Ira Artman’s Airy Mantra: Sterling Slivers

October 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment


(c) 2008 Ira Artman

Rod Serling (no “t”) graced the American airwaves in television’s early days, receiving popular fame with his exquisite landmark series - The Twilight Zone. The weekly anthology presented unrelated stories united by Serling’s unique ironic sense, often with a sci-fi theme, beginning in 1959.

Given network censors’ prominence in that post-McCarthy era, the fanciful setting allowed Serling to examine topics rarely seen, on TV then and on the blogosphere now.

Wiki observes that after the network cancelled the series in 1964, Serling sold The Twilight Zone’s rights back to the network - a move that was “a costly mistake”. Serling died in 1975.

So it was not surprising that Serling’s ghost approached me one evening, following his chat with that prince of unrequited royalties, Sherlock Holmes.

Serling presented a straightforward proposal - Allow him to briefly present, within my blog on, his choice of one or two housing finance related articles that 1) you may have missed, and 2) possess an unusual sensibility or wit.

Who am I to say “no” to the master? Without additional delay, let’s attend to what I hope will be the first of many Sterling Slivers.

[Theme music ... Up and then fade]


“Consider, if you will, the critical eye of Harold James, Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University. While many have written on the meltdown, few have drawn the connection between great and bad art and finance. Professor James has.”

“Let’s see what Professor James has to say about bad finance and art, in his essay, available on the Project Syndicate website, entitled: The Art of Finance.”

“For our final gem this week, what can we say about the predicament of one who, having seen the future, finds that it may be both a blessing and a curse? Nicholas Rummell, of Financial Week, gazed into his crystal ball and saw the wizardry of Bill Gross - Will Mr. Gross always gets what he wants? Here is Rummell’s full account, entitled The Wonderful Wizard of Ours.”

“Thank you all, again,  for letting me enlighten your screens. I hope that you will draw your sharply focused eyes close … the next time that I return with another set of  - Sterling Slivers.”

[Rod turns, and walks away from camera, as light dims to black.  Theme music comes up and then fades.]

- - - - - - - - - - -

I used to work with numbers for a living, but now I inhabit that border zone between creative and profitable work. The next time you see me, I may be walking close to the edge, peering around for a job or at least my next ‘idea’. If you’d like to learn more about me, you’ll find it here. Till next time - Ira Artman

Manhattan Transfer, The Very Best of The Manhattan Transfer - Twilight Tone/Twilight Zone, Rhapsody, Rhino Atlantic, 1994.

Tags: Financial Parody · Mortgage Market

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