‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Actor Bill Daily Dies at 91

Bill Daily, the comic actor perhaps best known for his role as Major Roger Healey in the classic TV series I Dream of Jeannie has died. He was 91.

The actor’s son, J. Patrick Daily, confirmed his father’s passing to The Hollywood Reporter, noting that Daily died of natural causes on Tuesday, September 4, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His son, in confirming his death to Variety, remembered Daily as a man who loved everything.

“He loved every sunset, he loved every meal — he just decided to be happy about everything,” J. Patrick said.

Daily was a regular face on television between the 1960s and the 1980s. After appearing in various guest spots on series such as Bewitched, Daily’s breakout role was in I Dream of Jeannie where he starred alongside series leads Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden for five seasons. He later went on to play Bob Newhart‘s goofy neighbor on The Bob Newhart Show and later appeared as Dr. Larry Dykstra on ALF. Both Eden and Newhart remembered Daily on Twitter after news of his passing broke.

“Our favorite zany astronaut, Billy Daily has passed,” Eden wrote. “Billy was wonderful to work with. He was a funny, sweet man that kept us all on our toes. I’m so thankful to have known and worked with that rascal. Until we meet again Billy, xo -B.”

Newhart, who had actually worked for Daily as his accounting in Chicago before the pair made it in Hollywood, remembered Daily as one of the “most positive” people he knew.

“Bill Daily and I go back to Chicago in the 50s,” Newhart wrote. “He and I were both trying to get into standup. Later, he joined the Bob Newhart Show. He was our bullpen guy — you could always go to him. He was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. I will miss him dearly.”

Daily was born August 30, 1927 in Des Moines, Iowa. He grew up in Chicago where he turned to comedy as a way to distract people from his dyslexia, a condition he battled by memorizing all of his lines for performances, though Newhart writer-producer Jay Tarses recalled that he would “move his fingers” when he couldn’t remember his lines — something that frequently led to comedy.

“It was funny when it happened,” Tarses said. “Sometimes we’d be able to leave what he said in the show, and sometimes someone laughed, and we had to stop.”

Daily is survived by his son J. Patrick, who is a key grip for motion pictures.

‘Lifelong dream’ — Capital Gazette victim’s novel is published posthumously

WASHINGTON — A novel written by Rob Hiaasen, one of five people killed in the Capital Gazette newspaper shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, will be released in the coming days.

The book, “Float Plan,” is being published posthumously by Apprentice House Press at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Hiaasen had been developing the novel for several years.

“When I say publishing fiction was a lifelong dream of Rob’s, I mean it,” Hiassen’s widow, Maria Hiaasen, said in a statement. “He crafted ‘Float Plan’ by writing at night and on weekends, and he spent years attempting to perfect his creation.”

The book will be available in paperback, hardcover and e-book formats when it is released Sept. 15.

“We take great pride and joy in seeing the fulfillment of Rob’s dream,” said Maria Hiassen, who called the situation “bittersweet.”

“Float Plan” tells the comical story of Will Larkin, an algebra teacher in Annapolis going through a midlife crisis who must pick up the pieces of his life after losing his wife, job, dog, boat and even his freedom all in one year.

Apprentice House Press plans to donate all proceeds from the sale of the book to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates for stricter gun laws.

“It is a privilege to publish Rob’s work,” said Kevin Atticks, director of Apprentice House Press. “’Float Plan’ is a long-form example of the writing that endeared so many readers to his columns.”

Hiaasen was a columnist and assistant editor at the Capital Gazette newspaper and was killed along with four of his colleagues when a gunman opened fire in the newsroom in late June.

The other victims included Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Wendi Winters.

There have been numerous efforts to raise money for the victims’ families, including a daylong benefit concert in Annapolis called Annapolis Rising and a GoFundMe page that has generated more than $200,000.

The alleged shooter, Jarrod Ramos, has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of murder and has a trial scheduled for January.

Investigators say Ramos had a long-running vendetta against the newspaper.


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Public school teachers turn to crowdfunding for supplies, ‘dream’ school projects

(NEW YORK) — Many public school teachers across the country are looking to go above and beyond to educate the next generation, and they’re turning to Donors Choose to raise money for school supplies and projects.

“About half the projects on our site are basics: paper, pencils, dictionaries, art supplies for an art teacher,” Donors Choose CEO Charles Best told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes.

The other half of the projects are “dreams,” Best added, such as “to take students to Washington, D.C., to do an incredible science experiment, to build a robot.”

Jane Viau, a high school teacher at the Frederick Douglass Academy in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, said she’s raised “over $82,000 worth of resources that go directly into the hands” of her students.

“I want kids to come in and feel the energy and feel the brightness — and want to learn,” she said.

Viau said the donors are from “all over the country,” and for many teachers, the site can be a major resource to fill funding gaps at a time when public school budgets are often tight.

Over three-quarters of her students come from low-income households, Viau added.

Without the resources and projects she was able to fund using Donors Choose, “I don’t think the kids would have reached their full potential,” Viau added. “They are hungry to learn. They’re eager to learn. I want to instill in them that ability to persevere, and to not quit, and be determined, and have grit, and know that they can do hard stuff — because they can.”

Viau just began her 17th year as a teacher. Before that, she worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, she said she had a crisis of conscious, which led her into education.

“I thought there’s a whole world out there, there’s a lot of good I can do, like how can I leave my mark on the world,” she said.

Shortly after, Viau found herself “in a classroom in Harlem teaching math,” she said. “And that’s what I’ve been doing very happily ever since.”

Carlos James, one of Viau’s former students, said he has been touched by the way strangers have shown that they care.

“Strangers coming out of their way to donate so an entire class can have a book,” he said, “it opens up your eyes on how much people really care about you.”

Another former student of Viau’s, Fati Fousseni, added that witnessing the generosity of donors “serves as an inspiration for me to give back if I can.”

