Books I've been reading

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Andy on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:04 am

RE: Fisk

First, regarding the notion 'cultural revolution', I'd say the blame is on my. You're reading an all in all hastily written summary of a non-native speaker about a voluminous work he's reading in a language that's not his native tongue. No doubt I will occasionally use terms in a way that is not 100% accurate.

As for Bin Laden & Saudi Arabia: Fisk tells the tale of how the CIA went looking for an Arab prince to lead a missions against the USSR after it invaded Afghanistan around Christmas 1979. In this search, they actively tried to appeal to the old romantic image or the Arab conqueror.
As you can image: none of these well-off spoiled brats was willing to hand in their luxury to soft sweet asses on Afghan turf against the Sovjets.

Bin Laden was outraged by this form of what he considered moral corruption and this anger made him initiate his first pseudo-military action - recruiting muhajedeen from various Middle-Eastern and African countries. This evolution let to a falling out between the Saudi regime and Bin Laden on the one hand, and - along with his investments in civil projects in countries like Sudan - helped to shape a very popular image of Bin Laden in the Middle-Eastern mindset.

Fisk speaks with great respect about the man Bin Laden, clearly thinking him a lot more intelligent than numerous other key figures he speaks about. All the while, he also underlines the monstrosity of the acts we know Bin Laden to be responsible for. This open and honest ambiguity make for an interesting read: of course we think of a very terrible person upon reading Bin Laden's very name. But that doesn't mean, of course, that he can't have been a very intelligent and even kind person just as well.

Now as to the difference between Taliban and Bin Laden: Fisk enters into some guessing here. He had last spoken to Bin Laden in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Bin Laden only spoke briefly about them, but with some ambiguity in the choice of his terms. I should look up the precise formulation, but in essence it comes down to 'I don't like some of the things they're doing, but I'll accept them for lack of a better alternative'. The mindset of the Taliban - extremely hostile against all worldly beauty -, if we are to believe Fisk, was quite different from that of a more cultivated radical Muslim such as Bin Laden.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Andy on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:23 am

pinhedz wrote:And on a completely different topic--I'm sure that Jacques Le Goff must have discussed "Roman de Fauvel" somewhere in his voluminous writings.
Have you run across any of his opinions of this great satirical music drama of the middle ages?

I bought these 2 books quite cheaply at the Gravensteen in Ghent when I was visiting there.
Ghent is a great city in many aspects, especially if the Middle Ages are of interest to you.
It clearly had its golden age some time before Antwerp become the metropole of the world - its odd to think it once was, but so it is -, so it was nice for me to be confronted with a more Roman architecture.

The two works weren't all that interesting to me to be honest - apparently I do know more about Medieval history than I usually think I do.
I read them on the metro to and from work and there most significant use to me lies in the bibliographies.

I know that Le Goff has written lots more. But the 'Roman de Fauvel', I don't remember having read about it.
It's something new to me all together.

A satirical drama does remind me of something I came across in The Name of the Rose, namely the Coena Cypriani - a work that inspires a wild dream making a mockery out of traditional Christian tale from Adso of Melk, the novels protagonist. I have been looking for a readable translation of this piece of condemned satire, but sadly even the internet isn't always all that you think it to be. Smile

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:03 am

I don't doubt that Bin Laden was in many ways intelligent, and might very well have been a loving husband and father.

But does Fisk explain how Bin Laden progressed from anger over CIA efforts to recruit Saudis to a decision to kill 3,000 office workers? That isn't exactly a straight line.

And I think the limits of Bin Laden's intelligence were high-lighted in a statement he made in a private video--to the effect that the US was large, but fragile, and that the attack on the twin towers could cause the country's collapse. I don't think he realized that destroying two office buildings is not enough to destroy a country.

btw--I've been seeing many messages online recently to the effect that the Koran does not allow the killing of innocent civilians in the fight for Allah. Bin Laden did not observe those parts of the Koran, and even issued fatwahs (although he was not an imam) that went against the Koran.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:33 am

Andy wrote:- Fisk tells of how the men who were to become 'the Taliban' actually grew up in concentration camps, usually situated at Peshawar just outside of the Afghan border into Pakistan. He paints a portrait of people who have grown up for roughly 16 years in camps that were completely void of all the artifacts of everyday life we are accustomed to. To Fisk' mind, the inspiration for the cultural revolution initiated by the Taliban was actually more the conditions in which these men lived the first years of their life than the Sharia as such.
There is something that Americans are unable to grasp--the fact that to be a "terrorist" means to have a job. There are many totally destitute people in need of a livelihood, and their choices have very little to do with ideology. The Taliban are fed and clothed--the alternative might be starvation or a life of crime.

