Category Archives: Politics

Bhaji at Buckingham

“I walk in the door you start screaming
Come on everybody what chu here for?”

“I want to see you all on your knees, knees
You either want to be with me, or be me!”

Our President either finds England unbearably cold or she thinks the English are uncontrollable granny rapists.

PS – lyrics


Posted by on November 13, 2009 in Celebrity, News, Newsmakers, Politics


Fight the Love Jihad!

The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!

Jihadis around the world are plotting to blow up people, take over governments and generally unleash holy hell – but in South India, they have a much more sinister plan. Powerfully affected by its balmy weather and spicy food, evil jihadis have concocted a devious plan to destroy society as we know it.

Romeo Jihadis (actual term) will love up Hindu and Christian girls! After which they will elope with them! And marry them! And convert them to Islam! And then…and then…er, and then bad things will happen! So bad, nobody but the evil Love Jihadis can imagine what they are! (WARNING: might include sex!)

That’s right! Marriage is a holy war against infidels for Muslims! What’s next – children? How low can you get, Muslims?

The Sri Ram Sene will agitate against this! The SNDP Yogam will “unleash propaganda“! The VHP and Bajrang Dal want special squads to check (read: hunt and destroy) this nascent attack on our society! The Kerala and Karnataka High Courts want some answers!

[Well, according to The Hindu, some answers were provided, but we want different answers! Preferably ones that agree that there is a Love Jihad!]


Posted by on October 26, 2009 in Life, News, Politics, Video



Q. How much did Europe hate George W. Bush?

A. They just gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for not being him.

Snerk. So now we know a few things:

  1. Those Norwegian grandpas look adorable! That one in the background is totally snickering about everybody’s reaction.
  2. The West Wing was not really a TV show, it was prophecy (one, two).
  3. If you want to be a prophet, break out the good shit.
  4. Now Bill Clinton’s Vice President and his Democratic successor both have a Nobel Peace Prize… and Obama hasn’t even been in office for a year. Why do the Europeans hate Bill Clinton?! WHY? Bill Clinton haz a sad.
  5. Obama’s now laboring under the expectations of the world, so he better get himself that bigger plate if he wants to accomplish even a fraction of what his fanbase expects out of him.
  6. I’d hate to be in Obama’s shoes.

In related news, that giant boom you heard in the middle of the night was not a thunderclap – it was the sound of rightwing heads exploding across America.


Posted by on October 9, 2009 in Celebrity, News, Newsmakers, Politics


Twat For Twit

I’m a few days late with this story – mainly because I can’t believe it is a story. Something about Shashi Tharoor using metaphors while tweeting. Yup, it’s as stupid as it sounds.

Twitter: bringing down governments in Iran, playing havoc with the box office in America and making politicians sweat in India. 140 characters at a time.


Posted by on September 28, 2009 in News, Newsmakers, Politics, Video


Ethiopian First Lady Pulls No Punches


One of the more disorienting things for us as children, was to watch our parents have a humongous marital spat on this side of the front door and then, the moment that door opened, turn into these Stepford characters who were so harmoniously put together, they might as well have plastic genitalia and be called Barbie and Ken. Nor were they content to participate in this strange drama for an unknown public’s benefit by themselves: they insisted we learn how to duplicate their success too.

The first day of kindergarten, for example, I felt just as bad as all the other little children screaming their angry, frightened, red-faced heads off. But I don’t remember making a single peep all day. I just stood there in the middle of this new, terrifying world of strange, yelly toddlers with snot running down their faces and waited for the world to end without uttering a sound.

People can hardly believe it when I tell them this. “You must have cried a little?” is the usual response.

Of course I did. A lot, in fact. In private. With my ayah. A couple of weeks later when I’d finally settled in and gotten comfortable with the idea of school. It felt really good. In retrospect, I wish I’d joined the mass hysteria in kindergarten and let it all out – I might have liked school better.

So it always touches a chord when I come across someone like Azeb Mesfin – controversial and award-winning AIDS and women’s rights activist, businesswoman, Member of Parliament, knockout, mother of three and wife to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister. From the pool report of the arrivals at the G20 dinner hosted by the Obamas:

Next arrives Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi, who clearly did something in the car to anger his wife because she glares at him, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Obama, and anyone unfortunate enough to cross her line of vision.

The Obama’s both look slightly taken aback by her. Wonder what happened in the car? The Ethiopian First Couple are quickly dispatched inside.

