April 15, 2009

Lost in a tale

El Cabrero has been musing lately about how literature can enrich daily life (as well as working for social justice). In fact, I often feel like I'm experiencing aspects of this story or that.

To give an example I mentioned last week, watching the tide of a policy battle surge back and forth in my state legislature reminded me of a comic version of the Iliad. I've also seen things in public and private life that remind me of various comedies and tragedies.

Of course, you can run anything into the ground. It can be kind of dangerous sometimes to confuse literature with real life.

The two best examples of that come from...literature. The thing that makes Cervantes' Don Quixote both funny and sad is that he can't tell the difference between the world he lived in and the romances he read. Another example might be Flaubert's Madame Bovary, who got ramped up on another kind of romance writing and messed up the lives of several people, including her own.

There are plenty of other stories of that kind of thing. Come to think of it, it's stories all the way down.

WHILE THE ECONOMY TANKS, CEO pay is doing just fine.

CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE. Here's a Newsweek profile of Harvard law professor, author, and bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren. She was way out in front on the whole debt crisis. El Cabrero strongly recommends checking out her books.

IT MUST BE HARD TIMES. Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship got a pay cut.

TAXES. Animals collect them too.

COMPASSION ON THE BRAIN. Its roots go deep.


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