At least seven of her former students have gone on to give back, donating to projects at their old school.

Elsewhere across the country, public school teachers of all subjects have also shared how they have used the site to help make a difference in their community.

Music teacher Genein Letford at the New Academy Elementary school in Canoga Park, California, said she has had 54 projects funded on the site, which includes everything from buying musical instruments to taking students on college visits.

Elementary school teacher Damon Qualls from Greenville, South Carolina, said that after noticing many of the young boys in his class didn’t have positive male role models, he turned to Donors Choose to fund the “Men Who Read” program, which invites male community leaders to visit his students and read to them. He also raised money to buy his students blazers and ties.

Through Donors Choose, educators across the country are making a difference in their communities and inspiring the next generation.

Viau called the strangers who support educational goals “our angels.”

“They help us create an oasis of hope in this room,” she said from her Harlem classroom. “When we come in this room, we know that anything is possible.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gary Shteyngart explains his new book on the self-delusion of Wall Street

Gary Shteyngart boarded a Greyhound bus in summer 2016 as research for his latest novel, Lake Success — a journey that his protagonist, the hedge fund manager Barry Cohen, would take as well. He wanted to learn about the America between the coasts. Shteyngart’s cross-country Greyhound trip lasted four months and included stops at eight cities, including Raleigh, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; and El Paso, Texas.

The resulting book is a critical and humanizing portrait of the people who work in Wall Street, as well as an insightful view about what Americans were feeling leading up to the 2016 election.

Shteyngart, who immigrated to the US from Russia, is the best-selling author of Super Sad True Love Story, Little Failure, and other works that frequently take aim at elite American culture. His latest novel is equally critical of Wall Street, rural America, and liberal writers. Cohen, the protagonist, grew up blue-collar, married a first-generation Indian woman, and “considered himself entirely self-made,” a rationalization he uses throughout the book to justify his work in the financial sector.

When I asked Shteyngart why he wanted to explore the idea of being self-made in America, he told me, “I saw many people in finance who would say, ‘I hate Occupy Wall Street, all these people. They don’t know how hard I work’ — as if hard work was the justification for everything that they do.”

I spoke to Shteyngart about what being an American means to him, his thoughts on Russia’s involvement in American politics, and why you, too, should get on a Greyhound bus.

Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Hope Reese

Your story begins with Cohen tossing his cellphone and wallet into the trash and boarding a Greyhound bus. Is the Greyhound an equalizer for Americans?

Gary Shteyngart

I think the East Coast or West Coast existence is a very particular kind of existence. We really are protected from what life is like for most people in this country. I think the Greyhound is, as you said, the great equalizer. You get on and a whole world opens up. Every single type of person was on the bus. It was an eye-opener. Some of those people were horrifying; I met white supremacists along the way, just as Barry meets them during his trip. In 2016, it gave me a clearer snapshot of this country than almost anything I’d ever done.

By the time I got off the bus, in the summer of 2016, I wasn’t sure Hillary [Clinton] was going to win. It was my first inkling that things might not go the way everybody thought they were going to go. Get on that bus is my advice.

Hope Reese

What did Barry learn from traveling on the Greyhound? Do you think he got an accurate picture of the country?

Gary Shteyngart

By the time he gets off the Greyhound, I don’t think Barry has learned very much. He wanted to have this experience that he could talk about. The next thing you see, he’s at a posh hedge fund party on Central Park West and he’s talking about his experience. Because so much of what people who are really wealthy try to do is capture some sense of authenticity — so they’ll fly to some poor village in Uzbekistan and hang out with the baker and something like that.

Barry kind of does that. But after a certain number of years have passed, the experience starts to catch up with him. It’s not that he learns; it’s almost like a sense of harm reduction. “Do no harm,” as they say. He, hopefully, becomes this less harmful person.

Hope Reese

Many people on the left are critical of Wall Street, of people like Barry. Yet you were able to turn him into a somewhat sympathetic character. Do you think the Wall Street critics are missing something?

Gary Shteyngart

No, I don’t think so. I think they’ve got it right about what [the finance industry] does to the world, the inequality they create. To the way they generate income, very loosely taxed income for a very small number of people — obviously it’s a zero-sum game in some ways, and it takes money away from other people.

The challenge I pose to myself is how do you write about somebody who has his own hedge fund for whom you can still, toward the end of the book, capture a glimmer of this humanity? Look, Barry’s not Pol Pot exactly, but at the same time, he has very few redeeming qualities.

Mostly, it’s a book about self-delusion. The way Barry perceives himself — socially liberal, fiscally conservative — is so at odds with the footprint that he actually leaves upon the world. The book is an examination of that. My biggest dream is that somebody comes up to me after reading it and says, “You know, I work in finance and I read your book and I love it. Maybe I should try something else.” That would be the icing on the cake.

Hope Reese

Barry’s neighbor Luis Goodman, a writer, is also subject to scrutiny in the novel. He turns out to be a narcissist who makes huge fees giving talks at universities. During dinner one night, Barry asks him, “How do you monetize your art?” As a writer yourself, how do you view that scene?

Gary Shteyngart

The book takes place all over the country, but in many ways it’s a satire and a put-down of a certain branch of a certain New York society, which includes hedge funders, media people, successful novelists like Luis. Everyone is almost a part of the same problem. Obviously, someone like Luis does a lot less harm than Barry. But Luis also is on the make culturally, economically, and every way possible. Barry lacks a self-awareness, but Luis has this self-awareness, and he uses it for ends that are not necessarily great.

The people I met on my journey across this country, the people that I loved and whose lives seemed the most balanced, were people who didn’t live in New York or San Francisco. They lived in slower communities where they actually made a difference, where they lived middle-class lives but they actually participated in their communities — professors at public universities is an example. People working with the first generation of working-class groups. Of course, you can work and teach in a community in New York and have a similar experience.

