It seems that Sean Combs, the entrepreneur-turned rap singer-turned-fashion-designer-cum-man- about-town (also sometimes known as P. Diddy or Puff Daddy or Diddy or variations on same) is grounding his private jet because of the extravagant cost of fuel.
I'd call it a Sign O' the Times, but that's the title of a song from another singer with an ever-changing name (Prince).
According to this item on Perez Hilton's celebrity gossip website, it costs about $250K for two round trips between New York and L.A. Combs, who juggles a Hollywood career with a thriving clothing business and other ventures in New York, thinks that's just too much. This from a multi-millionaire, (number 33 this year on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list) who's famous for, among many other things, his annual White Ball, in which the (very) rich, (very) famous and (very) beautiful show up to an elite location for a night of glamor and partying, clad only in white.
In a statement he makes on his video blog (warning: There's some salty language here), the mogul says "Gas is too M***F***ing high." And until it goes down, he claims he'll be flying commercial. And coach class! (clearly he speaks out of total ignorance of what coach class has become in the last decade). That ain't gonna happen. He'll be in First Class before the plane takes off.
There's a larger message here. Combs likes to think of himself as one of the people -- he grew up in a Harlem housing project -- but he can certainly afford to fly in style. It can't be to simply save costs (he probably easily spends $250K a month on suits). My fellow WalletPopper Josh Smith wonders why Combs, arguably a master of marketing, didn't announce he was grounding his jet in the name of going green, or leaving less of a carbon footprint, or any number of good politically-correct reasons that would keep his name prominent and the money rolling in.
Maybe he just wants to make a statement -- the cost of fuel is affecting everyone, even the rich and famous. If that's what it takes to get our leaders to at the very least pass a sensible energy policy, then I applaud him. Otherwise, call me a cynic: it won't be too long before he's back in the air spreading his wealth.
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