Black, in white stripes
December 10, 2007 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Oh god. Please, someone airdrop these guys into the Australian outback and let them fight it out there. Of all the legitimate conversations one could have about Conrad Black, the Star runs this shit instead.
posted by GuyZero at 2:14 PM on December 10, 2007

In fairness, GuyZero, the first link is a month old, but that quote was a keeper. So I should be the one for the outback. I'll get my chute...
posted by bicyclefish at 2:16 PM on December 10, 2007

Excellent use of the buggery tag.
posted by mullingitover at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

I was a Hollinger employee (Chicago Sun-Times) for five years and I can tell you that everyone at the paper knew that he was fleecing the place, long before the shareholder lawsuits and criminal investigation. So it's nice to see he'll be doing at least a little time. I hope each day seems longer than the last for him in there.

It's true that the Sun-Times was in a tough spot before Lord Black came along, but he and his crony F. David Radler* probably dealt it a blow from which it will not recover.

*F. David Radler right to hell.
posted by veggieboy at 2:24 PM on December 10, 2007

I was expecting there to be other 'pulchritudinous' posts. I was not expecting more buggery posts.

To preempt the inevitable:
Metafilter: you expected fewer buggery posts?
posted by louie at 2:31 PM on December 10, 2007

Either I or the OP doesn't know what the word "pulchritrude" means. I suspect the latter.
posted by Justinian at 2:34 PM on December 10, 2007

Ah, I see the temporal element a bit more clearly now. I wasn't quite getting why anyone was surprised, but now I get it. They're pleasantly surprised that they get to bugger him after all.

I dunno. Conrad Black could talk an erection off of Ron Jeremy. The guy is pretty annoying (which is actually why I like him). I think the post-coital chat about Nixon, etc would put off most prison paramours.
posted by GuyZero at 2:35 PM on December 10, 2007

Also, rape humor: funny when it's a dude?
posted by Justinian at 2:38 PM on December 10, 2007 [3 favorites]

Are all national post reporters assholes?

My biggest sorrow is reserved not for the shareholders of Hollinger, but for Connie's cell mate. Can you imagine listening to that gas-bag reminisce about the royal family and recite encyclopedic facts from the history of Britain FOR FIVE YEARS. Talk about the banality of evil.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:50 PM on December 10, 2007 [4 favorites]

Justinian writes "Also, rape humor: funny when it's a dude?"

Hey, it was Black himself who made the joke.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:59 PM on December 10, 2007

In the wake of their latest dust-up, played out in the National Post, the 78-year-old Newman says he'd like to challenge Black to a swordfight.

"It's the only honourable weapon of choice," he says. "I have this wonderful image of us duelling. I cut his head off but the cut is so subtle that his head stays in place. As I walk away, Conrad challenges me to keep fighting. I look back over my shoulder and say, `try sneezing.'"

He may be 78, but he sure knows his amine standards.
posted by quin at 3:00 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, prison rape, not so funny. American criminals, probably not that excited to be subject to Black's charms.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2007

He's an organic chemist as well? Bodes well for some profitable projects while he's in the slammer.
posted by maudlin at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Justinian: Either I or the OP doesn't know what the word "pulchritrude" means. I suspect the latter.

...Or someone doesn't know their Conrad Black.
posted by bicyclefish at 3:48 PM on December 10, 2007

In the wake of their latest dust-up, played out in the National Post, the 78-year-old Newman says he'd like to challenge Black to a swordfight.

In a pit.
posted by Floydd at 3:49 PM on December 10, 2007 [1 favorite]

Okay, what does Conrad Black have to do with pulchritrude? I'm genuinely curious. He seems kind of frumpy in his pictures.
posted by Justinian at 3:50 PM on December 10, 2007

And here I thought this was about the Supreme Court ruling and United States v. Booker. I was ready to comment pithily and everything!
posted by Pants! at 3:59 PM on December 10, 2007

Justinian: Some years ago, Conrad Black - renowned for his silly vocabulary - was quoted as having referred to his wife as "quite pulchritudinous." (His wife, Barbara Amiel is a well-known right-wing columnist here in Canada.)

Anyway, it stuck. The word has followed him around ever since; a quick Google search will show you that writers in both British and Canadian publications love nothing more than to snidely drop the word into pieces about him.

Here's a Times of London piece that puts the quote in its original context. (It's buried on page 3.)
posted by bicyclefish at 4:04 PM on December 10, 2007

Can he go away yet?
posted by oaf at 4:07 PM on December 10, 2007

All these jokes about men dueling to the death are quite alarming. Murder is not a joke.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:20 PM on December 10, 2007

LC, men duelling to death is not actually a problem these days.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:23 PM on December 10, 2007

Ha ha.

I love the fact he's serving time in the US. That's gotta make it sting just a little bit more.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:41 PM on December 10, 2007

From the Canadian Press:

Canadian Auto Workers economist Jim Stanford saw "so much poetic irony and justice in this that I'm sure anyone with a left-wing bone in their body has got to be celebrating."


Stanford took satisfaction from the comeuppance for Black, who renounced Canadian citizenship to become a British lord and consistently deplored what he saw as Canada's socialist softness.

"Politically, to see someone who did so much to undermine the sense of collective good in our country, to see him go to an American jail for several years in the country whose socioeconomic model he worshipped, is just so fitting I can't find words for it."

posted by stinkycheese at 4:53 PM on December 10, 2007

LC, men duelling to death is not actually a problem these days.

