109

Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 77, July - August 2011




"Nude in Armchair" - Henri Matisse - France 1869 - 1954

Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.



Editor's Page

Beware of Greek Euros and Argentine Dollars – or –
Beware of Germans Bearing Euro-Gifts
by Frank Thomas Smith

Back in 1990 the Argentine government instituted “convertibility”, according to which the Argentine peso was equal in value to the US dollar – by law, and therefore would, theoretically at least, be convertible in the world at large, just like the dollar. The main reason for this was the fact that Argentina had been plagued by hyper-inflationary waves for many decades, the result of massive government spending via the monetary printing press with nothing to back up all those pesos flooding the market. Ergo, if the peso were always equal to the dollar, to the extent that if you held a peso you could freely exchange it for a dollar, there would be no inflation and Argentina would enter the first-world club with a swish of the magic money-wand... Read more


It's the Exchange Rate, Stupid by Frank Thomas Smith

T
he reason I accepted Larry Lawrence's offer to teach English to the Chief of Police was that I was broke. After a period of hyperinflation that toppled an honest but hopelessly inept President, the new one (not so honest but equally inept) appointed Harvard educated Robindo Quemado to the economy portfolio. The first thing he did was peg the peso to the U.S. dollar at a one-to-one exchange rate -- for eternity according to him -- thus confounding my plans for a comfortable early retirement in a country where the dollar had been king since General San Martín crossed the Andes and the women were as lovely as a September morn. Hyper-inflation was licked, the dollar dethroned and, despite the Economy Minister's promises to the contrary, everyone except the rich woke up poorer, especially the poor. My purchasing power was reduced to roughly that of a peon's. No one, however, dared question the fixed exchange rate for fear of being thought unpatriotic and in favor of inflation... Read more


Fiction

Parallel IMF Universes by Francis ArrowSmith

  
Pierremot lies naked on the king-sized bed in Manhat-tan's Luxury-Pus Hotel with a king-size erection. He gazes at it with admiration. After all, at 62 very few men had such spontaneous ones. He glances at his Blackberry: twelve noon, he has an hour before checking out and going to KFJ Intercosmos Airport for the Air FrenchFry flight to Sirap. Pierremot is the DirecDG of the FMI – Filthy Monitoring Fund – and as such one of the most powerful men in the Parallel Universe. His roadmap also includes the presidency of FrenchKissistan...but not until next year. He thinks of the meeting he is to have with the Queen of Germany, the ex-unisex world wrestling champion, and his erection wilts...Read more

Paul the Octopus Retires by R. Ariel Gómez

  
Who would have thought that an octopus would change my life?
Picture this: my friend Ray called me to talk about Paul the octopus.
"Yeah", I said, "and to which branch of the Gambino family does he belong?"
"I am serious," he said. "Can I see you Saturday mid-morning?"
"Sure, Ray. What’s going on?"
Ray’s voice sounded strained. "I’ll tell you everything when I see you," he said, and hung up, no time to ask anything...
Read more


Current Events

Worlds Collide in a Luxury Hotel
by Rebecca Solnit

  
How can I tell a story we already know too well? Her name was Africa. His was France. He colonized her, exploited her, silenced her, and even decades after it was supposed to have ended, still acted with a high hand in resolving her affairs in places like Côte d’Ivoire, a name she had been given because of her export products, not her own identity. Her name was Asia. His was Europe. Her name was silence. His was power. Her name was poverty. His was wealth. Her name was Her, but what was hers? His name was His, and he presumed everything was his, including her, and he thought he could take her without asking and without consequences. It was a very old story, though its outcome had been changing a little in recent decades. And this time around the consequences are shaking a lot of foundations, all of which clearly needed shaking...Read more


The Unwisdom of Elites by Paul Krugman

  
The past three years have been a disaster for most Western economies. The United States has mass long-term unemployment for the first time since the 1930s. Meanwhile, Europe’s single currency is coming apart at the seams. How did it all go so wrong?
Well, what I’ve been hearing with growing frequency from members of the policy elite — self-appointed wise men, officials, and pundits in good standing — is the claim that it’s mostly the public’s fault. The idea is that we got into this mess because voters wanted something for nothing, and weak-minded politicians catered to the electorate’s foolishness... Read more


On the Mend - America Comes to its Senses by Andrew W. Bacevich

  
At periodic intervals, the American body politic has shown a marked susceptibility to messianic fevers. Whenever an especially acute attack occurs, a sort of delirium ensues, manifesting itself in delusions of grandeur and demented behavior. By the time the condition passes and a semblance of health is restored, recollection of what occurred during the illness tends to be hazy. What happened? How’d we get here? Most Americans prefer not to know. No sense dwelling on what’s behind us. Feeling much better now! Thanks! Read more


