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If Steve Jobs were a woman…

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

…he’d be treated as a CEOILF.

…there’d be incessant carping about his sense of fashion (rather, the lack thereof).

…he could either be hard-working and unlikable, or incompetent and likable. Pick one.

…the over-pricing of his products would be evidence of his narcissism and be seen as a personal failing, not as evidence of his good/bad business sense.

…TV commentators would complain about his boring presentations, and wonder if he was *pimping* out his products a bit too vulgarly.

…late night comics would make jokes about raping his kids. Only the girls, of course.

…people would say ‘why doesn’t he just GO AWAY already?!’ while simultaneously clicking on every news link about him.

…people would make videos about punching him in the face, strangling him, and sexually assaulting him. In humor, of course.

…people would complain for years about how he was selfish in not having kids.

…people would be horrified that there were rumors of a kid he didn’t acknowledge.

…people would complain about how selfish he was in having kids and not staying home and taking care of them himself.

…people would complain about how selfish he was that he stayed home and took care of his kids for a few years, thereby *abandoning his company*.

…battle-lines would be drawn around his parenting choices – whether he chose to breastfeed or not would indicate how good a parent he was.

…his falling out with John Sculley, Gates and others would be seen as evidence of his b*tchiness, and he would NEVER get past it.

…sleazy pseudo-journalists would camp outside his house and write tell-all books about his family.

…sleazy journalists would say *good lord, isn’t it horrifying* about the brown and black (wo)men he slept with in India and elsewhere.

…his ideas would always be ignored. Even when they were good.

…his ideas, if un-ignorably fabulous, would be appropriated sans acknowledgement.

…his product names would be treated as evidence of narcissism rather than personalization (iDevice)

…there would always be deep insinuations about how much influence, exactly, Laurene (who? his spouse!) had on his work and the firm.

..he would never, ever, EVER be seen as a visionary. No matter what he did or said.

Yeh toh kuch nahin hai, hamarein yahan toh….

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Then there was the Bigger family with Mr. Bigger, Mrs. Bigger, and Baby Bigger.
Q: Who was the biggest?
A: Baby Bigger, because he was a little bigger.

Remember the old popular joke about the guy who was visiting a small town and kept showing off that everything was ‘so much bigger’ in his own town? The roads, the houses, the cars – and then, when the small town guys dunk him in the pool, even the pools and the jokes were bigger in his hometown. And someone calls him an idiot, and he says there are even bigger idiots in his hometown?

That’s what AP sounds like in this farce of an article:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sarah Palin’s book is highly anticipated in her home state — but she’s no Harry Potter.

“I’m excited about the event,” he said. “Am I as excited as I was for Harry Potter? No. That was huge.”

At Gulliver’s Books in Fairbanks, tins of candies packaged as “Sarah’s Embarrassmints” are a hot item, far outselling Palin’s book.

Store owner David Hollingsworth said he has received 10 pre-orders out of his 100 copies. It’s nothing like the frenzy he saw for the 2,000 copies he ordered with the last installment of the Potter series.

The July 2007 release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” prompted two young sisters to wait in line outside his store for 11 days, living out in their parents’ camper. Hollingsworth also had a midnight release for Potter fans but didn’t plan to repeat those hours for “Going Rogue.”

“Yes, it’s a big deal, but we’ve had bigger deals,” he said.

So they’re comparing a political book by a supposed (they wish!) non-entity to the last Harry Potter book? Umm, why not compare this to the two Obama books – wouldn’t that be a more equitable comparison? Or to a McCain book, or a Clinton book? Or to any autobiography/life story/non-fiction/roman e clef by any famous woman, since they only think women should be compared to women? It’s a truly telling sign when your detractors need to compare your book to the series that is supposed to have sold more copies than the Bible internationally in order to come up with negatives and then say ‘ohh, it’s no big deal’ while crowing about it falling short.

I’m no Palin supporter, but when a global news organization reprints press releases from one side of a battle verbatim as news and claims zero bias, one needs to call b***shit. Proof:

Coinciding with Palin’s national book tour, the Alaska Democratic Party announced Monday it was launching a Web site to hold Palin accountable on some issues. It’s called “Say nO to Sarah,” or SOS…..

