What My Facebook Like Means

Facebook users often express dissatisfaction over the limited range of options available to them for responding to posts made on their newsfeed by their ‘friends.’ (I wish there was a ‘dislike’ button! I wish I could like this a thousand times! I wish I could tell you how much I liked this!) My sympathies areContinue reading “What My Facebook Like Means”

Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community

In ‘The Clouded Prism: Minority Critique of the Critical Legal Studies Movement‘, Harlan L. Dalton wrote: I take it that everyone drawn to CLS is interested in specifying in concrete terms the dichotomy between autonomy and community. If so, talk to us. Talk TO us. Listen to us. We have lots to say, out ofContinue reading “Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community”

Force Majeure: Sauve Qui Peut, All The Way

The problem with Tomas, the now-disgraced husband and father who ran away from approaching danger and abandoned his family in Ruben Östlund‘s Force Majeure, is not that he was scared. Everyone was scared; his wife, Ebba, his children, Vera and Harry, were all scared. They were panic-stricken and terrified; they all reacted in instinctive, unthinking ways. EveryoneContinue reading “Force Majeure: Sauve Qui Peut, All The Way”

Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other

Sometimes, on Facebook, an innocent will post a photograph of himself and his female partner, and be greeted with a slew of admiring comments and ‘likes’. These will often be things like ‘you guys look great together’ or ‘fabulous couple!’ Sometimes there are  comments about the wife or girlfriend’s looks: ‘X is beautiful’ or ‘XContinue reading “Praising One Partner, Dissing The Other”

The Organ In The Chapel

For the two years that I attended boarding school, I was subject to a non-negotiable, uncompromising rule: daily attendance at an Anglican chapel service was required. The bell calling us to service would ring out, loud and clear and persistent; we would make our way to the chapel and file in obediently, taking our pre-assignedContinue reading “The Organ In The Chapel”

Paying Attention To The Muses’ Visits

In The Year of Magical Thinking–a book on which I will write a bit more anon–Joan Didion quotes her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, as saying that having a notebook handy–to write down a thought, an idea, filed away for future reference and deployment–was the difference between being able to write and not. There is muchContinue reading “Paying Attention To The Muses’ Visits”

Naguib Mahfouz On Forgetting And Habit

In Naguib Mahfouz‘s Autumn Quail, Isa, the corrupt bureaucrat whose long, slow, and painful decline after a purge following the 1952 revolution in Egypt the novel tracks, brings back Riri, a woman of the night, to his home. The next day, He woke up about noon and looked with curiosity at the naked girl sleepingContinue reading “Naguib Mahfouz On Forgetting And Habit”

A Most Irritating Affectation

The most irritating affectation of the modern intellectual is to pretend to be technically incompetent. I exaggerate, of course, but I hope you catch my drift. Especially if you’ve encountered the specimen of humanity that I have in mind. (Mostly on social media, but often in person too.) The type is clearly identified: a clearlyContinue reading “A Most Irritating Affectation”

The Fall Of Norman (And Norma) Bates

We know the story of Norman Bates: Norman had been excessively dominated by his mother since childhood, and when she took a lover, he became insanely jealous that she had “replaced” him, then murdered his mother and her lover. Later, he developed a split personality to erase the crime of matricide from his memory andContinue reading “The Fall Of Norman (And Norma) Bates”

Book Release Announcement: Eye on Cricket: Reflections On The Great Game

I’m pleased to announce the release of my second book on on cricket–‘the game, not the animal, or the cartoon character’: Eye on Cricket: Reflections on the Great Game (HarperCollins, 2015; online sale point in India here). This brings together a collection of essays based on my blogging over at ESPN-Cricinfo–over the past six years.Continue reading “Book Release Announcement: Eye on Cricket: Reflections On The Great Game”