Row, Row, Row Your Erg (Not So Merrily However)

Three years ago, when I first started training at Crossfit South Brooklyn, I was introduced to the ‘pleasures’ of the rowing machine (more specifically the Concept 2 erg). My coach, David Osorio, took us through an initial training session; I was struck by how a seemingly simple motion had several distinct components, each demanding attentionContinue reading “Row, Row, Row Your Erg (Not So Merrily However)”

Spaghetti and Curry Westerns

I’ve become used to catching up with classics late. The latest addition to my list of well-I’ve-finally-gone-ahead-and-done-it accomplishments is viewing Sergio Leone‘s Once Upon a Time in the West. A DVD of it was lying around in my gym with a sign that said ‘Take me!’, so I did, and watched it on Friday night.Continue reading “Spaghetti and Curry Westerns”

The NYPD and Israeli Police: Perfect Together

As my writings on this blog will show, I am not terribly fond of the New York City Police Department. Among other things, it is excessively militarized and has a very poor record on civil liberties. (I am not going to go into an exhaustive listing here, but a quick perusal of the link aboveContinue reading “The NYPD and Israeli Police: Perfect Together”

Are We Inventions or Discoveries?

Is my identity determined by my choices and my actions? Or does my identity determine the choices I make and the actions I take? Do we make up ourselves as we go along, each choice and action working like a brush of paint, a chip of the sculptor’s chisel, a sentence of the writer, bringingContinue reading “Are We Inventions or Discoveries?”

Monument Valley and The Familiarity of the New

One of the strangest, and yet entirely unsurprising, reactions to seeing Monument Valley (my journey to which had served as occasion for rueful wonderment at the continued plight of the Native American), is a sense of familiarity: I’ve seen this before, somewhere, somehow. Among the curious welter of emotions too, that the Valley evokes isContinue reading “Monument Valley and The Familiarity of the New”

United Against Teachers on Teacher’s Day

The Facebook statuses of some friends of mine who live in India acknowledge September 5 as the date for the observance of an Indian holiday, not, I think, ‘observed’ with any particular enthusiasm in the United States: Teacher’s Day. (A confession: I did not realize there was a Teacher Day in the US till IContinue reading “United Against Teachers on Teacher’s Day”

Buying ‘Used’ and Loving It

It’s a bit of a perfect storm, really, of triggered memories and associations: Larry McMurtry’s post on selling second-hand books makes me think about my recent travels out in the American West, which included a small book-shopping spree at a used-book store in Boulder, CO. And thinking about that in turn reminded me that wheneverContinue reading “Buying ‘Used’ and Loving It”

Finding Philosophy in Literature

This semester, I am teaching Philosophical Issues in Literature. PIL is one of Brooklyn College’s so-called upper-tier core courses; all graduating students are required to take a pair of these. Unsurprisingly, just about every student registered for my class told me during the first day’s introductions that they were taking the class because of aContinue reading “Finding Philosophy in Literature”

Lunch in the Navajo Nation

On 10th August, I drove north on US-163 toward Monument Valley (on the Utah-Arizona border). We had spent the previous night in Kanab, UT, and thus, in keeping with the Hollywood western theme, were headed for a rendezvous with John Ford‘s playground. I had noted that the Valley lay within the Navajo Nation, that theContinue reading “Lunch in the Navajo Nation”

Clint Eastwood Could Make Our Day Yet

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about the necessity of not paying attention to political conventions in this day and age.  Two days and an ageing Hollywood star and his bizarre talking-to-a-chair and invisible president-routine later, I am going to disdain the usual I-told-you-so’s and move on. But to where? Not to theContinue reading “Clint Eastwood Could Make Our Day Yet”