Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winterson on How Money Shouldn't be the Most Important Thing In the World

Jeanette Winterson has a column in The Times. In this piece, she suggests a reading list for capitalists, for whom money seems to be the only thing that matters. The way she begins the essay just cracks me up:

A FRIEND OF MINE HAD A TERRIBLE dream in which she was marooned on an island and menaced by penguins, pelicans and too-big ladybirds. Fortunately, she had a good Jungian analyst, who pointed out that these oppressive creatures were all books.

Read it right to the end:

My godchild Eleanor, who is 11, recently built a virtual Hell. Fair enough, she had been tackling Dante in a prose translation, and we talked quite a bit about how society develops its moral and ethical code, which for the sake of civilisation, has to be more than a penal code.

Eleanor's Hell swarmed with streets of people ignoring each other or throwing up (she lives in Spitalfields in London). There's an abattoir, Bernard Matthews turkeys, a weapons plant called Protection, a child-labour sweatshop and its fancy high street outlet, and...Northern Rock. When I asked her what these things had in common, she said that Hell is a place where nobody gives a stuff about how much unhappiness they cause, as long as they are having a good time and/or making money.

Her god-daughter is such a dear. :)

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