One L(ove)

November 30, 2008

Some Thoughts on the Mumbai Attacks

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 12:32 am
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Before I start off writing on what I have been thinking about lately, I would like to send my deepest condolences and solidarity with those who have been affected by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. My thoughts are with you.

While we gathered with our family and friends over the Thanksgiving break, I’m sure the attacks in Mumbai gave some of us a great sense of discomfort. The thought of innocent people walking in the streets, doing their jobs, looking forward to seeing their families, vacationing, searching for the meaning of life, just fulfilling other daily callings of life, losing their lives definitely has the power to make one feel incredible sadness. There’s that great feeling of human empathy that softens our hearts when we see images of our fellow humans suffering around the world thanks to the fast-paced and intra-connected world of ours. While watching the news coverage on television and reading articles on the attacks, here are some of the thoughts I have been thinking:

1. Tribal Mentality. What motivated these individuals to commit acts of terror against innocent people? This question has been on the minds of everyone since the attacks first began. Right now, all we can do is speculate since it’s always hard to see when the dust hasn’t settled yet. There are many reasons for modern terrorism. We used to think that it was a tool that was employed by an oppressed group, that those who had nothing used it because they had nothing to lose (in a realm of discomfort). It was a tactic used to frighten those who the terrorists believed stole something from them. The terrorists believed that those who built a world of comfort did so only on their expense. And the only way to shaken that foundation of the “comfortable” is to frighten them, to make them feel “discomfort,” to give them a sense of that they have something to lose. What I have in mind is the terrorist tactics used by the Algerians against the colonial French occupation of their land. Viewing terrorism as an expression of politics of discomfort does not seem fitting any longer in contemporary times. One cannot view the complexity of human violence and the motives behind it through black and white lens. While politics of discomfort might explain some uses of terrorism in some parts of the world, it cannot explain all the motives behind why people employ it for whatever their political ends may be. Certainly, the reasons why terrorist groups employ terrorism may vary from region to region, from cause to cause, from circumstances to circumstances. And even within  a terrorist movement, its members may be motivated to join for various of reasons. Each case varies and one cannot employ one paradigm to explain the complexity of human violence, and human behavior in general for that matter. People might join terrorist organization for various of reasons. The common explanation is always that a person becomes a terrorist because he or she is motivated by a desire to escape oppression, poverty, and lack of opportunities that they feel a particular group (towards whom the acts of terror are targeted) has imposed upon them. However, we have seen in the modern trend that some of the terrorists are well-educated, well-off financially, and a whole life full of opportunities to look forward to. Other explanations include that the person joins a terrorist group because he or she is bored (very scary!), has a sociopathic personality, and with the rise of religiously-motivated terror, may be motivated by religion itself. Even though each person in a terrorist group may have joined for different reasons than a fellow member, there is no doubt the role group dynamics plays within the organization. If it is a tightly knit group, it’ll be easier for the terrorists to have a monolithic view of reality. In other words, failing to see the richness of the world and its complexity, they might bifurcate reality (i.e. see the world in terms of black and white, good and evil, etc.). This distorted sence of reality will facilitate them to carry out attacks against others they view as “things,” “objects,” or “beings inferior to them.” This brings me to my main point: the terrorists were motivated by a sort of tribal mentality. Since it is unclear what motivated the terrorists (although the Indian government believes that “elements” from Pakistan have influenced the terrorists to carry out the attacks), we can speculate by viewing the words of the terrorists themselves. The unknown group Deccan Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sky News reported that one of the terrorists called Indian TV and justified the attacks by saying: “Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir? Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims? Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?” Taking this and the possibility of the group being trained by the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (an organization that holds an irredentist view of Kashmir), one can postulate that the terrorist attacks were motivated because of the crisis in Kashmir. Of course the Indian army has been responsible for some great injustices in Kashmir, but does this justify attacking innocent people who happen to be citizens of a country whose policies have either directly or indirectly contributed to some dispute on the international level of which they have no involvement in? Isn’t this type of logic worrisome? The logic of: “If you attack my innocent, then I will attack your innocent.” Isn’t that frightening? That your country’s government may be involved in a campain on the international stage of which you have no involvement or say with and you end up being attacked because of it? This type of logic reminds me of tribal mentality. What I mean by tribal mentality is that there is a sense of belonging to a particular tribe and one is wholly devoted and loyal to this tribe. Any direct harm to a member of a tribe is a direct harm to another. In the old days, we are aware of tribal feuds (actually, they still are very much alive in different parts of the world today), where one person from a tribe does a wrong against another, a war breaks out between them. While one individual member of a particular tribe may have wronged another tribe, all members of the former tribe will be targetted by the members of the latter one. I think this is very much true with fanatics today. National fanatics believe that a wrong done against one’s national group by a foreigner makes the fellow members of that foreigner also susceptible to violent attacks. It’s an all-or-nothing approach. Similarly, religious fanatics believe that any wrong done by a group of a different religion against a few within the former group, makes all the members of the latter religious group susceptible to violent attacks. Than an affront to a member of one’s national group is an affront to one’s nation; and, similarly, that an affront to a member of one’s religious group is an affront to the religion itself.  Therefore, all members of the offending group, in the mind of the fanatic, become targets for the offense that “they have” caused. It makes it easier to see the members of the targeted group as being devoid of humanness, (i.e., that they are nonhuman in nature). So there is this elevation of tribal mentality to the national and religious realms. I think that statement made by the terrorist to the Indian TV fits this description. He believes that an attack on innocent Indians is justified because of the deaths of numerous innocent Kashmiri Muslims in the disputed area of Kashmir. How to counter such a justification and view held by fanatics is a million dollar question.

