Don't you just hate it when the Department of Homeland Security seizes your boat? TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington sure does, blogging about the incident as if it were a totally relatable, normal problem that regular people go through.
In a post that went up last night on his TechCrunch exile blog Uncrunched, the venture capitalist, journalism ethics reformer, and Internet "blowhard" details his botched purchase of a boat he intended to take on pleasure rides around Seattle. "Buying this boat was one of the worst decisions I've ever made," he writes, forgetting to link to "Mo Money Mo Problems" for some reason. Since the boat was built in Canada, it had to clear customs before being delivered to him. But the confusing paperwork wasn't in order, so a devious DHS agent gleefully snatched Arrington's boat away from him:
What struck me the most about the situation is how excited she got about seizing the boat. Like she was just itching for something like this to happen. This was a very happy day for her.
Arrington says he wrote the post "to highlight how screwed up our government bureaucracy has become," and, sure, the transaction sounds highly annoying. But the whole post comes off like a long, elaborate humblebrag. "I live a fairly simple life," he begins, saying that a boat was his only "splurge" after selling TechCrunch to AOL for $25 million. "Nothing too fancy or large," he writes, lest you think he bought himself a yacht. That reads a lot like something he said in a Wired profile about the sale of his online money transfer start-up Achex: "I made enough to buy a Porsche. Not much more." Arrington has this weird compulsion to let everyone know that he can afford luxury cars and boats. But he's totally not flaunting his wealth, you guys. He even democratically solicits readers' input on his predicament. "What would you have done?" he asks, as if normal people spend their time fretting over first-world problems that they themselves will never encounter.
You may remember Arrington from such Atlantic Wire posts as "The 50 Worst Columns of 2012." The supposedly humble, down-to-earth lifestyle of super-rich techies is a recurring theme in the Arrington oeuvre. In the column that made our year-end hall of shame, he wrote of Silicon Valley, "It's the only place in the world where most rich people don't really flaunt it ... The conversations here are rarely about money." Unless you're having a conversation with Michael Arrington, in which case you'll probably talk about money by talking about how rarely anyone talks about money.