Month: February 2017

V. 19/02-25/02/17; Van Gogh was agile

Schumpeter saw capitalism as a “process of industrial mutation… that incessantly revolutionises the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” In Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital Carlota Perez writes that Schumpeter “remained attached to market equilibrium forces…”And why not? Everyone needs a reference point. If the premise is that everything is unstable, how would you be able to define terms and think clearly? This carriage in the 365506 smells of washing detergent. Two rows in front of me a man’s hair looks wet, his hair oozes with gel. Bunches of hair are stuck together. It looks like an experiment gone awry. The shiny black shoes belong to a man wearing a waistcoat. Small unrimmed glasses, his head resting on a stiff collar, sleeping. Very poor air quality. A sudden smell of food, someone’s lunchbox? It’s a nauseating ride this morning. A lot of coughing. Tempted to open the window, but I’d have to reach over. I’m sure some people find this moist, rotten atmosphere homely. Fresh air would disrupt …

IV. 12/02-17/02/17; s’ingénier

Work is what you do for others, art is what you do for yourself. Sondheim finds a way of connecting Seurat’s approach to painting with the experience of a modern artist: Seurat paints point by point and the picture only comes together in the visual cortex (?) of the viewer, where the points merge into a greater whole. Similarly, the modern artist must pool followers and financial support drop by drop, but how does it come together in the end? Who has the patience to keep looking? Sunday in the Park with George, Stanwix Theatre Full moon, drifting dark clouds like ink in water. A perfect orb, itself flecked with dark marks, like smaller versions of the clouds that mask it from the viewer on earth. Lantern festival, 15 days into the new lunar month. Traditionally this was the one day in the year when young women could go out on a date without fear for their reputation. You can imagine the scenes: lanterns of all shapes and sizes, mechanical contraptions, the bustling street, throbbing …

III. 6/02-10/02/17; hypnotic

Henry James on M. Sarcey: a theater critic but the text could be modified to describe a wine-critic.  Robert Parker comes to mind. When you make and unmake fortunes at this rate, what matters it whether you have a little elegance the more or the less? What principles does the theatre rest on? Vaguely and inconveniently registered mass of regulations which time and occasion have welded together and from which the recurring occasion can usually manage to extract the right precedent. Even the smallest thing can be perfected, become part of the polish. There’s a mystic salubrity in the bad ventilation of the theatre, he writes. The theatre-night starts with the performance of plays by less established performers. You can stay all night; “Stageflix.” He samples other theatres, but soon gives them up. They do not pay-off in the same way: less depth. It would be much better if everyone wore a suit. Cleaner, uplifting, you’d feel motivated for the day. Instead: cargo pants, t-shirts, Lycra, cord, woolly hats, synthetic jackets. Not a single tie in …

II. 30/01-03/02/17; Waiting on the Barbarians

Luberon is still in the Rhone, though it could be Provence. A border town. All the reds contain Syrah and some Grenache and perhaps Mourvèdre and Cinsaut. “If you attack Persia, you will destroy a great empire.” The art of giving predictions that will hold true: Croesus attacked, believing this prediction to be in his favour and lost the empire he had built. It’s the 365522 today. The puddles had already formed on the platform, puddles of people accumulated where the doors are known to open. A group of regulars form a private puddle. Sure you can join it, but you’ll never be first on. One of them will have a better spot and they work together, letting each other in. It’s crowded today, no seats except on one of the 4 seat islands with 2 facing 2. None of the other three are wearing suits. Diagonally opposite: a woolly hat drawn down to the tip of his nose, all dressed in black, his head against a cushion propped against the window. His beard is …