Monday, March 17, 2008

Animal Crackers? Music? Nope, the Y.

"When the rich make war, it's the poor that die." -- Jean-Paul Sartre

I was planning on talking about Animal Crackers today. Dorothea sometimes gets them to eat during class and instead of reaching into the bag (Yes, a bag of animal crackers, not the "real" ones that come in a box.) she spreads them all out on her desk and looks at them before eating each one. But that's for another day because I went to a concert last night, and the night before that, and I therefore, wanted to write about music and violins and cellos and clarinets and musicians and the neat fact that, in spite of years of seeing musicians perform, I never before noticed that violinists wear their wedding rings on the right hands. But that's for another day because . . .

I subscribe to a newsletter that announces events at the 92nd Street Y. I don't live in New York and I don't hop on the Chinatown bus and pop on up to the city to catch an interesting lecture. I just fantasize about doing it or get vicarious pleasure from reading about what others are doing at the Y or, more importantly, I learn neat stuff. That's how, this morning, I ending up reading the following quote:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Can you guess who said it? - Answer in fine print, upside-down at the bottom of the page. No, actually, it's right here - Dwight D. Eisenhower said it. Amazing.

There are many other quotes on the Culture Peace Initiative site about poverty and lots of other subjects.

Jeffrey Sachs has a new book about poverty, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet. It's probably a very good thing to read, although I haven't read it yet myself, having just heard about it this morning in the newsletter from the 92nd Street Y and then spending my time writing about reading it.

“It’s quite possible to arrive in the year 2030 where people are no longer dying of poverty. We could actually help lead a global end-not a reduction, but an end-to absolute poverty…I have always found that a committed, powerful group of leaders, can make a huge difference.”
-- Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs will be speaking about poverty and his new book at the Y on March 25th. Maybe I'll hop on the Chinatown bus.

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