Consumer Cult

Live Like An Imaginary Millionaire

I was looking at Groupon or Living Social or one of those sites the other day, and I found one for the “getaway” deal that gave you a room at a fancy-ass hotel in South Beach for $999, which is a ton of money for a Groupon — but it also came with a Lamborghini rental for the night.

I couldn’t find that offer when I looked for it just now, but apparently that’s kind of a thing — “Lamborghini Groupon” or “Lamborghini Living Social” each turn up a handful of results around the country. Some of them are for $99 half-hour rentals, which actually make a certain amount of sense to me: Say you’re a car person, but you know you’ll never in your life afford something like that. For a hundred bucks, you can at least get the experience of driving one. But the $500-$1,000 overnight rentals? That shit is ridiculous. It is a Lamborghini. The only point of driving one around at night is the most conspicuous of conspicuous consumptions. If you pull up to the club in your rented Lamborghini that you bought with a Groupon, and you don’t order bottle service or buy drinks for the entire bar, you have just told everyone that you got that car with a Groupon. Sorry, Jean-Ralphio, you might as well put a big green “G” decal on the back window. Read More »

Career Opportunities

The Lawyer Who Wanted To Be A Writer

Lawyers seated on chairs (not shown) made of gold Sacajawea coins.

A future law school grad (who also happened to be a Juggalo) emailed me the other day: “I am graduating law school in [a] few months but don’t want to bury my life in briefs. Instead, I’d rather write. Any advice?”

Hmm. My initial mental reaction was fatherly (which tends to happen, especially when you’re an anxiety-ridden father): “Shit son, you got L-O-A-N-S to pay back, and swapping blogroll links or shoveling shit off the floor of a content mill can barely sustain life, let alone Ivy League debts. Follow the money, and by that I mean: BECOME A FUCKING LAWYER. Be a rich asshole. Snort coke off a stripper’s leg and buy cars just so you can set them on fire. Sail yachts. Buy caviar and throw it away. Dine out three times a day and invest in gold. Always have the latest smart phone, TV, car, swords, helicopters, whatever (I don’t know what rich people covet, I’m poor, because I’M A WRITER!), and buy drinks for all your friends. NEVER USE A COUPON. Leave all the lights on in your house(s), apartment(s), condo(s), and vacation home(s). Punch a nun, bribe a cop (in that order). Donate to hopeless political candidates. Make paper airplanes out of $100 bills, launch them from the window of your corner office. Live by a set of rules I will never understand. Do whatever you want because, well, you’d be rich enough to raise hell and qualified to lawyer your way out of any/all legal pickles. And anyhow, who becomes a writer nowadays?” Read More »

Reading Room

A Belated Review Of Anita Hill’s Autobiography

Non-wisdom of Biden: "Oh, kiddo, I wish this wasn’t happening to you.”

So, finally, after owning it since I think 1999 (Myopic $8.99) and even putting it out in the 2-hour garage sale — it had been a decade and still it languished unread! — I went and fished Anita Hill’s Speaking Truth To Power out of the box in the garage and WHAT A PAGE TURNER. I read 174 pages in one sitting and she is so straight ahead and lawyerly and yet it is so dishy and also IT WILL MAKE YOU HATE ARLEN SPECTOR MORE THAN YOU ALREADY DO. She makes some asides about Joe Biden’s fake smile. HE CALLED HER “KIDDO.” As in the night before the senate hearings he calls her and says “Oh, kiddo, I wish this wasn’t happening to you,” when she, like the fucking Yale grad legal scholar she is, is pressing him for how the proceedings are going to go and how her statement is going to be used and no one will tell her straight and Biden lies to her and also decides the next day that since it’s an “extraordinary” session, there will be no rules or protocol or standards adhered to and that Clarence Thomas, because he is already confirmed as a justice, will be given “the benefit of the doubt” so that the word of anyone else is not considered equally. Read More »

From The Margins

How Stevie Wonder’s ESP Intensified

August 6, 1973: John Wesley Harris' wrecked rental car.

“Well, I think he’d always had some awareness of the spiritual side of life. But the accident really brought it to the surface,” said Michael Sembello. “Like now I know he really sees and uses every concert as the spiritual opportunity it is, to reach people… The accident made him recognize God, it changed him a lot. Sometimes he’d just drift off in conversation, he’d just… be some place else. He got really intense after the accident, his ESP got really strong.”

For context on Stevie Wonder’s car accident on August 6, 1973, a visit to Spinning Soul is recommended: “Three days after the release of his monumental Innervisions album, the singer’s cousin, John Wesley Harris was put in charge of driving him in a rented sedan to a benefit concert near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After a stop at Radio Shack, Wonder used his reel-to-reel tape to listen on headphones to a two-track mix of Innervisions. Harris, who was following a 1948 Dodge flatbed truck, became distracted. Unknown to the blind Wonder, the car shot under the flatbed, smashing through the passenger’s side windshield and striking him on the side of the head.” Read More »

Cash Rules Everything

Rise Of The Son Of Ponzi

Dad may be doing a 150-year bid at a federal correctional facility in Butner, North Carolina, but Andrew Madoff (i.e., Son of Ponzi) is on the media circuit, hustling a tell-all style book. Read More »