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Time for another peek [Lifestyle Theme] into the “Lifestyles of the Rich… and Cranky.”
Today’s feature: How big is yours? I don’t mean your private parts, though such biological or surgically-enhanced endowments might well be the source of the “size envy” that seems to propel the push in America for bigger everythings. This is especially the case with the newly rich, who tend to measure their fortunes by the size of their acquisitions – yachts the length of football fields for example, or Michael Dell’s 33,000 square-foot McMansion. Never mind that it’s ugly or obscenely excessive – it’s BIG, baby!
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Indeed, the obsession with “big” even applies to small appliances, and luckily for these super-rich biggists, Panasonic corporation is ready to meet the market demand for a super-sized television set. You see, for those in the swell crowd, there’s just no envy factor, no WOW! in having one of those 50-inch, flat panel, plasma TV screens that were such the rage back in …well, last year. So Panasonic is ever-so-proud to offer its new, 103-inch, flat panel, “it’s-bigger-than-yours” TV screen for the discerning rich person.
Maybe you think, hey, I want one of those! OK, but you’ve got to be prepared to shell out $70,000 for one of these big boys. And, you’ll need a heck of a wall – these things are nine-feet by six-feet, about the size of a queen size bed! Panasonic’s mega screen weighs 450 pounds, so it has to be shipped in a specially-designed box with a suspension system, and it has to be professionally installed on your wall.
A Panasonic executive concedes that this is a niche product: “Sales will be limited in scope because of its weight and size,” he says – not to mention the $70,000 price tag.
This is Jim Hightower saying… When your TV screen is as big as your bed and costs more than a luxury car… you know you’ve got a size problem.
“The New King of Big TV’s Is Queen Size,” The New York Times, July, 24, 2006