New York is a corrupting city in many ways. The proximity to this kind of wealth, I think, takes away some sense of reality and authenticity from good people too.

Hope Reese

What does the American dream mean to these characters? What does it mean to you?

Gary Shteyngart

In the book, there’s not much American dream left as Barry goes across the country. He doesn’t encounter very much. It’s sort of the leftovers of the American dream. The book says the American dream exists only for this urban, chiefly New York, perhaps Silicon Valley sliver of society where somebody can make enough of an outside income that there’s hope for the next generation and for the generation after that.

Barry’s clinging to the remnants of the American dream, but he’s still under the illusion that everything’s hunky-dory in America — that the rest of the country still has a chance. Meanwhile, people like him and his wife and their colleagues are hogging all of the opportunity.

There’s this constant feeling of, “Well, I’ve worked so hard and it’s a meritocracy, and that’s why I achieved so much.” I think you hear this a lot from people [in] finance and other fields. But I think the book in some ways deflates this idea that it’s a meritocracy. Barry meets a fellow, a former hedge funder named Jeff Park, who says, “Look, you got lucky and you were in the right place at the right time. You’re a white guy. That’s how you got to where you are.”

Hope Reese

Going back to the immigrant experience, this [came] to the surface in a really dramatic way when the Trump administration separated immigrant children from their families at the border, which was later reversed. A recent federal filing stated that 565 children are still separated from their families. What are your thoughts on that, especially as an immigrant yourself?

Gary Shteyngart

That may be the gravest sort of thing that America could ever experience — the idea that it is no longer a country welcoming to immigrants. We’ve had this before as well. There’s been many times in American history where people have stood up and complained about the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, etc. This is just a part of who we are. But having children ripped out of the hands of their parents is something that, in modern history, shows a kind of anger and aggressiveness that’s always been there but was never in direct power.

We’re a violent country. We always have been. There’s always people who have been hurt and killed. Large parts of this country are loving it. They love the idea that parents and children are being separated and sent home and all of this stuff. Even as this country relies on labor from Mexico and Central America for everything. Even in the rural counties, so much of the hard work that nobody else will do — agricultural work, handiwork, all of it — is being done by people from Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

It’s just this incredible burst of anger that as an adult, I’ve certainly never thought would happen in this country.

Hope Reese

Another major issue in current politics is the ongoing Russia investigation. How do you see this, as a Russian immigrant yourself?

Gary Shteyngart

I was raised as a Republican kid, and Russia was considered the most dangerous country in the world [by both parties]. But the fact that the [Republicans] changed, they’ve shifted their opinion so radically and are now supporting the right-wing regime of Russia, is really just amazing and so cynical. There’s no greater danger right now than Russia’s influence across the world.

You know, in a way, they were able to accomplish what they could never accomplish during the Cold War. Of course, there was always what they called active measures and ways to influence the Western world to create divisions and schisms. But this time, they nailed it. They couldn’t have nailed it, I think, without the existence of social media, without those channels. They finally found the technology that most matches their methods of disinformation.

Hope Reese

Seema, Barry’s wife, says she wants to be “a little less American” because she believes America is “dying.” Is that an extreme view?

Gary Shteyngart

You basically have a ban that’s been approved by the Supreme Court against people of a certain religion. Today it’s Muslims. Tomorrow, it’s somebody else. Remember, until 1965, there were laws like limits to immigration from Asia. For a while, it seemed like we were becoming a society that could appreciate people from everywhere. But the multiculturalism really centered in specific parts of the country. It didn’t extend throughout. Now we see the backlash to that — but if that changes, people will go somewhere else.

People forget that societies rise and fall. The idea that America was a superpower for 100 years — who’s to say it’s destined to be a superpower for the next 200 years or 100 years or 10 years? Everything that’s being done now is being done to dismantle our position in the world.

Hope Reese

Do you struggle with your own American identity?

Gary Shteyngart

My parents did one right thing, for sure, which was they took me out of Russia when things got bad. [In America,] we all know right now we’re on the path of authoritarianism. There’s no question about it, with certain authoritarian tendencies already kicking in. When does one leave?

It’s not easy, as my own experience shows. It’s not easy to be an immigrant for the adults or the children involved. But one thing I know is that now that I have a kid; I don’t want to raise them in a society that I wouldn’t admire.

Hope Reese is a journalist in Louisville, Kentucky. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Vox, and other publications. Find her on Twitter @hope_reese.

HOMETOWN COLUMN: Lake George is setting for new book | Local

LAKE GEORGE — For Suzanne La Voie, the Jersey Shore doesn’t compare to the shores of Lake George.

The author, who read the first chapter of her book “Knight Shift” at the Caldwell-Lake George Library on Wednesday evening, has been visiting Lake George with her family since she was 6 years old.

“I’ve been to half the United States and overseas and I still consider this my favorite area in the world,” La Voie told the audience.

Now in her 40s, the New Jersey resident is making the lakeside village the setting of her “Knight” book series.

“The biggest question I get is, ‘Well, what do you do there? It’s a lake,’” La Voie laughed. “I said, ‘Well, it’s a really, really big lake,’ and I said, ‘What can’t you do here? There’s everything.’ I’ve been coming here over 30 years and there’s still things I haven’t done.”

La Voie, who has a master’s degree in social work, always loved to write but worked in education and the hospitality field before embarking on her literary journey. A few years ago, she fell ill and found herself house-bound.

She decided to fulfill her dream of writing a book, and she set to work on her laptop writing the first few chapters of “Knight Shift,” set in her favorite place — Lake George.

“Knight Shift” tells the story of Sage Knight, who, after a major life upheaval, seeks solace in her beloved town of Lake George. The book is about the power of starting over and overcoming adversity. It is available on Amazon for $13. 

Writing the book has taken La Voie on a journey.

“When everything just falls apart in your life, it may seem scary, but that is the best time to really take that huge leap of faith and dig into something that you’re really passionate about,” she said. “And for me it was writing.”

