Tag Archive: economics


Review by C.J. Bunce

The late great economics teacher Gordon Blenderman used a similar approach to Yanis Varoufakis’s back in the 1980s, along with the requisite readings from Samuelson: Prove that you understand theories of economics by writing a book review of classic novels, explaining the plots in purely economic terms.  Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece, a current member of the Greek parliament, and economics professor, uses an age-old tack in his new political science fiction novel, Another Now Varoufakis sees the banking/market crisis of 2008 as one of those key, fixed points in history that is the subject of many a parallel universe, alternate history, or multiverse tale.  As if digging into the circumstances behind the split into two worlds that occurred in the science fiction TV series Counterpart, the author leans hard into economics theory to hypothesize his idea of a better political structure than capitalism by building a parallel world that responded differently to its crises up to and including the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Snowpiercer train

WELCOME TO EARTH-4

A Weekly Column with J. Torrey McClain

I did not expect an eternal train ride, yet that’s exactly what Snowpiercer gave me.  Then it took a look at the plight of the less fortunate and the caste system that keeps those undesirables in the back of the train.  I didn’t expect action sequences that amazed me in their freshness and scope.  I saw a fantastic apocalyptic future look that had me guessing what would happen as it had me laughing and had me enthralled.

(If I wasn’t so spoiler adverse and had read CJ Bunce’s review of the graphic novel Snowpiercer then I might have expected the train ride to last forever.  However, reading his review now and checking out the graphic novel at Skylight Books after the movie tells me the two versions of the material explored separate stories.  Even with differences, I didn’t even check out the preview and looking back at the controversy on whether or not it would get a U.S. release, I have no clue how 20 minutes could have been removed from anywhere in the film.)

As good as the movie is, the setup keeps me thinking about the movie.  I love the beginning explanation for the apocalypse.  Global warming threatens to destroy the earth.  Scientists desperate for a solution try to cool down the planet.  They succeed too well.  The planet is now a land of ice and snow and the only people left alive are aboard the aforementioned train.

Snowpiercer class car

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