3/10/07

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"Money is a kind of poetry," Wallace Stevens famously observed, even before he could live to see the US financial market morph into a postmodern, virtual casino, where grifters and doofs rub elbows at hedge fund gaming tables, anticipating money for free (and chicks for nothing), in a country that makes nothing anymore but 300-pound linemen, cool CDs and weapon systems, where the wealth is real enough, for now, but could fade like an opium dream, made in China. Rachel Loden just sent me this bit of financial "insanity (and poetic invention?)", from Intrade:

LIBBY.DEC07.PARDON

This contract will expire at 100 if I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is pardoned by the President of the United States of at least one conviction by 11:59:59pm ET on Decembers 31st 2007.

The contract will expire at 0 if I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is NOT pardoned by the President of the United States of at least one conviction by 11:59:59pm ET on Decembers 31st 2007.


LIBBY.EOT.PARDON

This contract will expire at 100 if I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is pardoned of at least one conviction by the end of President Bush's term in office.

The contract will expire at 0 if I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby is NOT pardoned of at least one conviction by the end of President Bush's term in office.

Expiry will be based on official and pubic announcements from the White House, and as reported in three independent and reliable media sources.

9 comments:

Murat said...

Linh,

This government will expire...

Ciao,

Murat

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Murat,

I think this society will unravel, and much sooner than people think.

Anonymous said...

You know, Linh, that quote by Stevens is a famous *mis*quote:

What Stevens actually said (he made the correction in 1955) is, "Poetry is a kind of money."

Boy, can you imagine what he'd say if he were alive today?

And speaking of poetry and money, I found out today that I have a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who wants to interview me--no kidding: You can even ask Kasey Mohammad. Though it might be a Flarf joke, too, I suppose. And now that I think of it...

oh well,

Kent

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Kent,

Thanks for the correction about the Stevens quotation. I can't wait to read about you in the Wall Street Journal!

Rachel Loden said...

Funny. It's still "Money is a kind of poetry" in my 1990 edition of OPUS POSTHUMOUS, copyright 1989 by Holly Stevens. Kent, where did you find the correction?

On what I wish were a brighter note, intrade has also opened up two futures markets on a possible Cheney resignation. But I guess worse really is better, for the time being--wouldn't want to give the new VP a leg up in '08.

Linh Dinh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linh Dinh said...

Hi Rachel,

Kent is an incorrigible, compulsive trickster. In fact, his name is not really Kent Johnson; he reads no Spanish and could not have translated Jaime Saenz.

"Poetry is a kind of money" is patently nonsense since, it's been pointed out, a poem is worth less than a blank piece of paper, would, in fact, make a piece of paper worthless.

Murat said...

I play at Riches - to appease
The Clamoring for Gold -

Emily Dickinson


Ciao,
Murat

Anonymous said...

Rachel,

I thought the irony would be fun enough to telegraph itself as a smile and wink, but I kind of flubbed it, I see.

However, I do strongly disagree with Linh's denial that Poetry is a kind of money! For surely it is... Cultural Capital, etc: Make careful investments and loans with your poetry over time, and you can accumulate a ton of perks, like frequent flyer miles, cash gifts outright, extended time off, many other things.

Of course, there are easier ways of pursuing such pay-offs, and obviously there exist vocations where the connections between accomplishment and capital reward are more transparent and less vulnerable to embarrassing manifestations (i.e., earnest Adornean pronouncements about resistance to the Culture Industry now current at the University of Pennsylvania Writing Program, for example). But the connection is there, nevertheless.

Kent