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"Walpurgisnacht Ballet 5" by Charles François Gounod



"Essaouira" by Sacha van Dorssen for Marie Claire (1981)

"Essaouira" by Sacha van Dorssen for Marie Claire (1981)

As the Greek economy deteriorates further, the country’s people have grown despondent over a lack of leadership and failed austerity measures.

But on a list of the most miserable countries in the world, Greece wouldn’t even crack the worst 50.

The misery index, a crude economic theory created by Arthur Orkum, sums a country’s unemployment and inflation rates to assess conditions on the ground (the higher the number, the worse off a country is).
The reasoning: you can tell a great deal about an economy by a soaring jobless rate and a population that can afford less and less of required goods.

The 20 Most Miserable Countries In The World

  1. Iran (37.8%)
  2. Afghanistan (42.7%)
  3. Gaza Strip (45.0%)
  4. Bosnia and Herzegovina (47.1%)
  5. Swaziland (48.0%)
  6. Marshall Islands (48.9%)
  7. Haiti (49.9%)
  8. Kenya (51.0%)
  9. Senegal (51.4%)
  10. Lesotho (52.2%)
  11. Belarus (53.4%)
  12. Kosovo(53.6%)
  13. Nepal (53.8%)
  14. Yemen (55.0%)
  15. Namibia (56.5%)
  16. Djibouti (66.0%)
  17. Turkmenistan (75.0%)
  18. Burkina Faso (80.6%)
  19. Liberia (95.0%)
  20. Zimbabwe (100.6%)

Results are based on CIA World Factbook data, which estimates figures for countries and territories that do not have reliable local reporting agencies. (x)

Keith Arnatt, Self Burial, 1969. 

Keith Arnatt, Self Burial, 1969. 

Hank Walker, Children with gifts from the Berlin Airlift, 1948.

Hank Walker, Children with gifts from the Berlin Airlift, 1948.

Andrew Wyeth, Rest in Peace

Andrew Wyeth, Rest in Peace

Abstraction is everybody’s zero but nobody’s nought. Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum. Painting, sculpture and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues. Art settles into a stupendous inertia. Silence supplies the dominant chord. Bright colors conceal the abyss that holds the museum together. Every solid is a bit of clogged air or space. Things flatten and fade. The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye.

—Robert Smithson, Some Void Thoughts On Museums

Iwan Baan Teshima Art museum by Ruye Nishizawa

Iwan Baan Teshima Art museum by Ruye Nishizawa

Johann Sebastian Bach - Ave Maria (sung by Hayley Westenra)



"Melancholia" by Charles Corbet, circa 1910, autochrome

"Melancholia" by Charles Corbet, circa 1910, autochrome

JANTE LAW: The Danish-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in his novel A fugitive crosses his tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933) identified the Jante Law as a series of rules. It is a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities, which negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate.

The ten rules state:

  1. Don’t think you’re anything special. 
  2. Don’t think you’re as good as us. 
  3. Don’t think you’re smarter than us. 
  4. Don’t convince yourself that you’re better than us. 
  5. Don’t think you know more than us. 
  6. Don’t think you are more important than us. 
  7. Don’t think you are good at anything. 
  8. Don’t laugh at us. 
  9. Don’t think anyone cares about you. 
  10. Don’t think you can teach us anything.

An eleventh rule recognized in the novel is: 

  11. Don’t think that there aren’t a few things we know about you.

Tintin magazine was a weekly Belgian comics magazine of the second half of the 20th century. Subtitled “The Journal for the Youth from 7 to 77”, it was one of the major publications of the Franco-Belgian comics scene and published such notable series such as Blake and Mortimer, Alix, and the principal title The Adventures of Tintin. Originally published by Le Lombard, the first issue was released in 1946, and it ceased publication in 1993.

Tintin magazine was a weekly Belgian comics magazine of the second half of the 20th century. Subtitled “The Journal for the Youth from 7 to 77”, it was one of the major publications of the Franco-Belgian comics scene and published such notable series such as Blake and Mortimer, Alix, and the principal title The Adventures of Tintin. Originally published by Le Lombard, the first issue was released in 1946, and it ceased publication in 1993.

For him I felt what one feels for an old cabinet that has always stood in the middle of a drawing room. The cabinet had gone—it was surprising—it was sad. But I had never been intimate with the cabinet.

Virginia Woolf, “Am I a Snob?” (from Moments of Being)

Dia De Los Muertos Altar, San Francisco

Dia De Los Muertos Altar, San Francisco

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