Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Challenging times

At times like these I wish that the subject of this blog was just sports, or crime novels, something containable that could reliably be written on without the alienation that has built up in me like some urban tea party obsesssive. I don't really mean that tea party comment, God I hope not. I do wish that this blog had evolved in a way that didn't primarily cover broadly opinionated commentary on financial markets and politics. So now we have Greece and much of Europe as a whole to worry about, an almost complete shutdown of the corporate bond new issue market everywhere, financial regulation still up in the air on some very crucial issues, trouble in the Koreas and the Middle East now that is not trivial, and oil spewing in the Gulf in a tragic disaster that everyone wishes terribly would stop and the government's most assertive move has been to investigate criminal charges against BP, just what we need to focus on at the moment, blame and prosecution. It seemed to work for awhile on Goldman, why not BP.

It all just calls for escape with some half decent crime novels or espionage novels, Jason Starr's "Panic Attack', "The Way Home" by George Pelecanos, "Agents of Treachery" a compilation of spy genre short stories edited by Otto Penzler, "Thieves' Dozen" from Donald Westlake, and now halfway through Robert Stone's new set of rather gloomy short stories, "Fun with Problems", an ironic title if there ever was one.

When the eyes get tired there's the switch to "Mad Men", a television series that has been around for three or four years but is totally new to me, and through Netflix I'm now approaching the end of the second season, soon on to the third. It's a solid show and, while I never would have had the patience for it if interspersed with advertisements, it's entertaining without interruption.

All of this diversion will not answer the world's problems here or make one any more prescient or at least just somewhat relaxed about financial markets. Maybe tomorrow something constructive will come to mind.


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