No. 30: “Illumination”

No. 30: “Illumination”

No. 30: “Illumination”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
April 15 1998 3:30 AM

No. 30: “Illumination”

No. 30: "Illumination"

By Randy Cohen


"It's tacky, it sheds a truly hellish light, and it's invasive," said New York City Councilwoman Kathryn Freed. What is it?

(Hint: not Donald Trump's halogen penis.)


by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Thursday's question (No. 29)--"Beauty Rest":


"I think you can do this work aggressively and still sleep well," said William McLucas. What work?

"Marketing Li'l Big Butts, the miniature cigarette for the diminutive adult. Oh, for the sleeping part, you also need horse tranquilizers."--Larry Doyle

"Chairing the committee on organ harvesting for the Immigration and Naturalization Service."--Julia Oskarsdottir

"Power dying."--Patty Marx


"Representing the tobacco industry. Of course the good night's sleep is attributed to the satisfaction he gets from volunteering with Feels on Wheels, a group that matches underprivileged kids with pedophiles. (Boys for Tots? Big Botherers?)"--Beth Sherman (apologizing to parents everywhere for this answer)

"Setting up a mutual fund, hiring a couple of boobs from Beardstown who are too damn old to add and subtract (e.g., they can't accurately calculate their annualized returns), and then managing other people's money. When this racket catches on, write a book and make millions despite the fact that you never really outperformed the market."--Brad Stroh

"Yeah, but why would anybody want to do both? Why not just be satisfied with sleeping well and let it go at that?"--Nancy Franklin

"Oh sure, Randy, it's easy to sit back and mock McLucas and the Securities and Exchange Commission in general. But it's harder to get up the guts to do something about it. If you really cared about the brutal inequities of late 20th century capitalism, you'd put on about 150 pounds and make a home movie about your book tour."--Chris Kelly


Click for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up

Our official enemies. The predominant villains in post-Cold War movies were "terrorists" and "drug dealers"; the former vaguely Arab, the latter flamboyantly Hispanic. (A little xenophobia with that popcorn?) Judging by our "News Quiz" participants, today's moral nadir is occupied by the tobacco company executive--liar, death merchant, campaign contributor. Tomorrow's new emerging Satan, measured by the sputtering rage of Brad Stroh, is the rat bastard who proffers an inadequate stock tip--a villain for the age of privatized Social Security. We don't need no fancy trial; let's hang those grannies high.

For those scoring at home, I believe today's quiz includes the first ever use of the phrase "preserving the integrity of one of America's capital markets" in a deliberately humorous context. (See Kathy Strickler, ".") I expect a prompt call from the Guinness people.


Revolving-Door Answer

William McLucas, the top enforcement officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is stepping down to become a partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, a Washington, D.C., law firm that represents many companies facing SEC prosecution.


"People are overworked, and they're trying to find any way they can to build relationships with their kids."--Howard Waxman, editor of Ice Cream Reporter, on the beneficent social effects of Carvel's new "Li'l Love" ice cream cake.

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