Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday Grab Bag: The Lost Art of Doing Nothing; The "F" Word; Rich and Poor in Boston

The Lost Art of Doing Nothing
Doing nothing is a wonderful thing. It is also the perfect title for a book. It is also an art we have lost. Online this and virtual that. Pshaw! What about just sitting on your butt for a while or wandering along a waterfront without checking your cell phone every 15 seconds? Whatever happened to those pleasures? Here's another one, now long gone: plopping down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a newspaper, an actual paper newspaper, turning the pages one by one, languidly, deliberately, hearing the crinkle of the fold, noticing the ink on your fingertips. That's a joy from the 20th century never to return. 

The "F" Word
It's sitting on everyone's tongue and now it's showing up in print too. It's the "F" Word. Donald Trump is introducing fascism back into American political language for the first time since the 1930s. Between his Mussolini tweet and his disingenuously slow disavowal of the KKK, The Donald is leading us into very strange territory indeed. The Republican Party will surely fracture under this strain. When Mitt Romney speaks out in condemnation, you know they've got serious problems.

Rich and Poor in Boston
The Brookings Institution reports that Boston is Number One on a list of American cities that has seen the gap between rich and poor grow. As if our troubles weren't big enough, the wealth divide expands. Here is the report: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2016/01/14-income-inequality-cities-update-berube-holmes

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