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Le Morte d’Egypte

By on Oct 30, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

Excuse the title. I like the Camelot myths. I’ve never read the original Malory though and wasn’t quite so interested in it when I was a child. The whole knight in shining armor thing never quite caught my fancy. However, I was lucky enough, years later, to run into The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White’s wonderful take on the Arthurian myths, in the first volume, we see a young Arthur, slowly becoming aware of what Merlin’s oblique lessons were forcing him to understand. It is a key moment, and here it is, brutally shortened, for your benefit. It’s still a bit long for an excerpt, but it’s important, and if you give me your attention for a few minutes, you’ll see why it’s so important that you get a feel for how it unfolds… “I have been thinking,” said Arthur, “about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought...

A Bomber Called Mariam

By on Sep 26, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

They are taken with the woman in her pilot costume, they see her wearing her helmet, in their heads, they consider her as part of an ‘oppressed’ group, which is to say, Arab women, and they imagine her, flying in the air, as good a pilot as Maverick in Top Gun, and they imagine her dropping bombs on an aggressive crowd of (in their imaginations) undoubtedly bearded men. There’s nothing progressive about bombs. Bombs explode. They make a mess. When they go off, they very rarely damage only the intended victim. A bomb is the most primitive way to kill somebody. More often than not, it kills collectively, which is to say – unselectively. Unlike a sniper’s reticle – it doesn’t see faces. A bomb kills indiscriminately. A bomb does not know if the head that it’s ripping off belongs to a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a doctor, a nurse, a woman, or a child. It, there is no other way to say...

Starving for Justice

By on Sep 13, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

When we speak of the imprisoned protesters in Egypt, many of whom are now, and have been, on a hunger strike, many of us think of the physical pain itself; how hungry you get in the first few days, what you feel as your body starts adapting to the lack of food, and if it’s a complete hunger strike, the body’s slow trip towards finality. The physical pain is indeed, horrific, and, depending on how you strike, can be fatal, but, believe it or not – it is not the main issue – the human body, in the final analysis, adapts, and the end of this particular ‘adaptation’ is often death. The real issue here is the mental, intellectual, and spiritual anguish one must feel in order to resort to turning his own body into a megaphone by which he or she hopes to reach society… It is the anguish of a prisoner, who knows that he is unjustly imprisoned (because...

The Doomsday Hijab

By on Nov 30, 2011 in Politics | 1 comment

Several years ago I was sitting in a restaurant downtown. There were no prophetic utterances of ‘revolution’ or but my friend was expressing fears regarding Islamist control of Egypt. ‘What, exactly, are you worried about?’ I would ask. The Hijab. Alcohol was a second issue. My counter at the time was that if the government / leadership was actually honest, then the amount of good they could accomplish would by far exceed what I considered the mild inconveniences involved. If the Brotherhood would swoop in, I argued, run a non-corrupt, honest government, and actually channel the country’s resources to create better standards of living for millions now deprived of it several stages down along Maslow’s Pyramid – then who the hell am I to complain if I can’t have a drink? But, of course, that’s simplistic. It’s just as easy to...

July 8 : Reclaiming the Revolution

By on Jun 25, 2011 in Politics | 0 comments