Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Black Like Me.

Here's the mini-documentary A Girl Like Me that I mentioned on the blog before. It's definitely worth watching.

When I posted about this originally, I hadn't even seen the video yet. The part with the little kids IS pretty disturbing. I still want to see the study replicated with other groups of children. I want to know what the psychological difference is between the kids who did not absorb the negative influences and those who did. I think as a child, I would probably have wanted to play with the black doll but have said that the white doll was the good one because I never saw white kids get yelled at like I did... I am desperately desirous of a follow-up on this one!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ms. Martini Ministry

I don’t know her personally so I can’t exactly vouch for the effectiveness of her methods. Lol! But I do like the idea of what she’s doing—welcoming Christ into places where he is normally excluded and treating him like he belongs there because he does! For goodness sake, Jesus was quite the party frequenter in his day. He was an accused drunkard and glutton [Matthew 11:19]. Geez! The Son of God understood that to reach people, it’s best to be where the people are. (Just a thought!)

Now obviously, that train of thought could and should spawn all sorts of valid theological and practical discussions. I doubt God wants every Christian to cancel their evening plans and show up at the local bar—especially those of us who can’t hold our liquor!—but there is value in questioning what sorts of opportunities to impact with those around us we may be missing by our unwillingness to consider elements of ordinary life as extraordinarily important moments for connection. Hmmm. That means we’d have to dismiss the alleged Sacred/Secular Divide. Frightening! Absolutely bone-chilling...

Shake What Yo Mama Gave Ya!

I have no idea what movie this is from but Prabhu Deva is killin' it in this video! I would totally like to see the lead actress dance off with Fergie. She's really shaking her humps. lol! These moves are like the granddaddy of krump dancing.
[Big ups to Ultrabrown for the link between Prabhu & Bollywood Boyfriend #1.]

Monday, August 28, 2006

KANK Co-option

I got KANKed Sunday afternoon at the Belcourt with some new friends! Despite mediocre reviews from 80% of the blogsphere and on, I couldn't resist seeing Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna on the big screen with my very own eyes. I'm ever so glad I did! If I hadn't, I wouldn't have seen the trailer for Dhoom2 all big and loud like it was. Yay Hrithik! *insert squeals of glee here*

Half the thrill was meeting up with a fellow blogger Susan, several of her Bollyfanatic friends and one newbie! (Oh, how we love to indoctrinate!) Hopefully for Lage Raho Munnabhai next month, we'll be joined by her friend Rachel and my two friends who bailed on me this time. That would bring us to a grand count of 8. Sweet! I think we can take up a whole row.

Anyhoo, at this point I think it would be appropriate to extend an invitation to any Indian folks in the 'Ville who would not be embarrased to accompany (babysit?) non-Indians at the next Belcourt viewing. Or better yet, perhaps we could pretend you invited us.

A silent fear grows with my ever increasing knowledge of Bollyfilm that I am turning into the cultural equivalent of the abandoned barn interview with white farmboys in Nebraska I saw on an MTV documentary years ago. They donned gansta bandannas and toted sawed-off shotguns while speaking in all too serious tones about how Colors was their favorite movie because, You know what I'm sayin', they had gangs too. I'm sure, like Kevin Federline, they were planning to be rappers when they grew up.

Additionally, I'm desperately hoping that I didn't annoy the nice Indian man sitting next to me with all my mumbling about this or that actor throughout the film OR my squealing at the sight of John Abraham's face--how did I forget he was in the film?!--OR my inability to contain myself during the Dhoom2 trailer OR singing with the marching band instrumental to Bole Churiyan OR--during the scene where Rani comes home to bouquets of flowers, a candlelit dinner and Abhishek Bachchan then has the nerve to look like she's been dealt a death sentance--my saying, "Girl, I'll take him!" rather loudly. [So I had a "black" moment.]

Since co-opt was one of the best words I learned during my one semester of grad school, what do you think? At what point does a fan's interest in a cultural art form, paired with disconnection to the culture from which it originates, become disingenuous? When does co-optation occur? You needn't direct your comments at me personally per se 'cause we all know I'm keepin' it real...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

Ok, ok. Amir Khan is hereby absolved from all prior offenses to my sensibilities.