While the characters are fictional, their experiences are based on her personal and professional life and the novel mentions specific places in Lake George, Glens Falls and the whole Adirondack region.

“There’s something divine about these mountains,” she said. “Every time I come here I always feel healthier, I feel calmer, more relaxed.”

She coaches people on social media about what they should do when they visit Lake George, like eating pizza at Giuseppe’s or feasting on the prime rib at The Log Jam or Ridge Terrace. She lauds the area’s many activities, like parasailing, whitewater rafting, hiking and miniature golfing.

“As a writer and an author,” she explained, “I won’t put anything in my books that I haven’t experienced myself.”

Hoping to make Lake George her permanent residence someday, La Voie will be spending a lot more time in the area, doing research for the next two books in the series.

Her second book in the series, “Falling into the Knight,” will come out in November. The third in the series will have a winter theme and incorporate the Lake George Winter Carnival.

“I want my readers to feel that they want to be here,” she said, “that they feel like they’ve been here.”

While “Knight” is the main character’s last name, “Shift” in the title also has a double meaning, La Voie said.

“Being sick was really the best shift that happened to me because it forced me to really look at what I wanted to do,” La Voie said. “I have a life today that I never would have imagined for myself.”

Call me the good news girl. Send me your church functions, your library events, your school honor society induction photos  – I’ll do my best to get it into the Sunday Hometown section of the paper. Are there special people in your community worthy of recognition? Tell me about them. Drop me a line, a tip, a note, or send a press release and photos to [email protected] or simply call my desk at 518-742-3206. I look forward to hearing all your good news.

Lao poet’s book, ‘Before We Remember the Dream’ set for October release

Bryan Thao Worra by S. Houghton Phoutavong, for the cover of his 2018 book of poetry, “Before We Remember We Dream.”

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 22, 2018) — Sahtu Press recently announced the forthcoming release of the new illustrated poetry collection entitled “Before We Remember We Dream” by award-winning poet Bryan Thao Worra. This new book explores memory and geography in the Lao diaspora, and will be released in October, 2018. The collection also features original art by Nor Sanavongsay.

There are over 232,000 Lao in the United States and many of them arrived as refugees in the 1980s with over 13,000 resettling in Minnesota. Covering a period of nearly 45 years, “Before We Remember We Dream” navigates the unique experience of the author that took him from the final years of the war in Laos to Montana, Alaska, and his formative years in Michigan and Washington D.C. and a meandering search for his long-lost family. Drawing on such diverse influences as the science fiction film Blade Runner to the ancient Lao epic of Sinxay, the history of Lao cinema, paleontology, the horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, Playboy playmates, and a Hmong emu farm in Missoula, Thao Worra asks readers in this collection to assess what it means for refugees to rebuild, transform and tell their stories in their own words and on their own terms.

Sahtu Press focuses on books, publications and cultural information, particularly specializing in Lao American writers and artists. A non-profit press, it was established with a primary mission to publish and promote enduring contemporary Lao American literature and to create academic and grassroots learning opportunities. From children’s books to other literary domains, the press is dedicated to the publication of excellent work by Lao American writers, while promoting positivity and cultural harmony.

Nor Sanavongsay is an award-winning Lao American writer based in the San Francisco Bay area and he is the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a member of several platforms, including the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit and the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin. He is also the author of children’s books inspired by Lao folktales, such as Xieng Mieng: A Sticky Mess, and the contemporary Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers. Some of his handiwork can be seen from companies like Encyclopedia Britannica, Sears, Zoosk, and Barnes & Noble among others.” Before We Remember We Dream” is his first illustrated poetry book.

Bryan Thao Worra is a Lao American writer. Born in Vientiane, Laos in 1973, he holds over 20 awards for his writing and community leadership including an NEA Fellowship in Literature and was a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the 2012 London Summer Games. He is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, a 40-year old international literary organization celebrating the poetry of the imaginative and the fantastic.  He has presented at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Loft Literary Center, Intermedia Arts, Kearny Street Workshop, the Institute for Contemporary Art, among many others, and recently as a Visiting Artist with University of Merced Center for the Humanities. His work appears internationally in Australia, Canada, Scotland, Germany, France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea, and Pakistan.

The cover was painted by Lao American visual artist and educator  Sisavanh Phouthavong-Houghton, based in Tennessee with roots in Kansas and Vientiane, Laos. Born in 1976, she emigrated with her family in 1980, first to the Nong Khai refugee camp in Thailand, followed by an initial resettlement to Winfield, Kansas. She holds a B.F.A (Painting) from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. (Painting/Drawing) from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Ill.  As an Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., she is regularly teaching advanced level painting courses. She is represented by Tinney Contemporary gallery in Nashville.

Both author and illustrator will be available to talk at schools and book clubs throughout 2019. Also, there will be discount rates for the book available for non-profits, libraries and schools. They will also be available to sign books at these events. Book release events will be held across the country beginning in October. For more information on “Before We Remember We Dream,” please visit: www.sahtupress.com

A dream deferred

Bastar Dispatches

Author : Narendra

Publisher : HarperCollins India, Rs 499

Modernity has found one excuse or the other to not reach Bastar. But that delay has helped the tribes retain their way of life, says JIGYASA HASIJA

Sometimes the best way to understand ourselves is to look into a mirror. Such is the insight in sociologist Narendra’s new book. In search of himself, and seemingly disappointed and unsatisfied with life, as a young man he reaches out to a tribe in the deep forests of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, the hunter-gatherer ethnic group of the Abhujmadias. He goes one step further than his predecessors Wilfred Grigson (The Maria Gonds of Bastar, 1938) and Verrier Elwin (The Muria and their Ghotul, 1947). Instead of objective and ostensibly detached interviews, he meets them on their own turf. Terming it as a homecoming of sorts, the author’s sentiment for this fascinating ethnic way of life becomes amplified with each page, each experience. Imagine Jake Sully from David Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar in an Indian setting.

