People often ask me, "Barrett, what do you do all day?" Well, being Fareed's go-to boy, I do whatever he tells me, mostly reading lengthy academic texts on something related to history, foreign relations, or some combination of the two. Then I summarize it all and add a bit of analysis for him.
Lately, for instance, I've been reading about the British Empire, which was acquired in "a fit of absence of mind." A glorious phrase -- a fit of absence of mind. As if the British people got black-out drunk and woke up in the morning with India in their bed. And then India gets up and cooks them eggs, and does their laundry, while Britain puts on a nice jazz cd, something to relax by, maybe get India in the mood again, until finally Gandhi knocks on the door and says, "India! Your mother (Nehru) and I have been worried sick about you!" And then he sees Britain lying there with a half-chubby and says furiously, "Come on. We're leaving this instant." And part of India is like, "Okay," but another part is like, "You're not my father!" and India cleaves in two. And that's how we have India and Pakistan. I'm not really sure how Bangladesh fits into the story. Or Kashmir. But they're in there somewhere.