February 2, 2006

Technorati Profile

A Word by Any Other Meaning
Would Mean Something Else

BlogLogo2.jpgAccording to the Chicago Tribune, English Professor James Bosch of Calvin College has been attempting to get the OED to list his invented word: presticogitation. Not being registered to access the Trib’s story, I went to Chimes, the publication of Calvin College. Here’s what I found: “The English Department: the perspicacity and clever presticogitation of James Vanden Bosch, the friendly modernist swagger [read: an amiable James Joyce] of Chip Pollard, the desert-dry humor and witty sarcasm of Dean Ward, the intellectual fortitude and Solzhenitsian dignity of Ed Ericson, the tranquil Coleridgian ‘Frost at Midnight’ gentleness of John Netland… and we could go on.” What’s in a word? Ask James Bosch to find out.

Muslims Ticked Off about Cartoon—
No Protection from Satire?

Images of Muhammad as depicted by Danish cartoonists last September in a Danish newspaper and reprinted by a Norwegian magazine have drawn thousands of protesters into the streets of Gaza City, Baghdad, and Yemen. Saudi Arabia has removed its ambassador in Copenhagen. Libya closed its embassy. Islamic law and tradition consider images of Muhammad and Allah as idolatrous. According to the London Times, six European newspapers have reprinted the images. The French tabloid Jyllands-Posten printed the headline: “We have the right to caricature God.” France Soir captured my sentiment with an annoyed Muhammad sitting with Buddha and a Christian God and a Jewish God. The Christain God says, “Don’t complain Muhammad, we’ve all been caricatured here.”

Later France Soir fired its managing editor and apologized for running the cartoon, according to a reported in the Guardian. The story also noted: “On Monday, gunmen from al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigarde briefly occupied the EU’s [European Union’s] office in the Gaza Strip, demanding that Denmark and Norway apologise.”

Additionally, last night, Editor-in-Chief of the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, Carsten Juste said: “The 12 cartoons…were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims, for which we apologize.”

Yet no one from the Muslim world protested in the streets when the Taliban destroyed two massive and ancient statues of Buddha in Iraq. Ironically most individuals—regardless of their cultural or religious affiliations—usually define freedom of expression with one additional word—my freedom of expression—and never our freedom of expression.

Did these individuals take to the streets when Orhan Pamuk was put on trial for “publicly denigrating Turkishness.” No. (See an “The Trials of Orhan Pamuk and Turkey” by Can V. Yeginsu in the Times Literary Supplement.

Writers Writing about Writing
Six year s ago, Alice McDermott wrote the following for Writer’s Chronicle: “I am happy to see fiction writers gainfully employed and serially published, but I am always hit with a wave of disappointment when a fiction writer I admire brings forth a book or an article about writing fiction.” The rest of what she has to say is worth reading and even re-reading.

Along a more sarcastic but sincere line, editor/writer Binyavanga Wainaina provides tips on how to write about Africa. “Some tips: Sunsets and starvation are good.” Before you get upset with the Kenyan writer, give his Granta essay a chance.

The Last Frey Stuff
I don’t care.

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One Response to “”

  1. Nathan Says:

    For more on my presticogitation article, see http://www.nbierma.com/language/presticogitation.


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