Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rushdie, Public Mud-hurling, and the agony of cutting down presentations

Currently listening to Jazzman Olofin "Mr Funky." When Tass saw that I had bought it this summer, she immediately started screaming and kidnapped the cd. After she went out and got her own--hot off the press apparently--she gave it back to me.

Today I worked on cutting down the 20+ minute presentation on the representation of women in the Hausa video-film Albashi that I had given at the Mass Media and Popular
Culture conference at Bayero University this summer. I need to cut it down to 15 minutes for a Popular Culture symposium here at the university. It's coming up in a month, and I'm trying to be on time for once. Re-reading it and replaying my powerpoint presentation of video clips, I really liked it. It's hard to cut an 8 page paper down to 5... Then I went back and re-read the conference theme and my abstract and realized that good as it was, the main points weren't really what I was talking about in my abstract for the upcoming conference and didn't really fit with the conference theme, so I decided to start over with the 35 page paper and cut it down to focus more on the elements I had proposed, which of course was a daft idea. arghh...

Finally tired of all that, I started blog-browsing. It's quite enjoyable--people write such clever blogs. I need to start being more clever. One interesting thing I came across was a recent controversy involving Salman Rushdie (what else is new?). He apparently dissed Amitava Kumar at Vassar, who was scheduled to introduce him. Rushdie told the organizers he wouldn't appear on the same stage with him, as Kumar had written some articles critical of him. So, Amitava Kumar wrote about it on a blog, and Salman Rushdie, himself, appeared in the comments section of the blog to continue to wrathfully diss Kumar. I admire Rushdie a great deal--his books appear on my lists of favourites--but was disappointed to see him stoop to such immature pettiness. I suppose fame goes to one's head.

The internet seems to lend itself to the hasty hurling of insults by otherwise well-respected intellectuals. See also the notorious Ali Mazrui, Skip Gates, Wole Soyinka mud-flinging episode in the West Africa Review a few years ago.

Note to self: be careful on this blog not to write things too thoughtlessly. I'm afraid I have the tendency to do so.

ok, well it's late, but because I have a guest lecture on Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino's novel In da So da Kauna (actually the translation The Soul of My Heart) next week in the class Hausa Verbal Arts in Translation, I need to settle down in my bed and watch the first installment of the 3 part film that I picked up in Kano this summer. I think it would be fun to show the students a few clips--not very long, since there are no subtitles--but enough to give them a flavour of the setting.

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