- In the Sunday Book Review of the NY Times, the always provocative Christopher Hitchens reviews Philip Pullman’s latest book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. Hitchens’s writing doesn’t soar as high as it usually does, but his assessment of Pullman’s book has piqued my interest.
- Dawn.com has a nice concise piece on the burial of hundreds of victims of the Srebrenica massacre of 15 years ago. With the war in Afghanistan in its ninth year and the war in Iraq in its seventh, it’s easy to overlook (or set aside the thought of) “the worst single atrocity on European soil since World War II.”
- Bookburning and bookbanning continue to be tactics promoted by fundamentalist Hindus in India. Professor of Religious Studies at Macalester College, Jaimes Laine, has received endless flack, lawsuits, and threats from the Shiv Sena and other hardline Hindu groups about his 2003 book, Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India (OUP). The saga clearly continues. This is no doubt good for sales of Laine’s book. But it’s certainly bad for his fieldwork and research in India.
- In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Nicholas Carr makes his case that internet technology makes us stupid. Perhaps more insightful than the interview with Carr is the comment roll beneath the interview. It is WAY more amusing.
- And finally, oddly yet apparently true: “Owing to Buddhist Differences, the Original Hole Will Never Reunite“! The killer lineup that made the fine album, Live Through This, shall never be together in the same room (and presumably not on the same stage) again because of…of all things…Buddhism and its competing sectarianism. Love is a card-carrying member of Sōka Gakkai International, while the former Hole guitarist, Eric Erlandsen, belongs to the Nichiren Shoshu order. Quite apart from the band Hole and the lives of Love and Erlandsen, Wikipedia reports that back in 1991:
Nichiren Shoshu officially excommunicated the leaders of its then-largest lay organization, Sōka Gakkai, for their doctrinal deviations and disputes with the priesthood. In 1997, those non-leaders who chose to remain as members of the Sōka Gakkai, instead of becoming members of Nichiren Shoshu, also lost their status as “believers.” The Sōka Gakkai now operates as a doctrinally and organizationally distinct group.
- P.S. Need I tell you where King James decided to play roundball next season? I thought not.