Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Link roundup

1. Interesting article at Forbes about the struggle to make (and stay on) the PGA Tour:
Jim set about raising the money [for his son Ben] in two ways. First he asked 100 friends of the family to contribute $300 toward Ben’s living expenses. This money was not going to be spent on golf nor was it construed as an investment. It was just a $30,000 gift to pay his son’s rent and keep him fed while he chased the dream.

Then Jim drew up a list of 17 well-off friends he was going to ask to invest $3,000 annually for three years, and he began crafting his pitch. Arrangements vary widely, but investors in young players might expect to get 90% of their golfer’s winnings until they are fully paid off for their upfront costs, then 50% of the prize money until a certain dollar figure—say, $400,000—is reached and then 10% of any further winnings. Jim chose not to structure the deal that way.

“It was a very personalized thing,” Jim remembers. “These were guys from my local country club. I knew they had a personal interest in Ben, and I knew that they had the financial resources. I sat down and over a six-month period wrote the whole proposal, constantly revising it, until I felt that it was something that those guys would be interested in doing. I never even used the word ‘investment’ or ‘investor,’” he clarifies. “It was sponsor. We are going to help sponsor Ben and put him out there. They knew that if Ben didn’t make a dime, they weren’t getting a dime back. No one was expecting to get a dime back.”
2. Along the same lines, is this article from the NY Times:
At the 76th Masters this week, there will be no club caddies required; only two black caddies started the season with regular jobs on the PGA Tour and one has since been fired. The great black caddies of the past, who carried the bags for Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus and the game’s other greats, are dead or well into the back nine of their lives.

For a variety of reasons, no new generation has taken the bags from them. Caddying, once perceived as a menial job, has become a vocation for the college-educated and failed professionals who are lured by the astronomical purses driven by Woods’s immense popularity.

3. Tyler Cowen on Tarsem's Mirror, Mirror:
Not often does Hollywood put out movies romanticizing tyrannicide and the assassination of foreign leaders of friendly countries, in this case India. Julia Roberts is the wicked Queen, witch, and false pretender, but actually the stand-in for Indira Gandhi, with an uncanny resemblance of look and dress in the final scene (I wonder if anyone told her?). This movie presents a romanticized and idealized version of how her assassination should have proceeded and should have been processed, namely in a triumphal manner with no reprisals but rather celebration and joyous union and love. As the plot proceeds, you will find all sorts of markers of Sikh theology, including numerous references to daggers, hair, mirrors, water, immersions, submersions, bodily penetrations, transformations, the temple at Amritsar, dwarves who enlarge themselves, and the notion of woman as princess, among many others; director Tarsem Singh knows this material better than I do (read up on Sikh theology before you go, if you haven’t already). The silly critics complained that the plot didn’t make sense, but from the half dozen or so reviews I read they didn’t even begin to understand the movie.

Without wishing to take sides on either the politics or the religion, I found this a daring and remarkable film.
4. Angry Birds Space toys available for preorder at the BBTS.