"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Post-Capitalist Future is Possible by Doug Henwood.

The Revenge of Karl Marx by Hitchens.

I caught Obama's point man on the economy (or "political economy"* as Marx, Hitchens and probably Henwood would say) Larry Summers on Charlie Rose and when Rose asked him which economist or thinker is most relevant to understanding the crisis, Summers didn't hesitate to respond with "Keynes."

But Keynesian economics took a hit in the late 1970s when welfare states and relatively strong unions came up against high inflation. Central Banks raised interest rates to unprecedented high level and brought on a crash, which tamed inflation but the Right took advantage and won the political battle. (There was stagflation thought to be caused by Nixon's wage and price controls which were followed by cost-push shocks in commodities and the oil crisis of '73 which was a result of another Arab-Israeli war and OPEC's limiting of supply.)

*The main political question now is to what extent the administration will take on the banking/financial institution lobby - as former IMFer Simon Johnson among others has been pointing out - and demand "clawbacks" and recompense for the taxpayer. There's also the question of the future regulatory environment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What do you see?

What do you see?

Lorrie Moore writes about Donald Barthelme.

Podcast about her review.

Moore has a new book coming out in September.

Would be strange to have a book titled "Understanding (Insert Your Name Here)." Mine would be short. He's charming. Funny. Intelligent. Honest. Self-deprecating. Respectful of elders. A Roschachian crank about foreign dictatorships and despots. Not a realist in other words.

Neko Case's new album came in 3rd on the Billboard charts last week, after Taylor Swift and U2. She's also in the New Pornographers.
Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added To Curriculum

West says the school inadequately prepares
students for the black seas of infinity.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't make him angry, you wouldn't like him when he's angry.

The Rock/Dwayne Johnson is staring in a new movie, The Race To Witch Mountain, with my favorite 15-year-old actress/celebrity (weird, I know), AnnaSophia Robb. I checked her website again to see if she added anything in support of the movie, and there was a little holiday in my heart because she had. She's noted some magazine interviews she's done and added some photos of her at an Obama rally. Robb also updated her list of favorite movies: Slumdog Millionare, Batman: The Dark Knight, Blood Diamond, Zoolander and Best in Show. Again, great taste. And she has another movie coming out in November with the girl from Little Miss Sunshine.