Archive for March 3rd, 2009

Not Again

Un chien andalou

Sorry for coming back and posting stuff. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll be posting stuff for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, however, a merciful mix of millenarian anxiety and deteriorating economic conditions  has constrained my thought processes to such a degree that I can hardly bring myself to post anything. And yet I feel a strange compulsion to keep going, like that scene I can barely remember from some film or other which might not exist in reality where this knight keeps getting his limbs chopped off but keeps coming back nonetheless, to the point where it’s just his eyeball bouncing along, in a sardonic allusion to Un Chien Andalou.

In a crude and cynical attempt to keep my hand in, I am desperately resorting to the posting of ‘some random thoughts’: a declaration of mental bankruptcy if ever there was one.

  • Not that I care much, having renounced University Challenge years back for the delights of Monday night Eastenders, but it’s proper order that the Corpus Christi Oxford team were stripped of their title for fielding a ringer. However buzz-tastic their captain, and by all accounts she was incredible, lots of teams would have excluded final year students, including ones hoping to study PhDs the following year. There is also the fact that he made a couple of crucial interventions when the team was trailing. Thing is, winning depends on making as many successful interruptions as possible. The longer you go without making a successful interruption, the more likely you are to want to make your next interruption count, which means you are more careful in listening to what Paxo is asking, which inevitably means you’re less likely to interrupt. And if the team depends mostly on you, this makes it all the more difficult. So you need the other team members to dig you out of a hole every now and again, or else you risk a crisis in confidence, no matter how good you are.
  • I can’t stop listening to Freedom by Akon.  God knows I really, really want to, but I keep going back. The line in Troublemaker about ‘poppin’ bottles with models and jus’ watchin them drank’ is very catchy. Next stop Dr Alban.
  • I was reading On Humour by Simon Critchley recently. It was getting into a really meaty section about an alternative, positive function for the super-ego, and how the analyst has to occupy the position of the lacerating super-ego, and then next page it flips into a whole load of crap about practical exercises for drama rehearsals, with a full bibliography of books on dance and drama. Either there was some sort of printing error, or it was the worst punchline ever for a book on humour. But I read it through to the end anyway, as my super-ego told me that there are millions of people out there who can’t even read.

Gluttons For Punishment

The Krug gives a shout out to Ireland in his latest op-ed:

Op-Ed Columnist – Revenge of the Glut –

And wide-open, loosely regulated financial systems characterized many of the other recipients of large capital inflows. This may explain the almost eerie correlation between conservative praise two or three years ago and economic disaster today. “Reforms have made Iceland a Nordic tiger,” declared a paper from the Cato Institute. “How Ireland Became the Celtic Tiger” was the title of one Heritage Foundation article; “The Estonian Economic Miracle” was the title of another. All three nations are in deep crisis now.

For a while, the inrush of capital created the illusion of wealth in these countries, just as it did for American homeowners: asset prices were rising, currencies were strong, and everything looked fine. But bubbles always burst sooner or later, and yesterday’s miracle economies have become today’s basket cases, nations whose assets have evaporated but whose debts remain all too real. And these debts are an especially heavy burden because most of the loans were denominated in other countries’ currencies.

The illusion of wealth: dig it.

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March 2009