Illustrations by Ivan Brunetti.
Sycophants have existed as long as there have been rich and powerful people, of course. This is a modern version.
A woman on her ex-husband's paid friends:
“When we first started dating, I was annoyed that so many people were always around. But I learned that powerful men all have posses.”A guy about his entourage:
“I think many really successful men don’t actually have time for real friends. Their old friends are either resentful or bitter or ask for money, and the new friends are often competitive. In my opinion, very rich men have paid friends as an expensive filter, because they can control them. They love to manipulate everyone.”
“Look, let’s be real. If he didn’t have any money, he’d be sitting all alone in his apartment with a container of Häagan-Dazs and a bottle of vodka.”
“Once you’ve had paid friends who don’t argue with you, it’s actually quite hard to go back to real friends.”All anecdotal, of course, though it did remind me of the old saying about DC: "If you want a friend in this town, get a dog."
Evidently there are people for whom that plan isn't enough.