Friday, September 29, 2006

Meaning of collard greens in Hindi

Ok, this is too fabulous. Being the statistics geek that I am, I periodically check the search terms that brought people to my blog. As usual I'm scrolling along through "trailer for dhoom 2," "hrithik's thumb," "rimi sen racist," when I stumble across "meaning of collard greens in hindi."

*blank stare*

*additional moment of silence*

Does anyone know the meaning of collard greens in English? Is there a level of significance about collard greens that I have yet to ascertain? Would collard greens mean something else in another language? Perhaps this person was merely looking for a translation for the words "collard greens" while stranded in India, desperately desirous of this Southern American treat. [If that were true, I expect they followed with "meaning of okra in hindi" but there's no way to prove that seeing as how I've not referenced okra on my blog until this very moment. Hmmm....]

Now, according to Wikipedia, they grow collards in the Kashmir region. Assuming that's true, I'd like to offer a word of advice for folks looking for recipes. If it ain't got a ham hock or a neck bone in it, it ain't right. If everybody don't get a slab of cornbread on the side, it ain't right. As for the meaning of collard greens I'll venture a guess: Poor folks can eat good too, if they know what they got to do. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

On being SWANS

My guy friends said it was logical: Men are just looking for a non-cheesy way to come up and talk to a girl, and being on crutches gave them the in. It made me more approachable. It brought out my softer side. And it apparently made men feel needed and good. One friend even recommended that I save the cast and bring it out whenever I was having a dry spell in the future.
LOL. Tell it like it is. Ha! I would have scoffed at such manipulation several years ago but after seeing 50 Bollywood flicks--hooray! Beth I'm coming for ya!--I'm beginning to think differently. This is also part of the reason I let my hair grow out. Besides giving in to the man, I'm essentially giving in to men-kind. My only consolation is that they won't see the "real me" coming unless they're very sharp and intuitive, in which case I hope said theoretical male is still available...

The quote above is from an article called "Overqualified for Love." It's posted on, a website I just discovered. It appears to be Catholic and they've got some well thought out pieces on the relationship between religion and life in your 20's/30's. The article was written by Dr. Christine Whelan, author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. However, if I'm not mistaken the dear Dr. is a 29-year-old never-married herself. *sigh* Nonetheless, she has henceforth and everafter coined the term for similarly situated women: SWANS - Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse. I rather like it myself.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aside from the overuse of dictatorial names...

...I'm trying to decide whether or not to see Stalin, a Telegu film by A. R. Murugadoss at the Belcourt next weekend. It was supposed to be a big deal--according to reviewers on same way that KANK was and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Anybody seen the film? Are there any hotties in it that will warrant me sitting through multiple action scenes?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bollywood/Hollywood (2002)

Deepa Mehta is many things: talented, witty, excellent filmmaker, concerned with women's issues and cinimatic vérité but she's not that funny. Her style is very clever but I think my two-year-old niece has a few more comedic upsets under her belt than Ms. Mehta. (We're a wacky bunch, my family.)

At the same time, I think Bollywood/Hollywood was far more palatable than the dear-God-help-us-WHY?! fiasco that was Bride and Predjudice. As Willard so aptly stated, "Bride and Prejudice is a sort of Bollywood movie in English." And personally, I don't find that nearly as endearing.

Bollywood/Hollywood works from the perspective a modern love story, part Pretty Woman--Moulin Rouge at times--it tounge-and-cheeks it all the way to the end where our two leads, in expected Western fashion, end up with their tounges in one another's cheeks. [Ok, ok. They weren't kissing that hard...]

Susan you were right! Half of what makes this movie is the inside jokes and use of filmi blockbusters as a backdrop. I'm imagine there were several more that I missed. It was cute when Akshaye shows up at the engagement party with screaming girls in tow because "Rahul is like a brother to me!" lol. Furthermore, dancing to You are My Sonia is much cooler when you don't have to watch Kareena dance it. I love singing along...

I did like the moment where Deepa tells on herself a bit with the girl saying "What's the point of focusing on incest, poverty and all that stuff? I like films that reflect our Indian culture and our magnificent Indian values." Ha! I wonder how many times she's had to hear that in her career...

"Sue-ji's Song" is really cool. Very catchy. I also liked the look of the less intense choreography. It really suits non-dancers. Beth, I daresay this was your FPMBF's finest moment. Very cute.

So, does anyone know whether or not, "I'm in love with a stripper/ escort/ prostitute" is the theme for any of Deepa's other movies? It was the case in Water, so that makes two.

