Tashan

… is like a Hindi film version of a superhero crossover. Kareena Kapoor plays Elektra, or possibly O-Ren Ishii. Akshay Kumar plays a Kanpuriya version of Shang-Chi or Iron Fist. Saif Ali Khan doesn’t fit the superhero stereotype quite as well, but in the second half appears to be like Tony Stark. But then he is typecast as Tony Stark.

The movie also enforces the stereotype of people from UP being uncultured and evil criminals. This is excellent. Only when the popular consciousness turns against the Allahabadi elites will we be able to overthrow the oppressive Indian state and replace it with a loose federation of Saivite neo-Edwardian empires.

Also, due to a makeup fiasco, there is a scene in which Kareena Kapoor has a white face and a pink nose.

Finally, the second half approaches action-movie all-time greatness. Akshay Kumar fights ninjas! On an electricity transmission tower! In a UP don’s lair! Which makes the songs and the first half unnecessary diversions that should have been dispensed with. Such is life.

Bonnie and Clyde Fundaes

First, via Popagandhi on twitter, I discover this astonishing story:

Two lesbian lovers, one who drank blood as part of a vampire culture, were sentenced to life in prison on Friday for what an Australian judge said was the “evil” killing of a girl they bludgeoned to death with a concrete block.

Jessica Stasinowsky, 21, and Valerie Parashumti, 19, pleaded guilty to murdering 16-year-old Stacey Mitchell in Perth in western Australia in 2006 because she was annoying, reported Australian Associated Press form the court in Perth.

(International Herald Tribune)

There is no possible smartarse comment I can make about this that can match the story itself.

Next, on silklist, I discover this story about a couple fighting… over which gang their child should join:

A couple arguing about which gang their 4-year-old toddler should join caused a public disturbance that resulted in the father’s arrest, Commerce City police said Thursday, reported KMGH-TV in Denver.

His girlfriend told police that they had been arguing about the upbringing of their son and which gang he should belong to. The teen mother, who is black, told authorities she is a member of the Crips, police said. Manzanares is Hispanic and belongs to the Westside Ballers gang, the woman told police.

(TheDenverChannel.com)

I will make smartarse comments about this story. We now know what would have happened if West Side Story had had a happy ending after all – five years later, Tony and Maria would be arguing about whether Tony Jr. should be a Jet or a Shark. This would be interspersed with many many songs and throwing of dishes.

The First Bangalore Photowalk

After the grand success of the Sennai potowalks, Skimpy is organising the first ever Bangalore photowalk. Details below:

Time and Date: 8 a.m., on Sunday 27 April
Venue: K R Road, from K R Market to Gandhi Bazaar

All are welcome, regardless of city, caste, or camera. You can show up if you have a cameraphone, a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or even if you just want to hang around and listen to Wimp put fundaes on Bangalore history. This is a photowalk. So there are no admission fees. No entry charges. No registration formalities. However, do leave a comment at this post or Skimpy’s, so that we know if you’re coming or not. It’ll make co-ordinating the walk simpler on Sunday.

Neo-Edwardianism Marches On

The Master wrote:

But I have not altogether lost hope of a sensational revival of knuttery. Already one sees signs of a coming renaissance. To take but one instance, the butler is creeping back. Extinct, it seemed, only a few short years ago, he is now repeatedly seen in his old haunts like some shy bird which, driven from its native marshes by alarums and excursions, stiffens the sinews, summons up the blood and decides to give the old home another try. True, he wants a bit more than in the golden age, but pay his price and he will buttle. In hundreds of homes there is buttling going on just as of yore. Who can say that ere long spats and knuts and all the old bung-ho-ing will not be flourish­ing again?

Now, via Chan on facebook, I discover support for another buttling renaissance:

Demand for the buttling arts is rising in London, where Russian oligarchs and hedge-fund billionaires are employing servants in displays of status unrivaled since Victorian times. Across Chelsea, Mayfair and Knightsbridge “gentlemen’s gentlemen” are decanting claret, ironing creases out of newspapers and even standing ready to pilot airplanes.

“The old-style butler and old money are both few and far between these days,” said Sarah Dawkins, who runs the Guild of Professional English Butlers. “What we’re seeing is the ranks of the super-super-rich coming through, and that is a whole different ballgame.”

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has led to the butler revival. One hopes it will also turn Burberried chavs into spatted knuts.

Political Anti-Beijing Activities

CNN-IBN is carrying a PTI report which is quoting a Xinhua report:

For the second time in less than a week, China has briefed India on the Tibet issue and said New Delhi has assured it that it would not tolerate any political anti-Beijing activities by Tibetans on the Indian territory.

 Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi spoke over phone to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and exchanged views on bilateral relations, explaining Beijing’s “principled stand” on the Dalai Lama issue, the state media said on Thursday.

 “Mukherjee said the Tibet Autonomous Region is part of China’s territory and India will never tolerate any political anti-China activities by Tibetans on the Indian territory,” official Xinhua news agency reported.

 (IBNLive)

The best thing that can be said about this is that Xinhua is cooking up fundaes or exaggerating wildly. But if it’s true, it shows the craven nature of the UPA administration.

Since when is anti-anything politics a crime, leave alone anti-Beijing politics? Not tolerating military insurrections is understandable. Not tolerating anti-India politics also, though a free-speech libertarian like me would be cool with that too, as long as actual acts of treason weren’t being carried out. Hell, given the response so far to Naxalism, it seems as if the government doesn’t even care about anti-India civil war.

But where does the Indian government get off carrying out Chinese repression of free speech on Indian soil?

I hope somebody makes a stink about this. It should be interesting.

IRCTC

… is the worst travel website in the world. To start with, they make you sign up (why?). And because they don’t clearly tell you that they truncate the password after the 10th character (why?) I’ve been through about six usernames so far.

After that, the usability. You can’t search by city – you have to search by station. It also makes you press different buttons to find the fare and to check the availability. Trying for a different class means you have to start the search all over. Gah, I say. Gah.

And then, to top it all off, the thing crashes in between, barfs if you try to use the back button, and then you have to start from scratch. Death to the public sector.