Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Russell Brand
repeats. "A pop star, not a college professor. An actor, not a philosopher."

Maria Farrell, sister of Henry and self-described "army wife" whose husband is deployed in Afghanistan, and who prays every day for the health of the Pope.
Ugh. Some days, no matter how many nice or exciting things happening in my personal and professional life, I just feel that we are all, quite simply, fucked. 
As a mini-reward for getting a small work thing into my outbox by 0900, I read Russell Brand’s take on his recent adventure award-ceremony-land, when he reminded GQ that its main sponsor, Hugo Boss, used to do a nice line in Nazi uniforms.
Bertram comments
It is indeed remarkable how all the places inhabited by the super-rich (Kensington, Mayfair, much of Geneva, the XVI arrondissement …) are really crushingly dull. At least little of real value will be lost when we burn them down.
 Bertram: "I’m sympathetic, I really am"
I’m sympathetic, I really am, to the idea that people should work and consume less and that we should attend more to real life quality. But this doesn’t seem very realistic in my own life for two reasons: first, even if my employer were sympathetic (unlikely) I feel very hard pressed now to produce the level of research output necessary for me to stay competitive with other academics (not just in the UK, but elsewhere)…. Second, it is all very well Juliet Schor telling us to transition to a low hours/lower consumption economy. I’m cool with consuming less. The problem is that I, and just about everyone else, has taken out huge mortgages and bank loans to pay (in part) for the consumption we’ve already had. Hard to reduce the hours unless (or until) the debt goes away. Third, there was distressingly little discussion of the politics of this.
Hell is other people

Duncan Black continues his drift away from his own past.

20 years ago a friend loaned me Marshall Berman's All That is Solid Melts Into Air, thinking I'd enjoy it. Shortly after, we had a falling out and it sat on my bookshelf ever since.  Last week, one day before Berman died. I finally picked it up. It's a work of desperate optimism.
Callie Angell committed suicide 3 years ago.

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