Just because.

Famous Author Regrets and Must Decline

At the peak of his fame, the late great litcrit Edmund Wilson had a standard postcard he sent out.

The scrawl says “I don’t [do] live readings either when I’m offered a very large fee. EW” (Which reads oddly, but sic.) Amendment, see comment below: the “when” is, of course “unless”. D’oh.

wilson-1

The printed card:
Edmund Wilson regrets that it is impossible for him to:
Read manuscripts,
write articles or books to order,
write forwards or introductions,
make statements for publicity purposes,
do any kind of editorial work,
judge literary contests, give interviews,
take part in writers’ conferences,
answer questionnaires,
contribute to or take part in symposiums, or “panels” of any kind,
contribute manuscripts for sales,
donate copies of his books to libraries,
autograph works for strangers,
allow his name to be used on letterheads,
supply personal information about himself,
or supply opinions on literary or other subjects.

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“Local kid makes good”

Statue of 10-year-old Obama, Jakarta. You may well have seen this on TV but I missed it. You can catch it on CNN here. It’s rather sweet, and cheapish at $10,000.

Obama statue

This has become the www’d line: ‘Apparently’ the inscription at the base reads: “Local kid makes good”. Perhaps in Indonesian? Someone should actually go take a look and post a snap of it.

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Zabbaleen: People of the rubbish

Zabbaleen

cairo-z2

From the BBC: ‘Zabbaleen’ means ‘people of the rubbish’ in Arabic. Hardly flattering, you might think, but these people are vital to the day-to-day running of the city. Before the 1980s there was no official waste collection service in Cairo; the Zabbaleen did all the work.

From Sustainable Cities: However, in 2003, the Egyptian government announced plans to “modernise” the waste collection system, bringing in three European Companies … Now, with streets again filled with rubbish and a government that is $50 million USD poorer, Cairo seems to be realising that a new waste collection system must include the Zabbaleen …

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