The documentary about the Fyre Festival farrago (in which hundreds of rich twits were persuaded to pay good money to trek out the Bahamas for a big party that didn’t happen, because some pretty ladies on Instagram said that was a good idea) prompts a couple of thoughts.
First, and sorry about this, but the whole thing is a perfect Baudrillardian simulacrum, in which the glossy, bikinis-and-jetskis imagery precedes and occludes a reality that, in the end, didn’t exist and never would. But, while the idea of flying out to a beach, staying in a wet tent and being fed bad cheese sandwiches isn’t exactly on my bucket list, the social media version of it, where influencers were paid good money to flaunt their bronzed, waxed, purged bodies to say how ruddy wondrous the whole thing was going to be, looked even worse. I’ve done bad camping. I survived. The other thing would have prompted a heady cocktail of aneurysm and psychosis irredeemable by any IG filter.
Also, the overriding feeling from watching footage of Billy McFarland, the man behind the whole thing, is that right up until the very last hours, he looks as if he believes it will really come off. It didn’t, which is why he’s currently doing six years as prisoner #91186-054 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York; but if a scammer manages to scam himself into believing his own hype, is he still really a scammer?