Tag Archives: Big Brother is Watching You

Top Ten Bernie Madoff Tips for Investing (An Exercise in Futility)

For a cool $50 billion, Bernie Madoff managed to buy Satan's vacated seat in hell

For a cool $50 billion, Bernie Madoff managed to buy Satan's vacated seat in hell

Unlike trying to find a consistent pattern in winning Powerball lottery numbers, the Late Show’s Online Top Ten Contest winners have become increasingly more predictable in recent weeks. All of the Big Three — Joaquin Phoenix, Paul Blart, and Bernie Madoff – reared their heads in last week’s winning list.

However, I am starting to think the Top Ten Contest, like the Powerball, is rigged. Everyone knows that Big Brother created and rigs the Powerball Lottery to keep the masses distracted from perpetual metaphoric wars, covert and otherwise, and to pump a steady stream of hope into the poor masses — so they don’t rise up and overthrow the government. Duh…

Following suit, Letterman’s producers created the Top Ten Contest to give online readers the illusion that CBS actually cares what we think, or in my case, feeding my illusions of grandeur that one day Letterman’s people will discover me and offer me a job writing for the “Late Show.”

Last week, I incorporated two-thirds of the Big Three in my list of possible entries for the topic, “Top Ten Surprising Items in the Economic Bailout Plan,” but did not submit either one of them to the official contest. Instead I submitted the only vote-getter: “All banking CEOs get to pass Go and collect $2 million, split Free Parking pot and will receive one get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Fast forward to this week, and I refuse to be tempted by the Big Three, however, I have no choice this week since the list’s topic is an homage to Bernie Madoff. Moreover, I’m unwilling to let go of my illusions of grandeur, for this is what compels me to get out of bed every morning – at least I think it’s a bed.

Due to the recent demise of voter turnout among SSF readers, my quest to win the Holy “Online Late Show” t-shirt has devolved from an obsession to an exercise-in-futility. That said, here’s my top-ten list of possible entries to this week’s Top Ten contest. Once again, I’m soliciting your help – or not. I’ve written ten possible entries for this week’s list, and it’s up to you to help me select the CHOSEN ONE from the list (for I can only submit one) that you think has the best chance of winning.

Just think, with your help, all of this could be mine

Just think, with your help, all of this could be mine

This week’s list: Top Ten Bernie Madoff Tips for Investing

10. It takes other peoples’ money to make money

9. Buy stock in prisons

8. Everything I know about investing I learned from Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money”

7. When the Feds come a knockin, start flushin’ the stock down

6. Screw Amway, think Ponzi

5. Avoid brokers with un-fortuitous names like Les Steele, Ben Had, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

4. When SEC’s not looking, switch Invisible Hand with Invisible Monkey’s Paw

3. Buy low, sell often

2. Trade all shares labeled “Made in USA” for shares labeled “Owned by China”

1. Send me a check for $10,000, and I will send you the real top ten tips

Don’t forget to indicate (in the Comments) which ONE of these I should submit to the Top Ten Contest.

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My Funny Prophetable Valentine Haikus

Growing up, I always dreamt of becoming a prophet, until I realized there is not much profit in propheteering — unless of course you’re exploiting dead prophets for profit: e.g. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ.” Speaking of which, most reputable (at least posthumously) prophets are shunned by society and succumb to untimely deaths (e.g. Keith Ledger). Apparently most people are allergic to the truth and avoid it at all possible costs, fearing they will break out in hives if exposed to the naked truth.

Last night, while celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin and Aresenio Hall from the stadium seats of my Aresnio Shrine and makeshift Dog Pound (Woof! Woof! Woof!), I started thinking about some of the most influential prophets in my life. Consequently, these prophets made cameo appearances (no charge) in my dreams and recited, in honor of Valentine’s Day, love-inspired Haikus from atop a mountain of garbage in the local land fill (formerly the local dump).

Fortunately the distinct smell from the land fill jarred me out of my R.E.M. mode, thus enabling me to recall the Haikus verbatim. That said, here’s a transcription of their 17 syllable sermons from the heap:

jesus_cross_crucifixion1

Crucifixion II: A Cautionary Haiku for You, by Jesus

Hallmarkian lust;
Enjoy sins ‘fore Dad gets home –
I’m already dead.

yoda

Light Saber Envy, by Yoda

Size matters not, hmmm…
You, let libido flow through:
May force be in you.

buddha-bodhi

Alone: Wait, Fast, Think, Then Regret, by Buddha
Underneath Bodhi tree,
Transcended Valentine’s Day.
Damn Nirvana sucks.

big-bro-watching

Big Brother is Laughing, by George Orwell

Ministry of Love
Promotes proles to begat more proles.
Big Brother laughs last.

pastafarian85x115_th

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, by FSM (Our Creator)

Pastafarians
Spread gospel of FSM;
Love is in the air.

Facebook Status Update: Big Brother is Watching You!

Five years ago, the thought of having to wear a GPS ankle bracelet so authorities could track your whereabouts may have been humiliating, but a suitable alternative to prison.

Now, thanks to online social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, these tracking devices are on the path to extinction as millions of American choose to be voluntarily tracked, preferring a virtual imprisonment over a life of privacy.

Okay, so I’m guilty of falling prey to these temptations — namely for networking reasons, finding long-lost friends, and helping the FBI shave off man-hours as they keep tabs on my subversive humor and satirical attacks on government institutions. I realize that humorists/satirists are somewhere between Jehovah Witnesses and Salvation Army Bell Ringers on the FBI’s watch list, but every minute I give back to the bureau can be better spent tracking down the real criminals: offshore bankers and video pirates.

By the way, did I mention I’m a Conspiracy Theorist? Yeah, you heard me right Mr. FBI Guy; stuff that in your secret computer file and smoke it. Ever since I read George Orwell’s “1984” in eighth grade, I’m convinced that Big Brother is watching my every move. For example, I refuse to use automatic toilets in public restrooms, sensing they are elaborate tracking devices that record your whereabouts and activities via the red lights.

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

Therapist Bob said this is absurd, but I’m not about to take any chances and flush my rights away.

And now we’re seeing the trickle down effects of Big Brother as local authorities are getting into the social spying networking game. Just recently a female college student was reported missing in Iowa City after a night of drinking with her real friends. Hmmmm….I’m sure this never happens in a college town, thus raising red flags down at the police department.

Local peace officers eventually tracked her down, claiming they used Facebook to discover her whereabouts. They did not say how they did this, but I imagine they sent her a Friend Request. Nothing like getting one of these in you notification box: “The Iowa City Police Department wants to be your friend: Confirm?”

By the way, if anyone receives the following status update from me, you know something is amiss and should text message the authorities immediately:

T.M. Lindsey is enjoying shopping for women’s underwear at Wal-Mart.”

Anyone who really knows me would know that I would not be caught dead shopping at Wal-Mart. And if I was caught dead, the county coroner, thankfully, would be the only witness as to why I was shopping there in the first place. I’ll plea the fifth on this one.

Then along comes Twitter, for those folks who just can’t leave home without their personal trackers.

I will admit that I have yet to take the full plunge into Twitter, namely because I’ve developed a false Messiah complex and worry that a bunch of my followers will start their own narcissistic pilgrimages into the blogsphere and start publishing their own musings from the basement while wearing pajamas and women’s underwear.

I am not wired to handle this much responsibility.

And in Twitterville, if you are not being followed, you are following somebody else, thus completing the full circle of consensual stalking. Iowa City’s neighbor, Coralville, has gone Twitter, including its police department. Not sure who would intentionally want the police department following them, but I imagine it’s the same folks who actually talk to pollsters when they Break & Enter their phone lines.

But what does the Facebook phenomenon reveal about our need-for-attention culture? On a basic level, isn’t Facebook the mere equivalent of standing at the end of the diving board at the virtual pool and shouting to all of your friends: “Look at me! Look at me!”?

"Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge? Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

"Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge?

Moreover, Facebook serves as a virtual playground for adults, who can tag and poke each other without fear of having their recess stripped from them. These behaviors, however, serve as naughty gateway behaviors leading to bigger and more dangerous behaviors such as writing on friends’ walls. “Friends don’t let friends write on friend’s walls.”

It won’t be long before Facebook goes below the neck and launches an adult version that begs the status update question: “What are you wearing right now?”

T.M. Lindsey is not wearing women’s underwear at the moment.”