[O/T 2:] And Then, There Were… TWO! A Second, New Monolith Appears — Facing A Holy Geographical / Archaeological Site — In Northeastern Romania…

Well now, this is getting… quite interesting. Is this a riddle, playing out — across continents — from the bucket-list wish, of a famous American 20th Century sculptor?

The Romanian version looks to be not as polished / finely-finished as the first — so it is possible that it is a copycat, and not (what most people now surmise was) a McCracken, south of Moab, Utah. [The Romanian version is also a little bit taller, at 13 feet — with the seams more easily visible, as well — and circular buffing patters left in the metal throughout.]

From this evening’s [London]Daily Mail, then:

…In Romania, the triangular structure has a height of about 13 feet and one side faces Mount Ceahlau, known locally as the Holy Mountain. The shiny triangular pillar was found on Batca Doamnei Hill in the city of Piatra Neamt in northern Romania last Thursday.

It was spotted a few metres away from the well-known archaeological landmark the Petrodava Dacian Fortress, an fort built by the ancient Dacian people between 82 BC and AD 106.

It is one of the most famous mountains in Romania, and is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the country.

Romanian officials still do not know who is responsible for erecting the mysterious monolith….

Was this a codicil in McCracken’s will, all leading up to the 20th after-versary of “2001: A Space Odyssey”?

Will 20 of them appear and disappear, in turn — over the next few months? We shall see — soon enough. But for now, I cannot stop… grinning. I love this stuff. If it is a McCracken, though it has a new finish, from his prior body of work. Fascinating….


FTC’s Response Due By December 7; No Interim Discovery Stay During The Arguments: USDC Judge Cote…

Welp — much as we expected, the able Judge Cote in Manhattan has set a short date, for the FTC’s answer on Martin’s motion to put everything on hold in this sprawling Daraprim® antitrust litigation — until he’s a free man.

As we’ve said, that isn’t remotely likely to happen — and it won’t slow things down, whilst the two sides argue about it.

Now, from the order just entered this afternoon, then:

“…ORDERED that plaintiffs shall submit opposition to defendant’s motion by December 7, 2020.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Shkreli shall submit his reply by December 11, 2020.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that discovery is not stayed pending the resolution of this motion to stay.….”

Martin will almost certainly lose, here.

Now you know — and onward, in search of additional McCracken-2001 inspired posthumous “leave-behinds” (via Google Earth — now that we know what sorts of pointy shadows to look for, on the sattelite imagery — in the blazingly hot, sun drenched red rock formations of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona)… smiling widely, now… with this fun “Where’s Waldo” project ahead….

[O/T] I Have My Own Suspicions — About The Identity Of The Fine Artist/Sculptor… But It Is Sublime… Theatre, In Any Event…

Longer-term readers of my other properties know how enamored I am of free public art installations, from the likes of Cristo (in the Rockies of my youth, and more recently — Central Park in NYC), to Banksy… and beyond.

This is doubly delightful, since it is both officially anonymous, and clearly directly channels… excellent space based sci-fi.

For anyone who hasn’t yet seen the story… it “arrived” some weeks or perhaps even years… prior, in the copper-colored rocky-cliffed desert south of Moab, but was just “discovered” last week — only to now have “vanished into thin air“(!?) — over this long weekend.

If that doesn’t clearly ring in — as a worthy nod to Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” [and “2010“, the less celebrated sequel]… I don’t know what would. [To be fair, this one is/was a three sided monolith, not the black orthotope / right rectangular prism shape, from those Clarke novellas — but the allusion is… unmistakable.] Here’s a bit, from the NYT:

…It was a mystery how the monolith had been installed in the first place. Lt. Nick Street, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said this week that the monolith had been embedded into the rock.

“Somebody took the time to use some type of concrete-cutting tool or something to really dig down, almost in the exact shape of the object, and embed it really well,” he said. “It’s odd. There are roads close by, but to haul the materials to cut into the rock, and haul the metal, which is taller than 12 feet in sections — to do all that in that remote spot is definitely interesting.”

Officials said that the structure was most likely a work of art and that its installation on public land was illegal. It was unclear who had put it there — and when — but the art world quickly speculated that it was the work of John McCracken, a sculptor fond of science fiction. He died in 2011.

His son, Patrick McCracken, told The New York Times this week that his father had told him in 2002 that “he would like to leave his artwork in remote places to be discovered later….”

While officials declined to disclose the monolith’s location, some people had tracked it down. David Surber, who visited the structure this week and posted videos of it on Instagram, said it was located near Lockhart Basin Road, which is south of Moab.

Mr. Surber, who trekked to the monolith, posted about its disappearance on his Instagram story on Saturday night. “Apparently the monolith is gone,” he said. “Nature returned back to her natural state I suppose. . . .”

Almost as clever a stunt as the Banksy self-shredding gold framed item, at Christie’s auction house of 2018, or any of his month long, city by city “guerilla” installation projects, over the last decade. Lovely.

Perhaps all it is… is a form, for some form-less… intelligence, only temporarily visiting.

Grinning widely now, and looking to the night skies, south by southwest-ward….

Just as this sublime piece of mass-cultural-referential art vanished into the ether, by Saturday night, so too will the fools and their money go separate ways, in a few weeks — if they are buying Bitcoin at around $19,000 this morning — or buying Riot at a little over $7, on the NASDAQ… sheesh.


We Will Wait A Tic, On This One… Re FTC’s Proceeding On Daraprim®, In Manhattan…

A very helpful anonymous commenter told us, during Thanksgiving dinner here, that Team Martin would shortly argue… to stay all discovery in the FTC Daraprim® case, until he was released, currently projected as late in 2023.

To be clear, this is a civil — not criminal — case. And the FTC and various states’ Attorneys General primarily seek to take depositions of corporate officers, and review corporate documents. And they all already have most of the BoP email and phone transcriptions. There is no compelling reason why he’d personally need be present, and participate in any deposition, in a civil matter, like this. That is one of the consequences of being incarcerated: one cannot freely attend to one’s own business — but must rather place one’s trust in a capable lawyers’ hands. And he has just those, inside the Duane Morris firm. That he is destined to lose, cannot be changed by having him sit in — so this is simply an attempt to delay the… inevitable. [And perhaps delay it until there is no money left anywhere, to recover. That is likely his end goal.]

At this point, that would mean the FTC is seeking… nothing… Martin is allowed to currently possess inside FCI Allenwood Low. At least not in any real volume — he is strictly limited by BoP rules to two small banker’s boxes of documents. That is why he regularly ships his paper mail out to Ms. Smythe. He’s not allowed to keep many personal items, at all in Allenwood.

And it should be clear by now that he cannot lawfully try to shape or influence any corporate officers’ testimony. So, I believe the largely baseless passel — of the two memos of law, and a flurry of motions… will go nowhere.

[I won’t link to them until the FTC files its answer, lest Martin’s more poorly informed acolytes start to run with a story that his Constitutional rights are being violated, here. Ugh.]

It is but a minor kerfluffle — one he will lose. And as I’ve long said — I expect he won’t be released until mid to late 2024. We still don’t know what discipline will have been imposed for the personal (illicit, prohibited) cellie in FCI Ft. Dix.

In sum, I don’t see any judge putting this whole major civil antitrust case on hold, for this thread-bare reason. Vyera / Phoenixus might well be bankrupt by mid-2024, leaving fewer solvent defendants to pay for the allegedly violative conduct here.

We will update this item, with all the memos, once the FTC’s reply is on file.

Onward… grinning, out for a mountain bike ride — into the early afternoon’s sunshine here.