Well, I’m off to another powwow of The Economist. This time it’s not a biggie, as last year’s was, but a little gathering of the US-based correspondents (politics+business+finance).
In case you’re wondering: that’s 17 of us, plus the US editor, plus the editor-in-chief. (I only say that because I have found that our readers tend to be surprised when hearing how few of us there are.) So 19 of us will decide the current direction, and thus future course, of America. That should take us only a short working day or so, so I hope to be back here blogging anon. 😉
13 thoughts on “Mini powwow”
Gore Vidal’s take on the state of America:
Obama is doing “dreadfully” & America has “no intellectual class” & is “rotting away ” http://bit.ly/DJFS7
hey, he must have got that from me!
Imagine if Vidal had, when younger, been president (he once ran for the senate), or were president now.
Fascinating theme for a novel or play.
Let’s lump the whole world into Vidal’s statement, shall we? Why bash just the Americans? Well, maybe we can leave out the French :).
You only need to look to your right at the top posts on this blog to be reminded that mankind is food, sleep, and sex. After he satiates those needs, he might turn on the T.V. or read People Magazine.
Look to the bottom of the list. That’s usually where intellectuals as Frankl and Socrates will be.
Last spring, Andreas reminded me about men here: http://cheriblocksabraw.com/2009/03/23/a-manly-courtship/
1) As of 20:45PM on 10/4/2009 (ie, as I am commenting), Socrates(“The spoken and the written word”) tops the list, followed by sex.
2) How do you know that it’s not the women readers of the Hannibal Blog that bumped Nina Hartley up to number 2?
3) That said, you seem to have stipulated Maslow’s pyramid of human needs. Which prompts me to contemplate a post on that subject.
It very well could be your female readers who are keeping sex at the top of list.
Just curious, how “many” people in the team 19 are covering Canada? Do we get even 0.19 of a person? 🙂
I should clarify: That team of 19 used to be much smaller and now includes various web and multimedia people. As far as regular, full-time US politics correspondents, I think we are only about 7. (Not counting the people in New York who write about global finance and business).
Canada: Wouldst it were otherwise, but I believe we only have stringers there.
Evocative word, “pow-pow”. As good an example as any of a foreign word from the old British Empire becoming part of the Mother Tongue.
Interestingly, the word “indaba” (another word from the erstwhile Empire) is more or less the equivalent of “pow wow” in southern African English. More people, though, attend an “indaba” than a “pow wow”.
Indaba: wow, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of it.
Permit me this arguably off-topic question. However, it does concern a piece in the current Economist, and some of the piece is sort of about language.
As the piece says, Mr Guido Westerwelle, expected to be Germany’s new foreign minister, said that in Germany “it is normal to speak German” when replying to a question in English from a BBC reporter during a press conference (which I assume was in Germany).
The slightly admonishing tone of the Economist’s piece towards Mr Westerwelle surprised me, for I thought his remark entirely reasonable. I wondered how Barack Obama might have responded to a question put to him in German by a reporter from, say, Der Spiegel, during a press conference in Washington (let’s assume Obama could speak at least some German).
Had Obama said to the German questioner, that, in the US, “it is normal to speak English”, would the Economist have admonished Obama as it did Westerwelle? Somehow I doubt it.
Did not the tone of the Economist’s piece bespeak Anglo-Saxon chauvinism, not to say arrogance?
Possibly so, Phillip S Phogg. Anglophones are famous for their double standards. But I did not write that piece and so cannot comment.
I will, however, share with you (since you speak german) a bit of wit I heard: Westerwelle is the first openly gay foreign minister of germany, so his nickname is now apparently Guido Schwesterwelle.
Ja, das ist ein guter Witz!!