Clearly, she doesn’t have my mother’s voice echoing in her head. :mrgreen: I’m all for this new model of political wife who lets it all out.


Posted by on September 25, 2009 in Newsmakers, Personal, Politics


Why is Political Smut So Entertaining?

It’s not nice to laugh at aunties shrieking with fear, but I can’t help myself: this video of Jaya Prada, Member of Parliament from Rampur, is probably the greatest thing ever.

Not only is she squealing like a toddler confronted with a giant needle at the pediatrician’s, but the best part is that the geniuses at the TV channel handed the clip over to what appears to be a bunch of Youtube-struck fifteen-year-olds to edit. The end result is like graffiti art for the video crowd.

She screams on a loop as a random crowd of men hasten to reassure her while little word balloons float next to her head, imploring her to stop – “Madam, you don’t cry!” it says. Meanwhile, above the footage of her weepy face, a vaguely accusatory headline wants to know: “Tears in the eyes of Jaya Prada! Why did Jaya Prada cry?”

Why, God, WHY?!

There are a number of competing theories for this: according to the reporter on site, it’s because she’s a namby-pamby movie star and a female one at that and you know what those are like. The uterus did it! According to the lady herself, it’s because she can’t swim and the sight of waist-high muddy water made her feel all weepy in her courage area.

But it was Azam Khan, the man who formerly represented Rampur but got kicked off when Jaya Prada wanted a seat at the table, who brought his A-game to the question du jour. In the kind of interview the English-language newspeople would kill to obtain, he mocks her as a movie star who can’t walk 100 meters (328 feet) without getting blisters on her itsy bitsy footsies, accuses her of election fraud, corruption and then, for an encore, pretty much calls her a whore.

Of course, some enterprising reporter then asked Jaya Prada what she thought of Azam Khan in return and she responded by calling him an old, defeated man who’s quite possibly senile. She kind of attempts to leave it at that before the guy helpfully fills her in on what exactly Azam Khan thinks of her (sadly, they edited this part out but the way she goes from zero to sixty on the rage-o-meter tells its own tale), which leads her to drop all the fake “ji”s and promise to trash talk him if he continues to call her names. And even with her shaky Hindi she managed to implicitly call him a behenchod, so you know she means business.

Somewhere in Los Angeles, Harry Levin weeps as Hindi cable news flaunts the limitations of his empire of sleaze.

Please note, no tears were shed at any point by anybody at all for the people who incidentally provided the context for this drama: the flood-struck population of Rampur.


Posted by on September 15, 2009 in News, Newsmakers, Politics, Video


Try Google Earth


YSR Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, is currently missing. His helicopter vanished in the heavily forested district of Kurnool during what appears to have been a routine flight. There has been no contact with anybody onboard since 9.35 a.m. and weather conditions are dismal due to heavy rains, which means search and rescue operations are going to be seriously hampered.

I can only hope they all make it back safe and sound.

What really caught my attention, however, in the continuing coverage of this incident are the details pertaining to the helicopter. Talk about a bad news chopper:

The 10-year-old aircraft is not only missing its (mandatory, yearly) Certificate of Airworthiness, but its full list foibles is mind-boggling. For example, the Dalai Lama did a test run for Reddy a while back as the same chopper developed unspecified technical difficulties in midair when he was a passenger. Then there was a windshield that cracked and had to be replaced. And a couple of times in between, the pilot ended up hovering over the landing site, searching for a helipad or alternative space to park his machine because the chopper was fed the wrong coordinates.

This, by the way, is in a state with a serious Naxalite problem. If this is the kind of care and attention V.I.P.s get in Andhra Pradesh, the Naxals must be dumber than a trainload of bricks not to have run the place over by now. Reddy would have been better off in a helicopter he built in his backyard and piloted himself.

And if you’re wondering why this wonderful machine hadn’t been packed off to the junkyard (or wherever it is bad helicopters go to die) a long time ago, the answer is very simple: it was being used to train pilots. Because, you know, the best place for a pilot-in-training is in the cockpit of a machine that’s falling apart and hasn’t followed safety or security regulations in years. Who cares?

Until, of course, somebody important hops onboard one day and things hit the fan.

However, we can all rejoice in the knowledge that the chopper in question is also “equipped with at least two radio systems, weather radar and emergency locator transmitter, among other sophisticated equipment, and is certified for day and night operations.” It’s another matter that none of these is currently working, during the day or night.

