Let’s look back to 2008 and briefly tally up the score: No one has been sent to jail, lots of you are still out of work, very few of the errors that led to the collapse have been corrected, and I’m guessing that most of you haven’t even gotten a thank-you card for that time you donated $4.7 trillion of your own wealth to save the world.
Five years into the continuing economic crisis, Jason Linkins has put together this guide to the books (including fiction), movies and other media that told the story of the collapse that turned so many middle-class people into poor people.
My book Dignity made this list, hooray, and I found a lot of stuff I missed when it was published, like this piece by Alex Pareene.
Hoping to turn the only relaxing part of air travel—the flight itself—into a claustrophobic death of the soul, Virgin Airways is introducing live stand-up comedians to some of its flights. Try walking out on these no-talent schmucks.
READING the William Burroughs’ book referenced below, I notice most of his dreams are about inept travel. And I remember most of my dreams are about inept travel. Why not note them, on this blog I’ve otherwise abandoned?
Last night: A modern train or light rail system, part BART and part Disneyland monorail. Train cars are massive, empty, and of course I wind up somewhere I didn’t intend to go. It’s Vancouver, apparently the very end of the line, many miles from the city center and the water. I note the red billowing “lobster scales” around the station’s white concrete exterior. This is apparently a popular design touch, and also somehow “sustainable.” Maybe they are stylized solar panels. I take a series of escalators. It is quiet and almost pleasant—but, as always, there is a sense of unease and impending disaster.
“We are in control, but I point out that this is precisely the most dangerous moment, since we can expect massive counterattacks from many quarters—CIA, KGB, Mafia, Vatican, Islam, Corporate Capitalism, the English, the Moral Majority. I propose myself as Director of Police and Counterintelligence, which will operate under one central command … no splitting into criminal, espionage, all that cross-purpose and confusion.”—William S. Burroughs, My Education
“In America the career almost invariably becomes an obsession. The ‘get-ahead’ principle, carried to such extreme, inspires our writers to enormous efforts. A new book must come out every year. Otherwise they get panicky, and the first thing you know they belong to Alcoholics Anonymous or have embraced religion or plunged headlong into some political activity with nothing but an inchoate emotionalism to bring to it or to be derived from it. I think that this stems from a misconception of what it means to be a writer or any kind of creative artist. They feel it is something to adopt in the place of actual living, without understanding that art is a by-product of existence.”—An Allegory of Man and His Sahara … a 1949 review of Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky, in The New York Times, written by Tennessee Williams.
“He is a bad guy, a victim, a dreamer, a loyal and honest friend, a powerful mutant, a man who has nightmares every night, a loving father and a nutcase plagued by uncontrollable fits of rage.”—I read this and thought, That’s a very good description of me. (From this article.)
“With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe. We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year olds. President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families in Newtown. But the country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem. Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response. My deepest sympathies are with the families of all those affected, and my determination to stop this madness is stronger than ever.
Ken: Ryan’s shoulders sink ever deeper inside that giant David Byrne suit. Is it weariness, boredom, petulance? Choire: I think he really believes whatever wacky things he’s saying–PTERODACTYLS? LEGITIMATE RAPE?–and he’s sad that Biden laughed at him all night. Ken: I swear his head was a line higher in the Declaration or whatever it is, the backdrop. Choire: He IS getting lower and lower! Like a hungry zoo animal. Ken: Yeah he definitely doesn’t look hurt. It’s more like, “Why do I have to sit by this old man? Ayn Rand said to kill the old people.”