December 2, 2020

Help! I’ve Been Invited to Too Many Celebrity Private Islands!

6 min read

Dear QuarQuar’s Question Corner:

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Eric Reads The News is a daily humor column which skewers politics, pop culture, celebrity, shade, and schadenfreude.

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I have a doozy of a problem that only you can answer. I am humbled and blessed to be friends with many celebrities, hedge fund managers, shadow governments, the odd Duke and Duchess, and assorted wealthy rapscallions. Many of them have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and, as a result, have been rewarded with their own private islands or access to a private island owned by a friend or business associate or close personal emperor. None of us take this for granted. We know there are hundreds of people in the world who have to share islands. But, especially in times like these, we feel it would be wasteful to squander the gifts we’ve been given my large multi-national corporations or tinpot dictatorships and have taken to having gatherings on our islands. There is little that’s more socially distant than an island so this feels responsible.

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The problem is, QQC, now that COVID-19 numbers are on the rise again and the Trump administration has pivoted from doing nothing to doing nothing while talking about a vaccine that is not available, the invitations to these private islands have increased dramatically. It seems every day I get two, three, even four evites asking me to quarantine for 14 days in anticipation of a celebrity’s private island birthday party, secret wedding, initiation ceremony, or Most Dangerous Game launch. It’s just too much! My assistant can’t keep up with all the requests and I don’t know how to prioritize. If only these private islands were closer, I could hop from dock to dock. But apparently the world is very large and I’m getting wind of a private jet shortage. The last thing I want to do is hurt a friend’s feelings by posting photos to my public social media accounts of me pretending things are normal for a brief moment in time at someone else’s shindig. They say no man is an island but I’m feeling pretty adrift in this dilemma. How do I keep everyone, most of all myself, happy in these very serious times?

-LOST

Dear LOST,

I am so glad you wrote to me. I have been getting so many messages about this problem. I think it’s the most pressing but most under-reported issue of our time. Why is the media not talking about it? What are they hiding from us? Haha, let me get down off my soap box. I’ll save it for my trip to Rant Island next month. Today I’ll focus on you. Now, as this is an anonymous letter, I don’t know if you were blessed and humbled enough invited to Kim Kardashian West’s recent 40th birthday party on a private island, but let’s take it as an example.

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On Wednesday, KKW posted a thread on Twitter blessing the public with photos from her recent soiree where she surprised her closest friends and family with a trip to a private island after two weeks of humble health checks and quarantining. As she wrote, it was a time for all of them to pretend everything was normal. You know, like before when everyone was going to islands with their closest friends. Personally, I hope we get back to that time very soon but who can say?

I looked at those photos and my first thought was, “This is an absolute nightmare.” Why? Because every person in those photos, at some point in the last two weeks, had to make a decision about which island they’d spend their time on. The anxiety must have been awful. I call it Wilson’s Choice. You know, like the volleyball in the movie starring Tom Hanks as a man who has a private island but can’t afford to staff it. Harrowing.

I cannot, unfortunately, tell you how to decide which private island on which to spend a given weekend. That’s a sacred choice that must be made with your spiritual advisor and your publicist. But I can tell you how to deal with the stress of Island Fatigue (which is a real thing that I have discovered and will be treating at a wellness retreat on my private island).

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The first thing you want to do is think about private islands in the right way. I’m reminded of a quote from the Disney version of Pocahontas who said, “You think you own whatever land you land on; the Earth is just a dead thing you can claim.” To which I respond: Correct! So, when you’re facing down an inbox full of invitations, I encourage you to think of them not as isolated blobs of land tied to deeds owned by shell corporations but rather a one big group of islands in a nation known as Money.

Everyone wants to feel that you value the effort they’ve put into buying their own private island so I think it’s important that you remind your friends that it’s not the island that’s most important, so much as the fact that it’s private. You know: none of the rabble. So, even if you’re separated by an ocean, you’re still together in your wealth and complete disconnect from reality. And isn’t that the most important thing?

Another tactic I like to employ is to get my celebrity friends with private islands to think bigger. When you really get down to it, aren’t we all on a big private island known as North America? Who owns that? Are they looking to sell?

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Disney Princess Pocahontas once asked “how high does a sycamore grow?” And the answer of course is: if you own the air rights, that’s your decision. Don’t let private islands dominate you. Don’t let them take over your life. We’re the greatest secret cabal of wealthy people in the world. We are bigger than any one island and any one party. We mustn’t let the small stuff like schedules get us down. As KKW wrote “I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now”; we have to lead the way with courage and humility. Look around and taken in the moment. Remember you are blessed.

And if that doesn’t work, I suggest a Doodle poll. It just takes so much of the headache out of private island scheduling. #Vote❤️

Thanks for writing, LOST. Will I see you this weekend?

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