Vampire, Vampire, Burning Bright

When I was ten years old or so, my father and I went to visit an old friend of his at his sprawling home. While they chatted in the living room, I went wandering around the house, looking for books to browse through. (I had asked for, and had been granted permission to do so;Continue reading “Vampire, Vampire, Burning Bright”

Speaking In Accents – II

In response to my post yesterday, a Facebook friend offered the following perspicuous comments: I have no control over my accent and it breaks my heart when my dialect goes missing – and faking it/forcing it is difficult and problematic to boot. I just want so badly to rub my accent in the face ofContinue reading “Speaking In Accents – II”

Speaking In Accents – I

Like every human on this planet, I speak with an accent. In my case, I speak English with a curious, hybrid, mongrelized accent – Indian, but bearing the impress of twenty-seven years on the US East Coast. It is distinct and unmistakable–no American will ever think I have grown up in the US. It isContinue reading “Speaking In Accents – I”

Tocqueville On Slaves, House Of Cards, And Miami

In his classic Democracy in America, in the section “Situation Of The Black Population In The United States, And Dangers With Which Its Presence Threatens The Whites”, Alexis Tocqueville wrote: [I]n a certain portion of the territory of the United States…the legal barrier which separated the two races is tending to fall away, but notContinue reading “Tocqueville On Slaves, House Of Cards, And Miami”

Waterboardin’ Brothers: The ISIS And The US

Over at The New York Times, Rukmini Callimachi writes on the inhumane treatment the ISIS meted out to those they held hostage (some of whom, like James Foley, were subsequently beheaded). Of particular interest to all Americans should be her descriptions of their torture techniques: The story of what happened in the Islamic State’s undergroundContinue reading “Waterboardin’ Brothers: The ISIS And The US”

Twitter’s Design And The Deadly Sin Of Task Modification

Over at Slate, David Auerbach has an excellent analysis of how the interface of a social networking tool–in this case, Twitter–can severely degrade the discourse it is supposed to to be facilitating: Twitter’s founders initially formulated it as a broadcast tool to publish announcements to your friends and to the world, and to that extentContinue reading “Twitter’s Design And The Deadly Sin Of Task Modification”

Running On Dark Mornings: How Virtuous It Is

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, (which I read as a pre-teen), Muhammad Ali often described his training routines. Among their components was something called ‘roadwork.’ I knew it involved running, but didn’t fully understand the roles shadow boxing and jumping rope played in it. Roadwork was an early morning business; Ali would leave hisContinue reading “Running On Dark Mornings: How Virtuous It Is”

I’m Scared, Therefore I Work

A few weeks ago, I got into an argument–offline, not online–about those two horsemen of the apocalypse that are destroying the American nation, rendering it financially insolvent, and turning the American Dream into the American Nightmare. I’m referring, of course, to unions and teacher tenure. At the heart of these fears is a very interestingContinue reading “I’m Scared, Therefore I Work”

The Renewability of Cricket

My latest post at The Cordon at ESPN-Cricinfo is titled ‘The Renewability of Cricket‘. Here is an excerpt: I want to suggest here that “we, as players and spectators” have a great deal to do with the perceived complexity of cricket. Quite simply, this is because we change over time; we do not bring, toContinue reading “The Renewability of Cricket”

Trigger Warnings For Assigned Readings?

On Monday, I wrote a brief note here on Jose Saramago‘s Blindness, commenting on its very distinctive tragicomic style. Earlier in the day, my class had discussed–among others–parts XI and XII of the novel, two sections in which the violence and depravity in the abandoned mental hospital reaches new depths. Rape and a stabbing death areContinue reading “Trigger Warnings For Assigned Readings?”