Monthly Archives: February 2011

Post-partum depression for the novelist

I devoted so much care and attention to my book.  Those final obsessive checks and minute adjustments, and now it sits, ignored, for days at a time, generating guilt and despair. I’m trying to get it published.  I’ve written three … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 2 Comments

Roll over Ravi Shankar – outsiders play the blues in India

The Washington Post has a story today that should gladden the hearts of blues lovers and anyone who really doesn’t like Bollywood music.  The story introduces  Indian blues singer, Tipriti “Tips” Kharbangar, from India’s wild tribal northeast.  The sound of … Continue reading

Posted in India, Music | Leave a comment

Keeping your blood pressure up

Need to sharpen your outrage over the rape of this country by Wall Street or turn up your sense of disgust with the supine Democrats? Rolling Stone journalist and author of the wonderful history of the financial melt-down, Griftopia, has … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Call out the Guard. Where are the Pinkertons when we need them?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s threat to use the National Guard against state workers has a great deal of symbolic meaning beyond simple-minded demagoguery.  The last time the Guard was used against striking public employees was in 1968 during the Memphis … Continue reading

Posted in Labor, Politics | 1 Comment

Islam and Democracy

This story from Time Magazine about one of the leaders of the pro-democracy movement in Yemen, Tawakul Karman, should at least give pause to those who believe that Islam and democracy are incompatible.  Ms. Tawakul, a journalist, is one of … Continue reading

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Writers and the Dark side – a call to action, sort of

Most of us are writers out of high motives, the desire to make art and speak  truth, that sort of thing.  The potential for evil-doing is not what draws us.   Admittedly, the incentives to evil  aren’t usually as strong as … Continue reading

Posted in Writing | 6 Comments

Erotic Subversion, Communal Poetry of Pashtun Women (Part 2)

The poems reproduced below were collected by Sayd Bahodine Majrouh author of “Songs of Love and War – Afghan Women’s Poetry” The landay which means “little one” in Pashtun, is composed and sung by women when they are gathered, usually … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Poetry | 2 Comments

Qat chewing in Yemen – gateway to enlightenment or counter-revolutionary opiate of the masses?

You have probably noticed that the revolution in Yemen hasn’t gone quite as far as it did in Tunisia or Egypt. An article in the Washington Post says that the Yemeni national pastime of Qat chewing is a possible reason … Continue reading

Posted in Yemen | 3 Comments

Pashtun Women’s Poetry – Erotic Subversion (Part One)

Whatever our views on US involvement in Afghanistan, most of us could agree that the lives of the majority of women in that country are awful and probably aren’t going to get much better, no matter how the conflict ends.   … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Poetry | Leave a comment