Thoughts On Wall Street Deadheads

by thoughtsonthedead

This paragraph, from FoTotD Nick Paumgarten’s most recent Dead-related article in the New Yorker, holds my interest long after the reading has been done.

He passed through New York a couple of weeks ago to attend a Wall Street Deadhead networking event (he’s also on the board of the Rex Foundation, the Dead’s charity) and then was back in town last week to attend a performance at Madison Square Garden by a group featuring three of the Dead’s surviving members—and to meet with a slate of potential donors.

TotD has many, many thoughts and questions and–though I abused the format in the last post–I believe this is the perfect situation for bullet points.

  • Do Wall Street Deadheads have a secret handshake?
  • What about satin jackets with a cool insignia and their nicknames stitched into the lapel?
  • How does one Wall Street Deadhead recognize another?
  • Is it like being gay in the 50’s, and everyone’s gotta be all suggestive?
  • “Jenkins, I think that stock is going to rally. You might say I think there’s…help on the way. Hmm? Hmm?”
  • “Sir, I believe you’re saying that you hope the stock’s trip won’t be long or strange.”
  • “Jenkins, you’re my new vice-president in charge of the jams!”
  • “Huzzah!”
  • “Moneymoneymoney!”
  • “Moneymoneymoney, to you, sir.”
  • And so forth, but I expect that truth is more mundane: a Garcia bobblehead on a desk leading to a conversation leading to bong hits.
  • There is almost certainly no clubhouse.
  • There is most certainly a little-used conference room or supply room at most large enough firms where the Wall Street Deadheads go to burn one a couple times a day, but that’s not a clubhouse.
  • Is it possible to Wall Street and Deadhead simultaneously, or are they discrete personality zones?
  • I am Deadheading fairly intensely right now, and I just wandered into my kitchen and stood there silently for four or five minutes; Wall Streeting seems it is a more energetic endeavor.
  • Although I should be honest here: I have little-to-no idea of what Wall Streeting entails.
  • There is a commute, I know that.
  • There is also a dress code.
  • Phones.
  • First prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is there is no third prize: fuck you.
  • Plus, it’s tough to listen to shows while Wall Streeting: if you are on the electronic donut pushing Bluestar Airlines for Trader T, you can’t tell the guy on the other to hang on for a half-hour because Playing is about to get intense.
  • Wall Street Deadheads most likely Wall Street during the day and Deadhead at night; they’re the guys at the show in tie-dye shirts, sneakers, and suit pants.
  • Has capitalism loosed its reins and become unchecked and grotesque, or is an even-widening grasp of the populace by a plutocrat class the natural inclination of humanity ?
  • Wealth has always been held by a few, though for most of history, the wealthy few went around lopping off commoners’ heads; maybe we should just thank the rich people for their chill?
  • Now, I come not to praise Wall Street Deadheads, but I also will not condemn them, nor will I judge them (collectively, that is: if I met one and he was a fuckboy, I’d judge that fuckboy) outside the context of Capitalism.
  • A system that raises capital and distributes risk has Wall Streeting built into the foundation: indeed, a certain level of Wall Streeting is necessary to keep things moving in a big enough Capitalist econoplex.
  • If you want Capitalism, you gotta have Wall Street, and if you want the Grateful Dead, you gotta have Capitalism.
  • You could maybe get the Dead in a post-scarcity reputation-based society, but that’s a different subject.
  • To accuse someone of avarice and hold the Dead up as a paragon of artistic purity is absurd: the Dead loved money.
  • The only thing the Dead loved more than money was more money.
  • The Dead got paid for shows or they would send Parish after you and he would kick you in the chest.
  • That whole sharing and free stuff and brotherhood thing was the fans’ idea, and the band was content to foster it.
  • Follow a concrete example the band set or some inchoate ethos half-whispered in parking lots?
  • Deadheading and Wall Streeting are not incompatible: I have proved my theorem.
  • These Wall Street Deadheads, as mentioned in the quote, will surely be donating to political campaigns this season and I propose an alternative: Give the money to me.
  • Goddammit.
  • Hear me out. I have exactly as much chance of becoming President of the United States as Martin O’Malley does. Don’t give him any money: he will waste it. Give it to me.
  • Stop this.
  • We could call it an investment.
  • In what?
  • Let’s just worry about the broad strokes for now.
  • Please.
  • One of those fuckers out there is a stupid-rich Wall Street Deadhead and he should give me money.
  • Why should anyone give you money?
  • Because I want it very badly.
  • We’re done.
  • I would take such good care of the money; I would walk it every day.
  • Wrap it up.