Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fragments: Michael Lewis's When Irish Eyes Are Crying

Dani and Eytan Kollin were vocal speakers at BayCon and unabashedly promoted their series where the central conceit concerned economics. They joked at how unlikely it would be for anyone to be interested in a hard science fiction novel that explores economics. However, it might have been unlikely when they first began writing it, but now it seems that economics is popular. Perhaps, I'm extrapolating my interest on y'all.

Michael Lewis chronicles the Irish economic crisis in his Vanity Fair article. The writing is delicious, with amusing anecdotes. Including:

Ian turns out to have a good feel for what I, or anyone else, might find interesting in rural Ireland. He will say, for example, “Over there, that’s a pretty typical fairy ring,” and then explain, interestingly, that these circles of stones or mushrooms that occur in Irish fields are believed by local farmers to house mythical creatures. “Irish people actually believe in fairies?,” I ask, straining but failing to catch a glimpse of the typical fairy ring to which Ian has just pointed. “I mean, if you walked right up and asked him to his face, ‘Do you believe in fairies?’ most guys will deny it,” he replies. “But if you ask him to dig out the fairy ring on his property, he won’t do it. To my way of thinking, that’s believing.” And it is. It’s a tactical belief, a belief that exists because the upside to disbelief is too small, like the former Irish belief that Irish land prices would rise forever.

It has a couple killer quotes as well. An African man whose visiting during a perid where it rains every day describes Ireland as:

‘I don’t know why people live here. It’s like living under an elephant.’

You can read the full article here.

Overall, I've followed what's happening in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal through the pages of The Economist. However, this more in depth article provides more information on what's happened in Ireland.

Given that there are several important votes due on austerity measures in Greece, the article felt timely. It also felt sad. Yet, Michael Lewis's writing is smooth and the way he ends the article leaves one with hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment