Open Thread May
Dr. Doom confuses me
Nouriel Roubini is not making any sense
The Almighty Renminbi?
By Nouriel Roubini
May 13, 2009
The resulting downfall of the dollar may be only a matter of time.
But what could replace it? The British pound, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc remain minor reserve currencies, as those countries are not major powers. Gold is still a barbaric relic whose value rises only when inflation is high. The euro is hobbled by concerns about the long-term viability of the European Monetary Union. That leaves the renminbi.
The New Nuke Porn
Our nuclear fantasies have gotten more hard-core.
By Ron Rosenbaum
May 8, 2009
In case you missed it, The Road takes place in an unspecified future several years into what seems like a final fatal nuclear winter that will extinguish the survivors of the human race, left stumbling through ash-choked roads looking for canned goods in gutted supermarkets to stave off starvation because nothing will ever grow again. (Or will it? I’ll get to the mystery, or deliberate ambiguity of the ending later.) As far as I recall, the word nuclear is never used in the novel; there is just one memory, a quiet horror, of some dim flashes and thumps in the far-off night to indicate that this hellish wasteland is the product of nuclear war.
No causes or triggering incidents are discussed. No Islamic or Serbian villains. It is a charred On the Beach for our time with that film’s romanticizing of doom stripped away. It focuses on a man and his son wearily pushing a shopping basket along a road south, hoping to escape the pursuing winter and the hungry rivals for the last remaining edibles.
One of the things they come upon—and you know it’s coming and dread its coming; there’s almost a kind of pornographic buildup to this unbearable money shot—is an act of cannibalism so horrific I refuse to describe it further. (I wonder if the movie will depict it.)
Take my word for it: You’ll never be the same after reading this scene. I’ve been trying for two years to erase it from my memory without success. It may be the ultimate anti-nuke statement; the demonic version of the insipid “War is not healthy for children and other living things.” (Once you read it you’ll see the precise inversion of this slogan it represents.)
Zombies Are the New Vampires
By Lev Grossman
Thursday, Apr. 09, 2009
But the lowly zombie is making its move. For the past few years, vampires have been the It monster, what with Twilight and all, but that’s changing. Diablo Cody, of Juno fame, is producing a movie called Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, based on a new novel about life (if that’s the word) as one of the walking dead. Later this year, Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin will star in the zom-com Zombieland. Max Brooks’ best-selling zombie novel World War Z is being filmed by Marc Forster, the guy who directed Quantum of Solace. In comic books, the Marvel Zombies series features rotting, brain-eating versions of Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Hulk. The zombie video game Resident Evil 5 shipped 4 million copies during its first two weeks on the market. Michael Jackson’s zombie video Thriller is coming to Broadway. (See the top 25 horror movies of all time.)
This article apparently incensed the entertainment writer at Exiled Online and she had this to say… Zombies Under Attack. I find this all rather funny, for years I tried to convince people that zombies were important, not I have to bite my lip to keep from reminding them that they are not real. I guess besides vampire robots there aren’t many new ideas the “arts.”
One part of the trading floor is referred to by some as “Jurassic Park” because it’s where the older traders sit and rest. Another area called “Rodeo Drive,” the corridor of elite trading posts of now defunct firms like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers leading up to the famed NYSE bell, is now fodder for jokes from traders about tumbleweeds.
As cameras and reporters from Fox Business News and CNBC canvass the gallery, traders openly engage in lengthy discussions over how the Rangers or the Yankees are doing. Some traders plug in headphones and watch YouTube clips online. Others browse goods on shopping Web site Amazon.com. Or they play computer solitaire.
And I guess the other news is that maybe swine flu was maybe spread to pigs from humans.