Posts Tagged ‘International Herald Tribune’

Xenophobia Makes a Comeback

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Here are three recent headlines from the mainline media:
US Rep Backs Deport of Illegal Immigrants’ US KidsAssociated Press, April 29, 2010
Of Values, Veils and Mistresses - International Herald Tribune, April 30-May 2, 2010
Anger over Ariz. Immigration Law Drives US RalliesAssociated Press, May 2, 2010
Each of these articles underscores the pronounced movement from tolerance of “the stranger” in western industrialized society to its polar opposite, bigotry and xenophobia. The second piece is especially interesting, as it is a column by Alan Cowell addressing the social divisions in France stemming from an incident involving a 31-year-old woman wearing a niqab, a form of headdress with only a narrow slit for the eyes. French police officers levied a 22-Euro fine on the woman for driving while wearing a veil, presumably because they were worried about safety on the highway. But the action sparked off a huge debate in France over what it means to be French and what it means to be French and Muslim.

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“Recovery” of the Art Market?

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

“Signs Emerge of Recovery for Art Sales” shouted a headline in the April 20, 2010 issue of the International Herald Tribune. By way of contrast, pages 70-72 of Mood Matters argue that art sales will be a big-time loser as the overall global social mood deepens. Since this story seems to undermine that claim, it’s worth digging into it a bit deeper to see what is really going on.

After quoting sources like Philip Hoffman, head of the Fine Art Group Fund, and the head of Castlestone Management, a fund that specializes in art investment for well-heeled clients about the prospects for the art market (which is tantamount to asking the foxes if they thought chickens were a good investment), the article slips-in the very revealing quote from Castlestone that “equities is considered to be a key indicator when analyzing trends in the art market.” A socionomist would read this as: The art market can be expected to rise as the social mood increases, and then decline as people start fearing the future again.


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