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Insultingly Rich & How to Become It 

Wednesday, Mar 16 2005
Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything/ Gimme some money/ Gimme some money.

-- Spinal Tap

YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT MAKING MONEY WHILE YOU SLEEP?!?! Well think no more. Presenting SF Weekly's 10-POINT PLAN for PROFITABILITY AND ROCK 'N' ROLL SOLVENCY brought to you by none other than Cap'n of Industry and singer for OXBOW ( Eugene Robinson, whose sage investments in a wide variety of off-market and undervalued pharmaceutical concerns has led to a cash wealth beyond his, and everyone else's, dreams. Now, for a limited time only, Mr. Robinson will share his wealth-amassing secrets with you for absolutely nothing. So sit down, settle in, and get ready to GET RICH.*

Is money the root of all evil? Is this cashmere sweater I'm wearing evil? Or this fur coat? Perhaps you might think that this bedding of Sinhalese silk that I'm lying in is EVIL? Come. Help me up, come stroll with me a bit as I walk to the window, hands crossed behind my back, to enjoy the spectacle of my vast wealth and reflect on the true nature of my damned complicated artistic soul. My manservant, Shai Chao, will light the candled sconces using rolled C-notes while tiptoeing across a floor littered with testaments to my well-funded genius. Is that evil?

I think not.

Flashback to the year 2000. I'm being interviewed by a Japanese magazine in Tokyo. "Is it true that you will never sell out?"

"We will not do a lot of things, but out of this whole universe of things we will NOT do, sell out is not one of them. In fact it is precisely what we WILL do. We will take any amount of money no matter how large. Or small. We will steal it if we have to. We will shove old ladies down flights of poorly maintained city stairs for the express purpose of being able to afford the finer things in life, which, frankly, we've grown accustomed to. Indeed."

Indeed, indeed.

But look, if YOU wanna get rich the easy way while maintaining the wonderfully dissolute rock 'n' roll "lifestyle" of sleeping until noon, eating chocolates in bed, and congratulating yourself for not eating animal products, you will have to earn it.

Ten steps at a time. No. 1: Find a growth industry. Invest heavily: One word: skin flicks. Well, that's actually two words, but you get the point. Right now there are hundreds of thousands of people happily willing to pay GOOD MONEY to watch hundreds of thousands of other people stick things into their orifices. Put yourself on the winning end of that equation. Get RICH.

No. 2: Sell everything: Everything in your apartment, including your apartment, is a hidden store of wealth. Sell it all. Couches, clothes, toasters. Toast sucks anyway.

No. 3: Stuff envelopes: In the privacy of your own home. With narcotics.

No. 4: Play soccer: Yes. The professional game known as futbol is, I've come to understand, quite lucrative. Especially in places where they speak those hand-waving languages.

No. 5: Spend money: It's never been more true than it is now: You have to spend money to make money. So spend it. On very sharp knives. The return on investment (ROI) for sharp knives is very, very high. Especially at night. This leads to ...

No. 6: Jackmoves: Make them. Lots of them. If you don't know what these are, stop by some evening and I'll show you. Lots of them.

No. 7: Be willing to negotiate: Nonhuman companions, or PETS, are a continual source of comfort that, when removed, will frequently yield a hefty ROI by way of crying pleas for said companion's return and a marked willingness to fund the reintroduction of Fluffy into the competitive mix of family stocks and holdings.

No. 8: Borrow money: There's this guy PERRY THE GREEK, writes for a porn site I used to edit, drives a Mercedes-Benz, and hasn't had a job in years. How DOES he do it? He borrows money. It started with Who Wants to Be a Credit Card Millionaire? and $65,000 in defaulted loans and has since progressed to "just $20 just until payday," or a solid G borrowed from a friend for an "operation." Is this stealing? Not if you plan on paying it back. And will he pay it back? "Well ... yeah. Someday. I mean, yeah, soon, you know? Hey, I'm no thief," says a believably aggrieved PERRY THE GREEK. Exactly!

No. 9: Call Mom. Or Dad: You never asked to be born anyway. They should pay for having made you, the person who will subsequently choose their retirement villa. Will it be Meth Meadows Retirement Trailer Park in Norco? Or La Venezia in Las Vegas? The choice is theirs. (Caution: The whole fruit-from-the-tree methodology supports the assertion here that your broke-assedness IS congenital. So don't expect too much from these deadbeats.)

And finally, as unlikely as it might seem ...

No. 10: Get a J-O-B: "You mean the Prison of Measured Time?" Yes. Yes, we do. Listen, the reality is that any job that would have YOU is no job you'd really want to have. Bookstores, record shops, and restaurants, while providing opportunities aplenty for urine surprises, low-grade pilferage, and the deep-sixing of CDs of bands you hate, are no real way to get rich like me. UNLESS you do absolutely NO WORK at your job. Yes, that's right. If they pay you for mopping and you, in fact, do NO mopping, then you are getting paid for nothing. Ain't nothing wrong with free money. Nothing at all.

Sure, sure we've left out how precisely I made MY money (it rhymes with "bugs"), but that's hardly the point. The point is this: Don't laugh at the hos. According to Chinese legend you should not laugh at the prostitute, you should laugh at the poor person. At, not with.

And so it goes. The process of amassing great wealth, one wrinkled dollar after another stained five-spot at a time, marches on, the race going to the swift, the sure, and the most willing to take a chance on nonstandard income accrual. You want to suffer for your art like WE'VE been suffering for your art? By enduring your unremitting mewling about how America doesn't know how to support its artists? FINE. You keep doing so from the safe confines of your couch while we, the beautiful and the brave, GET GODDAMNED RICH.

Thank you very much.

* Past results are no indicator of future performance. Bee-yatch.

Eugene Robinson can be contacted at or (650) 714-4891 for seminars, symposia, or stabbings.

About The Author

Eugene Robinson


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