But in the US, most people are unable to imagine that terrorists or Taliban fighters are motivated by anything other than ideology--or that those people cost money (including suicide bombers, who earn large payments for their next of kin).

btw--the other shoe is that when we stop using fossle fuels there will be no more Islamic terrorists, because there will be no money in that part of the world.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  nombre de otro on Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:49 am

I've not heard much about it but the news made me wonder how is it that a silly movie (even if it's insulting) makes people so angry, with blood they say they'll defend their God and all of that, so many people in the arab world reacted in a similar way. It can't be they're all psychopaths and I couldn't imagine it's just their religion (in the worst way), as if they were all from the same big sect that doesn't let them think for themselves to see how grave it is

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:02 am

random ego of otro nombre wrote:I've not heard much about it but the news made me wonder how is it that a silly movie (even if it's insulting) makes people so angry, with blood they say they'll defend their God and all of that, so many people in the arab world reacted in a similar way. It can't be they're all psychopaths and I couldn't imagine it's just their religion (in the worst way), as if they were all from the same big sect that doesn't let them think for themselves to see how grave it is
The film is said to be "American made," which makes people think it's a US government propaganda film.

In fact, it was privately made by an Egyptian living in America. Nonetheless, the protesters are attacking US embassy employees to avenge themselves for the insult from the Egyptian film maker.


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:12 am

I was looking for a picture of the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

He's rather nondescript in appearance (the police questioned him about the terms of his parole, since he's an ex-convict):


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  felix on Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:15 am

random ego of otro nombre wrote:I've not heard much about it but the news made me wonder how is it that a silly movie (even if it's insulting) makes people so angry, with blood they say they'll defend their God and all of that, so many people in the arab world reacted in a similar way. It can't be they're all psychopaths and I couldn't imagine it's just their religion (in the worst way), as if they were all from the same big sect that doesn't let them think for themselves to see how grave it is
I'd imagine that something like 99.9% of the world's population has NOT seen the 'offensive' movie (or youtube video, is it?) - and I'd imagine that percentage is a little higher in the muslim population. Though I understand that many of those 'outraged' by it do believe that it has been shown on US 'State Television' ...

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:47 am

I thought I'd posted this one time--but it's gone. so it must have been on the old forum. study




Anyway, although I doubt it sold many copies, it has made Sasha a big name in some parts of the world. Very Happy 

Here, we see that Novosti Azerbaijan managed to get an "ekskloosif eentervyoo" (as they call it) with the "renowned American politologue," quite a coup for the publication. Cool

Sasha says that Asad is devious Suspect , and that a Syria-Israeli armed conflict is "entirely plausible." Neutral 

http://www.newsazerbaijan.ru/expert/20130510/298840381.html

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:53 am


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:28 am



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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  blue moon on Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:21 pm

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
The Echo by Minette Walters

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:47 am

So now Sasha, the "Amerikanskiy politolog," has this to say abut that:

"Armenia is not Ukraine--and hardly will there be a Maidan movement in Armenia. But not all Armenians are crazy. People understand where Putin would lead them. So i cannot rule that there might be a stychek in the center of Erevan … but I repeat: Armenia is not Ukraine.!"


...continued here: http://vesti.az/news/216835

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:50 pm


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:28 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:

and then the sequel-


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:14 pm


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:16 pm


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:01 am

I was flipping thru #33 Roger Craig's memoirs ... I was surprised how he called out Brent Jones #84 for being a shitty blocker who only cared about receptions.


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:59 pm

"all generalizations are false ... including this one."

- Don Rumsfeld to Kickapoo Simms


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri May 08, 2015 8:21 pm



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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 10, 2015 5:28 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:

^
Is that one part of the "Wicked Never Sleep" series?

Yakima Canutt wrote:

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun May 10, 2015 11:01 am

Mother, father, engineer, ambassador, scientist, statesman, serial killer, Starfleet officer: At one time or another, Dax has been all of these things and more. The near-immortal part of a composite species known as the Trill, Dax is a sentient, wormlike symbiont joined body and mind to a succession of humanoid hosts, carrying the memories of each lifetime into the next. Each incarnation is different. Each has its own personality, its own triumphs, its own tragedies, its own dreams.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 11, 2015 5:25 am

I am on page 66 of Kant's "Critique Of Pure Reason."

Two people are to blame for my slow progress:

-- The translator; I don't think he has any idea what its all about;

-- Andy; This was all his idea.

[It might be faster to learn German, instead of trying to decipher the translator's English--if this is the case, I have no one to blame but myself]

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:06 pm


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:07 am






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Re: Books I've been reading

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