Slouching toward Wall St.

Here’s a line I’ve been waiting my whole life to use: Sorry I’m late today. I was polishing my screenplay.

Which is the truth. It appears “The Cemetery Precincts” is a go, and if we all lived in the same town, I’d invite you all to be zombie extras, but at the moment, finding locations is a more pressing concern. It’s true that everyone wants to be in showbiz, but with the real, paying showbiz all over Michigan at the moment, the no-budget hobbyist has to go to the end of the line. With the state currently offering filmmakers the highest rebate on money spent in production in the country, you can’t swing a cat without hitting Drew Barrymore smack in the face. Alan came across a sizable shoot on a bike ride the other day; they’d taken over a mansion on Windmill Point Drive down in the Park. I suspect this is “The Prince of Motor City,” a retelling of “Hamlet” set in the auto industry.

Anyway, they had streets blocked off. We’re just looking for a few places we can shoot guerrilla-style.

It was just as well that I was thinking of low-budget zombies and how to explain an uprising of the undead this weekend, because every time I thought of events in the real world, I felt like clawing someone’s throat out. At one point Saturday, as I waited at the gate for my flight home from St. Louis, watching CNN Headline News, we all watched a story about the federal bailout. A clip from our president featured him looking even more the dumb Irish setter than usual, and when he said, “It turns out the markets are interlocking,” lacing his fingers together for emphasis, I thought, How proud Harvard Business School must be of its most successful graduate. And I said, louder maybe than I’d intended to, “BullSHIT.” Up and down the row at the gate: Titters. Granted, maybe they were laughing at the crazy lady talking to the TV, but I like to think that if I’d risen from my seat, climbed up on it and said, “To the nearest federal building! Who’s with me?!” I’d have gotten a few followers. I don’t think Washington is quite aware of how incandescent the fury is out here in Deep Pockets-ville, and what will likely happen as a result, especially if stories like this

The financial crisis that began in the United States spread to many corners of the globe. Now, the American bailout looks as if it is going global, too, a move that could raise its cost and intensify scrutiny by Congress and critics. Foreign banks, which were initially excluded from the plan, lobbied successfully over the weekend to be able to sell the toxic American mortgage debt owned by their American units to the Treasury, getting the same treatment as United States banks.

…and this

Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it. Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

…become widely known and discussed. I’m also thinking that indemnify-the-CEOs stuff is a non-starter, too. But then, I’m an extremist; I advocate stripping them of their assets, and then their clothing, and sending them on a national tour of, say, Springsteen-size arenas, there to be chased through the rows and struck by audience members who will, further, jeer at their shriveled weenies. That sounds like justice to me. Or at least a good start.

You’ve probably seen this, which was going around this weekend, but if not, read and feed on the sweet, pure anger.

St. Louis was fine, if anyone wondered. After spending Friday night talking, I went over to my friends’ house to meet their new dog, who had moved in only hours before. She’s a skinny, undersized golden rescued from a puppy mill who nevertheless seems to be adjusting well. At eight months she’s unlikely to get too much bigger, but she’s got the blonde silky coat thing going on, and that’s all you can ask from a golden. Name’s Frankie. She came from an all-female litter, and they all were given men’s names. I called her Francesca, Francine, Francie, etc., which is what I do with my loved ones. My own pooch has more diminutives than a Russian novel, enough that it’s a wonder he answers to his own name at all. (Of course, he doesn’t anymore, but that’s because he’s deaf.) Saturday was spent touring the city — such a prosperous-looking place. I can’t figure if that’s because the local economy is strong or my eye’s been Detroit-ified; I suspect the latter. But the inner-ring neighborhoods are blossoming with money, and it was heartening to see. Not everyone wants to live in a subdivision. It’s nice to see a few reaching critical mass.

Not much bloggage today, but a question: Who let America’s aging sweetheart, a star beloved by all who know her, one possessed of the rare talent of sincerity and the ability to laugh at herself, wear this horrible dress to the Emmys? It doesn’t matter how skinny you are — past 70, a woman should wear a sleeve.

Happy Monday to all of you.

Posted at 11:22 am in Current events, Movies, Popculch |

26 responses to “Slouching toward Wall St.”

  1. LAMary said on September 22, 2008 at 11:50 am

    I remember Nancy Reagan wearing a sleeveless dress for one of the inaugural balls. Someone should have taken her aside as well.

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  2. Colleen said on September 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Yeah. We had the same sleeves discussion at our house, too.

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  3. coozledad said on September 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I yelled at the TV set for years, until my wife threw it away. Even when I’m at a noisy bar or restaurant, and the old chandelier swinger pops up to blow a few more spit bubbles at the public, my mouth starts working like I’ve got tardive dyskinesia. I guess when I’m finally incontinent, I’ll at least be able to express my feelings for these bastards in a more fitting manner.

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  4. Catherine said on September 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Urban Dictionary provided the definition for my driving behavior: It’s called Traffic Tourette’s. Probably I have TV Tourette’s too, but who has time for Fox News?

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  5. paddyo' said on September 22, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hey, Nancy, see if you can get MTM to come to Motown and play an undead in your guerrilla film production. That outfit, those shriveled limbs — yikes. Ghastly and sad at the same time. She could turn the world on with her smile, but all I could think of as I watched her Emmy turn last night was the old Cold War nuke-air-raid drill:
    Duck and (please!) COVER . . .

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  6. MichaelG said on September 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    And what’s the likelihood that the spineless Congressional Dems will actually hold out for real reforms before they hand Paulsen his blank check?

    Guess who the lobbyist for the foreign banks was. Right. Phil Gramm. The guy who dreamed up the current situation and Johnny Mac’s financial advisor and putative SecTreas if the election goes that way. Nobody could dream this shit up.

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  7. Gasman said on September 22, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I think that the “Shriveled Weeny Tour 2008” would be a huge success. I bet people would pay handsomely to be able to heap scorn and humiliation upon those that wrought this mess. I think Phil Gramm, W, and Mr. Maverick Deregulator himself – John McCain should be the headliners – so to speak.

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  8. moe99 said on September 22, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    A sobering look at the history behind this meltdown. Everyone should read this. Everyone.

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  9. LAMary said on September 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Phil Gramm has been a factor in the Enron mess, gas prices and now the economy tanking. What a guy. On behalf of the whole whiney nation, I extend a single finger salute to you, Phil.

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  10. Gasman said on September 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Phil Gramm was a Senator when I was doin’ time in Texas. At that time it was said that he was the most hated man in that venerable institution. He was so famously nasty that people in his own party were secretly sticking very big pins in their Phil Gramm dolls. Why the hell has McCain hitched his star to this thoroughly discredited shriveled old turd?

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  11. moe99 said on September 22, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    2 peas in a pod, GM?

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  12. LAMary said on September 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    The diminutives for pets in our house are many. Smokey is often “The Family Smokester.” Amelia the cat is “Mealy Worm.” Max, who is huge and scary but is actually wussy is “Maxine,” and Albert the cat is Albert’ as in Colbert Report.

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  13. LAMary said on September 22, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Take a look at this ad which is running in Colorado and New Mexico.

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  14. Dorothy said on September 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I thought the same thing about MTM. When she was on Letterman in the last year or so, she admitted that she is virtually blind due to her diabetes. Maybe she just isn’t able to see herself in the mirror?! Still…

    My son and his ex-fiance got a dog about a year ago and named her Frankie as well. It was taken from Franco Harris, former running back for the Steelers. This Frankie was a girl, however. The ex has her now. We do the doggie diminutives too. I thought everyone did!

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  15. John said on September 22, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I do doggie downers and an occasional puppy upper. But I draw the line at the hard stuff like doggie diminutives!

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  16. Jolene said on September 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    My lord, Mary, those ads are incredible! They certainly don’t hold back, do they?

    Someone should do an expose of the NRA. Not too long ago, I read an interview w/ someone who said that the organization had become all about the interests of the highly paid Washington staff and that everything they did involved manipulating their members to keep the lobbyists in business. Where is Morgan Spurlock?

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  17. Julie Robinson said on September 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    From a conversation yesterday with my very comfortably retired and very reliably Republican mother: “I’d just like to have 30 minutes alone in a room with George Bush so I can shake him. I have lost all confidence in that man.” She’s naturally suspicious of Chicago Democrats but keeps talking about how tired McCain looks. And the walls of Jericho come tumbling down.

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  18. alex said on September 22, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Doggie diminutives, oh do I have those. I call mine Foofie Dog because she’s such a frivolous creature. I also call her Poopy Dog because she’s brown, she’s a whiner and she pinches loaves the size of a human infant. And I’m starting to call her Booby Dog because she’s developing lipomas on her chest as big as lactating teats. The eyes are clouding too and the limbs are getting stiff and arthritic. And I’m gonna miss her when she’s gone.

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  19. brian stouder said on September 22, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    speaking of poopy-dogs, here’s a link to a story that we’ll be hearing lots more about.

    The money quote (literally) comes right at the start
    By David D. Kirkpatrick and Charles Duhigg

    updated 2:56 a.m. ET, Mon., Sept. 22, 2008
    Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say. Mr. McCain, the Republican candidate for president, has recently begun campaigning as a critic of the two companies and the lobbying army that helped them evade greater regulation as they began buying riskier mortgages with implicit federal backing. He and his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, have donors and advisers who are tied to the companies.”

    So, if he put his money into gold, he’s comes out smelling like a genuine turd-blossom! Here’s hoping he invested into those ninja mortgage loans.

    …and didja see Meredith Vierra reduce John McCain into a grease-spot today? He derided golden parachutes and corporate fat cats, and Vierra pointed out that Carly Fiorina got fired from HP and got a $45 million severance package(!!!). The undead old man’s response was that he wasn’t familiar with her compensation package; Vierra reiterated it, and said this is what she was paid, this was her golden parachute….and the candidate again said “I wouldn’t know about that”; and she pointed out that the company proceeded to lay of 20,000 employees; and the undead candidate blinked his beady black eyes and said “Again, I don’t know about that”.

    This struck me as simply obscene

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  20. moe99 said on September 22, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    My 11 year old black lab is Max, short for Maximum Puppy a number of years ago. His companion, is 5 year old Scooter (also known as Scootie), a miniature dachshund who rules the roost.

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  21. Gasman said on September 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    The Vieira dismantling of McCain:

    Who watches that interview and comes away thinking that this is the guy to fix the economy? McCain didn’t vet Palin and he sure as hell didn’t vet Fiorina. Last week, Fiorina said that McCain – as well as Palin, Obama, and Biden – wasn’t capable of being a CEO at a major corporation. There are about 20,000 former Hewlett Packard workers who would remind her that neither was she.

    Is there an issue that McCain is not clueless on? Is he paying his advisors or are they all volunteers? Honestly, it seems like the Keystone Cops are running the show at his campaign headquarters.

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  22. Suzi said on September 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Was this covered here yet?

    Vote thumbs up or down for Mrs. Palin.

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  23. crinoidgirl said on September 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Mark Buse, McCain’s chief of staff, was outed today.

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  24. Jolene said on September 22, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    The tape of the Viera interview is really something. The last word of the last sentence re his campaigning w/ Palin (“It’s been great.”) has an inflection that I’m pretty sure is not a sign of sincerity.

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  25. Gasman said on September 22, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    As for Mark Buse’s outing, normally I would say that a staffer’s sexual orientation is out of bounds. However, like Larry Craig, Buse has been closeted just enough that he could continue to toe the officially homophobic Republican party line. I’m not sure how he could in good conscience work against the interests of the GLBT community by being a staffer for McCain.

    McCain is hypocritical in that he openly endorses the homophobic stance of his party, yet sees fit to employ someone who would be denied healthcare and insurance benefits, hospital visitation rights, end of life decision making for a partner, adoption rights, and marriage if his party’s wishes are made law.

    McCain is doubly hypocritical for picking Sarah “Pray-the-Gay-Away” Palin as his running mate. I guess Sarah is praying at this very moment that Mr. Buse might receive a cure from a benevolent God. With any luck, Mr. Buse will be cured and the issue will go away!

    I guess that’s what McCain means by all that “Straight” Talk.

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  26. alex said on September 23, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Well, Gas, it also shows what little respect McCain actually has for his religious right constituents, let alone gays. He’s just an old-school phony politician all around. He doesn’t even know what he stands for from one day to the next. Not that it matters to a whole bunch of people who hear only what they want to hear.

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