Dwarf tossing on Wall Street

dwarf tossingI saw the movie Wolf of Wall Street yesterday. At three hours, it is too long. Scorsese could have made a better, shorter movie. But to the issue at hand, some relatives of ours, very nice and conservative in outlook, were troubled by both the sex scenes and the manner in which Wall Street is portrayed as a drug-infested psychopathic amusement park.

This is not a movie review. There are hundreds of them out there for you, and man do I miss Roger Ebert at times like this. I either sought his opinion out before deciding what to see, or after a movie just to see what I missed.

Scorsese bases the movie on the book of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are over-the-top throughout. Wall Street brokers are portrayed as boiler-room hucksters, and are all getting high not only on Quaaludes and cocaine, but also conquest. Every now and then someone in the movie has a legitimate moral qualm. But there is really only one rule: they do not rat on each other.

There is full frontal female nudity throughout, and Skinemax-like simulated copulation. That is a nice relief from the intense psychological violence of the boiler room scenes. For that reason alone I would put the movie on our TV screen as I play Angry Birds on the iPad. I have excellent side vision, and instantly know when those scenes are on.

And here is my backdrop, which I did not share with our relatives: The psychopathic personality is not satisfied with the ordinary joys of life – making things, working daily toward long-term goals, love and relationships or even caring about others in general. Consequently, life for them is pursuit of thrills, adrenalin rushes. They do not know fear, and so are found climbing mountains, sky diving, preaching from a high pulpit – anything that gives them a rush. They are drawn to the world of finance for the quick score, laughing when their victims realize they’ve been had. That’s conquest, the ultimate thrill.

I think Scorsese went for the jugular here, as he has probably seen it himself throughout his career. But there is very little physical violence, unlike his mobster films. Instead, he’s going after the real criminals in silk suits and Italian loafers.

No major Wall Street investment firms were harmed in the making of his movie. After the most recent bubble, no one went to jail. They are now busy re-inflating our next nightmare.

More fun below fold, right out of Scorsese’s world.

It is not just Wall Street, but any trading forum that draws these actors from the ranks of the ordinary. This is a transcript of a famous recording of Enron traders during the run-up of prices during California electrical deregulation last decade:

Four years after California’s disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, Enron energy traders can be heard gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on, and cash-in on, the Western power crisis.

“He [Ken Lay*] just fucks California,” says one Enron employee. “He steals money from California to the tune of about a million.”

“Will you rephrase that?” asks a second employee.

“OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day,” replies the first.

The tapes, from Enron’s West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.

“If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?” an Enron worker is heard saying.

“Oh, it’s not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let’s put it that way,” another says.

“Well, why don’t you just go ahead and shut her down.”

Snohomish County, near Seattle, is trying to get money back from Enron at the time of the recording.

“They’re fucking taking all the money back from you guys?” complains an Enron employee on the tapes. “All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?”

“Yeah, grandma Millie, man”

“Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you’ve charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for fucking $250 a megawatt hour.”

Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.

“It’d be great. I’d love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy,” says one Enron worker.

“When this election comes Bush will fucking whack this shit, man. He won’t play this price-cap bullshit.”

  • “We will not take any action that makes California’s problems worse and that’s why I oppose price caps,” said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.

Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes. Enron’s lawyers argued they merely prove “that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnacle Bill the Sailor.”

*Someone really ought to investigate Lay’s conveniently timed death followed by cremation. That will never happen, of course, but alternatives to the official story are that he is still alive or that he was murdered. He did, after all, have close ties to the Bush family, opening all possibilities.

15 thoughts on “Dwarf tossing on Wall Street

  1. Good post. Stick to what you do best. Why the hell do you have to go after Norma? I don’t get it. Are YOU the psychopath? Just wondering.


    1. Are you nuts? (That’s rhetorical.) Norma is mean as a mother skunk, and stupid to boot. But that doesn’t matter. She only needs to leave other people alone. She should do what you do – comment, and then when no one answers, comment again, and again, and again and again.

      Now, get outta here.


    2. hey Larry, Don won’t let one of my comments out of moderation, so I might as well address you here.

      you are a joke, and no one takes you seriously. whatever value you think you contribute in that diluted drunken noggin of yours is undermined by the sad, desperate frequency of your “comments”.

      I hope you get out on hikes and enjoy yourself away from the computer because whatever accomplishments you’ve made are in the past. it should say something that people who don’t usually agree with Mark and I agree that your presence at the Cowgirl is a net-negative.


      1. I have a hard time understanding why some people think that their opinion is more valid than someone else’s. You see, I rarely engage in attacks on other lefties unless they attack me first. I simply can’t understand the need to attack other Dems or lefties who are not public figures. We all come from different backgrounds, we all have different experiences in life. I’ve lived a long and varied life. I have many valuable experiences that shape my opinions. ie. Vietnam, growing up with the WWII generation as mentors, living through all the struggles of the sixties, struggling to eke out an existence in Montana, watching all the land I loved being destroyed, watching the assassination of our leaders and dreamers, and them being replaced by the criminal element, the rise of the CIA, the destruction of our work forces, etc., are just a few. I come by opinions honestly. Do you? That’s all I ask of anyone. Allow me my opinions, and I’ll do the same. But attack me for them, and I just might fire back. For you see, I don’t speak for you, and you don’t speak for me.

        Mark and I share many of the same opinions, but he comes at his from a different background. Many times he’s very insightful, and that’s why I read his site.


        1. Larry, have you been paying attention to what Democrats have accomplished under Clinton and Obama? Neoliberals, IMHO, are more dangerous than neoconservatives, that’s the hard truth partisan hacks like Don can’t accept.

          my coming of age was 9/11. in our new political climate, Democrats support a president who should be impeached for multiple violations of the constitution, like going to war in Libya, dropping bombs across the globe, and allowing the NSA to spy on virtually every American.

          your commentary is simply a waste of time, Larry. at least right now it’s early enough that you aren’t obviously intoxicated.