Narendra gives the reader a head-start with the first line of the book — “Abhujmad is not a mythical construct,” because what he is about to narrate might seem concocted, fabricated, or worse, fictitious. As the reader delves deep into the forests of underdeveloped and mineral-rich Bastar, every aspect starts brimming with life. The author has divided his work into four aspects, each unusual for the contemporary reader — language, living conditions, exchange with the outside world, and connections with the environment. Every feature is given a liberal amount of space, and the author’s conversations with the people are liberally interspersed with background information. He reaches out to the tribal men and women featured in the book to get a fuller picture of the Abhujmadia way of life. What is it like, he constantly questions, to live in such a world, where there is an incredibly different concept of time and space? Together, these aspects take the reader on an engaging tour into the clan’s beliefs and ways, explaining in detail how this tribe has managed to stay away from modernity.

It all began in 1980 when Narendra became associated with a field research programme under the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), to investigate the Adivasi way of life. Till about 1985, the writer chose to stay in Abhujmad. His work, thus, desists from discussing Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or the interference of the then Government in the day-to-day life of the tribals in detail. Though the author sympathises with the inhabitants’ problems with the Government, modernisation and social democratisation, he does not give any details as to what methods the State uses vis-a-vis the people of Bastar. Some personal narratives of affected people have been included. However, no mention has been made of the daily perils of the Adivasis. The history of the inhabitants has also been done away with. The author tends to focus more on the mystical side of the clan, talking about how actions are really sensed rather than seen. For instance, in a chapter titled ‘Random Field Notes,’ the writer reminisces about the impenetrable, dense vegetation of the forest, especially at night, and that, “There is no knowing or not-knowing”. In another chapter about place and time, his focus digresses into death as a subject and how dates or attempting to record a period is unnecessary in the larger scheme of things. One episode in particular stands out — about a forest beat guard defying death by a whisker, with help from a native Adivasi woman who initially contested with a wild bear, and ultimately tricked it into running away. 

It is interesting to note that Narendra was the first outsider to live with the Abhujmadias. Basing his writing on 30 years of his association with contiguous areas in the Bastar division of Chhattisgarh, the author brings out the wild forest, humans and animals, and distances, collectively-styled societies and intimacies. At present, the population of the 237 villages in Abhujmad is 35,000 people; in 1985 it was approximately 13,000. In 2007, the Ministry of Environment labelled the Marxist hotbed Bastar as an ecological reserve, and it was only recently in 2009 that outsiders were allowed to enter the area by the Government. So impenetrable and cut-off from the outside world is this hilly forest zone, that some villages had not even known the impact of the wheel, or the taste of salt. Narendra’s preface goes thus:

“The small Abhujmadia community lived on food gathering and hunting, with shifting cultivation as a supplement. Shifting cultivation was not practised every year or by each family. Still, in a somewhat primeval stage, the region has neither trade, nor industry, commerce, occupation, or other modern apparatus. But neither was there hunger, starvation, beggary or lingering disease. Whereas an average village consisted of three-four scattered huts, an average family had four-five members. Amidst the primeval silence of dense wilds, the Abhujmadias continued to live in their tiny bamboo-and-thatch huts…”.

Not needing more than 500 words to converse, and counting only up to five because “it is not required,” the author paints a Utopian picture of a very different sensibility. In between, the reader would be forced to ponder upon and acknowledge the damage which has been inflicted in the name of civilisation. Much of what the writer has vividly described comes across as bewildering and at times, stunning. Bastar Dispatches is also associated with the ‘Dark Mountain’ project, which includes scholars such as Douglas Hine, Cody Meyocks, Steve Wheeler, John Zerzan, Dr David Fleming, Margaret Elphinstone, James Cowan, Andreas Kornevall, John Rember, Joanna Varawa, and Mike Edwards.

Literary images confront directly; they confound, stifle and paralyse poetically, politically and psychosomatically. The Abhujmadias see themselves as a part of Mother Nature, which remains sublime under their guard till this day. They understand that it is too vast in its power. This book comes as a breath of fresh air in the wake of reports about diminishing glaciers, oil spills and deforestation. It is almost like a fairytale, a haze which refuses to lift even a while after you are through with the written word.

Peppered with words and anecdotes of wise men and women, what also helps the authentic stamp is the author’s preference for narration in the form of letters and diary entries which makes it an honest and readable book. Even the pictures provided are rare gems, as photography is strictly prohibited in Abhujmad; the ones clicked are in fact from areas immediately adjacent and culturally contiguous to Abhujmad. The book shows that for Bastar, even the deferred dream of modernity has helped save an even more beautiful dream — their unique culture and ideas.

5 Huge WWE Dream Matches For The Return Of John Cena

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

"The Champ" revealed last month that he will return to the ring at WWE’s live event in Shanghai, China on September 1st, marking his first appearance for the company since April’s Greatest Royal Rumble special in Saudia Arabia. WWE has, of course, missed the presence of Cena, who many have called WWE’s biggest draw and appears to be a significantly bigger attraction than Roman Reigns, the star who is currently booked as the face of the company in Cena’s absence.

Cena has proven in the past to make a drastic difference when it comes to both TV ratings and live event attendance, so although he isn’t advertised for any other future appearances beyond October’s Super Show-Down event, there is optimism regarding Cena’s return and the possibility that it leads to him coming back to Raw or SmackDown for a major feud and a slew of potential dream matches. While Cena had recently been linked to a potential rematch with The Undertaker, SummerSlam came and went without it happening, which means WWE will likely look in another direction for Cena’s next feud, whenever it may take place.

Over the past several years, WWE has already put Cena in a number of high-profile feuds and matches with top stars ranging from The Miz to AJ Styles to Shinsuke Nakamura, but rest assured, there are still plenty of rivalries waiting for him. Here are five dream matches/feuds WWE should do upon Cena’s return to the ring.

