"Hundreds of thousands of Americans have endured tours of duty in Iraq. They are returning home with a new word on their lips. It will have an impact on the American Experiment, inshallah."
Libya is a desert, yes, but if you trace your fingers through the moonlit sand and listen, carefully, you may hear ancient whispers: of Apollo's love of Cyrene; of prehistoric hunters making Rock Art [1, 2, 3], back when the Sahara was wet; of Phoenicians subdued by Greeks, of Romans followed by Byzantines, all leaving ruins that Libya is famous for [Cyrene, Leptis Magna, Sabratha, et cetera]; of desert soldiers in World War II, remembered in Graves and Memorials; of the occupying Italians, who responded to Omar Mukhtar's resistance of the Fascists by rounding Libyans into concentration camps; of the camps' prisoners, one of whom wrote this famous poem: "My only illness is the torturing of our young women, with their bodies exposed ... how my speech has become subdued, the humiliation of our noble and leading men and the loss of my gazelle-like horse..."; of more culture, more memories from this land that witnessed the wrenching passion of all man's history—whispering in the very dust that made his soul.
The Hostile New Age Takeover of Yoga [print version]. Standard "omg commoditization" rant, but has a delectable anecdote wherein someone mistakes clingy navel-gazing for reflection. ("What part of no don't you understand?" his note said. "I never want to hear from you again.")
The Year in Culture: a different kind of 2005 roundup—influentials are asked to mention significant cultural points of the year. Hitchens on intelligent design ruling: "Just for once…one can hear the lucid tones of reason, detachment, culture, and irony"; Gladwell on the Streets: "the British take an African-American musical form and wonderfully reinvent it" (again); others muse about rare high points in South Park, or of Brokeback Mountain and the future of movies, or the Rove-esqueness of Cindy Sheehan, et cetera.