2. Aesthetics of Terror. Terrorism is a sort of political theater. Besides trying to frighten the opponent in and using it as a mean to achieving political ends, terrorism is used to attract the world’s attention to a group’s political cause. Terrorists use bizarre tactics to make the world its stage by attracting the world’s media, they become participants and also make others of an opposing group fellow participants (although these are unwilling, of course) by either hijacking, taking hostages, etc. They want the world media to focus on them and forcibly make the world their audience. One example would be the Chechen terrorists taking Russian school children as hostages in 2004. This made the world stop and focus on what the Chechens wanted. Similarly in India, the Deccan Mujahideen took over a prestigious hotel which was a pride of both Mumbai and, on the national level, India. They knew that if they took over a well-known building and also foreign hostages, this would attract the world’s attention. And it did. Terrorism then creates its own sense of twisted art: to be as creative as possible in order to attract the world’s attention and disturb its conscious. This art of terror wants to instill in us Edmund Burke’s “the sublime,” where we feel a sense of impending doom when we view an artwork. Only, they take a step further by not making us feel the relief that comes after having a “sublime” feeling (i.e. that we will walk away with our lives), but that they want to make us feel uncomfortable, that this might happen to us, that we have something to lose. Ah, the politics of discomfort pops up again. The question is, since there is an aesthetic of terror, how do we resist it? I am reminded of Walter Benjamin’s influential and brilliant essay called “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. In the epilogue section, Benjamin claims that there is an aesthetic of fascism. It tries to make war beautiful in order to maintain the traditional property system. He quotes Filippo Tommaso Marinetti as saying:

For twenty-seven years we Futurists have rebelled against the branding of war as antiaesthetic …. Accordingly we state:… War is beautiful because it establishes man’s dominion over the subjugated machinery by means of gas masks, terrifying megaphones, flame throwers, and small tanks. War is beautiful because it initiates the dream — of metalization of the human body. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns. War is beautiful because it combines the gunfire, the cannonades, the cease-fire, the scents, and the sFuturism! … remember these principles of an aesthetics of war so that your struggle for a new literature and a new graphic art… may be illumined by them!tench of putrefaction into a symphony. War is beautiful because it creates new architecture, like that of the big tanks, the geometrical formation flights, the smoke spirals from burning villages, and many others …. Poets and artists of Futurism! … remember these principles of an aesthetics of war so that your struggle for a new literature and a new graphic art… may be illumined by them!

Benjamin believed that communism’s goal (Benjamin was a Marxist theorist) was to respond back to this aesthetic of fascism. Today, there has been a development of an aesthetic of terror. Terrorists use the world as its stage, come up with creative ways to shock and capture the world’s attention, use symbolic imageries dear to people (national or religious), poetic explanations, etc., to justify their attacks and attract recruits. Due to the rapid development in technology and globalization, terrorists display videos with religious or national music in the background, link causes to religious or national causes and battles of the past, display their “martyred” comrades in a good light by describing their efforts in a poetical way by using national or religious imageries. Certainly, there has been a drive by terrorists to romanticize their cause by creating an aesthetic of terror. Benjamin believed that the dangerous aesthetic of fascism could be dealt with, is there a possibility that we can also counter and resist the aesthetic of terror?  

