On July 14th, the Prime Minister and First Lady of Malaysia had a private audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, wore a dark suit; the First Lady, Rosmah Mansor, wore a pale blue baju kebaya, a traditional Malay women’s garment that harks back to a time before Malay culture was as heavily Islamised/Arabised as it is today.
I’ve recently gotten into the habit of tuning into AM radio while getting ready in the morning–sometimes listening specifically for the news; other times just enjoying the voices and occasional musical interludes that make for relaxing background noise. The other day, to my initial delight, I heard a guy mention one of my favorite literary protagonists: Emma Bovary.
So there I was: a Mormon girl in Republican Orange County during the Reagan years of the Cold War, watching the jets and helicopters traverse the skies over the orange groves, witnessing with my bodily and spiritual eyes the last hurrah of the Southern California military-industrial complex.