kill all my demons and my angels might die too
Few days ago I was watching through 90′s political commentary videos with Christopher Hitchens. Some of the issues discussed have already played themselves out, and having been influenced by Christopher’s writing I like to get an idea what sort of things he was wrong about in the past.
A string of episodes I browsed through was an early morning show filmed in late fall or winter, in which guests like Christopher bring with them newspapers and discuss the daily stories. There is a lot of focus on the under-reported and missed stories, as well as issues brushed under the fold or buried in a larger and by contrast irrelevant issue.
After taking an on air call with questions and comments, Hitchens ends with one of the quickest recommendations for a read: If you haven’t, read Atlas Shrugged. So I thought I’ll do just that. The length of the novel did cause me to question if perhaps I should wait until I’ve finished a couple large projects, but after reading a chapter online I knew I’ll make time for the full tale.
“He had burned everything there was to burn within him; he had scattered so many sparks to start so many things – and he wondered whether someone could give him now the spark he needed, now when he felt unable to rise again. He asked himself who had started him and kept him going. Then he raised his head. Slowly, with the greatest effort of his life, he made his body rise until he was able to sit upright…. He never asked that question again.”
There is a good chance I’ll write more about the book in future entries – it’s over 1,100 pages long, and one way or another it’s bound to leave an impression I’ll feel compelled to share with you.
What do the items in the title have in common? Not much. But they all feature in this entry.
“In April’s elections, prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said he would introduce sweeping measures to ease the burden of household debt. And now he has put the country’s krona where his mouth is. The writeoff of €24,000 per mortgage will reduce household debt by 13% according to the government’s website.”
(Iceland writes €24,000 off every mortgage, Irish Examiner)
A referendum later this month proposes to ban Swiss-based businesses from paying anyone a salary more than 12 times that of the lowest paid staff.
(Swiss rise up to fight income gap, Globe and Mail)
An article featured beside one of the above is about Miley Cyrus and her karaoke #1 hit Wrecking Ball. I didn’t click it – you’ll have to get those details for yourself – but here is something that is probably even better.
Should I go full ADHD and put up some music, too? Maybe later – for now I’m keeping a few tracks to myself. Mezcal, dear reader?
Grumpy Cat has an agent and its owners earn a low six figure income from its stardom. I wonder if they took a million photographs of her (it really is a she) and will keep feeding us them after she’s gone to meet her maker. Or, if she is locked up somewhere as not to get hit by a speeding van full of screaming children. 21st century, what else can you teach us about earning a good income with minimal effort?
Usually at this hour I’d be scrolling through some Facebook page, tired from the day, pushing back sleep until exhaustion ultimately wins its way for me. But I’ve closed my account for the time being, and instead here I am. What should we do with this early morning, when everything is still possible?
It dawned on me today that I’ve followed almost the entire medical school education of Ozge through her blog. I read about study strategies, notes, old medical books, and the daily grind. I knew that a lot of study went into medical school, but in reality I didn’t have much of a real-life idea until reading about it on regular basis.
Medicine and science are so advanced, we know not our own ignorance more than ever. This breeds all kinds of dangerous egos, ones fed by access to technologies that we the users feel an extension of our own intelligence. But science is becoming a sort of voodoo practice against which groups rally with pitchforks – all because general lack of understanding. We want technology, medicine and to explore the universe, but as a whole put up roadblocks for those able to deliver it.
Margaret Atwood explains in Payback the ill sentiments towards the grain-mill owner and his family; the mill being one of the first large scale business service industries that could rob without you knowing it, for who could tell exactly how much flower was due from one bag of grain? When those delivering the solutions don’t struggle financially, or worse, are well-to-do, the suspicions and rumours start a life of their own.
So here is the simple game plan:
1. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. [And motives of others.] (Christopher Hitchens)
2. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. (Horace Mann)
Ozge tells in one of her early posts how when she was growing up, she pretended that reading books gave her superpowers – a wonderfully simple rendering of a big idea.
Mad adopts squirrel, makes half the world go awwwww. But I wonder: did he load the tiny creature with children’s Tylenol and posed it around, and, is this curiosity of mine mixed with skepticism healthy?
I nominate the photo series for next week’s universal unicorn-chaser. Whatever you need chasing, this droopy squirrel will do. It doesn’t look like much, but it’ll repel the vilest ideas.