Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nicolas Cage is NOT a Victim

It's fairly easy for a headline, probably written by some dumbass 22-year old media intern, to make me irritated and/or angry. Usually that's because I know that what follows a really inflammatory, inaccurate and outright misleading headline is an inflammatory, inaccurate and outright misleading article Today's case in point would be this gem from CNN Money: Nicolas Cage: Movie star, foreclosure victim. Um, what now? Does that say 'victim'?

I've long been under the impression that when someone is a victim it is because something has happened to them. I'm having a hard time understanding how Nicolas Cage, movie star, is a victim of foreclosure. Let's see if a one Hibah Yousuf, a CNN staff writer, can clear things up for us, shall we?

Her article begins with "Even Academy Award winners are suffering from financial woes this recession. Actor Nicolas Cage lost two homes in New Orleans worth a total of $6.8 million in a foreclosure auction Thursday." Financial woes? During this recession? But...but...but didn't she then just say something about $6.8 million in homes? Right. She did! I see it! It's right there! $6.8 million in homes! Lost to a foreclosure auction! Wait a minute.

I was under the impression that folks that were losing their homes during the recession were doing so because they were unable to make their house payments. Now, you and I both know that in the majority of cases, the home prices were overinflated by people who were just trying to get rich (and did!) and the over-priced homes were bought with people who were allowed to do so with almost no credit check, no down payment and, in many cases, no way of ever making a single payment. Granted, I have a hard time using the term "victim" in those cases either, but they do represent your typical person who has had a home foreclosed upon during this recession. (Idiots.)

Let's see...apparently "Cage owed $5.5 million in mortgage payments and $151,730 to the City of New Orleans in real estate taxes, according to (Civil Sheriff Paul) Valteau." Five and a half million in back mortgage payments? Did he lose his job or something? I...I don't think he did!

According to something called The Movie Times, he made $16 million in 1998 for Snake Eyes; $20 million in 2000 for Gone in 60 Seconds; $20 million in 2002 for something called Windtalkers; and $20 million in 2004 for National Treasure. You have to assume that the National Treasure movie that he made in 2007 would have paid him somewhere around the same $20 million range as the first one did, wouldn't you? I would. I am. Mind you, these were just the movies that were listed at The Movie Times that had a salary attached to them and I only included the ones that were double digit salaries. He made other movies in the past 11 years. He made more than just the $76 million that I detailed in those four movies. And that $20 million in 2007? Wasn't that right around the peak of the "recession" that Ms. Yousuf is attributing Mr. Cage's hardships to? I don't know about you, but $20 million doesn't sound like much of a hardship to me - ever!

The article continues by stating that Mr. Cage is suing a one Samuel Levin who is his former business manager. Mr. Cage is claiming in his lawsuit that Mr. Levin "...duped the Hollywood actor out of more than $20 million since 2001 when he was hired." Really? How is "being duped" part of the "recession"? Did Ms. Yousuf not read her own article when she wrote it?

But wait! There's more. "...Cage owes more than $6 million in back taxes and his properties in California and Las Vegas have also been foreclosed on and are designated for auction later this month." Wait. Wait a minute. Two more houses have been foreclosed on? There's another six million in back taxes that he owes? Well, if that's true, then Mr. Cage had at least four houses. That doesn't sound like the recession, Ms. Yousuf. No, that sounds like stupidity and irresponsibility (much like the kind that is peppered throughout your article). There is a difference.

Look, even if that Levin cretin did "dupe" Nicolas Cage out of $20 million, from what I can figure (and he has 5 projects slated for 2010 and has already done 5 this year so far), he still should have had around $40 million easily to play around with. Tell me something, if you have that much money, why wouldn't you just buy a house outright? Why are you getting a mortgage? I don't get it. Then again, I don't get why you'd have four houses, none of which it would seem like you could pay for.

According to an article over there at New York Magazine, it would seem that Mr. Cage has owned 3 castles, 2 Bahamanian islands, 1 pet shark and 1 Lamborghini (formerly owned by the Shah of Iran, of course, which he paid $493,000 for). He also, in 2007, outbid Leonardo DiCaprio in what they described as a "frenzied auction" for a dinosaur skull and ended up paying $247,000 for it. According to that same article in New York Magazine, "Most of his dozen or so homes, 50 cars, 2 islands, 2 yachts and jet have been sold, foreclosed upon or are on the market." What. The. Hell?

We've only read about four of his houses that have been sold through foreclosure so far. You're telling me that there are at least EIGHT more?! And FIFTY cars?! What in the hell is wrong with someone that they go out and buy FIFTY cars? The only type of island that anyone should be buying is Thousand Island dressing. (And personally, even that is questionable.) According to US Magazine " Bel Air home, purchased in 1998, features a billiard room with a 1955 Jaguar parked inside plus an array of "shrunken heads." Of shrunken heads? How many constitutes an array? Why would you want an array of shrunken heads? How do you play billiards in a room with a car parked in it. Perhaps Mr. Cage is confused on the concept because that room with the 1955 Jaguar parked inside of it isn't usually known as a "billiard room" as much as it is known as a garage.

Oh, but according to Hibah Yousuf of CNN, poor, poor Nicolas Cage is a victim of the recession and a victim of foreclosure. Please don't take this the wrong way Ms. Yousuf when I say that you should resign. Immediately.

Seriously, ma'am, what is wrong with you? How on earth can you even attempt to try to paint Nicolas Cage as some sort of victim of anything other than his own irresponsiblity and his own stupidity? He is a moron. He had a gazillion dollars and he pissed it away. All I needed to know in order to figure that out was "frenzied fossil bidding war with Leonardo DiCaprio". But to CNN, Nicolas Cage is a victim. Spare me. Does that mean that Leonardo DiCaprio is in jeopardy of becoming the next vicitm of the recession? Does he have an array of unusually tiny heads as well?

If I haven't convinced you by now that CNN has ZERO credibility at all as a credible news source covering the financial market, then you probably are too dumb to have enough money to be concerned about such erroneous reporting. In which case, crawl on back to your parent's basement and poke your head out when Call of Duty 3 gets released. If I'm missing something or I have misinterpreted something, I'd love to hear about it. But I'm fairly astute in the English language and that articles says "Nicolas Cage...Foreclosure victim" and the first sentence attributes his victimhood to the recession. Again, Ms. Yousuf? Resign. Immediately. And take your editor with you. Please. Good Lord, what a pile of crap that article was.

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