sifting through the weekend wreckage
I can't believe they're trying to draw more attention to these utterly awful PR disasters. Beyond the obvious bad taste these commercials are in--isn't the destruction of indigenous culture by totalitarianism hilarious??--it's shitty business too, managing to upset the Chinese just as Groupon lays the groundwork to open up shop in the PRC.
Who among us does not love Carl Sagan? via Joie de Vivre
With that kind of perspective life can seem a little small, a little cosmically insignificant, so as an antidote here's a reminder to treat your life like a work of art:
We find it natural to say that an artist gives meaning to his raw materials and that a pianist gives fresh meaning to what he plays. We can think of living well as giving meaning—ethical meaning, if we want a name—to a life. That is the only kind of meaning in life that can stand up to the fact and fear of death. Does all that strike you as silly? Just sentimental? When you do something smaller well—play a tune or a part or a hand, throw a curve or a compliment, make a chair or a sonnet or love—your satisfaction is complete in itself. Those are achievements within life. Why can’t a life also be an achievement complete in itself, with its own value in the art in living it displays?
--Ronald Dworkin asks what makes a good life in the new NYRB
Enjoy your Monday. Coffee coffee coffee.