India Iraq Israel Terrorism War Religion

I am a little afraid.  Usually when attending festivals or writing blog posts, the things I cover have tags like: zombies, young adult, cake, fluffy bunnies, Iron Man.  Next week, however, despite all my careful planning and plotting, I have ended up as the only representative on the Festival team going to any event related to important, contentious, and actually serious international issues, with tags like the ones listed above.

Actually, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it does serve to illustrate my fear at being asked to write lucidly about some (or any) of the issues to be discussed in sessions by Antony Loewenstein, Adrian Wooldridge and Michael Otterman.  I am truly fascinated by all of the subject matter that these guys specialise in, but I did think I could hang around on the fringes and watch in awe, rather than being relied on to produce something intelligent and thought-provoking.

Adrian Wooldridge writes for the Economist, and has co-authored five books on globalisation and business, with his most recent being the (so far fascinating – I’m up to chapter 4) God Is Back: how the global rise of faith is changing the world.

Antony Loewenstein discusses Israeli-Palestinian problems, with My Israel Question (I’m almost ready to begin this one; it’s on my desk, I promise!).

And Michael Otterman also looks to be a fascinating speaker, although alas the library doesn’t seem to have a copy of his new release Erasing Iraq, and I have yet to source any kind of extract from the book on the web.

I have, however, been able to watch all of these guys in snippets of interviews on the web, and am so impressed by both their ability to take a wide and reasoned view of undeniably complex and convoluted issues, and their obvious passion for their chosen area of interest/expertise.   And I am truly looking forward to hearing them in person, at which point I will try my hardest to convey some sense of their message to you all!

In the meantime, however, perhaps you’d like to reassure me by sharing YOUR ideal tag-cloud, or even share your most challenging/terrifying/awe-inspiring festival or booktalk session memories …

9 thoughts on “India Iraq Israel Terrorism War Religion

  1. Jane Keenan 6 May 2010 / 5:29 pm

    Bronnypop, you caught me out! Erasing Iraq has now been ordered for the Library and we will accept no excuses from you about not reading it!

    • bronnypop 7 May 2010 / 1:29 pm

      Ack! Do you think you could hold off till AFTER the festival, so I can at least get 3 hours of sleep before next Wednesday?

  2. Donna 7 May 2010 / 2:43 pm

    That’s quite an intense tag cloud brewing on your horizon Bronnypop!

    Here’s a slightly more pastel than grey one for me:
    Gymnastics / King Arthur / radioactivity / Dan Rhodes / Sylvia Smith / Magnus Mills / drollery / wit / trivia / WWII / Monty Python / velvet / lace / cupcakes / Marie Antoinette

  3. richard 7 May 2010 / 3:26 pm

    If its any consolation, in my experience the non-fiction aspects of the festival are often the most fascinating.
    As for tag clouds, today’s would be:
    Apple / beer / guitar / Russian / Christchurch / black T-shirt / death of an old friend / sushi / assertion / bad parking / sudden rain

  4. Donna 7 May 2010 / 4:23 pm

    I agree about the non-fiction Richard, it’s often the non-fiction stuff that has that currency and gripping-ness.

    Loretta Napoleoni’s 2008 session on Rogue Economics really opened my eyes and turned out to be remarkably prescient about the global economic meltdown.

  5. Lynne james 10 May 2010 / 11:27 am

    Good for you, Bronnypop, you are a brave woman. I sometimes read serious books about serious issues, but when I finish them I’m left with the “this is all very well, but what can I do about any of it?” The answer is usually “absolutely nothing”, which is incredibly depressing. To know that the world is going to hell in a handcart without any active help from me is why I pop Prozac like breath-mints. So this morning my tag-cloud will be
    depression/aging/global catastrophe/arthritis/2012/gnostic gospels/apocalypse/prescription drug abuse.

    • bronnypop 10 May 2010 / 6:01 pm

      Oh my very dear! I think a cup of tea and a lie-down sounds in order. If you can’t manage that, try WATCHING the apocalyptic movie 2012, and you will be crying so hard with laughter you won’t have time to worry about anything else!

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