Three Bankers: Luke

December 13th, 2011 at 2:36 am | 31 Comments |

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Banker 1: Luke

Luke was insane. Like, absolutely, certifiably whackadoo.

There was the clinical mental illness part—talking with his therapist on the phone at all hours, receiving pills in the mail, and shuffling his hulking mass along the hallways of campus as he muttered about The Strokes. I have no idea whether this contributed to his insanity when he was lucid, but when he was, he ended up being…shall we say…arrogant?

Sometimes I’d catch him in the student center, thumbing madly through a copy of The Economist, in that “Look at me, I read The Economist, please suck my dick and tell me I’m smart” sort of way.

Sometimes I’d get in heated arguments with him over economic deregulation and he’d wildly make up sources for his arguments. If I called him out on his bullshit, he’d counter with “Well, you’re a REPUBLICAN.”

And sometimes, he’d tell me his crazy ideas for his eventual, guaranteed success.

“You’re not going to work for Lehman Brothers,” I said.

“Yes, I am,” he insisted. It was still early 2008, so he could have technically still worked for Lehman Brothers. But the rest of the exchange ruled that out.

“You have a 2.8 GPA.”

“I can change that. I’ll get all A’s next semester.”

“That’s not going to help,” I pointed out, scooting away inch by awkward inch.

“What do you know?!” he suddenly erupted. “Stop being such a bitch! I took all this time out of my day so I could talk to you, and, and, and—” With one angry, fluid, rugby-honed motion, he flipped the table next to me over. “YOU’RE SUCH A BITCH.”

Luke eventually transferred out of my college.

He took five years to graduate from some place in the South. Last I heard, he was working for one of those door-to-door companies selling knives or foreclosed houses or something. And yet here I am, jobless. Life is funny that way.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • hisgirlfriday

    Well, aren’t you pleasant?

    1. Making cheap jokes about the mentally ill

    2. Hopelessly misinformed about economic deregulation

    3. Stuck up about people who graduate “from some place in the South”

    4. Dismissive and judgmental of anyone who would rather make a living as something so low as a door-to-door salesman rather than be a noble unemployment check recipient like you

    Is this supposed to be a satire of whiny, arrogant, entitled Ivy League graduates?

    • Fart Carbuncle

      Bingo. Apt assessment.

      Galatea: Fail.

      • ConnerMcMaub

        I agree completely. When someone as conservative as Fart and I agree it means you’re either way off base or some kind of heroic centrist free of bias. Of course, heroes are usually for someone other than themselves.

  • Ray_Harwick

    I didn’t get it. You keep strange friendship with nuts who speak to you like you’re a slut (I guess that an elective in college these days. In my day it was grounds for dismissal), who seem to be able to recognize their limitations and find employment – or at least able to gravitate to the periphery of their expertise, and you don’t have a job.

    I understand the urge to find an extreme case to use in a story as a device for comparision between characters. It’s useful because it makes the main character look rational by comparison. I’m not sure what you’re doing with this character. I’d never call you irrational in your previous episodes; just inexperienced, naive, unskilled and unresourceful. So this episode confuses me. You knew a guy in college who was an immature, shallow, vulgar jerk. That’s typically the kind of person who fails in college, regardless of their political affiliation.

    Discuss.

    • Demosthenes

      You had it right in your comment on an earlier post of Galatea’s: at the end of the day style only counts for so much, to be able to write something worth reading you need to have lived. I don’t blame Galatea for her sense of entitlement, clearly she is bright and has done relatively well for herself so far. But she would doubtless benefit from some introspection.

      My advice to Galatea: truth is always, always, always both stranger and more interesting than fiction.

    • Primrose

      Maybe he’s supposed to be a stand-in for all democrats? I nice little, shallow tribalism.

      • Ray_Harwick

        By implication of the title, she’s witholding information on what we can only expect to be a sub-theme within her own story. It’s possible to redeem herself from this disaster by tieing in Banker #2 and #3 into a coherant story that gives sense to Banker #1. We’ll have to wait and see if she can achieve that.

        But there is still the obligation to construct an introduction for the sub-theme that makes readers want to come back and have something introduced in episode #1 resolved or complicated in episode #2, and finally resolved completely in episode #3. This stage of the sub-theme has no worthy conflict in it, as readers might hope for, to pit the main character against any other character. The “immovable force” Galatea needs simple went south on her. She disposed of her potential antagonist without any effort on her part. He just moved away and it’s almost like his moving away bothers her because she lacks anyone, even a lunatic, to juxatpose herself against to create the minimum amount of conflict a story must have to be engaging.

        Witholding the opposing character story line, which include their backstory, can make for a great deal of excitement, even in non-fiction prose. Sometimes it can be used to set up a character contest in which not knowing what one character thinks increases the anxiety of the main character. We have nothing like that here. Now that Luke is gone, Galatea could care less what he thinks. We also don’t hear Luke speaking for himself and that’s often the greatest form entertainment – when a character tells what made him a nut case. Even mentally handicapped, clinically depressed or sociopaths characters can be super interesting and (gulp) sympathetic, unless they went to the wrong school. (Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury; King: The Shining; Groom: Forrest Gump; Thorton: Sling Blade; Kesey: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest; Norman: ‘night Mother). I wonder if Galeta has considered that she may be a far better writer if she writes with sympathy about someone who seems to have no reason anyone would want to be sympathetic with, perhaps to reveal.

