Monday, September 26, 2011

"ed is with the ayn rand institute"

i attended a federalist society panel discussion today. yeah, i know, why. let's just say these are the hazards of my new job. and i actually overheard the above, which, on some level, should not even cause me to raise my eyebrows. except that it is so exactly what you'd expect to hear in this forum that i couldn't believe my luck.

oh yeah, the panel was on whether we should be guarding against the infiltration of sharia law in america. i won't even bother with the arguments that were presented. that mess was predictable, too.

but that all ties into the actual theme of this post, since i know this blog is not your source for legal arguments / hard news (and if it is, you are awfully patient). i once heard (saw?) an interview with louis ck in which he said that people without any doubts are the funniest. he cited donald rumsfeld as an example of someone of unwavering certitude / guaranteed hilarity. i'd definitely add bankers/traders/whateverthehellyoucallthem on that list.

i will cite two examples:

1. jamie dimon. this guy. let's see if i understand this dispute correctly. in a meeting of international bankers, jamie deez tore into mark carney (chief of the bank of canada and widely expected to be the new head of the FSB, which wikipedia tells me is an international consortium of bank regulators that issues, uh, regulatory recommendations) because the latter supports higher capital reserves for banks. this presumably would prevent against the type of hyper-leveraging of our pre-september-2008 banking world.

what was dimon's defense? that these suggested standards were "un-american." now this made me laugh. because, in my view, trying to defeat an international agreement by arguing it is un-american is possibly the most american thing i've ever heard of.

2. alessio rastani.

i've never heard of this trader and i'm not sure how he is qualified to opine on the state of the international financial system. but hey, i suppose talking heads are a dime a dozen nowadays. for whatever reason, i expected the bbc to have some standards. his basic theory is that you can't depend on governments for shit and the eurozone is going to implode.

ok, whatever, that's fine. i even overlooked his statement that "governments don't rule the world; goldman sachs rules the world" because, let's face it, it's kind of true. those dudes own everything.

however, his worldview did make me sit up and take notice. for example, "we [traders] don't really care how [governments are] going to fix the economy . . . our job is to make money from it." then he notes that even though history remembers the great depression as a time of turmoil and grief, some were able to make money from it. indeed, and that is an example of how "anybody" can make money from the current worldwide economic debacle.

wow, anybody? "not just the elites?" sign me up. of course, his definition of "anybody" is a clever take on the english language: "those with a plan," e. g., "hedging strategies." then he tells everyone to "learn how to make money from a downward market," and that we all should "protect our assets".

anyway, i often am accused of being kind of a downer or too pessimistic. well, i dunno. my newest retort is that i must believe in some form of human progress to have the job i have. if i were truly nihilistic, i'd brush up on my hedging strategies and join . . . a hedge fund. those guys have it made.

bonus links:

do you think some lady accosted michelle bachmann to tell her that vinegar caused mental retardation in her daughter?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Harrison Ford's Earring


Meanwhile, here's why we can never have original thoughts anymore. A tour of my mindgrapes recently:

Step 1 -- See picture of Harrison Ford (above) with his dumb earring; Catch him on some late night chat show with his dumb earring, chatting about how he's a rich fuck who decided he liked the horse he was riding in whatever dumb movie he oldmanned his way through recently, whereupon, I shit you not, the audience applauds. The audience applauds his decision to buy the Hollywood horse in some movie about cow dungs and aliases like Harrison Ford is some kind of great protector of animals. The fuck is wrong with people?

Step 2 -- Wonder why Ally McBeal lets Harrison Ford leave the house with that stupid earring. It's so stupid. I don't care how much Kabballah you do or Ciroc you drink. That shit is so dumb. Everybody knows it's dumb. Fucking George Lucas, who has a bulbous challah bread for a neck and a facebeard and made the worst movies ever made, probably thinks that shit is dumb.

Step 3 -- Decide to create a fake Tumblr for Harrison Ford's earring.

Step 4 -- Sinking feeling sets in; Decide to check that no one else has made a fake Tumblr of Harrison Ford's earring.

Step 5 -- Confirm that someone has. Here it is. Fuck. 

Step 6 -- Fake Cormac McCarthy Twitter Account?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


so, if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that i started a new job. so far, so good! but today was my first day and i think i'm predisposed to not sleep the day before the first day of anything, so, y'know, unreliable narrator and whatnot.

i feel an enormous sense of loss. i suppose that is a cliche, and i probably should explain in greater detail. despite all of the problems at my old job, i wholeheartedly feel it was the first time pretty much ever i enjoyed being a lawyer. and that includes all three years of law school. i worked 12, 14, 17 hour days (consecutively!) completely voluntarily. sure, i was tired, but it was nothing in comparison to how empty i felt whilst working at the firm. i always thought people who told you to do what you love were privileged assholes spewing their trust-funded bullshit. but you know what? those people, whatever their station in life, are 100millionpercent right. if you are ever so lucky to find something you enjoy doing AND it pays a living wage?! by god, i hope you can hold onto it.

this does not mean that i'm not excited about what's ahead. emotions aren't mutually exclusive. it's perfectly logical for me to simultaneously feel bereft over the past and hopeful about the future. if you don't think so, perhaps that's a limitation of your emotional range. and the american obsession with everything sunny all the time always. nonetheless, i would say the lowest depth of misery is to have something you love taken away from you through no fault of your own.

i was feeling rather self-conscious about just how deep this shit was, then someone pointed out that if you're supposed to be passionate about what you're doing, then it's impossible for you to not feel equally passionate upon its sudden departure.

so there you go--i have no answers. i'm tremendously grateful that i got to experience that period of belonging. and here is to hoping that i can regain that, and that you can experience it, too.