Archive for December, 2015
Musée des Beaux Arts (1940)
by W.H. Auden
About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just
walking dully along;
The renowned scholar exemplified intellectual passion and political engagement.
by Eric Alterman
Young academics are often advised to prioritize scholarship over citizenship, meaning political involvement. But as the careers of some of our most influential scholars repeatedly demonstrate, especially in the humanities and social sciences, this is often a false and foolish distinction. It’s hard to imagine a more impressive “citizen scholar” than Benedict Richard O’Gorman Anderson, the Anglo/Irish, China-born, California- and Ireland-raised, Cambridge- and Cornell-educated specialist in Indonesian, Philippine, and Thai politics and culture. An endowed professor at Cornell and a frequent contributor to New Left Review, Anderson died in his sleep of apparent heart failure on December 13, three days after giving a lecture on “Nationalism and Anarchism” at the University of Indonesia. He was 79.
We never wanted to be rejected by a taxi driver again. Life has enough indignity, disappointment, and misery for us to endure flagging down a taxi, telling the driver where we’re going, and watching him drive away without a word. Screw that.
Yes, we would miss the bizarre stories and the interesting cabbies, but we’ve written enough mad taxi stories in the last two decades to fill two books. So we got the Uber app. This required abandoning our beloved ancient BlackBerry and getting an iPhone so we could navigate the app. Then we got a debit card (we don’t like credit cards, we’ve been burned on those) to use specifically for Uber.
In alphabetical order. Explanations to follow.
Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin. Bought at an online store.
The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector. Confiscated from Jedi Master.
Slade House by David Mitchell. Bought at National Bookstore.
The Love Object, Selected Stories by Edna O’Brien. Bought at National Bookstore.
(Photograph to follow because we can’t find our copy: On The Move by Oliver Sacks. Bought at National Bookstore.)
How to be both by Ali Smith. Bought at National Bookstore.
The Door by Magda Szabo. Bought from online bookstore.
Oliver VII by Antal Szerb. Bought at bookstore in Hungary.
Fantastic Night by Stefan Zweig. Bought at Fully Booked.
You have just realized that it’s less than 48 hours before Xmas and even if you’re an atheist you like giving and getting presents (or at least not being the buzzkill). Go to the nearest National Bookstore and get these.
This season’s “I’m tired of thinking, I’ll just take two dozen of those” gift: colouring books for grownups. It’s supposed to relieve stress. In our observation, people who are already stressed will get more stressed if you give them coloring books because it’s more work they will feel compelled to do. This one comes with 8 colouring pencils in a nice tin box so you don’t even have to wrap it, because you’re stressed, too. Php395 only.
Leuchtturm page-a-day 2016 datebook, Php1221. You can have the recipient’s name engraved for free. (Every year we get a Moleskine diary but the new designs haven’t arrived so we’re trying something different. Moleskine, where’s the new stuff? We want the Blue Note editions.)