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   Words of Wisdom from Arundhati Roy

LITERATURE:

Words of Wisdom from Arundhati Roy

Following are statements excerpted from a conversation between Indian author Arundhati Roy and historian Howard Zinn at Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe, New Mexico, on 18 September 2002.

"Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.”....

"When independent-thinking people (and here I do not include the corporate media) begin to rally under flags, when writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgment and blindly yoke their art to the service of the ‘Nation,’ it's time for all of us to sit up and worry...."

"Meanwhile down at the mall there's a mid-season sale. Everything's discounted—oceans, rivers, oil, gene pools, fig wasps, flowers, childhoods, aluminum factories, phone companies, wisdom, wilderness, civil rights, eco-systems, air—all 4,600 million years of evolution. It's packed, sealed, tagged, valued and available off the rack. No returns. As for justice—I'm told it's on offer too. You can get the best that money can buy.”....

"Donald Rumsfeld said that his mission in the War Against Terror was to persuade the world that Americans must be allowed to continue their way of life. When the maddened king stamps his foot, slaves tremble in their quarters. So, standing here today, it's hard for me to say this, but ‘The American Way of Life’ is simply not sustainable. Because it doesn't acknowledge that there is a world beyond America."....


A recording of the conversation between Roy and Zinn is available for $9 through alternativeradio.org, or you can read the entire transcript at here.

These excerpts were submitted to the Chronicle’s attention by John Kaminski, an investigative reporter from Florida. “Arundhati always brings tears of knowing to my eyes,” he wrote. “I know we're all real busy with the incessant details of our life, but I would sincerely recommend you put away all your distractions and read this word for word. If you do, your life will be much better when you get to the other end, just to know that there are people out there working tirelessly to make this world as good and as just as we hope it can be.


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This story was published on November 9, 2002.
  
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