I’m in grey, rainy (so what’s new?) Luxembourg for a vernissage (see this blog, here). Visit family & talk a long walk, then sit at the Place d’Armes (d’Plëss), drink coffee or Rosporter bubbly water, talk to people. Grey rainy morning until on the bandstand of the square where usually the municipal brass band holds forth for lunch -time concerts, a Qatari traditional orchestra with ouds, various drums, violins & a mass of male singers all in Qatari garb started up — & the sun broke through. El hamdulillah!
A strange conversation with a voluble table neighbor, Frenchman of Luxembourg origins worked in banking in NY 80s, is a full believer in Milton Friedman’s version of capitalism, thinks poetry ended with Alfred de Musset, believes Celine gave the right a bad name, wants to return to the gold standard, holds Tunisian ex-president Ali in great esteem for fighting off his brother-in-law, a fight he witnessed, etc. etc. — didn’t dare say so but is clearly a Lepeniste. Affable no-nothing fascist banker. Difficult to shut him up. Left to listen more closely to the Qatari singers. A minute or so of that gig below.
Over lunch read the Nouvel Obs, an excellent interview with Bruno Latour, who provided me with the thought of the day: “The economy functions like a theology in the name of which more people are sacrificed than have been sacrificed during the whole history of religions.”