Braun Strowman

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Although Cena faced Braun Strowman on Raw last year, that match came with absolutely zero build, and in fact, it wasn’t even announced in advance.

While that may hurt the luster of this potential dream match a bit, it’s a feud that must be done for Strowman, one of a handful of stars that WWE is clearly grooming to carry the company when Cena is gone for good. Especially now that Strowman appears to be in the early stages of a heel turn and recently found himself on a bizarre looking streak of sorts, it’s imperative that WWE book Strowman in marquee feuds with the company’s top stars, and it doesn’t get any bigger than a bout with Cena.

There are no secrets about Cena’s drawing power, which continues to grow as his acting careers takes off, but there are signs that Strowman is perhaps WWE’s most must-see attraction among its current full-timers. In 2017, Strowman was arguably WWE’s biggest YouTube draw, and that remained true early this year when, during a five-month analysis of WWE YouTube viewership, he ranked among the company’s most viewed stars on the video-sharing site. This comes around the same time Strowman became a top merchandise seller and not long after the Wrestling Observer reported that no one main evented as many shows that drew at least 10,000 fans as Strowman did in 2017.

In other words, Strowman is a budding draw, and given that he’s never had a full-fledged feud with Cena or a match that had any sort of story leading up to it, there’s certainly reason to believe that a battle between two of WWE’s most polarizing stars could be a big viewership hit and a great way to cement Strowman as a villain once again.

Drew McIntyre

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Vince McMahon is reportedly a big fan of Drew McIntyre and is actively involved in the booking of his character on the main roster, where he envisions McIntyre gradually being elevated to the main event, though he might get there sooner than expected.

If you listen carefully to the announce team on Raw, they’re clearly pushing McIntyre and trying to get him over as someone who can be a main eventer and world title contender for the next five to 10 years. McIntyre has already impressed, not just with his bodybuilder physique, but also with his promos, his in-ring skills and his charisma that has evolved so much since he last was on WWE’s main roster a few years ago.

You can see that McIntyre is right on the cusp of greatness, and looking back over the last couple of years, WWE has often paired Cena with stars who were new to Raw or SmackDown and the company obviously had big plans for. That was true of Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, who all worked with Cena almost immediately after making their main roster debuts and were viewed as much bigger stars because of it. McIntyre, as a star with a world of unlimited potential, should be next to join that list whenever Cena comes back to Raw.

Cena has this uncanny ability to make new stars seem like a big deal, and with McIntyre’s presence alone (plus the commentary from the announce team) making it clear that he is viewed backstage as WWE’s "next big thing," having him work with Cena would be the final stamp of approval that would make fans say, "Hey, this guy is worth paying attention to." One of the biggest ongoing issues with WWE is its lack of clear top heels, and McIntyre has anything and everything you could want out of a main event caliber villain.

Putting him in a feud with Cena would not only help McIntyre get there, but it would be a fresh dream rivalry for both stars during an era when those seem harder and harder to come by.

Goldberg

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Any wrestling fan who doesn’t like seeing part-timers "take a spot" from a full-timer won’t like to hear this, but Goldberg was a big draw for WWE during his recent run.

That has reportedly left the door open for WWE to use Goldberg again in the future if and when the time and money is right after Goldberg apparently landed a very lucrative deal with the company during his run that lasted from Survivor Series in November 2016 to WrestleMania 33 in 2017. As exemplified by all of the hype and buzz created by Goldberg’s feud with Brock Lesnar, fans don’t necessarily need to expect a stellar in-ring performance from a star if the story he’s involved in is good and if the match features enough star power for a lack of in-ring skills to be overlooked.

Goldberg has never been confused for a great in-ring worker, but as we saw with Cena vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 34, a match between two stars of this magnitude will get people talking and watching, even if the match isn’t expected to be anything remotely resembling an instant classic. Surely, Cena vs. Undertaker was far from one, but the sheer thought of seeing two of the biggest legends in pro wrestling history was enough to make fans interested in it. And it’s highly likely that the same would be true of a dream match between Cena and Goldberg.

They are, of course, two of the most protected and strongly booked stars in wrestling history, with Goldberg being the unbeatable behemoth in WCW and Cena spending much of his WWE career as the unstoppable "Super Cena." While Cena vs. Goldberg would have been an even bigger deal a decade ago, WWE fans have made it clear that they love nostalgia and will pay to see it, even if that means watching two stars who are past their primes.

With Goldberg and Cena both having plenty of drawing power but also nearing the ends of their careers, the door that is open for a Goldberg return is slowly shutting, and this is a dream bout WWE will think long and hard about if all the dominoes fall the right way and WWE wants one more never-before-seen match out of both stars.

Velveteen Dream

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

John Cena recently said that NXT star Velveteen Dream is "the one," which was essentially Cena’s way of telling fans that Dream could carry the WWE into the future.

Needless to say, that’s high praise for Velveteen Dream coming from the biggest name in the business, but it could also be a precursor to a potential dream feud between the two charismatic superstars. Velveteen Dream is reportedly on the "short list" of superstars who are expected to be promoted from NXT to the main roster in the near future, and there would be perhaps no bigger initial rivalry for Dream than Cena, who needs some fresh rivalries and would get just that from Dream, one of the world’s most charismatic superstars.

Velveteen Dream, quite simply, oozes that charisma, and much like what happened with Owens and Styles, pairing him with Cena immediately upon his call-up could do wonders for his career. After all, perception is reality, and if Dream is instantly perceived to be a massive star by working with Cena, WWE’s measuring stick, then the reality is that there is a good chance he will become just that. Owens and WWE Hall of Famer Edge are two other stars who have heaped praise upon Velveteen Dream for his tremendous character work, but because Dream has such a niche gimmick that is tailor made for NXT, he will need the right opponent when he transitions to Raw or SmackDown.

Cena, who has spent most of this decade putting on instant classics with guys of similar size and in-ring style to Velveteen Dream, could get the most out of the former Tough Enough contestant, who has proven in bouts with stars like Aleister Black and Richochet that, even at just 23 years old, he is already a fantastic wrestler. The character work for Dream is already there, and the in-ring work isn’t far behind. He just needs a little something extra to push him over the edge.

That nudge can come from Cena, who would work incredibly well with a star as talented as Dream is, all while giving fans a highly anticipated rivalry that would be a welcome change from the main roster’s current monotony.

Samoa Joe

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

There is a long and storied history between Cena and Samoa Joe, who came up together in the business nearly two decades ago and are finally crossing paths again in WWE after avoiding each other for most of their runs there.

Cena and Samoa Joe have never had a televised match, and even though WWE teased a potential feud between the two on the road to WrestleMania 34, it never came to fruition when Joe was bitten by the injury bug. But now? Joe is perhaps on the verge of becoming WWE Champion and ending Styles’ impressive nine-month title reign, which would put him in need of some capable babyface challengers, something SmackDown is somewhat lacking at the moment.

Thus, WWE should seriously consider bringing back Cena for what can only be called a dream rivalry between the true face of WWE and a man who was so synonymous with WWE’s closest competitor, TNA, for more than a decade. In many ways, a Joe vs. Cena bout would be a clash between the face of WWE and the face of TNA, but it would come on the bigger stage of WWE when Joe’s star power has grown exponentially.

Indeed, there is plenty of evidence that Joe is a budding draw, who has stronger-than-expected merchandise sales, drew well as a PPV headliner and is one of the best talkers currently in WWE. The creative team really needs to rally behind Joe to make him an unstoppable world champion, and to do so, Joe needs to defeat the best of the best on SmackDown, a list that certainly includes Cena. "The Champ," after all, is at a point in his career where losing won’t hurt him one bit, and it’s really more about seeing him participate in a slew of dream matches as his time in pro wrestling begins to wear thin.

Knowing how much of a draw Cena is and seeing that Joe is perhaps WWE’s most believable heel, this is a match that the creative team must make happen before it’s too late.

Blake Oestriecher is an elementary school teacher by day and a sports writer by night. He’s a contributor to @ForbesSports, where he primarily covers WWE. You can follow him on Twitter @BOestriecher.

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WWE is about to get a huge boost from the return of John Cena.

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

“The Champ” revealed last month that he will return to the ring at WWE’s live event in Shanghai, China on September 1st, marking his first appearance for the company since April’s Greatest Royal Rumble special in Saudia Arabia. WWE has, of course, missed the presence of Cena, who many have called WWE’s biggest draw and appears to be a significantly bigger attraction than Roman Reigns, the star who is currently booked as the face of the company in Cena’s absence.

Cena has proven in the past to make a drastic difference when it comes to both TV ratings and live event attendance, so although he isn’t advertised for any other future appearances beyond October’s Super Show-Down event, there is optimism regarding Cena’s return and the possibility that it leads to him coming back to Raw or SmackDown for a major feud and a slew of potential dream matches. While Cena had recently been linked to a potential rematch with The Undertaker, SummerSlam came and went without it happening, which means WWE will likely look in another direction for Cena’s next feud, whenever it may take place.

Over the past several years, WWE has already put Cena in a number of high-profile feuds and matches with top stars ranging from The Miz to AJ Styles to Shinsuke Nakamura, but rest assured, there are still plenty of rivalries waiting for him. Here are five dream matches/feuds WWE should do upon Cena’s return to the ring.

Braun Strowman

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Although Cena faced Braun Strowman on Raw last year, that match came with absolutely zero build, and in fact, it wasn’t even announced in advance.

While that may hurt the luster of this potential dream match a bit, it’s a feud that must be done for Strowman, one of a handful of stars that WWE is clearly grooming to carry the company when Cena is gone for good. Especially now that Strowman appears to be in the early stages of a heel turn and recently found himself on a bizarre looking streak of sorts, it’s imperative that WWE book Strowman in marquee feuds with the company’s top stars, and it doesn’t get any bigger than a bout with Cena.

There are no secrets about Cena’s drawing power, which continues to grow as his acting careers takes off, but there are signs that Strowman is perhaps WWE’s most must-see attraction among its current full-timers. In 2017, Strowman was arguably WWE’s biggest YouTube draw, and that remained true early this year when, during a five-month analysis of WWE YouTube viewership, he ranked among the company’s most viewed stars on the video-sharing site. This comes around the same time Strowman became a top merchandise seller and not long after the Wrestling Observer reported that no one main evented as many shows that drew at least 10,000 fans as Strowman did in 2017.

In other words, Strowman is a budding draw, and given that he’s never had a full-fledged feud with Cena or a match that had any sort of story leading up to it, there’s certainly reason to believe that a battle between two of WWE’s most polarizing stars could be a big viewership hit and a great way to cement Strowman as a villain once again.

Drew McIntyre

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Vince McMahon is reportedly a big fan of Drew McIntyre and is actively involved in the booking of his character on the main roster, where he envisions McIntyre gradually being elevated to the main event, though he might get there sooner than expected.

If you listen carefully to the announce team on Raw, they’re clearly pushing McIntyre and trying to get him over as someone who can be a main eventer and world title contender for the next five to 10 years. McIntyre has already impressed, not just with his bodybuilder physique, but also with his promos, his in-ring skills and his charisma that has evolved so much since he last was on WWE’s main roster a few years ago.

You can see that McIntyre is right on the cusp of greatness, and looking back over the last couple of years, WWE has often paired Cena with stars who were new to Raw or SmackDown and the company obviously had big plans for. That was true of Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles, who all worked with Cena almost immediately after making their main roster debuts and were viewed as much bigger stars because of it. McIntyre, as a star with a world of unlimited potential, should be next to join that list whenever Cena comes back to Raw.

