"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 12, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Watch live streaming video from nytimes at livestream.com
Vive La Resistance!

93-year old hero of the French Resistance to the Nazis has a best-seller in France.
PARIS -- As a hero of the French Resistance, St├ęphane Hessel was in exile with Charles de Gaulle in London, imprisoned in concentration camps, waterboarded in Nazi torture sessions and saved from hanging by swapping identities with an inmate who had died of typhus.
Now, at 93, he is the author of a best seller that has become a publishing phenomenon in France. It is not the story of his life (he wrote his autobiography years ago), but a thin, impressionistic pamphlet called "Indignez-Vous!," held together by two staples and released by a two-person publishing house run out of the attic of their home. It urges young people to revive the ideal of resistance to the Nazis by peacefully resisting the "international dictatorship of the financial markets" and defending the "values of modern democracy."
In particular Mr. Hessel protests France’s treatment of illegal immigrants, the influence on the media by the rich, cuts to the social welfare system, French educational reforms and, most strongly, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
"When something outrages you, as Nazism did me, that is when you become a militant, strong and engaged," he writes. "You join the movement of history, and the great current of history continues to flow only thanks to each and every one of us"
Since its publication in October "Indignez-Vous!" has sold almost 1.5 million copies in France and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Greek. Editions are planned in Slovenian, Korean, Japanese, Swedish and other languages. In the United States, The Nation magazine published the entire English text last month.

Though this world's essentially an absurd place to be living in
It doesn't call for (bubble withdrawal)

It said human existence is pointless
As acts of rebellious solidarity
Can bring sense in this world

La Resistance!
The Case for a No-Fly Zone by Nicholas Kristof

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Flirting With a Repeat of a Stunted Recovery by Leonhardt
On the positive side, exports and consumer spending are up, and the job market finally seems to be improving. If anything, last week’s jobs report probably undercounted recent gains. That often happens early in an economic recovery because the Labor Department has a hard time keeping track of newly started businesses.
On the negative side, oil prices have risen more than 40 percent since September, and every level of government is considering spending cuts and layoffs.
All in all, the situation is uncomfortably reminiscent of last spring. Back then, companies were just starting to hire again, before a combination of events -- including Europe’s debt crisis and the fading of the stimulus program here -- spooked them and cut short the recovery. It’s easy to imagine how energy costs and government cuts could do the same this year.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Article on Edward Gorey:
NEWS bulletin from the spirit world: The specter of Edward Gorey, who died in 2000 at the age of 75, is haunting our collective unconscious.
In a sense that’s as it should be; Gorey was born to be posthumous. His poisonously funny little picture books -- deadpan accounts of murder, disaster and discreet depravity, narrated in a voice that affects the world-weary tone of British novelists like Ronald Firbank and Ivy Compton-Burnett -- established him as the master of high-camp macabre. Told in verse and illustrated in a style that crosses Surrealism with the Victorian true-crime gazette, Gorey stories are set in some unmistakably British place, in a time that is vaguely Victorian, Edwardian and Jazz Age all at once.
Gorey illustrations are even becoming voguish as tattoos. Last year the ninth-season "American Idol" finalist Siobhan Magnus had a biceps tattoo of Death playing nanny to a flock of soon-to-be-doomed children, from "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," Gorey’s grimly funny alphabet book.
Attendance has been climbing steadily at the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, Mass., and curators of the first major traveling exhibition of Gorey’s original art, "Elegant Enigmas" -- originally shown at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa., and now on view at the Boston Athenaeum -- have been stunned by the enthusiasm surrounding the show.
"I knew Gorey had a wide following, but I had no idea of the mania," said David Dearinger, an Athenaeum curator, before the exhibition opened there in February. News media inquiries and calls from the public had been coming in for months, he said then, "and the show isn’t even here yet." Since the opening, he said last month, "the response has been phenomenal." 
Undoubtedly such romanticized visions of a more decorous, dapper past, which also inform the neo-Victorian and neo-Edwardian street styles of goths and steampunks, have as much to do with escapism as historical fact.