January 26, 2012

Larry Summers nomination for president of the World Bank and how "Africa is vastly under-polluted."


I read this awhile ago on David Rylance's Facebook page and I can't quite shake it off. One of the most disturbing things I've read in a while. The memo is from 1991 but I missed it at the time:

So Obama's going to nominate Larry Summers to be president of the World Bank. Recall this passage from 1991 memo, actually written by Lant Pritchett but signed by Summers when he was the Bank's chief economist, on how "Africa is vastly under-polluted." The last paragraph is important, and should not be overlooked in fighting these mofos.

3. "Dirty" industries

Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [less-developed countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurement of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change In the adds of prostrate [sic] cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to got prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmospheric discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization.


[Just read on Wikipedia that Pritchett claims the memo was meant to be sarcastic. I read it over a few times and sometimes I believe the intention was sarcasm while other times I don't. It does read a bit like A Modest Proposal, but there is a big different between A Modest Proposal written by Swift and A Modest Proposal written by the very people constructing and enforcing economic policies that lead to atrocity. Whether or not the sarcasm angle is true, or simply post-leak spin, for me it somehow makes the memo even worse. That the World Bank has a culture of sarcastically suggesting we dump toxic waste in less developed countries, I suppose as a kind of joke, when in fact such practices are some of the harshest, cruelest economic realities of our current world. Heartbreaking.]


January 25, 2012

It doesn’t matter if you’re old and ugly. Just be old and ugly and you’ll be fine.


The accordion is sometimes an obnoxious sounding instrument. So people will say, “Do you play that chanky-chank music, that old style music?” I took that and said, “Yeah, we do that, and we’re really proud that we do.” We don’t mind, like a friend of mine says, “It doesn’t matter if you’re old and ugly. Just be old and ugly and you’ll be fine.” Don’t try and be anything else. So, the chanky-chank, that’s what we call our music. That’s what we like. It’s not for everybody, but it’s definitely for us.

- Michael Doucet, Beusoliel


January 17, 2012

Relay-Interview at Do Tank / Social Fictions in Munich

Relay-Interview is a ridiculously simple game for having unexpected conversations. It involves asking and answering spontaneous questions that are loosely based around one or several themes chosen before the game starts. The way it works is: There are two chairs in the middle of the room. Person A and Person B sit in the chairs. A asks B a question. When B is finished answering the question he or she gets up, leaving the chair vacant. At that point anyone else in the room can sit down in the empty chair and ask A a question. When A is finished answering he or she stands up and leaves the chair vacant. The game goes on like this for any length of time and with any number of people. It is an attempt to have genuine, surprising exchanges within a performance situation. And to find out what we think, how we think about it and what we most want to know.


January 14, 2012

Jacob Wren Links



A few things I wrote:
Four Letters from an Ongoing Series in Joyland
On Painting in Canadian Art
The Infiltrator in Maisonneuve
Big Brother Likes This in Maisonneuve
Be But Could If Is Not What for YYZ 
Resistance As Paradox and Two Other Texts in VerySmallKitchen
All Profound Distraction in Concentration
A Kind of Dream Therapy in Geist
One week of Randnotizen
Nature doesn’t love me yet at The Wild Bush Residency 
The Year 2017: A Collective Chronicle of Thoughts and Observations
SpiderWebShow Thought Residency
I’ll Never Leave Ravicka
Four Long Moments Near the Beginning in VOICES
On New Dramatics: An Editorial Meeting for REPRISE
The First Chapter in SDUK (The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge)

Reviews of I wrote of others:
Review of Islands of Decolonial Love in Lemon Hound
Review of 2500 Random Things About Me Too in Lemon Hound
Review of The See in Lemon Hound
Review of Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars in mRb
Review of Little Blue Encyclopedia (For Vivian) in mRb
Review of Apple S in mRb

Malcolm Sutton at the Bookhug Blog
Beth Follett at Open Book Toronto
Catherine Lacey at HTML Giant with ten sentences and a short interview
Kathryn Mockler at The Rusty Toque
Will McCarry in NANO Fiction
In Different Situations Different Behaviour Will Produce Different Results: Yaniya Lee in Conversation with Chris Kraus and Jacob Wren
Satu Herrala at ESITYS
Puneet Dutt Bookhug Interview Part 1
Puneet Dutt Bookhug Interview Part 2
Writer's Block at All Lit Up
Tobias Carroll at Vol.1 Brooklyn
Arielle Bernstein in The Sunday Rumpus
Shannon Tien in Sadmag
Rob Mclennan in Ploughshares
Saelan Twerdy at Canadian Art
Heather Jones in Contemporary Art Stavanger
Imago Feminist Men Blog Series
PuShy Questions with Jacob Wren

Interviews with others:
True Lovers are as Rare as True Rebels: An Interview with Masha Tupitsyn

