"Sentimentality is feeling about nothing. Sentiment, on the same hand, is what people who are scared of feeling describe as sentimentality."
I'll have to think about that. It sounds very wise. Perhaps it isn't.
Consider: "Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."
"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."
- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)
- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"
"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."
It?s just like getting a puppy I guess.Well, even cooler.
They don?t really ?envy? you, but hope to be the Alpha some day. Close enough.
So you roll ?em onto their backs to a submission/humiliation pose, then offer friendship and ?belonging? by feeding them a treat from your hand.
Well, we?ve rolled the Iraqis onto their backs. Now we forgive their debt, get their pipelines flowing, and hand out Christmas toys to their children. And voila, le tour est jouee?
NEW YORK, Jan 19 (Reuters) - IBM expects to save $168 million annually starting in 2006 by moving several thousand high-paying programming jobs abroad, according to internal company documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.And he made this observation.
International Business Machines Corp. has said it plans to move up to 3,000 jobs from the United States to developing countries this year. The Journal story did not say how many jobs the company expected to shift overseas starting in 2006.
? The Journal said the documents indicate that for internal IBM accounting purposes, a programmer in China with three to five years of experience would cost about $12.50 an hour, including salary and benefits.
That's compared with $56 an hour for a comparable U.S. employee, the Journal said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the company's internal billing rates.
Separately, Armonk, New York-based IBM said on Saturday that it plans to hire 15,000 new employees this year - 50 percent more than originally planned - in areas like software and services because of a rebound in the economy. The company said about 4,500 net jobs will be added in the United States.
I saw a bit on CNN this morning about IBM adding 15,000 jobs this year, 5,000 in the US. Typically, this got no mention whatsoever though?Well, my reply was this:
Yeah, I saw this on the wires. From what I see, this is being spun both ways, depending on who reports it.But in these pages, here, and elsewhere, this has been discussed. And of course the real irony is my friend from London, Ontario used to work for me. I hired him when I was running that systems shop up there for two years. And he?s still working away.
More jobs - the Bush plan is working - things are getting better. Saw that. Fox News and the rest. The long nightmare of massive unemployment is obviously ending.
The other spin is out there too.
The Bush recovery plan that is making corporate profits jump and the markets rise, is, in fact creating twice the number of jobs in Singapore and places like that than it is creating here. Do the damned math. Two thirds of these jobs are overseas.
Well, duh. When you look at the dollar costs - 12.50 an hour and then at 56.00 an hour, for the same work, and actually quality work - well, IBM and the rest are not dumb. They exist to make money. They are not patriotic charities, after all. As these corporations come out of their slumps, well, they are NOT going to throw money away. Why would they?
In short, as the business climate improves the Bush method of boosting the economy turns out to be great for the whole world. Really. It does. It just has very little to do with the situation down here, south of your border. And that is why I can live off my investments, and not work. Work is for others. I?m a capitalist owner, not a worker. Better for me, of course. But quite ironic for a lefty like me.
Corporations owe the community that made their business possible? Curious.
I don?t think that will fly with the business folks. It?s easy enough for them to characterize that idea as anti-business at best ? something that could force them to lose money and thus hurt the community: layoffs and closures would be possible if you really believe such ?Canadian? things. At worst they?d call it socialism, or communism.
But ?communism? and ?community? have they same root. How odd.
PARIS, Jan 18 (AFP) - After a long lean period, fans of French "chanson" have been heartened by the arrival of a new generation of song-smiths, whose subtle observations of modern life and passionate use of language are a clear reaction against the bland insincerity of mainstream pop.Ah yes, but where is all this coming from?
Over the last two years a group of young "chanteurs" has emerged from the smoky bars where they served their apprenticeship in the late 1990s and assumed a national status, earning cautious comparisons with the greats of yesteryear such as Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens.
Names such as Benabar, Sanseverino, Keren Ann, Mathieu Boogaerts, Vincent Delerm and Carla Bruni may not resound abroad, but in France they are selling hundreds of thousands of CDs and music-lovers see in them a sign of hope that a great French tradition is still alive and kicking.
"French chanson disappeared for a quarter of a century. In the 1980s and 90s what people wanted was rock and variety. But this is a definite comeback. The new chanteurs have a background of rock, but they also want to revisit an older heritage," said critic Christophe Conte of Les Inrocks magazine.
"They are the children of the May 68 generation. Their parents listened both to rock and to chanson - Brel, Brassens, Leo Ferre, Claude Nougaro. They are the product of all that," he said.
France's tradition of "chanson" goes back at least a century, starting with the cabaret of Mistinguett, through the music-hall of Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf to the post-war jazz scene of Juliette Greco. At its best it is both literary and popular, making a genuine connection between high culture and the masses.Well, I don?t agree with this Benabar person.
But everyone agrees that if there is a revival today, it is because the French masses have become hooked on the heavily-marketed pulp which now forms the staple of the music charts. The hugely-successful "Star Academy" television programme is the epitome of what many see as the cretinisation - French for dumbing-down - of popular taste.
"I really have nothing against Star Academy. There is a place for these things. But then it was followed by more and more of the same. Every six months there are more of these superstars doing cover versions. But the public is not as dim as the cynics who control the television think. There's a general feeling that enough is enough," said Benabar.
PARIS, Jan 19 (AFP) All it takes is an accordion, a few song sheets and a charismatic performer to turn a Parisian square into a lively open- air concert, where scores of people gather every week to sing French chansons.Amusing, no?
Fifteen years ago, Christian Bassoul was another one of Paris's many street musicians in the Rue Mouffetard, playing tunes by Edith Piaf and Charles Trenet and making some extra pocket money.
He noticed that passersby were humming along, trying to remember the words to "La Vie en Rose" or "La Mer." Pretty soon, he was passing out lyric sheets, and his "Mouffetard Musette" - musette means French accordion music - was born.
Now every Sunday, after shoppers have filled their baskets with cheese, eggplants, oranges and walnuts at the busy market stalls, they wander over to the square to spend an entertaining musical hour.
"It was an old tradition that I didn't know about and which existed 30 years ago," the 54-year-old Bassoul, a black cap on his head and red handkerchief slung around his neck, told AFP. "Before radio became really popular, people used to meet in the street and buy song sheets.And yes, there is more to it.
"They would learn the songs by hearing them. This tradition was lost and it's coming back. I made it come back without knowing it."
The gathering has turned into a rain-or-shine event that attracts quite a crowd, locals and tourists alike. A number write "Mouffetard" into their weekly calendars instead of Sunday morning brunch, it's Sunday morning singing.
The sing-along is also more than just a few light-hearted hours, it is an informal way to meet people in often cold and impersonal Paris where making friends can be very hard.This sounds altogether too pleasant and civilized.
"This is life," Nanda Atarian, who visits from Rio de Janeiro twice a year, exclaimed.
"Every time (I am in Paris) I come here and we sing together and dance. People here are very friendly, they're like family," the 29-year-old said.
Viviane Hatry, another regular from the neighborhood, said a German man danced with a woman from Quebec here, and they fell in love. Now they are living together in Canada.
"Here the boss and the employee come together and sing together, it's really nice. I like to sing, I like to dance, and I like people," she said, before bustling off to collect a bit of money from the crowd.
What you won't find here on the blog - winter photographs by Martin Hewitt, film notes (on the new Harry Potter film due in June), book notes on the new biography of John Gardner, music notes on the new EU rules that may doom classical music... and a new science column. Oh yes, you'll also find lots for reader commentary, from thoughtful folks from Atlanta to Boston to Paris.