Maybe not where you're from.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:39 PM on December 10, 2007

posted by LobsterMitten at 5:40 PM on December 10, 2007

Prison rape isn't funny in any way shape or form. That said, I'd like to see Black violently assaulted outside of prison. This, to me, is everything that's wrong with the justice system.
Black pays what, 6 odd million of his massive holdings, spends a minute in jail and then what? He's going to be a pariah? People aren't going to do business with him? I don't think so.
It's exactly analogous to the problems with a blue collar criminal going to jail and learning tobe a better criminal and coming out with more street cred. Black's going to have more business cred in the business community when he walks out of there.
Not to mention the disparity.
People like him, Enron, putting old women out in the cold, meanwhile a guy steals a slice of pizza, he gets 20 years in Quentin (those wonderful California 3 strike laws).

But a guy like this skates through a country club prison after putting how many people out of work - not to mention messing up people's holdings, screwing up pension funds? And for what? So his wife can buy some antique letters and a twenty four hundred dollar purse and $2700 opera seats with stolen money?

Not to mention his history, screwing how many people out of their pensions.

The judge would have put him in a prison closer to his Florida estate, but it had closed. What a freaking hardship.

This 'fraud' and 'apologizing to shareholders' makes it seem like he merely misplaced a decimal when he transferred money. Thefts of this kind affect broad swaths of people on many levels. He was willing to put people out on the street to illegally get his.

But gee, I wonder exactly what it is he did and what the repercussions are?
"Black arrived at this morning's hearing wearing a navy blue suit, light blue shirt and pale yellow tie. He walked into the court arm-in-arm with his wife Barbara Amiel and his daughter Alana. Black's two sons did not attend the hearing.
Through the first 90 minutes of the hearing, Black sat at the defence table, leaning back with his legs crossed. Amiel sat with her coat folded on her lap and often ran her thumb across her fingernails."

Yeah, that's some hard hitting f'ing journalism right there.

(Oh and BTW, and in all earnest - thanks again Pat Fitzgerald. I have very little tolerance for shitheels who fuck around with Chicago)
posted by Smedleyman at 6:08 PM on December 10, 2007 [3 favorites]

bicyclefish: thanks. For the record, I don't think Barbara Amiel is very pulchritudinous.
posted by Justinian at 6:18 PM on December 10, 2007

Justinian: No, she really isn't. Perhaps I should have broken out the unpulchritudinous tag instead.
posted by bicyclefish at 7:10 PM on December 10, 2007

To be fair, Newman's hat is pretty ridiculous.
And the guy strikes me as being a bit of a dink.

Also, previously, related.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:57 PM on December 10, 2007

Black also assails Newman's book about the Hudson Bay Company, highlighting a passage that detailed how Newman had seen a frying pan in the upper branches of a tree in Northern Canada, presumably left by an early HBC employee.

"The elements in Northern Canada do not leave frying pans in upper branches of trees undisturbed for 200 years. And trees don't grow that way. Branches remain where they are, the trunk rises and new branches grow above the earlier ones. This was pure invention."

This is a...Canadian thing, right?
posted by telstar at 11:20 PM on December 10, 2007

bicyclefish, that Times article is a magnificent hatchet piece, just dripping with malevolence and schadenfreude. And apparently it's just an appetizer for a book published by HarperCollins. Now, since both the London Times and HarperCollins are News Corp. companies, why do I feel that Rupert Murdoch may not be the best of pals with Black?
posted by Skeptic at 2:33 AM on December 11, 2007

As His Lordship would indubitably assert, were circumstances not rendering him at present incapable of mounting a sufficiently spirited riposte, that scrap of Times doggerel is typical of the left, bland, envious pap which now pours like a sludge through the media in his absence.

As counterpoint, then, for those late arrivals and stragglers keen on gaining a more fulsome comprehension of these unconscionable events, I offer the magnificent summary of Mark Steyn, evidently the last honest journalist in the debased republic, whose eyewitness account testifies with abundant clarity to the unflagging stoicism of Lord Black, a tireless dignity rivalled only by Mr. Steyn's own extraordinary skill as a bootlick:

The defendant, with silver hair and powder-blue suit, makes the prosecutor looks like a shrunken shadow. But the little man has brought the big man to his lowest point - a six-and-a-half year jail term. . . .

All things considered, it could have gone a lot worse. A prosecution panting for Black to die in jail has to settle for six years in a low-security facility near the Florida home that the defendant will not be surrendering to the government. Mr Sussman's disparagement of the Elton John endorsement availed him nought. Furthermore, despite the government's demand that he abase himself before the court, Conrad did not. He regretted the health impact on his family and the almighty incompetence of the usurper regime at Hollinger, and left it at that. And the judge didn't punish him for it. Conrad was allowed to remain Conrad, and was not obliged to prostrate himself. Given that, it was as good as could be expected.

Bravo, Mr. Steyn! Bravo! For lo, in this dark hour, only you have seen fit to tell the inconvenient truth: that this unyielding mountain of a man, this veritable Everest made to stand among snivelling molehills, this great slab of exquisite chiselled stone sheathed in powder blue - that only His Lordship (and perhaps Elton John) has any real grasp left of the once-sacred idea of justice. Like that fated angelic Nazarene ascending Golgotha Hill, the heathen hordes and imperial soldiers have heaved their stones and lashed their switches and (is there no God in heaven?) wagged their forked piercing tongues. But again like God's Only Son, Lord Black has simply turned his other cheek to the ravenous crowd, cast a loving eye upon lovely Barbara, His Magdalene in Manolo Blahniks, and defied one and all to shake Him of His conviction in the one remaining Universal Truth of His own divinity.

Good night, Sweet Prince. We know that like Christ on the Third Day and/or MacArthur in Manila, you shall return.
posted by gompa at 9:49 AM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

American criminals pleasantly surprised.

I'm not surprised. I bet it's not often they get the opportunity to sodomize a peer of the realm -- even if he is only a Life Peer, and not one of the hereditary variety. (NOT PRISON-RAPIST!)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:01 AM on December 12, 2007

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