Keep the Aspidistra Flying
My cousin Bethany, who’s been awesome long before she gave me a place to stay in NY, bestowed upon me a copy of George Orwell’s somewhat autobiographical Keep the Aspidistra Flying, and it is phenomenal. Some quotes from the first two chapters:
“He couldn’t cope with rhymes and adjectives. You can’t, with only twopence halfpenny in your pocket.”
“For here was he, supposedly a ‘writer,’ and he couldn’t even ‘write’!”
“That noxious, horn-spectacled refinement! And the money that such refinement means! For after all, what is there behind it, except money? Money for the right kind of education, money for influential friends, money for leisure and peace of mind, money for trips to Italy. Money writes books, money sells them. Give me not righteousness, O Lord, give me money, only money.”
“If we did get a writer worth reading, should we know him when we saw him, so choked as we are with trash?”
“Of all types of human being, only the artist takes it upon him to say that he ‘cannot’ work.”
“Only five minutes ago his poem had still seemed to him a living thing; now he knew it unmistakably for the worthless tripe that it was. With a kind of nervous disgust he bundled the scattered sheets together, stacked them in an untidy heap and dumbed them on the other side of the table, under the aspidistra. He could not even bear to look at them any longer.”
In the hours I haven’t been aimlessly wandering the streets of Manhattan, getting caught in the snow and freezing my hands and ears to sterility, it’s touched my soul — a nice break from all that non-fiction I dirty myself with.
Again, I’ve only gotten past the first two chapters of the novel, but I’m fairly certain the aspidistra is a symbol for dreams. Pretty sweet stuff.
Friedrich Nietzsche (via cavum)
What I love about the LIBOR scandal:
It’s more proof that conspiracies actually do happen.
People at the top have each other’s emails and phone numbers. They talk to each other. And they strike deals.
The LIBOR, a benchmark for interest rates around the world, is determined by surveying 16 banks on what they think the LIBOR should be, throwing out the 4 highest and the 4 lowest, and averaging the estimates in the middle. It’s determined this way every day.
To rig it, you need pretty much all 16 banks in on it.
Literally the definition of an international banking conspiracy.
A billionaire, a Monsanto executive, and a Congressman walk into a bar.
The bartender says “Hey mister, what’ll it be?”
In my econ2 class
iClicker question: Why accept fiat money?
Answer: Because others will.
The overwhelming confused uproar from the class was shocking — and made me feel pretty G, haha.
“Trout, incidentally, had written a book about a money tree. It had twenty-dollar bills for leaves. Its flowers were government bonds. Its fruit was diamonds. It attracted human beings who killed each other around the roots and made very good fertilizer.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
So it goes.