July 03, 2009

Up and down

El Cabrero is a big fan of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. His books have a dreamlike quality, often seamlessly blending the ordinary and the surreal. My favorite of his is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. If you haven't read it, I'd suggest dropping everything and grabbing it.

One quote from that book has stuck in my mind for several years. It's a good summary of the Taoist view of adapting to life's ups and downs. Here it is:

"It's not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness. 'I am he and/ He is me:/ Spring nightfall.' Abandon the self, and there you are."

It's all about water.

MASS LAYOFFS are at their highest point since the mid-1990s, according to the Economic Policy Institute's latest snapshot.

ON THAT NOTE, here is Dean Baker's analysis of the latest depressing unemployment report.

WHICH IS WHY Paul Krugman and others are calling for a second stimulus.

FOOT IN MOUTH SYNDROME. Here's an article about why it's hard to keep the former out of the latter.


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