Yes, We Have No Bananas and No Qualms
Yes I am temporarily reneging on my promise that this would not be a kitty blog. See below.
culture, literature, philosophy, film, and land wars in Asia
Yes, We Have No Bananas and No Qualms
George W. Bush, meet Andrew Ross
Chris's Political Science Lesson for the Day
Chris's Lit Crit Lesson for the Day
War and Politics
Bill Wiseman Drafted the Law Allowing Lethal Injections, Then Lived to Regret It [Davidsonians in the News]
Roger H. Brown, Davidson graduate, is First Non-Member of Berk Family to become President of Berklee College of Music [Davidsonians in the News]
Pithy Flaubert Criticism
P.D.Q. Bach & Peter Schickele The Jekyll & Hyde Tour [Atlanta Event]
"Madras on Rainy Days" by Samina Ali [Atlanta Event]
Madras on Rainy Days is a striking novel from a new voice in fiction, Samina Ali, the first Muslim Indian woman to be published in the U.S. Set against the backdrop of the ancient city of Hyderabad and mounting Hindu-Muslim tensions, the novel lyrically evokes the complexities of life behind the chador, the black cloak and head covering worn by Muslim women.
Ali's own experience as a woman raised in both the U.S. and in India closely mirrors that of her protagonist, Layla. Like her main character, Ali reluctantly agreed to an arranged marriage only to find her mate had compromised something as well, his sexual freedom. In "Madras on Rainy Days", she deftly explores the taboo of homosexuality within the Indian Muslim community, as well as the conflicts over freedom of thought and expression that many modern Muslims face.
Ali was born in Hyderabad and was raised there and in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Oregon. She lives in San Francisco with her son.
More on Academia
The labels ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ take on new and peculiar meanings in Academia. For instance, I believe in affirmative action, increasing taxes on the rich, socialized medicine, I am pro-legalized abortion, hold Christianity to be institutionalized ignorance, and donate to the ACLU. In all you could say I am pretty left wing. Except when I was a grad-student in Classics.
Then I was called at various times a Nazi, a Fascist, compared to the French Aristocracy prior to the revolution, and labelled ‘arch-conservative’ more than once. Why? I rejected relativism, ridiculed deconstructionism, was in favor of the traditional Canon as core reading in the Humanities, had the audacity to point out the many egregious historical errors that certain Black Studies and Women’s Studies professors made (the former blatantly making stuff up about Egypt, the latter Crete). I also ‘proved’ I was a right-winger by explaining the etymology of the word ‘history’, after someone used the term ‘herstory.’
Intellectual conservatism and political conservatism are quite different things. Intellectual conservatives can actually manage in Academia if they have the stomach for it. Political conservatives… to redraw blunt lines mentioned above, they are generally either stupid or selfish. If stupid, they won’t make it in Academia. If selfish, they’ll recognize they won’t make money in Academia.
Bill seeks feng shui buildingsIf Arnold vetoes this, I promise to stop making fun of him.
A California lawmaker thinks buildings in the state should be more light and airy to allow for positive energy flow, and maybe have more mirrors.
San Francisco Democrat Leland Yee, assistant speaker pro tempore of the State Assembly, said on Friday that he has introduced a resolution urging the state architect and California cities to adopt design standards that allow for the use of feng shui principles.
Get the full CNN story
I’ve never believed that writers had to be superior in anything, except writing. The fundamental, if only implied, message of much literary criticism is self-righteous, and it takes this form: “T.S. Eliot is a homophobe and I am not. Therefore, I am a better person than Eliot. Imitate me, not Eliot.” To which the proper response is: “But T.S. Eliot could really write, and you can’t. Tell us truly, is there no filth in your soul?”