Thanks to my main man, Rajeev, we enjoyed a sunday afternoon at Soldier’s Field watching John Kitna decimate the Bears with his precision prayers. NFL is way more the carnival then any other sporting event – and perhaps much more taxing on the senses. Still, it seems though that watching a football game live is perhaps the only way to do it. My own national pastime, spotting Muhammad jerseys, was easily thwarted since apparently Urlacher jerseys are the only ones sold for legal tender. (Look for photos on my flickr site later).
- The author has made a point of pre-emptive strikes at his supposed-critics or worse built up straw-critics for fiery putdowns. Sanjay Subrahmanyam on V. S. Naipul.
- Malise Ruthven thinks about understanding Islam in the NYRB. Can I just note that not a single book, in that review, is actually written by a Muslim? Matter of fact, except for our friend Reza Aslan, I cannot think of any book by a believer put forth in any of our efforts to understand Islam. We insist on asking those who have rejected Islam or those who study Islam – critically.
- At least, Xtianity has no problems with a resplendent critique. Nor capitalism. Oops.
- “Doctorow is our Twain.”
- Shopping in Qandahar seems fun until you pause to think that someone in the armed forces wants to buy all of Disney’s catalog. Or how we would never have bombed the Middle East, if bargaining was allowed in the Mall of America.
- Speaking of Qandahar, if you haven’t seen Rick Shweder’s op-ed on anthropologists at war, you should. Of course, Shweder fails to point out American Anthropology has a rich tradition of helping carry out the unseemly task of imperialism – be it in the American West, in Africa or in the Pacific Islands. So what’s the fuss, now?
- And lastly, at the heel of ‘islamofacism’ week, is a cogent reminder about labels from historian François Furstenberg in the NYT.