Audio interviews:
Alissa Firth-Eagland and Danica Evering on The Secret Ingredient
Mark Clintberg interviews Jeanne Randolph and Jacob Wren at Luma Quarterly
Ben McCarthy at Precariat Content

Audio interviews with others:
Dayna Danger on the Momus Podcast

Authenticity is a Feeling
Stranger than Fiction: In Conversation with Jacob Wren
Lucy Bellwood in The Seattle Review of Books
Klara du Plessis in the Montreal Review of Books
Jade Colbert at The Globe and Mail
Feature Friday at Bookhug
Sylvain Lavoie in Canadian Theatre Review
Order: Authenticity is a Feeling

Rich and Poor
Jeff Miller in the Montreal Review of Books
Craig Hubert at BLOUIN ARTINFO
Jacqueline Valencia at The Rusty Toque
Jade Colbert at The Globe and Mail
Kelly Duval Interview at Bookhug
Melita Kuburas in The Toronto Star
Ian McGillis in the Montreal Gazette
Mark Sampson at Quill and Quire
J. C. Sutcliffe in The Times Literary Supplement
Karina Irvine in Canadian Art
Richard Derus at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud
Read This, Then That in All Lit Up
Alex Good in Canadian Notes & Queries
Anne K. Yoder: A Year in Reading
Catherine Vendryes in Hot Pepper Latte
Ian McGillis, Madeleine Thien heads class of 2016
One of The Globe and Mail's best 100 books of 2016
Rich and Poor Audiobook
Order: Rich and Poor

Rich and Poor - The Single
Mark Medley in The Globe and Mail
Suzanne Alyssa Andrew in Now Magazine
Dispatches from the Poetry Wars
A Literary Listen to Chaos & Star Records at domesdaynotebook
Order: Rich and Poor - The Single

If our wealth is criminal then let’s live with the criminal joy of pirates
Rob Mclennan at Rob Mclennan's Blog
Richard Derus at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud
Bookhug presents: a special limited edition of two stories and an essay
Order: If our wealth is criminal then let’s live with the criminal joy of pirates

Polyamorous Love Song
Shannon Tien at Cult Mtl 
Liz Worth at Quill and Quire
Jade Colbert at The Globe and Mail 
Featured book in Maisonneuve
Andrew Wilmot at Backlisted
Manuel Vargas Ricalde at Nomadic Sojourns
Lesley Trites for the Montreal Review of Books Blog
Domenica Martinello in the Town Crier
André Forget in the Town Crier
Philip Gordon at words(on)pages
Eva Neklyaeva in her program notes for Baltic Circle
CanLit Rewind at All Lit Up
Heather Cromarty at All Lit Up
Letters we wrote to friends after reading "Polyamorous Love Song"
David M. J. Carruthers in The Bull Calf
One of The Globe and Mail's best 100 books of 2014
Polyamorøs kjærlighetssang (Translated into Norwegian by Sindre Andersen)
Order: Polyamorous Love Song

Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed:
Eugene Lim at eugenelim.com
Carl Wilson at Back To The World
L. J. Moore at Porchlight
Plus A bizarre mention on the Business News Network blog
And an excerpt 

Families Are Formed Through Copulation:
Aaron Tucker at Lorem Ipsum Dlor Sit
Blake Butler at HTML Giant
Jacquelyn Davis at Bookslut
J. A. Tyler at Elimae
Andrea Nene in Broken Pencil
And an excerpt

Reviews and articles in French:
Paul Kawczak in Spirale
Paul Kawczak Interview in Spirale
Alban Lefranc / La paranoïa, sa nécessité, ses puissances
Daniel Letendre at Liberté
Nayla Naoufal in Le Devoir
Alec Serra-Wagneur / Discours fragmenté d’un esprit inquiet et paranoïaque

Other Performance Work
Stephanie Bunbury in The Age
Ekkehard Knörer in Der Taz

Music and Theatre Must Learn to Disassociate / Adam Kinner & Jacob Wren
TPAM in Yokohama 2012: Jacob Wren + Tori Kudo/Maher Shalal Hash Baz
DO TANK Intervention: Jacob Wren / Relay-Interview
An apology that I have not properly documented my early performance work
Paul Kawczak Interview at Centre Bang in Chicoutimi
Jo Braus for Do Tank/Spielart
All Our Bad Ideas with Jordan Tannahill and Jacob Wren
Public Recordings, New Dramatics: an editorial meeting
Polyamorous Love Song Launch Reading
Polyamorous Love Song Interview
Rich and Poor Launch Reading
Rich and Poor Interview
Authenticity is a Feeling Launch Reading
Claudia La Rocco and Jacob Wren at Tanz im August
Interview about Un sentiment d'authenticité.


January 9, 2012



There is so much capitalism inside of me.