Monday, May 19, 2008

Puffins, Again

So I meant to say something long and involved about how Franzen's "The Way of the Puffin" (Journeys April 21, 2008) did this thing that I like: a kind of wide-eyed and wonderful naif says, "Oh, look. It's different here. There are no convenient spaces, near the cities, for me to birdwatch" and this draws our attention to the ideology that produces certain kinds of spaces, and cities, and citizens and, in fact, birdwatching. But apparently, the moral of the story (as gleaned from the audio interview) is that Chinese people are "the same as other people."

In light of recent natural disasters, we might be thinking of what it is that creates environments and we might be thinking that it might not be a good idea just to wait around for capitalism to run its course and individuals to get their consciousness raised and join the Sierra Club and make birdwatching more widely available, or what have you. The audio interview includes thoughts on "progress," "The Simpsons," "complicity" of various kinds and "potholes."

What about the tigers piece, in the same issue?

I've also recently read two pieces on churches - "Project Trinity" (Sanneh on Wright) and "The Bishop's Daughter" (Honor Moore on her father).

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