His absolution is due to the following:

#1 The soul patch. I hate to admit it. [As my roommate knows all too well, I don't think the triangle on men's chin areas should be called a "soul patch" to begin with. It's just dumb. I mean, if you don't have soul to begin with, no geometrical shape on the planet will endow you with such an illusive attribute, but I digress...] Aamir Khan looks 200% cooler with the chin triangle. Furthermore, it makes him look very much like one of my most favorite people of all time, Toby McKeehan.
#2 Crying. Aamir-ji shed a tear! Men who cry for love are well, more lovable. Especially if they're not particularly given to crying in the first place.

Also, I think I am beginning to understand why Akshaye is Beth's fake-pretend-Bollyboyfriend. He has mastered the art of the puppy-dog glance! It got more play than Hrithik's 3rd thumb in Krrish. (Tragically falling for a much older woman--remarkably endearing. Meeting a hot girl in the middle of a remote field--priceless.)

Seriously, I think this is the first 3 hour movie since Pirates of the Carribean to keep my attention. I don't mean to imply it wasn't predictable at points but when is that a bad thing? The story and characters are what stand out most for me. Each of the (male) leads was given a distinct voice and actions. None of them was particularly grating and all were reasonably realistic. [I will spare all of you--and heck, myself--any analysis of the gender politics of screenwriting which only allows women to be featured as reactive characters and tragic ones at that. Such discussions might sully one's enjoyment of the film!]

Still, I haven't figured Saif Ali Khan out so I'll leave him to rest. In Salaam Namaaste--alternate title: "We'll Yell At Each Other Continually Until the Babies Are Born," his character was a bit annoying. Here, he was flat out silly, which I guess was the point.

The bottom line is, I liked this movie despite having numerous reasons not to. I guess that means it's good, huh?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Both Idle & Wild

I'm trying to decide whether to see Idlewild this weekend. Based on the trailer, it looks like Stormy Weather, The Color Purple, The Cotton Club and Moulin Rouge thrown in a blender.

Besides the fact that the movie poster looks wack--as in completely fails the Does-this-visual-image-communicate -the-essence-of-the-film test--I don't have very high hopes for musicians who try to switch to film (not even Outkast). However, the real actors in the cast are pretty strong so I might go for it.

It can't be any worse than sitting through Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. Don't ever do that if you value your sanity.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Agnosticism does not exist.

Philosophy was one of my favorite subjects in college. If I had this guy as my professor, I might have suffered through enough classes to complete the minor. The writer of this piece is J. Budziszewski, a professor at UT Austin. He writes Socratic dialogues for the webzine Boundless. Well, basically in the style of Socrates based on conversations he has with various students over various topics. Here's an excerpt from an older one:

I smiled back and sipped my coffee. "I believe that you exist. And I believe that you don't know what to think. But you said an agnostic is 'not committed either way,' and I don't believe that there is such a thing as 'not committed either way.'"

He shook his head. "If I don't know the answer to the God question, then how could I be committed to an answer to the God question?"

"Commitments are reflected in movements of the will."

"What does that mean?"

"They're reflected in how we live."

"...there is no such thing as neutrality. Every way of life is some way of life. Inevitably, you live either as though there were a God, or as though there weren't. You stake your life on an answer that you say you don't have."

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tyson & Taye

Am I the only person who thinks Tyson Beckford and Taye Diggs got the same daddy? Both their names start with a "T" too...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sid's Guide to Kollywood

Man, I love a good challenge! Yesterday I got an email from "Indian Parrot," aka Sid, deriding the "pretty boys of the North" in favor of the darker heroes of Tamil (hehe!) and chastising me for neglecting the films of Southern India. He also offered to suggest some "starter" films for Tamil cinema, an invitation I gladly accepted. I hadn't quite expected a Masters' Thesis but hey, you can't knock the guy for being thorough. Rather than horde all this newfound knowledge for myself, I decided to share with my five dedicated readers. ;0) Enjoy! [Velu, I expect you to offer a follow-up piece!]

I would have to give some warnings about Tamil movies, even though it is similar to Bollywood it has some subtle differences. The movies are mostly made in South Indian locales instead of the Swiss/Aussie/Canada locations of Hindi movies. Ok I take that back, maybe not some of the songs. And the story more often tend to include South Indian traditional stuff which is different from the Hindi Bollywood movies.

OK here we go.

Mani Ratnam - Director
He is the director of Dil Se. He originally makes Tamil film and remakes in Hindi. He gets a lots of awards both inside and outside India. His movies:
--Roja: It is movie from '91 taken in Kashmir, a love story affected by militants. It is a very good watch. Kashmir is portrayed beautifully.
--Iruvar: This is a biography of two top politicians in the South. This is also the first movie of Aishwary Rai. This movie is set in '50s & '60s so it would show yesteryear glory.
--Alaipayuthey: This was remade in Hindi as Saathiyen.
--Bombay: This is based on a Hindu Muslim love story in the backdrop of one of the communal riots that happened in India in the 90s.
--Kannathil Muthamittal: This is about adoption. Have a box of kleenex ready. Even if you dont like drama you have to watch this just for Mani Ratnam.
--Nayagan a good north/south relations movie, inspired by The Godfather.
Tamil movie starts with Rajni. He is the biggest star in India and highest paid next only to Jackie Chan in Asia. (Now our dear Northies would never want to admit that, here is a link to prove it). He has a very huge fan base in the South and well known for his style. The best are his introduction scenes in his movies. The whole theater goes crazy watching it. He even tried acting in a low budget Hollywood movie called Bloodstone.
--Padayyappa: This is a good movie. I recommend watching it. The highlights are him and the lead actress having a power struggle. He chooses a traditional girl over this "It" girl and she tries to put him down every chance she gets.

Kamal Hasan - Actor
Now this is the actor you saw in that video from 70s. Yes he still acts and he is regarded as one of the best actors, with a lot of awards under his belt.
--Anbe Sivam (must see): He gets disfigured due to an accident and a fellow traveller hates him for his face, I don't want to kill the suspense, but this is a very entertaining movie.
-- Indian: This is a very good movie directed by Shankar a top Tamil director. All of Shankar's movie are recommended. Though it would have some political messages. it would be very entertaining but mostly based on corruption in India.

--Kandukondean Kandukondean: Already saw this.
--Minsara Kanavu : this has Kajol, Prabu Deva, Arvind Swamy. Very nice movie, A must watch for the songs, dance and light entertainment.

Have fun with these, I will give you more once you get a feel for Tamil films. Meanwhile if you have any questions/doubts please feel free to ask me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Filmi Education

I'm a bit wary of revealing how few Bollyfilms I've seen, as the number is still less than 100. I mean, considering that several hundred films popup each year, I don't know why but I feel as if I'm lagging behind...

Thus, I am appealling for suggestions. FYI, here's the top 15 in my Netflix queue. (Double click to enlarge.)

Nonetheless, I present my list of Bollywood and otherwise Indian themed films in the order in which they were viewed:
1. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
2. Monsoon Wedding (2001)
3. Dil Se (1998)
4. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
5. Mohabbatein (2000)
6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
7. Main Hoon Na (2004)
8. Khakee (2004)
9. Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (2003)
10. Bride and Predjudice (2004)
11. Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai (2000)
12. Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
13. Swades (2004)
14. Born Into Brothels (2005)
15. Raghu Romeo (2003)
16. Veer-Zaara (2004)
17. Devdas (2002)
18. Murder (2004)
19. Koi...Mil Gaya (2003)
20. Salaam Namaste (2005)
21. Black (2005)
22. Lakshya (2004)
23. Salaam Bombay (1988)
24. Lagaan (2001)
25. Kabhi Khabie (1976)
26. Sholay (1975)
27. 1942: A Love Story (1993)
28. Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)
29. Water (2005)
30. Taal (1999)
31. Krrish (2006)
32. Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
33. Rang de Basanti (2006)
34. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
35. Bluffmaster (2005)
36. Mississippi Masala (1991)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Think Twice.

There was a great op-ed in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

The Web site of Ms. Magazine--yes, it still exists--is calling on readers to sign a petition: "I have had an abortion. I publicly join the millions of women in the United States who have had an abortion in demanding a repeal of laws that restrict women's reproductive freedom."

Well, so much for the right to privacy. If Ms. readers hadn't had so many abortions, there might be more Ms. readers.