Monday, September 25, 2006

If you light, alright...

...if you black, stay back!

If this is not the first time you've heard that statement, you won't find the following article as any great surprise. Otherwise, educate yourselves:

Skin tone more important than educational background for African Americans seeking jobs, according to new research from the University of Georgia

Everyone knows about the insidious effects of racism in American society. But when it comes to the workplace, African Americans may face a more complex situation the effects of their own skin tone.

For the first time, a study indicates that dark-skinned African Americans face a distinct disadvantage when applying for jobs, even if they have resumes superior to lighter-skinned black applicants.

Sister Liz cued me into info on Black America Web but I chose to link to the academic article. On BAW, it was cute how they only alluded to--rather than directly address--the issue of colorism amongst black folks when no one else is around. The results might skew a little but I doubt that they would be much different if black Americans were doing the choosing. We're just as indoctrinated as everyone else.

In all honesty, in the past few years, I've been confronted with my views on color and culture. Before moving to Nashville I was dating a guy who was a few shades darker than myself. One day we were holding hands and all of the sudden I'm thinking, "Oh my God. He's actually black. I'm not black." I always thought of myself as black in color. My skin is actually quite brown. It was like some weird dichotomy. [Black identity is a strange thing. Especially in the West where culture is supposedly synonymous with a color rather than country.] It was actually a traumatizing moment. Typically, I'm the blackest person in the room--I know I need to get out more--and I'm cool with that. I'm used to that and my self-perception was wrongly shaped because of it.

I was talking with a girlfriend about the same thing and she said she had realized so much from dating a dark-skinned man. He was a really sweet guy, very tall, very dark and some of the reactions they got were just silly. (She's a short brown-skinned girl.) People are so scared of black it's amazing.

My pseudo-psychological analysis is this: When black people are more visible in normalized roles in media, politics and business, our mindsets will be broadened. That's a good thing.

About the new template...

I was sitting around procrastinating on some really important work this weekend and decided to spruce up the old blog. To be perfectly honest, I really wanted to install rotating banners. All the cool kids have them! Why can't I? Because I switched to Blogger beta like a sucker. That's why.

If anyone can hook me up with xml code that will work for beta, I'll be your best friend! (Maybe. If I like you.) I at least promise to think of you fondly.

I got the banners to work here using a javascript code--man, I feel like I just bought imitation Adidas at Walmart--I'm out of techKnowledge and I must hang my head in shame...

[Don't cry Hrithik, it will be okay.]

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...

...or Satte Pe Satta. Other alternate title, "You healed me so I love you."

OMG, this takes the cake. While Ishq is in the lead for foolish bad behavior so far, the distinguishing feature of this film is its ludicrousness. That's not to say I didn't like it. I did. I'll probably watch it again, it's so ridiculous. But that was the point after all...

Satte Pe Satta is an even more dishoomi version of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the American musical made a film in 1954. I think I've said this before but I grew up on musicals. Mostly Rogers & Hammerstein but I remember liking this one when I was little. I think because there were so many people, so much dancing and several fights! Tons of fun I tell you! [Yes, I'm a cornball and not the least bit embarrased.] SPS is not so much a remake as an Indian interpretation of the story.

Amitbah Bachan plays the eldest of an unruly brood of brothers. He also plays the evil murderer guy who, well, gets enlisted to kill one of the girls. I really wanted to see him fight himself but I guess they didn't have the technology for all that...

Memorable items:

  • Grown men in pastel-colored tighty-whiteys. (I know, I know. It's an oxymoron.)
  • Fake beards in abundance.
  • Random use of animal sounds by said grown men to express emotion or incite attention.
  • Watermelon as a sign of love.
  • Ab1 getting slapped. Hard.
  • Love bourne of hate.
  • Ab1 as a lush. Far too convincing. Dig that facial expression & the fetal position!
  • Fight scenes that play out like circus shows. (lots of jumping and flying through the air)
  • The only child of illegitimate parents whose wanderlust and inherent bent toward crime/violence is melted away by kindhearted country folk in an instant.
  • And last but not least, WTH moment of the month: The relationship between a LARGE switchblade and a wheelchair-bound girl. There seems to be some inextricable neo-scientific link. [I'll not say what and potential ruin your opportunity to watch the moment unfold...]
Words of advice the characters in this film would do well to follow:
  • Men, do not whistle with your fingers after relieving yourself outdoors. Just don't.
  • Additionally, please do not throw your shotguns in the air as a sign of glee. I'm sure someone, somewhere learned this the hard way. You could be next.
As far as gender commentary, I think the lead female character in this was a bit like Snow White--moving into an filthy cottage to show the uncouth munchkins how to live. She cooks for them and does all the housework. <---Arguably regressive. At the same time, she has ALL of the men on smackdown so, I guess that makes them even. If only things were so easy in these perilous modern times...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You tell 'em Williard!