Which is why the government is now asking locals in the area to keep their eyes open for any loud, unexplained noises or sights because that might be a helicopter crashing into trees rather than the annual meeting of the elephant fight club or whatever scandal goes on in those parts.

Too bad Kurnool doesn’t have Streetview.

Update: YS Rajasekhara Reddy 1949-2009


Posted by on September 2, 2009 in News, Newsmakers, Politics


Paranoia As Art


I love letters. I can’t be bothered to write them anymore, of course, and nobody ever writes me any. But the few that I received back in my childhood when my aunts took the trouble to send them in a bid to teach me what my family believed was an important part of civilized living, remain fond possessions. These days it’s usually a one-line email asking me to forward this wonderful cash-making opportunity offered by a Nigerian businessman.

It seems to me that other than scammers, the only people who can be bothered to write letters these days are the nutters. For example:

Yesterday, Wonkette posted this tidbit about some Crazy Lady who wrote an article about President Obama’s mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, in which she alleged that Robinson was literally the in-law from hell because she was practicing witchcraft at the White House.

That’s right – it’s centuries later, and witchcraft is still the go-to accusation when you want to attack a woman apparently! Progress! Yay?

I thought then that the Crazy Lady ought to try her hand at writing melodramas for Lifetime or something because her tale of Marian Robinson’s sad descent to the bowels of Satan-worship is about as mawkish a story as I ever read. It’s like she’s reporting gossip from 17th century Salem live! You know – driven out of her mind by the grief of her husband’s impending death, woeful widow-to-be struggles against fate by selling her soul to the devil despite her family’s pleas… oh, well, as long as you’re going to use a stereotype, you might as well commit to it, eh?

But wait! the story gets better. Because after Wonkette published their take on it, Crazy Lady wrote in! Her letter is… remarkable to say the least. Seriously. You have to read it.

It makes me wonder if someone’s doing an excellent job punking the blogosphere.


Posted by on August 20, 2009 in Newsmakers, Politics



One of these is not like the Others: Megan Fox has camera-induced orgasm; Cate Blanchett politely looks elsewhere.

One of these is not like the Others: Megan Fox has camera-induced orgasm; Cate Blanchett politely looks elsewhere.

Today is one of those days when inspiration seems to have struck pretty much everyone but me. In other words: a happy day! There’s so much to read!

First up is Roger Ebert, defending his hilarious Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review with this masterpiece of a smackdown:

But am I out of touch? It’s not a critic’s job to reflect box office taste. The job is to describe my reaction to a film, to account for it, and evoke it for others. The job of the reader is not to find his opinion applauded or seconded, but to evaluate another opinion against his own. But you know that. We’ve been over that ground many times. What disturbs me is when I’m specifically told that I know too much about movies, have “studied” them, go into them “too deep,” am always looking for things the average person doesn’t care about, am always mentioning things like editing or cinematography, and am forever comparing films to other films.

I’ve “forgotten what it’s like to be a kid,” another poster told me. One of the most-admired contributors to this blog, who signs herself “A Kid.,” is 12 years old. She hasn’t forgotten. Neither have many other readers of middle school age. Their posts give me hope for the future. For them, to be a kid is not to be uncritical or thoughtlessly accepting. They seek magic, and don’t find it in the brutal hammering of “Transformers.”
So let’s focus on those who seriously believe “Transformers” is one of the year’s best films. Are these people wrong? Yes. They are wrong. I am fond of the story I tell about Gene Siskel. When a so-called film critic defended a questionable review by saying, “after all, it’s opinion,” Gene told him: “There is a point when a personal opinion shades off into an error of fact. When you say ‘The Valachi Papers’ is a better film than ‘The Godfather,’ you are wrong.” Quite true. We should respect differing opinions up to certain point, and then it’s time for the wise to blow the whistle. Sir, not only do I differ with what you say, but I would certainly not fight to the death for your right to say it. Not me. You have to pick your fights.

Here’s something to think on: everything he wrote about that movie is true… yet, it’s still not as bad as Kambakkht Ishq. Aaargh!

Talking of which, KI‘s music director was the man who gave us the immortal ditty, Dekho baarish ho rahi hai – It’s raining. It’s raining. Harini has the much appreciated antidote.

