26 May 2008

Seven Things I Read Recently (STIRR?) [UPDATED]

While waiting to pick up my parents, I thought I’d catch up a little on all the news and blog-reading that I’ve been ignoring for the past three weeks.

1. The current Bolshoi Gorod has a good article «Свобода снова» reviewing alternative press in Russia, mainly anarchist and youth 'zines. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s online. UPDATE: Article just got posted here.

2. Foreign Policy’s blog Passport is typically bland, but I must thank it for bringing to my attention Chicago teen rappers extolling the virtues of The Economist.

3. Himal Southasian has put out a good past few issues on Nepal (current), the continuing relevance of class issues in South Asia (April) and sexuality (March). I also enjoy the book reviews and random other tidbits found over there.

4. PopMatters is usually pretty thin on interesting things, but I really liked this piece on songs of Barack Obama in the African diaspora, including this part:

Over something like five decades, Mighty Sparrow has made a livelihood critiquing American imperialism in the key of schmaltz. Much more than the happiness junky Coco Tea, he’s an informed voter with a command of political fine print reflected in amazingly well-researched lyrics like “The Foreign Relations Committee can attest to his tenacity”. Not the kind of prose that’s easy to squeeze into a Calypso meter. Another great line: “On the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, he’s a giant”. It’s entirely possible that two or three of those proper nouns have never before been mentioned in a Calypso song. Plus, it’s hard to top this as a health care platform: “Providers must give a heck”.
5. What I like about Scraps of Moscow, amidst all the Russia blogs, is Lyndon’s eye for the odd details of post-Soviet life. His coverage of a Russian internet spat is just another example of why I always watch SoM.

6. Strange Maps correlates GMO corn and right-wing extremism in eastern Germany.

7. And really, I know I plug Window on Eurasia pretty often in my “what-I’m-reading” notes here at MTBE, but it’s for good reason. Recent posts on Muslims in the Russian Federation deal with the question I posed a few months ago about community organizing and responding to ethnic violence. As MTBE either dies out or transforms itself, I recommend interested folks to direct their browsers to WoE for regular updates on the life of national minorities in the CIS.