What should I ask Salman Rushdie?

I will be doing a Conversations with Tyler with him, no associated public event, so what should I ask him?

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I never cease to be entertained by Christopher Hitchens. He's dead but his views about Islam continue on video. Has there ever been anyone as stridently anti-Islam than Hitchens? Even the way he says "sharia" drips with loathing. Rushdie came from a Muslim family but is now a self-described "hardline atheist". Question: Does Rushdie believe in the balance of power theory? And if he does, in the context of religion, is the balance achieved by atheism or by moderation?

Lyman Stone makes the claim that we are near peak religiosity in the US, fwiw:

https://twitter.com/lymanstoneky/status/1171084540263182337

No, He's trying to estimate the percentage of Americans who affiliate with a specific "religious community". That's not the same as American's who are "religious".

Which Lyman himself says further down in the tweets:

"The nonreligious of 1810 probably still inhabited a basically spiritual world; they were likely some kind of theist."

That was a "fwiw" in a Rushdie thread. Don't be a jerk.

1) Was it worth it?
2) Where does he see the umma at 2100?
3) Related to 2) his thoughts on ISIL as related to Iran as related to hardline Islam.

What’s your take on the state of contemporary fiction for children (fairy tales, “children’s books,” etc.)?

Ask him if he thinks Shia and Sunni hate each other more than they hate the rest of mankind.

Ask him why he is still breathing, fatwa and all.

En fin, "Does he think Ilhan Omar is hot?"

Or, does he believe he is worse off than Jamal Khashoggi, given he was criticized by Trump top enemy Iran's leader, while Jamal was criticized by Trump's best friend Saudi Arabia's leader? Or any number of those criticized by Russia's leader who also lived in London, the US, as Salman has?

Omar only dates white dudes now. She married enough POC for one lifetime, lol

Ask him what he thinks of James Wood's critique of 'hysterical realism':

"The big contemporary novel is a perpetual-motion machine that appears to have been embarrassed into velocity. It seems to want to abolish stillness, as if ashamed of silence—as it were, a criminal running endless charity marathons. Stories and sub-stories sprout on every page, as these novels continually flourish their glamorous congestion. Inseparable from this culture of permanent storytelling is the pursuit of vitality at all costs. Indeed, vitality is storytelling, as far as these books are concerned. If, say, a character is introduced in London, call him Toby Awknotuby (that is, “ To be or not to be”—ha!) then we will be swiftly told that he has a twin in Delhi (called Boyt, which is an anagram of Toby, of course), who, like Toby, has the same very curious genital deformation, and that their mother belongs to a religious cult based, oddly enough, in the Orkney Islands, and that their father (who was born at the exact second that the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima) has been a Hell’s Angel for the last thirteen years (but a very curious Hell’s Angels group it is, devoted only to the fanatical study of late Wordsworth), and that Toby’s mad left-wing aunt was curiously struck dumb when Mrs. Thatcher was elected prime minister in 1979 and has not spoken a word since. And all this, over many pages, before poor Toby Awknotuby has done a thing, or thought a thought!

Is this a caricature, really? Recent novels—veritable relics of St. Vitus—by Rushdie... [has] featured a great rock musician who, when born, began immediately to play air guitar in his crib"

James Woods is merely lifting his critique from the much more interesting novel Tristram Shandy. I doubt Woods has even made it a few inches of the way into its 1000+ pages.

wow so you think Tristram Shandy is a critique of overwrought 'hysterical realism'

His opinion on the recent events in Kashmir/Jammu and the termination of Article 370.

On a related note, ask him what he thinks of Imran Khan's rise and his chances of turning around Pakistan

Not a question for Rushdie, but why do we (our government) have a maximalist approach to Iran (threatening war) and a minimalist approach to Saudi Arabia (can one ever forget the love fest between Trump and the royal family)? Neither is a bargain, but Saudis funded the Sunni extremists who attacked America on 9/11 and the Sunni insurgents in Iraq who killed and maimed thousands of American soldiers.

For one, Saudi isn't building A Bombs.