Next, did you know this is the 30th anniversary of the walkman? It’s true! Until 30 years ago, when people wanted to listen to music on the go, they had to hire a personal singer to walk hand in hand, singing them their personal favorites. It’s why generations of Indian women were married on the strength of their singing voice.

But as revolutionary as the walkman was, these days all the kids are playing with these things called teapots or peapods or something. They don’t know what they’re missing! So the BBC got a 13 year old from today to review the original! the bestest! the revolutionary-est! walkman. These were the results:

My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day. He had told me it was big, but I hadn’t realised he meant THAT big. It was the size of a small book.
It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

Bah! Kids.

Which leads me to Nick Kristoff’s column about his top picks for children’s books. Now I had an atypical childhood as far as children’s literature is concerned and graduated fairly quickly to books that, in retrospect, I had no business reading. So there are some recommendations on that list that I’d never so much as heard of, much less read, like Freddy the Pig or Alex Rider. But I was happy to find that I’d managed to read the majority of them despite my odd reading habits.

And apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt strongly about the column – his attached blog saw more traffic on this one topic than any other (including endocrine disruptors – a.k.a. reason #435719 why parents are nervous wrecks).

Last, by way of dessert, I present this interview with Mavis Leno – one of the few celebrities I’d love to meet:

When did you have your feminist “click,” your epiphany?

My parents were not sexist, and my father thought I could do anything in the world and then some. When I was 7, I wanted to be a jockey. My father told me women weren’t allowed. I couldn’t believe it. I was perfectly willing to fail on my own merits, but to be flunked at birth? What kind of crap was that? That made me insanely angry. I read everything on the original suffragists, and they became my heroines, because the only women who ever did anything in the history textbooks of my childhood were Sacagawea and Betsy Ross and Marie Curie. That’s it. And Betsy Ross sewed. When feminism first became a high-impact issue at the end of the ’60s, flaming liberals like Mort Sahl turned out to be pigs, just pigs. Many of them have since recanted and apologized, but it shocked me.

As the LAT points out, Mavis has long been a campaigner for the rights of Afghan women. A country just one over from India. Which is something we might want to keep in mind, y’know?


Posted by on July 7, 2009 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Life, Movies, Music, Politics


Mark Sanford is a Great Teacher

Mark Sanford cheated on his wife and thus lost his deal at a conservative publishing press for a book about the many joys of family values and straight talk.

But there’s another book that Sanford can write! For men planning to go walkabout on their significant others. He can call it, The One Hundred and One Ways to Fuck Yourself – And How to Avoid It.

He could start off with his actions of the past week. For example, when you’ve been outed as a cheater, do not:

5. Mention that your lover is your soulmate. This is such a dick move, I still can’t believe he did it. I mean, cheating is bad enough but this? You would have to absolutely loathe your spouse to say such a thing in front of the whole world, knowing your kids might be looking it up.

Alternatively, he might have felt this made him look less like an adulterer and more like a tragic hero unable to ignore the siren call of true love. Um, no. It makes you look like an asshole, asshole. An asshole who’s not just screwing over his wife, but his lover too.

4. Say you’re “trying to fall back in love”. Awww! Doesn’t your itty bitty heart melt just listening to your husband of 20 years say that? What a thoughtful thing to say.

For a brain dead lunatic.

3. Excuse yourself on religious grounds. It’s one thing to have grandiose ideas about yourself. But for a man with four sons,¬† King David isn’t exactly the best example for a father figure, no? Of course, you’re headed in the right direction if you want your kids to hate you.

Besides, Jon Stewart called dibs.

2. Suggest your wife sit down with your lover. What a lovely idea. Just promise you’ll clean up the blood and brain matter after the violence comes to an end.

Oh wait, that’s right. You wouldn’t be able to – on account of being very, very dead.

1. Keep Talking. Seriously. Shut up already. You want to confess? Find a shrink, a priest, a best friend – just stop dribbling out the sordid details in ways that she’ll find out. Or even worse, your kids will have to hear.If you really want them to know, then sit them down and come clean or write them a letter.

Granted, not all of us have reporters from national dailies calling to find out the dirty details of our marital status – but washing your dirty laundry in the community swimming pool isn’t a good idea for anyone. Whether you’re giving interviews to the AP or talking about it at the barbecue, you’re not doing any one favors. However entertaining some of us might find it.


Posted by on July 6, 2009 in News, Newsmakers, Politics, Video


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