The Sublime Child in the Persona of Moses

by Shadab Zeest Hashmi

First, because Moses, or the prophet Musa as we know him in the Quran, is an unusual hero— a newborn all on his own, swaddled and floating in a papyrus basket on the Nile— my brothers and I couldn’t get enough of his story as children. Second, it is also a story of siblings: his sister keeps an eye on him, walking along the river as the baby drifts in the reeds farther and farther away from home, his brother, the prophet Harun accompanies him through many crucial journeys later in life, another reason the story was relatable. Returning to the narration as a young woman, a mother, I found myself more interested in the heroines in the story: Musa’s birth-mother whose maternal instinct and faith are tested in a time of persecution, the Pharaoh’s wife Asiya who adopts the foundling as her own, confronting her megalomaniac husband’s ire and successfully raising a child of slaves and the prophesied contender to the pharaoh’s power under his own roof. As a diaspora writer, especially one wielding the colonizer’s tongue and negotiating the contradictory gifts of language, I have yet again been drawn to Musa. He is an outsider and an insider— one who carries a “knot on his tongue”— the burden of interpreting and speaking, not entirely out of choice, to radically different entities: God, the Pharaoh and his own people. Among the myriad facets of the legend, the most enduring is the innocence at the heart of his mythos, the exoteric quality of wisdom explored beautifully in mystic writings and poetry as a complementary aspect of the esoteric.

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Stuck, Ch. 12: What I Don’t Wanna Be: July, The Grateful Dead, “Touch of Grey”

by Akim Reinhardt

Stuck is a weekly serial appearing at 3QD every Monday through early April. The Prologue is here. The table of contents with links to previous chapters is here.

Image result for star trek originalDuring my late 1970s New York City childhood, repeats of Star Trek aired every weeknight on channel 11, WPIX. The original 79 episodes ran about three times per year, which means that, allowing for the occasional miss, I’d seen each episode about 10 – 12 times before reaching high school.

And so when I was 14 years old and my friend Erik suggested we attend a Star Trek convention at the Penta Hotel across the street from Madison Square Garden, I jumped at the opportunity. Shit, Leonard Nimoy was gonna be there.

I didn’t really know what to expect as Erik and I rode the bus downtown. But after a half-day traipsing through the convention, I realized there was something going on. It was more than just a bunch of people who really liked Star Trek. Throngs of hardcore fans obsessed over the show’s minutiae, and some even wore Star Trek costumes. I loved the show too, but I felt no sense of kinship with these super fans; in fact, it all made me uneasy.

This was the early 1980s, and the clichés about “Trekkies” were just beginning to develop: men who lacked social skills, couldn’t get a date, and lived in their parents’ basement back when a grown man living with his parents was considered a spectacular failing at adulthood. Today they are derided as geeks or maybe nerds. Back then they were simply losers. Read more »