Monday, July 15, 2002

Mo’ Money - The convergence of the baseball players’ strike and the corporate accounting scandals is befitting since the root cause of both debacles is the unbridled pursuit of "stuff". Millionaire baseball players pumped up on steroids and fat-cat corporate executives pumped up on stock options both crave mo’ money because of their uncontrolled need to acquire more "stuff". How much "stuff"? A lot more than you can ever need or use.

If you’re groping for insight into their thinking, you need only to watch a program on MTV called "Cribs". For 30 minutes each week, viewers are treated to a guided tour of the mega-million-dollar homes of professional athletes, rap stars and singing divas. Imelda Marcos would blush with envy at the shoe collections and wardrobes of these jocks and crooners, most of whom will be flipping burgers, pumping gas or doing hard time once their playing and singing careers have ended. But while their careers are booming, these people don’t mind showing off the contents of their 12-bathroom/bedroom houses and 15-car garages to the MTV audience.

For the flip side of fame and fortune, one needs only turn to a program on MTV’s sister station VH-1 called "Behind the Music" and the Fox Sports Channel’s "Beyond the Glory". Both programs focus on the lives of entertainment and athletic has-beens, with a emphasis on the downward spiral of their careers. From lunch at The Plaza to foraging for dinner in a McDonald’s dumpster, only those who have reached the heights of fame and fortune can sink as low as some of the losers profiled on these TV shows.

But aside from the now-defunct "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", corporate executives no longer have a television show that allows us common folks to take a peek at their glamorous homes and lives. Perhaps it’s time to resurrect this once-popular show, and to create a new program that follows the lives of corporate crooks after they’ve been caught and sent to prison. It just might be one of the most effective ways to keep corrupt executives in check.


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