Maiello's Book-Almost Hits the Metaphorical Stands
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
Qutub Minar, Delhi
Lots of travel pieces claim that places are "studies in contradiction." In fact, I'm certain I've even used the line somewhere along the way. That embarrasses me now because when I read it in a magazine, I'm sure what will follow will be lazy and not very interesting. Of course places are full of contradiction. Places are filled with people and people are happy, sad, hypocritical, violent, peaceful, beautiful, hateful, funny, dumb, brilliant, and, most of all, complicated. Duh.  [Read more]
This morning, I heard the news that a 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gang raped in Delhi on December 16th had died. Another gang rape victim, in the state of Punjab, committed suicide this week after being pressed by police to drop the case and accept money or even marry one of the rapists. The girl, a teenager, and her family wanted police to open an investigation.  [Read more]
Hello friends. It’s been a while. I’m still plugging away in Malaysia, approaching the end of my second year here, which seems hardly possible. It seems even less possible that it’s been four years since I was walking all over my town knocking on strangers’ doors to talk about why I supported Barak Obama for president. Still do, but that’s not why I stopped by Dag. I thought I’d give you fine people a little break from the relentless political season and tell you why I do not support living in Malaysia. [Read more]
Now that I’m officially not with you anymore, I miss you. Is that weird? I thought I’d share some pictures (down below) and thoughts about life away from the craziness of the United States during election season. I still read the political news and I still spout off about it on Facebook, in short rants. The nice thing is that I feel so detached. The political situation here is in some ways better and in some ways worse: Malaysia has its issues. But as a non-citizen and a temporary resident, I don’t care that much. [Read more]
Hello, friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. A-man gently reminds me from time to time, but I think he’s given up hope. So, surprise, A-man!
I have loved blogging at Dagblog. It was a privilege to be one of the first bloggers outside of the core DAG and it was a privilege to take part in such interesting and meaningful discussions about wide-ranging topics--and I always loved the snark. Maybe it took me so long to say good-bye because don’t really want to say good-bye. Perhaps I’ll turn up occasionally with something to say. [Read more]
Seems like some knickers are in a twist lately on the right side of the aisle. To be fair, twisty knickers are not a conservative phenomenon--politicans can be remarkably thin skinned, especially considering the careers they've chosen. But, because I'm not a Republican, I find it funnier when it happens to them. [Read more]
Gallup has a new poll out, ranking Repbulican presidential hopefuls. The list includes three candidates that Articleman and I didn't think to mention in our recent email exhange:
17% Mitt Romney
15% Sarah Palin
10% Rand Paul
9% New Gingrich
8% Herman Cain
6% Tim Pawlenty
5% Michele Bachmann
2% John Huntsman [Read more]
In the tradition of Paul McCartney teaming up with Michael Jackson for Say Say Say, dagblog is pleased to bring to you in all its original glory this dramatic e-mail exchange that brings together the political commentary of two of its bloggers. Articleman contends that Orlando is Michael Jackson and that he is Paul McCartney in that metaphor, but that's beside the point. So for their trenchant insights about the 2012 election, A and O:
On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 9:30 AM, Articleman wrote: [Read more]
Not my kitchen. If it had been my kitchen, I would have hightailed it right back to the city. As it is, I have been assured that, although a colleague found a "small" (4 to 5 foot) cobra in her kitchen, since I live on the third floor of a cement block building, snakes can't crawl up into my kitchen. Roaches, yes. Ants, definitely. Rats, possibly. Snakes, no.
