Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Retainers of Fluidity

Of course, it's bad to be a criminal. Everyone knows that, and can swear that it's true. Criminals mess up the world. But they are, as well, retainers of fluidity. In fact, one might make the case that New York would not have shone without its legions of contrary devils polishing the lights of goodness with their inexplicable opposition and resistance. It might even be said that criminals are a necessary component of the balanced equation which steadily and beautifully eats up all the time that is thrown upon its steely back. They are the sugar and alcohol of a city, a red flash in the mosaic, lightning on a hot night. So was Pearly.

— Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale

Yeah, well, maybe not.1

I can think of legions of pasty-faced 20-something hedge fund and proprietary traders who would love to style themselves as something as transgressive and oppositional as criminals. Most, much to their unknowing and likely never-to-be-known chagrin, are just nerdy parasites on the monetary surplus of a fat and lazy society.

Not that I'm judging, or anything.


1 After all, there is a difference between retainers of fluiditity and people who just retain fluid. Q.v. the nebbishes at Goldman Sachs.

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