There's a thought! The piece was written by Julia Gorin, a woman whose family had a history of abortions. You can read the complete article here.

Respect life y'all and ask those around you to do the same.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mississippi Masala (1991)

Most definitely liked the film.


  • Mira Nair (the director, herself only) as a wanton gossip.
  • Writing that was strong on dialogue. Characters had distinct voices and, for the most part, something to say.
  • Writing that was able to compassionately tell two sides of a story from the outside in, bringing otherwise seperate communities together.
  • Uganda. Looks like beautiful country. It is now on my list of places to see.
  • "You're paining me!"
  • Screech's little cousin at the wedding. Poor thing. I hope she grew out of that awkward stage...
Not so Favs:
  • 90's fashion. It makes the 80's look good.
  • Denzel Washington laying on the bed looking like a schoolboy sneaking to get on his parents' phone line. Ha!
  • The sex scene. Once you've seen Denzel's upper thigh--which is laden with hair I might add--there's no going back. [Furthermore, if you're up for the violation, verify and tell me if I'm right but I would bet money that "invisible" strap on his falsie undergarment can be seen for a moment as the camera moves down the length of the bed.]
Y'all, is Mississippi really that crusty?

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you should definitely see it. This film is bringing the left and right sides of my ampersand together one scene at a time.
You can be dark and have money or you can be fair and have no money but you can't be dark AND have no money and expect to get Harry Patel! *cackle*cackle*
Do tell Mira! Do tell!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


The coolest thing about the new Blogger launch is that I can finally sort my posts into categories. That makes me VERY happy. On the other hand, it draws to attention how blatently uneven my selection of topics have been. Items on the left side of "&" have been neglected like red-hedded stepchildren in the order of mention.

In spite of the fact that discussions on Beliefs don't regularly lend themselves to eye-candy, I shall attempt to remedy that! And while brown and black are bedfellows, they are indeed distinct as well...

We'll see how things go according to natural progression.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Party like it's 1991!

Mississippi Masala arrived in the mail today. I should have seen this one already but I haven't had cable for years. At any rate, I'm sure it will be fun to see Denzel looking all young and stuff! Hooray.

White Folks, Black Babies

From the NYTimes:

Couple #1

A white judge initially denied Nick and Emily Mebruer’s petition to adopt a black child, ruling that the Mebruers, a white couple who live in rural Lebanon, Mo., were “uniquely unqualified” to parent a black child because of their limited interaction with black people and culture. The ruling was overturned, and their daughter, Maggie, is now 3.

Sorry guys, the judge was right!!!
Thank God they're raising a daughter and not a son. Somehow girls are usually better equipt to handle emotional chaos without becoming complete social deviants. I don't care how nice they are, in a country where 12% of the population is black, there's no reason to raise a black child in a community that is 95.99% white (0.9% black). No excuse! They need to sell their house/farm and move somewhere where that kid can connect, at an early age, with other people that look like her. (The same would apply if the kid were Asian. What they're doing is just dumb.) Maybe they'll figure it out when she gets too old to wear her hair in pigtails and NO ONE for miles and miles knows how to do her hair IF she doesn't have a nervous breakdown before then. Score 0/10

Couple #2
When Martina Brockway and Mike Timble, a white couple in Chicago, decided to adopt a child, Ms. Brockway went to an adoption agency presentation at a black church to make it clear they wanted an African-American baby....Ms. Brockway worked for years in predominantly black schools and now tutors children in foster care. Mr. Timble, who owns a promotional printing business, has a cousin who has adopted four black children. They live in an ethnically diverse section of northwest Chicago. But after working through the adoption process, Ms. Brockway said, they are considering moving to a neighborhood with more black professionals and finding a more diverse church.

So, they look like white-bread-with-the-crust-cut-off in their photo but at least they know some black people and they live in Chicago, not around it, not near it. They're familiar with urban culture. The vast majority of black people in America live in an urban environment--thus the ever-so-sneaky-overly-PC use of "urban" as synonymous with "black"--so at least their child will have the benefit of that. They also seem to be aware of the challenges ahead and are considering lifestyle changes to remedy that. Score 7/10

Am I being mean? I don't think so. The best preparation anyone can have to raise a black child is to grow up in the midst of black people for two reasons: 1) most white people have no idea what it feels like to be a minority, much less black in America, 2) there are nuances of culture--songs, words, foods, styles--that can only be learned firsthand. They are absorbed by osmosis as they are experienced and they serve as unspoken connections between people of similar background.

