Monday, January 20, 2014

B.T.T.V. (Man)

Dju read this thing yet? It's an article by a self-decribed "wealth addict." Guy made a crap-ton of money on Wall Street, realized the hell it was causing him and others, and finally walked away. The best part is the last paragraph, though. He says what I've been saying for years, that these ultra-rich people shouldn't be fighting to keep every cent (and somehow convincing all the toothless future lottery winners to fight for them), they should be volunteering to give up more since they make more. Especially the ones who are balls-to-the-vault wealthy. But as long as their own street is paved with gold, they don't seem to feel the need to help keep the rest of the streets paved at all. I know some mill-and billionaires are philanthropists, but I'd love it if we got to the point where the news told us the tax-rate on the wealthiest 1% is x but it's more like x + 10 based on how much they voluntarily give back because they realize x is comically low. But....

our culture supports and even lauds the addiction. Look at the magazine covers in any newsstand, plastered with the faces of celebrities and C.E.O.'s; the superrich are our cultural gods. I hope we all confront our part in enabling wealth addicts to exert so much influence over our country.

Me too, buddy.

PS There is one part I'll criticize. When talking about a time in his life when he was big into drugs and booze, he says, referring to his girlfriend:

But even though I was in love with her, when I got drunk I’d sometimes end up with other women.

"End up?" You'd think the Ritalin was actually pulling him inside someone else's apartment as he struggled to wrestle free. You've admitted to the wealth addiction, guy, now admit you willingly cheated on the one you loved back then, too.

I took the line where he wrote he would "end up with other women" to mean that he did indeed cheat on her. How did you interpret it?
I interpreted it the same way. I just thought he was blaming it on the booze/drugs. (I should have put "willingly" in italics.) To me that was like saying, "Back when I was an alcoholic, I'd sometimes end up with a lot of banks' money that wasn't mine," instead of, "I'd rob banks." Maybe he was just trying to word it in a way that was printable in the newspaper, I don't know.
Mom here: I took it to mean that by some act of god, the wealth addict found himself inexplicably in bed with someone and--Oh, no!--realized he was cheating. Reminds me of my friend who went to court when her boss asked her and all his employees to support him in fighting the alimony payment he had to make to his ex-wife. They all went, she said, for the laughs. He was a philanderer. My friend said the judge's name was something like Saul Epstein, "...the kind of name that rings terror in every wasp's heart." So the boss/philanderer says to the judge, yes, he cheated on his wife with his intern, but that it wasn't his fault. He was trying to help the intern get ahead and agreed to give her some tips on how to be successful in whatever business it was. So she invited him to her apartment after work, and he said to the judge, "I was sitting on the sofa with a bunch of folders on the coffee table containing stuff she should go over when all of a sudden she gets up, walks over to me, kneels down between the coffee table and the sofa, and before he knew what was happening, before he could stop her, she starts unzipping his fly. And then... Well, it happened." So the judge, who's looking down at his papers the whole time, looks up, pushes his glasses down to the tip of his nose, peers over the glasses and says, "In other words, you were a blow-job victim." And the guy, so relieved that the judge understood his plight, says, "Yes, your honor, I was." The judge doubled the wife's alimony payment. The employees, who couldn't stand the guy, all went to a bar and raised a glass to his ex-wife once they had finished laughing.
I just it took it to mean he went out and partied and "ended up" cheating, but not as an excuse, more as a comment on his addictions and how he would do things he wasn't proud of. He's not the first person to get drunk and do something he regrets. More a sketch of his character and how he easily indulges in his vices when under the influence. A behavior pattern he engaged in with his monetary addiction as well.
Mom here for Liam: Some drunks get drunk so that they'll have a built-in excuse for cheating, beating their kids, kicking the dog, and all the other cruel things they really love to do. (I so enjoy all your comments, L-Man. Soon as I see your name, I fell the batterie charging.)
I only wish I knew so little about alcoholism that your comments were a revelation. Experience is a harsh instructor.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States