"Bollywood elements have been heightened but they are realistic, they never go over-the-top," says Carroll.*
So says Williard Carroll, director of Marigold, a Holly-Bolly hybrid coming to a theater near you sometime after extensive test screenings. It appears they haven't settled on the marketing just yet.

Marigold stars Salman Khan and Ali Larter
(Final Destination, Legally Blond). The story is basically that of an American girl--an emerging actress--who while training for her role in a Bollywood film, falls for the dashing desi choreographer. [I should be so lucky!]

Williard got bit by the Bollybug a few years ago when he was in India. What did him in? Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, featuring none other than one Salman Khan. Upon returning to the States, he watched 150 Bollyfilms over the next 6 months. In case you're counting, that's one-a-day with Sundays off...
"They sort of reminded me of American movies in the '40s and '60s -- a somewhat melodramatic plot, very emotional -- the emotional stuff really rang true to me, and I love the musical and filmmaking talent" in India. [Link]
I agree entirely but hey, we obviously have the same tastes. He was executive producer of The Brave Little Toaster, one of the best cartoons EVER! I watched that thing like 100 times when I was a kid. The songs are odd. The story is odd. And gee did I feel bad for that toaster when I was a little kid...

*Um, he obviously hasn't seen the knife-wheelchair thing in Satte Pe Satta.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yeah Blogger!

Recent comments are working again! Right now it's only the 5 most recent and the formatting is not the best but I'll see what I can do to resolve that...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Daddy, where do Democrats come from?

I don't typically talk about my family here but let me intro this one by saying that I am definitely my father's daughter. Reading is not a way to pass time for me, it's a hardcore hobby. I read everything I get my hands on. Even to the point of my own detriment, reading while driving, losing sleep, etc. My father, being slightly more discriminate, generally limits himself to the news. That being the case, my dad isn't like other people who email catchy forwards with cool or funny messages. My dad sends me news briefs. <---That's hardcore people! So basically, this post is courtesy of my dad. Like many a well-intentioned Bollywood film, this article, unintentionally made me laugh. Here are some choice excerpts:

GOP group's campaign ad says Democrats started KKK

In the ad, the woman goes on to say, "Democrats passed those black codes and Jim Crow laws. Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan." Her companion replies, "The Klan? White hoods and sheets?"

The ad asserts that "Democrats want to keep us poor while voting only Democrat" and "Democrats want us to accept same-sex marriages, teen abortions without a parent's consent and suing the Boy Scouts for saying 'God' in their pledge."

About the Republicans, the ad says: "Republicans freed us from slavery and put our right to vote in the Constitution."

HA-HA! How fabulously scandalous! Nothing like some good mudslinging during a political campaign! Sounds like gossip off of E! Entertainment Television. Let me say, I'm not loyal to either party. When examining history, how could you be? At the same time, I'm guessing the folks who made the commercial know most Gen X/Yers did not pay attention in history class and would miss the transition from fact (Jim Crow laws) to speculation (keeping "us" poor).

Hey, no harm no foul. Sometimes Democrats need to be reminded where they come from...

The Other Princess Diaries

I wonder if anybody's bought the movie rights to this one yet: [From the LATimes]

As an adopted child, Sarah Culberson dreamed about what her birth parents looked like and where they came from. But it wasn't until she turned 28 that she finally learned what she'd inherited from her biological father: deep-set brown eyes, a wide smile and reign over a chiefdom in Africa.
She was a princess.

Remember them couples back in high school with the matching outfits? They were just trynna take it back to the Motherland:
All were wearing green dresses similar to hers...It's customary for the villagers to dress uniformly when an honored guest arrives to show that person that she is not a visitor but a new member of their community.

Can she get a Disney cartoon please?! It's about time they added a black girl to the Princess lineup. Geez! What year is this?!

[FYI, her family is from Sierra Leone. You can learn more about her story on her website]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ishq (1997)

This is the most outrageous Bollyfilm I've seen yet. I was caught off guard by the comedic tone that carried through most of the movie. I was also surprised to see several brown characters as leads! (None of them were female, but alas, one must accept what is given...)

