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Can anyone here play this game?


I feel  energized underwhelmed, how about you?

Sally Quinn-Lite:

One Nation Working Together will chart a bold, pragmatic path toward a more unified, sustainable, prosperous future.

Uh, which one is it, bold or pragmatic?

But wait, there’s more!

After a bunch of bullet points (30+) she gives us this rousing conclusion:

As One Nation Working Together we will work for policy principles that restore the inclusion of all communities striving to achieve the American Dream. One Nation Working Together will push for an economy that works for everyone by advocating for policy principles that result in good jobs, and well trained work forces. We will work for quality public education and training for our children, who are tomorrow’s work force. We will work for principles and laws that provide for equal opportunity for everyone, so that all have a chance to achieve the American Dream. Finally, we will support policy principles that create a path toward economic and environmental sustainability for today and for generations to come.

Them GOPers may be bat-shit crazy but at least they know how to fire up a mob.  One Nation is a snooze-o-rama.

Today is the big day.  Click here to find a wild party near you.

Tea, anyone?

An Inconvenient Hope (and some Bollywood)

Wonk the Vote here with my Saturday reads, rants, and recommendations.

Mohd. Rafi Sahab, English recording,
“Although we hail from different lands…”

I’m actually starting this roundup on Friday night while getting my Bollywood fix–if that kind of thing bores the daylights out of you, by all means, skip down to the newsy part of this post. I have Rafi playing in the background as I type, and I just can’t pass up a chance to frontpage a bit on filmi stuff. If you haven’t scrolled past already, here’s the Times of India’s Nikhat Kazmi on the blockbuster that is breaking a lot of box office records right now:

“For anybody who wants to know what is the on-screen definition of Bollywood, Dabangg is truly text book fare. It’s loud, crazy, zany, exaggerated, larger-than-life, almost nonsensical, totally make-believe, comic book like, complete kitsch, generously peppered with the mandatory desi tadka (garnishing) of songs and dances that keep popping out of nowhere and is literally oozing with star charisma. Most importantly, it’s not meant to make sense. It’s only meant to entertain. And entertain, it does in overdoses. No, this isn’t meant for people who are looking for different cinema. Nor is it meant for the viewer who likes movies to appeal to his head. Yet, for those who celebrate and serenade the `silliness’ of mainstream masala movie lore and swear by its popcorn quotient, Dabangg is the greatest getaway of the season.”

That’s basically spot-on, except that I enjoyed Dabaang (literally “Fearless”) even though I’m a cinephile lover of all that is heady, slow, and cerebral in Indian parallel cinema (which, in my personal experience, most people don’t even realize exists when they bash Hindi films). I grew up on masala films, though, and love it for the good dumb fun it can be when it’s done fearlessly. Indian cinema so often gets a bad rap, and I mostly brought the topic up just so that I could sneak in my abridged list of my recommends from the last decade or so (some are arthouse indies, others are actual Bollywood fare believe it or not):

  1. Rituparno Ghosh’s Raincoat (2004), my all-time favorite; adaptation of O’Henri’s “Gift of the Magi.”
  2. Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dor (“the Thread,” 2006), women-centric and another all-time fav of mine.
  3. Aparna Sen’s 15 Park Avenue (2005), my favorite movie on the mystery of madness.
  4. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi’s Pinjar (“the Skeleton” or “the cage,” 2003), based on the 1970s novel of the same name, set against the backdrop of Hindu-Muslim tensions during Partition time. A look at gender-based violence in areas of social unrest. The conclusion is difficult, but the movie prokes thought and discussion.
  5. Deepa Mehta’s Water (2005) as well as Mehta’s Heaven on Earth (2008), these are technically Canadian, because Mehta is too controversial for the misogynist asshats in India who protest her.
  6. Ram Gopal Verma’s Kaun (“Who,” 1999), my favorite Indian suspense thriller.
  7. Prakash Jha’s Gangaajal (“holy waters of Ganga,” 2003), the plight and uprising of ordinary people. Loosely based on the 1980 Bhagalpur blindings.
  8. Ek Alag Mausam (“A different season,” 2003): groundbreaker, broke the silence on HIV/AIDS in Indian movies.
  9. Subhash Ghai’s Yuvvraaj (2008), one of my guilty pleasures. Shameless ripoff of Rain Man but with its own whimsy up the wazoo.
  10. I could really go on forever, but I’ll wrap up with a movie I saw just the other week — Anusha Rizvi’s Peepli Live (2010) dark comedy on farmer suicides in the fictional village of Peepli satirizing the media and political reactions; India’s submission to the 2011 Oscars.

Ok, now onto the news. I’ve already done my lil’ miss politically independent rant for the week (see: “Thing One and Thing Two…”), so this is just going to be a rundown of headlines with quick blurbs from me.

First up… a president so historic, Al Gore dare not speak its name. An Inconvenient Hope, if you will. From the UK Telegraph:

Al Gore failed to mention President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Florida as Democrats extended their new tactic for next month’s elections – ignoring the man who so inspired them in 2008.

For more headlines, click on the prompt to keep reading after the jump… Continue reading