Archive for December 1st, 2005

The Joy of Giving

I ‘m making my way through Adorno’s Minima Moralia at the moment. With 20-odd shopping days left to Christmas, here are his ideas for gifts:

‘Even private giving of presents has degenerated to a social function with rational bad grace, careful adherence to the prescribed budget, sceptical appraisal of the other and the least possible effort. Real giving had its joy in imagining the joy of the receiver. It means choosing, expending time, going out of one’s way, thinking of the other as a subject: the opposite of distraction. Just this hardly anyone is now able to do. At the best they give what they would have liked themselves, only a few degrees worse. The decay of giving is mirrored in the distressing invention of gift articles, based on the assumption that one does not know what to give because one really does not want to.’

Sounds like someone got him vouchers for The Sock Shop one year.

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La Peste, Belfast-style

I had a few beers last night, so all willpower to stay away from the blog has vanished. This item on BBC Northern Ireland deserves a shout, not least for the comedy value of the rather anthropomorphic quotes from witnesses to these giant rats:

“They are like cats. They are stone deaf, they fly up and down the road and play tig with the buses.
“They come out in daylight. Nothing seems to scare them. If a bus was coming, the rat would just dilly dally along the road.
“Nothing seems to deter them. They don’t seem to be frightened of human people.”

‘Human people’?


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