IF YOU CAN’T TAKE SNARKY HUMOR THEN STOP READING NOW.
BUT IF YOU APPRECIATE CUTTING LITERARY AMUSEMENT WITH A PINCH OF TRUTH TO IT, THEN PLEASE ENJOY THIS POST . . .
“The movie ‘Wall Street’ of 1987 (to) date is remembered as the most quintessential film depicting the dealings of the stock market. However, the soul of the movie was Michael Douglas, or Gordon Gekko, the ruthless trader who made even greed sound good. Agree or not, there is a little of Gordon Gekko in every(body) trader (businessperson) or better to say, every trader wants to have a little bit of Gordon Gekko in him.
Let us take a look at (one) of the best quotes of Gordon Gekko from the movie “Wall Street,” that will remind you of the level of ambitiousness one can have in the ‘free market’:
“‘The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.’” (Roshni Agarwal Bawari)
And it permeates every – every, business on this planet earth, including the cigar industry. (Those who are shocked can line up over there by the water cooler, I’m sure there’s enough room.)
Arggh! I shan’t believe such innuendoes, such – such histrionic, hallucinogenic, hypocritical hyperbole (the back of my hand ál a silent film icon, Mary Pickford, is upon my forehead with my head dramatically tilted to one side, eyes-a-flutter, to reveal such evocative emotion that cannot be expressed any other way sans words) as I begin to become light-headed, feeling faint and distressed at such a thought. How dare such slanted truth, such vacuous vulgarity escape into the hot humid tropical air of the restful, wind-rustled tobacco fields of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and even – dare I even prick my own finger on the sharp glistening point of sad reality – the Dominican Republic, my land love affair that I still hold so dearly and so very close to my breaking heart.
But I center not so much on greed as I do on its contrapuntal counterpoint word, paranoia (synonyms include delusions, obsession, and psychosis). The actual definition of the word translates into intense, anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy. Does not paranoia contain the shimmering greasy, iridescent essence of greed? To have it all at whatever cost – including your reputation.
(I quote from Buffalo Springfield’s seminal stanza:)
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take (it) away . . .
And who be the man? Your fellow cigar rep, the manufacturer, a master blender, the wholesaler, a retailer, the customer, whoever is involved in the machinations of making, marketing, and/or selling of cigars. It’s happening every day. As a broker, I am asked this question all the time, “What brands are you thinking of picking up?” All I do is give them “the Gibb’s” look. “Really? You honestly expect me to answer that question?”
No, we live in a time of the NSA, we need to protect our ideas and intentions. The hiding of innovation. To covet thought because of greed. If I can get something out to market without putting in the hard work, why not? Why the hell not?
Greed? Paranoia? In this industry? Thatched roofs, cold beer, smiling faces, warm handshakes, and huge bear hugs smothering your competitors? (Jr. need not worry about reading this and reacting violently because he plucked me from his social circle and will miss this diatribe. Ta!)
The mood is set in the song. The reality is set in the actions. The result is seen in the results.
This country is going through one of its most dramatic changes it has ever experienced. We are being governed by a non-politician who is a businessman. Nothing has changed but the noun. It’s all still business as usual.