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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.

Kurbaan vs. New York

November 22, 2009 1 comment

After watching the Kareena-Saif movie, we totally feel “hamne apna Saturday ‘Kurbaan’ ko kurbaan kar diya”.

The movie was a bore. And way too much like New York with John Abraham and Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh – Islamic terrorism, a wronged desi guy out to blow up some Americans, a hapless ‘innocent wife’, a friend who’s an infiltrator into the terrorist group. But it’s fascinating how two people can treat one identical storyline in two such totally different ways. New York was nuanced, shocking, held its suspense so well, and made you intensely relate to the characters and feel their moral dilemmas. Kurbaan set out to dazzle you with the looks of the leading pair – and it succeeded with Kareena, not so much with the over-botoxed, rebonded-combovered-hair Saif – and was a movie that never made up its mind about whether it was a love story or a window into the souls of people who like killing other people. At the end of New York you walked out wondering about the pointlessness of terrorism and the senselessness of American state-sponsored violence; at the end of Kurbaan we walked out wondering about the pointlessness of the movie and the senselessness of a story that pretty much glorified terrorism.

The problem (one of the many problems, really) with Kurbaan is that it was like that episode of 24 where a liberal dude trusts the brown stranger against the fervent opposition of the all-American dude suspicious of all brown people with funny names, and then the brown stranger turns out to be a terrorist after all. It shamelessly encouraged the average viewer to go ahead and stereotype every bukha-clad Muslim woman and every young brown man with a backpack and rewarded such stereotypes.

The writing was abysmal. They couldn’t make up their minds whose perspective to pick – Kareena’s or Vivek’s or Diya’s, so they went with option (D), all of the above. Unlike New York, where everything unfolds from Neil’s p-o-v, and so even small revelations – like Katrina knowing all along that her handsome all-American husband is actually a terrorist – are discoveries that keep you engaged in the story. John’s haunted expression and sudden character twists are hugely gut-punching, even more so when you hear the back-story and see the real, very plausible torment he’s undergone. Here, you never really related to Saif or felt for him – not in the initial love story, not when he’s revealed to be a scheming, manipulative husband, not when you’re told why he became a terrorist, and not when he falls in love with his now-pregnant wife, and not when has his final melodramatic change of heart. His journey seems eminently alien and strange, and each twist is totally ‘yeah, right’. They’d’ve been better off making his a fully negative role, throwing in a couple of wife-whacking scenes and maybe having a last-second unexplained twist (was a change of heart? did he really spare her? or did he miss his target for once?).

The logic was non-existent. It’s completely frustrating how at least two of the characters – Vivek Oberoi’s and Kareena Kapoor’s – are supposed to be Amreekan educated and liberal-thinking, but in any moment of crisis, faced with any example of rule-breaking, small or large, they end up going the illogical, circituous route. When Kareena’s neighbor comes to her for help since she’s presumably being beaten up and about to be murdered, she doesn’t go to the cops or to a local NGO dealing with DV cases, or to a women’s shelter. No, she leisurely pays an in-person visit to a news reporter that the neighbor had met months ago in an internet chatroom (yes, huh?! indeed), and passively walks away when the reporter tells her she’ll call the neighbor in a few weeks after her vacation/travel. And then Kareena, professor and consummate Manhattan girl, generally wanders around in the neighbor’s basement in the dead of night. Seriously heroine, WTF?

Poor Vivek ends up having to go one better. When he gets a lead on the people who may have bombed a plane and killed ~200 people, he decides to take on the whole terrorist agency by himself, and fight for world peace singlehandedly in a severe Miss World relapse moment. When he’s in the middle of the terror plot, he still doesn’t want to tell the cops what he knows, but renders ultimatums to Kareena (who’s under house arrest) to source a f***ing subway map for him ‘definitely by tonight!!!’. He tells the FBI/cops about the plot at the last minute, because evidently just saying ‘subway system under threat’ is less helpful than giving exact station names, because the silly FBI can’t figure that out for themselves. Touching, such faith in the American legal system. And just proves my often-repeated assertion that modern journalists are, by definition, stupid. Thank you, KJo.

Of course, the five stations targeted by Saif and Om Puri & co. to ‘teach the goras a lesson’ are the ones with the highest possible concentrations of desi people – Jackson Heights, Lexington Ave – somehow suicide bombing takes on layer 2 meanings here, or maybe they thought desi/NRI audiences wouldn’t be horrified enough if it was 57th avenue or Harlem. After all that analysis, Rensil couldn’t even be bothered to keep his stations straight, because the back-ups bombers who were to target Times Square and Grand Central and 5th ave end up somehow, in a twist, at three of the originally planned locations, having been magically swapped for the dead guys with backpacks.

