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William Berkson's picture
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Chris,I agree there is plenty of blame to go around--and also praise, by the way.

There is a saying 'blaming keeps people helpless.' What I reject is the 'victim mentality' that gets stuck on blaming others, and fails to take responsibility and organize with like-minded people to try to create a better world.

ps. I just voted in the Virginia primary. :-)

Chris Lozos's picture
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"ps. I just voted in the Virginia primary. :-)"

Me too!

ChrisL

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Aight. What is "victim mentality" to some might be a reality to others. Even if people really do understand and are informed it is more polite to not assume.

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Edel: Part of what I was saying was that I was not backing anybody, unofficially or otherwise. I wanted to talk to Americans about Cuba – that's the main reason I wore the shirt. I'd love to have to bumped into you, for example.

A couple of things you seemed to misinterpret.

And the police won’t arrest you in Miami for wearing a Che shirt. They, like the Iraqis you mentioned, might just suggest it’s not the smartest thing to walk around in one. You’d be surprised how many Iraqis, Cubans, and many of those “opressed” love America.

I meant the police in Massachusetts and the Miami Cubans as two separate groups, but never mind. When I mentioned the Baghdadis eagerly awaiting the Americans, I meant with open arms, not as a Bushian "bring ’em on!"

William Berkson's picture
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>What is “victim mentality” to some might be a reality to others.

I don't know if the term "victim mentality" is precisely defined, but it is often used in both psychology and sociology to describe an outlook of passivity and fixation on blaming.

It is a real phenomenon, and not healthy and not helpful. It is also easy to slip into. One of the sites I just found googling on the term explained it using the ideas of the famous psychologist Victor Frankl. When Frankl was in a Nazi concentration camp he found the key to survival in rejecting a victim mentality, even though he was certainly a victim. Suffering is a very real part of life, and some of us are dealt immensely tougher hands than others. But how we respond to our situation is in every case partly our decision--that is what Frankl emphasized.

Tiffany, I don't think it is impolite to bring this issue up. I think it is an important issue. How much any individual suffers from a 'victim' mentality is up to them to search their own soul and decide. It is not my call, and I'm sorry if it sounded like I was making any personal judgment, which I am not doing.

I do note, however, that a lot of political venom is spit out on typophile in blaming, and very little energy in discussion of positive alternatives. Your discussion of EULAs is a good example of a healthier way: positively trying to make a difference, rather than just grumbling about 'the man' 'the establishment' 'the system' etc, etc.

I am just suggesting that a fixation on blame is not a very healthy or productive thing. I'll leave it at that.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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It's very easy to be utopian when you're not threatened.
And it's downright beneficial when you're the oppressor.

--

I would never tell a Jew not to blame the Nazis for the Holocaust.

hhp

Eben Sorkin's picture
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That *was* an incredibly useful & thoughtful & smart thing to do. ( Creating the EULA thread ).

Rather than create an incredibly long thread that has for the most part stopped talking about the subject initially presented or it's immediate ( & legitimate) tangents - perhaps it is time to create a new thread...

ER's picture
ER
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>“ps. I just voted in the Virginia primary. :-)”
>Me too!

That's just wonderful. I get a lump in my throat. thanks.

Also, I think it would be easier to understand hrant's point of view if there were more details, what is your ancestral homeland?
Everyone here has been very detailed in their discussions, seems like it would shed some light. Or are details all bourgeoisie and you'd rather wax poetically about the abstract struggle against the abstract powers that be. Without detail I just keep thinking you grew up in some suburb in California and the toughest gig you slaved at was a part time at the Micky D. Just trying to understand the source of your beef.

thanks, er

ER's picture
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New here. What's the EULA? If you set something else up, maybe I'll go there. It has nothing to do with ampersands, does it?
Although, I think I may be done soon. This has been good, thanks all, I may be back with type queries in the future. You're a bunch of talented, smart, passionate folks I can count on to tell me what you really think.

er

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ER
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Hrant, I've been made more aware of your story, apologies for the Micky D snark, sometimes you just don't know who's a poser on the web. In the end, we probably have a lot more in common than we think.

er

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Edel, I actually tend to talk too much about myself. When I seem
cagey it's often because I want to spare people the agony of hearing
it all over yet again.

