No, You Can’t Get a Drink at 5 AM

By James Kwak

I’m in the United Club at SFO waiting for a flight, and the bar is closed until 8. So much for business travel.

I just published a post over at Medium that is really about two things: how both airline marketers and on-campus recruiters perpetuate the idea that air travel is glamorous, even when all of us know that it isn’t. It’s sort of a sequel to one of my favorite posts of those I’ve written, “Why Do Harvard Kids Head to Wall Street?” which I think is the one Paul Tough mentioned in his book about grit. Now that it’s recruiting season in the Ivy League, I thought it might be useful.

Also, last week I wrote a post about the HP breakup and what it implies about corporate management.

32 responses to “No, You Can’t Get a Drink at 5 AM

  1. Professor Kwak—I’ve always pictured you as a teetotaler in my mind. That’s not a cheapshot at your manhood, rather I just see you as “straight-laced” type. I know both native North Koreans and native South Koreans can drink with the best of them. I also happen to know by my personal travels that Korean “baijiu” is about 20,000 times better than Chinese baijiu, which the latter is absolutely putrid. You have my sympathies for traveling United Air and not being able to consume alcohol during the torture. Although you can console yourself during these times by repeating to yourself in a monotone voiced mantra “It could be worse, I could be flying American Air” “It could be worse, I could could be American Air” “It could be worse, I could could be American Air”. When you think of that suddenly flying United sans alcohol will be more bearable.

    What I like about you Mr. Kwak, is not your prose in of itself, but the topics you choose to write about which often are under the radar and NEED to be discussed. I have always held this is your greatest strong point as a analyst of society.

    Speaking of topics under the radar, some “members of the tribe” haven’t gotten Netanyahu’s script, talking points memo, or propaganda brainwashing. These “members of the tribe” are thinking on their own. A great sin in the eyes of Netanyahu:
    http://news.yahoo.com/exodus-campaign-berlin-sparks-outrage-israel-053429915–finance.html

    Well, it’s not like Netanyahu’s “love” of his country could be questioned as “insincere” or anything:
    http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-1000909961

    http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-netanyahu-bought-garden-furniture-at-public-expense-report-1000945786

    Netanyahu is doing what “W” Bush calls “a heck of a job, Brownie”, and if worse comes to worse, these young people SPEAKING THE TRUTH in Berlin can have their visa to Is-rael DENIED to them, such as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky had their visa to Is-rael DENIED to them as “members of the tribe” who dare to speak the truth. Because speaking truth to power isn’t allowed in Is-rael, and also if you speak badly about Is-raeli GOVERNMENT, that also AUTOMATICALLY means you are “anti-Semite”. Or was it the other way around??—I have to double check Netanyahu’s forcefully prescribed “OK talking points” memo again.

  2. Thanks for re-posting the 2010 blog about why Harvard kids head to Wall Street. I sent it to a lot of college seniors I know (admittedly at Georgetown, not Harvard) and to some kids who just entered “consulting” to “get some experience.”

  3. You can have a few short drinks and still keep your sanity, tall ones, not so much.

  4. Hi, ust wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  5. Here’s a good one:

  6. Hi there, I want to subscribe for this weblog to take newest updates, so where can i do it please help.

  7. Well I know basturd Republicans give tons of PHONY and INSINCERE lipservice to the fact they really don’t like “redistribution of income”. But see, when “redistribution of income” works to the fat cats of Wall Street’s favor, sh*t-head Republicans like Mitt Romney, Chris Christie and Ron Paul don’t have a single word to say about it. When pensioners who have done real work their entire lives for a relatively small end of life stipend, Romney’s Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, and KKR can’t wait to take a large crap on the face of the working man by pushing their corrupt price-fixing F*ck-ups into the working man’s lap: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/business/retirement/behind-private-equitys-curtain.html

    What will the John Boehners, the John McCains, the Chris Christies, the Ron Pauls of the world have to say about that, or DO about it??? I can guarantee you, not a G-d damned thing.

  8. For an extended period of time, I have not been an Yves Smith fan. I think she is waaaaay too opinionated, disallows contrary points of view on her blog, to the point of blocking those with valid/legitimate opposing views. Although obviously a different political take than Rush Limbaugh, she has a Limbaugh-like insistence that readers be sycophants or be “ditto-heads” to herself.

    ….. However, I like to think of myself as a person who could give credit to someone I strongly dislike, even borderline hate, if they had done something positive or worthy of respect. Well, even if it is begrudgingly, I have to say Yves Smith, a.k.a. Susan Webber, has done a masterful job on these two posts, and with the CALPers legal suit. And although I’m sure it means little to her (as Yves already has unwavering faith in her own opinions), I bow down and tip my hat to her on this:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/10/gretchen-morgenson-damage-private-equity-secrecy-mention-calpers-suit.html

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/05/private-equity-limited-partnership-agreement-release-industrys-snowden-moment.html

  9. Harvard to Wall St? How different from the world of big West Coast schools, where the venture money available to students is in the billions, and the idealistic transition to “work” is via startup-to-global enterprise that can scale to change the world.

    Having been in both places (and a university dean) I know the future that’s programmed into the best students is a galaxy apart; the Ivy grads to be absorbed forever into the normal upper middle-class of the past, and in the West zombie entrepreneurs who are doomed to seek out utopian dreams without end.

    Unfortunately, the relevance of both Wall Street and the Harvards of the East have business models that are being eclipsed. Our future seems to favor the zombies.

