Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Swan Redux & Blessings Galore

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three for the Road

The prolific guitarist/composer 
Howard Fishman.

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

Jazzy singer-songwriter Howard Fishman—who as a guitarist has played with such luminaries as Nellie McKay—recently released not one, not two, but three CDs of his songs. “I kind of lost my mind” was his explanation of the unusual outpouring to the filmmaker Marie Le Claire, who has been documenting the making of the trilogy. Though held together by his affecting, Lou-Reedish-I’m-not-quite-singing vocals and his superb musicality (as well as, as fellow blogger Robert Rosen commented, “a good vibe”), the three works are nonetheless quite different from each other: Better Get Right is Howard’s “love letter to New Orleans,” as he puts it on his website, with the sounds of his Biting Fish Brass Band reflecting that city’s sometimes raucous street jams; No Further Instructions, perhaps the most intriguing, turns a trip through Romania with his friend the photojournalist Michael Benanav into a folkish (in the pure sense) song cycle, complete with violins and accordion (and spoons?); and The World Will Be Different involves, fittingly, a different kind of journey, an interior, thoughtful one after a romantic breakup, with, primarily, a four-piece combo. (Bonus for New Yorker subscribers: the lyric “I’ve been on a roll/Even my stack of New Yorkers is under control.” If Howard can do it, maybe I can too!)

What does one do after delivering such a creative triptych? If you’re Howard—who made some noise a few years ago by recording his own interpretation of Dylan’s Basement Tapes—you play them all live, successively over three nights, November 4–6, at Abrons Art Center in NYC. Howard says he expects to find these performances “both emotionally draining and positively cathartic.” Of the final night’s songs, his reliving of The World Will Be Different’s stormy love affair, he adds, “I don’t think I’ll ever want to play them all together again.” Take the ride with him, while you can!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blond Harmonies and a Timeless Troubadour

Christopher Paul Stelling

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

Caught a couple of promising acts on Saturday, the last day of this year’s CMJ festival, both of them playing at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side—a marvel of a tiny space put to excellent use. (Drew the sound guy was up the built-in ladder sitting with his legs dangling from the sound booth.)

With his been-around-the-block guitar inscribed with various symbols (“CPS” being the easiest to figure out), his unruly hair in a modified ponytail, and his blue eyes at times almost alarming in their intensity, Christopher Paul Stelling comes across as a kind of neo-Testament prophet. His imagery-rich songs, involving suicide, murder, heaven, hell, ocean depths, bayous, and of course lost love, hearken back to 18th-century Scottish ballads (“Barbara Allen,” anyone?) even as they tap into the perpetual human condition.

After his gripping concert—disarmingly, in between the Gothic-tinged songs he commented on the quality of his Bloody Mary and, in an oblique comment on his strenuous performance (he uses his booted foot as percussion), informed us that his mother was an aerobics instructor—Chris told me that he'd like to go to Scotland, partly because, he said, they sing there without amplification. “I hope we’re heading toward more sincerity, less production,” he added. (No Auto-Tune for this guy.) Onstage he did occasionally stray from the mic, with no sound diminishment that I could detect.

Check out a video of Chris in action; I haven’t even mentioned his extraordinary finger-picking stylings, by turns muscular, breakneck, and celestial (and at times all three).

Delta Rae

In their first, a cappella song, the North Carolina group Delta Rae also stomped the beat—is this a trend? Composed of the baby-blond siblings Ian (who looks like Woody Harrelson), Eric, and Brittany Hölljes and their childhood friend Elizabeth Hopkins (they were smart to bring in a brunette; it cuts the sunniness factor), the band specializes in close harmonies. While a couple of their original songs were pretty good—such as “Ooh Caroline,” the subject of which they claimed materialized, uninvited, at one of their NYC concerts as they were performing the song—the four really showed their talents in the two covers they did: a revved-up “California Dreamin’” (just as I was thinking that Brittany Hölljes reminded me of Michelle Phillips) and their “model” (as Brittany told us) Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” in a thrilling rendition. Though it doesn’t come across quite as well recorded in, we’re told, a bathroom, they did upload that one to YouTube.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Champion of Dogs and Underdogs

Singer-songwriter-pianist-activist Nellie McKay, whose latest CD packs a melodious punch.

