kind of touched to know that the world's richest man still takes dick pics instead of sitting for a full length dick portrait in the conservatory.
One of the best parts of being rich is being able to afford the finer things in life. Sure, the rest of us may spend meals hunched over the sink, gnawing frantically at a chicken drumstick we wrestled away from a pack of wild dogs, while our supervisor hammers on the door yelling that we've used up our allotted minute of bathroom time. But when you're rich, you can dine on caviar and champagne, like some mad czar, then hop on a jet, fly a time zone over, and have dinner all over again. Every major city features hundreds of swanky restaurants in a frantic arms race to stay on the cutting edge. Even as you read this, dozens of chefs are hacking their way through the Amazon, accosting uncontacted tribes and demanding to know if they have any new fish recipes that might briefly amuse David Geffen.
Which is why it's so weird that Donald Trump, a man who was born wealthy and went on to surround himself with more gold than a French king three days before the peasants lose patience, is quite so fixated on fast food. The president famously loves McDonald's, and it can only be partially attributed to him being drawn to the word "Donald" on the sign like a parakeet slamming itself into a mirror. In fact, the whole thing seems to come down to a fear of contamination. Trump famously hates shaking hands, which he has called "very, very terrible" and "one of the curses of American society." Like many germaphobes, he also orders his steaks extremely well done, since very few bacteria can survive being burnt to charcoal by the chef's trusty flamethrower. But in Trump's world, fast food is the safest thing or all.
According to CNN, Trump believes that "one bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald's ... I like cleanliness and I think you're better off going there than some place that you have no idea where the food is coming from." This is a fairly odd view, since McDonald's is a franchise, and for every spotless location there's another where the deep fryer is a graveyard of lost retainers and the manager occasionally wipes his forehead with one of the buns. Maybe it's just that you can see into the kitchen in most McDonald's, whereas the staff at Nobu might easily be taking turns French kissing your cod before serving.
Either way, the fast food fixation has endured four years of the presidency. Even as you read this, Trump is reportedly binge-eating fast food to cope with his election loss to Joe Biden. So take a moment to sympathize with all the international spies who had to spend four years working the register at a Washington McDonald's, reporting whenever the president seemed to be comforting himself with an extra chocolate shake.
Elon Musk is a middle-aged billionaire who communicates entirely in Reddit memes and will eventually trick the whole Rick And Morty fandom into buying one-way tickets on a poorly constructed Martian space ark. Grimes is a houseboat-crashing art-pop waif who makes music for self-tattooed teenagers to snort adderall to. They are in love. Nobody understands why, but that's the situation we're in and we're all just going to have to live with it.
Everything about their relationship is wild. For starters, their communication is apparently not great. After Musk took to Twitter to declare that "pronouns suck," Grimes was reduced to publicly tweeting begging him to "I love you but please turn off ur phone or give me a dall [sic.]." "I cannot support hate. Please stop this. I know this isn't your heart." On another occasion, the couple found themselves trapped in their own home with Azealia Banks, who secreted her way inside for a recording session with Grimes and spent four days lurking around posting about Musk "being too stupid to know not to go on twitter on acid" and calling Grimes a "methhead junkie" into "some weird threesome shit."
The couple's weirdness really hit the news earlier this year, when they welcomed their first child. Grimes later claimed the five-month old was "into radical art" like Apocalypse Now, insisting that "I don't think it's problematic to engage with them at that level...in general stuff for babies is really just creatively bad...it's all very one vibe. 'Here's a zebra and a bear in, like pastel color tones.'" She added that she had used artificial intelligence to design a special lullaby, only the first mix of which caused her baby to start crying. At this point, it should be clear that the kid is growing up to be either the Anti-Christ or the most insufferable human ever to live. To keep both options open, they named him ... well, we'll let Grimes tell you:
Nothing is stopping you naming your baby the same thing and getting instant admission to every preschool.
Musk quickly replied to point out that the plane in question was the SR-71, because women lying in hospital after giving birth love their partner reply-guying them on Twitter. Although they did meet on that website, so presumably she knew what she was getting into. Wait a minute. Twitter, elven shit, Azealia Banks...there could only be one man behind all this!
Top image: Catwalker/Shutterstock, Donald Trump Campaign