Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Nous La Liberte

Proliferation is not a pastry. That's profiterole. Birth rates are declining in industrialized countries. Still new cars are rolling off the GM and Ford assembly lines. How to differentiate one shiny new 4x4 from another after you've accounted for the standard red, white and black models? Is individuation a matter of luck? One if the most potent symbols of anonymity and indifference might have been the prospect of retrieving a stolen bicycle in post war Rome--dramatically portrayed in De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1947). Everything easily fits the bill and there's always someone who's going to find themselves at the wrong end of the stick. That's what makes for haves and have nots. The Industrial Revolution was the water shed. Malthusian prognostications notwithstanding, division of labor and economy of scale were the igniter of this "fusion" reaction. Production bred an exploding population of consumers one inexorably egging the other on to modernity--and also oblivion.

listen to Joan Baum's NPR review of The Kafka Studies Department

and listen to "The Lakes" by Taylor Swift

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