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Was I missing something?

1589 Views 28 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  orconn
Last evening my wife commandeered my usual TV to watch the red carpet parade at the Academy Awards. Since I was to lazy to move away from this situation, I happened to catch several of the interviews with this year's batch of lovelies. Now maybe it was "lowT" or some other health issue but I found the women on display to be in the "nice looking, but no cigar" category rather than the "vava-voom!" category of some years past. Now I am no avid watcher of this annual Hollywood public relations fest, but on those occasions when I have sat through at least part of these usually hum-drum affairs I have at least been titillated by some pretty fine looking women. Not so last night, it was one lady after another who looked as though she had forgotten something, something to perk up her otherwise dull dress or in some cases "misadventures" in fashion.

I am not fan of the snotty Lara Spencer ( recently re-elevated from the "Antiques Roadshow" to "Good Morning America." but I have to admit she was about as good as it got last night. For goodness sake, some of the male talents mothers were better turned out and made a better impression than the lackluster candidates for Oscars!

After about half an hour of this mediocre show of Hollywood's pulchritude I got back on the web hoping that my pulse would get back up to normal.

I was interrupted about 10:30 EST when my wife came in to tell me an old friend, Hal Needham, had been honored with an Honorary Oscar" for his lifetime contributions to the industry. About time, he was the most profitable Director in Hollywood during the late seventies and most of the eighties. His movies may not have been artistic triumphs, but they sure raked in the cash and didn't cost much to make. A lot people don't know of all the technical developments that he either developed or underwrote, not just in the area of stunt work but in the areas of camera platforms and lighting. So my congratulations to Hal, an honor much deserved!
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Wow. Hal Needham is a legend. I did not watch any of that smug Hollywood festival of self-adulation, but it is good to know Hal garnered that accolade. You must run in some intriguing and fascinating social circles, orconn!
In addition to the current stars' hypocrisy, these quixotic and delusional imbeciles actually believe the crap they produce is of untold benefit to the Western canon and mankind. They are bereft of any intellectual heft or gravitas, yet hold the fatuous belief they are on par with the likes of Jonas Salk, Alexander Fleming, Mother Teresa, J.S. Bach, Audie Murphy, etc. Hollywood is truly the cesspool of dirty, self-adulating philistines.
Orconn, that must have been a great time and era for your profession. Was it relatively tame or an "anything goes" 24/7 atmosphere of hedonism and endless wealth?

I've read interesting books on high finance and investment banks including The House of Morgan, Barbarians at the Gate, and Inside Out. Moreover, I was fascinated by some of the early junk bond players and the firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert. I think the unraveling humbled Michael Milken, Dennis Levine and Ivan Boesky.

After college, I tried in earnest to gain positions with Goldman Sachs, Wasserstein Perella, and Warburg Dillon Read. I was interested in LBOs and the sell-side of M&As. Unfortunately, I did not have the academic pedigree to get my foot in the door.

After my final Goldman Sachs rejection postcard (yes, postcard), I gave up on that pipe dream and headed out to DC for eight years and became a government employee. Oh well!


Sorry for my earlier diatribe. I often think these celebrities today think way too much of themselves, especially when they are given platforms to testify before congressional committees, attend White House policy meetings, and address United Nations conferences.

I can appreciate when they use their celebrity for advancing a philanthropy or helping the poor and underserved, yet when they become self-appointed experts in the fields of energy, natural resources, transportation, and budget matters, that's when I have to just roll my eyes and cringe.
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Most interesting perspective, orconn. No doubt the culture is perverted with a sick corporate ethos. The LIBOR scandal, the corporate welfare folly of TARP, the Community Reinvestment Act (subprime mortgages) and many other examples point to errant and failed systems of corporate governance and regulatory/enforcement mechanisms. I think if the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation were to ever perform real audits, the cataclysmic findings would be devastating for pensioners.

Nonetheless, my apologies for derailing your thread off-topic. It is always enlightening to have an intelligent and engaging discussion with someone who has firsthand knowledge and the real-life professional experiences.
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