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

In a tease for Nellie McKay’s performance tomorrow at the Greene Space, for WNYC’s “Soundcheck,” someone called her new CD, Home Sweet Mobile Home, “whimsical.” Perhaps, I thought—in a Weill-Brechtian way. The shark has pearly teeth, and also, with her sweet, slightly askew smile, does Nellie, who is sharklike only when she’s fighting the good fight, on behalf of animals (“Eatin’ that burger… Eatin’ that torture”), the disenfranchised (“So you’ll find me/Here right beneath the underdog”), and the never-franchised (“Please sir let me lay in the sewer that claimed me”).

Since Nellie played Polly Peachum in a 2006 Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera, the Weill-Brecht influence would not be surprising, but, aside from last year’s Doris Day tribute album, which involved singing (beautifully) about cockeyed optimism and sentimental journeys, Nellie has from the beginning—after all, her first CD was called Get Away from Me—given us clever, sometimes acerbic, always enlightened songs couched in a Tin Pan Alley musical sensibility. (For my interview with Nellie on the Doris Day album, go to Vanity Fair’s website.)

I had assumed the CD title’s mobile-home reference had to do with today’s economy—and it might—but Nellie told an interviewer that her “nana” lived in a trailer and she used to like visiting there, and the cover shows a faux-naïf painting (her own) of a happy, lipsticked cat putting on Nellie’s record in a cozy, rosy setting. The inside packaging contains more animal art, along with photos of a smiling, saronged Nellie (the album includes the lilting “Caribbean Time,” recorded in Jamaica), but in the background are drawings of smokestacks spewing pollution—yet, indeed, rather whimsically!

Such is the despairing/rejoicing world of Nellie McKay, which I hope you will enter if you have not already. My favorite song on the CD is “Bruise on the Sky,” with its poignancy, lovely and inventive harmonies, and typically startling lyrics (“I need your loving eyes/At least your cyanide”).

Nellie will be on “Soundcheck” October 12, and you can check out tour dates and download “Caribbean Time” at her website.

The Return of von Pauli

My favorite Nazi has posted another propaganda video.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Transcriptions from the Universe

Headpress 2.2

Excerpts from a new article I wrote about John Lennon’s diaries, “Transcriptions from the Universe,” have been published in the online edition of the Headpress journal.

Headpress, the independent British publisher that’s bringing out my book Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, asked me to explain how my Lennon bio, Nowhere Man, which languished unpublished for 18 years, became a bestseller in five countries and three languages. To do that, I published reproductions of key pages from my own diaries from the time I was recreating Lennon’s diaries from memory. (I originally told the story of how I came to temporarily possess Lennon’s diaries in Nowhere Man.)

The complete article is available only in the print edition of the Headpress journal. —RR

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First "Beaver Street" Promo Video

My new book, Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, is scheduled to be published in the UK on October 7 by Headpress. This is the first promotional video and it’s already kicking up a controversy. Play it loud and in full-screen mode for maximum impact. You can also check out the newly launched Headpress media site. And please stay tuned for more breaking news on Beaver Street. —RR

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Latter-Day Doris Day?

Singer Nellie McKay, deceptively light as air, is appearing at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency.

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

I hesitate to use the image for someone who I’m guessing is a pacifist, but Nellie McKay reminds me of a stealth bomber. With her creamy skin, blonde curls, silky voice, and sweet manner, she seems a throwback to … well, Doris Day, to whom she pays tribute in her current show at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency (and also in her CD Normal As Blueberry Pie). Yet McKay has a steely resolve when it comes to such issues as animal rights, the disenfranchised, gentrification, and her own musical integrity. (After a falling-out with Columbia Records, she is on the jazz label Verve.)

