"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Links - 13th July 2018 (2)

Unconventional Director Sets Shakespeare Play In Time, Place Shakespeare Intended - ""I know when most people hear The Merchant Of Venice, they think 1960s Las Vegas, a high-powered Manhattan stock brokerage, or an 18th-century Georgia slave plantation, but I think it's high time to shake things up a bit," Hiles said. "The great thing about Shakespeare is that the themes in his plays are so universal that they can be adapted to just about any time and place.""

Mexico adds fifth name to presidential ballot despite fake signatures - "Mexico’s electoral tribunal has included a colourful independent candidate on the ballot for this July’s presidential election, despite the fact 58% of the signatures supporting his nomination were invalidated... Left off the ballot was María de Jesús Patricio, an indigenous Nahua and spokesperson for the National Indigenous Congress, who failed to reach the threshold, even though 95% of the signatures she collected were deemed valid – an irony not lost on supporters."

To many Indian Americans, Apu is offensive. To me, he’s my dad. - The Washington Post - "A slow-brewing controversy over the longest-running TV show in history came to a head a few weeks ago. In his documentary “The Problem With Apu,” Indian American comedian Hari Kondabolu called “The Simpsons” character Apu, voiced by Hank Azaria, a racist stereotype — “a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.” The show responded. At the end of the April 8 episode, Marge is reading to Lisa when she realizes that the book, “The Princess in the Garden,” is full of stereotypes. She censors herself and asks, “What am I supposed to do?” Lisa looks into the camera and replies: “It’s hard to say. Something that started decades ago, and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect.” The camera pulls away to an inscribed photo of Apu on her nightstand that’s signed “Don’t have a cow.”... Apu and my father are both Indian immigrants and convenience-store owners with questionable mustaches. Both have an affinity for one-letter abbreviations in their store names and a devotion to Hindu gods. Both are fickle Mets fans with arranged marriages and accents. Both are kind, hard-working and entrepreneurial... I just couldn’t believe someone like my dad was on TV. The only other character of South Asian origin I had seen was Jawaharlal Choudhury, the foreign-exchange student from India on “Head of the Class.” In video games, we had the Great Tiger, the boxer in “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” who teleported around the ring wearing his trademark white turban with a red ruby, and Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2, a yogic contortionist with the power of fire. Apu was comparatively real, someone I could understand firsthand."
When you erase "stereotypes", you erase the real people they are based on

The Simpsons: Not all Indians think Apu is a racist stereotype - "Many wonder why a 30-year-old animation caricature is under fire at a time when the community is more visible and wealthier than ever before. They say all characters in The Simpsons are brutal stereotypical caricatures anyway - Homer Simpson, the paterfamilias of the dysfunctional family which headlines the show, is a slob, a glutton and a lousy parent. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Tunku Varadarajan, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, said Apu's inauthentic accent doesn't matter because he's a caricature, like everybody else in the show... Mr Varadarajan told me Kondabulu's documentary "suffused with self-righteous indignation about the racism-by-caricature in Apu" is to blame for the recent kerfuffle. Also, he says, "this has happened at a moment of particular cultural sensitivity in liberal America, with the white intelligentsia being even more capitulative than before to accusations of racism"... Sanjoy Chakravorty, co-author of The Other One Percent: Indians in America, isn't even sure whether there is any wider outrage over Apu beyond the "media echo chamber" following the Kondabolu documentary. "As I see it, there are two primary products that second generation Indian American comedians sell - the ridiculousness of their parents' 'culture' (arranged marriage and 'my son, the doctor' are the commonest tropes); and the racism of white Americans," Professor Chakravorty, who teaches at Temple University in Pennsylvania, told me in an email interview. "It is not hard to see why these two lowest hanging fruits are plucked all the time. This is very standard fare. Apu is also very standard fare. What Kondabulu has done is nothing new. He picked almost the most identifiable Indian project possible in the US. And he plugged into the market for identity-based outrage." Prof Chakravorty adds that he loves The Simpsons. "As far as I am concerned: Apu is one of three likable characters in The Simpsons - Lisa and Marge are the others. Homer, a caricature of the ignorant, blue collar white male, is actually the most offensive." Back in Apu's native land, fans of The Simpsons appear to have no problems with the character... "The controversy about the stereotyping is classist snobbery - Indians in America don't want to be reminded of a certain kind of immigrant from their country - the shop keepers, the taxi drivers, the burger flippers," says Mr Bhatia. "They would rather project only Silicon Valley successes, the Wall Street players and the Ivy League products, with the proper accents, people they meet for dinner - by itself a stereotype. The millions of Apus in America, the salt-of-the-earth types, with their less 'posh' accents, are an inconvenience to that self-image of this small group of Indian-Americans.""
Don't comedians play off stereotypes all the time?
Interestingly, railing against "stereotyping" can be seen as elitism and erasure

The Simpsons addresses Apu racial stereotype controversy - "In the scene, Marge changes a bedtime story to make it more politically correct, but her daughter objects. A distressed Marge then asks her daughter what she is supposed to do. Lisa turns to the camera and says: "It's hard to say. Something that started a long time ago decades ago, that was applauded and was inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" She then signals to a photograph of Apu by her bedside, which is signed: "Don't have a cow - Apu"... "The Simpsons' over the years has been pretty humorously offensive to all manner of people Republicans, Brazilians, presidents, high school principals, school principals, Italians, you name it," he said. "And they take a lot of pride over there in not apologizing for any of that. I think, over the years, they've done a really good job of being, shall we say, uniformly offensive without being outright hurtful.""

