“’To be Mr Pakistan, you need a lot of will and money. People ask me if I train and compete to make the country proud,’” says [Abbas] Khan. ‘But this country takes down people like me so I guess it’s for myself more than anything.’”
— from “Pakistan muscle-men: Dead weight" by Sher Khan
"The pale gloom of rainy days was better fitted to my taste, no, that’s not it, to my humour, no, that’s not it either, I had neither taste nor humour, I lost them early on. Perhaps what I mean is that the pale gloom, etc., hid me better, without its being on that account particularly pleasing to me. Chameleon in spite of himself, there you have Molloy, viewed from a certain angle."
— Samuel Beckett, Molloy (via robcam-wfu)
"My Reuters training editor, trying to drum the principle of the concise ‘intro’ into pup reporters (it must answer six questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How), told us to imagine we were standing on an old-fashioned Routemaster bus, open at the rear. The bus is drawing away from the kerb and a friend on the pavement asks what’s going on. You have seconds to shout a précis. It’s a good exercise – try it. What you’ll discover is how this form of obligatory shorthand strips away nuance. A screamed ‘It’s a lot more complicated than that,’ won’t really do.
In targeting reporters who spend much of their professional lives badgering their editors to make room for longer – and yes, more nuanced – articles, the academics are essentially mis-directing their fire. It should not have escaped their notice that the sources of reliable, independent foreign news are not expanding to keep pace with modern technology. Al Jazeera’s arrival had a bracing impact, but foreign coverage of African hot spots remains dominated by a few international news agencies, with African newspapers and broadcasters making no real attempt to fill the space left by cash-strapped Western news outlets. That’s not healthy. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie’s warning about the dangers of ‘the single story’ applies to reporting, too.
As it is, there’s a strong element of self-congratulation to the academics’ lament. ‘Why, oh why, aren’t journalists just like us?’ they wail. To which the answer would be: ‘We don’t have time, we don’t have space, and anyway, that’s why you guys exist, remember?’”
— from “In defence of western journalists in Africa" by Michela Wrong
"We are not idealized wild things.
We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all."
— Joan Didion, “The Year of Magical Thinking” (via lifeinpoetry)
When did you come out?
Imam Muhsin Hendricks: I was 29, living in Pakistan, when I came out, after being married to a woman for six years. I got married in the hope that it would make me straight, but with much effort and frustration it blew up in my face. I then set out to seek answers, which led me to study the Qur’an in greater depth.
What did you find out when you studied the Qur’an?
I discovered that the Qur’an is silent about sexual orientation, and that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah does not refer to homosexuality as such but rather to a bunch of atrocities, including sexual atrocities unrelated to sexual orientation or gender identity. The conclusion I drew was that God is not homophobic but the men who interpreted the Qur’an were. This conviction led to me publicly announcing my innocence and embracing my sexuality by sharing the news of it openly with others.
VICE has a great Q&A with gay imams from around the world — yes, there’s more than one!
"A meager three percent of all books published in America each year are translated from another language. The majority of that is computer manuals, instructions, and other technical material. An even smaller percentage accounts for reprints or new translations of classics—this is where War & Peace and Madame Bovary come in.
That means that contemporary global literature—fiction and poetry written by living authors—is a vanishingly tiny portion of that three percent. It’s likely that American readers will not discover today’s Borges, Calvino, Neruda, or Kafka until long after they are dead, if they even discover them at all.”
— “You’re Missing Out on Great Literature" by Anna Clark in the Pacific Standard
"An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate."
— François-René de Chateaubriand (via observando)