August 2004

Ingenious Puppetry

Our mutual friend, Paul K., had the good sense to go on a trip to Poland with Franz Kočka and document the experience. Franz is an excellent tour guide to Eastern Europe who had me in stitches. Please go see the pictravelogue here. My favorite entry is this: "He will strive all his life without [...]

Which Way to Mecca?

One more notch in my procrastination belt, I finished the syllabus last night. The first class is tomorrow. What a sad man I am. I have to admit to some serious nervous activity but I pulled through in the end. Once, I had the class structure up, assigning the readings was a lot easier. It [...]

Wish I Was There

The Yes Prime Minister

Shaukat Aziz is now PM of Pakistan. He was elected to the post at a National Assembly session with 191 votes and no opposition. Which is funny, because, for once in Pakistani history there was the most unified opposition candidate, Javed Hashmi, a man incarcerated by the General for "sedition". However, Hashmi was not allowed [...]

Empire Struck Back

Is it wrong of me to think that Arundhati Roy is super cute? I think it is. Anyways, she is visiting US (I guess they forgot to cancel her visa) and gave a speech entitled Public Power in the Age of Empire. The speech, in line with her recent public discourse, is largely a challenge [...]

Keep Out

As long as we are talking about censorship, I wanted to quickly comment on the Tariq Ramadan case. You may or may not be aware of him - a European intellectual whose work negotiates the twin worlds of European secularism and Islamic philosophy. For all necessary information about him and the charges of anti-Semitism against [...]

The Tipping Point

My theory about the upcoming elections has been that the country cannot remain in such close contestation for too long - that something will happen that will prove to be the tipping point and, well, Kerry will win in a landslide. I believe that (barring any "revelations"), the presidential debates will be that point. Think [...]

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