Jesse Jarnow

have read/will read dept.

o Jennifer Egan’s “The General” — first published in Five Chapters, collected in Best American Non-Required Reading — is the raddest piece of short fiction I’ve read in a long while. Effortlessly modern and viciously hilarious, but also sweet and heartbreaking.
o A luxurious, Joseph Mitchell-style 2002 NYT piece on Sunny’s, where I recently caught Smokey Hormel’s Roundup. (see also: bassist Tim Luntzel’s page, for upcoming Roundup dates.)
o Via the Huffington Post: “According to Us Weekly, the Terry Gillian production of ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’, which Ledger was partially though filming, has been scrapped and everyone let go.” Dude can’t catch a break; peeps can’t even spell his name right. (Of course, Brothers Grimm and Tideland kinda sucked.)
o Tom Stoppard’s book valise. Hawt.
o Not reading, but not embeddable either, Eugene Mirman’s report from the New Hampshire primary is a useful distillation of his absurdism.
o Ron Darling has been training. (And of course you’ve seen Ira Kaplan’s Kiner’s Korner-parodying interview with Eddie Kranepool.)
o Why can’t American politics be this much like Joseph Campbell lectures about folklore? (Via NYT.)

Omens of his downfall are said to have included the breaking of a gavel in Parliament and Mr. Suharto’s loss of the chignon, or hairpiece, of his wife, Siti Hartinah, who died in 1996.

Many Indonesians maintain that her death was the beginning of the end for Mr. Suharto. She was a minor member of the royal family here, the Sultanate of Solo, and is said to have been the source of Mr. Suharto’s legitimacy as a ruler. In Javanese tradition, power has an essence of its own, known as wahyu, and is conferred like a mantle on certain chosen people in a way similar to the “mandate of heaven” that empowered Chinese emperors.

After the death of Mr. Suharto’s wife, spiritualists as well as political scientists saw Mr. Suharto becoming less deft as a ruler. In his desperation near the end, according to accounts at the time, he called in a West African spiritualist to help him.

“There is a tradition of Javanese kings becoming kings because of their wives,” Onghokham, a prominent social historian, said in an interview. He died last year. “When Suharto rose to power, people believed that the wife had the wahyu, the flaming womb, and whoever united with her would get the wahyu. After her death, people began to sense the wahyu was gone.”

Or maybe it is and we’re just too close to it.


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