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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I’m all for Putting Newsweek in its Place

On July 16, 2001, Fareed Zakaria wrote in Newsweek:

“Last week I celebrated my first Fourth of July as an American

A South African judge recently addressed a group of students at a major American university. She began by noting that the newspapers in the United States seemed full of trivia. Then she explained her deep and fervent hope that one day the newspapers in her country would also have nothing serious to report. For me, and I would guess most of the people in that Brooklyn auditorium, the big news about America is that there is no big news.”

I wrote to him saying there was plenty of “big news” in US even then.

I never received a reply but starting September 11 of that year then there has been no shortage of “big news” in US.

Later Mr. Zakaria went to justify Iraq war with the enthusiasm of a new convert. I stopped reading him after that but continued my subscription to Newsweek.

After reading Newsweek issue dated September 29, 2008, I think time has come to say goodbye to the magazine.

Instead of focusing on all aspects of one of the biggest financial scams in human history that is causing much pain around the world, they have ended up glorifying one of its culprits- Henry Paulson.

BEN STEIN:

“IMAGINE, if you will, that a man who had much to do with creating the present credit crisis now says he is the man to fix this giant problem, and that his work is so important that he will need a trillion dollars or so of your money. Then add that this man thinks he is so indispensable that he wants Congress to forbid any judicial or administrative questioning of anything he does with your dollars.

You might think of a latter-day Lenin or Fidel Castro, but you would be far afield. Instead, you should be thinking of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the rapidly disintegrating United States of America, right here and now…

Why didn’t Mr. Paulson, the Treasury secretary, see it? He was once the head of Goldman Sachs, an immense player in the swaps world. Didn’t people at Treasury have a clue? If they didn’t, what was going on in their heads? If they did, why didn’t they do something about it a year ago, when saving the world would have been a lot cheaper?

If Mr. Paulson and Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, didn’t see this train coming, what else have they missed? What other freight train is barreling down the track at us?

(September 28, 2008 . “In Financial Food Chains, Little Guys Can’t Win” )


Artist: Leonard Dove The New Yorker 2 November 1929