          1. Lizard, there’s a whole lot of recent history that you missed. I guess you had to be there. It’s hard for you younger folks to fully understand, but there really was a different America when I was a kid. And a different landscape too. And it was better, except for the blacks, etc. And all the points you mention? Well, it didn’t have to be this way! And those of us who lived through it understand that better than most. THAT is why I’m so angry. Again, I mention books that I recommend. I would start by reading JFK and the Unspeakable for a little history on when it all started. And also The Family by Jeff Sharlett. And the Beast Reawakens by Marin Lee. All good history books that explain a bit of how we arrived here.

            You see, the John Birch Society, one of the goofiest movements in our history, is now mainstream! Unbelievable. Oh, and I know that Mark disagrees, but once we really did have some good people in the press. All that’s gone now.


            I drink to forget.


        2. I don’t get a whole lot of listening in your internet presence, otherwise you’d stfu now and then and take a back seat. I don’t get much truth-seeking either, otherwise there’d be an unanswered “why?” in your mind now and then.

          The average comprehension level for an American is fifth-grade level. I was watching CBS evening news recently and noticed that the news reader was speaking in that manner, trying to make everything very simple and understandable. There is no nuance, contradiction, conflicting objectives. It’s all black and white. The tone was a parent speaking to his children.

          In your comment above you tried to come off as an adult who is experienced and wise and understanding of the flow of events. But you’ve got no sense of the depth of history, the true complexity of what passes by. You obviously think that public opinion, party membership, elections and news are real events rather than staged affairs for the benefit of the fifth graders. You’re unaware that we never get to a satisfying destination, that it just keeps getting deeper and deeper, that the search for truth does not stop at some pivotal crime, but keeps on. You were blown away that I could think that the people who shot JFK did so for what they regarded as a noble purpose. When we peer into that world, it’s easy to be judge and jury, but it also helps to try and understand that world. You’re very shallow and are, of course, the last to know.

          Your preachy attitude towards Lizard is highly offensive, as he is modest and never assumes he’s figured it out. He’s miles above you.


          1. WTF? You’re deliberately hiding in the bushes, being evasive. You know some ugly truths about how you are perceived. This is what I meant when I said at ID that you do have some self-awareness in your boozy existence. I would venture that this is why you drink – not to forget, but to avoid the mirror.

            James Douglass in his book’s acknowledgement offered thanks to many people and I recognized a couple of names. I thought “Can it be? Nah.” Later I learned from my aunt that this was indeed a cousin of mine. I contacted her, and even as we had barely known each other growing up, instantly had common ground. She is in contact with him and reviews his manuscripts. He is working now on other historical events. I feel a connection there, even though I’m just lucky to be her cousin. He’s a modest man of sincere purpose and pure heart. I explained to my cousin my background, that JFK had forced me to pierce the insulation given me by my teachers and movies and news and books, and begin to search for truth. That is the ONLY use now for his death – a portal.

            What comes across in your noisy writing is a high sense of moral superiority. There’s also nostalgia, which is a gross distortion of the past. When I said that those who killed JFK might have acted on higher purpose, it knocked the moral arrogance out of you, and you predictably attacked me. It’s pretty much all you’ve got right now. I took away for reason for existence. You quickly retreated to your boozy shell.

            Environmental Rangers? Are there more than one? Is it some flaky residue of Earth First!? Are you aware that EF! was a PSYOP, designed to undermine decent and morally upright environmentalists? Are you aware that when you threaten violence, you undermine the work of thousands of serious and sober activists? Do you even begin to comprehend what a disruptive force you are? How bad you make others look?

            No. You’re not aware of much at all. That boozy haze around you insulates you, gives you false righteousness. If you come out of it, you’ll find a difficult world out here where it is very hard to comprehend and lay claim to high ground. Better to soak in your suds. You’re pathetic.

            Or as your friend Norma would say, your pathetic.


          1. craig, over at CG, all mark does is repeat the same old schtick, dems and pubbies bad. Here on his own site, he actually attempts to write intelligently. He’s always pretty much original. That’s the problem I have with your writing. Nothing is ever original. It’s all cut and paste. And that gets very boring. The really good stuff is original.

            And I don’t hate mark. He and I will never be friends I’m sure. And his brother used to write some very good stuff in the newspapers long ago. That’s where I first heard the name, in the Billings Gazette. In fact, once many years ago, I even called his brother and complimented him on his environmental writing.


          2. You are sooooo dense. No commenter gets to choose the topic put forth by the blog. Everyone starts from that point. There is nothing more repetitive than CG posts that start with Dems good and R’s bad. That’s it, nothing more than than. Now following such broken record posts are your equally dull repetitive applause remarks over those repetitive posts. To pretend you are fresh and insightful you merely add over-the-top insults to your same boring political hosannas.


          3. Everyone repeats the same themes, including you. People complain about repetitiveness when the problem is that it hits too close to home. I get most annoyed with this stuff when people say things about me that are true. You’ve not. Democrats and Republicans are the same party serving different factions, and there is plenty of evidence to support that notion. Follow the money. Same people behind both parties. How can you continually ignore that?

            Cowgirl, however, is not being thoughtful, but rather is keeping the base occupied. She knows you are all scared of the other party, and especially the Tea Party, and so hits hard on those themes. Pogie is a tad more thoughtful but is Dems all the way at the end of the day. That’s highly repetitive. Why does my repetition of a theme bother you then?

            By the way, and too funny, my brother had perhaps two articles published in the Gazette over the years. He never wrote for the Gazette. That was me. Too funny.


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