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august 7th, 2005
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WEEK OF AUGUST 7, 2005

notsohappyben.jpg
Ben: happier than he looks. (Reuters)

Deily Ego Index Rallies On Word
of MOJO Magazine Honors

Analysts caution against "irrational, dumb-ass exuberance."

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ben Deily's beleaguered ego experienced a startling late-day rally yesterday, following news that "Hate Your Friends" -- the seminal LEMONHEADS release on which Ben sings, plays guitar and drums, and shared songwriting duties with bandmate Evan Dando -- had been selected by MOJO Magazine as one of the "77 Best Punk Albums Ever."

Additionally, the three specific songs MOJO singled out for praise were all Deily's, sparking further frenzy in ego markets. Analysts report that Deily's highly conditional sense of self-worth, after languishing recently in historic lows, had soared to levels unseen since the late 90s.

CLICK to see graph
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(GRAPHIC: courtesy of WSJ ego-tracking services)

Analysts were quick to warn that the adjustment may be only temporary.

"Deily's generally robust ego has taken a real beating lately," admitted analyst Tom Larkin of the investment firm Bears Stern. "Since recent hikes in the Self-Pity rate, once-bullish investors have been expressing overall caution. The guy is working on Microsoft junk-mail every day, for crissakes." This "wait-and-see" attitude has been apparent in overall declines in such crucial indexes as the Proud of My Job Title (down 11.30 to 3240.60), Feelin' Good About The Hair (down 16.05 to 3850), and I'm Not Fat (down an astonishing 43.67 to 1378).

Ego-watchers blame most recent setbacks in part on Deily's current employment situation, which after an initial ego surge has trailed off into negative territory, largely attributable to "these fucking stuck-up whiz kids ten years younger than me" and inter-departmental rivalries in which Deily's group is a clear also-ran.

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Longer historical trend lines have been largely negative throughout the decade, with the embattled Deily experiencing -- among other things -- divorce, protracted joblessness, clinical depression, and the unexpected cancellation of TV's "Angel," a spin-off of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." "All the relevant numbers have suffered accordingly," acknowledges Larkin.

"Five years ago, Deily was on top of the late-capitalist, consumer-centric world -- with a high-paying, moderately prestigious job, advertising awards out the kazoo, a thriving band, a beautiful new car and a devoted wife. Now he's got, well...let's just say he's got his health. As far as we know. Without health insurance or a check-up for five years, we're taking that part largely on faith."

Nevertheless, many insiders believe that the "Best Punk Albums Ever" honors represent only the first in what some foresee will be a full-scale rebound for Deily's self-esteem. "You can't keep that thing down," commented one trader. "Push it down, it pops back. It's like a freakin' rubber duck or something. I think it's probably some kind of delusional psychosis."

Others warn that the current rebound is "unsustainable."

"I mean, you gotta look at fundamentals. The main problem here is the Ego Index still being pegged selectively to externals, like the U.S. dollar, or a cool new pair of pants, or some total stranger's opinion of you. That kinda vanity is inherently volatile. That's gotta change for any long-term stability," explained Larkin.

[As of end-of-day, the Ego index had closed up still higher on word of a long, flattering fan letter from some kid in Germany.]

Ben's resurgent self-esteem, artist's rendition;
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INSET: a 17-year-old record.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

After Years of Denial, Deily Admits Being the "Cliff Clavin" of Former Punk Rockers.

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"Admission" woven into pretentious, boring anecdote.

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