What I really should do is have a FAQ that I can just refer to! :-)
In fact I've already thought of a cool domain for it: hhpov.com
Because that's really all it is, or can be.

hhp

ER's picture
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hhp,
Yep, I understand what you mean about repeating the stories all over again. People are interested, cause they're curious, and you want to inform, but one feels like one might be exploiting the matter sometimes.

I just met too many people through my college years that talked endlessly about struggles but grew up in a suburb, go to the Starbucks for their lattes, on and on, so I just roll my eyes a little too quickly when I see someone talking about the man.

My point with the cover was that I had this one place to say something. The magazine was doing two stories, one on my work and another on Cuban design. I had a feeling the Cuban design story was going to praise the Revolution, how wonderful it was for poster design, blah, blah. It went over the top with praise for the whole system, as many writers tend to do with the Revolution. And the glorious Che propaganda posters inside the magazine just added to it. So, I, having a different opinion because of my childhood, felt I needed to counter the impression all of that would give. In the end, I don't think the writer of the Cuba story was too thrilled with my work because it went against his premise, but the editors went with it, probably for balance.

If, say, they were to call you to do a feature on your work, and you knew there was another large story inside that would praise the greatness of America, with images of Jasper Johns' flags, Norman Rockwell paintings, and detailed studies of the design of the Constitution, might you not be tempted to do a cover with your take on the letters WE THE PEOPLE?

er

Fredrik Andersson's picture
Joined: 10 May 2005 - 11:13am
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Timd:
re: Rorschach.
Dear old Walter has retired. Needed a facelift. Hrm.

Hrant:
re: Freedom from Choice
Excellent piece of Devo-lyric there. Ya dig?
re: FAQ
As in Frequently Answered Questions? One for You and one for Popper perhaps.

Can You whacky kids guess whose birthday it is today by the way?

ƒ

Tim Daly's picture
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Many Happy Returns Che
Tim

Thread takes another turn:)

{edit: okay I assumed it was Fredo's birthday and Che is unlikely to have a happy return}

Chris Lozos's picture
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Fredo,
If it is you, have a happy Birthday!

ChrisL

Fredrik Andersson's picture
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Not meeee but Cheeee.

ƒ

Claudio Piccinini's picture
Joined: 11 Jan 2003 - 9:32am
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Paul wrote:
"I see no difference between design or art or music and life itself."

Sorry, Paul. I can't see what this statement means, as a comment to what I said in my post. Could you tell me more?

Hrant wrote:
"It’s very easy to be utopian when you’re not threatened.
And it’s downright beneficial when you’re the oppressor."

I don't think William's opinion is utopical. Why do you think it is? Considering themselves victimized will not show threateners anything but a reflection of their own rage, or banal egoism. I'm not saying injustice should be encouraged, but Gandhi's legacy is very less talked about than Hitler's. Should we continue this way?

I appreciate William Bergson and Chris' posts. The essence of such a discussion does not ignore or deny the value of personal struggle, misery and difficulty. Ask how do we learn to love, instead. This is not utopical, Hrant. I admire what you do, but not the form of your talk.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Happy BD, Che.

> Frequently Answered Questions

Hey, I can use that!

--

Claudio, it's utopical to expect somebody* who is being threatened not to defend
himself. In fact it is inhuman. Maybe you believe that defense and attack can be
totally separated? Not so, they're like Yin/Yang.

* Or a people.

hhp

ER's picture
ER
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>it’s utopical to expect somebody* who is being threatened not to defend himself. In fact it is inhuman. Maybe you believe that defense and attack can be totally separated? Not so, they’re like Yin/Yang.

With all due respect, is this not a perfect rationalization for what America is doing, they feel threatened, and they're attacking.

er

ER's picture
ER
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"Though he is seen by some as a hero, opponents of Guevara, including some Cuban exiles, think of him as a killer and terrorist. They point to what they see as the less savory aspects of Guevara's life, taking the viewpoint that he was enthusiastic about executing opponents of the Cuban Revolution. Some of Guevara's writing is cited as evidence of this tendency, as quoted in an article by Álvaro Vargas Llosa. For example, in his "Message to the Tricontinental", he writes of "hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine."

Happy Birthday Che

er

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> they feel threatened

Yeah, it's on TV after all, so it must be true!

--

And what is worse, a killer of individuals who admits it, or
killers of peoples who act like they're doing them a favor?

