G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is that enough to build a marriage on?

On May 24, 2007, Prime Minister Singh issued Ten Commandments to industry. During the speech, he decried cartelisation, spiralling salaries and corruption. This comes on top of his strong condemnation of crony capitalism few days earlier.

Singh said: “The electronic media carries the lifestyles of the rich and famous into every village and slum. Media often highlights the vulgar display of their wealth. An area of great concern is the level of ostentatious expenditure on weddings and other family events. Such vulgarity insults the poverty of the less privileged, it is socially wasteful and it plants seeds of resentment in the minds of the have-nots.”

Dear PM,

We appreciate your concern and thank you. We know you are the most incorruptible politician in the world today. We know you have a Spartan life style. We know you do not suffer from the most contagious disease of Indian public life- nepotism-at all.

But as you would be the first to acknowledge, you are not the first prominent economist/ public figure to air similar feelings about capitalism.

Your thoughts sound a lot like Paul Krugman’s NYT columns. Adam Smith’s later work was dedicated to attacking not just big government, but big corporations in general and the East India Company in particular. Through its monopoly on Indian trade East India Company had, Smith said, contrived to raise prices to customers while reducing them for suppliers. It was rife with fraud, cruelty and corruption and was “a nuisance in every respect”.

But is this expression of anguish by Indian PM good enough foundation "to build a marriage of Congress and its voters on".



Artist: Lee Lorenz The New Yorker 10 Mar 1962