At the early show Saturday night, her politics were not much in evidence (she did mention Doris Day’s own animal activism) but her absurdist humor was—she introduced a couple of members of her excellent band (Jay Berliner on guitar, Ben Bynum on drums, Kenny Davis on bass, Glenn Drewes on trumpet, Belinda Whitney on violin) as “the Antichrist” and “the original Anna Karenina” (and that wasn’t Belinda). Wearing a retro black strapless gown with red lining, along with silver pumps with rhinestone bows, she began her set with “Sentimental Journey,” and in a sense that’s what she was taking us on. Along the way—with standards like “Close Your Eyes” and “Mean to Me”—there were overtones of big bands, the 1940s, swing, and Alice Faye, with special dedications to the late Kitty Carlisle Hart, who began playing Feinstein’s in her 90s, and Rue McClanahan, who died last Thursday.

And all of this was beautiful (especially in the swank environment of Feinstein’s)—with such instrumental touches as delicate xylophone on “The Very Thought of You” and violin doubling a vocal line on “Do Do Do.” Still, it was great to have the singer leave her piano and stroll to the center mic with her ukulele for a rendition of Lennon and McCartney’s “A World Without Love” and her own songs “Bodega” (“Adopt a bodega!” she urged), “Caribbean Time,” and “Mother of Pearl.” She introduced the last, on its surface an antifeminist diatribe, by saying, “This is from Miss Day’s little-known album Viva Vajayjay.” And ended it with, “I’m Sarah Palin and I approve this message.” (Hmm, maybe I’m a little wrong about the politics.)

There are perhaps not many performers who could blend the sensibilities of “The Dog Song” (“If you want a companion/Well just go right to the pound”) and “Black Hills of Dakota,” but by following her passions and her own musical style, the exuberant McKay has created a lovely, entertaining, beguiling, and even edifying show (pretty stealthy, Nellie).

“Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day” continues through June 12 at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in N.Y.C.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boy II Man

Ben (Michael Douglas) and ex-wife Nancy (Susan Sarandon) on the campus bench where they first met.

Solitary Man
Directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Written by Brian Koppelman
Starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, Jessie Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker, and Imogen Poots

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

Coming across as a potent combination of Rabbit at Rest and Wonder Boys, Solitary Man explores, among other things, the combustion that can occur when deteriorating, experienced middle age meets beautiful, inexperienced youth. “You can’t cheat death,” his ex-wife, Nancy, tells the 60ish Ben (played by Michael Douglas, appropriately craggy and sexy, who also starred in Wonder Boys). But once his doctor finds a worrisome heart abnormality, Ben does try, by cheating—spectacularly—in both his marriage and his business. A former Forbes cover boy, Ben loses it all by perpetrating a scam in his auto dealership empire (ironically, he’s touted himself as “New York’s honest car dealer”). He’s reduced to asking not only Nancy (the ever lovely Susan Sarandon)—with whom he’s on good terms, perhaps because she’s found her own success in real estate—for the occasional “loan,” but also their daughter (Jenna Fischer, here a homemaker out of The Office), whose lawyer husband is onto Ben’s manipulative tricks.

Ben thinks he’s found a solid way out of his financial predicament, however, and of course it takes the form of a woman: his girlfriend (on whom he also constantly runs around), played icily by Mary-Louise Parker, whose powerful father can get Ben restarted. But first, a favor: she asks Ben to accompany her 18-year-old daughter (Imogen Poots, in a role right out of Gossip Girl) to his alma mater and use his influence there on her behalf; after all, the library’s named after him, a reminder of radically better days. Once they’ve arrived, Ben’s cockiness—he engages in a dangerous conversation about sex with the girl and takes a nerdy sophomore (Jesse Eisenberg) under his broken wing—leads to events that cause his new foundation to crumble.

The movie’s title—it opens with Johnny Cash’s cover of the Neil Diamond song—could be a joke, given Ben’s epic womanizing. But this is a serious film that knows that this man—despite his supportive ex-wife, loving (though reaching her limits) daughter, adoring grandson, and loyal friend (Danny DeVito as a campus café owner)—is alone, because of his actions and, ultimately, because we all are. Looking at mortality, and one man’s understandable but impossible flight from it, in the way it does, Solitary Man could have been depressing. Instead, because it also uncovers the richness and complexity of life, it’s uplifting.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A New York Estate of Mind

Walking and talking: Teenager Abby (Sarah Steele) and her mother, Kate (Catherine Keener).

