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  • Writer's pictureGabby Hoffman

The Newest Tea is on Fyre

~Caution: contents may be hot...duh~

The main question I'm left with after watching both "Fyre" films:

Was Ja Rule always there when Billy called?

Seems like he was at least always on time, as long as booze was involved - I don't blame him, I just blame it on the Goose. I can think of a few people off the top of my head with similar tendencies. I mean, after all, we're all so easily fooled; damn, ja could go as far as to say I've been hoodwinked once or twice in the Chi!

This life apparently ain't fair :/

Don't worry - there won't be spoilers ahead if you haven't watched (as if there's really anything new to spill) - just maybe a few more dad jokes. You're reading this, right Dad?

The other day my family came to visit me at my new apartment. I was out "networking" the night before and "hustled" my way into some places. I was explaining this to my family at dinner, and my dad called it "bullsh*tting"... I couldn't say he was wrong.

Different generations, different definitions, right? ...


The first thing I did was google "Fyre documentary Viceland" -- word for word.

Actually, I think I wrote "Frye" a few times at first... easy mistake.

I'm not going to lie, I have a slight favoritism towards shows and documentaries produced by VICE. My theory is that they're directed towards specifically a millennial audience, probably those who are more crude, real, maybe on a budget --or often pretending to be-- and trying to make sense of the world around them.


One of the guides I read differentiating the Hulu and Netflix documentaries on The Washington Post even wrote:

"One day, our children will ask: Where were you during the Fyre Festival documentaries war?"

So, naturally, I decided to go ahead and watch Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened first, which was released by Netflix, directed by Chris Smith. This one was "co-produced" by VICE studios, Matte Projects, and most notoriously, Jerry Media - the social media group branched off of F*ck Jerry, and that also worked to promote and get the Fyre Festival so big in the first place.

The next day, my roommate and I watched Fyre Fraud, released by Hulu and directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason.

"While [Hulu] wouldn't say how much they paid McFarland for the interview, Furst and Nason did point out Netflix's potential hypocrisy as they partnered with Jerry Media [...] for their film, gaining access to all of their behind-the-scenes footage and information."
-Tierney Bricker, E! News

To sum it up, I'm going to have to agree again with E! News on this one here:

"Hulu went macro, looking at the bigger picture of the culture that allowed the festival to even exist, while Netflix opted for a more micro approach."

This is definitely true. What makes this so strange is that the macro lens is typically an approach I notice VICE productions to expand on. So, what the hell?... did they just sit back and let Hulu take the wheel on this one?

As the Hulu documentary more suggests, we need to evaluate our culture and its impact on our generation - the way it fosters an environment for people like Billy to thrive for so long and get away with it. Billy McFarland --Billy Bullsh*tter, Billy the Crayon Fixer, Billy the Ultimate Car Salesman-- is a great example for us to learn from, unfortunately.

Let’s not make another mistake like him, as it is easy to get caught up in the glam and fab life, especially when similar concepts like “hustling” and "networking" become almost a second nature to some salespeople in this generation (~lol sorry dad~).

I am a firm believer that you need to earn your stripes.

Some of y'all were raised in families that took the elevator no matter what, and it shows. Those of y'all especially need to show that you've earned it every step of the way. You can't make every money move overnight, and that seems to be an issue I've found some young entrepreneurs coming across recently. The instant influencer or social media fame is glorified.

Yes, there are success stories, but we don't look at their pasts or the failures and obstacles these people have endured. We also overlook the millions of others out there trying to make it, our own "caution warnings," and basic logic because we're blinded by the blitz of an idea --a reality, even-- that we've distorted and convinced countless other followers around us is great.


I think we're overlooking another really important documentary on the topic of social media's impact on branding, also released recently (and props to you for this one, Netflix).

The American Meme trails keynote social media influencers like @slutwhisperer, @brittanyfurlan, @thefatjewish and @parishilton, and it's extremely eye-opening to see how their lives are affected by this new type of fame our generation has created. It's not all it's glammed up to be, but it's almost as if it's the new "American Dream" that seems attainable to anyone. You just have to try hard enough to be deemed pretty by society and have a quality social media presence. It's shallow, stupid, and ultimately not intellectually stimulating, but... I respect how it's all admitted and put on the table -- how I like my tea served!

Like many others struggling in this documentary, I can't figure out what exactly I want to do besides make people happy by giving them what they're looking for and try to enjoy myself while doing it; so I see Billy-boy's thought process there. I'm not quite sure what title that gives me or what career path I should have chosen, and that thought will probably cross my mind throughout the course of my life. Other potential outcomes for your future is an unnerving concept. Each day we hustle and grind to get us to our best possible scenario.

I've had writer's block lately, and have also been "self-sabotaging," a.k.a. just procrastinating with other meaningless tasks, like Billy would do. However, I'm talking, like, unnecessary organizing, going to events, watching documentaries, etc. Isn't anyone else guilty of this? Can't we all relate to some extent? I cannot speak for Billy or any other individual, but my ADD has me constantly getting inspired by one project, starting it, and not finishing it because I get distracted by another thought.

So many ideas, changes, and people to handle, but I enjoy the challenge. It's also bad because I have a hard time completing the task at hand. I mean, I can, but it takes extreme willpower and that's something I'm working on. Another thing I have been working on is becoming self-aware; this involves knowing your strengths, but also your faults so you can improve on things. So what was Billy's case?

After watching whichever documentary you choose to watch, it's also up to you to decide whether you think Billy is a victim of culture or if he was self-aware of what he was doing?

This also ties back to my last article - where I mention a trend of individuals today being taught not to take "no" for an answer. Inevitably, they can't accept failure in any form and also expect things to be just peachy when they're non-committing and flakey. Even if it's a "participation trophy," they're still winning and getting something out of the game. Billy would not give up his dream of making this "festival" happen, no matter how much of a sh*tshow it was for those who participated.

Lesson: accept that you win some, you lose some.

& if Billy ever does come back from the ~dead~ and try to scam us all again, here's where we can expect the event to be hosted. The first few rows will already be open!

And he got the deal off Groupon, so guess how much the whole bundle cost him?!

The rest of the venue should be cheap enough for Billy to finance with his own bank account!

He's got some money now from doing Hulu's documentary...and knowing silly ol' Billy, he'll blow it on a new "investment" -- and that does not include a proper cause like paying back even one of the countless workers he owes.

Honestly, what is life if you can't make fun of yourself, which involves being at least partially self-aware. It also helps to have this skill when you need to admit you're wrong. #Ja hear me???

*Note that it took me a total of like 5 days to get this post written and put together because I was busy grinding and stuff, so, like, I was writing about the #Fyre #Festival way before it was cool, okurrr.


To donate to workers affected by Billy's BS, click here.

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