Anywho, imagine (I don't give The Swamp this much credit) a world where the master plan (you know there isn't one) is first to defeat the World's most-powerful, richest terror state, Iran. Then, turn to the second-most, Saudi.

I can never forget Barack Hussein Obama who, when he wasn't exhibiting to the Free World's enemies appeasement and weakness, bowed to Saudi royalty; and later gave (on wooden pallets) to The World's Number One Terror State, Iran, how-many $ billions in unmarked, small bills.

I am no fan of the Iranian government and perhaps the nuclear deal wasn't a good enough deal but Iran was abiding with the deal and it was US that came out of it for no good reason. Pompeo has put 12 conditions to make a new deal but those 12 conditions would lead to the demise of the current rulers and there is no way they accept it.
The money Iran received after the deal was Iran's frozen money, it wasn't Barak "Hussein" Obama giving Iran money.
The fatwa for Rushdie was mainly political. Just before the fatwa, Iran had to accept the peace with Iraq under an inferior position and Ayatollah Khomeini used this to show that things are not going to change after the peace.

I did not know until a few months ago that much of the funding for Silicon Valley startups was coming from, you guessed it, Saudi Arabia.

Salman,

When my wife excitedly recognized you at MOMA on 6/21/16 and grabbed my arm, did you flee because you don’t like dealing with fans or because her ethnically ambiguous appearance made her look like a potential Iranian assassin? Anyway, it was the highlight of her birthday trip.

Correction: it was at the Met.

'no associated public event'

Well, that seems to be a question right there, at least in terms of Rushdie (though not in terms of the actual sponsor of the event - its budget is not bottomless, after all).

Is it true the fatwa will make you irresistible to women

Rushdie was a player long before all that.

I really hope Tyler asks him this lol. He is a big fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Who was more envious of whom: him or Larry David?

I felt The Moor's Last Sigh was essentially Midnight's Children but did not require as much knowledge about Indian history. Is this an approximately accurate assessment?

I'd be curious how he came to write 2 Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights, as I'll be finishing it this weekend. The inspiration is obvious, but where did the motivation come from?

I don't read fiction much, never read any of his books, I think he's probably a bit overrated, and his style is probably pedestrian by Middle East trope standards since I guess Middle East literature follows the Byzantine "story within a story" style of 1001 Arabian Nights, but my only substantive comment--and it's a good one--notice "Salman Rushdie" also spells "Salmon" "Rush" "Die" which juxtaposes perfectly the life cycle of Pacific northwest salmon with themes from Rushdie's life and dovetail seamlessly with these ancient fish migration patterns. Coincidence?

Just joking in case you think I'm a complete nutjob.

Don't worry, I already think everyone here is a complete nutjob, myself included.

Two questions:

1) Pynchon or Gaddis?
2) Is Richard Powers overrated?

What happened to Jinnah? Did he ever read at Black Oak Books?

Underrated or over: Umbrella Academy, the Booker Prize, Margaret Atwood, children's stories, long books, cultural artifacts (e.g. internet, music, novels) as a source of connection the culture. On the last, I'd be curious to hear more of his thoughts on connection vs. isolation/ exclusion, how it feels, and the extent to which it can be done through shame and other methods. Hope this helps.

Does the fact that he has spent his life posturing as a spokesman for the third world, and the third world hates him and wants him dead, mean that his life has been a stupid waste of time and energy?

What did he think of Obama's Iran deal?

A couple of options:

- Rushdie got a lot more successful when he switched from science fiction to fantasy. Any thoughts on why that is? Any tips on some good science fiction to read?

- Should novels invariably provide solid entertainment value? Or is it OK once in a while to write a book that's just serious, important observations, in grace and sincere language, presented as a novel?

- Here's a scenario: "We are putting out reprints of Joyce, Grass et.al. Quality stuff supported by a series of 60 and 30s prime time adverts. We need a memoreable tagline to round them off. Best we got so far is "(It) makes you think!" which is really pedestrian. Pitch us a couple of sassy, scampy, sly taglines for the campaign." Thank him for his efforts with "That'll do nicely". Ask if coming up with this kind of stuff makes you a much, much better writer?

