Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Other Sports Exist Besides Football and Basketball

So I read through the paper today. Way too many acronyms, don't have an idea who the Maoist party is (people sitting in the green room smoking Syrian Rue, perhaps? Bad hippy-erudite jokes), and I'm still having trouble w/ lakhs and crores (100,000 and 10 million, respectively). Anyway, the three most interesting things I read:

1. There were near-riots in a predominantly Christian Indian state when a textbook publisher printed a picture of Jesus holding a beer and a cigarette. In the states we get fed (what is, apparently) a line about how Muslims are the only people who kill people for un-politically correct pictures.

In a side note, on the plane I watched the movie Millions (a British film about a young boy who discovers a bag with 200,000 pounds in it) on the plane. The main character has visions of Catholic saints and I had another moment of "Western culture has shaped my thinking" moment when the boy hallucinates some Ugandan martyrs and I remembered that, of course, not all Catholics are white/latino European/N./S./Americans. One of the really useful things about religion is that it's a cultural identity that can be assumed, as opposed to things like race and nationality, which are largely unchangeable. Hence religion has a higher potential for unifying people than the other mentioned identities. Problem is, identifying w/ a religion and buying into its set of moral codes and values often involves being exposed to a lot of shaming language, which makes changing identities or even evolving in one's own faith rather unlikely propositions.

2. Even the Indian newspapers think all the Republicans are doing on healthcare reform is obstruction.

3. The sports page. Oh my goodness, so awesome. I see pictures of people playing cricket, field hockey, and...shooting rifles! My college sport is apparently a legitimate one over here, even to the point of big color pictures appearing on the sports page. I have no idea why this is, seeing as riflery is the single most boring sport I can think of to watch - the targets are too small for anyone observing to look at so it pretty much just involves watching people lie down, stand up, and kneel for 2 hours.

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