Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 Field Guide For Shameless Wall Street Types

1. If the US government gives you $20 billion dollars to keep your business solvent, do not spend it on jets, office furnishings, parties or bonuses for your butt buddies. This is your first and final warning.

2. The days of wine and roses are officially over. Welcome to the Value Menu Years! FYI – the menu selections rarely change. Memorize them all to save time when placing an order (Jr. hamburger, parfait, 3 chicken nuggets, fried hair or a small orange soda). Easy!

3. If you have been ripped-off by Bernie Madoff it means that you can probably afford to take a hit, because he didn’t play pissant, rinky-dink, Little People games. Surely you must have been somebody once! Still upset? My mother is available to give you something to really cry about. By all means – ask for a demo with her tomato stick. I dare you.

4. If you are a CEO of a company that did not receive as much TARP money as your peers, it is because your peers screwed it up for everyone. If you were to look up your peers in the phone book, knock on their doors and punch them all in the neck, who am I to judge? Have at it.

5. While your wife is recovering from her last Botox injection for a long time, have her snip supermarket coupons from the Sunday newspaper. These coupons can be traded for a discount on food items or used as a trendy alternative for expensive toilet tissue. It’s the latest thing.

NEXT WEEK: Sign up for my latest seminar, STFU And Make Me Some Money. We will discuss the ways you will earn money without abusing your secretary and staff. Yes, it can be done! Get tips on downsizing your estate without looking like you're from Alabama or New Jersey. Also, learn how to bake a Humble Pie. Mmmm!

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 30, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire's Children

The makers of feel-good hit Slumdog Millionaire are trying to mitigate a controversy regarding the compensation paid to the child actors in the film. Director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson are taking a beating in the press after it was discovered how little the children earned in comparison to the film’s success.

Slumdog has earned about $43 million so far, and it cost only $15 million to make. In Hollywood terms $15 million is what people pay for parking, not for an entire movie (one of the many reasons why this movie is extra-special).

It has been reported that the children in Slumdog earned between $1,000 and $2,400 dollars, though Boyle and Colson will not confirm the amount.

The official explanation:
In their statement, Boyle and Colson said the production took special care to look after the children's welfare, paying for their elementary and secondary schooling (neither child had been educated before) since last June, covering their basic living costs (including health care and emergencies) and establishing "a substantial lump sum" payment for college tuition that will be distributed to the young boy and girl "when they complete their studies."
Fox SearchLight said:
For 30 days' work, the children were paid three times the average local adult salary. . . . We are extremely proud of this film, and proud of the way our child actors have been treated.
Slumdog was supposed to go straight to DVD and break even. Then someone at the head office stopped counting their money long enough to actually see the movie. One can only imagine how that played out. It’s not every day that something beyond magnificent pops out of fifteen million Hollywood dollars.

Boyle and Colson, bless them, gave us a movie that is - in my world – as close to perfect as it gets. From what I’ve heard, they are good and decent people trying to do right by the children who made the movie soar (because without those kids, half of the movie would be missing). Still, it bothers me that the 8 year-olds from their movie are living in squalor.

I realize that the kids made more money than anyone in their Mumbai neighborhood last year, but that’s nothing Fox Searchlight should be proud of when you consider that everyone on the block lives under a plastic tarp, next to open sewers.

Modest trust funds have been set up for the children. They will receive it when they “complete their studies”. How may children actually finish their education while growing up on a mud puddle in the Third World? These kids might make it because of recent press but only if Boyle, Colson, Fox Searchlight and everyone who saw this movie cares what people are saying about Slumdog ten years from now.

You and I could have a spirited discussion about fairness versus justice, regarding the children’s salaries. But I would tell you, in all fairness to the big picture, justice is not being served.

There's something else. I’ve been wondering if the Hollywood dealmakers are warming their hands by the trash can fires of the latest Slumdog news. They have a vested interest in making expensive movies that cost much more than $15 million. It’s not good for business when someone else can do a better job for half the money, Salim.

I want this movie to win the Oscar and it would be terrific if the happy ending can reverberate throughout the lives of everyone involved with Slumdog. I would be thrilled beyond repair if the movie did not end here, but I know that reality often trumps a dream. For a little while, Slumdog made me think the opposite can happen. For that much I am grateful.

If you have not seen this movie, you should.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama Presents Package To Republicans

President Obama spent Tuesday trying to convince House Republicans to support his enormous economic stimulus package. The president has been very eager to gain Republican cooperation, while most Democrats are wondering why he even bothers. It’s not like we actually need those people. What we have here is a failure to understand the Freudian symbolism involved. Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.

Personally, I wouldn’t leave my purse unattended around those House Republicans. They advocate the Robin Hood In Reverse doctrine, in that giving to the rich and taking from the poor is preferred. What does Obama see in them that is not repulsive? Shouldn’t he be shaming Republicans into submission or something?

I was thinking this over while I was researching another project and stumbled across an article about Sigmund Freud, the anal theorist and phallically obsessed founder of modern psychology. Poop was important to Freud, but penises ran the show. That is when I realized Pres. Obama was exercising his (conscious or unconscious) desire to make his enemies behold his presidential penis.

Apparently, Obama’s penis is so massive that it requires more than Democratic hands to hold it aloft. He leaves his detractors with the choice to support his manhood or be deprived of it. Ah-ha! Now we are getting somewhere. Penis Politics! For some reason, I am reminded of medieval armor and those intimidating codpieces.

It might look like Obama is asking for Republicans to love his money. He really wants them to admire his package. It helps that white male Republicans are not lesbians.

Oh, don’t worry. Obama will get his package delivered.

I’m having so much fun with this new administration that I can’t stand myself.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ello Guvnah

I live in Chicago, but I’m from New York. Gee, could it be possible that I am a bit biased if I equate gubernatorial positions with as much esteem as I would offer a sack of hot garbage on a July afternoon?

Gov. David Paterson of NY, Blago of IL on The View, and Ah-nold still in Ca-li-forn-ia. Then there is Gov. Sarah Palin, who cannot articulate her way out of a freakin’ igloo, landing a book deal worth $11 million smackers. If that’s not the icing on top of the crap cake, what is?

Tell you what. How about I just shove a chopstick in my eye and swirl it around in my brainpan until I pass out?

Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mojopoll: Obamanation Has Love Hangover

A recent Mojopoll indicated that residents of Obamanation are in the throes of a love hangover. If there's a cure for this, we don't want it. According to me, my readers hate war as much as they love diplomacy. It means that everyone on this page is brilliant, thoughtful and interesting. Good on you, people!

In addition to this warm plate of smarts and sensibility, readers of Mojopost are crazy for Michelle Obama. It totally explains why the entire US is glad our Mr. President had unprotected sex with his wife and made two lovely babies. You people are nothing like self-loathing, bathroom cruising Republicans. As far as I can tell, none of you would shoot your friend in the face, either. Yes, of course you can borrow my car. Anytime, pal!

This week’s Mojopoll is about the economy, because it’s going to be hard to extend the Obama honeymoon unless we can get the money thing figured out. Most couples argue about finances – Benjamins are required for a harmonious union. When the money runs tight, no one gets along.

What can we do to save the economy? The poll is on your right, and it’s a multiple-choice venture. Choose as many answers as you like. Have better ideas? List them in the comment section, below.

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BlagoVision: Monday Media Blitz Scheduled

Blago has hired Drew Peterson’s PR firm (because the Hillside Strangler’s publicist was busy). Drew Peterson is an ex-cop from Illinois. His second-to-last wife “drowned” in an empty bathtub and the last one has been missing for over a year. Drew has been a popular talk show guest because of his notoriety, and that is why you will enjoy some Blago on Good Morning America, The View and Larry King Live this coming Monday.

Tampa-based firm Publicity Agency is always looking for new talent. If you or someone you know is holding the crap end of a public scandal, please contact Publicity Agency immediately for representation. First time callers will receive a complimentary 24-hour media blitz.

Expect Larry King to receive many irate callers, a Shrillfest at The View and plenty of furrowed brows sagging over important-looking glasses on Good Morning America. If this doesn’t make you want to throw up your entire face, I don’t know what will.

Oh how I miss the modest din of supermarket tabloids.

Bookmark and Share