Friday, November 20, 2009

"Complaint-Free Wednesday" Before Thanksgiving: Highs, Lows and Somewhere In-Between

Well, clearly Giving Thanks on the last Thursday in November may not be enough. A Congressman has proposed legislation making the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a complaint free day, noting that chronic complaining impacts health, wealth, career advancement and, I would add, the "Pursuit of Happiness." See the link with full story here.

Along with the report on the recently unveiled "Optimism" Metrocard in today's NY Times,the work of artist Reid Seifer, it may in fact be the time to hitch up one's britches, and those who can do, and if you got 'em, smoke 'em (herbal of course) and move forward with optimism, vision and, to borrow a former Presidential slogan, "Hope." OK, Wall Street screwed up, we made some bad judgements, economically speaking, what we thought was beneficial under President Bush, in terms of cheap money and low interest rates, may have in fact not been so groovy. And our best creditors, the Chinese, are now looking at us a bit crookedly, as my late Dad would say. Are we now like Robert DeNiro as "Johnny Boy" in Mean Streets, telling Michael the loan shark (Richard Romanus) that he only goes to him to borrow because nobody else in the neighborhood will loan him money, and he knows that he can keep borrowing without having the loan called in? Of course, in Mean Streets, there is an unhappy ending. One hopes, that America pulls itself out of this economic maelstrom, despite Nouriel Roubini's predictions of continued downturn vis-a-vis continued unemployment. Perhaps Harvard Business guru Michael Porter's prescription on "Why America Needs an Economic Strategy" has some profound insights to offer.

But for the time being, maybe a bit of optimism, hope, pragmatic and visionary thinking, as opposed to glooming and dooming, couldn't hurt, and may even help.

But of course, right on the heels of "Complaint-Free Wednesday" and "Thanksgiving Thursday," comes the ill-named Black Friday, with its holiday-shopping lunacy, stampedes for flat-screen TVs, and Xbox360s, etc. So, while, sadly, consumption and shopping are what this country needs in the long run, for the short term, when it comes to the day after Thanksgiving or using the old charge card, better be careful out there...

Sorry to end the week on a queasy note. In the words of the late Allen Ginsberg:

It occurs to me that I am America./
I am talking to myself again.

--from "America" by Allen Ginsberg
from America by Allen Ginsberg or quick reference here.

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Current Reading

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  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
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  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
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  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
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  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
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  • Life in Ancient Egypt
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  • Nazi Culture - various authors
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  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
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  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
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  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
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  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
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  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
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  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
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  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

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  • Wilco The Album
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