Some people would probably say I place too much emphasis on culture, but I don't think so. I can tell you personal stories of my own ostracism over not being stereotypically "black" while having been raised with two black parents. Or one Filipino kid I know who was raised by white folks in rural Iowa who didn't know he was Asian until he got in the military. Nice! Or my biracial roommate in college who lived in a one-stop-light Ohio town and only saw other black people on vacation. Despite the fact that she's about Halle Berry's complexion, with curly brown hair, unlike the one "Spanish girl" at school, she never had a date. "But you're black," the boys said. Or the Korean girl I met in college who when questioned about her ethnicity could only offer a blank stare because her adoptive parents hadn't thought it was important to prepare her for that particular aspect of life apart from the world of insulation they had created for her.

It's bad enough to not know who your parents are but this is taking alienation to another level. I can't begin to imagine what that little girl in backwoods Missouri is going to face.

That's my 5¢. Weigh in if you like.

[In case you're wondering, Angelina Jolie gets 8.5/10. The extra point is for wealth and mobility. She can own a home in any country from which she adopts a child, give them language lessons, hire a personal chef to cook their national dish and a nanny to sing them traditional lullabies should she desire. The .5 is for her personal love of culture.]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sippy's Bluffmaster

Mr. R. Sippy,

I thoroughly enjoyed watching your movie Bluffmaster last night even though you combined story elements from at least two American films that came out before yours. I had only seen one of them so I wasn't too distracted. Also, thank you for letting Simi's character say, "I'm done crying over you." Was that a first for Bollywood cinema? I thought it was cool that she was all hardcore and stuff but then she totally caved in toward the end. Was it because she knew that she had scared the piss out of her lying, cheating boyfriend AND that she made him think he was dying/dead? I like to think so.

Oh yeah, how did you get the movie down to 2 hours and 17 minutes? Did you write it American-style then add the music videos? That was smart! Will you tell Karan Johar that you can still have Interval even if the movie is less than 201 minutes? I don't think he knows that.

One last thing, I don't want to come across as some sort of cultural purist. In fact, I'm all for musical miscegenation. It's just that I think some of the songs in the film were supposed to be rap and well, since I thoroughly enjoyed your movie, I don't wanna be all, "some of yo' rhymes is wack" or anything. You have a good eye for MTV-ish style but I wouldn't want you to think that booty dancers can compensate for poorly placed lyrics.

Ok. I think I've said enough now. I thouroughly enjoyed your movie and I will probably watch it again. I might even buy it if I can find a bootleg copy on eBay. I don't think that will be hard.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Changing Faces

As of today, I'm using Beta Blogger and there appear to be a few bugs. Thus, the "Recent Comments" are no longer on the sidebar.

Some changes are good some are well, wishfull thinking. So, if you you come back to a different look every day, don't be too suprised!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Exhibit B: The trailer for Dhoom 2

Judging by a couple of the comments from my last post, it appears that some people are still not believers. It was those closest to me, no less, who left aforementioned comments. I scoff at thee!

Thus, I present Exhibit B: The trailer for Dhoom 2.

[BTW, where's John Abraham in this promo? Just because you add one piece of (eye) candy doesn't mean you can take one away!]

Monday, August 14, 2006

This has GOT to stop!

If Hrithik gets any more fine I will not be able to look at him. I'm scared y'all! I do not want to be sitting in the theater squealing like a high school freshman everytime he comes on the screen in Dhoom2 but I might not be able to control myself...

What is that expression on his face? Yeah, you know you like me...AND he's wearing the thug goatee or should I say, a modified French beard? [Is there a name for sideburns-extending-to-meet-goatee? Heck, I'm just glad he got rid of those overly perfect pointy sideburns...]

Hrithik is upping his game and that is NOT allowed! I mean, there are vulnerable females (and assumably males) worldwide who are barely holding it together as it is! Please Hrithik, don't hurt 'em!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Choose the one that is most like you...

