Wednesday, September 10, 2008

catching up

Though I've been reading a lot as always, I've been too busy/lazy to post stuff on here, so I'll try to get caught up. Like half of these links came my way thanks to Hoda - mad props comrade!

Maurice Sendak's Concerns, Beyond Where the Wild Things Are - if you're not down with Maurice Sendak you are a piece of shit 2k8. Plus it turns out the dude is interesting as hell. (NY Times)

Ali Eteraz: The making of the Muslim left - God, Eteraz is such a tremendous douchebag! I can't believe I used to like his blog. His vision for a Muslim "left" sounds exactly what Bush (or at least Friedman) would envision. I don't have the energy to tear this article apart, so I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader; anyone smart enough to realize that the almighty "free market" is not the solution to all of life's problems should be able to handle it. In the words of Ramallah Underground, "amputate that invisible hand!" And a note to Ali Eteraz, if he ever sees this: polytheism is forbidden in Islam, so you have to choose between Allah SWT, the Lord of the Worlds, or your other god, Capital, the Lord of Profit, whom you seem to worship more.

'The Kite Runner' Critiqued: New Orientalism Goes to the Big Screen - a critical analysis of The Kite Runner as an example of native informancy that aids Islamophobic discourses in the U.S. (applying the theories of Dabashi, Keshavarz, et al, to The Kite Runner). I found the argument less compelling when applied to a book that I so greatly enjoyed (the movie was good too) rather than more blatant offenders like Reading Lolita in Tehran, but it did change the way I see Khaled Hosseini's work nonetheless. Oh well...A Thousand Splendid Suns kind of sucked anyway! For more on this theme, be sure to read Hamid Dabashi's important article Native informers and the making of the American empire, A Genre in the Service of Empire: an Iranian Feminist Critique of Diasporic Memoirs (several authors), and Fatemeh Keshavarz's book Jasmine and Stars: Reading More than Lolita in Tehran. The last, Jasmine and Stars, is not just an academic critique of the new Orientalism but a lively and engaging narrative, too. Highly recommended. (Kite Runner review from ZMag; I found it on a post at the blog "Progressive Muslims: Friends of Imperialism and Neocolonialism").

They know best - Golbarg Bashi (who contributed to the article "A Genre in the Service of Empire" mentioned above) criticizes the elitist atmosphere at Iranian Women's Studies Foundation conferences (

A modern Ottoman - on Fethullah Gülen, named the top intellectual in the world by an online poll (Prospect Magazine)

How Gülen triumphed - on the interesting Internet dynamics that led to the above result (Prospect Magazine)

Oil, Islam, and women - an argument that oil, not Islam, is responsible for the plight of women in the Middle East. It's an interesting perspective, but the article is far too short to make a serious argument. Food for thought, anyway. (Salon)

Inside Iran - a series of articles about Iran. They're well-written, but a rehash of the same tired subjects that have been covered over and over: the disparity between public and private life, the nuclear program, blogs, Ahmadinejad. Iran's such an incredible diverse and fascinating country, but why is so little written about, say, the bus drivers' unionization campaign, or the growing popularity of Korean soap operas in Iran, or Afghan poetry in Mashhad? I guess I should be thankful people are writing about Iran at all - when was the last time you read a decent article about Kyrgyzstan? (New Statesman)

Script change for neoliberalism - I've been trying to follow news and analysis of the proposed $700 billion bailout, but there's a lot to cover. This is just a short piece that makes the case for nationalizing healthcare, education, and other basic necessities, rather than failed businesses. I'll be digging deeper into SW's Economy department for some more in-depth articles. (Socialist Worker)


Jeff G said...

I think this is my favorite blog from among my friends. I'll be checking up, you better regularly update.

Alexander said...

Thanks Jeff! I'll try to update more. I'm gonna make it big. By 2011 my blog will have replaced Wikipedia in popularity.

Alex G. said...

maurice sendak sounds like an ok guy.

Alexander said...

Just OK? Where the fucking Wild Things Are, dude!