books, a movie and articles

Margaret Atwood had a great op-ed piece in Wed NYT (yes, I’m just getting around to reading wednesday’s paper on friday AM. It’s been a rough week.) “A Matter of Life and Debt.”  Here’s a snippet:

[W]e’re deluding ourselves if we assume that we can recover from the crisis of 2008 so quickly and easily simply by watching the Dow creep upward. The wounds go deeper than that. To heal them, we must repair the broken moral balance that let this chaos loose.

If you’re interested, read the whole piece. It’s not too long.

Recently Eileen and I watched the DVD “My Son the Fanatic.”

The screenwriter is Hanif Kureishi who is also an English novelist of note. He has been writing novels and screenplays for quite a while. One of his subjects is the relationship between the English cultures and the Indian cultures as typified by interesting human characters. The idea of immigrants versus natives (whatever the fuck that means) is a controversial topic in many parts of the world and Kureishi has been using this idea as a foil for narrative for a while. I think he can write sentences, dialogue and tell a story. I am reading his first novel, “The Buddha of Suburbia” [1991] and he seems to see English life through a lense similar to my hero Anthony Burgess.

I also have been turning to the short stories of Irvine Welsh in his “the acid house” as an antidote to too much phoniness and mediocrity in my immediate experience. It helps. 

And then there was this in Maureen Dowd’s wed op-ed about Colin Powell’s recent expression of sanity:

He told Tom Brokaw that he was troubled by what other Republicans, not McCain, had said: “ ‘Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

Powell got a note from Feroze Khan this week thanking him for telling the world that Muslim-Americans are as good as any others. But he also received more e-mails insisting that Obama is a Muslim and one calling him “unconstitutional and unbiblical” for daring to support a socialist. He got a mass e-mail from a man wanting to spread the word that Obama was reading a book about the end of America written by a fellow Muslim.

“Holy cow!” Powell thought. Upon checking, he saw that it was a reference to Fareed Zakaria, a Muslim who writes a Newsweek column and hosts a CNN foreign affairs show. His latest book is “The Post-American World.”

from Moved by Crescent by Maureen Dowd

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