Tiger, Dragon & Elephants

On Time’s cover this week, I like how India, the perennial bride, is also the perennial call center employee. Also, it is the un-China. Oh, and in India, elephants dance. I don’t read Time or Newsweek so please fill me in here, what is the anthropomorphization of America in business-speak? Is it the eagle? Or is it only the East that gets demoted to the Zoo and the Harem? Oh wait. I answered that.

This Spectred Isle

Kumuda kindly drew my attention to historians Eric Hobsbawm, Niall Ferguson, Priyamvada Gopal, Linda Colley and Robert Beckford’s appearence on BBC’s Start The Week. They were to be “examining how Britain and other countries around the world have been changed by their experience of empire…discussing whether Britain should apologise and make reparation for its imperial past or glory in it, and asking whether the twenty-first century will see the birth of new empires.” You can listen in on the above link.

The program is related to BBC’s This Sceptred Isle: Empire – A 90 Part History of the British Empire. The TSI site has excellent profiles, maps, timelines etc. about the British Empire [def. some stuff to archive for class-material]. Most intriguingly, for me, it has a Send your Stories section. Below the fold, I highlight some that caught my attention.

update: So…I finally listened to the show. Niall Ferguson gets it…exactly wrong” said Gopal [author of Literary Radicalism In India: Gender, Nation And The Transition To Independence] near the end of the show. Just about on everything, I might add. Ferguson starts off with arguing that World Cup Football would not be possible without the British Empire. Hobsbawn corrects him. And it goes, well, uphill from there. Ferguson’s shining moment could be when he asserted that the indigenous nationalist struggles, though well-meaning, got nothing done – and that the British Empire chose to give up their empire only because it was drained after fighting the Nazis. Obviously, to those from the colonies – Gopal and Beckford – this was a highly insulting claim. Eric Hobsbawn did have the best lines near the end as he tried to sum-up.

Rob links to an incensed open letter written by Priyamvada Gopal in the comments. Worth a read. To be fair, though, her letter is a tad unfair as well – she calls Robert Beckford “the token black man” [ “Empire landed on me” was the best line of the show, uttered by Beckford]. As for the overall show, it is worth a listen, if you like banging your head on the wall and that sorta thing.

Continue reading “This Spectred Isle”

Nomad Fatwa I: Life

In a shameless attempt to garner more content for CM [and also to recycle some oldies but goodies], I decided to sit at the cool kids table set-up by eteraz of eteraz-fame. “The Nomad Fatwas is an alliance of free-thinking blogs and a carnival simultaneously. Every two weeks myself and nine other blog-friends of mine will circulate one older post each on a theme chosen by one of the Nomad Fatwas members. You can read more about the genesis and history of The Nomad Fatwas here. Like a carnival but not.

The first installation with entries on life choosen for your reading pleasure is here. I will add my own blurbs to future installments but for now, I am just going to list the authors and their posts: City of Brass ‘s Maximizing Human Potential; Avari ‘s Dig Six Feet Down To Paradise; Feministe ‘s Feminists Finding Love; Ambivablog ‘s Significant (?)Coincidence; Aqoul ‘s Saudi Arabia, Lesbianism, Other Coping Mechanisms; Pickled Politics ‘s Outsourcing the Oldies Back Home; Digitally Arranged ‘s God and Poverty; Sig Carl Alfred ‘s Tragedy Of the Lost; Towards God Is Our Journey ‘s Prattle From The Party III; Unwilling Self-Negation ‘s I am a Dark Elf; and, finally, from me, First Day Of Summer.

Enjoy. Also, I will be hosting the next History Carnival on July 1st. Consider yourself warned [looks at Rob].