History in the Media: Vibrant Spectacles of Sublime Destruction

It should come as no surprise that a group like ISIL would seek to efface any traces of pre-Islamic history from areas under its control.  Indeed, they have done precisely that, destroying large parts of a museum in Mosul and bulldozing excavated parts of the ancient city of Nimrud (though it should be noted that … Continue reading History in the Media: Vibrant Spectacles of Sublime Destruction

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Weekly Rant: Living in the Age of Irony

A couple of years ago, the always-inflammatory Salon ran a piece entitled "The 15 Most Hated Bands of the Last 30 Years."  Included on the list were such hate-favourites as Nickelback (hatred of them has become so common as to be ubiquitous), but also many of the bands whose work came to define the sounds of the … Continue reading Weekly Rant: Living in the Age of Irony

Screening History: “The Silver Chalice”

When it comes to the annals of antiquity on film, some films leap immediately to mind:  Ben-Hur, Spartacus, Gladiator.  Others, while not as famous, nevertheless mark significant developmental moments in the history of cinema; The Robe, for example, was the first film produced and released in the CinemaScope process.  Some films, however, seem fated to … Continue reading Screening History: “The Silver Chalice”

About being a well-meaning, presumptuous neighbor

Metathesis

She asked me, “Is it true? Do your people wear loin cloths on a daily basis? Also, what about snakes? Do they slither around everywhere, like on the streets and stuff?” Having heard that, you’d expect me to be apoplectic with rage and indignation. You’d expect me to rant about India being a developing nation with world-class infrastructure, educational institutions, physiological amenities, and several other what-nots. You’d at least expect me to tell the rude lady to get her facts straight. But I did none of those. Why? Because she had just fed me a substantially large portion of her scrumptious dinner spread. But also, because she was not being mean or sarcastic. She was genuinely ignorant, and needed clarification about these absurd things she has gathered knowledge of through her American news channels (read: FOX).

Yet, she was a homemaker from a nondescript town in rural America. Right in…

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