February 21st, 2013


The Magician's House

I dreamed I'd been thrown out of the magician's house. I'd been his pupil but his magic was magnificently black and scarlet and I couldn't get the hang of it (and maybe I hadn't actually been trying too hard.) Nevertheless I was hanging around in the yard- in the hope of picking up crumbs of wisdom or of sneaking back inside- past the huge, warty, demonic doorkeeper- in the entourage of a legitimate visitor...

I Like Him Better Today

I was asked in a survey for my opinion of the Virgin empire and I wrote (and I quote) "I can't stand Richard Branson; he's so vain".  This morning comes the news that Branson is planning to give half his fortune to help make an "equitable and peaceful world". and I regret being so mean.  Andrew Carnegie- the Scots-American steel magnate- used his fortune to build libraries. (There's a very handsome Carnegie Library- one of 2,509- just down the road from my dentist's in Royton.) "The man who dies rich dies disgraced," he said. It's an ethic that sweetens capitalism. Bill Gates started the modern fashion for philanthropy on a grand scale and other plutocrats are catching on. You want a legacy? You want to be remembered with affection like Carnegie? Then don't just sit on it,  give it away.