Please Give
Written and directed by Nicole Holofcener
Starring Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, and Sarah Steele

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

As I have a bit of a skin problem myself at the moment, I can sympathize with Abby (Sarah Steele), the 15-year-old character in Nicole Holofcener’s new film, Please Give. Abby is dealing not only with a mother melting down from liberal guilt, but, worse, with acne (“Oh, that’s bad,” says another character, who gives facials, “it looks cystic”)—which is both on her face and in ours. Can’t she cover it up a little? I couldn’t help wondering. But such is the way of Holofcener, whose movies (Walking and Talking, Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money) are much more like real life than most of what you’ll see on the big screen. (Her one “lapse” may have been the use of the glamorous Jennifer Aniston in Friends with Money, except that Aniston fared much better in that movie and in Miguel Arteta’s The Good Girl than she has in more air-brushed, so to speak, films.) During Friends with Money, when Holofcener’s muse Catherine Keener, as half of a screenwriter couple, berates her husband for not properly sympathizing when she gets hurt, my own husband whispered to me, “Sounds like arguments we’ve had.” Indeed.

In the director’s new film, Keener plays Kate, a woman uncomfortable with her own upper-middle-class comfort, which is, oddly, enhanced by the dead and almost dead: She buys furniture from the estates of the newly deceased for her upscale antique store, and she and her husband, Alex (the “real”-looking Oliver Platt), have already bought the apartment next door from the elderly woman, Andra (Ann Guilbert, once a neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show), who lives in it; when she dies, they’ll be able to smash right through and have an even bigger place in their stately East Village building.

Andra’s granddaughters—Mary (Amanda Peet), who is almost unbelievably blunt (see acne remark above), and Rebecca (Rebecca Hall), the sweet to Mary’s sour, who does most of the caretaking for their grandmother (also sour)—only serve to exacerbate Kate’s guilt about Andra, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Yet they affect Kate’s family—Abby and Alex—in ways that Kate cannot. Somewhat distracted by her desire to make the world a better place, Kate tries to volunteer for work with both the very old and children with Down syndrome but finds herself overcome by their situations (in a reversal, one of the children attempts to help Kate when she ends up a blubbering heap in a restroom stall). Instead, Kate hands out money and leftovers indiscriminately to anyone who even appears to be homeless.

This is kind of Wallace Shawn Lite, yet Kate truly is struggling and she truly does love her family. (In an unusual and touching development, Abby and Alex indirectly share a secret they keep from Kate, demonstrating the sometimes delicate interweaving of family dynamics.)

Holofcener does not concern herself too much with plot. In her movies a person can have an affair without any eventual explosions or can suffer a depression that shows itself, rather than in hitting the bottle, in not hitting the shampoo. This can make her work seem more natural than contrived—a more leisurely and less intellectual Woody Allen, whom Holofcener once worked for.

In the character-driven Please Give, there is only one off note that I can perceive (well, apart from nearly every New Yorker going bonkers over getting to the country to watch the fall leaves “peak”): Those two young women never give a hint of being resentful at not inheriting their grandmother’s great apartment. Really?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Exploding Girls

Where it begins: Teenagers Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) meet—where else?—in an L.A. club.

The Runaways
Written and directed by Floria Sigismondi
Starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and Michael Shannon

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

“Hello, Daddy / Hello, Mom / I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!” With those words—half-talked, half-sung—the 16-year-old, bottle-blonde Cherie Currie introduced to the world a revolutionary kind of girl group, the Runaways. Her partner in grime and grit, Joan Jett, had started the band in 1975 with drummer Sandy West, under the demented aegis of Kim Fowley, a record producer whose idea of rock ’n’ roll was blood, guts, and sex. To Jett (who’d changed her name of Larkin) it was more—“It is my life,” she says to a disillusioned Currie after the Runaways have wowed the teens of Japan (a “Hello Sex Kitten” to rival the recently launched “Hello Kitty”).

