Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oldest Hatred: Diane Rehm caller edition

October 21 transcript of NPR/Diane Rehm show:
And that's what Alex in Salisbury, Md. wants to talk about. Good morning. You're on the air.
Good morning, Diane. Thank you for taking my call.
I am kinda curious how your panel feels about that. I mean 1,000 Palestinians were released to get one Israeli soldier back. And I personally think that it sort of speaks to the way that the Israeli state looks at the Palestinians as less important than they are. And I think it borders on being racist. I'm curious what your panel thinks.
I prefer To The Point, because the host does not take phone calls. And it bears remembering that some NPR listeners/callers crawl out of the same sewer as some dittoheads and right-wing talk radio chaff…

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Remembrance and Forgetting

One great life disappointment is my utter inability to recall more than a small fraction of what I read. My friend Molly offers the consoling thought that every bit of data leaves its imprint. Her theory is that when I read another history of Prussia, I'll more quickly understand when the author refers to Philipp zu Eulenburg and when to Fritz Count zu Eulenburg.

Others say the reader retains a work's gestalt even if a week later he thinks AIG and Standard & Poors negotiated the Reinsurance Treaty to saddle taxpayers with bad mortgage debt.

The novelist James Collins concludes that the only hope is careful study of Tables of Contents and Indices, and aggressive use of marginalia. I fear he is right, but then how to allocate one's time between new materials and notes from the old?

Sigh. I hope to place my Kindle clippings file with Knopf...