Shouldn’t LA have a film director l’eminence instead of a poet-laureate?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 19, 2016


When I say Los Angeles of what do I think film, television Paramount Pictures, Universal studios, Warner Brothers   Not a Poet Laureate and the business of rhyme and reason, rhetorical devices to take LA to the world.   It is already there. ** Pardon my effort at poetry (I have not tried the form … Continue reading “Shouldn’t LA have a film director l’eminence instead of a poet-laureate?”

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Paul Theroux and the Gujarati chemist in a ghost town in the American South

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2015


It’s probably entirely unsurprising that Paul Theroux found a Gujarati chemist in Allendale, the decrepit “vivid failure” of a town that he visited in the American Deep South. (Click here for his Smithsonian essay.) He quotes a 1999 story in the New York Times magazine by Tunku Varadarajan, which said that more than 50 percent of all … Continue reading “Paul Theroux and the Gujarati chemist in a ghost town in the American South”

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Paul Theroux in America’s Deep South: An Ibn Batuta for the 21st cent

by Rashmee

Posted on March 28, 2015


Paul Theroux’s magnificent Smithsonian essay on America’s Deep South, 50 years after the civil rights summer of 1964, is a reminder of why one reads travel writers: to find out what they have learnt on our behalf by travelling through foreign parts. Even in the 21st century, there is a need for an Ibn Batuta. … Continue reading “Paul Theroux in America’s Deep South: An Ibn Batuta for the 21st cent”

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Midterm elections: Does the US have too much law & too much democracy?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 4, 2014


America’s midterm elections today, Tuesday, November 4, are a good day to consider Francis Fukuyama’s diagnosis of democracy in the US. This is rather morose, but that’s not for any want of natural optimism on the part of Professor Fukuyama, one of America’s leading political scientists and a keen observer of political development and decay. … Continue reading “Midterm elections: Does the US have too much law & too much democracy?”

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US midterm elections & the three D’s: Dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism

by Rashmee

Posted on November 3, 2014


Funnily enough, tomorrow’s US midterm elections may be all about three D’s: dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism. You’d rarely expect to associate these with so fiercely democratic a political system but by all accounts, we can reliably expect the following on election day: Extreme positions Apathetic turnout The dynastic touch The BBC’s Tom Geoghegan has a great explainer here. The … Continue reading “US midterm elections & the three D’s: Dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism”

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America’s schools, like its best companies, need CEOs. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on October 21, 2014


Jean Desravines, chief executive officer of an American nonprofit that focuses on developing transformational school leaders, believes that high school principals are CEOs and should be regarded as such. Why not, I suppose, considering even a country can now presume to have a CEO (Afghanistan indeed). But Mr Desravines seems to suggest that it’s more … Continue reading “America’s schools, like its best companies, need CEOs. Here’s why”

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America’s militarized streets can’t fully explain #MichaelBrown’s death

by Rashmee

Posted on August 17, 2014


Militarized streets have some bearing, of course. But they deflect attention from the real, unchanging reason #MichaelBrown died: racism. Petty shoplifter or not, a young black man is always more likely to be seen as trouble than his white peer. That said, 13 years of continuous war in Afghanistan and Iraq have undoubtedly left America … Continue reading “America’s militarized streets can’t fully explain #MichaelBrown’s death”

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Shades of Gray and Gold in Google Cultural Institute’s virtual story

by Rashmee

Posted on December 5, 2013


I thought about John Rogers Cox’s ‘Gray and Gold’ as I read Amit Sood’s interview in The Guardian. Mr Sood is a programmer who had a big idea and a bit of luck and is now director of the Google Cultural Institute in Paris. This non-profit branch of the internet giant offers thousands of works … Continue reading “Shades of Gray and Gold in Google Cultural Institute’s virtual story”

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Ira Glass anthology is a lesson in timelessness of a good story. Fact or fiction

by Rashmee

Posted on November 11, 2013


Some might say that six years have turned Ira Glass’s “new kings of non-fiction” into yesterday’s monarchs of the printed word. The book, an anthology of the some of the best, most striking examples of honest-to-god journalism, was published in 2007. Is it still relevant? Some might say there’s little merit in reading ‘Toxic Cities’ … Continue reading “Ira Glass anthology is a lesson in timelessness of a good story. Fact or fiction”

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#Shutdown: Frittatas, leftovers & other nifty aspects of nil-waste dining

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2013


The #shutdown (and possible economic woes of many Americans) and the frittata on the right is reason enough to salute these three developments in the food world: The forthcoming launch in Boston of Daily Table, a deeply discounted supermarket with an extraordinary speciality – preparing and repackaging expired food and selling it at deeply discounted prices. … Continue reading “#Shutdown: Frittatas, leftovers & other nifty aspects of nil-waste dining”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK