I ride a train some mornings, hurtling south in darkness toward the port of Tacoma, past shadowed bridges, around fields glazed with frost, through tentative and unheard bird songs. Today, for the first time this winter, the journey ended as a portent of a sunrise began to glow behind the mountain screen in the East. After the burning oil wells and wrenchingly uniform destruction of 2010, the year of 2011 is already ablaze with an […]
I spent about an hour yesterday at China’s biggest mosque, which is located not in Beijing or Urumuqi, but in Xi’an, the hub of Shaanxi province and the gateway to the West. I had been thinking over in my amateur way a few issues relating to Islam recently and, after gathering in the preparation for a call to prayer near one side of the mosque whose wall was, like so many other locations in Xi’an, […]
Every time someone says the name “Glenn Beck,” pretend they said “Max Weber” instead.
In researching a previous post, I became curious about the following image used by Glenn Beck in his bizarre equation of President Obama’s health care legislation with Nazi eugenics policies: To summarize: Beck fought back tears as he related how this specific image caused him a great deal of personal pain, on the grounds that the hand of the disabled man in the Nazi poster reminded him of his daughter’s own hand. (As Beck revealed […]
Today I spent some time leafing through a solemn black notebook filled with sketches made primarily in the stacks at the University of Washington Suzzalo Library, reminding myself that not all good research is immediately digitized. Sometimes it takes a few months before a certain concept can swim down to the bottom of one’s consciousness and take root.After all, in the intervening time between the initial scribble and the considered return, new experiences are had […]