November 5th, 2003

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Новые Американцы

Не так важно быть богатым, как важно чувствовать себя богатым.

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess

By Robert J. Samuelson
Wednesday, November 5, 2003; Page A29

Ours is an era of excess. It's everywhere -- in my case, just around the corner. Someone is building a three-floor "mansion." An architect friend estimates the floor area at about 6,600 square feet, roughly triple the size of a median new home (2,100 square feet in 2002). The roofline seems about 8 to 10 feet above the surrounding homes, which look like shacks next to their new neighbor. The question about this home is not why people spend so much to build something so oversized but what they are going to do with all the space. A similar question applies to Dick Grasso, the former head of the New York Stock Exchange, and his $140 million pay package. What is he going to do with all the money?

The answer is that the excess itself is the point. We Americans are constantly grasping for symbols of superiority: something to show everyone that we've done better than those around us. In an ever-richer society, the pursuit of these badges of success has become progressively harder because yesterday's accepted markers of distinction have become today's mass merchandise. You have to build a home two or three times what you need just to make sure everyone receives the message. You have to negotiate a pay package so boisterously lavish to guarantee that people take notice.Collapse )
agsf

(no subject)

Утром, собираясь пробежаться, сунул ногу в кроссовку. Чувствую, что-то мешает. Вытряхнул, оказалось, что это гусеница свернулась там в колечко. Видимо, устроилась зимовать. Скорее всего, это научно доказывает, что у гусениц нет обоняния.
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Чуть раньше

В сумерках деревья кажутся чем-то вроде черной волны из Далекой Радуги:
37 kb

Тормозные огни вышли почему-то желтыми.
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agsf

(no subject)

На неделю исчезаю. Если не сожрут акулы, еще увидимся.
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