Monday, June 27, 2005

The Insolent Face of Louis Rukeyser


Above: The insolent face of Louie Fucking Rukeyser. (image via lvrh)

The Corsair has always been fascinated by the media (Gemini), especially with television, and, as a child, with PBS during the 1970s in particular. Part of this has to do with our being the child of a diplomat -- a "diplo-brat," if you will -- and thus wanting to learn as much as possible about the latest cultural melee we have been thrown in, by the decree of the Ugandan embassy.

Sometimes, we would come across the insolent face of Louis Rukeyser of "Wall $treet Week." The "S" in "Street" was converted to the oh-so-clever dollar sign, see? And you thought the Ayn Rand's dollar sign cigarette lighters that Objectivists sport is the height of laissez-faire chic?

Needless to say, the bad puns kept a-coming a-plenty, let me tell you; Rukeyser was one funky capitalist monkey. After the credits rolled, and the sound of a ticker blasted (simulating, no doubt, robust economic activity; that, or two bodies draped in expensive jewelry, fucking), Sun King Louis would trot out, silvery feathered locks streaming, manicured like a bitch, and take his seat at the head of the table with his most wry, insolent, constipated smile, only afterwards to deliver bad capitalist puns about "liquidity" and "fixed rate mortgages" and the like (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) You can imagine how roughly his bon mots stunk. His court of corporate lackeys -- la gloire, to be sure -- chuckled synthetically at his every utterance.

It was enough to drive a child Communist.

Those were trying moments, dear sweet Jesus, as we were nearly compelled -- every time -- as if by some unstoppable inner force, to wipe the "rosy outlook" right off his "bull market" with extreme prejudice. We resisted, however. Louis Rukeyser's "Wall $street Week" was, perhaps, the most fucking boring show in the history of television. Ever. Even people who lived money -- i.e investment bankers -- would eschew this "program," regarding it as naught else but simple shit. And it was.

For years, though, it was carried by PBS, like flotsam on the ocean adrift, proving, ironically: ipso facto, the need for more capitalist competition on public television. Surely there were more compelling representations of the importance of an ownership society?

Anyhoo: We thought we'd smelled the last of Rukeyser. (Averted Gaze) Then, Medialife sent this to our inbox, tossing salt in nearly healed wounds:

"Jaws dropped three years ago when Maryland Public Television unceremoniously bumped Louis Rukeyser from his longtime hosting job of 'Wall $treet Week,' one of public television's biggest draws.

"The move seemed to make no sense. MPT claimed it wanted to attract a younger audience to the show. Yet messing with a proven formula in search of a crowd with no strong history of watching personal finance shows seemed misguided. "It turns out it was. The revamped 'Week' never recovered from Rukeyser's very public and angry exit. So it came as no surprise when on Friday night the show aired for the last time, signing off for good."

Good riddance!

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