aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Google, the new Microsoft, to be added to the S&P 500?
Daniel Gross speculating on why Google is doing a $4 billion secondary public offering:
At some point in the near future, Google will probably be added to the S&P 500. So, why would the potential for inclusion in the S&P 500 spur Google to issue new shares? Once S&P announces it’s adding a stock to the index, it sets off a frenzy. Within days, all the people who manage S&P 500 funds-none of whom owned the stock before-will have to rush out and buy Google.
The folks at Google-and their investment bankers-probably figured this out months ago. Now, if you were a smart company and you wanted your stock to trade cleanly and smoothly, you would try to make new supply available in advance of a projected announcement. And the one surefire way to ensure an adequate supply is to sell a big chunk in a secondary offering. Indeed, the offering promises to increase the supply of Class A shares by about 9 percent.
Google’s a smart clean smooth company. Alas, word in the Times today is not everyone in the Silicon Valley thinks so:
It was not that long ago that Google reigned here as the upstart computer company that could do no wrong. Now some working in the technology field are starting to draw comparisons between Google and Microsoft, the company in Redmond, Wash., that Silicon Valley loves most to hate.
And Microsoft has become the gentle giant:
In the 1990’s, [Joe Kraus, a founder of the 1990’s search firm Excite] said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a “gentle giant” that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an “extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything.” Now, in the view of Mr. Kraus, “Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft.”
I met Paul Lynde in a club in West Hollywood in 1976. Afterward I’d see him around but I have hardly any recollection beyond that he was a drunken letch. He typified a kind of apparently out but deeply closeted gay man that seemed to me all too prevalent in that place and time. That was after his 11 appearances on Bewitched but I don’t even know, was it before his starring role in the Center Square?
The host of the show, Peter Marshall, makes a good point in our book about a little bit of Lynde going a long way; too much of him was overkill. That helps explain why Paul’s sitcoms never went anywhere, but why his zingers on “Squares” got him so much notice—pretty much solid raves from the get-go, from both the audience and the producers. He was an immediate smash… The writers on “Squares” took great pains to pen jokes in Paul’s voice. But there’s a lot to be said for what Paul’s great delivery did for those lines. They would have sounded mighty lame coming from anyone else.
Steve Wilson & Joe Florenski, authors of the new Lynde biography, Center Square, on his legacy:
J.F.: For most people Paul is just a funny footnote of TV history. Like a character in the new “Bewitched” movie or as the butt of jokes on cartoons like “The Simpsons,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and “American Dad.” But it’s not a stretch to say “Will & Grace,” “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and other gay television shows are Paul’s legacy. Way before any of them, Paul was getting away with being gay on a daily basis on TV—an unheard of feat back then.
S.W.: But here’s something sad: The sign proclaiming Mount Vernon, Ohio, as the birthplace of Paul Lynde was recently changed to read: “Home of Daniel Decatur Emmett, Author of [the song] ‘Dixie.’” Maybe we can start a petition to get the old sign back. Or, at the very least, to hold a Paul Lynde day.
Er, before posting I realized that I think it may have been Charles Nelson Reilly that I met, Paul I just saw around. But Reilly I don’t recall as a drunk, just a letch. All of which may say more about me then either of them.
Wallace & Stewart
The first thing he talks about is Steve Carell’s amazing success with The 40 Year-Old Virgin (which is a hilarious film… I cried so hard from laughing). Carell used to be a sidekick on The Daily Show—okay, not even a sidekick… more like a minion… serf. Wallace asks Stewart how he felt when he saw the box office results in the paper and saw the film debuting at #1 with $20-some million. Stewart says that his heart grows three sizes. Wallace goes on to ask (wait wait, who’s interviewing here?) Stewart if he’s ever starred in a film that’s debuted at #1 before. Does having a trailer and access to the craft service count as being the star? Maybe not… Stewart says that he’s been a serf for a film that’s opened at #1 (Big Daddy). He admits to being a bad actor. Wallace asks if there’s any envy towards Carell (seriously, man… Who’s asking the questions?).
Stewart aside, I’m interested to see what the political take on that movie is. A hilarious potty mouthed film about trying to get a middle aged virgin laid that turns (predictably) romantic (the love interest is a hot divorced grandmother) says it’s ok to be a virgin. (Or does it?)
That’s a message the Right might like but somehow I don’t think so here. No telling if Wallace actually saw it. If he did would that qualify him as a South Park Republican?
Credit card war
If you missed it [I did], check out Linda Bilmes’ piece in Saturday’s New York Times that calculates that cost of the Iraq war--from the start through the next five years--will top $1 trillion (or $11,300 per American household). I’m sure people can quibble with some of her numbers. But what was striking--beyond the grand total--was that more than one-fifth of the amount is attributed to financing costs. Yes, because Bush is financing this war with one big credit card--rather than paying for it with, say, taxes--the cost will be an extra $200-plus billion. For that amount, we could give every Iraqi almost $10,000 each.