As I said in another thread, there is the darkness in all of
us, and it comes out due mostly to circumstances beyond
our control. But we're still all human, and most of all we
need to see the darkness as human.

hhp

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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And here's the reality on the ground concerning people
who bring up Gandhi, and the healthy business of slavery:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5079590.stm

BTW Claudio, Gandhi isn't brought up in the States (and hence the West*) for a number of reasons. One is that peace is bad for business; another is that the powers that be have nothing to gain politically from reminding people of him, unlike Hitler, who is a dream-boat, highly-leveraged symbol of the mythical "enemy".

* Especially in Italy, which until very recently was a
puppet regime, and still is highly servile to the empire.

hhp

ER's picture
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> they feel threatened
>Yeah, it’s on TV after all, so it must be true!

It wasn't on t.v. for me, it was in front of me. It might have been on T.V. in C A L I F O R N I A. And I felt threatened.

But, you're right, I forgot, this is all part of the vast conspiracy put together by the powers that be to take over all the world's resources. Idiots that can't run relief supplies after a hurricane or get their approval rating past 35% . You give them a lot of credit. It's not conspiracy, it's just incompetency. I know, the incompetency IS part of the plan.

er

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The world is like color. Contrast is necessary.

The question is how do you balance the color?

The answer is forged by our experiences and personalities.

I like that.

peace

Kristin Dooley's picture
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Either join in and work for what you’re so passionate about or just go about working for the man. But don’t work for the man and wax poetically about the struggle. Join it.

Edel, I know we citizens of the USA are all ignorant bores and whiners (joke), but there are actually people here who do a tremendous amount of good work and are extremely involved in political struggle. You just don't happen to hear about it because we talk about type most of the time. Occasionally our politics will come out in a discussion, and that is something I enjoy. I enjoy reading your point of view, but hate hearing your assumptions about mine or those of anyone else here (even *gasp* hrant).

I liked your cover because that particular image of Che is definitely a "brand" removed from the reality of who Che was and what he believed. The Nike swoosh and the iPod earbugs are equally removed from the reality of the production of shoes and personal electronics.

I disliked your cover because of what isn't clear. What's lost, unfortunately, is the difference between Che, the person, and Nike/iPod, the corporations. It's not just that a different political philosophy is represented (communism vs. capitalism) but also the unfortunate juxtoposition of individual/corporation that evokes a particular political issue in the U.S.; the increasing trend toward assigning the rights of individuals to corporations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Personhood

William Berkson's picture
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>It’s not conspiracy, it’s just incompetency.

Incompentence predominates as a cause of bad results with Bush. But he also has had bad policies. The combination of bad policies pursued with gross incompetence has made me fear for my country. I remember the Cuban missle crisis, the Viet Nam war. I wasn't worried then. Now, I'm worried.

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"Especially in Italy, which until very recently was a
puppet regime, and still is highly servile to the empire."

Puppet Regime? Puppet of whom exactly and servile to which empire? You can say what you want about Berlusconi or Prodi but to use this kind of terminology in relation to Italy (or France or Germany for that matter) is superficial and far fetched to say the least. What exactly do you think qualifies Italy as a puppet regime and which Italian policies do you think demonstrate Italy is servile to THE empire (whatever that means). You can't be serious hrant, I'm not beeing patriotic here (god knows I was deliriously happy to see Berlusconi's back) but I hadn't heard this sort of discourse (puppet regime, servile to the empire) for a long time. As far as I'm concerned it sounds as melodramatic as a Mexican (or a Brazilian) soap opera!

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Bush: Don't blame the puppet. They can always make new ones.

Lore, I'm concerned most of all with reality, not formal accuracy. Maybe I used "puppet regime" in an extreme way. But to me it's as factual as facts get that Italy is heading in the same direction as the rest of Europe (and doing so faster than average) the same place Canada has been for a while: a province of the empire.

hhp

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Kristin,
I don't know if it's clear, but I am a citizen of the USA, and I know there are people involved in political struggle here. My remark was specifically about hrant and not the type group at all. He just seems so passionate and negative about America, and doesn't seem to find solutions within this system, such as you may, that I thought his energy would be more useful elsewhere, or at least that he shouldn't continue contributing to a system he detests so much. Besides, I think he can take it.

So, you liked my cover and you disliked my cover? Then I did my job.

>"What’s lost, unfortunately, is the difference between Che, the person, and Nike/iPod, the corporations."

