Yesterday, Hillary Clinton, became the first woman to clinch the nomination of a major party for the President of the United States. I was an Obot in 2008 and was not completely taken in by Hillary Clinton when the primary season started even this time around. I was hoping that some one else would emerge on the scene like Barack Obama had 8 years earlier. However, as the primary season went on I slowly drifted into Hillary’s corner, mainly because her competition was pathetic. Maryland governor O’Malley looked good on paper but failed to make any impression, Jim Webb seemed like he had wandered into the wrong primary contest, I just could not see the appeal of his Scots-Irish shtick to the Democratic electorate. I was always skeptical of Bernie Sanders because his record in office did not match his soaring rhetoric. When it came to issues like immigration and gun control Bernie Sanders positions as a Congressman and then a Senator had not been particularly progressive.
As the contest went on it became increasingly obvious that Sanders policy expertise was tissue thin and besides rhetoric he had little to offer. At this stage of the campaign he has proved himself no better than a toddler throwing a tantrum because he did not get his way.
Hillary Clinton is a survivor and a champion fighter. She has had more brickbats than bouquets thrown at her and she still soldiers on. I salute her resilience and spirit. I envy the energy she brings to the fight day in and day out, no matter what.
So to celebrate her historic win after a hard fought and a long battle I offer you, We are the Champions, by Queen for the Queen. The lyrics could have been written by Hillary herself!
I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through
I never thought I would type these words but Trump, the insult comic with a distinctive hairstyle, is the Republican nominee after his win in yesterday’s Indiana primary. We all knew this moment was coming but were hoping against hope that sanity would prevail among the insane. No such luck for us. We are stuck with the bastard child of the GOP and the so-called liberal media, at least until November. I believe congratulations are in order to the proud parents.
First of all congratulations to the Republican party. Your party’s descent into hell is now complete. You are now the party of Trump. No longer can you hide behind the fig leaf of plausible deniability. Your eight years of relentless Obama hate has reached its logical conclusion. You built it and now there is no running away from it. He embodies your demonization of the Obama coalition in flesh. Good job!
Also congratulations are in order to the brave defenders of truth in the press, especially the both-sides-do-it Pundit class. After grading Bush II on a curve and giving him a pass on all his fuck-ups till a major American city drowned on his watch, you descended like a pack of hyenas on President Obama, 5 minutes after he was sworn in. You gave Trump a platform for his noxious birther nonsense against the President. You aired his every noxious combustible utterance. You must be as proud as Prof. Frankenstein of your creation, now that he has gone on to win the nomination of the Republican party.
Party of Lincoln now the Party of Trump
Just one week after giving a woman sporting white power tattoos a forum, PBS News Hour gave a platform to the known credentialed bigot and author of the Bell Curve, Charles Murray in its weekly segment on economics, Making Sense. This segment usually makes little sense since it is hosted by the economic illiterate and sneering doofus Paul Solman. Solman introduced Murray, as an economist. Murray’s training is in political science not economics.
The topic at hand was the rise of Trump. According to Murray, people support Trump because elites are mean to them. Examples of elites were people in the media, a conservative boogeyman. The grievances of people who support Trump may be legitimate but supporting Trump is going to do zero to alleviate them. Murray’s analysis is plain wrong, Hollywood or the “liberal” media did not create their problems but the 1% favoring policies of tax cutting, deregulation and union busting favored by most Republicans are the cause of their woes, which Murray was mum about.
By the way where can I find this mythical beast of the liberal media? What passes for liberal media on TV these days is nothing more than conventional wisdom soaked, Republican friendly claptrap and PBS (Pure Bull Shit) News Hour is no exception to this trend.
Happy Holi, the festival of colors, that marks the beginning of spring. Holi is the day to let your hair down and have some fun playing with colors, drinking bhang and eating puranpoli. A day when adults have the social sanction to act like kids again. Holi is also the favorite of Hindi movie makers, there seem to be more Holi songs in Hindi movies than that of any of other holiday. Here are some of my favorites.
Lahu Munh Lag Gaya from the 2013 Ramleela: What’s better than seeing Ranveer Singh in a song? Seeing him dance!
Holi Ke Din Dil Khil Jate Hai : Hearts blossom on Holi, from Sholay (Embers). This star studded mid 70s feature directed by Ramesh Sippy, rewrote the rules about how Hindi movies were made. It’s a Western with a masala twist and holds up pretty well after all these years. The look Amitabh’s character gives Jaya’s characters dressed in widow’s whites, watching the festivities from afar just slays me.
Arre Jare Natkhat Na Chule Mera Gunghat from Navrang (Nine Colors) made in 1959. Sandhya’s performance, playing both the male and female parts, makes me wish that I could dance like her.
There are many more which I haven’t included. If you have any suggestions, or other favorites that I have missed, leave it in the comments.
No one can accuse mainstream Hindi movies of being progressive regarding matters concerning gender. We regularly have had fifty year old heroes romancing women in their twenties and mostly interchangeable female stock characters. There is your long suffering mother, your flirtatious but coy virginal heroine, sometimes a hero’s sister or a gangster’s moll. Fully realized female characters with their own motivations that did not fit in these neat boxes have been rare in Hindi cinema. So I am pleasantly surprised with the slate of new movies with fully realized female characters. I would like to see both these movies.
First there is the no nonsense Abha Mathur, the chief police officer in a lawless fictional district in Bihar, where there is little distinction between the elected representatives and the mob. Priyanka Chopra kicks butt both literally and figuratively in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangajal.
Then there is Neerja, a biopic based on Neerja Bhanot,a flight attendant on the ill fated Pan-Am flight 73. directed by Ram Madhvani . Her presence of mind saved the lives of passengers on board. She died shielding children from bullets, days short of her 23 birthday. She also was a survivor of a bad arranged marriage and familiar face advertising chocolate and crackers on TV. A short life but a consequential one and an inspiration to us all.
Last but not the least, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani deserves a shout out. The women of Bajirao Mastani, whether it was the dutiful wife Kashi (Priyanka Chopra) or the doting mother Radhabai (Tanvi Azmi) , they were no pushovers and had no problems either speaking their mind or acting on their own agendas. My quick review here.
This trend warms the cockles of my cold cynical heart. Any other women centric movies you have seen lately or would like to see?
So far I have only seen one of the nominees for the Best Picture, was glad to see it get the best picture award. Spotlight was a brilliant movie, I was riveted from start to finish. Excellent story, I was rooting for Mark Ruffalo to win the best supporting actor Oscar.On my list to see next, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn and Mad Max: Fury Road. Here is the complete list of winners and now for the more important things!
Chris Rock was funnier and more biting than last few Oscar hosts.
Best Dressed Winner : Brie Larson
Best Dressed Presenter: Tina Fey
Best Acceptance Speech : Mark Rylance, the winner of the supporting actor award. British actors give really good speeches don’t they? I wonder what their secret is, elocution competitions in school?
Best Presenter: Sasha Baron Cohen in his Ali G persona. Question: Has he ever interviewed Trump as Ali G?
Best Musical Performance: Lady Gaga, Till it Happens to You. I loved the song, first time that I had ever heard it.
BTW Do you like my outfit?