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Restaurant Gratified Investors' Hunger

August 25, 2002

My initial reaction to "Planet Hollywood Made Insider Deals" [Aug. 14] was that Planet Hollywood ran a pretty slick Ponzi scheme because they intimated that they would allow us access to the rarified air of fame by way of Lucite-enclosed props and clothing that were somehow given iconic status simply by virtue of actually having had physical contact with a celebrity's skin.

Then I realized that I was being unfair: This was no Ponzi scheme. This was a business that saw the obvious and sold stock in the notion that it could get rich by selling awful, overpriced food and feeding society's bizarre and insatiable hunger for all things celebrity for the price of an awful hamburger and an overpriced T-shirt.

Investors counted on our culture's obsession with fame and celebrity. And it was their own greed that bought the stock.

Stockholders, stop whining. You threw huge amounts of money at people who know that some of us have a sick need to be in the presence of fame and celebrity, even though separated by thin plexiglass.

The only thing that the stockholders got was the shaft.

Kristina Mason

Los Angeles

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