Cena has this uncanny ability to make new stars seem like a big deal, and with McIntyre’s presence alone (plus the commentary from the announce team) making it clear that he is viewed backstage as WWE’s “next big thing,” having him work with Cena would be the final stamp of approval that would make fans say, “Hey, this guy is worth paying attention to.” One of the biggest ongoing issues with WWE is its lack of clear top heels, and McIntyre has anything and everything you could want out of a main event caliber villain.

Putting him in a feud with Cena would not only help McIntyre get there, but it would be a fresh dream rivalry for both stars during an era when those seem harder and harder to come by.

Goldberg

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

Any wrestling fan who doesn’t like seeing part-timers “take a spot” from a full-timer won’t like to hear this, but Goldberg was a big draw for WWE during his recent run.

That has reportedly left the door open for WWE to use Goldberg again in the future if and when the time and money is right after Goldberg apparently landed a very lucrative deal with the company during his run that lasted from Survivor Series in November 2016 to WrestleMania 33 in 2017. As exemplified by all of the hype and buzz created by Goldberg’s feud with Brock Lesnar, fans don’t necessarily need to expect a stellar in-ring performance from a star if the story he’s involved in is good and if the match features enough star power for a lack of in-ring skills to be overlooked.

Goldberg has never been confused for a great in-ring worker, but as we saw with Cena vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 34, a match between two stars of this magnitude will get people talking and watching, even if the match isn’t expected to be anything remotely resembling an instant classic. Surely, Cena vs. Undertaker was far from one, but the sheer thought of seeing two of the biggest legends in pro wrestling history was enough to make fans interested in it. And it’s highly likely that the same would be true of a dream match between Cena and Goldberg.

They are, of course, two of the most protected and strongly booked stars in wrestling history, with Goldberg being the unbeatable behemoth in WCW and Cena spending much of his WWE career as the unstoppable “Super Cena.” While Cena vs. Goldberg would have been an even bigger deal a decade ago, WWE fans have made it clear that they love nostalgia and will pay to see it, even if that means watching two stars who are past their primes.

With Goldberg and Cena both having plenty of drawing power but also nearing the ends of their careers, the door that is open for a Goldberg return is slowly shutting, and this is a dream bout WWE will think long and hard about if all the dominoes fall the right way and WWE wants one more never-before-seen match out of both stars.

Velveteen Dream

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

John Cena recently said that NXT star Velveteen Dream is “the one,” which was essentially Cena’s way of telling fans that Dream could carry the WWE into the future.

Needless to say, that’s high praise for Velveteen Dream coming from the biggest name in the business, but it could also be a precursor to a potential dream feud between the two charismatic superstars. Velveteen Dream is reportedly on the “short list” of superstars who are expected to be promoted from NXT to the main roster in the near future, and there would be perhaps no bigger initial rivalry for Dream than Cena, who needs some fresh rivalries and would get just that from Dream, one of the world’s most charismatic superstars.

Velveteen Dream, quite simply, oozes that charisma, and much like what happened with Owens and Styles, pairing him with Cena immediately upon his call-up could do wonders for his career. After all, perception is reality, and if Dream is instantly perceived to be a massive star by working with Cena, WWE’s measuring stick, then the reality is that there is a good chance he will become just that. Owens and WWE Hall of Famer Edge are two other stars who have heaped praise upon Velveteen Dream for his tremendous character work, but because Dream has such a niche gimmick that is tailor made for NXT, he will need the right opponent when he transitions to Raw or SmackDown.

Cena, who has spent most of this decade putting on instant classics with guys of similar size and in-ring style to Velveteen Dream, could get the most out of the former Tough Enough contestant, who has proven in bouts with stars like Aleister Black and Richochet that, even at just 23 years old, he is already a fantastic wrestler. The character work for Dream is already there, and the in-ring work isn’t far behind. He just needs a little something extra to push him over the edge.

That nudge can come from Cena, who would work incredibly well with a star as talented as Dream is, all while giving fans a highly anticipated rivalry that would be a welcome change from the main roster’s current monotony.

Samoa Joe

Credit: WWE.comCredit: WWE.com

There is a long and storied history between Cena and Samoa Joe, who came up together in the business nearly two decades ago and are finally crossing paths again in WWE after avoiding each other for most of their runs there.

Cena and Samoa Joe have never had a televised match, and even though WWE teased a potential feud between the two on the road to WrestleMania 34, it never came to fruition when Joe was bitten by the injury bug. But now? Joe is perhaps on the verge of becoming WWE Champion and ending Styles’ impressive nine-month title reign, which would put him in need of some capable babyface challengers, something SmackDown is somewhat lacking at the moment.

Thus, WWE should seriously consider bringing back Cena for what can only be called a dream rivalry between the true face of WWE and a man who was so synonymous with WWE’s closest competitor, TNA, for more than a decade. In many ways, a Joe vs. Cena bout would be a clash between the face of WWE and the face of TNA, but it would come on the bigger stage of WWE when Joe’s star power has grown exponentially.

Indeed, there is plenty of evidence that Joe is a budding draw, who has stronger-than-expected merchandise sales, drew well as a PPV headliner and is one of the best talkers currently in WWE. The creative team really needs to rally behind Joe to make him an unstoppable world champion, and to do so, Joe needs to defeat the best of the best on SmackDown, a list that certainly includes Cena. “The Champ,” after all, is at a point in his career where losing won’t hurt him one bit, and it’s really more about seeing him participate in a slew of dream matches as his time in pro wrestling begins to wear thin.

Knowing how much of a draw Cena is and seeing that Joe is perhaps WWE’s most believable heel, this is a match that the creative team must make happen before it’s too late.

Blake Oestriecher is an elementary school teacher by day and a sports writer by night. He’s a contributor to @ForbesSports, where he primarily covers WWE. You can follow him on Twitter @BOestriecher.