Readers’ comments on JAS’s cartoon in The Economist (May 14th ) showing a head blowing bubbles with an ‘ f’ in the bubbles /see http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2012/05/week-ahead-0
Jerry Mager – May 14th 2012
“I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
They reach the sky,
And like my dreams,
They fade and die,
Fortunes always hiding,
I looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.”
I am aware of the Homo bulla (see e.g. http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.com/2009/01/homo-bulla-vanitas.html : “the Dutch philosopher Erasmus reintroduced the Latin expression “Homo bulla” (”man is a bubble”) in his “Adagia”, a collection of sayings published in 1572.”) but the meaning of the ‘f’ escapes me. What does it stand for, the old Florin fromFlorence, the guilder, the Dutch gulden … ? Or does it hint at that four-letter-word because of the foaming and swearing Greek? By the way in slang the word ‘greek’ has a special meaning too ( free in English – sit venia verbo: up yours! To the Greek politicians that is).
f is for Facebook (and technology companies in general probably)
Leydswmw29, Thank you for the clarification.
It seems that I’ve have been put on the wrong foot then, because of this conundrum about Greece and the euro. Or have I? Could it be that Face book is here to stay much longer than the euro zone? Shouldn’t the sign in the cartoon be the sign for the euro – € – instead of the ‘f’? However, as a cartoonist one can’t possibly (yet) draw a cartoon depicting the euro zone as a bubble (which of course it is within the perspective of ‘hubris’ as Erasmus uses in the concept of the homo bulla – bubblegum man) about to pop. Such a cartoonist might get himself sued for sedition or treason, for stirring up defeatist sentiments with the aim of destabilizing and bringing down Europe (I am only partly joking). Mentally there is a sort of inverted link with the ‘f’ however. Because I believe that we presently witness and experience the beginning deflation of the euro zone.
Things wíll fall apart and the centre cannot hold much longer otherwise more anarchy will ensue – I believe. The inherent flaws of this monetary construct make the euro zone in its present form today utterly vulnerable, totally defenseless and completely exposed to the will and whims of the juggernauts and golems which roam the financial jungles out there. Inside jobs are also to be taken into account and cannot be ruled out. Further growth will only add to it’s vulnerability.
So the euro zone bubble must eventually (at least partly) pop and will fragment into two or maybe even more entities each of them maybe with their own kind of euro-like currency and perhaps pertaining to a single market. Such a contraption eventually might be the starting point of a new united/unifiedEurope. Not necessarily unified though for no one can yet predict whatChina,India and other future big players will do in the process and how they may develop and evolve.Europe no longer calls the tune. That’s for sure.
If you want to learn how such bubbles as we in the West experience may come into being do watch the movie “Being There” based on the novel with the same title by Jerzy Kosinsky. There you are presented with the whole story in a nutshell. At the very end of the film we watch how man even can walk on water indeed if only he allows himself to con himself or be deceived by himself which is what the story is about. Brilliantly done. Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” elaborates on the same principle (being a nation of predominantly salesmen The Netherlands should watch it’s step), but considering the case at hand to my opinion “Being There” for the moment is slightly more apt to edify / as an edification.