Riding the Bulls and the Bears

Ehrenreich and von Hoffman

Riding the Bulls and the Bears

Ehrenreich and von Hoffman

Riding the Bulls and the Bears
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Oct. 30 1998 3:09 PM

Ehrenreich and von Hoffman

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Dear Nick,

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Your communiqué strikes an immediate note of alarm here, because NationsBank is in fact my bank! I did not choose it. My bank was a little neighborhood enterprise called Barnett Bank, operated by a mellow multicultural crew in downtown Key West--until an announcement came, just weeks ago, that Barnett had been consumed by NationsBank. I had been thinking of precipitating a worldwide financial collapse by moving my assets out of their mutual funds (there's a nice, cozy sound to that, with its covert intimation of mutual fun, as in simultaneous orgasm) on the feverish stock market and into the perpetual calm of my savings account. But no, I better stay out here on the merry-go-round, riding the bulls and the bears.

I note with sorrow the passing of Augusto Pinochet from police custody in London back to his former at-large condition. The British judge's ruling--that crimes committed in one's line of duty as head-of-state are in no way actionable--should cheer fans of Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin and even our own head of state. I await Pinochet-related comments from those among my colleagues in the commentating business who delight in explaining every penny-ante multiple homicide as evidence for the existence of "Evil" (Time's Lance Morrow, for example, who is about to come out with a whole book on the role of that dark mystic force in our lives). It may however, be a very long wait, since the official word on the Senator-for-Life is that he is a just a slightly heavy-handed free-market zealot. So let me reveal the true nature of the operation he underwent in London: Open-heart surgery, to correct mysterious and intractable stabbing pains, revealed an organ ridden with oozing pustules and swarms of mephitic micro-organisms.

More later, when my computer awakes from its swoon and I can get back to a more congenial setting.

Barbara Ehrenreich is contributing editor at theProgressiveand author of several books, including Blood Rites. Nicholas von Hoffman is a columnist at theNew York Observer. His books include We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against.