Tuesday, November 20, 2007

the year of living biblically

A few weeks ago I finished A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically. Judging from the jacket, the premise was interesting enough for me to want to buy the book, but after I read it I was a bit disappointed by the execution. The basic subject of the book is the author's attempt to spend an entire year following every rule in the Bible literally. Unfortunately, I don't think that he spent much of the year taking the Bible seriously. Admittedly, he grew a beard, wore white, avoided mixed fibers, refrained from eating pork, and went through some effort to follow certain obscure rules. But at times his rule-observance comes off as merely a gimick to legitimize his religious views. Jacobs is a secular agnostic Jew (as he puts it, he is Jewish in the same way that the Olive Garden is Italian) and he actually wanted to underscore the defects of literalism through this project. So he didn't try very hard to be a thoughtful or sympathetic representative of Biblical literalism.

In fact, the most enjoyable sections of the book describe how he went out to spend time with other "literalist" communities; the Amish, Hassidic Jews, Samaritans, Snake-handlers, Creationists, "red-letter" Christians, along with a "cult" in Israel led by Jacobs' weird ex-uncle Gil. A much more interesting project would have been produced if Jacobs could have cut out the gimicky beard and robe and simply had gone to the various communities for an extended period of time and had allowed them to speak for themselves (a la Jesus Camp.)

Bible and Grenada
encyclopedia of biblical errancy
interview with a christmas card
"i've seen ethiopians knocking out rome" (part two)
"i've seen ethiopians knocking out rome"
"god gave noah the rainbow sign..." (part one)
the number of the beast
the reason for the season
the wise men

Saturday, November 17, 2007

is spain realy racist?

Last month, fellow Latino Muslim Blogger, Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani put up a post called: Is Spain really racist? I think the article is thought-provoking, even though it paints a rosier picture of Spain than I would have based on my own visit to Spain many years ago. I was really struck by the anti-immigrant articles I would read in the newspaper and the racial caricatures which seemed commonplace (e.g. Conguitos, a brand of chocolate covered peanuts which used a sambo-like figure as a mascot). That visit to Spain was also the first time I ever felt like a police officer looked at me as a suspect. (Apparently, the cop was wondering if I was a terrorist... and I wasn't even Muslim then... but that's a whole other story). So I definitely felt racism was more blatant in Spain than other places I've been to, but perhaps I would have a different experience if I went back and could spend time in some of the locations mentioned on Khalil's blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"they plan and allah plans..."

I recently came across the article: American plan to prevent the return of the Caliphate from another Muslim blog. The entry summarizes a report from the RAND corporation entitled Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources and Strategies which explicitly lays out a divide-and-conquer strategy for transforming Muslim societies... a strategy which plays so-called fundamentalists, traditionalists, modernists and secularists against one another.

Friday, November 09, 2007

is wayne brady gonna have to choke a tau'ri?

so two very brief comments:
1. I don't know if more people are actually reading and linking to Planet Grenada or if the TTLB ecosystem changed its definitions recently but (for what it is worth) apparently after several long epochs of being a rodent or a marsupial, Grenada climbed back up the evolutionary ladder and is a large mammal among blogs again. Let's see how long it lasts.

2. C'BS ALife Allah recent comment on the previous post really got me thinking about how I had originally expected Afrofuturism to play a larger role in this blog. As a result, it inspired me to do a little more reading online and sowed the seeds for some future posts... but until then I'll just share one thing for now... even though I've been an on-again-off-again fan of Stargate SG-1 I was surprised to find out recently that Wayne Brady had played first prime (basically head slave) of one of the Goa'uld (the bad guys for the major part of the series). It is hard to explain but somehow that is really fitting and really ironic, all at the same time.


grenada and afro-futurism
ecological crisis
negrophobia, hope and gasoline
negrodamus 1
brian gumbel (sic) is looking like malcolm x?