22 May 2008

We Are Scientists

Since this is Thursday and I'm trying to slowly get back into a groove of regular writing, I'm supposed to write about something music related. I don't have much to say about them, but I'm really enjoying the band We Are Scientists as of late. I heard their song, "Let's See It," on WXPN and it was immediate wonder. Give them a listen, let's hope you'll like it.

On to bigger and better news.

Many months ago I decided that on my three week break from classes that I would catalogue and organize our library. I did a minimal amount of research and discovered Library Thing. Along the right side of the blog is a random list of the books in my library. I also picked up a bar code scanner that made putting books into my online library easy-as-pie. There are many different ways it allows you to organize your books. As a true nerd, I've put mine in Dewey decimal order. Last night I took all my books off their shelves and organized them--it's glorious. I encourage you to organize your library. For me, it's been nice to discover some books I had forgotten and to see what books the wife brought to our library. It's good to share.

19 May 2008

The Buddha of Suburbia

It is curious to me that I will often begin reading a novel mostly for pleasure and discover that it perfectly fits into something I need for a paper. That is exactly what happened with the novel The Buddha of Suburbia (henceforth TBS) by Hanif Kureishi. The professor for my Post-Colonial Lit. class assigned the short story "My Son the Fanatic" and the movie My Beautiful Laundrette (both written by Kureishi) for class discussion and I ended up writing the primary paper for the class on works by Kureishi (namely TBS, The Black Album, and Intimacy) so it isn't fair to imply that the reading of TBS was my own idea; but I hadn't intended to write my paper on him at that point.

I suppose I should start with some biographical information about Kureishi. He was born in England to a Pakistani father and an English mother. His parentage is, in my opinion, the driving force of his characterization. Many of his primary characters have similar parentage and suffer through some form of identity conflict. The main focus of my paper was a juxtaposition of Kureishi's work with Salman Rushdie's notion of an imaginary homeland for first generation British emigrants. Kureishi, as a second generation British man, does not experience the same conflicts as Rushdie, as a first generation emigrant author. The three works by Kureishi I covered can be seen as a series of a bildungsroman story of his own life through his chosen characters. It's difficult to analyze Kureshi because one cannot determine what, in the lives of his characters, belongs to the author's life and what is imaginary.
Anyway, I've been a lit. nerd for long enough, so let's move on to TBS.
The novel was Kureishi's literary break-out and was first published in 1990 (My Beautiful Laundrette was released in 1985) and it brought Kureishi into the international spot-light. The novel's main character is Karim, a young man (16, I believe) living in the London suburbs who has the same parentage as Kureishi. He struggles to find his own place in the suburbs so he decides to move to urban London to try his hand in the theatre. He finds success, but must compromise some of his better judgment along the way. It is an interesting story and an even more fascinating insight into the struggles of a young British-born South Asian man finding his place in a post-colonial world.
ps- The accompanying picture is a shot of Kureishi's home office and library. I'm quite jealous.

09 May 2008


It was recently brought to my attention that I only consume political news from left-leaning sources. While that is pretty much fine with me since I'm fairly left leaning as far as most political issues are concerned, but it doesn't make me a properly informed individual.

Most of my news consumption happens at work, online. If there are any quality, right-leaning political websites out there, I would appreciate you letting me know where to look. This isn't an effort to learn more about the other side to better be able to attack them, but I think it's only fair that I look at issues objectively and base my views on a broad spectrum of information.

Thanks, in advance, for the ideas.

07 May 2008

The End May Be In Sight

So last night, I got to stay up really late to finish my final paper of my first year of grad school. I ended up going to bed at 4.30 and waking up at 5.45. I don't normally rise that early, but my car is in the shop so Jenna had to take me to work this morning and while I don't start until 9, she started at 7 this morning. That meant that I got to meander about West Chester University and borough for a few hours. I was able to edit my freshly written paper and watch some political coverage on CNN from the dining area of Burger King. They had a brief back-and-forth between the campaign managers of Clinton and Obama.

In case you were wondering, there's really no chance Clinton can win the nomination, but don't tell her or Howard Wolfson. He went on for several minutes about how she can successfully win the nomination. If they have a strong showing in the rest of the remaining primaries, and they can convince most of the remaining superdelegates that she is more electable based on a carefully chosen set of polls and criteria, and if you seat M*ch*gan and Florida, then she's got a chance. To me, an Obama supporter, it sound just a bit beyond ridiculous. David Axelrod was then given a chance to explain why Obama will win and he, more or less, said, "Because of everything Howard just said. That can't all happen at once." Of course, he was a bit more measured than that but I think I've captured the sentiment.

Anyway, the Clinton campaign reminds me of a basketball team that's down by 20 with 15 seconds remaining, yet they continue to foul. But in this case, they also are working to convince the referees that their shots made during the warm-up should count, too.

Do we now get to focus on McCain?

Speaking of McCain, Arianna Huffington wrote a fairly scathing article the other day. If you haven't read it I would suggest that you do so.