And that’s the sign-off on the article – not the AP reporter’s sign-off, but that of the party issuing the press release. Rachel D’Oro didn’t even bother to wash hir hands and wipe the blood off the knife.

Selective editing

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Funny how both these news reports are from the same source research report:

The Hindu

Contrary to popular perception by historians that the caste system seen today is an invention of colonialism, the study found scientific evidence to show that “many current distinctions among groups are ancient.”

“The caste system is not recent,” said Dr. Thangaraj. “The social stratification existed right from early human divergence, some 50,000-60,000 years ago when initial settlement happened in India.”

versus:

Reuters

While the genes clearly show that the caste system has existed for hundreds of generations, the genes do not line up by caste.

“It is impossible to distinguish castes from tribes using the data,” Kumarasamy Thangaraj of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

“This supports the view that castes grew directly out of tribal-like organizations during the formation of Indian society.”

What about apprehending ‘reporting’?

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

One day, there will be many, many volumes written about the utterly poor quality of writing & analysis by media around the world over the last four decades. I ‘humbly submit’ this example for addition into those volumes [emphasis below mine]: Engg student jumps to her death, ragging suspected


LUCKNOW: A first year engineering student, identified as Poonam Mishra, committed suicide by jumping off the third floor of her college building in the city on Tuesday. Although ragging was apprehended as the reason for the girl’s extreme step, college administration and the police said the girl was under depression.

The incident was reported from Bijnore area under Sarojininagar police circle. Identified as Poonam Mishra of Muftiganj in Jaunpur district, the girl was a student of Azad Institute of Engineering and Technology. Poonam stayed in room number 107 of Azad Girls Hostel along with two other girls.

The incident took place around 12.30 pm after her last class. Said college director Mohammed Hussain: “She along with her other friends came out of the classroom and then told them that she had left her bag inside and would get it back. As others waited for her, she jumped off the building.” Students and teachers immediately rushed her to FI Hospital in Kaiserbagh, where she died.

A first year student of the college, who was present at FI Hospital, told TOI that ragging could possibly be the reason for her mental state. “Ragging is going on in our college. I myself have been a victim of it. Probably, she also faced such a situation,” he said.

Talking to TOI, however, the college administration denied that ragging was going on in their college. Director Ahmad Hussain said: “There is no ragging going on here. What Poonam’s roommates have told me and the police is that she was finding it difficult to cope with teaching in English. As she was weak in the subject, she had been under depression for some days.”

The director, however, could not explain how a student, who had just been in the college for a week, could take such a step. When asked whether the college was contemplating any inquiry, Ahmad said: “Till now, no inquiry has been conducted by us.”

Circle Officer (CO), Sarojiningar, Subhash Atri, too said Poonam had problems with English. “She didn’t die because of ragging and no suicide note has been recovered from her hostel room or her bag.”

When TOI contacted Poonam’s father Dharam Raj, who works in Azamgarh district administration, he said: “I don’t know why she took this step. She did tell me two days ago that she was facing problems in coping with the English language. However, at that moment, I did not know it was so serious.”

Vocabulary, words, grammar, punctuation – all such overrated attributes anyway. Moreover, when the English language was responsible for this girl’s death (even though ‘ragging was apprehended’), we must exert all possible efforts towards butchering the English language in return. Maybe I’m just mistaking the gallant reporter’s efforts at vengeance for illiteracy.

Categories: indian, journalism

Women are dumb

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Not in the dumb=stupid sense, but women literally do not speak in public. I notice this at work all day, and in the news, on TV, in movies around me. Remember the Lindsay Campbell Moblogictv video Where My Ladies At?, where the less men know the more they’re willing to spout their wisdom but women always, always are so reluctant to speak – afraid, intimidated, hesitant, nervous, silent.

