Tuesday, February 28, 2012

China's Wonderland Turned Horrorland

The Disneyland copy planned outside the gates of Beijing never materialized because the owners of the land asked for more money. All the amusement park has to offer are a few ruins and skeletons of buildings quietly decaying in a barren landscape. Good news for the farmers who used to farm here and were to make space for China's move into the world of Amusotopia. They're coming back.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An educational ghazal

Said my teacher, Mrs. McKesson,
"I'm afraid you'll have to learn a lesson.

Had you listened to me from the start,
I would not have to teach you this lesson.

Had you learnt your tables by heart,
you would have understood my lesson.

Had you, as I requested, recited biblical verse,
I'd not be adverse to up your grade for this lesson.

But as it is now, I can only teach you a lesson
and flunk you," said Mrs. McKesson.

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2012)

As requested at Sunday Scribblings for lesson.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sweet and Sour Grapes

You don't have to be a cook to tell whether something tastes good or bad.
– Leonard "Sweet Grapes" Blumfeld

Written in response to Sour Grapes at One Single Impression.

All too often a critical statement or attitude is discredited as "sour grapes," with a comment like "Oh come on, you're just envious because you can't do better." But, as I say above, it's possible to tell (and say) whether the grapes are sour or sweet without being a grape specialist.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Daniyal Mueenuddin / In Other Rooms, Other Wonders

The book of interrelated short stories (centered around Pakistani landowner K. K. Harouni) I'm reading these days. Well-written, mostly a depressing look at the human condition.

Picture taken at Fiumicino Airport in Rome while I was waiting for my flight.