The Good:

  1. This is the only film I've seen that was so outlandish that Johnny Lever's performance fit in wonderfully. Take that as you will.
  2. Really fun songs that have NOTHING to do with ANYTHING.
  3. The first half of the film is fast paced and snarky. Admittedly, Aamir Khan is growing on me. In this film, I dare say I actually liked him. The face off between his character and Juhi Chawla's is ridiculous. It's like a comedic version of the matchup in Crouching Tiger. If Juhi had stabbed Aamir before making out with him I wouldn't have blinked...
  4. Song #4 will remind you of a Milli Vanilli song you can't quite place.
  5. The most ghetto, needlessly tragic wedding disaster I've ever seen in my entire life! The only thing that would have made it worse was a successful murder attempt and someone showing up with proof that the groom was the illegitimate parent of an 8-year-old child.
The Bad:
  1. Clear plastic knee-high boots a go-go. (Click to enlarge.)
  2. The "Operation Theater." Please, if you are with me at a time when I am injured, do make sure I get to a proper hospital, not the set of Grey's Anatomy or something. [However, it appears the staff of the theater is able to assist people in surviving pitch fork wounds so, all is well!]
  3. This is the first time I've seen Kajol in a role that could be described as "docile." Her blood pressure got low because she was too depressed?! That hurt my feelings. [In fact, there are several odd, misogynistic near-fetish like things going on in this film but don't let them weigh you down! It's certainly no worse than MTV.]
  4. [Amendment] As I was so fabulously reminded, I left out the rising star of the film, the 007 Monkey. This was a horrible oversight. I think I blocked out the monkey because his part in the film was very disturbing. People should not let monkeys drive cars.
The Ugly:
  1. The choreography. Why ask a girl to lift her leg and hop on one foot while wearing a poorly colored mini-dress? There's no good reason.
  2. Sadashiv Amrapurkar looks like he recently raided Whoville.
  3. Parents who will stop at NOTHING to get their way in their children's lives. After spending 2.5 hours establishing that said parents will stop at NOTHING, the writer gives them a change of heart 2.5 minutes before the movie ends for no apparent reason. BOO. BOO. BOO!!!! They should have just ended the movie 2.5 minutes earlier.
Overall though, I'm impressed. I mean this film is like, Arranged Marriage Gone WILD!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I am SO eating here!!!

Mark this restaurant down for the itinerary after a spin through the City. Presenting Masala Bollywood courtesy of the NYTimes:
[I just know there's a gianormous picture of Hrithik in there somewhere...]

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Plotting my escape

I spent my weekend at the Act One: Writing for Hollywood workshop in Nashville. I feel remarkably informed. Most of all, it renewed my hope that maybe, just maybe, I really can write (something other than press releases) for a living and do it in Los Angeles.

A brief chat with Chris Riley, author of The Hollywood Standard--which I'm sure nearly wrote itself after he spent 14 years editing scripts for Warner Brothers!--I discovered that being able to write stellar scenes, even without the ability to produce a stellar screenplay IS a valuable tool. There are in fact, people employed to do just that very thing. A fear I acquired after a semester of Playwriting and solidified after a semester of Screenwriting, is my inability to create an entire production and carry it to completion. I'm overly much an in the moment sort of writer. Some people might even say I'm funny and apparently, from what Chris was telling me, joke writers are quite the valued commodity...

At any rate, I was able to see just a glimpse beyond the idea of the grand concept of story. There is SO much beyond the story itself that needs to happen to make a movie work. I guess that explains all the rot that ends up getting produced on a regular basis...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Minsara Kanavu (1997)

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong but I think this was repackaged the same year as Sapnay...

This movie is too cute! Naturally, it reminded me of The Sound of Music because I can't think of any other film where a would-be nun falls in love. At the same time, it has the Cyrano de Bergerac/ Roxanne/ Shakespearean element of an ineptly lovesick fellow taking on a go-between to woo the fair maiden who of course falls for the frontman.

The fun part: The go-between is Prabhu Deva--who I'm beginning to like quite a lot--and the fair maiden is Kajol as a wannabe nun. The lovesick fellow is Arvind Swamy who really isn't very attractive in my opinion thus, I'm still trying to figure out why he keeps popping up as a romantic lead...