Look at Mika Brzezinski here, she would make my mother-in-law totally proud with her wonderful portrayal of a good desi bahu in the company of men. In the middle of a heated and very profoundly dramatic ideological debate taking place in front of her. And it’s unlikely that she has nothing to say or think, or that she agrees with both sides – that’s simply not possible, and not now after 15 years and 6 months of public debate on these issues. Notice the only time in both videos that she feels bold enough, or uninhibited enough, to open her mouth – she shakes her head in disgust and mumbles in agreement when Joe brings up the ‘death panel discussion’ – obviously to Mika, she can only compete on equal intellectual terms against a woman, that woman being Sarah Palin. Mika seems to believe that debates are like matches at Wimbledon – you can only play against others your own gender.

And oh, don’t you love Anthony Weiner – and he’s engaged to Huma Abedin. I don’t know which of them I’m more jealous of. Umm, wait, actually, my crush on Huma is a thousand times bigger. But Anthony’s not too bad either, and he’s the only one in this administration or in the public debate to so boldly make some very obvious points – not even Krugman has pointed directly to the large elephants in the many rooms this debate is taking place in.

What’re your weekend plans?

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Keep your weekend free. This Sunday, I’m getting myself a copy of the New York Times’s special issue. Yup, after nearly four years of being increasingly distrustful, disappointed, disillusioned and disgusted with the NYT, I’m actually recommending to everyone that they buy and read this issue, because of the most heart-warming, well-researched articles they’ve put out in a long, long time.

The Women’s Crusade
Nicholas Kristoff talks about the ‘alchemy of gender’ in a deliciously long article, excerpted from his and Sheryl WuDunn’s book. I was alternately in tears and alternately giggling with excitement and nodding in vehement agreement through the story (but it could just be undiagnosed bipolar :-))

A New Gender Agenda
An interview with Hillary Clinton (swoon already), but I’m shocked at how much and how often she references India. It’s clear she’s actually one of the rare Westerners who can wrap their heads around the fact that one nation can be both more liberal and more conservative vs. another at the same time; that progressiveness is not a one-dimensional continuum. She gets that India is, in many ways, a model of development for the West and desh seems to be as top of mind for her as it is to me. And most effectively of all, she’s understood that advocating to the rest of the developing world (argh, I hate that term) that development = American values will not get them or her too far, that she needs to use someone else, someone closer to the developing world as an example – therefore the frequent references to Indian democracy in Nigeria, and to Liberian elections in Congo. Wish someone would smash some of her wisdom into Aaron Sorkin’s pathetic little brain sometime.

And hey, I’m suddenly more respectful of journalists again. Who knew.

Lern 2 Logik

June 4, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s your fault, bitch!

Salman, Katrina stopped talking**
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s relationship have finally ended and it was bound to happen because the couple was never consistent in their love. They were in news more for their fight than for their love. If Salman’s over possessive nature sometimes irritates Katrina then Kat’s frequent turning down Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen their relationship. If minutely judged then both were responsible for the breaking relationship.

(emphasis mine)

It’s “her fault equally” too, apparently. So what if Salman was overpossessive, overbearing, jealous and manipulative? So what if he physically assaulted her*, and brazenly in a crowded Bandra Barista at that? So what if he’s had a history of beating his girlfriends, publicly humiliating them, stalking them and harassing them and their families – to the extent that the most silent, private Bollywood actress alive spoke out? So what if Salman Khan hunts protected animals in a fucking wildlife sanctuary? So what if Salman Khan is a murderer?

If Salman’s over possessive nature sometimes irritates Katrina then Kat’s frequent turning down Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen their relationship.

Per the brain-dead author, the first part of that sentence has no causal link to the second part of the same fucking sentence. They’re independent faults of each party. The “breaking relationship” [sic] was Katrina’s fault. Her ‘frequent turning down [of] Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen [sic] their relationship’. If only she accepted his many proposals, then the relationship would still be okay.

Seriously, monkeys on keyboards, lern 2 logik. We’re
all “minutely judging”, too.

________
** This is by no means the only apologist article/comment ever written – Salman apologists are a large demographic, sometimes giving you the impression they’re omnipotent and omniscent. Some of the gems I found include: “Salman Khan’s career was going steady but in 2002, Aishwarya Rai broke up with the actor which caused him a lot of grief.” (http://www.bollywoodblog.com/tags/Salman-Khan/). I just had to write about this one today.
* Trigger warning: Comments at the source linked are atrocious