Captain's Blog, stardate 3/16/07
Time Warner and Icahn learn to play nice, corporations adjust to daylight-saving time, and an attack on Jung, all from Fortune's Managing Editor Andy Serwer.
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- IRONY ROUNDUP: Whoa! Where to start? So much to talk about. How about, isn't it ironic, Hank Gilman points out, that Hank Paulson et al are whining about the need to roll back SarBox just when the subprime mortgage mess is getting messier? No one really knows how bad it could get. But of course regulation is bunk, right? We have the trusty credit rating agencies, right Bethany?! No wonder the markets are jittery!....
Also did you know that Time Warner (Charts) President and COO Jeff Bewkes recently addressed limited partners in Carl Icahn's fund?! (Remember Icahn, who had invested in Time Warner, not so long ago blasted company management and urged them to make major changes.) That's right, the meeting was this past Thursday (3/8) and get this, it was held in the Time Warner Building, in one of the Jazz at Lincoln Center halls. Jeff apparently gave a presentation about Time Warner, parent company of Fortune and CNNMoney.com. "It shows that a relationship has developed between the two sides," says a Time Warner source. Pretty wild, huh?
BOOKS: Have you bought a copy of Cait Murphy's fabulous and I do mean fabulous new book: "Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History." Her book party at Mickey Mantle's was fab too!... Speaking of fabu parties, thanks so much to Abernathy and MacGregor and especially Steve Bruce and Adam Miller for the outstanding fete they threw at Brasserie 8 ½. What a great crowd, so nice to see all you folks from CSFB (Charts), Sony (Charts), Blackstone, Lazard (Charts), IAC (Charts), Merrill (Charts), and Touradji, etc. I am deeply flattered and grateful. (Again, thank goodness there were no gossip columnist crashers at either party...whew!)
CORPORATE BOO BOO AWARDS: Goes to Verizon (Charts) and Bank of America (Charts) this week. First, received my "Daylight Savings Time Notice - Update Your Device Before March 11, 2007," card in the mail on March 13. Thanks. And BOA sends out direct mail solicitations for add-on products with "Important Information About Your Account," printed on the envelope. No it isn't....
ALL-NIGHTERS: For most of us this simply means studying all night with beer and pizza in college back in the day. But I've been thinking about all-night rituals around the world, like the time I stayed up all night in the desert in Saudi with Prince Alwaleed. Maybe something from Islam? Or what about an Indonesian Gamelan? We had one at my house growing up, and it was long.... Then my uncle and aunt were telling me about an all-night party they went to in Denmark on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice (6/24 or perhaps 6/23 in Denmark), I think it's called Litha.... So what do these ritual all-nighters mean? Is there common ground? (Bet Joseph Campbell would have had a take...but Rick hates that - see below!)
LOOSE CHANGE: If TV is so dead - as Geoff Colvin argues it isn't - how come I specifically picked Jet Blue (Charts) this week (despite everything) so I could watch hoop?... Speaking of hoop, I went conservative: Final Four: UNC, FLA, G-Town, and the Bucks.... Parker Posey is on the cover of Lucky? Um, do they really know her???... Congratulations to Deep Blue for his incredible service down in Miss and La. Yes there are still huge problems down there and yes, they still need help. It is just amazing that Blue volunteered to go down and serve. Again, big time kudos!...
It's official, Rick from Baltimore hates Joseph Campbell: "My thing with him is more that he would spin b.s. for the girls at Sarah Lawrence all rapt and flustered under their Fair Isle sweaters and that the foundation of his work was Jung, whose work as a psychoanalyst never cured anybody of anything. Jung is great for filling bookshelves at Barnes and Noble and art lectures in darkened auditoriums but he was utterly full of it when it comes to reality. I just can't take Jung... and Campbell spread Jung like ill planted bamboo. I remember watching that Bill Moyers series and wanting to throw a brick at the TV. Myth doesn't hold a candle to a slab of raw bear meat. I guess I'm a Freud guy - sex and power..." Allllll-righty then....
As for tunes: Justin Fox who knows all about the Halifax explosion recommends Halifax's Fab Four: Sloan. "I highly recommend the song 'I Can Feel It,' available on iTunes." I bought some Sloan, not bad. On the recommendation of Bob Madden, I also picked up "Another Fine Day" by the band Golden Smog. It is AWESOME! This is a kind of super group, which includes Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, (who is the best songwriter in America today!) and Jeff Tweedy from Wilco (who ain't bad either). Buy it. Love it! Later!