A podcast about the foolish pursuit of life, clarity and context.
Ep 029 — For the Culture, Part II
“Where do you want to start?” —Farhad Azad
Afghanistan has far too often been referred to as a place where countries go to die, it is a graveyard of empires.
This moniker has been cited so many times and for so long that it’s unclear who first said it. Even the Afghan community will recite this pride. But what a title like this fails to convey is that while this might be a country responsible for the many tombstones of others, it very well is also a moratorium of progress for itself, a state in perpetual arrested development.
This is also a cemetery for countless Afghans who, in more modern times, failed to see any empire rise.
Why do some countries get to debate their histories while others have their legacy determined by outsiders? And what gets lost along the way?
This is Part II of a multi-part story on how history, current events, and culture all complicate the Afghan identity.
[00:30] “The Layers of Heaven” by Jovica [00:45] The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini [00:50] The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis [01:15] Re: Is it hard to have fun when you have a library card? [01:20] More on Jamil Jan Kochai (@jamiljankochai) Read his book, 99 Nights in Logar Read his New Yorker story [01:35] The renovation project on the West Sacramento Public Library [02:35] Listen to Part 1 here [02:50] A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini [03:10] Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini [03:15] “Mirrored Seduction” by Walt Adams [04:40] SparkNotes for The Kite Runner [05:05] The Kite Runner movie trailer [07:50] “Attan-Khatme Zanzeri” s/o to the original “afghan-music.com” [09:50] Books here: Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics by Martin Ewans The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Lemmon Killing the Cranes: A Reporter's Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan by Edward Girardet Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War by Svetlana Alexievichy Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Steve Cole Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton [11:55] “Walk Like an Egyptian” cover by The Cleverlys [12:20] Light reading on Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt Related reading here [12:35] French Suite No. 2 in C Minor [13:20] Light reading on the late Edward Said [13:30] A recent review of Orientalism by Edward Said [13:45] “Choose Your Outfit” by Colors of Illusion [14:10] Edward Said with the Media Education Foundation in 1998 [15:20] More on Farhad Azad and afghanmagazine.com [16:10] “Over the Dunes” by Jon Sumner [16:55] Light reading on Nader Shah [17:10] Light reading on the Pashtuns More on Pashtunwali Light reading on Ahmad Shah Durrani [20:05] “Portobello Road” by David Celeste [20:30] More on Dr. Nivi Manchanda (@ManchandaNivi) Her blog on the disorder of things Her book, Imagining Afghanistan: the History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge A Q&A on her book [21:00] Light reading on the British East India Company [21:10] Light reading on the geopolitical context of the 1800s [21:50] An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, and its Dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India [22:30] Some of Dr. Manchanda’s other writings “The Imperial Sociology of the ‘Tribe’ in Afghanistan” “Queering the Pashtun: Afghansexuality in the homo-nationalist imaginary” [23:45] “Fairy’s Fear” by Deskant [26:30] “Leavy Quickly” by Alan Carlson-Green [26:35] Light reading on the US-Afghan war [26:50] Light reading on the Great Game [27:00] “Oh Motherland” by Sight of Wonders [27:25] “Devil’s Disgrace” by Deskant [27:35] Light readin
Ep. 028 — For the Culture, Part I
The first part of a multi-part series on Afghanistan and how culture, current events, and history complicate identity and what it means to be from there.
Ep. 027 — For the Culture: A Prologue
This is a prologue to a multi-part series about the Afghan diaspora in America reclaiming their past and trying to grow from the present. It’s a story about culture, identity and authenticity.
[00:30] “The Layers of Heaven” by Jovica [00:55] Hit rewind. (freesound.org / cognitu perceptu) [01:00] “Our Son the Potter” by The Blue Dot Sessions [01:10] When LeBron James threw up his arms at J.R. Smith [01:20] The hit song of Summer 2017 [01:30] Why the Game of Thrones finale was awful The teaser to Season 7 for old times sakes [01:45] Brigette Gabriel’s call to “protest” More on Brigette Gabriel [02:10] The Southern Poverty Law Center’s take on ACT for America [02:15] Saturday, June 10, 2017, “anti-sharia protests” take place across the country [03:15] Dispatch from an “anti-sharia protest” in Santa Clara, Calif. (h/t @SarRavani) [06:25] More on the 2017 Portland train incident Related: The Story of a Hate Crime [06:40] The surge of hate crimes that followed shortly after the 2016 election See here, here, here and here [09:00] Light reading on no-go-zones. [09:10] Light reading on Dearborn, Mich. [09:40] “Cupcake Marshall” by The Blue Dot Sessions [12:15] Light reading on “white genocide” [14:40] “Verdigris” by The Blue Dot Sessions [16:20] This is a throwback to the original prologue of this podcast. It’s meta. [16:50] Light reading on that third culture wave. [17:20] Spoiler alert: no. [17:30] Afghan National Anthem performed on TOLO TV
We Too Shall Pass
In mere weeks, this country has seen COVID-19-related deaths rise past casualty totals for past wars and surprise attacks, sometimes passing those records daily. It seems like every day is filled with death.
But this isn’t the first time humanity has faced a pandemic. And this isn’t the first time society has reckoned with death. Is this a punishment? Or is God to blame?
F R I S C O — (Part III of III)
Whereas Part One looks into the origin of San Francisco’s F-word, and Part Two looks at the buildup and fallout of urban renewal in neighborhoods like Bayview-Hunters Point, Part Three looks at a far more sinister force and questions just how liberal and progressive this city really is.
F R I S C O — (Part II of III)
A podcast episode about the history of San Francisco's black neighborhoods