February 22, 2010

The paragon of animals

This quintessence of dust.

The off and on theme at Goat Rope these days is Hamlet, although you'll also find links and comments about current events.

There are a lot of great lines and speeches in that play, but one of my favorites is both a good description of depression and a hymn of praise to the human potential. It occurs in Act 2 Scene 2 in the course of a conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern:

...I have of late—but wherefore
I know not—lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of
exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my
disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to
me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy,
the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man
delights not me...

You'll have that some days.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. Here's an op-ed by yours truly about the need for job creation and public investments to get us through the recession. It mentions a mistake made by my hero FDR, who cut back on New Deal programs in 1937 thinking the Depression was over--and wound up extending it by several years.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, the unemployed in this recession may face years without jobs, according to this NY Times article.

STARVING THE BEAST. Here's Krugman on the current game of political chicken.

AND THEN THERE'S THIS. Speaking of playing political chicken, President Obama is convening a bipartisan health care summit this week.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN on politics.



Hollowdweller said...

I regret I refuse to register with the Gazette or even buy a copy since they endorsed Underwood over Pritt in 96.

I regret it because I would like to verbally slap down the overwhelmingly wingnut comments on your article!

El Cabrero said...

Thanks for the sentiments. The people who do that are kind of like the grumpy old men in The Muppet Show.