First saw this here on tumblr; it’s from the fifth floor in the Walker building at Emerson college. Three sticky notes have been added. I wish I had a pen to write on the bottom, “this is why I love people,” because I think this shit is hilarious. A lot of people shit with writing utensils… Today I was not one of them. Regardless, this is one of the reasons I love Emerson, people have ongoing philosophical/economic/cultural discussions on sticky notes in the bathrooms. Priceless.
Russell Shorto - Going Dutch (2009) Article

Russell Shorto is one of my favorite authors, his book, “The Island at the Center of the World.” was particularly fabulous. I like this article because it really brings to light a few of the pros and cons and real and made-up worries that some people have in regard to the [American] economy and the talk of tweaking it. I happen to like how Russell describes his experience and the intricacies in the Dutch system. I’d quite like to experience it myself! Worry worry worry as I become a little bit of a socialist. haha.

PICTURE ME, IF YOU WILL, as I settle at my desk to begin my workday, and feel free to use a Vermeer image as your template. The pale-yellow light that gives Dutch paintings their special glow suffuses the room. The interior is simple, with high walls and beams across the ceiling. The view through the windows of the 17th-century house in which I have my apartment is of similarly gabled buildings lining the other side of one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals. Only instead of a plump maid or a raffish soldier at the center of the canvas, you should substitute a sleep-rumpled writer squinting at a laptop.

As always Russell’s writing is a delight. With the flourishing details of fiction Russell brings his recount to our doorstep with an effortless grace weaving in the necessary and enlightening information he has gathered amidst numbers, events, quotes, and observation. Russell’s writing is not to be missed and his website doesn’t need to beg to be bookmarked!

An excerpt from the article:

Decent housing is another area where the Dutch are in broad agreement. As does nearly every Western nation, the Netherlands has a public housing system, in which qualified people get apartments for below-market rents. About one-third of all dwellings in the country are “social housing.” But here again, attitudes are different from those in the United States. I was surprised to learn, for example, that a friend who is a successful psychologist lives in a social-housing apartment, which he has had since his student days. It turns out the term does not have the stigma attached to it that “public housing” does in the United States. (“In the U.S., public housing is a last resort, but here it’s just a good, cheap house,” said Fred Martin, an official at Impuls, an Amsterdam social-services organization.) Beyond that, while my friend obviously can afford to pay more than his bargain-basement rent of 360 euros ($470), the system doesn’t require him to move on, and one reason is that there is perceived to be a value in keeping a mix of income levels in the units.

Social housing differs from much of the public housing in the United States in that the government does not own or manage the properties. Rather, each is owned by an independent real estate cooperative. The system is not-for-profit, but it pays for itself. The housing market, then, is actually two real estate markets running alongside each other, one of which operates at government-mandated cheaper rates.

This points up something that seems to be overlooked when Americans dismiss European-style social-welfare systems: they are not necessarily state-run or state-financed. Rather, these societies have chosen to combine the various entities that play a role in social well-being — individuals, corporations, government, nongovernmental entities like unions and churches — in different ways, in an effort to balance individual freedom and overall social security.

Hope you enjoy his work as much as I have! 


Another great article he wrote on this site is an article from 2005, “What’s Their Real Problem With Gay Marriage?” I haven’t read it in a while but I remember him being suffocatingly thorough and it is an emotionally distressing article… but then again most articles about discrimination, inequality, and bigotry are. 

The schedule for today, the 22nd of October:

Since History of Jazz let out [early] around 11:30 (Eric Hofbauer, bless your heart), I’ve just been warming up to the idea of the day. I overslept and was feeling a little drowsy so I’ve been listening to music and dancing a little… on the inside and otherwise.

Colbert is classy as fuck.

I’m heading over to iParty for the first time to find something with a little panache for a party I’m going to this Friday with my friend Victor (@ANFboii) in NY.

I’m hoping to enjoy this shopping experience

and not fall into a deep pit of indecision… 

OMG I have to make a choice??? I don’t have the time for that with today’s schedule.

After I get back I’ll be ready to dive into my Game of Thrones spec script for Writing for Television and “finalize” my first ten or so pages.

I’m writing the Red Wedding episode. 

After that I’ll watch the avant-garde pieces for History of Media Arts tomorrow… because I took Film and Video Art back at Western Connecticut State University, it just so happens that I’ve already seen the films, Rhythmus 21, Ballet Mecanique, and Un Chien Andalou. I truly enjoy this style of film where as a lot of people are like,



Ahhh, but “Why not?” is what I always ask myself.

I’m interested in finding out how my Emerson peers react to avant-garde cinema.

-After that I’ll [want to] probably pass out, but I hope to at least outline my philosophy paper answering, “Why is there a quarrel between philosophy and poetry?" 

It’s for Narrative Ethics and is due on Thursday, so if I do what’s best for me I’ll at least start drafting or rambling in Word. Plus, I like this topic and could go on about it in a leisurely setting, let alone an academic one.

When the day is done it’ll be chilling with Sarah and Chelsea and a good episode of HBO’s Girls.

I do, at some point, also plan to eat. 

Dying my hair by sunlight. 

Shimmering of browns, reds, and golds.

The cool of the shadows is something I wish to never know.

In an attempt to fix or perfect my nails

I made them worse.

So I should have been happy as I was

stop stretching my worries and my purse.

I’m nauseas now, worried and fatigued.

Don’t know how I feel about who and what I’m planning to see.

I’ve been away on this adventure 

For a little less than two creations.


This is one of those poems where I’m not even sure what it means.

Written in April of 2012

Marina Frances Coddaire

October, 31st, 2012

While I should be spending this Halloween making positive and exciting memories with my friends, I will probably be spending most of it in my dorm room writing pages of my Game Of Thrones spec script for Writing for Television class.

You know what? I’m ok with that. I think it will be a good use of my time, and I’m not too stressed out about it anymore (or at the moment anyway), because luckily I don’t have a philosophy quiz tomorrow! 

Now that was something that was making me panic.

I’m no where near ready for it. I need to read “The White Tiger” (he wanted us to finish this book over three classes! Pablo, I can’t read that fast!), and review Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense,” Rorty’s “Achieving Our Country,” and the film 1984. This work load reminds me of the plate my Grandfather eats at Thanksgiving year after year, always mentioning how it’s going to be too much for him and how he shouldn’t finish it, but the next time I look over the plate’s empty, and he’s sitting there silently for a little while before he looks over at me and tells me quietly that he’s eaten too much. Yea, I can eat (review) this much philosophy in one day. I was beyond relieved to find out that the quiz is going to be on Tuesday.


Indeed, I am elated. 

I’ve been watching 1984  for the last half hour or so and I’m not happy about it. It’s not a film one can follow easily. I don’t know what’s going on and I’m just like,

needless to say I’ll be searching “1984 Analysis” into google in the immediate future.

I love my narrative ethics class and my professor is insightful and inspiring, but this film and I are not connecting, and my time is precious, and I don’t want to go anywhere near the idea of pulling another all-nighter.

No. Never. Again. 

Anyway, this week at Emerson has been interesting. I’m looking forward to the weekend and catching up on all my shit.

I’m also going to get my ass to the fitness center (if you have a moment, drop me a note and badger me about whether or not I’ve followed through on this!); this needs to happen, not just because exercise makes me and my body feel great, and healthy, but also because I’ve gained five pounds since mid August. I blame the options available, and the choices I’ve made in the Paramount Cafe. Jamal, I love you! But perhaps we could get some healthy food on the menu? Eh, it’s mostly due to the stationary placement of my ass in this chair in front of my computer… I’M GONNA GET IT MOVING!