Distress Signals how the poor influence the rich

Distress Signals

First, a recipe. Find some lettering, carefully painted or printed on something solid, like wood or metal, an old nameplate, maybe, Then get to work on it with sandpaper, until the edges of the letters vanish here and there, and the entire surface is pitted, scratched and otherwise damaged. Now dust it off and step back to admire the new urgency of the letters; meaningless text now animated with meaning, as if each gash and speck tells a story.

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The vision-mission exercise

“We’re away on a mission-vision exercise,” said the client’s voice on the phone, speaking Hindi. ‘Vision’ sounded like what philologists call an echo word: a handy utterance meant to downplay the echoed word—mission, in this instance. Like we say ‘tax-vax’ or ‘college-shollege”. Mission-vission.

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