Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Does anyone else find this completely bizarre?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, without doubt two of the most well-known actors in the world, have purchased one of the 300 islands (the one shaped like Ethiopia) for sale in Dubai, part of "The World" development. According to the news story:
The Hollywood couple intend to use the reclaimed piece of land to showcase environmental issues and encourage people to live a greener life, the Emirates Today newspaper said.

The bizarre thing to me is the idea that to make this "showcase" an island had to be built from scratch in the Persian Gulf as part of arguably the most expensive land development on the planet. This isn't like those prairie grass plots you see around here; every speck of the island Pitt and Jolie purchased was deposited there by machines and a lot of Indians: the white sand, the palm trees, the docks, the breakwaters, the millions of yards of dirt, etc.

And if this is a "showcase", I wonder how it will be shown to an eager world? Is this hyper-exclusive real estate development going to be a magnet for wealthy eco-tourists? Somehow I can't see a Disney-like water ride around the "showcase". Maybe an episode on "Lives of the Rich and Famous"? Or is there to be a special episode of "Extreme Makeover: Dubai Edition"?

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no quarrel with rich people deciding to buy their very own island. However, I am — "curious" isn't strong enough, but it'll have to do — curious about the motivations to create this environmental "showcase" in a place where no normal person will ever see it.

That is, as the Emirates Today article says:
The plots will be accessible only by boat and security teams will patrol constantly.

Not too conducive for anyone viewing the "showcase" but invited guests , I'd say.

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