:::this is the way the world ends:::

Three Things I’d Like You to Know


We have talked briefly about fasting on this blog, but never in depth. This February 24th, I am going to participate in a Thirty-Hour-Famine. This amounts more to a hunger strike than a fast, which implies a more spiritual journey. I will be going thirty hours without food in order to raise money for Worldvision activities in Uganda. I am once again calling upon my friends and family to donate to this cause by the date above. Checks can be made to WorldVision for any amount. I will say that I will cut a check for five dollars more than the largest check I get from any of you.

Two: Recently, I have been reading some essays by John Ruskin. Oddly enough, I searched out one of his essays, because Gandhi mentioned it having changed his life (come to find out, so did Proust, Tolstoy, and William Morris). The essay is called “Unto This Last”. It is a four part, medium length essay expounding on the inherent problems of England’s capitalist economy. I have read things by John Berger challenging the notions of capitalism as well, but Ruskin’s is more direct, more reasoned, and oddly more contemporary. It is written in high Victorian language, which is beautiful and difficult to understand. Ruskin is rapidly becoming one of my favorite historical essayists. Many economists after Ruskin have felt compelled to answer to his charges in this essay.

Three: Shoot. I forgot what number three was.


  1. Shotts



    Terrific. I hope you’ll post about your experience with the thirty-hour fast and the parameters of the hunger strike (are you allowed a certain food (crackers, matzo) or liquids) and the outcome of your fundraising efforts.


    I found this link to the Ruskin essay online:


    Sounds very interesting.


    I hope you think of the third thing you want us to know.


  2. J.E.

    One: This is exciting Ned. Have you completed a fast this long before? A few years ago, I got on a kick where I did a 24 hour fast every Tuesday. I drank only water and lemon water. After I month or two I stopped the practice because I didn’t have a good reason to continue. It was just some random ideal that entered my head and set up shop for a while. Something to do with purity no doubt. Raising money and awareness (and doing this with a group of people I assume) are much better motivators. Good luck.

    Two: All I know about John Ruskin is David Pye’s The Nature and Art of Workmanship. In this book, published in 1968, Pye critiques Ruskin’s, “On the Nature of Gothic.” If you haven’t read it already I highly recommend it.

    Three: Great to see all this activity on the blog. High quality stuff.

    Four: I’ll be posting and commenting very infrequently for the next month because:

    A: My computer is in the shop. Something to do with faulty capacitors and Chinese industrial espionage.

    B: At work, we’re loading in three different shows, Marat/Sade, Turn of the Screw, and Slaughter City (which we haven’t started building yet) in three consecutive weeks starting next week.

    C: Liz and I have decided to put our house on the market so we can get back to Austin while the gettn’s good. Our realtor has asked us to repaint most of the house and refinish the floors. We’re having an open house on February 25. Until then I’ll be averaging five hours of sleep per night.

    See you on the flip side.

  3. Shotts

    J. E.–

    Good luck with the home improvements and with the real estate market. I hope good things come of the February 25 open house and the three shows.

    We’ll miss you in the meantime. Be easy with yourself.


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