Every time I think of Wall Street, two images pop up in my mind: The first time I saw that bronze statue of the charging bull at the end of Broadway; and the 1987 movie written and directed by Oliver Stone, with a slick Michael Douglas, playing the part of a man who unabashedly, unapologetically was greedy, named for a lizard that now sells whole lotta different kinds of insurance
Couple of days ago I heard the news that Barack Obama had accepted a paying speaking engagement to Wall Street bankers. The Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Bank has been around since 1945. I am not sure exactly what this firm or investment bankers do so I’ll just take a guess that it has something to do with investing. The guys in suits. Tall and handsome. The one percenters. Caviar and champagne. I think you get the picture. The “good life” as those of us with just a bare minimum hint of envy like to call it.
There’s been a lot written about Obama’s fee and the group that he is charging it to. Mostly criticism. Not him, not Obama. Bush, Clinton, we get it. But not Obama. But the question is why not Obama too? He wants that good life too. He was on a yacht for a month or so recently with billionaires. You know people who don’t really want for material things. I mean I understand emotional needs too, we all have them. Anyone who has ever fried up Ctown chicken franks with ketchup and eaten supermarket brand white bread with overzealous helping of mayonnaise understands emotional needs. We have emotional needs, Barack. We didn’t have those with Bush or Clinton. But we have those with you. And this want for material things doesn’t go too well with fulfilling emotional needs of others.
But at the same time are we asking too much of him? He is like a poster. We stare at it and dream of the things that the person in that poster will do and say. How that poster inspires. That two dimensional ten dollar piece of glossy paper scotch taped to the wall. But the person in that poster resembles a human being. And that human being has material needs. Barack has material needs.
I also read that Barack and Michelle have been offered up to $65 million dollars for their autobiographies about their eight years in the white house. You hear that and you wonder then why didn’t he turn $400,000 down from a bunch of investment bankers. Why didn’t he cater to my emotional needs? Why did he had to cater to his material needs?
Maybe he just wanted to piss off the New York Times or Bill Maher. Maybe he wanted to hear them direct their vitriol towards him, angry that he is not doing what they expected of him, how dare he. Yes, how dare he. Dare away.