If only paper books could perform word searches, eh? How I wished for the missing function when I went looking for a passage I dimly remembered reading somewhere—something to the effect that night air was sweating the fragrance of jasmine. I wanted to use something dangerously similar in a story I was … Read more
I sit in my office sweating.
The 27-inch iMac gazes blankly at me from inside its raincoat, the pair of us waiting for the air-conditioner repairmen to arrive. It all started when my old PC laptop clapped out, exposing me to attack by the consumerist virus waiting in ambush. Next thing I knew, I was the proudish owner of a nearly-new iMac super doodah. And now look. The world is disintegrating.
Long-slumbering volcano erupts in Sumatra. Floods in Pakistan, India … Read more
Asteroids on sinister trajectories, suicide bombers in china shops. Epidemic this and high-cholesterol that. The failure of the Western metaphysic. Soaring cheese prices. Black holes of uncertain provenance and appetite lurking in the centers of our galaxies, shrinking public spaces in which to smoke, vanishing marine fisheries, incompatibility between relativity and quantum theory, Sarah Palin, language extinctions, cross-species viral infections, cougars in suburban gardens, friggin’ Chihuahuas everywhere not to mention toy poodles, global warming, entropy… Where will it all end? … Read more
There’s a new and especially antibiotic-resistant bug on the loose, threatening to spread worldwide. As though we needed another new epidemic, not to mention all the floods and earthquakes and rising seas and so on. In fact the suspense is killing me, as I await the plagues of toads and suchlike falling from the skies (Exodus 7-12).
But the near-universal spread of the consumerist virus doesn’t get enough press. (Maybe that’s because governments around the world have every … Read more
I’m not going to buy the iMac. (See my earlier post 26 July: “Make yourself feel better and save $200,000 to boot“.)
I recognize the syndrome. The world is going to hell all around me, and I haven’t won any literary prizes this week. My girl don’t love me and my chickens all ran away, not to mention my cotton won’t grow (© Mad Max iMac McGinty), and I sit here singing the blues and wondering … Read more
Khao Phansa—roughly, “Buddhist Lent,” also known as the Rains Retreat, a time of spiritual renewal—began yesterday.
Sara came home late from a post-workday shopping excursion with Ms. Kook, her chief mentor in all things consumerist. They went to Siam Paragon Center, where many items were “70-80 percent off.” And what did she buy? A bunch of leaded crystal balloon glasses from the Czech Republic.
“Just look at all the money I saved,” she says, with a knowing … Read more
I made the mistake of going into an iStudio shop yesterday and sitting in front of a lesser version of this Uber-computer I could buy for half price, which is so sophisticated the iStudio staff not only didn’t have one, they found it hard to believe that Apple had let one escape into the wild. Never mind, even the lesser version, with its acres of screen space, the entire computer built into the monitor’s frame, already had me thinking.
But … Read more
We’re afflicted, here in Bangkok, by an atmosphere of foreboding. The messy events of April-May might appear to be behind us. But this surface calm, in some ways, resembles a moonlit pool on a still night. You’d never suspect this pool is full of big sharks just waiting to erupt in a frenzy. All they need is for someone to toss them a nice chunk of something bloody. Yesterday’s bomb was the mere slice of a dorsal fin, a wee … Read more
Chicken Little epidemic
Our streets appear increasingly aswarm with Chicken Little financial savants.
All around the world, it seems, a hard rain is about to fall. The sky is gravid with precipitate disaster, and quite a few people are reviewing plans to build financial arks, many of these latter-day Noahs figuring they’ll build their boats of gold.
And good luck to them. One advantage of being a starving writer in a state of perennial penury—blessed with a principled resistance to … Read more
“No industry in living memory has collapsed faster than daily print journalism,” he suggests. “You can still buy a buggy whip, which is more than can be said for a copy of the Rocky Mountain News, Cincinnati Post, or Seattle Post-Intelligencer.”
What’s needed, he suggests, is a new kind of feature: “What I propose is “Pre-Obituaries”—official notices that certain … Read more