Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:47:03 +0100(image)
In January 2016 I predicted that Hillary would win narrowly against Trump. Early November I repeated this in my daily column in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant and I promised that I would invite 1000 readers for vodka or wine when my prediction would turn out to be wrong.
Around 2000 readers were interested in wine or wodka.
On Sunday January 8 it's going to happen. The first 1000 respondents will soon get an e-mail with more information.
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 17:39:00 +0100(image)
Ralf Hoppe and Jan Puhl in Der Spiegel on Poland and populist rule:
'The office is the headquarters of KOD, or Komitet Obrony Demokracji, the largest protest movement Poland has seen since the Solidarnosc trade union in the 1980s. Kijowski is the founder, strategist and face of the movement, a lanky, relaxed-looking man. He is the most important adversary of the national conservative government of the Law and Justice (PiS) party and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Some 8,000 people are part of the KOD, from Gdansk in the north to the Carpathian Mountains in the south, and they include lawyers, teachers and business professionals. "Resistance is a civic duty," says Kijowski, adding that he is wary of his political rival. "Kaczynski is obsessed with power," says Kijowski. "He wants to control people. That's his obsession. So what is at stake here is democracy, our freedom and European values."'
Read the article here.
Part of the electorate appears to be angry. Their so-called saviors are just obsessed with power. "Keep them angry. Keep them obedient."
Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:46:43 +0100(image)
My new krav maga instructor is very kind. He said: "Don't hit me in the groin. I like my groin."
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 18:04:54 +0100(image)
Beppe Severgnini in today's Times:
'Moreover, in Britain, broadly speaking, older voters chose to leave the European Union, while the young voted to stay. In Italy, it’s the other way around. The young turned their backs on Mr. Renzi. It was not, as in Britain, a nostalgic vote; young Italians don’t want to return to a past they’ve never had.
They are angry about enormous youth unemployment. They hate begging for poorly paid temporary jobs — with an average monthly salary of 1,200 euros, or $1,300 — not enough to let them plan for the future. It’s no coincidence that affluent Milan is among the few large cities that voted “yes” (so did Bologna and Florence, Mr. Renzi’s hometown). All the others — from Rome to Turin, from Naples to Palermo, from Genoa to Bari — voted “no.” For all his talk about moving Italy into gear, Mr. Renzi forgot the key Clintonian lesson: “It’s the economy, stupid.” If the referendum had a larger meaning, it was a vote on Mr. Renzi’s place in Italian politics, not on Italy’s place in Europe.'
Read the article here.
Everywhere else in the West it's mainly identity and less economy, in Italy it's mainly economy and less identity. That's good to know.
Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:27:38 +0100(image)
Last night I had dinner with an economist. She claimed that China was the big threat to the lower middle class in the Western world. She also said that China was the future and that Trump wouldn't have won without China.
I answered: "In the eighties people claimed that Japan was the future."
"That's incomparable," she answered.
Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:37:56 +0100(image)
Jean Dubuffet in the Morgan Library -- worth seeing. I prefer his early drawings but his experiments with butterflies impressed me as well.
From the catalogue: ""I do not even like the word 'art' at all and I prefer that it did not exist and that the thing had no name."
Language is a prison but I'm afraid there's not much life outside of it.
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 17:20:07 +0100(image)
A.O. Scott on Mia Hansen-Love’s new movie "Thing to Come" (L'Avenir):
"In the course of the movie, all of that will collapse, in ways that are both perfectly ordinary and utterly catastrophic. Nathalie loses her mother (Édith Scob) and her husband, Heinz (André Marcon), a fellow philosopher who has fallen in love with someone else. There are troubles on the professional front as well, including some awful meetings with the dynamic and innovative crew of young cretins who seem to have taken over the operations of Nathalie’s longtime publisher.
Not everything is terrible, and Nathalie is too stoical, too analytical and too much of an ironist to engage in self-pity."
Read the review here.
Voila, the enemies of self-pity: stoicism, analytical thinking and self-irony.
To me the movie was a study on how to live with the disappearance of most passions. Recommended.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:17:47 +0100(image)
After Mexico I'm once again ready for tequila and mescal, just like in the early nineties.
Thu, 01 Dec 2016 01:31:27 +0100(image)
Dirk Kurbjuweit in Der Spiegel: "The chancellor could have said: First, I have to change and I have to find a new way to speak with the German population. Second, I want to expand my political horizons and focus on the restoration of the state. Third, I want to use my reputation to gently steer other heads of state and government in the right direction, US president-elect Donald Trump first and foremost."
Read the article here,
Merkel steering Trump in the right direction. If she is able to pull that off I will go straight back to Mishnah school.
Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:23:26 +0100(image)
Last night after the discussion Laurent Binet said: "There's a Trotskyist in every French boy."