3. Humans and Violence. After the attacks, I have been thinking about our species’ propensity for violence. Some believe that humans are inherently violent and others believe that violence has been a phenomena for our species for the past 5000 years. Are we by nature violent or do we only respond with violence in reaction to the circumstances that we are placed in? Or is it a combination of both? To further go along this theme, do modern institutions make us more violent or do they make us “nobler”? Studies show that the incidents of violence is declining among humans. A short yet fascinating essay by the incredible Steven Pinker entitled “A History of Violence” states that modern institutions in fact make us nobler. If violence among humans is on the decline and modern institutions make us peaceful, does it mean that terrorism is a manifestation of those who have been either been purposefully excluded by them or is it a reaction against modern institutions? Once again we arrive at motives. We’re back to square one.

Once again, I would like to send my deepest condolences to those who have been affected by the attacks. A loss of even one innocent life is tragic enough.

Currently listening to: The Replacements – Let It Be


November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 11:05 am

I would like to give thanks to the good Lord, my parents, my family, my friends, and (especially) the sonuva bitch who decided to schedule the final exams right after Thanksgiving break.

Currently listening to: The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy

November 26, 2008

When a Firing Brings Forth a Cold Breeze in the Workplace

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 2:15 pm

Keeping in mind that with the economy in a bad state and law firms looking for any reasons to layoff attorneys and members of the staff (i.e. looking to fire people who aren’t dedicated enough), what do I ask my boss for? A two weeks vacation – well, it is not a vacation really, I need the time to study for my final exams. Ah, the timing couldn’t be more perfect! But I’m not afraid of losing my job. Even though my boss reluctantly gave me the time off, I could read from her face: “If you weren’t big, adorable, cuddly, and strong enough to lift boxes [minus the adorable and cuddly part, of course], I would have canned your ass. You’re lucky. Having a great Thanksgiving.”

The firm I work in did fire somebody though. The legal secretary they fired was such a sweetheart, extremely dedicated to her work, and really helpful in giving me good advice about my prospective career and life in general. It is definitely true that as a law student, you learn more about the legal career from the staff than you do from the attorneys. Some of us at work still haven’t found out why she was let go, especially before the holidays. When a thing like that happens to a good person, you can’t help but to feel bummed out and feel really uncomfortable for a very long time.

Currently listening to: TV on the Radio – Dear Science

November 25, 2008

32nd Annual NYU Public Interest Legal Career Fair

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 3:49 pm
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Vanderbilt Hall

Vanderbilt Hall

This is just a reminder that if you are interested in making a career out of public interest or are just looking for somewhere to work during the summer, make sure you register for the 32nd Annual NYU Public Interest Legal Career Fair. The last day of registration is on December 3rd at 3 p.m. The fair will take place on February 5 & 6 at NYU School of Law, specifically at Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South, between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets. It is the largest fair of its kind in the country. About 200 organizations are going to be there and you can get an interview there as well for internships and post-graduation jobs. If you are a 1L and are not interested in a career in public interest, I’d still recommend you to sign up (it’s for free!) as a back up to gaining legal experience during the summer.

Currently listening to: M83 – Saturdays = Youth

November 23, 2008

Contracts is Over!…For Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 8:07 pm

The reading assignment this semester for my Contracts class has officially come to an end (next semester I have Contracts II…it never ends). Even though I found this class to be really interesting (after Torts, of course), I am kind of relieved. Not only does it indicate that the semester is nearly over (two weeks from tomorrow I have my first final) but being the guy who is the second-most-called-upon-person-in-class surely gives me a peace of mind. Because Contracts is my small section class, the chances of being called upon are extremely high. However, the distribution of questions asked to each student was far from equal. The only person who got it worst than I did is the one who sits right next to me. I tried my best not to make eye contact whenever my professor (who is really cool and down to earth by the way and I definitely see myself taking more classes with him in the near future, besides taking Contracts II with him next semester) asked a question, but when we both made eye contact…BAM! All over! Each time I couldn’t look away. It’s the perfect illustration of a “deer caught in headlights.” A prey paralyzed with fear right before the fatal attack by the predator. But, as sick as it may sound, I really had fun. In the first few hundred times of being called upon in that class, it was such a harrowing experience each time. However, now I feel as if I have developed a sense of confidence in what I have to say, no matter how wrong I might be. 