  1. Kajol looks really pretty.
  2. Prabhu dancing to Informer--yes, this one--while styling hair. Heck, Prabhu dancing to anything is interesting. He's 100% entertainer, 10% actor.
  3. The music! The music in this one is really different. It's really varied and reminds me a little bit more of Broadway than India. More minor keys, less ragas is my guess. (It's been a long time since I took music theory.)
  4. Prabhu pours one out for the homies when he realizes he's in love with his pal's love interest. rofl!
  5. The BEST TRAIN CHASE SCENE EVER!!! While we all know that chasing a major mode of transportation, preferably a train, is a must for any successful romance, this one takes the cake. Yes, Prabhu chases Kajol's train. Yes, he catches the train and shouts at her through the window. No, their conversation does not end in time. Yes, he grabs onto the train and rides--from the outside--while continuing the argument at hand. No, I don't think that was supposed to be funny. Yes, I laughed VERY hard out loud until--well, until something bad happened. (Ok, why am I lying? I was still laughing...)
Naturally, the film has its slow spots but the silliness generally compensates for them so it's worth the watch.

Jesus Camp

Some people find the Jesus Camp movie trailer frightening. I can see that. 1) If you've never seen a church service where people get emotional, this is a VERY intense introduction to it. 2) These guys are NOT playin'. Unfortunately, I missed the film when it screened in Nashville last week so I can't say too much on the details.

On the other hand, from what I've been reading online, a lot of people have commented on the little boy--no, I don't know why his hair is like that--Travis' statement that he got "saved" when he was five years old like there's no way that could be true. Well, I guess me, my roommate and my friend Rebecca are the other weirdos who were aware of their own mortality at so early an age (me--age 4). Do I think the kids they featured are very unusual? Of course they are! Otherwise, no one would've wanted to make a documentary about them. Do I think that children should be taught the faith at an early age? Absolutely! Some children will absorb very early, others will not. Do I think all of those kids featured are going to walk the straight and narrow for the rest of their lives? Based on statistics alone, I can confidently answer, "No." At the same time, most of them will return to faith even if it doesn't quite look like this movie.

Now the real question is, would I send my own children (that I don't have yet--applications for husbands ARE being accepted) to this particular camp? Not unless they asked to go. Having grown up in church, I know for a fact that forcing someone to participate in a spiritual experience is a quick way to "turn off" mode. [I use the word experience because this camp is quite different than a regular church service.]

With that in mind, I present the trailer for Jesus Camp.

[SIDE NOTE: In the trailer I noticed Lou Engle of Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) and The Cause USA. Lou is like on a whole different level. He and some of the JHOPers came down when we were doing the media fast here in Nashville. ALL these guys do is pray. They pray, they fast, they read the Bible and pray more. Some of them write songs and that's what they sing for worship wherever they are. They're basically monks. They sometimes call themselves American Nazarites. I bring that up because all of the JHOPers are 18 & up and nobody makes them do what they do. They just do it. There are plenty of less intense organizations around but for some reason they stay. I totally appreciate what they're doing. Someone from JHOP is praying for America every hour of every day, 24-7! That's a good thing. I think what suprised me the most about them was how mild-mannered they all are in contrast to the way that crew worships which is really loud, really intense and kind of tribal sounding. I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want to leave but it's hard to hang with people who don't believe church services have an end...]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002)

Susan was nice enough to lend me her copy of this movie. Lo and behold, I actually have seen this one before and had forgotten all about it! Maybe I blocked it out because I rented it from the not-so-friendly Lady's market. At any rate, this movie is a prime example of my cotton candy theory. Thus, here's my list of reasons to watch:

  1. Kareena Kapoor cries like Claire Danes.
  2. The longest, most fabulous Bollysong medley-mix the world has ever seen!!! [Was that thing like 20 minutes or what?! This time around, I think I actually recognized three or four songs which means I absolutely must watch again in three months and re-check my score!]
  3. Rani & Hrithik dance in the rain!
Um, if you need more reasons than that, you probably shouldn't watch. Haters!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Definition Bollywood.

From the U.S. State Department website:

These melodramatic, flashy films typically run more than three hours and showcase Indian culture, dance, songs and, most important, romance. Whether set in the modern day or in colonial times, most films boast a lavish wedding scene, as authentic Indian weddings remain a highly valued tradition...Perhaps the most typical aspect of Bollywood films is the assured happy ending to give audiences an uplifting finale.

Sounds quite a bit less impressive when you narrow it down like that....I can't hate though, the State Department also funds an American cultural ambassador for hip-hop.

[Also, please note, only two photos are included in the article. One in which Ab1 and Ab2 share space with Aishwarya AND the not so fabulous photo of Bollywood Boyfriend #1 included here. This clearly proves who's hottest!]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Say it ain't so Whitney! Say it ain't so.

I'm not even going to comment on this since my friend Tia did such a good job:

There were two things that you used to be able to count on: 1)If they were looking for a serial murderer, chances were he wasn't black and 2)No matter who got divorced you knew that Bobby and Whitney were staying together. Both of these theories have been shot to hell. JESUS PART THE SKY!!!!

What's Really Goin' On?

All I can say is, they better not get married because somebody's gonna have to give up their citizenship...Article at the

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Build the Dream!

Sister Liz mentioned this to me when I was at home. Apparently, I'm really late on this one because they've been raising money for over a year now. For what, you ask? Why the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial! That's what. (I know, I know. I thought the government paid for those things too!) Do watch the "virtual tour." It has really pleasant sounding Mr. Rogers type jazz in the background.

Apparently, there's a federal matching grant for up to $10 million dollars which means--you guessed it--the foundation really wants to get those pledges in and they're trying to do so by the end of the year.

Every person in America has benefitted from the work of Dr. King either directly or indirectly. I say, help them out AND if you give $30 dollars or more, you can get the lovely t-shirt pictured on the right. When we hang out we can wear them at the same time and people will think we're twins. ;0)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Karan Arjun (1995) and getting a good night's sleep...

After making it all the way through Karan Arjun the other night, all I could think was: What a joke! Ok, that's not true but I really think bad guy jr. said that more than 10 times...

Not so friends, not so. After 1) pausing the film when the title hit the screen to regain my stamina and bolster my determination to continue, [Rachel, I'm guessing that's where you turned off the film?] and 2) filing this one under dishoom, I got to the end of this film and was plunged into
a day and a half of theological musings. (Geez! Who does that?!)

It was neither the threatening tone of every character's voice, nor the strategically placed billboard-of-oversized-mouth in remote horse pasture, nor the overuse of hair gel creating bit of a soul glo effect, nor the brown hue most of the actors other than Salman Khan--and strangely including--Sharukh, nor the unnatural sound of a woman hitting her head on a piece of wood that reminded me of the lucky stump on Showtime at the Apollo's amateur night that threw me into the depths of heavy pondering.

While all of these things are perplexing in their own right, none left me dazed so much as this movie's emphasis on Kali, a critical element of the storyline. Up until this film, I'd only seen friendly statues like the one with the flute in all the K-Jo films (Krishna?), in which worship consisted of a pleasant songs, incense, pretty flowers and tasty treats. But this, this is the stuff Chick tracts are made of! [Yes, I used to read those when I was little.]

So back to the challenging theological questions...
Typically, when my mind is tangled around an issue, I meditate on it for a bit. Since I watched the movie after work, it was clearly "sleepy time" when the movie was finally done. That being the case, I refused to go to sleep without answers, which only come by asking questions:
1) Why did the movie not settle well with me?
Because the revenge theme was portrayed as justifiable AND sanctioned/perpetrated by deity. Ok. One down.
2) Why is that bothersome?
Because I don't like it. Bad answer. Because a life spent exacting revenge is a life wasted. Theologically correct. Otherwise unable to be proven. Because everybody should know that praying to scary goddesses is a bad idea. Cute. Try again. [My inner Socrates hit a dead end rather quickly.]

When personal reflection doesn't work, I usually dialogue with God until answer becomes pretty clear. [Sound weird? Stay with me. It gets more interesting.] Thus, in the interest of getting a good night's sleep--un-pious, I know--I decided to ask God (aka "prayer") for the answer. Basically, the question boiled down to:
What's the difference between praying to a goddess of destruction [for the decimation of your enemies in the form of men] and praying that you'd rain down fire from heaven [on one's enemies á la Old Testament]? His answer: "There isn't much difference." I'm like, what? Are you kidding me?! Come on, that's crazy. I'm on your side here. But I all I got was, "There isn't much difference" again.

Keeping in the interest of getting a good night's sleep, I posed another question since the last answer was likely to keep me up all night.
So why be all pro-Christianity if it's basically the same? What's the difference? Answer no. 2: "Jesus". I'm waiting for more information. "Jesus is the difference." I'm like, Is that all? That's it?! No way. And at that moment it hit me like a ton of bricks in the stomach. That IS it. That's all. He's all. He's the only distinguishing feature of Christianity. It's so simple that I don't think words can explain the depth of that truth. If you read the blog, you've seen a post or two about Jesus already so you're probably like Um, that was a revelation? It was. I thought I believed entirely in the preeminence of Christ but had been confronted by my underestimation of his importance and ultimately, the strength of his position. Christ is the essence of that 'difference'. Nothing else can account for it.

