Thursday, July 31, 2008

No Place Like Home


Hindu-influenced monument in Champa Kingdom of southern Vietnam.

Apologies, gentle readers.

No time for a coherent post.

I love my over-30 soccer league. A good game can make life feel like it's actually worth living.

Teams that wear black uniforms tend to be more aggressive.

We saw Wall*E this weekend. Review soon. 4 tentacles.

Reading an interesting book Mrs. Octopus had from college on the Indianization of Southeast Asia by G. Coedes. The book is nearly 50 years old, and Coedes' major thesis -- that the expansion of "Farther India", as he calls it (others have called it "Greater India"), through Southeast Asia (modern day Burma, Malaysia, southern Thailand, Cambodia, southern Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.) was nearly always peaceful -- has been disputed:
The Chinese proceeded by conquest and annexation; soldiers occupied the country, and officials spread Chinese civilization. Indian penetration or infiltration seems always to hae been peaceful; nowhere was it accompanied by the destruction that brought dishonor to the Mongol expansion or the Spanish conquest of America. Far from being destroyed by the conquerors, the native peoples of Southeast Asia found in Indian society, transplanted and modified, a framework within which their own society could be integrated and developed.
G. Coedes, The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, p. 34.

Also reading John Cheever again, which makes me feel like I'm regressing. Maybe it's just a side effect from watching a lot of Season 1 of Mad Men.

I played a few hours of pick-up basketball at the local park on Tuesday night. I still am not making any outside shots, but my drives to the hoop are more effective. I generally refuse to call fouls, but I was finishing my shots even with people hanging on my arms. I need to work on that jump shot.

The Taj Mahal was designed by Persian architects. Persian was the official language of the Mughal Empire. Buddhism arrived in southern Vietnam through the expansion of Farther India in the Champa Kingdom; the Buddhism prevalent in Vietnam today arrived from a more circuitous route, up into China, and then down from China into Vietnam.

There's really no end to what I don't know.

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