I recently came across this video in YouTube. It is a skit on Contracts by the Law Revue of George Washington University School of Law. I swear to you, this is exactly how my class is and I am just like the person in the green shirt at the very back:

One of my classmates told me that a small section Contracts class from Section B is merging with my class next semester since their professor is leaving for the semester to teach at Brooklyn Law. So that means that chances of me being called upon would be minimal right? I doubt it.

I realize that this is the time of the year that seniors in colleges around the country are applying to law schools. If you are one of them and read my blog, sorry if I’ve scared you. It’s not that bad (or is it?…muhaha). Oh that reminds me, if you are applying to law schools right now and are considering applying to Hofstra and have any questions concerning the school or just the application process in general, do not be hesitant to contact me and ask them. I usually don’t try to run away from those types of questions.

Currently listening to: Primus – Pork Soda

November 22, 2008

Islamic Calligraphy & Abstract Expressionism

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 9:16 pm
Ismail Gulgees Allah painting

Ismail Gulgee's "Allah" painting

After a long and tiring day full of classes, a friend of mine and I usually go down to the undergrad Muslim Students Association (MSA) room, which is a five minutes walking distance away from the law school. Its comfortable mattresses, cushions, chairs, and warmth (also the delicious gumballs!) provide a great sense of stability and calmness after being stuck inside what seems to be a neverending whirlpool. While sitting on the mattress with my back against the wall and talking to Usman (and chewing on six gumballs at a time), I kept observing a couple of beautiful artworks posted on the wall. Both of them were created by someone who went to Hofstra and showed his tremendous skill in classical Islamic calligraphy. I told Usman that I should become an Islamic calligraphist which made him laugh because I have the world’s worst handwriting. I joked to him about becoming the abstract expressionist of the Islamic calligraphy world. I’m afraid, however, that such a move on my part would lead me not to an art gallery, but to a shooting gallery instead.

I’m a huge fan of Islamic calligraphy and have developed a strong interest in it — not in creating of course but purely from an academic standpoint (viz., its development, cultural and societal influences/expression of the art form, the relationship between language and art, evolution of various scripts, etc.). To my pleasant surprise, there has been an Islamic calligraphist who has been impacted by abstract expressionism. The late Ismail Gulgee, a world-renowned Pakistani abstract artist, was influenced by both Islamic calligraphy and American gestural abstraction. I think that the marriage between the two, what seem to be polar opposites, is an interesting one. The union is between an art form which on one hand focuses on form while the other focuses on the inner expression of an existential struggle. The union of the two give such an artwork both the elegance of Islamic calligraphy and the lively, colorful, full-of-life, self-aware, intense emotions of action painting. While it seems like mixing the two art forms would lead to an incompatible/disastrous result, it is in fact a beautiful harmony between the calm and chaotic – an awe-inspiring moment between the rise and crashing of a wave. A conversation between the sacred and the profane; a dialogue between the spiritual and the concrete. A story of life told within and without it. For a brief discussion of Islamic calligraphy’s contact with modern art, check out this essay by the Met.

Currently listening to: The Velvet Underground – Loaded

November 20, 2008

Human Rights & Forum Non Conveniens

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 9:00 pm
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Forum non conveniens is granted when the court dismisses an action because it believes that there is a more appropriate forum available where litigation can take place, regardless if that first court has proper jurisdiction and the venue requirements have been met. In deciding on whether to dismiss an action on the basis of forum non conveniens, the court takes into consideration private (e.g., litigants access to sources and proof), public (e.g., drawing a pool of jurors from an area that has no connection with where the event that gave rise to action took place), and local interests (e.g., locals want an event that took place around their area to be decided there). When the court balances these interests, it then determines whether dismissing an action on the basis of forum non conveniens is appropriate.

What gets really interesting is when a foreign plaintiff (usually, a U.S. court has its finger on the button for forum non conveniens and if it feels that the foreign plaintiff is there because of taking advantage of a favorable legal system in the U.S., it will most likely press it) brings an action claiming violations of human rights to a U.S. court. Under the Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C. sec. 1350), a foreign plaintiff can bring a tort claim based on violations of international law in the U.S. courts. A reason why we allow foreign plaintiffs to bring violations of human rights claims to U.S. courts is because the forum in a country that has violated a plaintiff’s right might conceivably be an inadequate forum.