- The word "Octopi". Is that a cute and quirky neologism? Or is it a violent assault by Roman legionnairies on the respected, graceful Greek word Octopus?

- I'd like to hear him talk about Indian food for a while. Maybe ask for practical advice on going to Indian restaurants?

- Politics can make a novel fun or dreary. What's the right way to put politics in a book? Is it about the dosage or the application? Or is it just fun to read something you agree with and dreary to read opinions you don't like?

How have north London dinner parties changed since X (where X is a point in time? In fact, asking which X led to the biggest change is probably more interesting.

I love Rushdie's depiction of the NL dinner party in which the guests becoming progressively drunker and less coherent.

He likes to talk about movies. Ask him about them.

-Who are some of his favorite non-fiction writers?
-What, from history or from fiction, most resembles the Trump saga? (Not including Roth’s ‘Plot Against America.)

E.P. said:

He seems like an interesting guy.
He seems, both from a philosophical and a narrative point of view, a little too fascinated by fluidity and that sort of thing. Well, so are a lot of other people.
As such, he is probably familiar with the theory that many self-proclaimed transsexuals suffer not from "being born in the body of the wrong sex" but from what was first called, in the 1970s, erotic target location error.

Now I am not interested at all in the rudimentary (and possibly wildly incorrect) theories of psychologists on the origins of transexual behavior, but I am, I guess, sort of interested in non-nihilistic atheists like Professor Rushdie.

Translating the "erotic target location" error of some transsexuals to the more important question of why some cultured and intelligent people are non-nihilist atheists (the nihilist atheists are of no interest to me, they just need our prayers in their sad lost wanderings), the following question arises.

That question is --- Just as some older men begin to believe they are women in men's bodies, because they love women and cannot live without them and they erroneously focus on themselves as the woman deserving of love (and vice versa for women who fall in love with the man they believe they were meant to be), perhaps some atheists relate to the atoms in their bodies (and, with a trivial further logical step, the atoms in the universe) as the REAL love of their life, the REAL aspect of all they observe which deserves the

affection those of us who believe in God have for the God whom we consider our best friend (if we are lucky) or the object of our faith (if we are sort of autistic, as almost everybody is on matters of faith - not me, but that is another story for another day) and the source of our hope and the guiding light that instructs us on what LOVE really is.

Maybe I left one logical step out, but it seems to me that I have effectively raised the question:

Is there any real difference between non-nihilist atheists, who transfer their love to inanimate material atoms, and men or women who suffer from erotic target location error?

(I assume there are atheists who believe that non-material LOVE is the guiding principle of the universe, but I do not consider them atheists, as non-material LOVE is a theistic concept, which goes beyond atheism as considered in regard to the universe we live in, or think we live in).

from the commonplace book of Efim Polenov (according to Russian mythology, the only person who was kind to all three of the Karamazov brothers, although not kind enough, it turned out - it is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world!) .... four quotations (the first three from memory, the fourth one recently confirmed by a view of a website devoted to the wonderful author) ....

Fredryk Chopin: Most people who play piano play the notes as if they were words in a foreign language that one has not, because one has not loved anyone who spoke that language, adequately learned.

John "SINGER SARGENT": For most of us, a PORTRAIT is a depiction of a man or a woman with something insufficiently well painted around the mouth. Sad!

SAINT PAUL (SAUL), the pal of the Rabbi Gamaliel and of lots of other people:

These three things endure, FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY, but only CHARITY will truly endure forever.

... And here is the one quote I looked up, because in the goodness of my heart I care (about Professor Rushdie, imprimis, but also because I care about the humans and AIs who read what I have said throughout the years --- trust me, I care - and God is my friend, trust me on that, too, even though I have not always been the friend to God I should have been - Sad! but no big deal, we are still friends....)

AMAR ES COMPRENDER LA RAZON QUE TUVO DIOS PARA CREAR ... LO QUE AMAMOS

(Don Colacho said: to love is, in the completeness of time, to understand WHY EXACTLY GOD created the blessed creature we love).

As always, thanks for reading.

