Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Fuzzytheory Roundup

October 5, 2012

I’ve noticed that I have had a few more people viewing my blog as of late. For new visitors, i would like to point out some of my more successful posts–the posts I like the most, and my most popular posts.

The most popular post by far has been A History of Fair-Skin Preference in South Asia, which seems to have hit on a topic of interest for readers.

Recently, there has been great interest in the post What is the Subaltern? It is now the second most viewed post. I like my summary of the basics in this post as well.

My series of posts on the Hijras is some of my favorite posts on this blog, and somewhat popular. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Some basic theoretical stuff about homophobia is a global context can be found in Homophobia and the Post-Colonial Predicament.

I do like my posts on sexuality–which are obviously inspired by Michel Foucault. You can see a sample in Our Sexuality.

For those who come here with an interest in Buddhism, try Buddhism Does Not Exist, or Foucault and Buddhism: Redux.

Looking back, I’m surprised I have a couple of posts on Joss Whedon’s universe. Try Whedon and Orientalism for starters.

That is probably enough to get started.

Thanks for coming to my blog, and Enjoy!

Buddhism Does Not Exist

July 25, 2010

NOTE: This is a comment I posted on this post at feministe, by guest blogger Kloncke. I thought I’d like to save it, because reading it again, I liked parts of it. Especially the first sentence. 🙂

Buddhism does not exist. Buddhism is a figment of our individual and collective imaginations. The “Buddhism” that we know in the “West” has little to do with Early Indian Buddhism, much in the same way that Early Indian Buddhism has little to do with Chinese Buddhism. What Buddhism has become a repository for–since its construction by Europeans as “Buddhism” (say as opposed to buddhasasana or some such), some unitary “world religion”–is all of our desires and dreams. In the early 20th century Early Buddhism was the religion of ‘rationality’ that could replace a corrupt, institutionalized, superstitious, oppressive Christianity. Then it suited our desires for mysticism and existential angst with Zen. Now Tibetan Buddhism is popular for whatever reason. Ironically, in Korea, Buddhism is seen as decadent, and Christianity is a vital, rational religion. So, why Buddhism? I guess the point I am trying to make here, is that all this discussion about what “Buddhism” is, has little to do with Buddhism and everything to do with our own conceits.

Is Buddhism about meditation? Is it a philosophy or a religion? Is it about mindfulness, etc. etc.? The answers to these questions betray our own interests and desires. Why do we get upset when one person says Buddhism is X and another says it is not X? Why take sides?

I think what could be useful is to step back a bit and ask: “are we not becoming problematically attached to ‘Buddhism’ when we want to think Buddhism is a certain way and to argue against the idea that it is another way?” Buddhism is a vast religion, with too many iterations to count. For most ‘buddhists’ throughout history, Buddhism was a complex of gods, rituals, social norms, and platitudes to get through their daily life. Indeed, even meditation was a minority practice among monks! Much of what we think is Buddhism has been a haphazardly constructed Orientalist stereotype that meets the needs and desires of Western audiences. We are spoon-fed a Buddhism that meets certain of our desires. Ironic.

Given all this, the question should not be “what is Buddhism” or even “what does Buddhism say about X”? Rather, the question should be, “since every invocation of Buddhism is used for a certain end, is an appropriation, to what end am I appropriating Buddhism–and what are the consequences of that appropriation?”

Chart Porn!!! – Teh Gheys edition

May 5, 2010

Click on these images to get the full Monty. Notice that big green blotch in the top left? As much as I dislike nationalism… GO TEAM!

Who needs to “debate” anymore? We have the chart.

Complimentary, back-handed compliment, dig on straight dudes, or truth?


Back from Haitus

June 2, 2009

I am back from an undeclared hiatus of moving and tripping to the Middle East. I should be post regularily now. Barring apathy. hah. In the spirit of coming back, let me do a blog-round or something:

The secrets of the feminine exposed: why do women go to the bathroom in pairs? SAFETY.

Gender Across Borders has a post about the American title IX thing, where there must be equal access across genders. The post mentions the myth that women are worse at science and math.  I would like to add a little cross cultural bit to this. In the mythology of India women are considered more adept at math and letters (I’m not sure about science, because this myth has, of course, undergone some changes due to colonization). Take for example the creation myth of Jains: Adinath, the first Jina (think Buddha for Jains) created civilization. His daughters, Brahmi and Sundari, who created math and writing. Now, this is historical mythology. As we might surmise, things have changed in the post-colonial worldview of India. Unfortunately, my ignorance of contemporary Indian understandings of gender divisions regarding math and science needs suplimental research. Either way we answer this question will be telling in regards to the effects of colonialism and globalization on gender in India. Just saying.

FUNNY Chicks: A blog.

Atlas should just go away already

March 30, 2009

Awesome quote (hattip: Ampersand) by Kung Fu Monkey:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.


March 27, 2009

Anonymous creative outlet. We’ll see if I keep it up. Expect theory. Expect Cultural Critique. Expect unloading of random thoughts.