Sister Liz posted on this article from BlackAmericaWeb about a young 17-year-0ld filmmaker and her project, “A Girl Like Me,”:

One part of the film that has lots of people talking is the re-creation of the doll test that psychologist Kenneth B. Clark used in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case.

Individually, 21 four- and five-year-olds from a Harlem day-care center sat at a table with two dolls, one black, one white. Fifteen of the 21 children selected the white doll as the “nice” doll and the black doll as the “bad” doll. In one scene, Davis asks a girl to choose which doll was most like her. She hesitates a bit, touches both dolls, then pushes the black doll forward.

Hmmm. That doesn't settle well with me for obvious reasons. At the same time, I think it would overly simplistic to suggest that the children's opinions are merely the result of media influence. I would love to see this same study replicated specifically with a control for socioeconomic status and parenting style.

If you've had the misfortune of being exposed to parents whose idea of correcting their children consists of phrases like, "What's wrong with you?! Why are you so bad? You get on my nerves," than you're probably aware what an effect such comments can have on a child's mind. FURTHERMORE, if they included children whose families use the terms "good hair" & "bad hair" and talk about dark skin disparagingly in the same group with those whose families/communities do not, the results might show a bit more of an overall negative skew than should be considered a broad-based and general conclusion.

It would also be interesting to do a study like this with dark skinned children in other countries where "light" is typically considered "right." Does anyone know of any? EDIT (Studies in other countries)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Fun times with Kajol!
I liked her better in this than K3G. I can see why this film was such a big hit. It's like The Parent Trap without the evil stepmother. Ok, or a twin, but you get what I mean...

The movie is fun if you can take it as "fun and fun only" without reading into the subconscious messages in the film like:

  1. If you have short hair and sporty clothes, boys will never like you.
  2. Unless you allow yourself to be "conquered" by the man of your interest, he, in fact, will not be interested. [I mean, seriously, what's up with trying to play basketball in a sari anyways AND when you're stupid boy-friend beats you, giving up because some kids laughed at you?! Did that much change in 8 years?! Arrgggh!]
  3. If you are a really big Western designer, Sharukh Khan will wear your brand name on his chest.
  4. A woman and a man can never be best friends because there's always something brewing beneath the surface. [Oh wait, 3 &4 are actually true...]
I like Kajol's character in the first half. She's a little over the top at times and remarkably awkward but face it, she gets her man in the end.

Somehow or another, this is the first film in which I've seen (noticed?) Salman Khan. Unfortunately, I have no frame of reference for this character or his acting so I shall maintain silence. Otherwise, I would probably say something along the lines of "unimpressive, vain performance" but that wouldn't be fair...

I have a question for those in the know: During the song Tujhe Yaad Na, I immediately had a flashback to Chaiya Chaiya from Dil Se. A couple of the dance moves looked remarkably familiar and the outfits do echo of similiarity. Was that merely a coincidence or a significant reference to a particular people group or region?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dads love Bollywood too!

Here's an excerpt from a fun little article by a guy named Stefan Dill who talked about how his little daughter got him addicted to Bollywood movies. Apparently, he's a pretty skilled musician so as you can imagine, it only took a few filmi songs. A picture is worth a thousand words...

Here's his list of likes:

1) I love great film. I've long held this idea that film is probably the most advanced artistic medium there is, because only film has the potential to incorporate all the other artistic media within it: visual composition, narrative, drama, acting, literature, music, dance, etc. Film, like a sphere, can encompass it all...

2) I like the aspects of family. The complex patterns of family respect, relationships, and honor are critical themes in the story lines and are the driving factor of many plot conflicts. That such familial concepts are held in priority - and not discarded - overlays these films and stories with a warmth and resonance one doesn't often find in other films.

3) Its refreshing to see sexual tension masterfully, achingly, erotically depicted with such restraint. I'm no prude and I love the body, but to be melted away by an arch of eyebrow, a graze of hand, adds some subtlety and depth - and I'd much rather have my daughter exposed to this aesthetic than the plethora of talent-free teen-pop vulgar rat-clothed skanks that squat across MTV and the Disney Channel these days. Sheesh.
"Rat-clothed skanks," eh? Said far more eloquently than I ever could! Check his blog out here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Exploitation & Addiction

Siddhartha at the Mutiny referenced an article in the L.A. Times about Joe Francis founder of Girls Gone Wild--who, after reading the article, I am convinced is a psychopath.

One of the things I was thinking after reading the article--in which the writer pretty much did a play-by-play of her day with Joe and the girls who volunteer to be a part of the GGW projects--was that most people are remarkably lost, as in a Pirates of the Carribean Why-doesn't-this-compass-point-north? kind of lost. Because darling, it points to the thing you want most. Listen to the vapidness:

"Most guys want to have sex with me and maybe I could meet one new guy, but if I get filmed everyone could see me," Kaitlyn Bultema says. "If you do this, you might get noticed by somebody—to be an actress or a model...You want people to say, 'Hey, I saw you.' Everybody wants to be famous in some way. Getting famous will get me anything I want. If I walk into somebody's house and said, 'Give me this,' I could have it."
That was from an 18-year-old on the night of her birthday who was amped to be on Girls. She seems to be headed for one heck of a burnout by age 28. But that's not the point, it's just the setup. The point of this post is that after reading that madness, I was checking for new stuff at the Revolution and started reading a set of essays on addiction written by David Litwin (who has my vote to be the next Francis Schaeffer).

The three part piece talks about the tipping point of behaviors and how Western society has essentially removed most of the "pushbacks" against many ultimately harmful behaviors because the intial action(s) is seen as benignly pleasurable. Hopefully I've set this excerpt up well enough to be in context. Do read all three parts. You'll thank me.
[Addiction-producing actions are] razor-sharp shards of glass coated in delectable chocolate, which taste wonderful in the mouth (pleasure), and then lacerate the organs on the way down (addiction and consequence). The secular world embraces the chocolate, uniformly laughing at the church who uses its “voice” to focus strictly on the shards of glass. But what we should have been saying all along is: “of course it’s chocolate, you wouldn’t swallow the shards of glass if they weren’t.” The pleasurable aspects of these addictive producing actions are the catalyst to get its willing candidates full on chocolate, in such a way that the individual swallows the pieces before recognizing them as nothing but thinly coated shards of glass...
How unfortuantely appropriate. Society effectively says, "Eat all the chocolate you can. We've got a pill for that laceration. It's no big deal. That's life." Yikes! On the other hand, as David points out in his writing, much of the church refuses to acknowledge that people are meeting legitimate needs (however temporarily) through their actions. They wouldn't do it if there were no payoff whatsoever.

Just yesterday a friend was sharing with me an area of repeated moral failure in his life and how he is finally able to recognize that it does not just affect him. His failure affects other people and impacts their lives in irreversibly negative ways. He is so dismayed at his own inability and tired of reaping the pain of his consequences that he considered suicide. I was reminded of this verse: Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. [II Corinthians 7:10]

I know I've mentioned this before but I can't mention it enough. The reason the Christ came to earth is detailed in the beautiful words of Isaiah 61 which he shared in his first public declaration. I shared verse 1 and part of 2 before. Today, I start with the end of verse 2:
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Comfort, beauty, gladness, praise, righteousness & splendor can all become part of our lives if we are willing to yield ourselves to the one who provides them. That's why He came. And I'm so glad He did.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I am not my hair either!

Funny, I wrote my gripe on not being able to have natural hair anymore before I heard India.Arie's single "I Am Not My Hair" off her new album. Believe it, I am rocking this tune so hard!

It makes me really happy to know that a mainstream artist took the time to write about something that most people would probably never think about, but matters SO MUCH to people who have nappy hair.

I *heart* India (Arie).
[Sidenote: According to BBC Music, her parents named her India in a tribute to Ghandi! I think she should give back to Southeast Asia and do a "Brown Skin" tour there. Brown pride! lol.]

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hrithik Coca-Cola commercial

I too, in moments of ignorance have said things that were, well, ignorant. Thus, despite Hrithik's allegedly ignorant off-the-cuff comments, I give credit where credit is due. He looks very refreshing in this Coca-Cola ad...

Two things I learned from this clip:
  1. When people are in the middle of the desert and really thirsty, they need COKE not water.
  2. While in the middle of the desert, wearing all black is the only way to look keep cool.
[Please don't ask why I blurted out Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai before the little boy could get to the chorus...I don't even know what the song means but I know the words! I need help y'all...]

