A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Monday, September 14, 2009

Noise of the Day

Glenn Greenwald on how the tea-party protests get it right and wrong at the same time.
The premise of these citizen protests is not wrong: Washington politicians are in thrall to special interests and are, in essence, corruptly stealing the country's economic security in order to provide increasing benefits to a small and undeserving minority. But the "minority" here isn't what Fox News means by that term, but is the tiny sliver of corporate power which literally writes our laws and, in every case, ends up benefiting.

Michael Lind on the racism behind the United States' rejection of social welfare programs.
The original Social Security Act passed only after domestic workers and farmworkers -- the majority of black Americans, in the 1930s -- were left out of its coverage, at the insistence of white Southern politicians. Aid to Families With Dependent Children, a New Deal antipoverty program that became identified in the public mind with nonwhite "welfare queens," was a target of popular resentment for half a century before it was finally abolished by the Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

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