R&B, Vulcan style

Speaking of intertexual experiments with pop culture icons (see my previous post on "The Superfriends and multiculturalism"), some genres just aren't meant to be mixed.  While sci-fi purists might find Star Trek intellectually and artistically wanting--let's face it, with the exception of the occasional allegory about contemporary affairs (e.g., the episodes that criticized America's involvement in the Vietnam war), most of STOS's plots were if truth be told formulaic and devoid … [Read more...]

Life: life’s greatest miracle

Am so busy at the moment that I'm having trouble matching my socks, much less finding the time to blog, so these snapshots will have to do for now.  (See Shabana's blog for more.)Alhamdulillah. Once again I'm reminded of how much I have to be grateful for and how the greatest of blessings are often the most seemingly mundane: love,  health, and family and friends. Suffice it to say that she's stolen my heart and changed my world.  With a barely audible toot of her little … [Read more...]

Update on the baby

Shabana reported yesterday on our jihad against the conventional wisdom in a medical establishment that seems more interested in keeping doctors' weekends open for golf than providing their patient medical care that is personalized to her needs, legitimate desires concerning her body and birthing experience, and the medical specifics of her pregnancy.  We received the full court press, with 3 different doctors trotting out every imaginable argument to scare us into inducing labor a week … [Read more...]

The Superfriends and multiculturalism

Those of you who grew up, as I did, watching "The Superfriends" will get a real kick out of this Flash animation of this brilliantly creative (not to mention downright intertextual) skit by Filipino comedian Rex Navarrete.  It's called "MARITESS vs the SUPERFRIENDS" and it casts some light on American race relations through the Superfriends' relationship with Maritess, their Filipino maid. [HT: Jeff Yang at SFGate.com] Even if you're not familiar with this beloved … [Read more...]

Gay marriage, the “polygamy” of 20th century America

Speaking of polygamy (see my recent post), there was a very interesting article by Cathleen Kaveny in Commonweal  last year tracing the parallels between our controversies today over the place of gay marriage in society and the debate over polygamy in 19th century America (i.e., before the Mormon Church abandoned the practice). I note for the record that, contrary to possible appearances, polygamy is not a preoccupation of mine.  I found this article when I happened to investigate a … [Read more...]

The benefits of being born in a beachside country

There's an intriguing article in openDemocracy.net ("Aiming for the sea" by George South) about the negative consequences for economic development of being landlocked.  We all know that the presence of natural resources often has a decisive impact on a country's fortunes--in some cases for the worse, though, as the tragic legacy of African diamonds and Arab oil shows; the main blessings for normal people of such easy-to-horde natural resources are often corruption and … [Read more...]

Homosexuality in Afghanistan

There's a really engrossing article in the LA Times, "Kandahar's Lightly Veiled Homosexual Habits", from 2002 on the coexistence of widespread homosexual practices with Afghanistan's infamously rigid "traditional" values.[HT: Saracen.nu] The most interesting thing is how they do not define it as homosexual, even though it sounds like some of these guys are very actively engaged in what in the US would be considered a gay lifestyle.  (Only the recipient, as it were, is … [Read more...]

Gay “special treatment” and Muslim “special treatment”

Came across an interesting statement in an excerpt of an interview from a Danish newspaper on the threat to all that is holy posed by Europe's increasing multiculturalism that should give homophobic Muslims pause.   [Reluctant HT:  Danske øjne på svenske forhold] The excerpt from the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, inexplicably translated into Swedish, is garden-variety alarmism over immigration and true multiculturalism (as opposed to the fake multiculturalism held up as a m … [Read more...]


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