Friday, October 28, 2005

Arundhati Roy

My friend Zach handed me a book entitled The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. It's by an Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, a wonderfully well-spoken and well-informed progressive in India. You might recognize her as the author of The God of Small Things. My sister (and several others) tell me it, too, is a great book.

She offers great insight on Western ways in the East and how its effects are truly being felt by poisoned water, an adoption of American imperical imagination [read: exploitation, oppression, nationalism, empire], and a new form of corruption in the land of India.

Zach just emailed me this speech. I am not posting all of it here because it is very large. In fact, you might right-click or option-click the link to download it and print it out.

This speech is a response to our 9/11, reminding the US of other atrocities that have ocurred on other 9/11s and how they have been forgotten or erased. It is also a fitting response to the American Empire. If you have not woken up yet to this reality, perhaps this speech will help to inform you.

I'll just include a snippet here that I really resonated with...

When independent-thinking people (and here I do not include the corporate media) begin to rally under flags, when writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgment and blindly yoke their art to the service of the "Nation," it's time for all of us to sit up and worry. In India we saw it happen soon after the Nuclear tests in 1998 and during the Cargill War against Pakistan in 1999. In the U.S. we saw it during the Gulf War and we see it now during the "War Against Terror." That blizzard of Made-in-China American flags.


Robbie said...

hey Ryan, I hope your pilgrimage is going good. Roy is a good writer. I haven't read her other than a few short essays, but she's on the list of people to read. I guess technically, it's a chinese flag.

Eric Wakeling said...

i agree with what you're saying. this is a bit of a side-note, but I wonder if it's really an "American" thing. It seems to have existed for centuries in the dominant culture. I wouldn't say that modern-day China is an innocent, loving nation from a broad perspective.

English imperialism, Roman empire, Genghis Khan, the French colonizers, Soviet Union, Hitler, WWII Japan, etc.

Maybe it's more global than we think... said...

funny tomorrow i have to give a 'talk' for one of my classes on the dominance of chinese as a huge part of the middle-upper class in neighboring asian countries.... and some insight from a laotian friend of mine... "the chinese stay so rich in our countries because they will do everything they can to hoard all they have."

i think it is more global than we think.

but I too, love the god of small things. funny i read it when we were in phuket :)