Shall Rimi bear the brunt alone?

Of course not!

In recap, I've already pointed out Rimi Sen's verbal faux pas this week and anyone who follows celebrity news has already heard about Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish comments. (Thanks, Mel! You're feeding right into the frustration here.)

Now, from what I can tell, an unsavory comment attributed to none other than Bollywood Boyfriend #1 is swirling around the internet and I quote:

...journalists were caught surprised at a recent London press conference for the Bollywood blockbuster Krrish. At the event, well known actor Hrithik Roshan made a passing comment about how he knew it was time to leave Shanghai and Hong Kong after six weeks of stunt training and go home when his eyes started "turning into little slits like the Chinese". [Link]
According to MSN India, Jaspreet Pandohar, a Bollywood film critic for BBC Movies Online, attributed the statement to Hrithik which means that the "rumor" can be substantiated.

Um, somebody get Hrithik's people on the line and tell him he needs to defend himself or apologize. [That little girl is like, "Brother, make him apologize!"]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The '70's were bad everywhere...

...especially in 1981. [found at Sepia Mutiny.]

Please enjoy this special moment from the movie Ellam Inba Mayam. My entire mind went into shock for three minutes trying to absorb what the costume designer and choreographer had hoped to accomplish through the visual display before me. I did not, however, suceed. Perhaps you will fare better.

(Bonus: Note the 2-3 authentic Negros during the "lift" move on stage!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Why is the market I went to last night to buy batsmati rice so bootleg they were renting VHS bootlegs of bootlegs?!?

Oh, the world we live in!

[No, they did not have KANK. I checked. They did however have like 4 copies of Krrish...]

Racist Lil' Rimi Sen

Lord have mercy...
[Thank you tanya for ringing the alarm on little memsaab!]

It appears Bollywood actress Rimi Sen pulled a snottier- than- her- career- should- possibly- allow comment out of her crack during an interview with Glamsham AND the folks at Glamsham thought that it was "fit to print" without disclaimers or explanation. In the end, they simply snatched the interview off the site as if it never happened. (Nice try. It's already all over the internet.)

Last week, when Rimi Sen said in an interview on Golmaal that, “Rohit Shetty is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty,” little did she realise she would be stirring a hornet’s nest. [Link]
What's up with India's obsession with lightness? I guess it's so ingrained that no one thought a statement implying that [all] black people are ugly is inappropriate or flat out inaccurate. Amazing! If you're not in the know, you really should check out the ad for Light & Lovely here. It's rather frightening. [I know things aren't perfect here in the U.S. but an ad like that would be snatched off the airwaves in 5 seconds if it even made it on TV in the first place. I mean, who wants Al Sharpton to show up at their door with that bad s-curl?]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jews for/against Jesus

Hmmm. There are some questions that are dangerous to ask, but I must. The thing I can't understand is: What's all the saltiness about Y'shua? The only reason I bring it up is because I happened across this morsel in the NYTimes [From Jews for Jesus Hit Town and Find a Tough Crowd]:

''This is not Jewish versus Christian,'' said Craig Miller, who works in the antimissionary arm of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, called the Spiritual Deception Prevention Project. ''It's about deception pure and simple. The groups that are coming are bringing a deceptive message that one can be both Christian and part of the Jewish community.''
Is it really like that? I thought--and maybe I'm wrong--that people are born Jewish as in, even if you don't go to synagogue, you're still a Jew. I used to hang out with a Messianic Jewish guy, who has since relocated to Israel, and his congregation was, well, Jewish. Most of the Jewish kids I knew in high school were secular but I don't think any of them ceased identifying as Jews.

If a person of Jewish descent chooses to follow the teachings of Y'shua do they then cease to be Jewish? If so, how and when? Or is it just if they refer to him as Jesus? ;0) Anyways, I figure since the internet is such a big, gianormous place full of random people from which I can extract answers, have at it! I'd really like to know.

[A general statement: I can understand that some Jewish folks might feel a little uneasy being identified with Christian folks because of bad history on the part of the Christian church-at-large ie., let's use Christ's crucifixion as an excuse to execute millions of people - Hitler. I just don't get the logic of the sentiment against Messianic Jews.]