Wall Street villain Gordon Gekko is planned to return in a new sequel, entitled, er, “Wall Street 2” and set to follow Gekko as he is released from prison just in time to get involved in the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. Hopefully he’ll get a new cell phone. Unfortunately, he’s also getting a new sidekick… Shia LaBeouf. Groan.
Wall Street is, in my opinion, Oliver Stone’s best movie, and a critical text of American literature and film. Watch it back to back with “American Psycho” to understand the sociopathic mentality that drives the axle of America’s wheel. Screenwriter Stanley Weiser took an incredibly complex world and made it seem storybook-simple; probably the kind of thing Americans need now to make sense of the “what the f—- just happened??” factor.
One thing that struck me, in reading about the original Wall Street, was multiple quotes from Stanley Weiser saying how many people had approached him over the years telling him that Gordon Gekko had inspired them to go into investment trading. Having known a few real-life Gekkos, and also more than a few people (of the younger generation) who took Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” as their own personal life paragon, it seems that, well, people love bad guys… and also seem incapable of understanding satire.
Stanley Weiser, screenwriter of the original film, has complained that real-life traders looked on Gekko as more of a hero than a villain.
“After so many encounters with Gekko admirers or wannabes I wish I could go back and rewrite the greed line to this: ‘Greed is good. But I’ve never seen a Brinks truck pull up to a cemetery,’” he said last year.
I wonder how many of the people who f’ed the country this time around were living out their own private Oliver Stone fantasy?
Today’s NYT brings a pretty clear-headed look at—sorry—budding cable access show Cannabis Planet, and suggests how, along with Weeds and Pineapple Express, it’s yet another sign of marijuana’s mainstreaming:
Intrepid reporter, Max Blumenthal takes his camera to the streets as tens of thousands of highly suggestible Caucasians protest… um…whatever it is that they’re protesting. Some hilarious, albeit disturbing, moments here. I especially liked the guy with the “dipers” sign, it’s a stone classic of idiocy, even for this type of event.
Jason Louv hipped me to the fact that Tea Baggers and Birthers seem to be the adult(?) versions of—are you ready for this—THE JUGGALOS!!
How very, very true. That slayed me! See for yourself:
Dangerous Minds pal Charles Hugh Smith has posted another must-read essay at Of Two Minds:
I just Googled “demand exhaustion” and came up with an obscure real estate paper from South Korea. Therefore I am claiming the right to coin this phrase as a general description of the end-state of global over-capacity and the saturation of U.S. consumer “demand” for more stuff.
Classic economic theory holds that consumer “demand” is insatiable and can never be completely filled. While that is true of the FEW resources (food, energy and water) and essential items which eventually wear out like say, tires, the “demand” for everything else appears to be largely artificial now, an urge prompted by relentless advertising and the accessibility of instant credit for more purchases (credit cards).
How much of the “demand” is organic, that is, flows from human desires for additional comfort and amusement? It could be argued that all of this is “organic demand”—or in the case of the dog bed and treats, “projected demand” (since the beloved pet probably would be just as happy or even happier with an old pillow and blanket).
On the other hand, it could also be argued that the returns on investment are increasingly marginal for most of these consumer goods. How much comfort and amusement can you wring from a second or third TV or your 40th shirt? How about that spa which gets used less and less as time marches on? Shall we label this “marginal demand” because the returns are increasingly marginal?
Duncan Laurie is one of the world’s foremost experts on the “forbidden science” of radionics. Some of you may recall Duncan from the Disinformation TV show. He’s the genteel mad scientist/artist from Jamestown, Rhode Island who looks like Harrison Ford and who works in laboratory housed in a glass building. In 2000 I recorded an interview with Duncan where he demonstrated the subtle energy exchange between plants and his mind-blowing collection of radionics devices. Fascinating stuff. He’s an amazing person with an amazing mind. Besides being an artist, Duncan designs all manner of radionic devices himself, such as radionic socks that make wishes come true—you walk around on the radionic circuitry printed on the socks—and a Purr Generator that utilizes the healing properties of a cat’s purr and amplifies these healing properties electronically to help people relax and lower blood pressure. I read an earlier draft of this book about five years ago and it was thrilling to read about Duncan’s unorthodox discoveries then and I eagerly await reading The Secret Art.
What is The Secret Art? The history of radionics is the story of how various inventors designed devices that employ directed intent to affect the real world. With these tools, they promoted healing without pills or surgery, grew crops without fertilizer, restrained insect predation without pesticides, and performed a host of other seemingly impossible feats that defy mechanistic science. The Secret Art traces this astonishing process beginning with early art designs suggestive of radionic intent. For many prehistoric and indigenous peoples, art was also a means of interacting with Nature to enhance healing, increase crop yields, and enable visionary experiences. Coincidentally, radionic inventors discovered by trial and error that even drawings and bizarre technology could function radionically. This discovery followed a long process of design innovation that started with mechanical devices, proceeded through a generation of electronic instruments, and most recently has been applied to computer and software technology. Conceivably, the theory and techniques outlined in this book could provide artists with a revolutionary approach to the creative process that is at once both new and timeless. A potential exists today for radionic ideas to empower creative individuals to develop skills in working with Nature that achieve profound real world results.
In honor of the passing of Mr. Jim Carroll, I found an interview with him that I did one month after 9/11, in Saratoga, CA, at a reading from Void of Course. In it, he discusses the effect of the WTC bombing on life and art. Originally published October 24, 2001.
Jason Louv: A lot of your work, especially your diaries, have been about NY and living in it and being a part of it as a city. Are recent events going to affect your work at all?
Jim Carroll: Yes. Yes. I mean it changes my past work, it changes everybody’s past work. But everybody’s work is always changed, with every new book that a person writes. You look at a person who maybe influenced that person in a different way you know? You know when Beckett started writing, we looked at Joyce’s books differently. But, when something like this happens, the psyche of America is changed, you better believe that it changes things. You know, I say in The Basketball Diaries, “I know now that I want to be a writer, I feel it stronger each day.” Then I say that I want to have my writing powerful enough so that one day I’ll write a book that’s 8 pages long, and everytime you turn the page a different section of the Pentagon will explode. Solid.