(Ed note: I may or may not make “STFU” a weekly segment on Tiles. It depends on whether there are really enough people out there who need to shut the fuck up. Oh who am I kidding? It depends on whether I feel like writing on the same topic — other than Shore — every week. We’ll see. If you have a vote, cast it! I’ll accept votes via any means: comments, Facebook, Twitter, stripper gram, whatever.)
Famous criminal and guy-who-won’t-go-the-fuck-away-despite-being-in-federal-prison Bernard Madoff gave an interview to The New York Times on Tuesday. If, for some ungodly reason you care, the full article is available here, but I don’t recommend reading it. That’s not to say I read it and it was terrible. Quite the contrary, in fact; I didn’t read it, but only because I’m not feeling particularly masochistic. Coincidentally, that’s the same reason I don’t listen to Katy Perry or go to cosmetic surgeons who advertise on subway cars.
In the interview, Madoff said — among other things, I’m assuming, but I don’t actually care — that the banks “had to know” that his Ponzi scheme was going on. Read that sentence again, but don’t linger on it too long, lest you suffer a massive brain hemorrhage. Is that really the opinion he’s going with now? That there was some sort of wink-wink-nudge-nudge unspoken agreement on the part of the banks? Dude, that’s the kind of thing that happens when the guy behind you at the coffee shop peaks at your laptop screen and sees you’re pirating music, not when you’re fleecing people to the tune of over $20 billion.
Even if his assertion is somehow based in reality, so what? Seems like he’s implying that it would somehow make his scam OK. “Well, you see, there was another guy there who saw me stab the victim in the chest, so I kind of thought it wasn’t a big deal.” Growing up, my mom had a saying: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Usually she was using that in reference to my brother and me jumping on the bed in a hotel, but the concept works just as well with massive Ponzi schemes. Take home message: even if someone else is aware of what’s going on, doing a bunch of illegal shit is still illegal.
And, if he knew that the banks were aware of his dealings, wouldn’t he have been well-advised to FUCKING STOP? Bank executives can be subpoenaed, too– if they figured it out, so could the feds. I don’t even have any advice for someone who proceeds with their criminal enterprise knowing that hundreds of people know about said enterprise. That’s dumber than people taking stock advice from 50 Cent. (Speaking of which, if I were Fitty, I’d be laughing all the way to the bank. People really listened to stock advice from a rapper on Twitter? You know what they say: a fool and his $8 million are soon parted, with the latter going straight to Curtis Jackson. Don’t try to tell that man he did something wrong. Figuring out ways to get money from stupid people is the backbone of capitalism.)
(Note that I want to make sure to put into this post, but doesn’t fit anywhere naturally: Madoff also described his cell in the interview. That sounds extremely interesting. Tell us about it, Bern! It’s small, you say? Oh, but it has a window? And you have a roommate? Yep, sounds like pretty much exactly what we were picturing based on every popular media depiction of a prison cell EVER. Thanks for that, asshole; we could have just watched Shawshank Redemption instead. Good luck sharing your phone booth for the next 160 years.)
All that aside, the real issue here is this: GO THE FUCK AWAY! Why are we interviewing this scumbag? Why do we feel the need to get answers and insight from criminals? We deplore this guy, that’s why we sent him away. He represents everything that the “common man” (whatever that means) hates about rich people. Immigration is un-American? Nope, but this guy is! So, please, I beg you: stop. There’s no reason for Madoff and others of his ilk to have a voice. He had a chance to make his contribution to society and fucked it up royally. Instead of giving him the attention of an interview — which he undoubtedly enjoyed — just stop listening. The only “behind the bars” interview I’ve ever had any interest in was with Mickey and Mallory Knox, and they A) were complete psychopath nutjobs who had killed a fuckton of people for no reason, B) would give an exclusive interview to one guy and one guy only, and C) were fictional. Solution for Bernie Madoff: be fictional. Then you deserve our attention.