From Enron to Pink Plastic Flamingos

Plastic Flamingos Closeup Picture

Image via Wikipedia

This is a tale of web “surfing” in the truest sense — something I don’t often do — an exploration of connections that led to an amusing conclusion relevant only to this blog.

Last night Suzy and I rented and watched Enron — The Smartest Guys in the Room, the appearance of which I’ve been awaiting for quite a while. It’s timely, given that the Enron fat cats are now finally going to trial.

The movie is well done — not nearly so entertainingly as a Michael Moore exposé, but the facts are clearly and engagingly presented.

As usual after watching a movie (and often before as well), I wanted to read more about it. I visited the Wikipedia to read the entry on Enron — accurate enough for an overview that confirms the facts as presented in the movie.

My usual first line of movie information is the magnificent IMDB web site, which I visit two or three times a week. That led me to the movie’s entry.

I almost always read Roger Ebert’s review on any movie first (often as the only one), not because I consider what he says to be gospel, but because I believe Ebert to be one of the best journalists writing on any topic, and because his reviews are so often spot on in addition to sometimes being stunningly insightful, always written in the most engaging and readable of prose. I wish I could write that well. So I proceeded to read Ebert’s review of the Enron movie.

Near the beginning of his essay Ebert described Enron’s business model as “essentially a Ponzi scheme.” I was unfamiliar with that expression, so hit Google and came up with an interesting account of Charles (Carlo) Ponzi, who got involved in a bunch of crooked scams, his biggest being one that was pretty much the same as a pyramid scheme.

The place I found that was on a web site devoted to Useless Information, so naturally I had to see what other items they had, which led me to the Useless Information home page.

Scrolling down the page for entries, what did my wondering eyes behold, but a link on the large words Pink Flamingos!

The lead-in paragraph there says:

The pink flamingo is one of those objects that people seem to either love or hate. Considered by some to be a work of art and to others to be visual pollution, this one object stands for everything that is good and bad about our modern society.

The remainder of the article contains a “balanced” view of pink plastic flamingos, far more information about them than most people will ever care to know.

And why is this a funny connection? If you don’t know already, then you really must read the August 12, 2005 entry on this blog entitled Pink Plastic Flamingos, and if you still don’t see the humor, by all means check out the flurry of comments that the entry generated.

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About Lynn

o Writer and Editor o Computer Technologist o Composer o Ultrarunner
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