On Radicalisation

“Yet it is a great mistake to suppose that the only writers who matter are those whom the educated in their saner moments can take seriously. There exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by crooks and half-educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. There are times when this underworld emerges from the depths and suddenly fascinates, captures. and dominates multitudes of usually sane and responsible people, who thereupon take leave of sanity and responsibility. And it occasionally happens that this underworld becomes a political power and changes the course of history.”

- Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Gargi

10 Stops in Europe

Armchair Travel seems like the only way I’m going to get out of my current set-up, so I used wikipedia and random.org to generate a list of ten countries in Europe. I will read one book from each country (and maybe watch a movie) and have my little travel around Europe.

The countries are:

Austria - The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, by Peter Handke and The Great Waltz (1938)

Belarus

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Cyprus

Finland

Greece

Poland

Portugal

Turkey

I’ll start with Austria today and I hope to finish this journey in 10 weeks’ time (till 8th of August).

I’ll read The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick by Peter Handke and watch The Great Waltz this week (and Ankit wants to watch Cinema Paradiso, so I get Italy as well – he’ll come up with his own 10 in Europe). I would really like your recommendations for Belarus and later.

Gargi

Culture Shock: #1

I kept running as fast as I could till I reached the Peninsula. That is how they called it in our days. My days. Year 96 New.

My name is Gar and I come from the Mainland. I was born in the year 80 New. Yes, I was one of the fourth-borns. When the volcano erupted, everyone in the Peninsula was buried more than ten feet deep. My great-grandfather’s generation, People A were the first to be, or exist. I don’t know where we came from, but the legend tells what I just told you. Peninsula, or India as it was called then, had very unstable weather for a few years and it all ended after five years of tumultuous conditions in their year 2014. Four revolutions around the Sun made it possible for the land to become inhabitable and then we came. No one knows from where. It has been slightly less than one hundred years since the time the Peninsula, and everything it had, came to an abrupt stop. People stopped existing mid-breath. Their hearts stopped in the middle of a beat. You took a drag but didn’t get to exhale. Alas, you started, but you couldn’t come. That is what happened. And it terrifies us to think of what will happen if this happens to us. The people of the Mainland.