Features
Zora Neale Hurston and the African American Odyssey
by Helen Lock

  
The Odyssey
has always had a reverberating presence in African American arts: Romare Bearden, for instance, arguably the most important African American artist of the twentieth century, who began exhibiting in 1945, produced a series called The Odysseus Collages. In his foreword to the gallery’s catalogue, Calvin Tomkins describes the appropriateness of Bearden’s technique to his theme: collage is, he says, “[A]n act of necromancy, requiring cunning, grace, nerve, intelligence and luck (defined as the ability to take good advantage of chance—or the gods),” and Tomkins quotes psychologist Julian Jaynes’s description of Homer’s theme: “an odyssey toward subjective identity and its triumphant acknowledgment out of the hallucinatory enslavements of the past ... Read more



Science

Goetheanism in Science
by Konrad Rudnicki

  
There is a widespread belief that a sharp distinction must be made between thinking (something entirely subjective) and perception (something having an objective origin but thoroughly contingent upon man's physiological and psychological constitution). It is through the interaction of perception and thinking that a gradual development of the process of the cognition of reality (Immanuel Kant called this a thing-in-itself inaccessible in any direct way) comes about. The subjective character of thinking is usually taken as an axiom. The conditioning of perception by physiology (it is electromagnetic waves that are really there, and we perceive them as colors, heat etc.) is supported with evidence from the natural sciences. Various theories of knowledge lead to various, even diametrically opposed conclusions - from the belief that the thing-in-itself is absolutely beyond any cognition to the assumption that there are ways of obtaining some knowledge of it ... Read more



Anthroposophy

Freedom and the Catholic Church - Lecture 2 of 3 by Rudolf Steiner

  
It is my intention today to continue with the subject we began here last Sunday, and I should like first to go back to the few words I then said concerning the Anti-Modernist Oath. I described its nature by saying that since the time of its inauguration anyone who holds a teaching office in the Roman Catholic Church, whether as theologian or preacher, has to take this oath which forbids anyone engaged in Catholic teaching to deviate from what is recognized as dogmatic truth by the Roman Catholic Church; which means, in fact, what is recognized as dogma by the Roman Curia...
Read more


La Libertad y la Iglesia Católica - Conferencia 2 de 3 por Rudolf Steiner

 Es mi intención hoy continuar con el tema que comenzamos aquí el domingo pasado y me gustaría, en primer lugar, volver sobre las palabras que dije en esa oportunidad con respecto al Juramento anti modernista. Me referí a su naturaleza diciendo que, desde que fue instituido, cualquiera que desempeñe una función docente dentro de la Iglesia Católica Romana, ya sea como teólogo o predicador, tiene que hacer este juramento que prohíbe a cualquiera que se dedique a la enseñanza del catolicismo desviarse de lo que la Iglesia Católica Romana reconoce como verdad dogmática –esto significa, en realidad, lo que la Curia Romana reconoce como dogma... Read more


The Foundation Stone Meditation by Rudolf Steiner

  
Soul of man!
You live in the limbs
That carry you through the world of space
Into the sea of spirit-being:
Practice spirit remembrance
In the depths of soul,
Where in the reigning
Cosmic creator-being... Read more / Español / Deutsch

Karmic Relations, Volume 1, Lecture 10 by Rudolf Steiner

  
In our study of karmic connections I have hitherto followed the practice of starting from personalities in more recent times and then going back to their previous lives on earth. Today, in order to amplify the actual examples of karmic connections, I propose to go the other way, starting from certain personalities of the past and following them into later times, either into some later epoch of history, or right into the life of the present day. What I want to do is to give you a picture of certain historic connections, presenting it in such a way that at every point some light is shed on the workings of karma...Read more


Poetry

The Tiger, The Lamb and other poems by William Blake

  
TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire? ...Read more

Renascence and The Suicide by Edna St. Vincent Millay

   
All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Over these things I could not see; ...Read more



Letters to the Editor

  
Regarding your 'Intelligence Analyst': If this isn't true, its a damned good lie!
What a wonderful one paragraph portrait of the awakening of a modern initiate - a Dostojevskij devotee;  fortunately there are many Jim Tates coming and going.
You publish two grumbling and critical remarks on your apparent use of nudes to adorn or bracket issues of Southern Cross Review.  As a new reader I have only managed to sample the two most recent issues (please provide prominent links in each issue to still available previous editions), but I find the depictions wonderful... Read more




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