zundel

Sunday 157

Scialabba

Filed under: Mind, Society, Writing — Tags: — zundel @ pm

What is George Scialabba Good For?” by Mark Oppenheimer in AGNI online 2009

(…seeing the skeptical social democrat Scialabba get in the ring with the pop-psychologizing Malcolm Gladwell would be tasty)

For the left, Lasch’s critique of capitalism was profoundly discomfiting, because it posited “progress” as anything but. “For Lasch, then,” Scialabba writes, “modernization was not the solution but a new form of the problem—the problem, that is, of domination.”

Making the Case for Intellectuals” by Maureen Corrigan on Fresh Air 2009-04-28

Scialabba says: “Though nearly everything Trilling wrote had an ultimate political relevance, almost nothing he wrote had an immediate political reference.”

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Saturday 156

Excoriator, killing 99 per cent of all known hypocrisies

Filed under: Mind, Poetry, Society — Tags: — zundel @ pm

I always start the weekend FT at the back to read Harry Eyres.

Is there a corner for poetry?” by Harry Eyres in The Financial Times 2009-06-06

“I hate poetry,” said this young man and, to make matters clearer: “I don’t believe in free expression.” For all the rebarbativeness of his remarks, I felt afterwards he was being more helpful and honest than all the bland promoters of poetry, or purveyors of a product called poetry that is not the real thing.

“Poetry, above all, is an approach to the truth of feeling,” says Rukeyser with admirable simplicity.

Poetry is up against it in all sorts of ways. Unlike video games, reality television, amateur dance troupes, it is not a cultural phenomenon that is generally welcomed into people’s lives.

I should read Harry more often. He refreshes me. And he reminds me what I value. I’d like to be him.

www.ft.com/eyres

Thursday 133

A long good life

Filed under: Mind, Science, Society — Tags: , — zundel @ am

and a very good long read. The best article I have read in some time:

What Makes Us Happy?” by Joshua Wolf Shenk in The Atlantic Monthly June 2009

the story of a father who on Christmas Eve puts into one son’s stocking a fine gold watch, and into another son’s, a pile of horse manure. The next morning, the first boy comes to his father and says glumly, “Dad, I just don’t know what I’ll do with this watch. It’s so fragile. It could break.” The other boy runs to him and says, “Daddy! Daddy! Santa left me a pony, if only I can just find it!”

I want to want a pony. Sadly, I have done otherwise.

“On the bright side,” he has written, “reaction formation allows us to care for someone else when we wish to be cared for ourselves.” But in intimate relationships, he continued, the defense “rarely leads to happiness for either party.”

Yup.

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