My point is that, at this point, there is no difference, and I was trying to educate people about that fact, those who may not know. Cuba, is a Capitalist country. The currency is the Dollar, profit is key, they have all sorts of corrupt deals with European countries. Say, Italy runs a paper company in Cuba, pays the government $20,000 a year per worker, and the government pays the worker $200. My cousin is an accountant and has to hide these things from the employees at the factory. So, when you talk about abusive labor tactics, Nike, Che, and I-pod are all in the same boat. And, like Hrant, I'm trying to get people to open their minds. It may have come out of the blue for some because the design community is not aware of this stuff, Che is just an idolized pretty icon, but I thought my additions would jar some people into asking some questions.

The other thing around here, which may come out in things I say, is that I see a very elitist attitude as type being the only solution to everything. Things such as drawing a person is just wrong, etc. etc. I am an illustrator, and an art director. I use pictures, drawings, and type. Such absolutism about type being of higher intellectual and spiritual value bugs me, so I may make fun of it once in a while. I find a long discussion about what font is used in e-mail funny. No disrespect, it's just funny to me in the grand scheme. And if you don't see the inherent comedy in that then you've been looking at type for too long, laugh at yourselves once in a while.

thanks, er

William Berkson's picture
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>I’m concerned most of all with reality, not formal accuracy.

Wow.

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Cuba, is a Capitalist country. The currency is the Dollar, profit is key,

Ok, that's interesting. I see the Che image as more reflective of the man, Che Guavara, than you do, Edel! I honestly don't equate Che Guavara, who died in 1967 with the Cuba of today. My guess is that most U.S.-Americans (referring to us born and bred 'mericans) see the image as an historical artifact (like similar images of Santino, Marti or Abe Lincolnfor that matter). Are you saying Cubans see Che as iconic of today's Cuba? That's a very different read.

The other thing around here, which may come out in things I say, is that I see a very elitist attitude as type being the only solution to everything.

I haven't seen that here. I love type and the intricacies of type and love having a place to get together with other people who like type, too. But most of us here are extremely aware that we are a small part of a greater whole and, in general, a part that gets overlooked rather than overpromoted. There are no stars here. Even Matthew Carter, one of the view typographers whose name is known outside the field of typography, is an unpretentious and friendly fellow, as far as I've seen.

Now Tiffany, on the other hand.... (joke)

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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nahhhh....don't overestimate the influence of "the empire" in Europe.

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double post

Tim Daly's picture
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Edel, the clue to the focus of the forums is in the url, however, I have to agree with you about the thread you picked out.
Che seems to be a demonised pretty icon to some as well, I don't think the design community is any less aware than any other generic group, in fact many designers I know are politically aware and/or active.
Tim

Fredrik Andersson's picture
Joined: 10 May 2005 - 11:13am
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….don’t overestimate the influence of “the empire” in Europe.

You probably know as well as I that we – the Europeans – are dependant on the American dream. If they – the Americans – started to question that concept and started a revolution the world economy would sky dive and the old world with it. Vanity is OK, it's what brings us great design and art, but don't rock the boat, will ya.

ƒ

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Edel: To make assumptions is human, to learn from incorrect ones divine.

--

Lore, Fredo is right on. And if you choose to misbehave, you will end up sanctioned, over-thrown, bombed, whatever it takes to get you back in line. That's what a superpower does; and that's why things were better when we had two of them.

hhp

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"That’s what a superpower does; and that’s why things were better when we had two of them."

Things were better when we had two of them? Is this another example of being about reality rather than formal accuracy or whatever?

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Nations don't speak with one mind and never have. Hell, Families rarely speak with one mind--ever seen a family argument? Most murders in the U.S. are commited on and by family members. How can you expect the globe to dance to the tune of one "empire"? This is just too simplistic and in search of an artificial catagorization of convenience.

ChrisL

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Empires are themselves the ones that expect (or least work
towards, which is the real problem) such things, not me.

hhp

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Europeans and Americans do not share a common view of the world. I don’t think we even share the same culture and I am inclined to think that Europeans don’t see the world divided between good and evil, or friends and enemies (although you can’t generalize about Europeans). Generally speaking I think Europeans don’t tend to unilateralism or favour policies of coercion in international affairs. They are more inclined to work through international institutions, are less skeptical about international law than Americans and respond to threats in different ways. In fact, unlike hrant, I see the ideological differences between Europe and the States just growing. And this is by no means a recent development (although the end of the cold war or Bosnia or Kossovo could probably be a good starting point). Sorry hrant but you are overestimating the influence of the US in Europe and I think it’s safe to say that we are so not heading in the same direction and I hope I am not just flattering myself when I say that. Of course, you can label everyone "the West", it'll save you time.