More logic issues – not only do the incompetent FBI not examine voicemails and evidence – (what happened to all the wiretapped evidence courtesy FISA and the Patriot Act, huh? huh? HUH??!!), they wait around for hours in churches for tip-offs from random people, in touching displays of patience and loyalty to anonymous informers. And then reinforce their good-guy status by exclaiming ‘Jesus Christ!!!’ at regular intervals, since of course this is all a war about Christianity vs. Islam, in which Hinduism mysteriously proves victorious.

Finally, possibly the brightest spark of talent in the movie belongs to Kiron Kher’s uninhibited Afghani character – she somehow assimilates Iranian/Syrian hijabi sartorialism (maybe the real Afghan hijab was way too scary) and diction from villains in 1970s Amitabh-starrers to come up with a pretty good composite character, not too unlovable or too far from her usual Punju mom roles, but also crazy enough so you’re a tad afraid of/for her. She was definitely better than Om Puri, whom one barely noticed – except when he sulked off in a huff when his authority was easily challenged by upstart Saif. And Saif! Saif, that nawabi bad-child looking for his lost youth just continues to embarrass himself and us by trying to be all-in-one: cool-dude and action-superhero and chocolate-boy-lover in every movie. He unfortunately seems to have upped his ambition and jock-style pecs (and steroidal intake) at the exact time that his talent – and jowls, and hair volume – are moving downwards. This when he’s not terrorizing and manipulating Kareena in reel life and in real (watch their interviews where usually confident Kareena turns to him constantly for affirmation, very unlike the Poo-ing brat of Shahid’s time).

Kareena is as luminously pretty as ever, and came good in the last scene with snot freely running down her face, but somehow she leaves you with utter despair for Indian women – if psychology professors are this dumb, there’s not much hope for the rest of us. She’s completely unresourceful, can’t be bothered to do basic checks on the men she falls for, ends up accepting invites to boring sex-segregated parties, is trapped into house arrest in her own house and promptly packs a head scarf when she realizes her husband is a terrorist. And of yes, when tasked to do a difficult (!) chore, she turns to the only tool at her disposal – no, not Google, not her brains or her education, but her body and sexuality. It’s possibly not just Saif here who’s missing the 80’s.

So, yeah, John Abraham still has my heart.

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.

These [pirates’] rules, they’re more like guidelines anyway

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Cap’n Barbosa from the Dead Man’s Chest speaketh:

The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it was planning to have women fighter pilots in future, but they will be inducted with a pre-condition of not bearing children till a certain age.

“In a few years time, we might see this change (women getting inducted as fighter pilots) coming in with certain pre-conditions that till this age we request you to be happy, be married, but no offsprings,” IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora told reporters here.

After 13-14 years of service, investments made on fighter pilots are actually recovered by the government,” he said in an indication that women fighter pilots will be allowed to have kids only after putting in 13-14 years in IAF.
The IAF Vice-Chief said if a woman pilot has to take pregnancy leave, she will be off-flying for around 10 months, which will not be fruitful for both her and the Service.

Citing reasons for Services not inducting women into combat arms, Barbora said, the armed forces “feel that it is not right to have a lady or a woman exposed to a conflict where she can be a prisoner of war.”

Secondly, psychologically, are we fit? another factor,” he added.

This is when I stop being proud of the Indian military that ‘keeps us safe’ (wev), and start wondering about eligibility & selection criteria that allowed Barbora and his ilk to come up through the ranks. First, psychologically, is he fit? Second, mathematically, is he sound? Third, how robust are his faculties of logic?

If 13-14 years are all that are required to break-even on training costs, then what’s preventing them from directly saying that they require 14 full years of service – get initiates to sign a bond to deliver 168 full months of committed service or pay back training costs and suffer penalties? If someone takes 10 months off to deliver it’s not like they are never fit to do anything after that – ask Kim Clijsters, who won the US Open 18 months after delivery. And why the exception for pregnancy – what if someone (a male candidate maybe?) falls ill with a debilitating heart disease at 30, and needs to take six months off to recoup?It’s not like large emergencies never happen to fighter pilots, or that employees of the IAF are exceptionally protected from all such unexpected events .

Do Barbora and others that helped make this decision think they’re fooling anyone when they say “Now, women in the age group of 21-23 years are inducted into the flying branch and may be allowed to start family after crossing the 35-37 years age bracket.”? Is that condition likely to allow for any woman’s priorities at 21? Or, for that matter, any man’s priorities? What about changing priorities? And what if someone gets pregnant by accident? Is the IAF going to demand and force abortions? Sheesh, people, do you even think these things through before you call press conferences to shoot off yer mouths?

Maybe Barbora and ilk need to recieve printed copies of the story of Major Stephanie Nelson (her story here), the US Air Force fighter pilot (she flies F-16s) who got pregnant and was still treated with respect and equality.

