This was unreasonably hard to find but I was
miserable until I did. The Episcopalians had the
only copy in town. She asked me if I was clergy;
I got the discount anyway.
Athens and Jerusalem. Athens really took a dive today and all are agog but nobody's actually reporting what's on the tape. All their banks are down 15% because, as it turns out, when the guys in the Finger of God decided to cut Greece to junk, they also cut these banks out of the ECB overnight window. The ECB will only take high-grade paper as collateral and now Greek banks only have trash to offer. The Finger is always accurate but its timing is always . . . inconvenient. Now the ECB has to decide whether to take trash or let the Greek banking system seize up. Either way the euro decays, but in one world the banks get up again and in the other they don't.
It's funny, the WSJ called the Greeks "the oldest country of old Europe" once but the last time Europe tried a universal currency Greece was still new on the map, wrestled out of the Orient through an act of Byronic will. Greece had to petition to join the Latin League. There are all these little wars that nobody remembers, members of the League shifting position as the borders set. Scandinavia had its own currency union but there's no way you'll get them to try that again, except of course for perverse Denmark.
I've been thinking about these things and about the Seleucids, their precise heraldry and how the Apollo-Dionysus cult was absorbed into the Parthian Empire, Zarathustra was a neoplatonist too after his fashion. All these things are in the air and it smells like 1994. And Pandora says, she says--
The things we forget