The essence of the debate is whether forum non conveniens should apply in human rights cases brought forth by a foreign plaintiff? There are basically two sides to this debate: 1) Forum non conveniens should not apply when there are compelling interests at stake in litigating human rights claims in the U.S.; and 2) Forum non conveniens should apply when there are few meaningful reasons for the U.S. to adjudicate a human rights claim here and when the interests of another country outweigh the interests of the United States. I guess answering that question and determining where you stand on the issue is to answer a simple (hah!) foreign policy question: Do we have a stake in interests in every single abuse of human rights that takes place in the world? I guess we have to ask ourselves what “stake in interests” includes. Being that it is the greatest global power in the world right now, should the U.S. include moral reasons besides economic ones? Would it or would it not be practical?

Currently listening to: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

November 19, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 9:05 pm

Does copyright law, the way it is being practiced today, have a harmful impact on society? In other words, do copyright and intellectual property hinder not only artistic creativity but our democratic freedoms? Even though this article is old, it is extremely interesting and captures the views of law professors on the issue. Prominent among them is Professor Lawrence Lessig.

Currently listening to: Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

November 18, 2008

Racism on Long Island

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 10:33 pm
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Steve Levy, the County Executive of Suffolk County (the better half of Long Island), gave an address on television today about the murder of Marcelo Lucero. Lucero, a native of Ecuador, was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers near the LIRR train station in Patchogue on the 8th. What was the motive behind the killing? According to the police, the teenagers killed Lucero because he was Hispanic. This has caused a public furor on the Island, especially from the immigrant and religious communities. Ever since the recent murder, I bet every single Suffolk County resident is asking the crucial question: “What the fuck is going on?” How come racism is so rampant in our area? How come our youth are driven to carry out race-based violence against others? What or who leads them to believe that they should carry out a hate crime? These are difficult questions to answer and I give props to Levy for going on television to address these questions head on. Although I do think he has played some role in pouring gasoline, rather than water, on the fire of racial tension. I’ll discuss this later on in this piece.

The Island is one of the most segregated places in the country. Is it because of the way we define our space that greatly determines our interactions with other people? I live in Farmingville, the ground zero of hate crimes on the Island. It has gained a national reputation of being the principal place of hate on the Island. That saddens me greatly. We’ve got a lot of day laborers in our town, which has ignited racial tension and has truly divided Farmingville. There was a documentary film made on the town, discussing the racial tension within it. This film is also called “Farmingville”. One of the incidents of hate in this town include the brutal beating of a day laborer by a white supremacist disguised as a contractor. The supremacist drove up to the day laborer, told him that he’ll give him work and money, and took him to an abandoned place. In that place, the supremacist beat the laborer and left him for dead. Gratefully, the laborer survived and the supremacist was arrested. However, on a more personal level, a kid from my high school firebombed a Mexican family’s home which is just a couple of minutes walking distance from my house. This took place around 2 a.m. on  July 4th, 2004. I remember being awake at that time but heard absolutely nothing. What happened was that the kid, along with some others, drove past the house in which a Mexican family lived, firebombed it, then drove away. Fortunately, the family wasn’t harmed. When the kids were arrested, the cops found KKK literature in one of their wallets. Whenever the school bus (I was a high school senior at that time) drove past the house, everyone just stared at the gutted wound to its structure – a wound to the town’s innocence.

There is no doubt that racism is prevalent on the Island. Local television programs have dedicated hours to it and with the death of Lucero, I think every resident of Suffolk County is reflecting on why these fatal attitudes still affect our community’s social life. There has been a sense of soul searching, I sense, within the County after the murder. Although we can never say, “Well, here’s the root of it all,” since humans are such complex creatures and there are always countless reasons why something is the way it is (human relationships are never black and white when it comes to social issues), I think there are some deducible things we can say are causes (though not primary) that effect negative consequences. Here are just my thoughts:

1. Local rhetoric. A kid on my bus, when I was in high school, used to yell out and make racial slurs against Hispanic day laborers. I’ve always wondered what caused this asshole to lower the window and yell and spit at day laborers who stood on the sidewalk. Certainly it could be something he learned at home. However, I believe that the local organization, Sachem Quality of Life (SQL from hereon), plays a great role. SQL wants to promote a healthy, beautiful, and peaceful environment in the town. They believe that the day laborers are enemies bent on ruining those values. But I do think they, in fact, are the ones who compromise those values. They stand on the sidewalk with signs saying “Honk, if you want them deported,” “Invasion!”, “Deport the Illegals,” “Save Our Town,” etc. I believe these actions only complicate the situation further by portraying an “Us versus Them” image. Their rhetoric only treats the day laborers as if they are objects, people not to be trusted, unclean, and dangerous. This type of rhetoric only serves to dehumanize a group of people. I think some young people, sadly, are influenced by this group and feel that they want to take more substantive steps than merely stand on the sidewalk holding signs. In other words, I think they get convinced that the day laborers are truly the sole reason for the social ills in the community and that these kids should then take the matter into their own hands to actually do something about it, rather than just standing on the sidewalk all day holding signs.

2. Levy’s rhetoric. Although I commend Levy for getting on television today to address the residents of Suffolk about Lucero’s murder, hate crimes and racism in the County, I do think Levy, just like the SQL, creates a dangerous atmosphere with his policies. Levy contends that the murder and his anti-illegal-immigration policies were not related – that there’s no nexus between them. Some immigration and human rights activists have recently stated that he has “blood on his hands.” That although his policies did not serve to be a proximate cause in Lucero’s death, they did however enrage racial tensions even more. I think Levy’s staunch anti-illegal-immigration stance does play a role in that it might convince some people that since he’s spending so much time in trying to fight against illegal immigration, the day laborers must then truly be the real cause of social ills in the County. Insensitive remarks such as Lucero’s death being a “one-day story” (although I should flag that Levy did apologize for this remark) add absolutely nothing to a reasonable public dialogue. Levy, in his address, also told Hispanic immigrants not to be afraid of the police. He promised that the law enforcement will protect everyone – regardless if they have an identity card or not. This of course acknowledges the immigrants’ distrust of the law enforcement since they feel that the cops and the law are biased against them and there’s no protection for them at all. A very intelligent immigrant from Ecuador called a show on News 12 tonight and said that the immigrants are frightened of the law enforcement as they feel that the cops do not serve to protect them – only to harass them and deprive them of that essential human right of security for one’s personal protection. Levy must certainly work hard to regain the trust of immigrants and assure them that the law’s protection won’t abandon them – that they should enjoy the same protection as their fellow residents who happen to be non-immigrants. To do this, Levy must soften his hardcore stance and policies, stop worrying about how he appears before the camera (which is eternally on), and work to ensure racial equality in Suffolk by educating the young about the harmful effects of hate crimes upon the community as a whole. I hope he’ll wise up and carry out sound policies. But I guess, it’s always true, that it ultimately is our responsibility, the residents of Suffolk, when it comes down to determining in what direction we take the County.

Currently listening to: Cream – Disraeli Gears

November 17, 2008

Reading List for Winter Break

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 11:57 pm
Lilya Brik shouting Books

Lilya Brik shouting "Books"

Just came back from the bookstore and while there, looked through the journals of Allen Ginsberg. In some of his entries, he wrote down lists of books he wanted to read or had read during particular months. I thought it was neat. As the winter break approaches, here are the books piled next to my bed:

Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin

Naked Lunch – William S. Burroughs

Mother Courage and Her Children – Bertolt Brecht

Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett

Dubliners – James Joyce

Lawyerland – Lawrence Joseph

The Sonnets – Ted Berrigan

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror – John Ashbery

The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry – edited by J. D. McClatchy

Overcoming Law – Richard Posner

Discipline & Punishment – Michel Foucault

History of Sexuality: An Introduction (Volume I) – Michel Foucault

The Road to Serfdom – F. A. Hayek

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber

The Wordly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers – Robert L. Heilbroner

No Logo – Naomi Klein

The Bretheren: Inside the Supreme Court – Bob Woodward & Scott Armstrong

A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream – Nicola Lacey

My First Summer in the Sierra – John Muir

Jazz: A History of America’s Music – Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns

There’s no way in God’s good name that I can finish all these books in 3 weeks. But if I could get through most them, I will be impressed. Next semester, no matter what, I have to read at least one book in conjunction with my reading for school. Can a man ask for anything more than some precious time to himself?

Currently listening to: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

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