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Showing posts from March 7, 2004
Bollettino Our friend B. writes from Spain (B. asked us to clean up the grammar of this letter. No need to. It is perfectly clear as is): "Aznar wishes it is ETA, but it does seem to be Al Qaeda now. It is the Spanish Gov. the one that is actually bombing us with lame propaganda. The reason everyone believed immediately that it was ETA is because of the escalating tension that we have been living in during the electoral campaign (Elections this sunday!). My reading is that this terrorist attack is Ben Laden getting back at Aznar for his support to Bush. This afternoon Aznar gave a pathetic press conference: he had to read a paper, because he was not even capable of memorizing a few sentences. He sounded like it was his goodbye speech, thanking the police for their great job (!) against ETA during these past eight years... This is the image that he will leave behind. Today he was reaping the fruits of his policy. The National TV is still intoxicating us with i
Bollettino We don’t understand what happened in Spain. Politics promotes a certain emotional viciousness, which consists in the immediate assimilation of an event into an intellectual scheme. And that scheme gives us, automatically, villains and victims. The scum who did it – always scum, always the name hurled after the bomb. We don’t understand why the train station was bombed. We don’t understand why instant understanding is conveyed in the reports of the bombing, as if we already knew all about it, as if we already knew that ETA did it, as if we already knew the bombs were there, as if we already knew the number of victims and their names, as if we already knew about every wound, as if we already knew all about the shock, as if we had already read the script, as if we were already bystanders and survivors, as if we already knew all about surviving, as if we had earned any of this. We already know so much about 9/11 that we have no interest in knowing about 9/11 – and
Bollettino Bring back Gustavus Meyers. When LI was a young and impressionable pup, he read an abridged version of Gustavus Myers “History of the Great American Fortunes.” It was, we believe, the Modern Library version. The book made a great impression on LI. It is always a great moment when a man finds words spelling out his obscure resentments -- it always leads to religious conversion or politics. For LI, it lead to politics. And here we are today! This has all come back to us since finding a Myers devotee on the web – one who has actually put up whole books of Myers, such as his history of Tammany Hall. As well as the beloved, muckraking “American Fortunes.” Gustavus Meyers was a rather unique combination of historian and muckraker. A brief bio exists his website . His great period was coincident with the great muckraking period – 1900-1917. His preferred rhetorical approach was the diatribe. Here’s a typical Meyers graf. He begins his history of Great American Fortun
Bollettino As readers of my previous post can tell, LI is in a bit of misery right now. Free fall, hysteria, calls to my brother, walks over bridges with an eye to trajectory, fall, unconsciousness, drowning. But let’s get away from the personal, shall we? And take up the subject of models. Economic models. In the Summer of 2001, the Journal of Social Research published a special issue on numbers and economics. This turns out to have been a timely topic, for at the moment, we are seeing economic numbers bifurcate in an unusual manner. On the one hand, we are in the midst of a strong business recovery – on the other hand, we are in the midst of a credit bubble, a wage meltdown, and a growth in unemployment and partial employment that is effecting us all – LI’s desperation, which see. One aspect of this disturbance in the global economy is the three year collapse of economic forecasts. Although the Bush tax cut model was really not about sustaining us in a recession, the for