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About This Blog

I am a medievalist who specializes in Near Eastern late antique and medieval tales. The first part of this blog’s name, the reed, comes from the beloved opening lines of Rumi’s thirteenth century masterpiece, the Spiritual Tales (masn’avi ma’navi). In the opening line, a reed has been cut and fashioned into a flute. The forlorn flute beckons the listener to hear its tales of love, … Continue reading About This Blog

Jinn and Topic

(Spoilers Abound) JINN, the new-ish supernatural show and first Netflix original program from the Arab world, is short, sweet, and just the thing I didn’t know I needed in my life right now. It is a fun show about teens who, having seen how ineffectual adults are at fixing both personal and big world problems, think they know better and can quick-fix their way through … Continue reading Jinn and Topic

LegionFX: A Love Letter to Dali, Tom Petty, and the Good Fight

If you’ve ever wondered what a live-action version of Salvador Dali’s paintings and photos put together would be like, then seasons 2 and now 3 of Noah Hawley’s Legion on FX will scratch that itch. After two seasons of stretching and twisting the guts out of realism and linear story-telling (season two was particularly mind-melding), Noah Hawley has now completely let his inner Dali loose, … Continue reading LegionFX: A Love Letter to Dali, Tom Petty, and the Good Fight

Philosophy 101-Jessica Jones

“When you give a shit, sometimes, it’s flung back at you.” –Jessica Jones But that golden nugget of wisdom doesn’t stop her from doing right by her family and the world despite her grumbling and eye-rolling. She just pulls on those shit-raking boots of hers and leather-jacket/shit-repellent super hero’s cape and gets to it, never mind the bruisings she gets along the way. Continue reading Philosophy 101-Jessica Jones

Dragons and the Apocalypse: From Ancient Iranian Myths to Game of Thrones

In some stories, dragons exist for the sole sake of a quest. In these cases, I find myself rooting for the dragons. There they are, sleeping peacefully, at the ends of civilization. As far as possible from the world of humans and their fuck-upery. And then a hobbit, magician, or knight comes along and disturbs that slumber. The questers never seem to remember the old … Continue reading Dragons and the Apocalypse: From Ancient Iranian Myths to Game of Thrones

Mad Sweeney: The Hero We Need

Of Gods, Angels, and Humans: The Neil Gaiman Turn in Peak Television, part 1 (Spoiler Alert! For those who have not read the novel, American Gods, this post contains possible spoilers for the show) Old gods, scattered across this vast country, live among us. You might know them as your neighborhood’s Nubian undertakers, the elderly Eastern European family in the apartment next door, the South … Continue reading Mad Sweeney: The Hero We Need

Christmas as a Site of Childhood Trauma Then and Now: Home Alone, Happy!, and Nos4a2

An instant classic, Home Alone is a Christmas family movie that was produced and released at a time of prosperity and relative social stability. It is about well-to-do parents (gorgeous house, big family, nice neighborhood, holiday vacation to Paris) who forget their youngest child, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), at home as they head out for the family vacation. The movie ends up being a lighthearted, hi-jinks … Continue reading Christmas as a Site of Childhood Trauma Then and Now: Home Alone, Happy!, and Nos4a2