        Autobiography, as Galatea is allegedly engaging in, is a very hard sell if you worried about revealing yourself. That’s why people write fiction, so they can dig way down deep into themselves and change the names rather than reveal their own warts.

  • rbottoms

    Aren’t you supposed to be looking for a job?

  • heap

    i’m starting to get the feeling this is linnane’s other pseudonym.

    i refuse to believe that two people this inane actually exist independent of each other, much less employed at the same website.

  • Nanotek

    ” I have no idea whether this contributed to his insanity when he was lucid, but when he was, he ended up being…shall we say…arrogant?”

    Association with human beings lures one into self-observation. — Franz Kafka

  • jplus

    Luke might be a good door-to-door salesman. You are not a good writer. If you want to get paid for your writing, learn to write better.

  • Stewardship

    Did I miss something? He was a student then a door-to-door salesman, but never a banker. How can he be banker #1?

    • Primrose

      Exactly. I didn’t understand how this counted. Or as others have said what on earth was the point?

      So you knew a crazy person in college? Uh-Uh. Yes. I’ve known crazy people in college,in high school, in work, in my own family. What kind of sheltered life did you live before college?

      Nor do get why you are complaining about his so-called lucid behavior. You know he had mental illness, certifiable illness. All those interactions with you sound like he was still under its sway, borderline personality disorder it sounds like just off the cuff.

      Are you complaining because you are unemployed and you think that is how we divide good people from bad people? Perhaps, you should grow up and realize that the world is a bit more complicated than that.

  • Oldskool

    It’s best to humor people you know are insane, for their sake as well as yours.

  • Carney

    I have stuck up for Galatea about her previous posts, but this was a low-quality post. If she had more specific, recent, verified detail about the employment status of Luke, then this post might have had something going for it — the frustration of her not landing a job while this mess of a man has one. Without that’s there’s no there there.

    And her gratuitous use of obscenity in the story is worse than any name-calling Luke engaged in.

    Who cleared this for posting?

  • ottovbvs

    Where does Frum find these people from? His Republican/conservative lineup seems to consist of superannuated lobbyists like Bell; current lobbyists like Lehrer or Foster; certifiable maniacs like Linnane or Vecchione; or snotty nosed kids like this one (I’ll give Noah a break because while unquestionably snotty nosed he is bright). This is unadulterated rubbish.

    • Nanotek

      while growing her website nearly from scratch, I never saw Arianna Huffington miss an opportunity, when being interviewed, to invite the person interviewing her or those she was on panels with (including conservatives), to post an article on the Huff Post. …they did and they brought their own readers who kept coming back … several hundred million dollars later …

      I enjoy Noah’s pieces … facts seem important to him

      • valkayec

        I enjoy Noah’s pieces … facts seem important to him

        Agreed, 100%. I read everything Noah writes and believe he’s getting better all the time. He’s left the tribalism and has learned to think for himself.

  • sbh

    The quality of your writing has fallen dramatically and it has lost most if not all the relevant content. Do you have anything else to say?

  • budgiegirl

    Perhaps this is why people with jobs should not look down on people who don’t have jobs. Having a job is not much of a litmus test for discerning the intrinsic worth or decency or sanity of any human being.
    If that is the lesson you have finally learned, Galatea, then maybe this article has some merit. Some people I suppose never learn this. Welcome to life outside of Libertarianism.

  • mawnck

    So are we still assuming that Galatea is a real person? Because I never really got that impression.

    And her creator/author/ghostwriter/muse/whatever seems to be all out of ideas.

  • GuyNBlack

    I’m a graduate of several elite colleges that are located “some place in the South” (specifically the ones with demonic and devilish mascots) and I have enjoyed you columns up to this point. However, I am somewhat offended at your rude and prejudicial attitude about a place that I would wage you have probably never been. Of course that is the kind of ignorance that I have come to expect from people who were raised or went to school “some place in the North.” Or then again maybe your mentally ill friend happened to to be right about one thing.

    Maybe if you had chosen your college on the basis of rigorous academic standards and training opportunities rather than going to an ivy league social club know for nothing in the modern era but rampant grade inflation and people who were smart enough to realize they were better off dropping out then you would have had better luck in finding a job.

  • NRA Liberal

    Don’t blog-post your working notes, Galatea. This is a sketch, not a finished piece.

  • _will_

    “I’d get in heated arguments with him over economic deregulation”

    “It was still early 2008″

    “And yet here I am, jobless”

    irony much?

    “Well, you’re a REPUBLICAN.”

    ^^ you have to admit, he’s got you there…

  • ConnerMcMaub

    The author should volunteer in a hospital for the mentally ill, maybe she’d get a clue and a heart. This article is offensive to anyone who has had the horror of a family member with a mental illness.

  • margoharris1

    Libertarians are a cruel lot. They are missing the kindness chip.

  • nuser

    Why was I censored again? Actually twice . Once on carbuncle, just because I called him on
    saying( pretty well) :D avid Brudnoy deserved what he got (he died), because he chose to be gay and jewish.Regarding Galatea, all I said :One ought not to trade on someones mental illness.

    • nuser

      Frumforum.
      May owe you an apology, I can’t email out but receive email. Another thing when calling a government number , someone comes on asking what kind of assistance I need, fire or ambulance. This is the twilight zone maybe? Still does not answer the question ;what happened to carbuncle’s sickening response?