CONVERSATION AROUND THE HEADSHOTS OFFICE THIS WEEK revolved around the tragic passing of Cory Monteith. We had never heard of Monteith, but the interns (visibly saddened, all) explained that he was the star of a TV program called Glee, which is apparently some kind of gay musical revue set in a high school run by a cross-dressing bird. (Sounds great.)
But once our tears over Mr. Monteith had dried, and the white wine spritzers were flowing, conversation quickly evolved to a discussion of what we would all be like if we had been young and wealthy beyond our dreams.
Though Monteith was a spry 31 when he OD’d in Vancouver last week, he is representative of a celebrity culture where youth is corrupted by the trappings of fame, and those trappings and the wealth that come with it tend to lead to tragedy. For every Michael J. Fox, there are ten Amanda Bynes. For every Jodie Foster, there are twenty Corey Feldmans. For every… well, you get it. Early fame, plus money, equals bad.
As a people, we judge as a form of sociopathic voyeurism. We run to the mailbox for the latest copy of People, or Us Weekly, or Dead Teen Celeb Quarterly. As a society without a monarchy, our royals are the beautiful rich people we see on ET, and E!, and TMZ. We worship and yet we curse. We love their rise to fame, and revel in their fall from grace. It’s masturbatory, and not in a “while she’s watching and doing it too while we listen to Kanye after sharing a six pack of Smirnoff Ices and recording it to upload to Pornhub” kind of way.
But what if we were all rich at 18? What if the good Lord awarded our adulthood with wealth beyond our dreams? Shit would go sideways, that’s what. Headshots considers what an alternate universe filled with 18 year olds with stacked wallets would be like.
1. Rampant Drug and Alcohol Abuse
If Headshots had made more than $10 as an 18-year-old, we’d be dead. We would’ve been railing codeine mixed with heroin sprinkled with coke and Viagra laced with Percocet while chugging bottles of Maker’s Mark for breakfast.
There are few things more exciting for an 18-year-old than experimentation with substance, and if we all made co-star of a ABC Family sitcom money at 18, we’d all be dead or in rehab by 19. Twenty if we were lucky. College and university classrooms would be empty. A generation would be half-dead in a ditch. Every girl would be like Nicole Richie. Livers would sell for millions on the black market. Acid jazz would play everywhere.
2. A Rise Car Accidents
Besides drugs and booze, teens love the freedom that a driver’s license provides. The problem in our rich teen alternate universe is that not only could doped up teens afford cars (making the bicycle obsolete) but they could afford good cars, not 1983 Volkswagen Rabbits that need to be point downhill to start.
No, in this world teens would be driving Audis at 200 miles-an-hour to their high school prom, killing unsuspecting pedestrians and the ozone layer all the while. Not to mention DUIs. The stories of Paris Hilton and Haley Joel Osment and (insert almost any young celeb’s name here) would be the norm. They’d be like the morning traffic report. It would be all, “avoid the 105 because there’s a 45 car pile up of drunk teens in Porsche SUVs coming home from a Justin Bieber tribute band festival.”
3. Bad Sex and Lots of Babies
A little known fact for all y’all rich folk out there: No one fucks like the poor. It’s all we got, and its free (most of the time). But in an alternate universe of rich teens, high on whatever drug is the most expensive and brightest color, speeding around in their BMWs, fucking will suck. First, no erection will be able to be maintained for longer than 2.5 minutes because a) kids will be drunk and high, and b) they won’t care. Poor dudes maintain an erection out of fear of never getting laid again. If you’re rich, that ain’t a problem.
Unfortunately, there will be ejaculate and that ejaculate will make its way to a vagina or a thousand. Unsatisfied girls the alternate world over will be pregnant, and being the norm there’ll be no MTV show to star on. Why no condoms or birth control in alternate world? The rich are lazy, and 18-year-old are stupid. It’ll be a bad mix, like NFLers and firearms or Paula Deen and an NAACP meeting.
4. No Interns
Look, the world runs on interns. Without ambitious 18 to 22 year olds the economy comes to a grinding halt. Interns are to industry as amateur porn is to the Internet. But with wealth at 18, a generation will have no need to learn the finer aspects of ordering 42 coffees at Starbucks, collating files to be shredded, fending off unwanted advances from senior management, and having intercourse on a desk, quietly, in a cubicle, during lunch.
5. Music Would Suck
Here’s the thing about 18 year olds: They’re idiots. Their tastes and affections are easily swayed by simple marketing practices and well placed products in Reese Witherspoon romcoms. Fortunately, these little fuckers grow up and become adults sometime in their late 20s, a result of hard work, dedication, and humility that comes form being poor.
But a world of rich teenies would never find the humility needed to evolve, and the products that appeal to them at 18 will appeal to them at 25, 30, 40, and so on, because they never grew up. The Justin Biebers, One Directions, and Selena Gomezes will live on forever. Acoustic guitars will cease to exist. Bands will be all about hair and shade of pink and sparkles and not, you know, talent or artistic quality or integrity. It’ll be like living in Disney Junior radio forever.
So before you pass judgment on teen celebs who OD, or get a DUI, or an STD, or birth an infant, take a moment to consider what you would’ve been like at their age, with their money. And then, for the love of god, buy a nice gift for your intern before the whole operation falls apart.