Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fundamental Assumptions

"Generic differences are not simply formal differences. They are cultural constructs and reflect those most fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality, including the nature of the person and the nature of language."

--Vincent Crapanzano, Tuhami: Portrait of a Moroccan (Chicago, 1980). I wish I'd remembered this statement when I was trying to explain "creative nonfiction" in my tenure statement.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

On Filing, 2013

A note I wrote last night:

Tonight I'm putting to bed a long reported essay on Russia's vicious state anti-gay crusade. This morning I woke to the news that four years after I reported on Uganda's so-called Kill-the-Gays Bill--inspired by Americans--it has finally passed. No death penalty; "just" life imprisonment, and a license for vigilantes. This week India, home to a far more vibrant LGBT community than Russia's, went a step further and recriminalized homosexuality. It's time to recognize that a global homophobic movement has emerged. Each country is distinct; but the rhetoric is strikingly similar. I've reported firsthand on this from Uganda, Russia, Kenya, and the U.S. I keep coming across the same crooked statistics, the same obsession with Soros money, the same conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia. It's not a conspiracy. I'll say it again: It's not a conspiracy. It's worse. It's a movement, a monstrous one.