Saturday, November 13, 2010

How I Spent My Saturday Night (Slight Return)

Well, I'm getting into Armistead Maupin's new novel Mary Ann in Autumn (HarperCollins 2010), so I don't feel like doing a lot of writing tonight. It's been a busy day, with a run out to the Mall for some necessities that I hope will make it possible to install some more RAM and a new hard disk in the laptop, then watching Lee Chang-Dong's most recent film Poetry with a Korean friend, then a dash to a nearby restaurant, partly in hopes of making eye contact with a friendly waiter there. (No luck -- he wasn't on my table tonight, and he looked tired. After a hellish week of my own, I could sympathize.)

But here are a couple of links. First to a Democracy Now! interview with economist Ha-Joon Chang on the G20 summit in Seoul and Obama's failure to conclude the "free trade agreement" that supposedly was all set to go during the Bush administration. (The second Bush term, I should say, since we're now in the third.) I'd thought it was odd that even the corporatist Lee Myung-bak couldn't or wouldn't give Obama what he wanted, and Chang explains a lot.

Second, this BBC article on Obama in Yokohama, warning "nations not to rely on the US for exports." Wotta yob. Of course, the US has been relying on other nations as markets for our exports since the 1800s. (Overproduction is one of the troublesome features of capitalism.) Which is not a bad thing in itself, of course, but they get to return the favor. And just today I saw a reference to Obama as an "intellectual," but maybe, as I've suspected, high political office is bad for the brain.