When Jordan Belfort published his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Martin Scorsese cast the very pretty Leonardo diCaprio in the starring role, the controversial stock market fraudster was exposed to a whole new global entertainment audience.
I don’t read the financial news and I have to admit to missing the film (a sin to be rectified this week if my eBay bid wins me the DVD). I can’t stand the people sitting behind in the cinema who sniff, whisper and ruffle popcorn loudly. So, in fact, I first heard Jordan Belfort’s name only a couple of weeks ago when a Facebook friend mentioned him in connection with a secret scandal involving Kermit – but that’s a whole ‘nuvva story….
In the stark auditorium of the ExCel convention centre, with the Hollywood glitter replaced by chilly grey air and surprisingly comfortable embroidery-branded chairs, the real man was laid bare. Well, not actually bare – it wasn’t one of ‘those’ weird conventions…
The provocative entrepreneur was in London to share his tips for making money. Legally. Along with his guest speakers he explored techniques for succeeding in get-rich-quick schemes in property and stockbroking – I’m sticking to social media marketing though. If you’re lucky enough to find a niche you’re happy in and clients you love, why change your career on the advice of a charismatic multi-millionaire who reached dizzying heights of success but crashed horribly in a crime-laden, drug-fuelled disaster?!
Actually it was amazing to see hundreds of people literally run across the auditorium to sign up for his training programme, and good luck to them all!
The Wall Street superstar certainly made more money than most of us could ever imagine, and achieved greater infamy than we may ever want. Blowing his millions on a sumptuous lifestyle of cocaine and debauchery, Jordan found himself in jail as a result of fraud, scams and stock market manipulation. But he clawed his way back to success. He had stories to tell, that’s for sure!!
Back in the day, William Morris also had stories to tell. For a special treat, I was taken to his exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on Thursday. Widely known as the premier textile and wallpaper designer of the Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement, it’s less well known that he was a busy social activist with a circle of friends to put today’s craziest rock stars to shame.
I’ve mentioned my love of
Pre-Raphaelite art before, and Morris was friends with all the artists whose work fills my study bookcases. Yet although imagining the dreamy, floral-minded designer as a key figure in Romanticism is true, it’s equally far from the truth; he embraced anarchy, founded the socialist league and was seemingly happy about some free-flowing threesomes going on around him. Hey ho – makes for an inspiring art project, I guess.
Haven’t quoted my favourite Jim Steinman for a while, so I have a good excuse to indulge myself now: “On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?” Jordan Belfort’s women did, so did William Morris’s muses….
If you’d like me to ‘take the words right out of your mouth,’ I’ll happily help with your copywriting, blogging or tweeting. Email for more info, or ask me here, as always: @WeekendWitch.
PS… Thank you to Mark at Nordens for the photo of Jordan – he has a better camera than me and I was busy eating a flake when he snapped it! (And thank you for the invitation!!)