Friday, September 23, 2005

starbucks, now 35 percent less evil

It's easy to lump Starbucks into the same category as Wal-Mart or McDonald's -- evil corporations out to destroy the planet while fattening their wallet.

However, Jesse Kornbluth begs to differ with that assessment. Unlike those other bulky brands, Kornbluth says in Mediabistro, Starbucks is actually rather progressive, both in its handling of employees and its overall agenda. In the process, they have become that rare thing: "a company with soul."

Monday, September 19, 2005

believe the hype

"Believe the Hype" is my biweekly column for the Black Table that takes a closer look at a movie, album, book, or television show that's been getting a lot of buzz recently. I try to determine if it's actually worth its hype.

Today's piece is about House. The diagnosis isn't pretty.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

a true muslim woman, yes or no?

Muslim women living in America have an unenviable choice -- dress and act like any other Western female (and lose your cultural identity) or don a burka (and be stereotyped as an oppressed wallflower) ...

To most Westerners, "an authentic Muslim woman is always wearing a hijab," said Asma Barlas, a Koran scholar at Ithaca College whose female-centric
interpretations of Islam's holy book have sparked controversy in the Muslim world.

In reality, most Muslim women in the United States and in Europe don't wear the hijab, except for worship, because they are members of a secular majority or see themselves as cultural Muslims, identifying more with rai music or rumi poetry than with salah, or Scripture. Still others are devoted Muslims but don't view the hijab as a prerequisite of spirituality.

To these Muslim women, the hijab is more than an annoying media stereotype. It obscures their independence, outspokenness and career-mindedness.

Omar Sacirbey dissects this struggle for identity.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

lord of war

My piece on Lord of War.

constant gardener

No, you're not wrong for thinking that The Constant Gardener is a tad overrated.

And Anthony Lane will explain why.

we'll know where when we get there

This is an experiment into seeking out the best writing on the arts, culture, what have you.

Often, I'll agree with the point of view, but not always. Mostly, I just want a place to collect insightful, engaging commentary that actually stimulates the mind.

We'll see how it goes.