Run, Rabbit II

I see that Amitav Ghosh had the misfortune of reviewing Updike’s The Terrorist in the WaPo. Ghosh has struck the pitch perfect note here:

With innumerable lives at stake, when Jack Levy finds himself faced with the task of giving Ahmad a reason to live and let live, he says: “Hey, come on, we’re all Americans here. That’s the idea, didn’t they tell you that at Central High? Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Jewish-Americans; there are even Arab-Americans.” Not a word about humanity, family, friendship, sport, poetry, love, laughter. It is as if a belief in American multiculturalism is the only good reason a human being could have for staying alive. Why indeed do the billions of non-Americans who walk this Earth refrain from blowing themselves up? I suspect that Updike really cannot see that they have any good reason not to.

This better not be up for any Bookers. Also, heh.

Now What

I am glad they got Zarqawi. Very glad. He was an evil terrorist who killed innocents in Iraq and Jordan. He was also a deliberately constructed and hyped one.

Mary Ann Weaver’s The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – soon to be the most linked article of the month – in The Atlantic spells it out: He continued, ‚ÄúThe Americans have been patently stupid in all of this. They‚Äôve blown Zarqawi so out of proportion that, of course, his prestige has grown. And as a result, sleeper cells from all over Europe are coming to join him now.‚Äù He paused for a moment, then said, ‚ÄúYour government is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.‚Äù

World Cup

Tony Karon’s excellent post should get you started on your path to world cup madness. Next, bookmark Soccer Blog and NYT’s World Cup ’06 blog or Guardian’s World Cup blog [what? no Weekly Standard World Cup blog?] and, via moacir, World Cup Blog – one for every team! Lastly, youtube has all the highlights you will ever want. Let me know if you have a good source of online fun.

At some point in the future, I will reminisce about my world cup watching pasts [saw Sweden-Brazil in the Pontiac Dome in ’94!] but for now, I would just like to point out that the lion w/ the gaping mouth football is, indisputably, the most disturbing mascot evah!

Open Calls

1. If you, or someone you know, works* on the All India Muslim League or on Muslim nationalism in India more generally or on any thing related to the people or events featured in the Muslim anticolonial movement in India, please contact me as soon as possible. We are planning a colloquium in Novemeber and I would like to extend an invitation for participation.

[* by works, I mean a current or recent graduate student in these here united states.]

2. I need to get my hands on a book published in Delhi [Farid Book Depot]. I was going to have pdcs get it for me BUT, if there are CM readers currently in Delhi or Lahore feeling generous: Sitara jo Toot Gaya: Tarikh-i Islam ke Mo’umr Jarnail Muhammad bin Qasim ki dastan-i jihad by Inayatullah and Altamash. There is either a two volume edition from the 80s or a 2004 single volume. Either will do fine. You will be thanked in stars.