A many-colored jackass

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Yeah, something was always definitely off with this guy:

“He wanted a woman who prayed five times a day and wears a hijab, and maybe the women he met were not complying with those things,” the former imam said.

Mr. Hasan, 40, a lawyer in Virginia, described his cousin as a respectful, hard-working man who had devoted himself to his parents and his career.

Well, he was surely not ‘respectful’ of the women he met – but of course, that’s such a minor detail that no one would even care about.

Apparently this guy was such an enormous patriot that he would go “against his parent’s wishes to join the army” to demonstrate his patriotism, the same parents that he was devoted to – but this same uber-patriot had expectations from his wife that she behave in accord with a totally different culture, a different country’s social norms.
And add to that, the mandatory inflexible hijab requirement should’ve set off major alarm bells that this man needed an eerie amount of control over his dependents, and would not compromise such control. Obviously it didn’t set off those alarm bells, because who cares – women are meant to be controlled any way, whether you’re Muslim or Christian, brown or white or black.

ROTFLMAO

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I thought, after the initial shock laughter, that this would be a depressing day, like June 6th 2008. But I’m still giggling, and it seems like the whole world is with me today.

Some of the gems:
(from Pumapac.org)
“Just think: The Nobel Peace Prize on the very day we actually bombed the moon.” Uppity Woman.
Althouse suggests obama be recommended for the Nobel Prize in Literature for “writing” Dreams From My Father.
Ezra Klein reports the Nobel Committee also awarded obama the prize in Chemistry. “He’s just got great chemistry,” the Committee said.

Barack Obama’s Teleprompter: Bill Clinton called and was gracious in defeat. Offered to fly Kanye West over for Awards Ceremony.

Erik Erikson: Barack Obama is becoming Jimmy Carter faster than Jimmy Carter became Jimmy Carter.

Ms. Behaved: Didn’t our last one term president win one of these?

(from Corrente)

From Talkleft: You know what would be genius? If the Onion just posts: “Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize!” as their headline.

BREAKING NEWS: President Barak Obama also to be awarded the Cy Young, Hiesman, The Congressional Medal of Honor and some unclaimed Olympic track & field medals at a joint ceremony in Stockholm.

From Dr.Violet Socks: Best line yet: over at Lawyers, Guns & Money they’re predicting that Obama will win the Cy Young Award.

By anniethena: Today is John Lennon’s birthdayAll the Nobel Committee is saying is Give Ponies a Chance….

By Paul_Lukasiak: that’s why he’s getting the award…the Nobel committee understand that Obama will give the greatest speech on Peace EVAH, if they give him the prize….and that’s more than enough justification….

(from michellemalkin. – umm, I go where the jokes are, just for today)

Rush Limbaugh quip: “I don’t believe this! He’s not only the first post-racial president, he’s also the first post-accomplishment.”

from someone’s twitter: 8 year old kid inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in anticipation of getting his first guitar this upcoming Christmas.

By Lockstein13: So, “Nobel” is how you say ACORN in Swedish.

(from telegraph.co.uk)

You’ve completely missed the point. The Nobel prize was clearly awarded for his heroic effort & sacrifice in trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

What an OBAMANATION!

Bin Laden has been peaceful since 9/11 too…

Bush is still holding out for the Nobel Prize in Economics based SOLELY on his accomplishments! (None of this wimpy ‘aspirational’ stuff.)

(from volokh.com)

For extraordinary diplomacy at the Gates-Crowley “Beer Summit”

UPDATE: “Obama? I thought we were giving it to Osama

The Norwegians wanted to honor one of their own, and the committee discovered that Obama was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker.

Norway needed to stimulate its prize industry, and Obama was willing to trade in an older, less efficient prize.

He was the 10th caller.

Patent Lawyer:

For uniting a political party in chaos and on the verge of collapse–and it wasn’t even his own!

For bravely finding a dog for his allergic daughters to own.

For helping to rid the world of explosives by detonating some on the Moon.

For proving that the greatest leaders are those that accomplish nothing.

For making the world laugh with his hilarious and asinine diplomatic errors – like the “recharge” button incident.

For bringing peace to the streets of Chicago…er, scratch that one.

You know, Obama did claim to be qualified to take the 3AM call (or in this case the 5 AM call), but you conservatives never believed him. Neither, apparently, did the Europeans – they waited until 6 am to call the White House, for fear of waking him up.

From yoyo: Did you hear that Vegas has made Obama the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl?

Reason Obama got Nobel Peace Prize: It was a slow news day!

Because the Nobel Committee was cheaper to bribe than the IOC.

I am watching the White House, expecting to see a puff of white smoke from the chimney, announcing to the world that Obama has been selected as the Pope.

to be updated as I find more…

Categories: stupidity, terrorism/war

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.