Monday, February 14, 2011

The desire not to destroy the palace but to move into it oneself has always been the occupational curse of revolutionaries.
-Wilfrid Sheed, "Writers' Politics"
Then along comes Valentine's Day...

Icon of a revolution. Four-term president. When Vaclav Havel retired, many expected him to fade away. He had another idea: direct his first film such as Cold River. It will be my last adventure

Curiority - Political Cats, Films and ART What Chekhov Meant By Life - Last Adventures on River Earth
Like for my sister Gitka , for East German teachers of Marxism-Leninism, 1989 wasn’t the year the walls of tyranny came down. It was the year their lives fell apart.

Halfway through Phil Collins's new film, a statue of Karl Marx is winched out of a Berlin square. It recalls Fellini's La Dolce Vita, in which a statue of Jesus is airlifted over the roofs of Rome before the shenanigans begin. Both sequences invite similar questions. What happens when the key symbol of a culture is run out of town? Does life become sweet? Does it leave an icon-shaped hole?The Runcorn-born, Berlin-residing, 2006 Turner prize-shortlisted artist wanted to address these questions in his film, called Marxism Today. But most of all, he wanted to find out what happens to a discredited creed's followers, as they move into an alien new world. "I was in Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the Wall coming down. All the focus was on reunification and the subcultures of dissent that existed in East Germany – be it the Protestant church or punks. The one voice that wasn't heard was that of teachers of Marxism-Leninism in East Germany. Where did they go? There must have been a lot of them: it was a compulsory subject."

We do not need no revolutions [In 1927 Barbara Follett published a much-praised first novel. She was 13. The book was about a young girl who disappears. In 1939, Barbara vanished.. Vanishing Act ; Samuel Johnson derided slang as “fugitive cant” unworthy of preservation, but the low idiom of thieves and beggars has evolved into a highbrow linguistic tradition Slang of ages ]
• · The apparent randomness of scratch lottery ticket numbers is a mathematical lie. A geological statistician in Canada has cracked the code. Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code; The financial crisis revealed a grim truth: Too much prosperity, for too long, tends to devour itself. We crave booms, but they bring on busts. Rethinking the Great Recession
• · · Pictures are naturally more memorable than a well written, evenhanded magazine story about the scope and tragedy of Detroit’s economic woes could ever be. But that’s precisely the problem. These indelible pictures present an un-nuanced and static vision of Detroit. They might serve to “raise awareness” of the Rust Belt’s blight, but raising awareness is only useful if it provokes a next step, a move toward trying to fix a problem. Ruin Porn- The Case Against Economic Disaster Porn; Instead of sheets--dirty tablecloths. The dog walked in the street and was ashamed of its crooked legs
• · · · US and its slums; Steve Jobs is one of the heroes of our age. He’s changed our lives. But Apple is more than a one-man band. I think though that the time is right for him to pass over the reigns formally to Tim Cook who ran the place through Steve’s previous two absences Job
• · · · · The Church of Scientology is being blamed for being more than just bizarre. News sources are reporting that the religious group is also behind human trafficking and exploiting free labor! ; Today's edition of The New York Times contains an editorial that begins, "When it comes to pushing the line between law and politics, Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas each had a banner month in January."
Justice Scalia, who is sometimes called “the Justice from the Tea Party,” met behind closed doors on Capitol Hill to talk about the Constitution with a group of representatives led by Representative Michele Bachmann of the House Tea Party Caucus.
Politics and the Court
• · · · · · "Personal Privacy and the Right to Know": This editorial appears today in The New York Times. For 45 years, the Freedom of Information of Act has invigorated American democracy by obliging the executive branch to make public a splendid range of documents. It serves the people’s right to know, while leaving out data whose disclosure could be harmful ; This article appears today in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Few Wisconsin families have been touched by tragedy as much as the Krnaks Bar None: Lawyers' clients kept in dark on past issues

This country is merciless to good small talents. A writer who doesn't take chances and swing for the fences (whether or not he has a prayer of reaching them) is less than a man.
-Wilfrid Sheed, review of Letters of E.B. White