LETTERS FROM THE GLOBAL PROVINCE




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2011 LETTERS

Finding Christmas (December 21, 2011)

"It's hard to have a rich present if we shut out the past. Christmas is like that: it is all about bringing the past into the moment and putting it on our dinner table. " To read more, click here.

You're Toast (If You Don't Know What You Have to Get Right) (December 7, 2011)

"What we have to understand in order to make life work fairly smoothly is what simple thing we have to get right, and not get fooled by all the distractions presented by a society gone awry. " To read more, click here.

Getting More or Less Than You Bargained For (November 23, 2011)

"We learn that you have to go way behind the numbers to determine whether you are getting something for your money when you buy into a company down on its luck and out of favor" To read more, click here.

Everyman's A Disc Jockey (November 9, 2011)

"Meanwhile we must look about for the sorts of things that overcome the much noted polarities that have rived our several marketplaces. Music is just one of those things." To read more, click here.

Hidden Perfections (October 26, 2011)

"It is the small eateries such as Yam'tcha or small hotel or small museum such as Baccarat, each down some inconspicuous passageway, that offers an indelible memory." To read more, click here.

Thinking is Much Over-Rated (October 12, 2011)

"And yet it is drilling, in all probability, that has made Catholic grammar school education a success. To be educated, one must learn the basics" To read more, click here.

Git-R-Done (September 27, 2011)

"In the face of all this, we must ask who gets something done.  By this, we mean someone who acts and does something, but above all, does something worthwhile." To read more, click here.

Kick the Tires Real Hard (August 31, 2011)

"We're now peppered with humongous companies that are not particularly well-run but grow anyway, because of a lack of real marketplace competition. What a person needs to do is kick the tires one, two, three, or four times and see what happens. Oft as not, the tires will go flat." To read more, click here.

The Past Recaptured (August 17, 2011)

"The 18th is more than a century of very good ideas. It was a time of optimism amidst institutions and towns and groupings that one could get one's arms around. It was not the plaything of media empires and rogue banks which could upend the whole of society. Maybe we can use it as a model of how we can cut our bloated institutions down to size..." To read more, click here.

People We'd Like to Hang Out With (June 22, 2011)

"Many of us tend to look for love in all the wrong places.  Unless we have a bit of luck, we also seek out friends and big ideas and insight into tomorrow in all the wrong places.  Should we fail to range far afield, we are likely, to use Russell Ackoff’s words, to do  “the wrong things righter.” One must get well off the beaten track and meet some of the one-of-a-kind characters whose creator threw away the mold." To read more, click here.

What’s the Answer? What’s the Question? (June 8, 2011)

"In some senses, the 20th century was the spectacular American moment when our country soared to the top of the pantheon of nations, allowing blue jeans to  conquer the world. We became the greatest show on earth. But around the globe, it was as well the time when philosophy imploded and when, on the big questions, we no longer had answers, and no longer quite knew what we should be asking." To read more, click here.

Escondido Argentina, Part II (May 25, 2011)

"Argentines are a magnificently warm and engaging people, and yet some sort of mental veils envelop them, perhaps as protection, perhaps to hide the wounds of a hundred years, creating a psychic space between one and all despite all the ritual embraces and close conversations." To read more, click here.

Puttin’ on the Ritz (May 11, 2011)

"To pull off the extraordinary, it seems, one must never do the ordinary.  Be it eats on the L Train, a king’s feast at Chez Denis, or venison on the way to Edinburgh."  To read more, click here.

Sitting Around in Buenos Aires (April 27, 2011)

"...the food probably is not the point in Argentina in any event. We had been warned 10,000 miles earlier not to put our hopes on this cuisine. It’s the conversation that counts." To read more, click here.

Our Poetic Future (March 30, 2011)

"Indeed, now, much more than ever, there’s a need for poetic voices.  We have said elsewhere that the survival of our economy depends on our ability to create totally unique products and services, unique experiences that cannot be duplicated by low cost imitators.  Poetry can play a part. Poetry has the ability to stamp something with one-of-a-kind, unique-to-this-place, special- to-this-time plumage." To read more, click here.  

Bueno: Putting Craft into Life (March 16, 2011)

"It behooves us to recapture some aspects of life as it was before the age of mass production and mass marketing and high specialization.  Our economy going forward in the coming century of boutiquism will depend on a fuller experience where our products and services are made with much greater care and individuality and in which each of them is transformed into an experience." To read more, click here.  

Coffee Moments (March 2, 2011)

"It’s a miracle that a celebrant ever has a perfect cup of coffee.  The beans must be good:  much of the coffee that pours in from the branded, heavyweight producer countries is dreck." To read more, click here.

Flirting with the Unknown (February 9, 2011)

"Religion, too, has been shaken by the tumultuous upheaval that has come to all parts of America in the 21st century.  Organized religion, at the moment, does not so much have to deal with its goodness or badness:  it has to find relevancy to peoples who have been turned inside out and turned away from it." To read more, click here.

The Forest Primeval (January 26, 2011)

"...we are chewing up our quality of life as we take the trees away. For they have a great deal to do with our peace of mind, quality of food, and even our artistry. While mankind probably understands that deforestation is a global problem, we are less insightful about the carnage it is inflicting on our daily comforts and our Hobbesian lifestyle in January of 2011."   To read more, click here

Simple Solutions from Simple People for Simple Problems (January 12, 2011)

"To get somewhere, one must often range beyond the experts and find somebody on the firing line who has banged about enough to know how to do the simple things the big shots can only talk about." To read more, click here