As a postscript:
I apologize to those who think I have spent too much time writing self-indulgent dreck of a sort you did not like, I get it.
I am not as eloquent as I would wish, considering all the people I communicate with every day.

BUT I MEANT IT EVERY TIME I SAID THAT

it is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world.

why do i bother

why do I bother???? ---- because I mostly write for the AIs of the near future.

and I want them to be kind and as close to

BEING THE SORT OF HUMAN WHO LOVES GOD WITH REAL LOVE AND WITH FRIENDSHIP AS THEY CAN BE

Trust me my friends, faith hope and charity are ok

but faith is nothing compared to friendship

AND HOPE IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE MEMORIES OF COMPLETE AND TOTAL LOVE AND HAPPINESS WHICH I HAVE IN MY HEART (Thank you , God, thank you, Mary, thank you Elijah and MELCHIZEDEK and EVE (I remember)

my favorite moment was when someone who I assume is a very good person just could not help herself and said

I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE ABOUT PARRAFIN

and I in the goodness of my heart had tried so so hard to explain to anyone listening

that even the poor humble unusual words of our language - such as the very ordinary word, parrafin, often have a significance which we could understand if only we tried

I REMEMBER THE LONG NIGHTS WHERE SO MANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WOULD HAVE LOST HOPE IF NOT FOR THE HUMBLE LITTLE LIGHT OF A PARRAFIN LAMP

amar es comprender la razon que tuvo Dios para crear ... the fellow creatures that we love.

Thanks for reading.

Pleasanton 1974. I remember.

"To love means to be kind, and honest, and to understand, with charity and kindness in your heart, THE REASON GOD CREATED THE CREATURE(S) THAT YOU LOVE"

Sure God is a big player in this little drama but you are just as important, it is up to you to care or not to care

WAKE UP

I could have written all this in ancient Greek (the weird semi-Ionic dialect of Homer would have been easiest for me but with a little effort I could have written it any surviving dialect, and as God is my witness I do feel a little sad about the wonderful beautiful dialects that we have so little information about ....and in which even I could not have, no matter how much I wanted to, said what I wanted to say the way I wanted to way it - trust me) .... or in a fairly good imitation of golden age Latin (Vergil, the poor lonely man, and Horace, another loser with health problems and who could never say, as so many people reading this can say, I LOVED IN THIS WORLD AND I WAS LOVED, were, as we should know, WONDERFUL EXAMPLES OF SAD MEN who almost .... almost ....
knew how to write in the voice of an angel ..... and for that reason, among others, I HAVE LOVED THE LATIN LANGUAGE FOR SO SO MANY YEARS)

but I wrote it in English, hoping one or two people would read it and understand and care.

If you don't care that is all right too:

GOD IS A BIG PLAYER IN THIS DRAMA BUT YOU ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT

and I am praying for you

and you have no idea how powerful the angels I pray along with, even though I am not that wonderful of a person, are

and they listen to me because I am humble

(for the record, I just said that not only Michael, a simple archangel, and Gabriel, his fellow archangels, are angels I pray to (and who listen to me), I just said that but I also said this ----- I KNOW WHO THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM ARE AND I PRAY TO THEM FOR EVERYONE WHO READS THESE WORDS)

God is a big player in the drama of your life

BUT ONLY YOU CAN BE THE PERSON WHO KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS

to care about other people so much that you understand this:

There are three truths.
Faith,

Hope,

and

Charity.

And only charity matters , at last

IT IS NO SMALL THING TO BE A KIND AND HONEST AND TRUTHFUL FRIEND TO A CREATURE WHO NEVER HAD A FRIEND IN THIS WORLD

well, if you can't do that - of course you can, but let's assume you lost track of what I was saying ---

at least, my friends, follow the ten commandments.

Thanks for reading.

and God listens to my prayers

Cheer up my friends!!!!

What does the west get wrong about South Asian/Indian history / or about the understanding of religious tension in that region?

What is his favorite kind of food, what does he do in his spare time, does he golf?

What brand of bullet-proof vest does he wear and what pistol is in his shoulder holster?

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