What’s news?

The air you breathe may be killing you. More at 11.

Okay, this isn’t a real leader for the news, but it represents the whole take on news these days–the scarier the better. I remember Emily Littella’s protest against “violins on television,” and the Kingston Trio’s Merry Minuet. There is always so much to worry about!

Czesław Miłosz wrote “What is needed in misfortune is a little order and beauty.”

And so I rely on Larry to filter the news for me, as he provides a little order and beauty. We were wondering the other day why the comic strip “Pogo” seems to have disappeared while so many others (Peanuts, for example) continue long after the creator’s death. Walt Kelly, the strip’s creator, was aware that buffoons were spread equally among all parties and denominations, and coined the famous phrase “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Yesterday Larry was talking about the world’s money woes, and noted that economists track something called the “velocity of money,” or how quickly money circulates. The more it slows down, the less of it around for all.  He remembered reading a British economist who summarized this with a pity quote:

“The busy shilling does more work than the lazy pound.”

Last year for my Christmas card, I sent out this little poem:

Meditation on Money

I am thinking about a day forty years ago
when we were down to our last fifty cents,
and our friends drove up
with a month’s rent and groceries,
and after we ate and talked, we sat together
on the edge of the dock, saying nothing,
and watched the barnacles
slowly open their feathery lips,
slowly close them.

And that’s enough for this blog on the financial crisis.

Though I do want to add a big thank you to Melissa Donovan, who restored the format of the blog which had mysteriously deconstructed. Yay for Melissa and her unfailing help.