  10. I’ve never really liked “W” Bush, I could expound here…… But I believe the man, like any man, has his better moments. and that men in general shouldn’t be thought of as their worst moments. I applaud him for THIS speech very much. I “bow down” to him on this one. Flight 93, WE REMEMBER YOU.

  11. I have always thought the ‘dry times’ in most states were from another era. What is the difference if I want to consumer a legal product at 6pm or 6am? What if I work the overnight shift and I get off work at 6am? I think over time we will see these old ways fade out.

  12. This is nice to see. This is coming from A “bleeding heart liberal”……My heart only bleed for one….not a nation…can you guys guess the story?? Then you know the story……

  13. This is what Clinton & “W” Bush were singin’

  14. Republicans played this game ALSO, including Reagan, but you have to respectt the man for respecting the pragmatic realities, of the situation/environment. of HIS……TIME……ERA

  15. Hey Prof KWAK, I’m giving your daughter a free lesson from a “Native” of America, and a “Native” speaker of America. it’s “Invaluable” to her, even compared to a “private school” Massachusetts education. Life is treasurable. have her take it in, with YOUR own “add in” “Narratives”. she may be taking lessons from Senator Teachout and Senator Elizabeth Warren at that time, Cross your fingers and BE READY to answer those questions, if she chooses politics.

    Sincerely,
    Uncle Sh*t-head

  16. My father took me to the Edmond Oklahoma Library to watch this man, I want to say around 1987, but I can’t swear it. My father semi-belived in this man, and asked him about some problems he had with social security. The there was the “post-office scandal” in which this man and others in Congress had had OVERDRAFTS on their accounts and tried to keep it hidden. My ftaher was greatly let down by Mickey Edwards. So it’s GREATLY IRONIC</b? some years later her trots out the "I'm so naive" argument. And I also</b? felt sad Bill Moyers plays this game, like he didn’t live and see that ’80s era with his own eyes.

  17. One from me.

  18. Despite the best intentions and prevention, disorders of the body might
    develop. It is especially important to avoid alcohol
    if you are prone to pancreatitis. Feeling guilty, embarrassed or bitter about not easily being able to make things happen (which is the Manifestor’s role, not the Projector’s).

  19. Actually I seem to remember this. It was up in NE China, Dalian. (Not in Hong Kong where most of the intelligent (maybe females with a math/science degree of “western like pale ghost powers” youngsters currently reside). It was roughly noon time in the middle of summer, sunshine no rain, her eyes were dar, and I was the oone crying. Here’s to that with really rancid baijiu of 2005???

  20. I was broke down in Shanghai once, in a hotel prison, with not even one member of my family caring [every man should take care of himself?? try it “extended time” friends]

  21. Watch out, Professor Kwak, I know you’re not “crazy” Kwak, but you never know when those “evil liberals” will get at you, just around WHATEVER corner” you’re at now—-

  22. Baselinescenario.com is the “REAL” NItro Express. Kwak you got your special license right. I’m assuming based on non–Asian stereotypes.

  23. I was in a semi wiht an Asian once, He didn’t “finish skooool”, half cool, but he liked noodles inside a styrofoam cup: It was “the handle he was stuk with”

  24. 90s country—“too many nights in the roadhouse”

  25. “Five Color Lights Park, In NE China, Dalian, China. Try it sometime friends. the Japanese section is the better area:

  26. They say I gotta be half crazy to be doing what I do
    I’m a slap happy, gear jamming coffee drinking, truck driving fool
    I may have a little shimmy in this cracker box Jimmie
    But I ain’t never cracked up yet
    The more I try to make a buck in this beat up truck
    The more semi crazy I get

    Yeah, I’m semi-crazy, I gotta be half nuts
    To keep running up and down the road in these semi trucks
    I might a had half a mind to slow it down for a time
    But I’m never gonna give it up ’til I’m pushing up daisies
    I’ll be semi-crazy

    I’m just a truck driving fool who never finished school
    I got my learning at the old truck stop
    They said I won’t amount to much when a gear shift
    And a clutch was the only education I got

    I’m just an old blue collar, semi-crazy road scholar
    They tell me that I’m half insane
    And I’ve been driving so long, I got diesel in my blood
    And ninety weight oil on my brain

    ‘Cause I’m semi-crazy, yeah, ’bout half nuts
    To keep running up and down the road in these semi trucks
    I might a had half a mind to slow it down for a time
    But I’m never gonna give it up ’til I’m pushing up daisies
    I’ll be semi-crazy

    Everybody says we’re dingy ’cause we’re too semi-crazy to stop
    That’s the handle that were stuck with, no matter if we like it or not
    Through the desert and the mountains
    The sunshine, the rain and the snow
    We’ll be double clutching daddies ’til we’re over the hill
    And we’re never gonna take it slow

    Yeah, I’m semi-crazy, I gotta be half nuts
    To keep running up and down the road in these semi trucks
    I might a had half a mind to slow it down for a time
    But I’m never gonna give it up ’til I’m pushing up daisies
    I’ll be semi-crazy

    ‘Til they put us in the ground
    They’ll never shut us down
    Till we’re six feet under
    We’ll be rolling thunder

    Oh yeah, hey breaker one nine
    Red, you out there?
    You got Lenear Junior out here
    Come on back

    Hey Lenear, this is old Cornbread Red
    How ya doing, boy?
    Well, I’m a little semi-crazy
    From drivin’ this truck too long but I’ll be alright

    Ha, ha, ha, me too
    What do ya think of that, Dudley?
    Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/junior-brown/semi-crazy-lyrics/#qdCTTYfmLBQwhEI2.99

  27. OK, Profesor Kwak, time to get down and dance, with the Virtuoso/prodigy daughter of Kwak: