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Showing posts from June 2, 2002
Remora As the Stock Market goes from pit to pit, Business Week surveys the passivity of Washington in the face of the various CEO-gates. And hey, we used the term, stupid as it is, first, understand? Don't tell Limited Inc that you get no value from perusing our humble pages. Anyway, that the Congress is about as competent as the D.C. Police Department is no big news. Why, after all, should we expect the fence to catch the burglar, or the pimp to join the vice squad? Congress, like the Mafia, is mainly a protection racket. It has so operated with regard to regulating the Accounting industry. Paid off, the Congressman's honor and future wealth depends on doing a good job aiding the looting of businesses by the higher managerial levels. Don't look to those eminent suits to bestir themselves anytime soon, unless... well, one should always remember that capital is not a unified thing -- it is a composite of opposing interests. Money might begin to flow from an entirely dif
Remora The Line, 2 In our last post, we made a few tentative jabs at thinking about the culture implications of a society in which the accumulation of wealth on the one side, and its absence on the other side, produces a gulf greater than that between, say, a Roman master and his slave. This is one of the great unthought ofs -- one of the unconscious features which plays its role in global culture. The promise of democracy is all hollowed out even as it is suavely announced by its spokesmen. For the Enlightenment ideal -- that one should be treated as an adult, and act like one -- depends on one being an adult human. The poor, though, are increasingly not. The suave spokesmen know it. One of the things that should be noted about this wealth gulf, one of the reasons we are bringing up the tedious Roman reference, is that we'd like you to ponder the historical uniqueness of our status situation. Ours, our time's. Let's count it out: the Roman master could acquire
Remora The line (part 1) Paul Krugman's column about the compensation packages for top executives at top corporations is a brief but pointed overview of the last twenty five years. From the beginning of the eighties, the post-world war II corporation (best described by Galbraith in New Industrial State) was systematically de-structured. In its place was put the faux entrepeneurial organization of today -- one that rewards the CEO, and the top tier of management, in gross disproportion to their actual value to the company. The rewards include not only outright salary, but, of course, the notorious stock option packages, the loans at no interest, the loans, even, that don't have to be paid back -- as seems to have been the case at Adelphia. Krugman approaches this phenomenon from the standpoint of the economic theory that promoted it -- the standard theory, as taught in business school. After major corporations were loaded with debt in the 80s takeover frenzy, they had no c
Remora "For decades he was the chief justice of the film industry�fair, tough-minded, and innovative. I feel that all of us have lost our benevolent godfather," director Steven Spielberg said. Not many people know Lew Wasserman's name. But there is a reason that the NYT devoted more space to his obit than they did to Stephen Jay Gould's. There's also a reason Spielberg uses the term godfather, with its perilous overtone. Or so certain writers -- Nick Tosches, Dan Moldea -- think. Among other of his contributions to the Republic, Wasserman made Ronald Reagan. It was entirely appropriate that the LA Times feature a photo of the two together. Of course, there's a backstory to that. The LATimes delicately touches on the subject -- much to my surprise, I must confess: "MCA's far-reaching power in entertainment and politics led to its nickname, "The Octopus," and Wasserman's critics argued that he sometimes abused his power. In
Remora Limited Inc is a vain guy. When we walk pass shop windows, we always shoot glances at our pale accompanying reflection. We relish our wittier sallies, and we are completely depressed when the smallest typographic blot spoils our copy. Our vanity is pervasive, perverse, and even (all too often) takes the place of a conscience. Yes, sometimes, sometimes we try to generate a conscience, and then we wonder if anyone has noticed. This, then, is the warning on the label: narcissism ahead. Because here it is: we are going to recommend a site that sometimes, when we are good, recommends us: the Enigmatic Mermaid . This site is written by an extraordinarily literate spirit. By literate, we don't mean she knows how to reference the sacred names. We mean she realizes that writing is an extension of passion, an embodiment of desire that is certainly as intense as a personal relationship because it has exactly the same characteristics of positioning yourself vis a vis a lover, a
Remora It has been suggested that LI prove its Turkophilic credentials by commenting on the outrageous robbery of the Turkish soccer team in the World Cup. Apparently the Korean referee made a very dumb call against Turkey, which allowed Brazil a game winning kick. LI would gladly bitch and moan, but... we not only didn't see the game, we don't fully, uh, understand the game. Especially on the intricate level of what is and what is not a penalty. You kick a ball into a net, that's what we know. So, turning to matters of less grave import --say the impending nuclear doom of millions -- we'd recommend a few articles on Kashmir today. The Far Eastern Economic Review has a nice background article on the Kashmir "insurgency." It runs down the list of politicians who want an independent role for Kashmir -- or an adherence to Pakistan. The latter seems to LI like a truly insane desire, rather like trying to swim from the lifeboat to the Titanic. But there