Posts Tagged ‘India’

23rd May
2010
written by Steph

Man, oh man.  I am pretty sure I’ve never read a book anything like The Satanic Verses.  Probably because if literature can ever strive to do something new, unique, and original, then this is the book that does it.  Reading it is a rollercoaster, as I’ve never known a book that made me feel both so stupid and so smart.  Mostly I felt bewildered and befuddled while reading it, so confident that everything important was flying well above my head, but then when I finished it, I felt like a genius who could conquer anything.  I mean, I made it all the way through The Satanic Verses! How crazy is that?!? I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up if Tony hadn’t read it previously and loved it. I won’t lie: I was super intimidated by this book. It just has this larger than life aspect to it, and I got it into my head it was one of those great novels of our time that scholars argue over and that provokes the issuing of fatwas against its author.  I just didn’t think I’d be able to deal with it or get anything from it. I mean, I’m no expert on Islam, and a book that long and controversial has got to be hard, right? I admit that I had a HUGE inferiority complex. (more…)
1st July
2009
written by Tony
D! It's D!

D! It's D! Final answer!

My biggest takeaway from this movie: never, ever, go to India. Nearly everyone we talked to about this film was filled with effusive praise about how brilliant it is, and how moving it all was and how the story was so clever and tied everything together so nicely. Maybe I’m jaded but (and Steph agrees with me) I think this movie was thoroughly contrived. Every story that explained how the main character knew an answer (a plot synopsis is available after the jump if you're not clear what this movie is about) involved him seeing someone die, stealing, being stolen from, swimming in human excrement, or being otherwise horrifically abused. Now, I get that things in India are not good for everyone. Societal oppression, religious oppression, poverty, over-population, and a recent past as a colony that was used and abused all add up to a place that is not a little messed up. But does this a movie make? And is it kind (or fair) to the denizens of India that this movie turns their life into poverty voyeurism? I recently read that many slum dwellers protested the "dog" part of the title. Fair enough. Soon, and already in many countries, slum dwelling will be the rule, not the exception. But back to my takeaway. My boss was telling me a story about a woman he knew in college who went to India to visit and ended up having to marry someone there just so she could get out alive. True story. (more…)