Saturday, May 5, 2007

All Rights Reserved

If—and the thing is wildly possible—the charge of writing nonsense were ever brought against the author of this brief but instructive poem, it would be based, I feel convinced, on the line (in p. 18)
"Then the bowsprit got mixed with the rudder sometimes."
In view of this painful possibility, I will not (as I might) appeal indignantly to my other writings as a proof that I am incapable of such a deed: I will not (as I might) point to the strong moral purpose of this poem itself, to the arithmetical principles so cautiously inculcated in it, or to its noble teachings in Natural History—I will take the more prosaic course of simply explaining how it happened.1

Selective market research by Yours Truly among my cherished readership has led me to the unfortunate conclusion that—on any given day—no more than two of you can figure out what the hell I am talking about in these posts.

I have developed a number of hypotheses for why this might be the case, which I am happy to share with you while I continue to formulate a fully fashioned theory to explain the data:

1) On any given day, no more than two of you are Not Complete Idiots

2) The University of Central Iowa was fresh out of CliffsNotes® ("rip it™ and cram it: Fuel your brain with rip it™. Learn fast with CliffsNotes™") when you took the introductory lit course "Classic Novels by Dead White Males" freshman year

3) You have not seen a dictionary since your grandmother gave you a Websters Condensed edition in fourth grade, and you are not sure you would know how to use it if you stumbled across one

4) MSN Explorer cannot properly display words containing more than two syllables or ten letters

5) My writing is too obscure

Naturally, I included that last one only in the interest of theoretical completeness, and I am inclined to discard it out of hand as being nonsensical. Something tells me, however, that there may be a germ of truth in it, no matter how painful that fact may be to me.

Unfortunately, even if I wanted to there is no way I could dumb down my writing style to a level appropriate for regular watchers of American Idol

"Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,
I gotta love one man 'til I die"

—but I can perhaps assist my readers in their enjoyment of my Terpsichorean prose with a little more background. In that spirit, I have offered below some glossarial guidance on the blog topics regularly addressed in these pages. To the extent new topics are added in the future, this list will grow as well. Please, use this list responsibly.


ad hominem — Scurrilous slander, vile calumny, and cheap shots levelled at those among the Great and Good deserving of such treatment (i.e., most of them). A perennial favorite of our readers, and one guaranteed to continue ad infinitum, given the reliably ludicrous and pathetic behavior of said G&G.

bon mots — Memorable quotes and other tidbits authored by persons not formally employed by TED or its Cayman Islands affiliates.

Folly — A catch all topic, which should be self-explanatory to anyone with more than a third grade reading level.

fourth estate — Affectionate gibes and tender pokes at the follies, pretensions, and general misdeeds of our fellow bloggers and friends among the financial press and mainstream media. Always good for a cheap laugh.

ghost in the machine — Discursions on financial bubbles, the madness of crowds, animal spirits, and other evidence that the relationship of rationality to human behavior in the business and financial spheres is tenuous, contingent, and highly suspect.

gray flannel suits — Dispatches from the bowels of Corporate America, in all its craven, sclerotic, and bombastic glory. Proven to be an effective antidote to overdoses of Fortune, BusinessWeek, and other corporate panegyrics.

over there — Our intrepid reporters scour the globe for proof that countries other than the United States are also blighted with stupid, deceitful, and foolish morons cluttering the business, financial, and economic landscape. We have warehouses full of supporting evidence, which only await translation for publication.

philosophy — The occasional descent into mawkish self-regard, gratuitous pontificating, and specious sophistry you would normally expect from a website named after a long-dead Greek philosopher.

private equity — What, have you been asleep? Fail to renew your subscription to all newspapers and magazines other than Hello!? I fear this topic will continue to balloon in number of posts contributed as long as the current (May 2007) boom in PE fundraising and investment continues. After the bubble bursts, this topic should fade into justified obscurity on the dusty back shelf of the archives room, where it belongs (and where many of its practitioners would prefer it had remained).

selling short — Shits and giggles about hedge funds and their peccadilloes, large and small. Most of these guys have more money than Henry Kravis and less time to have gotten used to it. A promising topic, from which we at TED expect a lot in the future. Timmberrr!

The Life — Inside dirt on investment banking and other such whores financial service providers. Sort of like The Godfather, but with classier cufflinks.

1 Lewis Carroll, "The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits," Chatto & Windus Ltd., 1981, p. v.

© 2007 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.