Mittwoch, 19. September 2007

Chance encounters are best

I last saw Naomi Klein at the Edinburgh International Book Festival a few years back. That year, Starbucks had a monopoly on selling coffee at the Book Festival, which left coffee addict Naomi in a bit of a lurch. Her wonderful husband, Avi, however, traipsed through Edinburgh’s new town to find appropriately non logo-ed coffee (a task which would be even more difficult now, as Starbucks have turned Edinburgh into a masterful example of the kind of ‘clustering’ that No Logo describes).

Last night, I wondered into Barnes and Noble in New York. I was just passing time, seeing what’s new and what America is reading. I ended up in the CD section listening to Suzanne Vega’s new album (which isn’t bad). When I took the headphones off, I heard a voice I recognized. I turned around and realized that there was a crowd gathered in the corner of the store. Seconds later, I was enthralled in Naomi Klein explaining her new book: ‘Shock doctrine’. It was a powerful talk, made all the more sweet by it being such luck for me to have hit on the right corner of Manhatten at the right time. That’s the power of chance. Stralsund, for example, to this day is one of my favourite cities in Germany. Not just because it is indeed a beautiful place, but also because I chanced upon Stralsund when I had a monthly rail network pass. I picked a place at random on the map – and hit a gem. Just like tonight.

P.S. Apparently, the German press is attacking Naomi's book. I shall read the book. Once I am done, I am ready to critique the critiques ...

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