plant lover, cookie monster, shoe fiend
3712 stories
·
15 followers

Saturday Poem

1 Share

Relax

—for anxious A.

Bad things are going to happen.
Your tomatoes will grow a fungus
and your cat will get run over.
Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream
melting in the car and throw
your blue cashmere sweater in the dryer.
Your husband will sleep
with a girl your daughter’s age, her breasts spilling
out of her blouse. Or your wife
will remember she’s a lesbian
and leave you for the woman next door. The other cat—
the one you never really liked—will contract a disease
that requires you to pry open its feverish mouth
every four hours. Your parents will die.
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair, and your memory. If your daughter
doesn’t plug her heart
into every live socket she passes,
you’ll come home to find your son has emptied
the refrigerator, dragged it to the curb,
and called the used-appliance store for a pickup—drug money.
The Buddha tells a story of a woman chased by a tiger.
When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs halfway down. But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice—one white, one black—scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine. At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.
She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.
So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat. Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles in a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh, taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

by Ellen Bass
from Like a Beggar
Copper Canyon Press, 2014

Read the whole story
sarcozona
6 minutes ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

"Despacito" Biology Parody

1 Share
Read the whole story
sarcozona
8 minutes ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism

1 Share

Thatcher_Reagan_Camp_David_sofa_1984

Dani Rodrik in Boston Review:

A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: Is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. “What do you mean by ‘good?’” he responds. “And good for whom?” The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: “So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's well being.” If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's long-term growth rate is not clear either and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.

This professor is rather different from the one the journalist encountered previously. On the record, he exudes self-confidence, not reticence, about the appropriate policy. There is one and only one model, at least as far as the public conversation is concerned, and there is a single correct answer regardless of context. Strangely, the professor deems the knowledge that he imparts to his advanced students to be inappropriate (or dangerous) for the general public. Why?

The roots of such behavior lie deep in the sociology and the culture of the economics profession. But one important motive is the zeal to display the profession's crown jewels in untarnished form—market efficiency, the invisible hand, comparative advantage—and to shield them from attack by self-interested barbarians, namely the protectionists. Unfortunately, these economists typically ignore the barbarians on the other side of the issue—financiers and multinational corporations whose motives are no purer and who are all too ready to hijack these ideas for their own benefit.

More here.

Read the whole story
sarcozona
14 minutes ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

User hostility

1 Comment

This blog has been discontinued due to this decision by WordPress to destroy needed functionality.

See here for details.

Both of these blogs are likely to be deleted in the next few days so if there is anything you want to save, please do so. I will not be making any backups of either one.

Read the whole story
sarcozona
23 minutes ago
reply
Goddammit WordPress
Share this story
Delete

The Cause and Consequences of the Retail Apocalypse

2 Shares
The Macy’s near my house is closing early next year . The mall where it’s located has seen less and less foot traffic over the years, and losing its anchor…
Read the whole story
sarcozona
16 hours ago
reply
acdha
2 days ago
reply
Washington, DC
Share this story
Delete

There's a Digital Media Crash. But No One Will Say It

2 Shares
Yesterday I appeared on a panel about digital publishers who are ‘pivoting to video’. I’ve written about this before. But in case you’re new to it, there have…
Read the whole story
sarcozona
16 hours ago
reply
acdha
18 hours ago
reply
Washington, DC
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories