Saturday, October 25, 2014

Camera kaput? Try the Mind's Eye 6WS

The lack of a camera makes me feel a bit like someone who talks with her hands and now her arms are in slings!  however, there are other things to pursue, anyway.

Such as all the books I'm constantly in the middle of, usually several at a time.  Can't show you a pic of the covers, which makes it easier to find the books, but nemmind.

I really recommend  How to Speak Money by John Lanchester, a terrific exploration of the terms used in money and what they actually mean, which is rarely what they seem to mean.  Very enlightening and interesting reading, and makes a lot of sense of the terminology being batted around all the time.  So tired of hearing politicians who don't know the difference between the debt and the deficit, then voting on their combined ignorance, gah.  If they took a look at page 104 they'd get it.  Or at least if they get an aide to read it to them, oops, cynical comment there.

And he gets into terms I never heard of which are very intriguing, such as Who is Chocfinger? Anyway, it's all written in actual English prose, some of it very funny, and made clearer than I ever knew exactly why we have inequal distribution of our resources and what purpose it serves. It actually serves a purpose in the neoliberal scheme, and here was I thinking it was an unfortunate side effect. 

He also had the interesting, and real, side effect on my monkey brain of bringing to mind, though he never mentions it, a term which has been hovering just out of reach in my mind for months and driving me batty.  That's it: vigorish.  Look it up on Google and marvel. Especially at its origins.

I promptly wrote it down and looked it up and discovered why I couldn't find it on any financial website or article I'd searched just in case I came across it to set my mind at rest and stop searching for it.  It's because it's a term of bookies and, um, loansharks!  Oh dear, bankers and economists and financial writers not going to admit any correlation there...and if you study credit default swaps, see page 101, you'll notice with the same flash of lightning, major lightbulb, that burst on me, that the vig. is a kind of credit default swap conducted by people in baseball caps in dark alleys, rather than bankers in Armani suits...check em both out and see if you think I'm right.  Just sayin'.

If your brain's a bit tired by this point, and longing for pictures, go and see The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Recipes for Life, Love and Art, by Jans Ondaatje Rolls.  Lovely social history of the Bloomsbury set in their period, Virginia Woolf, sister Vanessa Bell, Leonard Woolf, EM Forster, Lytton Strachey, Dora Carrington, economist John Maynard Keynes, all that mob, very interesting stuff.  High powered talent with positions and connections in society which freed them to live as they wanted. Hot and cold running servants in the background, always, but never alluded to! They worked very hard, though, in pursuit of their various arts and each other.

You don't have to like to cook to enjoy this so-called cookbook, because it's also packed with wonderful illustrations of postImpressionist art, a lot of Vanessa Bell's marvelous work (seen also in the movie The Hours, if you noticed the interiors) and many little drawings by Carrington, and other painters.  And the book comes with a built in fancy red bookmark, just like a prayer book, which amused me hugely considering what they were all up to.  One little sidelight which cracked me up: at one point they all went out sledding on teatrays, and, get this, Keynes' briefcase!

So your mind's eye can work quite well, even without an electronic lens.


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