Check out this newly launched site
dedicated exclusively to Obama supporters. Antyone can upload a video stating why they are supporting Obama or link to a video that you already have on Youtube. Visitors to the site can view the video and vote on it, Digg style. Goerge Clooney’s endorsement appears at the top.
It is an “unofficial presidential campaign for Barack Obama”.
One more really cool by-product of the Youtube age in politics.
Title: Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Author: John Perkins
The author worked for several years for consulting firms that encourage under developed (and developing) countries to accept large loans from the World Bank (and other similar institutions that provide financial aid) for large projects with the basic intent of eventually controlling the local governments and their policies to serve the needs of American Corporations. He calls it “corporatocracy”.
“Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars,”….If we falter, then a more malicious form of hitman, the jackal, steps to the plate. And if the jackal fails the job falls to the military.”
The EHMs cook up projections about the implications of these projects (often large infrastructure projects) in order to convince these countries to accept these loans. Also, a number of locals are bribed in the process if need be. The loans are then paid to US Corporations that service these projects. Ultimately, these governments are unable to pay back these loans and become proxies that serve US interests.
The book serves as a very good work of fiction. But it is highly likely that there is some truth to this book. Unfortunately, the author glosses over details of projections that he claimed to have “cooked” up as part of his job. This certainly leaves plenty of room for critics to rightfully argue the credibility of the authors story. While the underlying theme of the book is highly plausible, it is hard to say how much of it is really true vs. pure fiction. Ultimately, it is an interesting and engaging book.
The book covers the author’s first hand experiences in several countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Ecuador etc. The Saudi Arabian part is of particular interest in light of recent global events (the rise of Bin Laden, 9/11 etc.)
If you are a pro-environment, anti-big Corporation, and in general left leaning, and prone to alarmist tendencies, this is a book that is sure to confirm your worst fears. You are bound to have the “I told you so” moment on reading this book. In any case, a must read for anyone interested in geopolitics.
p.s: I love the cover design.
If you are hungry late at night and in a mood for normal food (by this I mean not fast food or the Denny’s variety), small towns in India have plenty to offer. I was recently in Kannur in North Kerala and found myself in exactly this predicament. I was happy to find Omar restaurant very close to the Kannur Railway station. It was close to midnight. There were a few people at the restaurant! It took them close to 15-20 minutes to get the food, causing me to believe that the food was fresh. This was further confirmed by the fact that the food tasted great.
Title: Kadhaparayumbol (“While Telling A Story”)
Language : Malayalam
Starring : Srinivasan, Mamooty, Meena
Srinivasan’s golden touch continues. His ability to churn out scripts that have the right blend of commercial value and realistic themes is simply phenomenal. This film is based on friendship. It is a story of two friends who grew up together but their lives take different turns. One of them (played by Momooty) grows up to become a huge movie star, while the other (played by Srinivasan) becomes a barber who lives in small, beautiful town. This might sound cliched but the treatment is what makes this movie very interesting.
The movie revolves completely around the barber’s life. There are no scenes about the friends in their childhood (like you would find in most conventional films). In fact, the movie star character makes an appearance only towards the end (if you discount one song sequence which was thrust in under the pretext of the movie star shooting a film). The early part of the film focuses on the barber struggling to make both ends meet.
There is plenty of everyday small town humor that had the audience in splits. Srinivasan delivers scores of funny lines all with a straight face (as he usually does) throughout the film. The bulk of the film focuses on how the barber’s life changes dramatically (for the worse) after the movie star comes to the small village to shoot a film. Despite his best efforts the word gets out about his past history with the big movie star. The entire village sees him as the “gateway” to the movie star. He however does not believe in raking up the past or currying favors. He believes instead in honest living despite his everyday struggles.
The end is a quick fire tear jerker (lasting only a few scenes) revolving around friendship and the movie stars’ side of the story. There are some pointed lines to dispel the myth about movie stars, and the craze for movie stars in general.
The early parts can be a little slow. Two songs were thrust in for commercial value. Overall a very enjoyable film. Tactfully made and brilliantly scripted.
p.s: This movie is being remade in Tamil, starring Tamil Superstar, Rajnikanth.