"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": THE SILENT STARS GO BY. In which the last member of our party arrives. Memories and cider are mulled. And it's a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.Read it from the beginning here, or get the most recent section here. Probably two sections left.Soundtrack: Marc Almond, "Melancholy Rose." I have listened to this album, which I just got off Amazon, four times in the past 24 hours. I'm in love with it; I mean what I say. … [Read more...]


ANOTHER QUERY: For many expressions that fall somewhere between slang and dialect, there's an accepted spelling--"gonna," not "gunna"; "y'all," not "yawl."But there's one expression I may need to use in fiction soon, which I don't think I've ever seen in print. It's basically a slurring of "I'm going to," and is pronounced--depending, as far as I can tell, on the relative "blackness" of the accent--"I'mawna," "I'monna," or "I'munna."Have any of you all seen this in print? How was it spelled? … [Read more...]


"There is a growing sense, even among some elites, that if they have to depend solely and forever on the kindness of outside capital, they will never be productive players in the global capitalist game. They are increasingly frustrated at not being masters of their own fate. Since they have embarked on globalization without providing their own people with the means to produce capital, they are beginning to look less like the United States than like mercantilist Latin America with its disarray of … [Read more...]


RANDOM QUERY: I've seen a couple people say that "TarZHAY" is a DC-area thing. Can this possibly be true?(Um, I will blog about real things soonish. Really.)EDITED: OK, email consensus seems to be that this is a national phenomenon, which makes more sense. As Ratty points out, it's a pretty obvious joke. Thanks very much to everyone who wrote in with data points! … [Read more...]


"Owning formal property also tends to discourage unruly behavior. When people are forced to divide their property into smaller and smaller parcels, the heirs of their heirs, crowded off the family land, are more likely to squat elsewhere. Also, when a person cannot prove he owns anything, he is more likely to have to bribe his way through the bureaucracy, or with the help of his neighbors, take the law into his own hands. Worse still, without good law to enforce obligations, society in effect … [Read more...]


I've got my own ideas about the righteous kick; You can keep your blogwatch, I'd just as soon stay sick...Agenda Bender: "My first reaction to the bumpersticker on the car in front of me was an unthinking grimace. It read, Cast Off the Chains of Market-Hyped Consciousness. But then I realized I actually agree with the sentiment, if not the stolid expression of it. You just have to remember to cast off the chains of anti-market-hyped consciousness while you're at it."The Volokh Conspiracy: Is … [Read more...]


"How can governments find out what the extralegal property arrangements are? That was precisely the question put to me by five members of the Indonesian cabinet. I was in Indonesia to launch the translation of my previous book into Bahasa Indonesian, and they took that opportunity to invite me to talk about how they could find out who owns what among the 90 percent of Indonesians who live in the extralegal sector. Fearing that I would lose my audience if I went into a drawn-out technical … [Read more...]