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How can you expect the globe to dance to the tune of one “empire”?

Like Newt Gingrich and Janet Reno dirty-dancing while a troop of trained chimpanzees in tutus did The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies around them? Something like that is what I'd expect. But I have been known to be wrong.

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"is vanity that bring us great design and art"

Is it?

ER's picture
ER
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Sorry, I was just over at the "create your own south park character" thread. I take it all back, you guys are a riot!

Kristin:
"Are you saying Cubans see Che as iconic of today’s Cuba? That’s a very different read."

Yes, Cuba is Che and Che is Cuba, that's the way Cubans see it. In the U.S., or the world, Che has a whole rebel/saviour aura about him. For Cubans he still stands for the Revolution, Communism, and the country all in one, he's the brand. I can't comment on politics in Ireland, the Middle East or China with much authority but I feel with Cuba, Miami, or New York, places I've lived in, I can. About the superiority of type to other media, you can look back through here and see a lot on the subject. I'll probably hang out for a while and start saying the same things about the healing effects of type in due time! I actually do think photography is not real, all fantasy, and that's why I like it, but it's best when it really messes with the head.

Hrant, check out my friend's site, www.jasonfulford.com, could change your mind on photo?

>That’s what a superpower does; and that’s why things were better when we had two of them.

Capitalism won, the struggle is over. China and India, the two largest countries are joining in. Why did it win, because it's the one system that takes human nature into account. Greed, jealousy, ambition are all human. Communism tries to tamp it down and these human traits just sneak through. I saw it in Cuba, it's human nature. Sure, kindness and love are part of human nature too, but what drives many people are other things. If you are a designer, and sell your goods, fonts, whatever, you, are a capitalist. If you do not fully give your money to a state and want to make a profit, you are a capitalist.

Lore: Give me your pov on Kosovo. I thought America did a good thing there. As Europeans watched slaughter of innocents occur in their backyard and talked and talked about it, the U.S. got NATO together and did an honorable thing. I could be wrong, not in Europe, so I'd like to know if my perception is not correct.

er

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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The little people always think what they've seen in their own lifetimes is what
counts. How easily they ignore that monarchy worked for thousands of years,
and how easily they believe the TV when it tells them that voting works.

The 20th century, the American century, the century of democracy, was the worst in human history. They ignore that. They blindly plough forward, following orders without even realizing it. At least the previous generations knew they were being taken for a ride.

--

Edel, there's an essential difference between capitalism and materialism. Humans are -partly- materialistic, of course. But China for example is not a capitalist system. Capitalism makes materialism the central force of a system, reducing everything to currency, formalizing the bribing of politicians, etc. And in doing so it demotes things like culture, pride in which is huge for the Chinese for example (no matter where they live). Which is not to say that China is purely communist. It should go without saying that no system is pure anyway. Edel, honestly, you're sounding half your age.

hhp

ER's picture
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>"Edel, honestly, you’re sounding half your age."

God, thanks! I've always wanted to be seventeen again!

I have respect for you, I will not say what you're sounding like. It's been nice knowing all of you. Good bye.

er

Chris Lozos's picture
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"Little People"

ChrisL

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Nice chatting with you.

hhp

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How easily they ignore that monarchy worked for thousands of years...

Monarchies, republics and parliamentary democracies have all proven themselves capable of starting major international conflicts. The big difference between them is that monarchies tend to also produce regular civil wars of succession. On the plus side, without the English wars of succession we would be missing about half of Shakespeare's oeuvre, but 'the little people' tended to get killed in rather large numbers.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Yeah, nothing like the 20th century.
And at least in the olden days people didn't vote to kill each other.

hhp

Fredrik Andersson's picture
Joined: 10 May 2005 - 11:13am
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“is vanity that bring us great design and art”

Is it?

On occasion I say Yes. Vanity, poor judgment, absolutely no clue whatsoever is what make people dive into things they would otherwise avoid.

Inexperience only can lead a man into temptation to try cutting a font of type. Had I known the pitfalls of this undertaking I would have stopped even before I began.

— Sem Hartz, on The Emergo Type