So, I guess I can deal. But so ends my love affair with all things in the natural, jungle-y world. I still love the monkeys though! [Read more]
This afternoon, as I was driving along, I saw a monkey. In my new surroundings, there is nothing remarkable about seeing monkeys on the side of the road. Nonetheless, I still find it super cool. The monkey I saw today was acting strangely, just sitting there, shoulders hunched, back to the road. It looked almost like it was in shock. I had about 50 yards to wonder why. That's when I saw the second monkey. Same size, same color, decidedly less alive, sprawled across a highway lane, having very recently succumbed to death by logging truck. [Read more]
I'm not an animal lover. I've had pets that I've loved, but I've never referred to them as "my children." I don't eat much meat, but I'm not opposed to animals as food. Like most normal people, I balk at animal cruelty, but I balk more at people cruelty. And, when it comes down to it, I'd rather we spent our resources taking care of children than stray dogs and cats. [Read more]
Ten days ago, I said good-bye to Indonesia. My last few months there were a bit of a whirlwind, especially my last four weeks. I barely had time to say good-bye and that makes me very sad. My year in Indonesia was one of the best of my life. It sounds ridiculously cheesy to say I found myself again, but it's true. After my mom's long illness and years in the wilderness, I rediscovered my love of adventure, of new experiences, and mostly of not being stuck in a rut. I also discovered a true love of my own language and a love of helping others learn it. [Read more]
Articleman keeps dropping hints that I should give a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. By dropping hints, I mean that he keeps emailing me and telling me to write a Southeast Asian expat perspective on what’s happening in Egypt. I’ll think about that some more and get back to you.
But first, let me apologize for disappearing right in the middle of a blog series. I’d like to finish the Blowing Smoke book group discussion in the coming weeks. I hope that you’ve all read the outstanding TPM version in the meantime!  [Read more]
In Chapter 1 of Blowing Smoke, author Michael Wolraich (Genghis) introduces what he terms “Persecution Politics,” or the way in which the right wing has employed a trinity of unreality-based ideas to instill fear in the populace.
Those three things are: 1) the slippery slope; 2) the secret plot; and 3) persecution of you and people like you.
In Chapter 2, Wolraich lays out starkly the history of the birth of Persecution Politics.
…in a crucible of racism and piety, baked red-hot by the fear of corrupted youth, a movement was born.  [Read more]
I am very excited to be hosting Dagblog’s very first book group for various reasons, not the least of which is that we get to discuss a book written by our very own Genghis (Michael Wolraich, for those of you who are new to Dag). We’ll get to the meat of the discussion in just a moment. But first, some ground rules:
1. The plan is to take the book chapter by chapter, discussing the salient points of each chapter as we work our way through. However, this is meant to be a free-flowing discussion so jumping ahead is fine if you feel it helps you make your point. [Read more]
ArtAppraiser asked for my thoughts on a New York Times article about the relationships Indonesia is forging with the United States and China. I have to admit I haven't been paying that much attention to politics and economics over here. There isn't much in-depth analysis in the English-language press and my friends are mostly fellow teachers, so we talk more about grammar and culture than geopolitical manuevering. But, for what's it's worth, I do have some thoughts. So, here they are!  [Read more]
You'd think for the kind of money President Obama is spending on travel in Right-Wing Fantasy Land, there would be at least one public event during his time in Indonesia. I mean, it's not like there are occasional attacks of terrorism in a city that is beyond impossible to secure.
Except it is exactly like that. Oh, well. I know somebody who knows somebody who is invited to dinner with the President this evening. Him and a few hundred other more important expats. Not that I'm bitter. But for $200 million a day, you'd think anybody holding a U.S. passport would be invited. [Read more]
I’ve been reading a terrific new book. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies About the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual, by Dagblog’s very own Michael Wolraich!
I’ve been reading even more than usual since I moved to Indonesia. I suspect it’s because I can’t understand the programs on my television but it also might be because I bought a Kindle before moving overseas and I surely want to get my money’s worth.  [Read more]
I've been somewhat detached this political season, what with my commitment to stay away from the crazy for a while, but I have been reading the post-election blogs at Dag with interest. I have the same feeling now that I had in January 2008--Obama is going to be fine. Of course, I don't have a crystal ball and a lot is going to happen between now and then, including a sure-to-be nauseating 112th Congress. [Read more]
There are, currently, about 500 active volcanoes in the world. If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. Only 50 of them are in the United States, and most of those are probably in Hawaii. A bit more worrying is the fact that there are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes around the globe. That’s 2,000 volcanoes that could, at any time, go boom. [Read more]