The Runaways, executive-produced by Jett, starts off a little slowly setting things up—though the opening image is appropriately primal—but then gets nearly everything right: the clubs, the clothes, the songwriting, the drugs, the sex (especially a hallucinatory scene involving Currie and Jett). And the music. Both Kristen Stewart, as Jett, and Dakota Fanning (wasn’t she just yesterday a little girl?), as Currie, look and sound authentic when they hit the stage. Fanning even learned Currie’s signature wrapping-the-mic-around-the-leg move, as she demonstrated for Jimmy Fallon last night, though, judging from the video below, the real Currie was a bit more like a jaded kid you’d pass in the mall than the fresh-faced Fanning. Stewart, in black leather, brings to the role of Jett the right body type and the right attitude: a tough and slightly disinterested exterior that belies the fire inside that will turn Jett into one of rock’s greats.

With the Blackhearts, Jett, of course, went on to make such hard-driving hits as “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”; Lita Ford—the Runaways’ lead guitarist, who gets short shrift in the film (perhaps because it’s based on Currie’s memoir, Neon Angel)—spent years raising kids on a Caribbean island before barreling back last year with Wicked Wonderland; and Cherie Currie, whose career was derailed by addiction, is today a ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chainsaw artist! Just keep setting off those bombs, girls.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ivy League

On the rooftop: Best friends Al (Mark Rendall) and Ivy (Zoe Kazan) watch a flock of pigeons take flight.

The Exploding Girl
Written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray
Starring Zoe Kazan and Mark Rendall

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

This is not a movie that explodes—which is fine, since we have more than enough of those. The titular “exploding girl” of the film, Ivy (Zoe Kazan), who has epilepsy, wanders the downtown streets of New York with cell phone always in hand. On vacation from college, both she and her best friend, Al (Mark Rendall), are staying with her mother (Maryann Urbano). Although both her mom and Al care for her almost to the point of coddling, Ivy seems to need to talk to her boyfriend, Greg, who’s apparently in another town, almost constantly. It’s clear from the beginning, however, that Greg does not feel the same involvement. Why Ivy needs to hide this from those who love her is not so clear, but watch Kazan’s face as she sits with Al, not telling him—the most active and mesmerizing silence I think I’ve ever seen; I felt as though I were being pulled into the screen. (The lack of music only intensifies the scene.) Kazan’s Everygirl looks, with chipmunk cheeks (“She’s so cute!” a woman behind me at the screening kept squealing), only add to the film’s naturalism.

This is a movie that takes its time. When Ivy cries as Al holds her, we, as he, simply have to wait for her. And because it’s Kazan, we do. Kazan, is, by the way, the granddaughter of legendary director Elia Kazan, and writer-director Bradley Rust Gray includes a lovely homage to On the Waterfront, when Al—whose interest in Ivy goes beyond their friendship—takes Ivy to see pigeons being kept on a rooftop.

Aside from the pigeons and a couple of parties, not a lot happens in this film, and I’m not sure it could have been a film without Zoe Kazan—Gray has said that as soon as he imagined the character of Ivy, he thought of Kazan—but perhaps that’s irrelevant: It’s a delicate work, restrained and rewarding, as long as you, like Al, have some patience.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hedging Her Bets

Former small-town Gilmore girl Alexis Bledel, as Beth Vest, falls for the big-city charms of Tommy Fielding (Scott Porter).

The Good Guy
Written and directed by Julio DiPietro
Starring Alexis Bledel, Scott Porter, Bryan Greenberg, and Andrew McCarthy

By Mary Lyn Maiscott

Alexis Bledel is so sweetly pretty that you might allow her anything, and perhaps that’s what the director of this movie, Julio DePietro, did. Placidity—even interrupted by a few tears and some unconvincing pseudo-Sex-and-the-City girlfriending (a communal-Brazilian-wax scene? Really?)—does not a compelling character make. (I found this also with the ingénue in the 2007 movie Life in Flight, which I recently caught on one of the movie channels. Calling Amanda Seyfried!)

