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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Contemplations - 4 Part 2

The literary royalty:

  Writing is work I think, not easy for most of us. But we can all self publish now, compete with big time publishers, the houses, agents, marketing . . . lands of submission. I stumbled on these words a couple weeks ago:

“As relatively modest as their salaries may be, people in publishing are still by birth and education and cultural assumptions members of the emerging American over class, self-replicating and increasingly isolated from the conditions of American life outside the big cities and campus enclaves. Working class people who pay the punishing financial price that going to college extracts these days are unlikely to be attracted to publishing, with those “relatively modest salaries” as their payoff All of which means that voices from and on behalf of the working class have that much harder a time getting read, understood, and published. Absent some unforeseen cultural shift, they are likely to remain unfashionable.”

“I know that sounds pretty bleak when it comes to what I’ve called literary democracy. And yet the vitality and toughness of working-class life has a way of producing voices that demand to be heard. Fiction, of all the arts, is the one that has the strongest allegiance to a realistic depiction of the world as it is, however advanced the formal means by which that representation is achieved. The strongest talents in American fiction, the ones that have the most impact and durable staying power, tend to be rooted in place and local culture and informed by human struggle.”

I’m not sure where I read this, or who said it, was probably something in Paris Review.

*       *       *

I listened to an interesting interview with Stephen King this week. He thinks we’re beginning to look like 1984, and worries we’re getting ourselves into a place where there is constant war. Back to the future again. Seems like it’s always been that way to me. When were there no wars? At the end of WWII we had the best army that ever walked the earth, best equipped, the best moral, best everything. Then we sent them to Korea and war that could not be won. When we finished there we sent them to Vietnam, another war that could not be won, and now the middle east and battles you can’t even imagine being won. Life on earth.

“World peace,” the beauty contestant’s mantra.

I saw a Facebook petition to sign if you are for world peace. Most of us want world peace. I’m not sure signing a petition advocating it will do much good. There should be a petition for getting rid of bad guys, the Hitlers, Stalins, Attila the huns, those crazy Isis bastards, and on down the line to thieves and murderers and cyber scams. What is it that creates these people? Something more than genetics.

A recent report from the Social Security Administration confirms what many other studies have shown over the last 40 years. The United States is experiencing the kind of obscene levels of wealth and income inequality found third world countries. Since 1999, the median income has gone down by nearly $5,000. Americans are working longer hours for lower wages. Half of all workers in the U.S. made less than $28,031. The wealthiest 110 workers received a $14.2 million increase in average pay.

Money itself is an interesting subject. It disappears into a fantasy of paperwork: promissory notes and bills of exchange, a fantasy world of secret deals between royalties, the Rothschild’s, Rockefellers, and Morgans – banksters. No legal case has ever been won against a banks. Corporations have been given the same rights as people.
I remember listening to Buckminster Fuller as a student at Southern Illinois University. He predicted a financial watershed, around the year 2000 he thought. A coming confrontation between the haves & have-nots was a popular discussion in the academic world of the late 50’s. Also worries about populating growth. We were three billion people on the earth back then, now we are six billion. Half or more of those six billion would be considered poor by most European and Americans standards. It’s interesting how much money some people have. What do they do with it, besides influence governments?
Some build houses. I just stumbled on to this one.


It’s owned by Mukesh Ambani. Six underground levels of parking, 600 staff to keep things running smoothly. Three helicopter pads. Value one billion U.S.D. One billion!
Guess where it is. Mambai, India. The mind boggles.

Enough. I am without solutions.

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