Sunday Reading for the Gods

The ICC World Twenty20 is currently underway in South Africa. It is exciting and exhilarating and droves of fans are watching this most amazing and necessary rejuvenating elixir pumped into the staid, old, decrepit body of Cricket. Or so they tell me. I really cannot be bothered. Apparently the India-Pakistan match ended in a tie which is resolved with a “bowl-out”. A bowl-out. India won the match “3-0”. ˈdəbəlˌyoō. tē. ef.

A lot of my cricket playing happened in the short-form [25 overs a side] and we never had a bowl-out. A bowl-out sounds like some type of TV-producer inspired madness – oh wait, the ICC rules clearly state that “the host television broadcaster shall be consulted as to which end of the ground the bowlers should bowl from”. Ye Gods. Bring on the cheerleaders.

  • At some point, I will like to read and review Lilla’s The Still-Born God. Until then, you can see what NYT’s Goldstein thinks of it. Judging from the excerpt, I am disinclined to take kindly to Lilla’s claim of exceptionalism – in regards to both the American experience of God and politics and the Islamic world in general.
  • Another review worth reading is Megan Marshall’s A Life Less Ordinary on Linda Colley’s The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History: “The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh” is a dazzling performance of historical scholarship that reveals just enough of what Colley describes in her acknowledgments as “the ordeal of tracking Elizabeth Marsh” to allow readers the sense that they too are on the trail of this compulsively itinerant woman.”
  • Ian Buruma, in the NYRB, reviews the papa neocon’s latest, “me, why would they listen to you?
  • Sanjay Subrahmanyam is in the LRB, reviewing a couple of recent books that look delightfully snark-worthy. I don’t know what he says, because I don’t have a subscription. If anyone does, do send me a pdf. And if you do, also send me the essay done by Bernard Porter a few weeks back in the LRB. Good deal? Also in LRB is Perry Anderson’s Depicting Europe – which you can, and should, read.
  • Any CM readers want to do a book club on David Leavitt’s The Indian Clerk? Maybe Bloomsbury USA can throw a couple of review copies our way? eh?
  • Chicago has played host to the annual ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) forever but I have never attended. But after reading Samaha’s accounts – I especially recommend Invasion of the ISNA Deaniacs – maybe, I should have gone this year.
  • And finally, Bill O’Reilly is making sense of it all.

Author: sepoy

what is the vertiginous chapati saying to me?

8 thoughts on “Sunday Reading for the Gods”

  1. Interrupting all the serious politics: India v Pakistan final! Howzat?! Still bored with it?

    Please gods let it not end in another bowl out though.

  2. ““The only way to discourage Islamist extremism in Pakistan in the long run is through democracy.” Hey, Economist, they didn’t listen to me, why would they listen to you?”

    Sepoy, where have you been? Besides the Economist, EVERYONE knows that democracy will counteract extremism [close sarcasm tags].

    Let me explain my snark: I was told by a well known figure in Pakistani politics(who shall remain unnamed)that everyone in the US- both in political and mass media circles- knows that Mush needs to go and there needs to be democracy. According to this person, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind in the US that democracy will counteract extremism. Apparently, John Edwards was just joshing with us when the NYT quoted him as saying that you can’t let democracy reign in Pakistan because of all the fundies.

    Then, this person told me off about how I don’t know what I’m talking about when I brought up a series of NYT articles which argue (or insinuated) that democracy is just not fit for some countries like Pakistan, and then said person hung up on me.

  3. Re Lilla: ‘Christian political theology encouraged the development of Enlightenment progressiveness the way that runaway mitosis encourages the discovery of cancer cures.’, not to mention ‘Some readers may want to challenge Lilla’s inference regarding Christian specificity and the limits of the lessons of the Enlightenment. Contemporary Japan and India, among other non-Christian countries, have also embraced the Great Separation. It’s not so clear that the Christian West is exceptional in anything except for first proposing the answer that has gradually gained momentum almost everywhere except in the Islamic Middle East.’
    um, yeah

  4. Re His toughness problem ….. and ours

    ‘Podhoretz points out that religious terrorism is less the result of poverty than of political oppression. As long as millions of Muslims are ruled by dictators, terrorism will grow apace. The neocon strategy, adopted by the US administration, is to “drain the swamps,” to get rid of terrorism by democratizing the Middle East.’

    I think it would be pertinent to re-visit this essay by Eqbal Ahamd

    Terrorism: Theirs and Ours
    By Eqbal Ahmad
    (A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998)

    http://www.sangam.org/ANALYSIS/Ahmad.htm

  5. Two things: 1, bowl outs are stupid, and 2, nothing beats Test cricket. Glad that’s settled.

    But still, Twenty20 is perfect entertainment and I love it to bits. And Pakistan just beat the Aussies to go through to the Quarter finals! (I also love free live TV streaming through the internet…)

  6. Frequent opportunities for LRB thievery = one of the things I miss most about Oxford common rooms. But in any case, I am rather interested to hear what you yourself might have to say about the Guha and the Nussbaum books.

    also, bookclub: yes.

  7. 20/20 is an affront to cricket. Actually despite being a child of the ODI age I must say it never managed to equal test cricket for me, though the good thing about post-ODI test matches was that so many more of them had results….

    It isn’t about nostalgia, it’s also about the fact that prodigies like Muhammad Asif notwithstanding, there isn’t much for the bowler to do in most ODIs today, and it’s embarrassing to see bowlers in the 20/20s.

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