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'For Cecil and his Kingdom,' avoid this golden HTC One

'For Cecil and his Kingdom,' avoid this golden HTC One


Exploitative luxury peddlers are now faster than ever

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I eat too much broccoli to be a reliable judge of mainstream culture. This is why I try to stay out of the latest cultural outrage; I just don't think that my idea of bad taste really matches up with too many other people's. But this right here, this is easy. There's no controversy or debate to be had about the irredeemably bad idea of exploiting the death of Cecil the lion to shill your latest gold-plated custom smartphone. You just don't do it.

cecil phone

Except Goldgenie, noted purveyor of ostentatious golden gadgets, did exactly that. The image of a lion is imprinted on the back of a golden HTC One, just above a slogan reading "For Cecil and his Kingdom." Because we all love the African savanna. Because we care deeply about the fate of animals (especially celebrity animals). That's why we should be flocking to Goldgenie's pages and buying one of our own gold-plated, Cecil-endorsing Ones.

I don't wish to make light of the obviously ugly and unpleasant tale of a rich American tourist casually indulging in the expensive sport of killing one of Africa's most celebrated big cats. It's shitty. But buying a show-offish phone as some sort of a protest against big game hunting is just lazy and no less ugly. 10 percent of the purchase price of one of these 24k-gold Ones would go to the Friends of Hwange wildlife conservation society, though that still leaves you with 90 percent of being a total hypocrite. If you want to help the charity, just contribute to it directly and cut out the pretentious middleman.