Wading all night through Mumbai

There was not a soul on the road when we held hands in the water and began walking. One of the girls was shorter than us, so we asked her to walk along the road divider holding our hands. People took out boats to negotiate water logged streets The water was deep – I mean if you were 5ft tall, you would easily drown. As we waddled into the eerie,…

Military Making Up Quotes? I'm Shocked, Shocked

If you’re in the news business you see this stuff all the time. I mean, when a corproate CEO is quoted as saying, “I am gratified by the performance of our frabjab-widget business unit during the quarter, when the trajectory of widget sales continued to move in a favorable direction,” you can be fairly sure that this line was written, not uttered, and not by the guy being quoted. Now,…

Violence and the Sacred

For the most part, we are blind to the mediated nature of desire. But the great writers, according to Girard, are more lucid about this. They reveal the inner logic of desire, including its tendency to spread – and, in spreading, to generate conflict. When several hands reach for the same object, some of them are bound to end up making fists. So begins a cycle of terror and retaliation;…

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Screenplay Subtext

Taken in isolation, NO always means NO. But in a conversation, there is always a surrounding context for the use of the word “No.” In a routine conversation, we extrapolate or infer a ton of non-verbal information and automatically apply it to attempt to determine the “real” meaning. For example, let’s say I offer you a sandwich. You say “No.” Now, in isolation you’re refusing the offer of a sandwich…