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  • Writer's pictureRegan Byrd

On Fire About "The FYRE"

The FYRE documentary on Netflix has me unusually upset. This shit is ridiculous, how many talentless shucksters are quite contently making money off of broken promises.

First, I continue to be amazed at who gets seen as some kind of "talent" that people trust their money to. Who instantly gets labelled as "competent" with literally no evidence other than them usually being white, male, and having "good energy". Watching the interviews of Mcfarland, and having people on camera say he was a "visionary" and "could sell you anything" made me laugh out loud. It is so plain to me, in interviews, in commentary, that Mcfarland had no answers, no actual talent, didn't know ANYTHING about ANYTHING, other than brand creation. Period. He ignored advice and counsel telling him his idea was not possible. And still, somehow, he was able to stumble his way into a sold out festival, notoriety, and millions of dollars. Then, when it was clear he didn't know what the fuck he was doing, gets to call in a whole team to try and fix it for him, and they cant because you are trying to create a 10,000 person event 45 days out, lol. This proposal would have gotten laughed off of SharkTank, so why so many people fall for this? How was it possible, that this kind of story, about ignorance, selfishness, greed, self-aggrandizement, and plain stupidity, keeps happening time and time again, without anyone putting a stop to the bullshit when it was happening?

Producing something of substance and value to the consumer, and building wealth off of talent and foresight, is becoming rarer and rarer (not that it was that common in the beginning of capitalism). Nowadays, everything is about optics, brand inflation, and perception of wealth, or functionality, or prestige, or innovation, where none actually exists.

This is happening everywhere! Look up the history of the Ouya gaming console, the dozens of cases of straight up lying, unfulfilled promises, and stolen money from various Kickstarter campaigns, Theranos, etc etc. The details and work of holding an actually good music festival were completely inconsequential to Ja Rule and Mcfarland, because from the beginning, the only thing they were looking for was brand building for FYRE. The entire "substance" of Mcfarland's previous idiotic credit card venture, was about the perception of exclusivity and fringe benefits, while actually being basic as fuck. Kylie Jenner was paid $250K to send an instagram post about an event she knows nothing about and likely had no intention of attending, models were flown in for photo shoots, etc etc, to sell an experience Mcfarland had no actual interest or skills in providing.

These are not back-alley cons. These are major financial players, lying, stealing millions, and then just moving onto the next "venture project" as a celebrated "innovator" and "visionary".

At the end of the day, this documentary is an indictment, an indictment of what our capitalism has devolved into, a brand-management, performative, substanceless, predatory money machine, a machine that seeks to consume all of our institutions in the US.

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