February 06, 2006

Flop Sweat and Economics, Oh My!

So here at the U., we have a yearly forum-y hoo-ha in which movers and shakers from academe and politics convene to solve the world's problems! Fun (and a free lunch, if our office plays its cards right) is generally had by all.

This year's topic is economics, with all the excitement that entails for me.

But the highlight of this year's forum was definitely the high-profile lunch speaker, whose name rhymes with Saul Moogman.

I have never witnessed a professional academic with less public poise, ever. Seriously, I don't even remember what he was talking about, except that it obviously was geared toward policy wonks and not a lay audience, but I do remember the copious amount of sweat he produced while at the podium.

It was a LOT of sweat. And his hands were all trembly. And then he spilled water on his laptop. And did I mention the nervous cough that prompted some kind soul to give him the water that he then spilled on his laptop?

The coup de grace was when he let fly one final cough into his hand, which he IMMEDIATELY offered to our former governor and the host of the event. Hee!

All I could think was, "Dude, you're a professor! And a much-ballyhooed columnist for a high profile Yankee paper! Surely public speaking isn't new!"

But maybe he was afraid that the red state minions of North Carolina would rise up as one and set him ablaze for his heretical ideas. Of course, the red state minions would have first needed to rouse themselves from their stupor--oh, and stop laughing at the flailing economist.

As a counterpoint, the former presidential candidate and scion of publishing whose name rhymes with Jeeve Morbs was clear, concise, and used real-world examples. Also, he didn't sweat, spill water, or infect our former governor with whooping cough. However, he was a bit, erm, forceful in his delivery, which is why he will never succeed in politics. Motivational speaking, perhaps, but politics? Oh, hell no.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at February 6, 2006 04:20 PM

Heavy sweat and shaking hands? Sounds like a little post Super Bowl booze flu.

I remember watching a TV appearance of his years back when I thought I cared. He had this weird slouch as if trying to talk through his beard and chest. The most distracting part, though, was his stare. Very disconcerting. Somewhat manic, but still a little soft. Like a bologna Rasputin.

Posted by: marc at February 6, 2006 04:29 PM

Oh I'm jealous. The forumy hoo-ha is where my environmental idol Sylvia Earle laid hands on my belly and talk to my unborn daughter. A MUCH better experience than that little spat I had with someone whose name rhymes with Dane Football.

Posted by: Belle at February 6, 2006 07:05 PM

Like a bologna Rasputin.

Rasputin! That's who he looks like! The picture over his columns in the paper always frightens me. I'm afraid he might leap out through the tiny square in the newsprint and get me.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at February 8, 2006 12:54 AM

Economics is more interesting than you'd expect from listening to Krugman.

It's filled with perverse consequences, a result of no free lunch in spite of the how it looks at first.

Democrats more or less go on how it looks at first. Republicans see only the perverse consequences.

Being a lefty, Krugman never gets to the neat parts, where dashing of every fond hope happens.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at February 8, 2006 05:45 PM