Most of the work in this world completely sucks balls and the only reward most people get for their work is just barely enough money to survive, if that. The 95% of people out there who spend all day long shoveling the dogshit of life for subsistence wages are basically keeping things running just well enough so that David Brooks, me and the rest of that lucky 5% of mostly college-educated yuppies can live embarrassingly rewarding and interesting lives in which society throws gobs of money at us for pushing ideas around on paper (frequently, not even good ideas) and taking mutual-admiration-society business lunches in London and Paris and Las Vegas with our overpaid peers.
Quote of the day (see above; also left) belongs to Amanda F. Palmer, alumna of The Dresden Dolls, fiance of Neil Gaiman, and friend of The Rumpus (who have almost certainly already linked this, so even though I found it on my own let’s assume a HAT TIP to them; if nothing else they had AFP play one of their fundraisers and she was great). Anyway, AFP went to the Golden Globes because NG’s film Coraline was nominated for something. Her debrief on this experience is about a thousand pages long and worth every minute of your time–pissed off security guys! playing dead on the red carpet! Mike Tyson! armpit hair!
The Nation has Rebecca Solnit on how the media exacerbates the problems faced by survivors of disasters by the way in which it covers them–particularly in referring to scroungers food and supplies as “looters.” “Covering Haiti: When the Media is the Disaster.”
Felicia Sullivan blogs an elegy for Salinger that I think speaks for itself.
Matt Taibbi is still a badass. David Brooks thinks economic populism is like racism against rich people. Michael Steele wishes! Everyone else just thinks DB is a giant flaming dick. Anyway, here’s Taibbi-
And the really funny thing about Brooks’s take on populists… I mean, I’m a member of the same Yuppie upper class that Brooks belongs to. I can’t speak for the other “populists” that Brooks might be referring to, but in my case for sure, my attitude toward the likes of Lloyd Blankfein and Hank Paulson has nothing to do with class anger.
I don’t hate these guys because they’re rich and went to fancy private schools. Hell, I’m rich and went to a fancy private school. I look at these people as my cultural peers and what angers me about them is that, with many coming from backgrounds similar to mine, these guys chose to go into a life of crime and did so in a way that is going to fuck things up for everyone, rich and poor, for a generation.
Their decision to rig the markets for their own benefit is going to cause other countries to completely lose confidence in the American economy, it will impact the dollar, and ultimately will make all of us involuntary debtors to whichever state we end up having to borrow from to bail these crimes out.
“Goldman Execs Blame anti-Semitism” for Negative Press About Their Looting, Pillaging, and Defrauding of the Country. And now they’re worried about an even bigger shit-storm coming when they hand out bonuses.
Yes, we all know anti-Semitism exists in the world. Those of us born Semites even smell it from time to time. It’s real. (For example, did you see this totally bizarre video from a Nevada Town Hall event?) But it’s also a pretty safe bet–damn near axiomatic, in fact–that when someone raises the anti-Semitism flag out of nowhere, and twirls it around like a coked-up majorette, time to reach for your wallet and make sure it’s still there. From one Jew to another, Lloyd Blankfein- go fuck yourself.
Charlie Gasparino’s Sympathy for Goldman, at Daily Beast.
Previous post at Giant with link to online copy of Matt Taibbi’s enormous piece on Goldman’s crimes, here.
Extra fun: my old boss, Alexander Cockburn’s “My Life as an ‘anti-Semite’.”