No Conception

DePaulo and Akst

No Conception

DePaulo and Akst

No Conception
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Oct. 8 1998 11:21 AM

DePaulo and Akst

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Lisa--

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We wuz robbed.

Ok, we shot ourselves in the foot, but Chuck Knoblauch wouldn't have had the gun if the umpires--oh never mind, anyone who cares about the Yanks' ignominious defeat last night can read the papers (this game was earlier, so it's in all of them). On the other hand, a judge in the Bronx ruled that New Yorkers can vote in November on whether they want to spend zillions for a new Yankee Stadium on Manhattan's West Side, a victory for fans and the electorate alike and yet another defeat for Rudy Guiliani, whose determination to sully his own legacy with boneheaded undertakings like this one apparently knows no bounds.

The papers are full of interesting stuff this morning, but unfortunately a lot of it has to do with either the global economy or Bill Clinton's satyriasis. On that last, I note an interesting item in the Wall Street Journal's World-Wide feature (written by America's best-read but least-known columnist, my pal Tom Walker): "House Republicans moved to block coverage of contraceptives under prescription plans for federal workers." Apparently this is really about whether to oust the chief counsel of the Federal Election Commission (don't ask), but is this really the time to be discouraging federal workers from buying birth control? Doesn't anybody in Congress read the newspapers, for Chrissake? Besides, there are already so many other dreadful lacunae in federal benefits. No coverage of dry-cleaning, for instance, even when semen stains are work-related.

On the global economy, you're absolutely right: the issue is, what do you do about that 50 bucks you've got sunk in Vanguard Windsor II? True, Uzbekistani Treasuries are cheap this week, and Long-Term Capital, up in Connecticut, is probably planning a great Columbus Day sale before it changes its name to Panicky Over-Leveraged Debtmongers LLC. Nasdaq is practically Filene's Basement, and in Japan you can buy some companies for less than book value (assuming you trust their books).

But its important not to be distracted by such things. Vanguard, in its generally excellent investor materials, is always emphasizing that investors should "stay the course," and they've got that whole ship thing going as their emblem. This is good advice for most people in the long run, but not for you. The SEC isn't looking, so lemme go out on a limb here: If I were you I'd sink the entire $50 into sushi for Michael Kinsley. You've just got to see this guy on a wasabi high. Which reminds me: Have you ever had a sake margarita? They will change your life.

Love,

Dan

PS--Celebrity endorsements are incomprehensible to me too. Larry King may be bad, but think back: remember OJ dashing through that airport?

Lisa DePaulo, a New York based writer, is a contributing editor at George magazine. Daniel Akst, a former business columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is the author of St. Burl's Obituary, a novel.