Bledel’s Beth Vest has an important job—urban conservationist—but it doesn’t get much play in the film, and it doesn’t help that Beth’s friends are shallow, despite having a book club, as well as annoying. The men fare better, with Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights) playing a hotshot Wall Streeter named Tommy, who’s seeing Beth, and Bryan Greenberg his unsophisticated protégé, Daniel, who wishes he were seeing Beth (I told you she’s pretty). Tommy, by the way, has his own even shallower and more annoying work gaggle—they’re not just irritating, they’re boors (undoubtedly with bonuses). So which one—Tommy or Daniel—gives the movie its title? It takes Beth a while to figure it out, and it may you too. The director could have surprised us more than he does with this tale, but it just might do until Wall Street 2’s Michael Douglas re-emerges as, according to Vanity Fair, a—huh?—good guy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top Ten Events of 2000-2009 (And Quite a Decade It Was)

Cover of the first Spanish-language edition of Nowhere Man, 2003

By Robert Rosen

This is my very personal list of the ten events, good and bad, of the past decade that have had the greatest impact upon my life.

1. August 2000: Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon is published. I wrote the bulk of the book in 1982, and for 18 years the “experts” told me it was unpublishable. It becomes a bestseller in five countries and three languages. My life changes and the book’s impact continues to be felt to this day.

2. September 11, 2001: Mary Lyn Maiscott and I live a mile from Ground Zero. The first plane flies directly over our house. We hear it crash into the North Tower but can’t see anything and have no idea what happened. We go back to work. Twenty minutes later I call my brother. “Aren’t you watching TV?” he asks. We go outside to watch the towers burn. Our building is evacuated because of a bomb threat. It’s a false alarm, but the terror is real. Twelve firemen from the firehouse across the street die at the World Trade Center. It’s a cosmically bad day.

3. October 19, 2001: I marry Mary Lyn in a civil ceremony at the Municipal Building in downtown Manhattan. The ceremony is broadcast live on The Louie Free Radio Show. Mary Lyn and I had been together for 11 years. What were we waiting for, a terrorist attack? In the midst of ongoing horror, it’s a very good day.

4. May-June 2002: Delayed honeymoon in Mallorca. We spend five of the most idyllic weeks of our lives in an 800-year-old stone house in the tiny mountain village of Fornalutx. Thank you, Terry Bisbee.

5. September 2002: Just as the paperback edition of Nowhere Man is published by Quick American Archives, I’m subpoenaed to testify as a witness for Yoko Ono in the copyright infringement suit she’s brought against my former writing partner Fred Seaman. After having been called a liar, and worse, by a variety of critics, journalists, and anonymous Internet posters, the trial gives me the opportunity to testify under oath, before the world media, that the story I told in Nowhere Man is true.

6. March 2003: Nowhere Man is published in Spanish in Mexico, and the articles and excerpts that appear over the next six months in virtually every major newspaper and magazine in the country are unlike anything that’s ever happened before. I am, in short, flabbergasted on an almost daily basis.

7. October-November 2003: On the eve of the publication of the second Spanish-language edition of Nowhere Man, I go to Mexico City to meet the press. I feel as if I’ve entered an alternate universe where everything I’ve been working for, for the past 25 years, has come to pass in a language I don’t understand. Thank you for being my voice, Ramón De La Cruz of Random House Mondadori.

8. May 25, 2005: My father dies. I thought he was indestructible. He was not.

9. October 2005: On the occasion of John Lennon’s 65th birthday, I’m invited to Mexico and Chile to talk about Nowhere Man. It is, more or less, a replay of the 2003 trip, with an additional country added. And again, I’m bowled over by the interest in the book, and the warmth and hospitality of the people. This time, however, I can speak a few words of Spanish, and I’m able to say things like “Yo soy la morsa” y “Sí, fumo mota.” Gracias a Roberto Ponce de Proceso y Javier Foxon de Paniko.

10. Late 2008-Early 2009: The economy collapses. Like everybody who had a 401K in the ’90’s, I swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker: “If you want to have enough money to retire, you have to invest in mutual funds.” I come to the painful realization that if I’d have been better off if I’d stuffed my money in a mattress.