Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wm. Burroughs on Economics

Frankly this is so out there, that Eli had to post it.  Use this as an open thread on economics.   Play nice.


dbostrom said...

It all seems pretty straightforward.

For another more elaborate paraphrasing and distillation of the same ideas, see the recent movie "Moon." Don't get too hung up on the impossible view from the dark side, other quibbles.

Piltz said...

From Threepenny Opera.
The first translation I heard,back
in the day, had it:
"First feed your face
Then worry about right and wrong."

John said...

Latest on our economic system that not only doesn't consider all the costs of it products but also goes to great lengths to "hide" them:

"Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground. ... ... (U)ntil recently, scientists and environmental officials have assumed that deep layers of rock beneath the earth would safely entomb the waste for millennia. There are growing signs they were mistaken."

John Puma

Anonymous said...

@ Piltz

While we are in a Brechtian mood:

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.


John said...

The video really is "out there" because of the music and because it's William Burroughs reciting the lyrics.

But the words were familiar, at least to me.

I actually saw The Threepenny Opera in the theater, in the late 1970's. Joe Papp was the producer. It was part of the New York Shakespeare Production. (Which is not limited to Shakespeare, duh!)
The version that I saw was based on a new translation by Ralph Mannheim and John Willett. This is what Burrough was reciting (with very minor changes).

The version that everybody knows, including Bobby Darrin's hit single, Mac the Knife, was based on a translation by Marc Blitzstein in the 1950's. Blitzstein's translation was more "singable", but the new Mannheim/Willett claims to be closer to the original, in which the singers sing against the lyrics, to force the audience to pay attention the words.

The original Blitzstein lyrics had a certain amount of self-censorship because it was the 1950's. It omitted references to racism and colonialism in "the Cannon Song", for example.