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On reading The Economist

Many things stir memories of my father-in-law, recently passed. One of them is The Economist.

This is not your run-of-the-mill news magazine. Upon reading others, like Newsweek or Time, I usually feel the need for a shower, or some other form of ritual cleansing.

At least I feel like I’ve been had.

Not so with The Economist, a subscription to which has been an annual Christmas gift from Mr. Bastian to me for as long as I can recall.

So at this time of the year, I think once again of Bob Bastian, er, I mean, Mr. Bastian.

When I read The Economist, I’m visiting the faculty lounge at Oxford or Cambridge. I’m not spending a night at the Holiday Inn Express.

It's like I’m privy to a serious conversation -- with Brits, no less -- about whatever the subject might be.

Oh, they are snooty to be sure, but there's at least a sheen of serious analysis. There remains a scrim of commitment to genuine reportage, and on a satisfying range of topics.

I read about Asia weekly in The Economist, and about what's going on in the Arts.

Understandably, an Economist subscription costs more than others. And when Mr. Bastian passed away, one of my sisters-in-law said, “Well, sorry Dave, no more Economist for you.”

But Valerie and I have made a major life decision: we’re gonna pay for it on our own. So there.

You've gotta know what’s going on.


Acts 17. 21-23 All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas. Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To an Unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you...


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