Culture / Politics

There will be no return to normal

Goodbye to “normal” — Excellent insight from Stowe Boyd on our economic leaders’ “comforting myth of ‘returning to normal’” – I think it exists in many conversations outside the business world too.

The Biggest If Of All
I continue to see the comforting myth of ‘returning to normal’ show up in all sorts of discussions. Today, in a NY Times piece on where investment fund managers are finding good opportunities to invest the central point was that fund managers can’t find good investment opportunities, because high uncertainty. But — don’t worry! — everything will be fine as soon as we get back to normal. 

…What I am interested in is the deep story, never examined or questioned: we are in a downturn like other downturns, and we will return to postmodern growth patterns: the typical boom/bust cycle that defined the past few hundred years of the modern and post modern economies. 

[Please read on]



Jazz writer Ted Gioia on the late Dave Brubeck

RIP Dave Brubeck… An exceedingly cool cat, as Dana Gioia writes:

How many celebrities have a marriage that lasts 70 years? I think Dave is the only one. He was a very caring family man, a good dad and husband – never a given in the entertainment industry. He was a pioneer on civil rights, threatening to cancel concerts when faced with complaints about his integrated band. He served his country as a soldier (at the Battle of the Bulge) and as both an official and unofficial ambassador.

In memoriam: Dave Brubeck | OUPblog
By Ted Gioia I first met Dave Brubeck when I was in my twenties, and writing my book on West Coast jazz. Dave deeply impressed me…


A note from Edcamp Baltimore

I’ve spent the morning at a remarkable event: Edcamp Baltimore – a gathering of (mostly) teachers sharing knowledge, tips, and strategies in an unconference format. Coming from a family of teachers, I know how deadly “professional development” can be. This is an refreshing, hyper-productive alternative. I’m listening to teachers working out best practices gleaned from classrooms from Boston to Baltimore. Great work by our local organizers, particularly Jessica Gartner.


Lucky Jim reissue is great news for alcoholics and academics

Everyone who has had a brush with academic life and/or is an alcoholic, will relish every page of Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim.

Take, for instance, his description of the main character’s hangover:

“[Jim] Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way… He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning… His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad”

Return of the Kingsley | The American Conservative
Prayers have been answered: Kingsley Amis’s novels Lucky Jim and The Old Devils are being reissued in the United States. The New York Review of Books Press has printed the new editions…


Weekly Twitterings for 2012-10-15

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