The two classes are:
1) Real People.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the second category. Just as I am.
Here they are in reverse order, the owners and their total owned area (If it helps, one square mile equals 640 acres, or 2.59 square kilometers.):
15) Ted Turner, 3,124 square miles
14) Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa of Qatar, 4,375 square miles
13) James, Arthur and John Irving, 5,625 square miles
12) King Mswati of Swaziland, 6,704 square miles
11) Emir of Kuwait, 6,875 square miles
10) King Letsie 111 of Lesotho, 11,718 square miles
9) King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan, 15,000 square miles
8) King Abdullah II of Jordan, 35,637 square miles
7) King Gyanendra of Nepal, 57,000 square miles
6) Sultan Qaboos of Oman, 119,498 square miles
5) King Bhumibhol of Thailand, 200,000 square miles
4) King Mohammed VI of Morocco, 274,375 square miles
3) Pope Benedict/Catholic Church, 276,562.5 square miles
2) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 830,000 square miles
1) Queen Elizabeth II, 10.3 million square miles
Granted a few of these seem largely ceremonial, and not all the “owners” are hand-rubbing, cackling Mr. Burns-type evil landlords, but … Holy Skettymon(*)! Really? REALLY??
The area of Texas is only 270,000 square miles, which means the top four on this list, royalty every one, each own areas larger than Texas.
Two of these are U.S. billionaires, one is a church, the remaining dozen are royalty. Between the lot of them, they own 12,146,493 square miles of the surface of the Earth. As the total land surface area of this planet is only 57,308,738 square miles, these FIFTEEN rich bastards own 21 percent of our planet.
To which I say: Well … CRAP.
And here I thought royalty was an amusing relic of the past.
As to Beta Culture: This business spotlights a continuing problem with where and when we live — that we are classed and outclassed by certain social forces, and that it might be appropriate to become a bit more assertive about that.
(*) In case you wonder, I love the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but I’ve often wanted some easier way to speak His Holy Name in informal usage. I’ve decided that for me, at least, “Skettymon” is that easier way. It’s short, has a nice punchy sound, and in its final syllable even lightly graces the Pasta with Rasta.
It came to me in a vision, I swear.