Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Danny’s Song

In youtube on July 28, 2008 at 1:09 pm

I guess this is the month for sentimental classics to seep into my head. Thanks in part to this scene from Wet Hot American Summer, I just had the worst song craving for ‘Danny’s Song’. So I YouTubed it and found….




But I mean, seriously, ‘Danny’s Song’ is The Jam, AMIRIGHT??


Laquan knows… people are the same wherever we go

In youtube on July 23, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I turned to YouTube with the intention of listening to ‘Ebony & Ivory’ because it got stuck in my head yesterday when Luke and I were over at my parents’ for dinner.

So anyway I find the video and am delighted by this comment:

And for your own enjoyment:

Foreign Policy’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals

In academia, anthropology, popular culture on July 22, 2008 at 4:22 am

So Foreign Policy magazine finally released their readers’ choice of the top 20 public intellectuals out of a list of 100. I am sorry to say that m’boy Jürgen came in a very close 22nd, while my other love Slavoj was #25- right before Havel [These lovely-and lovable!- post-Marxists clock in significantly ahead of I-Eat-Douche-for-Breakfast Friedman]. Of course I am going to be honest with you and say that I don’t really respect Foreign Policy as a publication. Back when I was still an IR dweeb circa age 18 I was a Foreign Affairs reader- the journal-like appeal, I guess. Anyway, we all know that I think IR and foreign policy are bull-caca operations so I’m not going into detail on that. I just want to make some comments on the top 20 choices, and the choices in general:

Yusuf el-Qaradawi: I can’t even pretend that I’m not a Muslim Brotherhood fan because I would be LYING. Ergo, an American ‘academic’ [personally I don’t consider FP all that academic, but still!] recognition of his worth and value as a public intellectual in Egypt is pretty awesome. Same goes for Amr Khaled and Tariq Ramadan. Funny enough, I’ve had pseudo-crushes on all of these men at one time or another.

Aitzaz Ahsan: swoon!

Mahmood Mamdani: well thank GOD that an anthropologist made it onto this list. This is just validating on so many personal levels. Mamdani is brilliant and does wonderful, wonderful work.

Shirin Ebadi: of course she deserves this recognition. An inspiring woman.

Noam Chomsky: linguist schminguist. You can drool over his activism all you want, I still would wipe my butt with Deep Structure. [But do you want a treat? If you don’t want a treat than don’t click here.] Is he as endearing to me as he was when I was 16? Hell, no. Do I discredit him for this? Nah.

Bernard Lewis: ‘Hmm,’ I said. ‘What is more disturbing? The fact that Samuel Huntington is in the top 28th percentile of this list, or the fact that Bernard Lewis made it all the way up to #13?’ I’m still not sure, I can be sure of only one thing: If I could kick Bernard Lewis in the balls with nary a consequence, I would.

Umberto Eco– I love that three novelists made it up here, a good acknowledgment of the importance of the fiction writer in reflecting the intellectual climate. Orhan Pamuk and Mario Vargas Llosa deserve equal applause. Just one query: the lady writers? You has them?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali– eeeeeeh. Have never liked her. There are so many good, Islam-positive thinking women out there that I don’t understand why they have to only focus on polemicists ALL THE TIME. Just helps to facillitate more Otherisation and Difference Making regarding the over-exoticised ‘Islam and the West’. [again, thanks, BERNARD.]

Amartya Sen– It is no secret that I adore this man. Same to Richard Dawkins. Bravo, mostly.

All in all, a solid list, and I can’t express enough my pleasure that so many Muslims made it to the top 20. This was a really delightful thing to see and a good acknowledgment of the restructuring of knowledge to include a Muslim and Islamic canon in the new millennium. It’s about time, I always say. A shout-out to my de facto boss lady Drew Gilpin Faust [#52], but I’m not saying I like Harvard’s gentrification intentions towards my ‘hood. I’m the only person who doesn’t think Christopher Hitchens is God, because I don’t think God is a misogynist, so I find his #27 ill-deserved. Mr. Hitchens, as Mr. Dawkins has proven, atheists can be endearing! You, my friend, are not! And you know? Even with powerhouses like Martha Nussbaum and Samantha Power in there, there still weren’t enough women. I know that there are a number of female public intellectuals out there who should have been on this list [Lila Abu-Lughod. Nancy Scheper-Hughes. Gayatri Spivak. JUDITH BUTLER, FOR GOD’S SAKE!] and this makes me, oh, pretty pissed. I guess it is to be expected that a readership that would elect Samuel “Have you seen my keys?” Huntington at #28 would be curmudgeonly and jingoist enough to not vote for a lady. The Academy, after all, is for men to circle jerk their great Socratic ideas with each other! No Girls Allowed!

The moral of this story is that if you want your children to take interest in normal, healthy, American things, you should enroll them on an organized sports team instead of in theatre and Model UN.


The Ol’ Allston Scramble

In Allston, Boston on July 22, 2008 at 1:09 am

Within about, oh, let’s guess conservatively, four months? of living with five other people in a group house on Pratt Street*, I decided that I am really, really done with group houses. My kingdom for a non-sticky kitchen floor, for a futon free of the scent of 15-year-old crust punk**! Easy enough: My roommate Dianna is a yuppie who still likes to have a good time and is the best thing that Craigslist has ever brought me, and my cousin Allison lives with these retardedly ill-socialized girls [we are expecting their most recent interaction to be up on Passive Aggressive Notes any day now] who don’t even drink beer, so since we all get along we decided to live together.

Easy enough, except that, whilst I’m unopposed to trying other ‘hoods on, Dianna and Allison have this fierce, fierce loyalty to Allston. Which I don’t blame. Allston is a student ghetto, to be sure, but it also has an abundance of delightful cuisines all within walking distance, and is gritty and rock-‘n’-roll and charming in it’s emaciated, tattooed, asymmetrical haircut way. Seriously, upon first moving here I remarked to Mia that I felt like I was living in motherfuckin’ Williamsburg, but I can’t say anything outsider-y anymore because I’m dating a bike messenger who rides fixed [go ahead, laugh at me. I’m still the best dressed]. So I’m happy to follow suit in this ‘hood loyalty. I like the community A LOT, and I like that my restaurateurs know that I like it very spicy and that my bar waitresses know that I want a pitcher of Allagash White and that local folk know of our [Dianna’s, Allison’s, my] penchant for Scrabble.

So. Apartment hunting. Trolling Craigslist [per usual]. Nothing is going to be anywhere near as cheap as the rickety, band-practice, freezing-in-winter situation that I’m in now, and for good reason. It’s almost August which means it is damn straight high time for us to find a place. And? We’ve subjected ourselves to the yearly Allston Scramble. It’s a mad dash for nice apartments and it’s full of douchey ex-frat realtors who keep telling us that our low rent options are unfeasible and sign now sign now sign now to avoid the rush! Dianna and Allison have handled this all with grace and aplomb but I find it difficult [being a known ball-cutter doesn’t help] to go from a situation where I rented from the two best owner/landlords to dealing with these kindof heinous stuffed shirts who are getting obscenely rich from the yearly scramble for housing. It’s just not right. I’m happy to say that we found a radicool place for a reasonable price with a delicious deck, but house searching and dealing with these realtors has been a certifiable nightmare. I plan on throwing the housewarming party to end all parties as a cathartic way to get rid of all the angst that this summer has thrown at me.

There is, of course, a part of the Allston Scramble that I do know and love, and this is the shitshow that is September 1st. The streets will be filled with feasts- that is, bookshelves, desks, tables, and all manner of housewares. The upside of living in a student ghetto? Free furniture.

*Those friends who are non-locals: this is Allston’s most notorious party street. I did not know this upon moving in.

**I wish that I was making this up.

Old People

In overheard on my g-chat on July 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Old people who say they don’t know how to use technology are stupid. Right now I am G-Chatting with my 83-year-old grandpa. He was using the internet before I was.

Edit: Or, right now I’m G-Chatting with my 12-year-old brother on our grandpa’s account. TRICKED.

5:46 PM Grandpa: Hello Annie, this is your grandpa. How’s your new apartment?
me: hi grandpa!
it is nice but we don’t move in until september!
5:47 PM Grandpa: I remember when I was your age I lived in an apartment!
me: in jamaica plain?
5:48 PM Grandpa: No in San Diego California
me: i didn’t know you lived in san diego!
5:49 PM Grandpa: Yes I lived there from age 21 to 24
5:50 PM im just kidding! this is really jonathan! 😀
Grandpa: lol out loud
Whatever. I still stand by my point that old people who don’t adapt to technology are stupid. Just like I will be stupid when I don’t let my grandchildren drive me around in their hybrid hover-cars. If cars still exist.