Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus, punished in Hades for his misdeeds in life by being condemned to the eternal task of rolling a large stone to the top of a hill, from which it always rolled down again
The distinction of philanthropy is an aspirational goal for manybecause, like the handbag and the cakelete, it is a symbol of wealth,
which is a symbol of the power that one possesses. In a profile of Stephen
A. Schwarzman as “private equity’s designated villain,” James B. Stewart
reported Yale president Richard C. Levin’s remark that: “Now that he’s
reached a new level of liquidity, we hope that he’ll become a world-class
philanthropist” (2008, para 15). In Stewart’s view, a “traditional measure
of wealth is charitable activities and donations… In America, board
memberships and contributions to worthy causes in the arts and education
have traditionally helped cleanse a man of any taint of new money and can
temper populist resentment of great wealth” (2008, para 12). Through this
lens, philanthropy is not a measure of one’s generosity, but of one’s
wealth and, to the extent that individuals aspire to appear wealthy,
philanthropy becomes a display of status not unlike luxury cars or hand
bags. The display of one’s tastes, status, obedience or disobedience
through the practice of consumption philanthropy, which is one way in
which consumption is given meaning, therefore is an act fraught with
political significance. Although high-profile
philanthropists often advocate a future in which well-being is universal,
they frame such a future through the lens of aspiration towards wealth,
not aspiration towards the transformation of how wealth is distributed.
The professed ideal of philanthropic consumption towards a utopianend in the wake of the decline of state responsibility for guaranteeing
well-being of those negatively impacted by the market, coupled with an
increased responsibility for guaranteeing the well-being of markets
against a decline in buying power, begs the question: to what utopian
vision does consumption breathe life into? Who benefits when we shorten
the horizon of utopian aspiration to the consumption of haute cupcakes?
Through the aegis of philanthropy, the practice of consumption breathes
life into a global economy. It does not, however, result in more
well-being for more people in the world. The result of aspirational
consumption is that the quest to display “who one is” through consumption
of philanthropic products not only further embeds consumption as a mode of
social life, but also opens new avenues for a postlapsarian consumerist
society that has been challenged by the sobriety and austerity of the
recent economic crisis. This is because philanthropic consumers are
involved not only in consumption, but also in the reproduction of a
society of consumers. In its repackaging of social problems as the
palatable products of the present, gastrophilanthropy marries utopian
aspiration and consumption through the divorce of social problems and
political dialogue; it collapses the longing for a utopian future and the
longing for escape from the dystopian realities of the present.
Definition: (noun) A painted or carved screen placed above and behind an altar or communion table.
Usage: The artist is best known for the reredos he painted for the church in his hometown.
bad omen — A sign, either real or imagined, of ill fortune or catastrophe in the future.
Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
to demand; to require; to complain
1. Paco, a mí no me vengas a reclamar porque te dieron un aumento de solo $10,000 al año.
Paco, you are not going to complain to me because you only got a raise of $10,000 a year.
Tags: Bakersfield, library, library 2.0', new library, old library
The pictures are a metaphor to the state of libraries.
Existing libraries are in trouble. I think the ones in Bakersfield are fairly reprentative. Can’t imagine the library I visited, and like so many others I’ve been to, making any sense except to a very few.
I bicycled over the the Beale library last night (Friday) at 6:15 pm. The place was closed. I walked around looking through the windows. Looked more like a museum – old chairs, little tables, huge help desk, old carpet. Old books, videos. We’re the computer displays CRT’s?
I was most surprised by the limited amount of places one could simply set and read. Is it because the library wants to limit the number of homeless who hang out here?
I hope this place gets a major update soon or maybe converting into an official homeless center would make more sense.
So after my walk about the library, I turned around and saw worn old school pay phones. I couldn’t help think about the pictures exampling the state of the libraries – in Bakersfield too.
Tags: qiento roo, Tzu