Monday, December 05, 2005


"For his daughter's coming-of-age celebration last weekend, multimillionaire Long Island defense contractor David H. Brooks booked two floors of the Rainbow Room, hauled in concert-ready equipment, built a stage, installed special carpeting, outfitted the space with Jumbotrons and arranged command performances by everyone from 50 Cent to Tom Petty to Aerosmith.

"...The party cost an estimated $10 million, including the price of corporate jets to ferry the performers to and from. Also on the bill were The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh performing with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks; DJ AM (Nicole Richie's fiance); rap diva Ciara and, sadly perhaps (except that he received an estimated $250,000 for the job), Kenny G blowing on his soprano sax as more than 300 guests strolled and chatted into their pre-dinner cocktails.

"Hey, that guy looks like Kenny G," a disbelieving grownup was overheard remarking - though the 150 kids in attendance seemed more impressed by their $1,000 gift bags, complete with digital cameras and the latest video iPod...

"I'm told that Petty's performance - on acoustic guitar - was fabulous, as was the 45-minute set by Perry and Tyler, who was virtuosic on drums when they took the stage at 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

"Henley, I hear, was grumpy at the realization that he'd agreed to play a kids' party..."
-New York Daily News.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. OMG. Miss Brooks is one of the poster children for the culture of entitlement. What I want to know is, if this really was a Bat Mitzvah party, where was the rabbi's voice of restraint?

As a parent, I'm wondering: If my daughter were a friend or classmate of Miss Brooks', and was invited to this abomination, would I have had the ability to refuse the invitation?

My daughter was invited to one rather overdone party (but at least three orders of magnitude smaller than l'affaire Brooks) and I didn't turn down the invitation, even though this sort of excess is clearly against our family values.

As a person of compassion, I'm thinking of Miss Brooks: if your daddy throws a $10M party for your 13th birthday, what else is there for you to achieve? How do you know what is right or good?

But it is Brooks' money, isn't it, and what right do onlookers have to complain? I've been thinking and writing about the concept of "moving the middle" -- wherein the extreme position is so extreme that the middle now looks, well, conservative or niggardly or otherwise deprecated. Surely if Mr. and Mrs. Average have the urge to overspend on their child's Bat/Bar Mitzvah, having the example of Brooks' excess reduces their restraint.

And it is Brooks' money -- but how more meaningful for the context of a religious celebration if the Brooks family had, I don't know, sent it all to a damaged synagogue in Louisiana (I don't know if there are any, but you see the gesture), or rebuilt say some of the public safety infrastructure in the South that was destroyed, or sent it all to Heifer International, or...any number of another philanthropies.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Dr. Deb said...

Wow, such excess.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Geeze, and I thought I was overdoing it by thinking of hiring a karaoke DJ for my daughter's 16th...

8:16 PM  

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