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."

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.


“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