Thursday, July 28, 2011

Odds & Ends

It's been a long week.  April may be the cruelest month, but in my opinion, July just plain sucks.

I'm determined to read John Maynard Keynes' The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money and Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose.  It bothers me to see people bandying Keynesian economics about and referencing Friedman, with no real understanding of what they actually wrote and argued.

As the French writer and philosopher Albert Camus once said, ""You always get exaggerated notions about things you don't know anything about."

So basically, I'm going to ride out the debt ceiling crisis with some pertinent reading.

Talked to a friend who was in Greece a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, the news coverage of the riots was a bit... over-dramatized.

He said that although several people were hurt, obviously, it was more common to see the protesters hanging out on a cigarette break, while a few blocks over, in Syntagma Square, the cops in riot gear would also be taking a cigarette break. But yet, they were "rioting."

When I asked if he thought this would be the starting point for global revolution, he said, "Well, you never know, obviously, but it seems somewhat unlikely. It ain't Egypt, that's for sure."

I also received a free copy of The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore in the mail today. 

No one loves a free copy of the work of an anonymous 13th century Icelandic scribe the way I do.

My response upon opening the unexpected package: "Oh, AWESOME." 

Watch out world.

Here's hoping I don't confuse the ideas of the Vikings with those of the free-market capitalists.  I suspect I'll see quite a few similarities, actually.

Finally, this Sunday marks the 5th anniversary of my dad's death.  Each year, I try to spend some time thinking about all of the good qualities my dad embodied, so I can be sure to implement them in my own life.

This year, because of my friend Ezra's death, the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is on my mind--it was read at Ezra's funeral service:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
I'm neither Catholic nor religious, but I very much like this prayer.

In the same vein, I always listen to this song around this time of year.  My dad always used to sing along with it when it came on the radio, so I associate it with him and with his spirit.


  1. You go gurl! I mean Professor.

    I commend your desire to read Keynes and Friedman. Probably stuff only an Academic could get through. :-)

    I suppose I am guilty of thinking myself familiar with their theories even though I have only read interpretations by others.

    I look forward to reading yours.

  2. Thank you! :) I'm gonna try... (and I haven't forgotten about the progressive movement either!)


Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."