*As for the film itself, if you want to watch how these boys go from this to this, go for it but don't say you weren't warned. Alternate title for this film: How to Make Lean, Mean Butt-Kicking Machines. Army of Monkeys has a play-by-play review here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bye bye Munnabhai

In my imagination, there's at least one reader who is desperately awaiting my review of Lage Raho Munnabhai. Well, please exhale. Unfortunately, the fabulous folks who bring Hindi cinema to Nashville grossly underestimated the level of interest which resulted in only one showing that was sold out long before it started. Arrgghh! Note to organizers: Do not pull any poor planning drama when Dhoom2 comes to town because I will not be so easily deterred! (For obvious reasons.)

Furthermore, I was not alone in my dismay! Dear Susan and Rachel were suffering with me AND, if statistical samples are to be believed, it would be safe to assume that each disgruntled customer represents at least 10 more...

Finally, in a shallow attempt to get more dots on my ClustrMap, I have to ask, Are there any Bollyfans in upper Russia or central Africa? (Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia) Or Cabo (Cape) Verde for that matter? <--- shoutout to my Motherland!

Black Moment of the Week :0)

Similar to the Holocaust memorials in many major American cities, the US is finally getting on board by facing its own trangressions as a few historical sites plan memorials to American slaves.

One such site is The President's House, George Washington's former home in Philadelphia. The project is in the design phases. They've narrowed it down to five finalists. If you're in the area, you can vote on which ones you like best otherwise, you can check the designs out one the web here. (Click the name of an architectural firm on the left sidebar to see the team's design and description.)

I like this one. (It reminds me of pennies or something.) The transparent document is a copy of the slave census of 1799.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Black Moment of the Week :0(

I don't know if it's so much a sad moment for black people as it is a sad, sad moment for hip hop. In fact, before watching this video, if you have any love for hip hop at all, you should observe a moment of silence. I'm guessing Harlem is trying to compete with the ATL on lame beats and songs...

On the other hand, there is a part of me that is extremely grateful to see children doing a song and video that can be enjoyed by the whole family. (As long as no one's worried about killing their brain cells.) No foul language or raunchily inappropriate lyrics here! No siree! Just soup, soda, rain, and washing. Heck, we all know how much I appreciate dancing. So really, I guess what we have here is the new Loco-Motion. Mom would be proud...

Presenting: Chicken Noodle Soup (with a soda on the side) by 19-year-old DJ WebStar & Miss Little B.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mission Kashmir (2000)

Strangely enough, when I popped this one in the dvd player, I hadn't realized I would be watching my second V.V. Chopra story of the month...

This is a really good film. There are things about this movie that are not very good but I made it to the credits with an overwhelmingly positive feeling. The cinematography was fabulous! Since Mission Kashmir features none other than Bollywood Boyfriend #1, (and I have too much time on my hands today), I've included several photo highlights with appropriate captions. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times...

1. Oh snap!

It's a prick, not a snake bite.

No nibbling on exposed digits allowed!

*Breathe! Breathe!*

2. The word is FoINE, not feminine!
Since I'm holding back, I will simply mention that this is one of the worst (best?) displays of diminished masculinity ever displayed on a non-drag queen. [Now obviously, I don't know the choreographer Rekha Prakash personally. However, should we ever meet, my first question will be: Was Leroy from Fame the inspiration for this particular dance piece?]
Boo, it's hard to keep defending you when stuff like this pops up. Good thing I'm loyal. ;0)
Furthermore, what's up with FIVE Rogers & Hammerstein dream sequences anyways?! Recognize. You only get ONE of those per film. [Truth be told, it's the head snap and alternating toe touch that's taking this move to George Michaelish proportions...]

3. If the genes fit...
[warning: ebonics ahead]
Why Hrithik mama (Sonali Kulkarni) look like Halle Berry play cousin?

4. Note to Hrithik:

Please, please do not ever, EVER come to my house in the middle of the night--soaking wet--staring through my window with puppy dog eyes.
I like Suzanne. Your wife seems like a really nice woman. Y'all got kids now and everything so--
I can't be letting you up in my house like this.

Most of all, I was impressed with Hrithik's acting. There's a scene where he convincingly confesses his love to Preity in one breath then with no sign of distress, makes two phone calls that set off a bombing. I don't like to cuss, but damn! damn! damn! That was cold! And far too well executed. Also, Hrithik opted to do that muscle spasm thing with his face (like in Krrish). How, I don't know. It does however, add credence to the distress of a horrifying nightmare.

All in all, I'm hoping I'm not just a sucker for adoption stories. At least I didn't cry this time...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blogger Beta!

While there are things about the new Blogger that I like, once again I've discovered a drawback: I can no longer leave comments on any blogspot blog that has not been transferred to beta!!!

I'm not sure how much longer they expect users to suffer through this madness...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I want a Magic Hug!

In preparation for this weekend's viewing of Lage Raho Munnabhai at the Belcourt on Sunday, I pushed Munnabhai M.B.B.S. (2003) up the old Netflix cue.

SIDE NOTE: Does anyone else want to pimp slap the folks who disabled the chapter button at the beginning of EVERY Eros dvd?! Golly gee whitakers!!!

I liked this movie. It won't quite make it to my favorites list but it was pretty entertaining. I like the way Circuit beat the crap out of the other goons for every infraction. For some reason, that makes me laugh...I'm not in the mood to do a proper review so I'll pose a few poignant questions:

  1. Have you hugged your janitor?
  2. Why does Munna look like 60 years old, trying to kick it with a girl who might be 30? (Is that the casting director's fault, or does no one care?)
  3. What the heck kind of name is Chinki?!?
  4. Did Munna really need to cuss out all of the professors at the college?
  5. Does Sanjay Dutt know he can't dance?
  6. Most importantly, why did the lil' stripper girl at the hospital look like a bootleg Aaliyah? Inquiring minds want to know. I mean, were those cornrows in her head?!

  7. Hopefully, I'll really enjoy the movie on Sunday. If not, I'm sure I'll enjoy talking through the whole film like I usually do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Does it Matter?

On a regular basis, I read several Chinese forums and blogs written by/for expats. Over time I've become increasingly amused by the complaints of Westerners living as minorities in an overwhelmingly homogenous society for the first time in their lives. I don't have the energy to properly develop the parallels between their many statements about the unwillingness/inability of those in the majority so see beyond their characterizaton as "normal" and the subsequent effects of otherness on those who are not part of the majority with the sentiments expressed by minorities in the U.S. [An execellent example can be found here under the heading "A few of those bumps."]

The difference between China and America is the United States' ideological positioning as an inclusive, multicultural society. However, ask almost anybody who doesn't live in the US, and American=white. Like any disfunctional family, we in the US imagine ourselves to be something other than we are while comparing ourselves to more disfunctional societies around the world and patting ourselves on the back.

All this brings me the piece on black-white dating in the New York Times yesterday. It's called, Race Wasn't an Issue to Him, Which was an Issue to Me. (Check it out here.) The article talks about the desire, or lack therof, to engage in discussions about race and the effect that has on a dating/marriage relationship. I think her bottom line was, if you don't care to address issues of race, you shouldn't be in a relationship with someone who does. The author's point of view is interesting as her ex-husband is white.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bombay (1995)

Ok, I won't make any sweeping generalizations about South Indian film based on the few I've seen but I will say that Mani Ratnam has a knack for keeping it grounded.

A few things I noticed:

  • Manisha Koirala's character is ridiculously docile and submissive. (I’m not hatin’. I’m just sayin’.)
  • LMAO on grandpa putting a tikka on the twins' heads when he sees the in-laws coming!
  • The song with the kids asking for a baby is TOO cute!!
  • Man in sari = scary! (I love how the kid is not the least bit freaked out though...)
[On a personal sidenote, I have to admit, my biological clock kicked in this year—right about May or June I think—and I’m not doing well with really cute kids between the ages of 4 and 7. I want to throw them over my shoulder and run home with them! They’re still small enough to be cute but big enough to wipe their own butts. Cute & clean - very much my style!]

So y’all, I'm watching the second half of this movie on my way to visit my family for vacation and I’m about to cry at the airport. I really can’t watch a little boy get trampled AND then see him lose his brother! OMG!!! I had to push pause.

Also moving, were the scenes where they're walking through the hospital/etc. searching for the twins. It reminded me of the Angolan film, O, Heroi when people were in standing in lines, waiting for an opportunity to inquire about family members they could no longer find.

Random Question: What's that song they’re singing at the Hindu rally? This is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve heard it and I feel like I should be singing along...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A new discovery

Hmmm. In trying to educate myself on the ways of South India, I stumbled upon this fellow: Vishal Krishna Reddy. There's so little information on him, it's rather disconcerting. Maybe he's so difficult to find because he only goes by his first name.

Apparently, he was in a film called Thimiru which, alas, is no where to be found on or Netflix.

He looks so serious in this photo. I had seen a couple of other photos of him in which he reminded me of Hrithik, with less angular features.

Suffice it to say, I'm intrigued.