A Beautiful Day in the Neighberhood....
Can you say schadenfreude? .... good.... I knew you could.
Sententia-ae. fem, Latin for: opinion, view, judgment; purpose, intention; (law) sentence, verdict; (in the Senate) motion, proposal, view; meaning, sense; sentence; maxim. See also: garrulitas, magnificentia, opinio, praejudicum.
When I was at Franklin Sherman elementary school in McLean in the early 60's, my sixth grade class went into Washington for a field trip. One of the places we went was the Mosque that had been built for the personnel of Muslim embassy workers and as a show case for Islam in the New World. It was a fascinating trip for a 12 year old, and I can remember parts of it clearly: the fountain in the inner courtyard, the young North Africans by the fountain that one of the teachers spoke to in French, and the guide telling us in clear but limping English the basics about Islam. I have been back to the mosque several times over the years. Each time, though I only stand and watch as a tourist, I have been touched by a sense of quiet serenity enhanced by both the worshippers and the architecture. It has always been a restful, even spiritual feeling.
Akbar S Ahmed, in Discovering Islam, has the following quote;
"Understandably in the capitols of the West, among non-Muslims, Muslims, like the Egyptian scholar Muhammad Abduh, saw many of the Islamic virtues -- piety, cleanliness, compassion, knowledge -- 'I saw no Islam but many Muslims.' At home he despaired -- 'I saw Islam but no Muslims.'"
Muhammad was a modest man. If you seek to learn of his life from the Koran you will be disappointed. Other than a few unconnected incidents referred to obliquely there is nothing there about the man. Later Muslims tried to preserve as many eyewitness accounts about Muhammad as they could discover after his death. In some cases, long after his death. Martin Lings has taken these accounts to form a narrative of Muhammad's life in English, entitled Muhammad: his life based on the earliest sources.
These quotes actually are from The Week, a wonderful magazine that offers 'the best of the U.S. and international Media'. Pick up a copy at your newstand and if you like it, subscribe.
The Whine. I first learned of it listening to late night radio call-in shows on my way to work at the Tampa International Airport. Then I forgot it, until I heard it again when I worked in the reference department of the Leon County Library. There are, or were, people who call up library reference desks to run the staff through their paces by asking them weird and difficult questions they think up for no other purpose (I do not regard in this category the drunks who once called in from a bar to ask what Triple Sec was: that had a valid purpose). Such people were emotionally stunted and it gave them a sick feeling of value to have us at their call. They all seemed to have a peculiar whine lurking in the margins of their voices. It was precisely the same whine I had heard on all those late night call-ins, those with crack pot ideas who were on a first name basis with the hosts.
In Friday's edition of the Lykesboro Herald-Tribune was found an obituary for a young man of only 23. Unlike most obits for young men, there was no story on the front page about his death from crime or accident.
In my readings I came across this little fact.
For the moment I only have two blog links up, one to 'Andrew Sullivan' and one to 'Ragged Thots'. I'll also put up 'Healing Iraq', even though its author has quit updating (the situation in Iraq is too hot and too violent to concentrate). These three are my role models for what a good blog should be. Sullivan is a pro, quite literally. While I am less sure of George on 'Ragged Thots' his blog is smart and personal, while Zeyad at 'Healing Iraq' presents a brilliant portrait of Iraqi society you won't find in the MSM. Unless, perhaps, you read Anthony Shaddid. These three blogs present an ideal that I wish to aim for.