Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is Becoming a Film

The film, which centers on a Spokane Indian Reservation teen who transfers to an all-white high school where the only other “Indian” is the school mascot, will mark the first known instance of a studio movie featuring a Native American protagonist. Jackman is eyeing a supporting role.


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For an industry that long has relegated Native Americans to the nefarious periphery (John Ford’s The Searchers), whitewashed them (Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in Pan) or lampooned them (Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6), Part-Time Indian is a welcome change. Throughout its nearly decade-long run, the book continues to build momentum on The New York Times‘ best-seller list, hitting No. 1 for the first time in May. It remains a favorite among middle-school teachers for its realistic depictions of harsh issues including poverty and bulimia.

Alexie, who grew up on the reservation depicted in the book, is adapting the screenplay and will executive produce. He promises, “This is going to be culturally authentic.”

All this comes at a time when Native American actor and activist Myrton Running Wolf (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is petitioning SAG-AFTRA to reverse its policy of not recognizing tribal enrollment (SAG-AFTRA has maintained it is illegal to request tribal verification from potential Native American employees or show preference based on it). Read the full article | Hollywood Reporter


To the Anemic Pedants Amidst Our Pseudo-Progressive Academic Narrows | Or… Someone has a Beef with Slavoj

Hamid Dabashi draws a sharp line in the sand between European and post-colonial philosophers in this provocative introduction to Can Non-Europeans Think?

[Other people are also entitled “to recapture” – as, of course, is Žižek – a world beyond their imagination. Žižek is correct that “In no way does my basic vocation have to be drawn from the past of peoples of color.” But those very “people of color” (as he categorizes them, according to his prerogative) do not only have a past; they also have a present, and a future. Žižek is blinded to that present unless he assimilates it backward into his present, and is indifferent to that future unless he gets (singularly) to define it. He is unconditionally correct that “In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving some black civilization unjustly ignored.” But a “black civilization” unjustly ignored is peopled by other people, by other thinking people, kicking people, people who talk, and talk back, and talk past Žižek. He is entirely entitled to say “I will not make myself the man of any past” – and he should not, as no one should. But the people of color he just buried alive in their past are also living and breathing a present of which he seems to be blissfully ignorant. He is, of course, pulling my colored beard when he says, “My black skin is not a repository for specific values.” But mine is, and I am a living repository of not just “values” but universes, emotions, words, sentiments, rebellions that he and all his Horatios have not yet dreamt of in their philosophy.

Žižek and his fellow philosophers are oblivious to those geographies because they cannot read any other script, any other map, than the colonial script and the colonial map with which Europeans have read and navigated the world; conversely they cannot read any other script or map because they are blinded to alternative geographies that resistance to that colonialism had written and navigated. The condition is exacerbated any time people around the world rise up to assert their geography as the ground zero of a world historical event. At these times Žižek and his followers are all up and about trying to read the world back into what they already know. There is a new condition beyond postcoloniality that these Europeans cannot read, hard as they try to assimilate it back into the condition of coloniality. The task is not a mere critique of neo-Orientalism, which always is commensurate with immediate and short-sighted political interests, but to overcome “Europe” as an idea and make it behave as one among any number of other exhausted metaphors, neither less nor more potent, organic, or trustworthy. Europe was “the invention of the Third World,” as Fanon fully realized – both in material and normative senses of the term. I have already argued that we need to change the interlocutor with whom we discuss the terms of our emerging worlds. We should no longer address a dead interlocutor. Europe is dead. Long live Europeans. The Islam they had invented in their Orientalism is dead. Long live Muslims. The Orient they had created, the Third World they had crafted to rule and denigrate, have disappeared. If only those who still see themselves as Orientals would begin to decolonize their minds too.]

Fuck You Žižek!

Blood Meridian Hurts More than the Sediments of Unforgiven | So Much More

Blood Meridian used to be a much different novel. Cormac McCarthy’s early drafts reveal how a masterpiece was born.

Read the full article | SLATE BOOK REVIEW


Slavoj Žižek: The Hegelian Wound

For Hegel, spirit is the wound of nature, it derails every natural balance, but it is at the same time spirit itself which heals its own wound. This Hegelian insight will be developed in its philosophical, theological, and political implications: why is the Fall a happy occurrence? How does permissiveness turn into oppression? Why does only the most brutal capitalist alienation open up the possibility for freedom?

Published on Oct 8, 2014

Deutsches Haus at New York University presents:
Slavoj Žižek: The Hegelian Wound
Friday, September 26th, 2014
at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Film Center at NYU

The Dying Russians by Masha Gessen

In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt argues that totalitarian rule is truly possible only in countries that are large enough to be able to afford depopulation. The Soviet Union proved itself to be just such a country on at least three occasions in the twentieth century—teaching its citizens in the process that their lives are worthless. Is it possible that this knowledge has been passed from generation to generation enough times that most Russians are now born with it and this is why they are born with a Bangladesh-level life expectancy? Is it also possible that other post-Soviet states, by breaking off from Moscow, have reclaimed some of their ability to hope, and this is why even Russia’s closest cultural and geographic cousins, such as Belarus and Ukraine, aren’t dying off as fast?

The Dying Russians | New York Review of Books

Eduardo Galeano’s Book: Mirrors | History of Humanity

[Riddles, Lies and Lives from Fidel Castro to Muhammad Ali]

The twentieth century, which was born proclaiming peace and justice, died bathed in blood. It passed on a world much more unjust than the one it inherited.

The twenty-first century, which also arrived heralding peace and justice, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.

In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon.

But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed.

If not on the moon, where might they be? Perhaps they were never misplaced.
Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.

Read the full article here | TruthOut


The Song of the Dodo | a wonderful read