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Saturday, 28 April 2012

National identity

When asked whether he felt "any strong sense of national identity", Vladimir Nabokov replied "I am an American writer, born in Russia and educated in England where I studied French literature, before spending 15 years in Germany." 
(My own note: After 15 years in Germany, he spent some time in France before moving to the US. Then he lived in the US for a while and later moved to Switzerland and stayed there till the end of his life. And, needless to say, he's a native speaker of Russian and wrote perfectly in 2 other languages, English and French).

Thursday, 26 April 2012

On the French elections

These days outside school and in addition to Anders Behring Breivik, the topic that captivates my attention is the presidential election in France. 
What I think: 
Not Hollande. Not Hollande. Not Hollande. 
Some Norwegians I've encountered seem to be in favour of him, because, understandably, that's a socialist. If in the end, unfortunately Hollande's elected, I can somehow understand, because in the midst of economic crisis people with low incomes tend to strongly dislike rich people as well as capitalists and start to give support to socialists who guarantee them more equality and higher standard of living (even if thanks to them the country will soon be doomed) and some of the voters vote for Hollande simply out of hatred for the pompous Sarkozy (even if he has experience and abilities and has done a good job so far for the economy). 
But seriously, that Monsier says people who earn from 1 million euro a year will have to pay 75% tax. Does he have any basic knowledge of macroeconomics at all? Has he ever heard of the Laffer curve at all? On the surface, it sounds good- you know, rich people will have to pay more and that money goes to other groups in society and can be spent on education and health care and other things, and there's more equality. But only naive and/or ignorant people think so, because, 75% is too high and is disincentive- it discourages entrepreneurial activities, makes rich people (who bring employment for the economy) move to other countries and slows down economic growth, and this is even more dangerous and harmful in a time like this, where many countries in Europe are already in trouble (Spain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands...) 
French people, don't be naive. 
Don't vote for Hollande. 








There's an article here about him as well. 
























Update: As expected, the French, detesting Sarkozy's pompous personality (without caring about what he's done), have chosen the simple socialist who, according to many articles, not only appears dull, weak and dim-witted but also has no personality and nothing of his own, promises some change (sounding like Obama) and imitates Francois Mitterand, a popular French socialist. 
(Seems like people who voted for Hollande would vote for anyone just to get rid of Sarkozy).
They have chosen change. Whether or not the change will be good and beneficial for their country, whether or not they have been wise, is debatable. Time will answer. 
(Hope that I was wrong).

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Olds

“Be careful. People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds…Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.” 
(Terry Pratchett) 

Conceptual art by Nancy Fouts

































Sunday, 22 April 2012

Dead fish

It's not that you don't want to be free. It's not that you like to comply, like to follow conventions, like to walk the path already set for you. It's not that you don't wish to get out of the trap, leave the crowd, go your own way, reject the shoulds and the musts, do what you like with conviction and enthusiasm in spite of others' opinions. 
But you follow the crowd anyway, you do the same things anyway, you achieve certain things at certain age anyway, because, whilst deadly bored with the tedious security conformity gives you, you're too scared to walk out there and be who you are and do what you like, since you don't know what you really desire and more importantly, don't have the confidence, courage and self-belief to say no to things that guarantee security with some boredom and ordinariness and say yes to things that are either successful, remarkable and memorable or purely disastrous. 
How many times in life does it become a barrier, self-doubt? 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Advice

In some certain matters, before people want to give someone advice and discourage someone from doing something, they should make sure that they understand the situation, the circumstance under which that person has come to such a decision, it is best when they can try to put themselves into that person's shoes, look at the whole issue considering pros and cons from that person's point of view, not their own (since their point of view isn't what matters), and if they don't, or can't, they should simply shut the hell up, for good. 
Because otherwise these people, however good their intentions, deserve a punch in the face. That's it.

Quoting Shakespeare

Something I found at school this morning.