Scientists Genetically Engineered Flies to Ejaculate Under Red Light - "Through this experiment, and several others, the team has shown that sex is a pleasurable experience for flies—or specifically, that ejaculation is for the males. It releases the same chemicals that are linked to rewarding experiences in mammals. It creates associations that make other stimuli occurring at the same time—like a smell—desirable in their own right. It even substitutes for other rewards: Male flies that have recently ejaculated are less enticed by alcohol. This might seem obvious, but the study of animal sex tends to be curiously sanitized and anhedonic. The focus falls on the mechanics of the act and its evolutionary benefits, while subjective experiences are ignored for fear of anthropomorphism. It is often said that humans are among the only animals that have sex “for pleasure”—an elite club that might grudgingly include bonobos and dolphins, but little else. And even if the idea that animals are enjoying themselves is not explicitly denied, it’s often just plain ignored. Animal sex becomes all business, and no ... well, you know. That seems unlikely. Many animals have sex at times when they’re infertile or in ways that can’t possibly lead to reproduction. Several species practice oral sex, including bonobos (of course), brown bears (in captivity), and several kinds of bat (the music choice in this video is something). A lot of them masturbate... for male rats, any sexual interaction that ends in actual mating is rewarding. For females, “it’s pleasurable only when the female chooses to mate”"

B.C. teen printed her bully’s hateful message on a t-shirt because ‘those words don’t define you’ - "someone had scrawled the words ‘Kailey Kukkola is a disgusting flat, ugly slut’ on the wall of a girl’s bathroom at College Heights High."

Academy Board Member Resigns Over Toxic Political Correctness: 'We Decided To Play Moral Police' - "Mechanic, who just recently earned an Oscar nomination for producing Mel Gibson's WWII epic "Hacksaw Ridge," said in a letter directed to Academy president John Bailey that the Oscars has become a "long and boring show" that has only been made worse by them choosing to play the role of "moral police." At one point in his letter, Mechanic even talks about a Marxist-style "purge" in the Academy to the point where a colleague even suggested that they not "admit a single white male to the Academy, regardless of merit.""

SB-827 failed in California, but there’s still no good alternative to building more housing - "The sweeping land use reform bill introduced recently by California state Sen. Scott Weiner, a San Francisco Democrat, died in committee this week, bringing to an end an ambitious plan to change zoning in broad swaths of the state by allowing four- to five-story buildings near all rail transit stations and major bus corridors. Without it or some comparably sweeping reform, California will continue to suffer from exorbitant housing costs that contribute to the highest poverty rate in the nation when judged by the Supplemental Poverty Measure"

Soros and Tech Moguls Paid $50 Million to Fund Private Russia Probe - "Billionaire George Soros and a group of wealthy donors from New York and California have paid $50 million to sustain an ongoing private Russia investigation conducted by former British spy Christopher Steele, research firm Fusion GPS, and a former staffer for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The revelation is part of the final report on Russian interference in the 2016 election released on April 27 by the House intelligence committee. The report concluded that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia."
The same people who claim $1 of industry money means you can't trust a study or that $1 of government money going to a school means that if Gideon Bibles are placed in that school's hotel, it's a violation of the separation of Church and State will see no problems with this

The madness of our gender debate, where feminists defend slapping a 60-year-old woman - "You would have thought that a feminist getting punched in the face would be reasonably large news – particularly if her attacker had boasted online earlier of wanting to “fuck up” some feminists, comparing them to fascists. But the conviction of the person who attacked 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan at Speakers’ Corner last year didn’t trouble the pages of the Guardian, where I would normally expect to hear about something that veers close to being a hate crime, or the LGBT website Pink News. Why? A clue comes in the fact that MacLachlan was slapped by a 26-year-old transgender woman called Tara Wolf, who explained to the court that MacLachlan was a “TERF”... The implication was that MacLachlan, now 61, wants all transgender people dead – something that seems absolutely barking until you realise this is quite a common accusation in activist spaces... it seems swivel-eyed to condemn rhetorical “attacks” and blithely ignore physical ones... it demonstrates how intensely polarised our media climate has become. Reporting on a single case is now taken as evidence of being “for” or “against” an entire class of people. It’s the same attitude that hampers coverage of grooming gangs or terror attacks – the initial new report is followed by a moment’s imperceptible pause on both left and right to see if it’s the “right” sort of perpetrator, and whether the story therefore fits their particular narrative... Many so-called progressives were dismissive of MacLachlan’s account of the incident (which was also witnessed by Janice Turner of the Times) because it was inconvenient to their narrative. She was lucky that video footage existed showing the assault. The Wolf affair also demonstrates another alarming phenomenon: the left getting high on its own supply of self-righteousness. “Some feminists have a different conception of gender to me” gets smudged into “some feminists talk about me in ways that I find offensive” and on to “some feminists are basically Hitler, trying to eradicate people like me”. Once you reach the last statement, then of course you can slap a woman and still think of yourself as a good person. She wants to kill you; a mere punch is self-defence. (I’m not exaggerating about the language. The Edinburgh branch of Action for Trans Health tweeted the day after the attack: “Punching TERFs is the same as punching Nazis. Fascism must be smashed with the greatest violence to ensure our collective liberation from it.”)... The LGBT press sees its role as a cheerleader rather than an interrogator... The liberal media, too, wants every narrative to have clearly defined “sides”... Many of the feminists opposing the reform regard me as a rank collaborator, because I agree that it is possible for men to become women and vice versa. Mysteriously, that doesn’t stop the other side calling me a TERF. All this proves is that the word is meaningless"

Lillehammer affair - Wikipedia - "The Lillehammer affair (Hebrew: פרשת לילהאמר, Parshat Lillehammer, Norwegian: Lillehammer-saken) was the killing by Mossad agents of Ahmed Bouchikhi, a Moroccan waiter and brother of the renowned musician Chico Bouchikhi, in Lillehammer, Norway, on July 21, 1973. The Israeli agents had mistaken their target for Ali Hassan Salameh, the chief of operations for Black September. Six of the Mossad team of fifteen were captured and convicted of complicity in the killing by the Norwegian justice system, in a major blow to the intelligence agency's reputation."

Okayama buses strike by continuing to run and refusing to take anyone’s money - "In cases such as this, management may use the labor stoppage against the drivers, appealing to the public that they are putting their own needs before the community’s. So to show that isn’t the case, Ryobi drivers are continuing to clock in, but without performing the part of their job that requires them to accept payment during certain times. In other words, free bus rides for all! This isn’t the first time such a strike has occurred in Japan or around the world. Both Brisbane and Sydney held fare-free days as part of labor disputes last year. The earliest documented case of a “fare strike” goes back a protest by Cleveland streetcar workers in 1944, and similar cases involving other services have happened in Europe and Latin America prior to that."

Why do dieters succeed or fail? The answers have little to do with food. - "1) Your job can make it harder — or easier — to lose weight
2) The built environment around you matters
3) Family health concerns can be a nudge to change behavior
4) The quality of your diet may be more important than whether you’re eating low-fat or low-carb"
Vox is drawing interesting conclusions from a sample size of 4

Ikea Announces Test-Kitchen Dishes Like Mealworm Meatballs

iPhone, Cola and Kinky: what’s in a Hongkongers name? - "The tradition seems to vary according to a person’s class. Upper-class and Western-educated parents typically give their children English names at birth or soon after... working-class children may be given a name later out of necessity at school. They might choose their own name or be given one by their teacher. This might be one reason why some children have ended up with rather arbitrary names, such as Rainbow... unlike in the US and UK, where weird and wonderful names are given to children by their often pretentious parents, Hong Kong names are being concocted by the children themselves."

Hong Kong Loves Weird English Names - "In 2005, the author of HKSAR Blog concluded that the names of 2.5 percent of 5,707 lawyers were unusual, uncommon, or unique. When I recently surveyed the current register of 7,367 lawyers myself, I found the proportion of names matching these descriptions had risen to 6 percent... English first names served as a "lubricant" to speed up the process of getting acquainted. Chinese forms of address, which are either very formal or overly familiar, do not favor quick rapport-building between strangers... Matthews estimates that 90 percent of the institution's female and 65 percent of its male students have English first names"

Why laundromats are the hot new place to hang out in Hong Kong - "As prices keep soaring in what is already the world’s most expensive property market, residents have been forced to squeeze into ever smaller apartments, leaving little room for washers and dryers. The average size of a newly constructed apartment in 2017 was 354 square feet, according to the city’s building department, down from 420 square feet in 2013. And the units are only getting tinier: Thousands of so-called micro-apartments, smaller than 200 square feet, are expected to be built by 2020"

The impact of Avengers: Infinity War is undone by Marvel's inability to keep its mouth shut - "Killing Gamora is one thing. Her death is important and if she's brought back this whole franchise can go fuck itself. Wiping out the rest of the Guardians when many in the audience are fully aware a sequel is on the way dilutes the impact of what should be a highly emotional scene. T’Challa fades from existence like he’s nothing, but it doesn’t matter because Feige has already pledged to give him a sequel. Peter Parker’s heart-wrenching exit from this world is undercut by the knowledge his stand-alone sequel starts shooting in London this year.

China gives 'subversive' Peppa Pig the chop - "The Global Times on Monday referred to this "addiction" among children, which parents complained was encouraging some pre-schoolers "to oink and jump in puddles" after watching the cartoon."
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes