A Daniel Plainview for our Time

"I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!"

Those words, from Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) have spawned T-shirts, an SNL skit, and even a discussion board devoted singularly to the phrase at…you guessed it…www.idrinkyourmilkshake.com. DDL’s performance was both Oscar-worthy and unforgettable so much so that the photo at left of a rapacious corporate titan sent me into an immediate panic that he would try to drink my milkshake. And anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE MILKSHAKES! (Try making one with Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream for a shake that is both delicious and patriotic).

So who is the giant (literally & figuratively) with the brooding eyes and menacing goatee? He is/was a co-founder of chip-maker Broadcom, Henry T. Nicholas III (even his name sounds diabolical). What started as an investigation into the company’s backdating of stock options ended up with an indictment that includes some hardcore stories about cocaine, ecstasy, prostitutes, and underground sex lairs. I could not make this up. As the AP notes, Nicholas was charged with a total of 25 counts, including conspiracy, securities fraud,
false certification of financial reports, filing false statements with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, wire fraud and…wait for it…conspiracy
to distribute and acquire controlled substances
.

While the AP prints the PG-rated story, the R-rated story is much more interesting. If HTNIII was simply hiring prostitutes or using cocaine himself, that would be one thing (not a good thing, but he wouldn’t be the first). Apparently, he would slip drugs into people’s drinks unbeknownst to them, hire prostitutes for customers and employees, and on a trip on his private jet, he smoked so much weed the pilot was forced to put on an oxygen mask. And don’t forget the tunnels dug to hide a "secret sex lair".

Ironically, Nicholas could spend 20 years in jail for the drug charges, and 340 years for the options backdating! We just hope Daniel Day-Lewis is available to play Mr. Nicholas in the biopic.

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