Saturday, July 28, 2012

Picking a Lock with a Wet Herring

Writers' helper?
Will Shakespeare: “Words, words, words... Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups out of clay; love that overthrows empires, love that binds two hearts together come hellfire and brimstone. For sixpence a line, I could cause a riot in a nunnery. But now...”
Dr. Moth: “And yet you tell me you lie with women? ... [consults notes] Black Sue, Fat Phoebe, Rosaline, Burbage’s seamstress; Aphrodite, who does it behind the Dog and—”
Will: “Aye, now and again, but what of it? I have lost my gift.”
Dr. Moth: “I am here to help you. Tell me in your own words.”
Will: “I have lost my gift. ... It’s as if my quill is broken. As if the organ of my imagination has dried up. As if the proud tower of my genius has collapsed.”
Dr. Moth: “Interesting.”
Will: “Nothing comes.”
Dr. Moth: “Most interesting.”
Will: “It is like trying to pick a lock with a wet herring.”
Dr. Moth: “... Tell me, are you lately humbled in the act of love? ... How long has it been?”
Will: “A goodly length in times past, but lately...”

— Shakespeare in Love

Apologies for the relatively lengthy hiatus, Dear Friends and Readers, but lately I have been sadly humbled in the act of writing. Specifically, I have been unable to post at this location for any number of reasons. Without boring you with particulars, these reasons include:
  • Not having anything to say;
  • Not being interested enough in anything happening in the world at large to write about it;
  • Being exhausted with the neverending wrangling and partisan hackery which has taken over commentary on the financial system and its regulation;1 and
  • Finding no inspiration anywhere else.

The realization dawned on me this afternoon that I was in a pickle when I discovered I was about to post a poem on this site which I had already posted a year and a half ago. And it wasn’t even that great a poem. I was just desperate to post something.

My dilemma is exacerbated because I have barred myself from many reliable sources of stories, parables, and lessons learned, including those in my personal and professional life.2 Unlike, say, Outer Life, who has penned some remarkably candid and wonderful pieces on his unfolding life story, I have chosen to mask my own identity beyond a limited number of superficial details and anecdotes. Notwithstanding the impression of most outsiders, Manhattan and Wall Street are each remarkably small places, and one too many details might allow a diligent person to triangulate my identity. This itself might not be so bad, but I would much prefer not to go to prison for the murder and dismemberment of any such misguided soul.

Likewise, my professional activities are off limits here. Not only because I do not want to tip my hand to eager enemies and competitors over clients and transactions I may be working on or have completed, but also because the SEC and even that toothless self-regulatory fossil FINRA would likely take an exceedingly dim view of such unapproved and noncompliant communications. This is not even to mention my duty of confidentiality, secrecy, and discretion to my clients and my colleagues which I—less unusual in this way among my industry peers than our haters and detractors (would prefer to) believe—defend and prosecute diligently.

* * *

So with this entry I have resorted to the last desperate act of a blocked writer: writing about writer’s block. A cheap and shameful maneuver. Fortunately for you, I have enough pride left that I will forgo any more posts on this selfsame topic for quite some time.

Now I truly have nothing left to write about. Enjoy the respite. You are welcome.

1 Most tiresome and enervating of all is the sheer bloody-mindedness of most commentators and pundits in this regard. It’s as if nobody is actually interested in participating in a debate designed to reveal the truth about the problems and challenges facing us, but rather they are just interested in advancing their own one-note crackpot theories and agendas at as loud a volume as possible. That, and/or flog their books.
2 This includes, for obvious reasons, the personal and professional stories of most people known to me.

© 2012 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.