Late Night Bollywood: Global Recession EditionPosted: January 31, 2011 Filed under: just because 24 Comments
Before I get to the movie masala… Three stories from today, which tell a larger story.
First, a follow-up to Dakinikat’s “Women of Egypt” thread the other day. Listen to this woman protester at Tahrir Square:
“Because we have had it, and it’s either they answer our demands or we’re not leaving this square no matter what.”
Second, Dean Baker, via Huffpo: “Debts Should be Honored, Except When the Money Is Owed to Working People“:
Let’s see if we can find a pattern here. When families take out a mortgage in the middle of a housing bubble, which may have been misrepresented at the time of sale, the homeowner has an obligation to repay the money to the bank. When people take on credit card debt, they absolutely have an obligation to repay the bank — even if it means changing the rules after the fact.
However, when the government signs a contract with workers, it doesn’t have to pay the workers’ pensions if it proves to be inconvenient. Of course, we may also throw in the fact that when the flood of bad mortgage loans issued by the banks threatened to push them into bankruptcy, the Treasury and the Fed give them trillions of dollars of loans at below market interest rates.
There certainly seems to be a pattern here. The story has nothing to do with preferences for the market or government intervention. The picture here is very simple: The rules get changed whenever it is necessary to make sure that money flows upward from ordinary workers to the rich. In 21st century America, upward redistribution seems to be the guiding principle.
And, last but not least, Think Progress: “Income Inequality In The U.S. Is Worse Than In Egypt“:
As Yasser El-Shimy, former diplomatic attaché at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in Foreign Policy, “income inequality has reached levels not before seen in Egypt’s modern history.”But Egypt still bests quite a few countries when it comes to income inequality, including the United States:
According to the CIA World Fact Book, the U.S. is ranked as the 42nd most unequal country in the world, with a Gini Coefficient of 45.
– Tunisia is ranked the 62nd most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of 40.
– Yemen is ranked 76th most unequal, with a Gini Coefficient of 37.7.
– And Egypt is ranked as the 90th most unequal country, with a Gini Coefficient of around 34.4.
On a less dreary note, here’s a clip I’ve been meaning to share with you from a Bollywood movie that came out a couple months ago. I tried everywhere to dig up a trailer or a smaller clip with subtitles to no avail. So below is the first 15 minutes or so of the movie. Some background — the movie is called Phas Gaye Re Obama (literally “Obama is Stuck“). It’s a comedy about a millionaire Indian American who loses everything in the recession and under threat of foreclosure goes back to India to sell some ancestral property for whatever bit of money he can. There, various gangsters, who are also struggling due to the recession and not being able to force money out of people who don’t have any, are waiting to kidnap him–as inspired by sitting in their village and watching Obama preach “Yes We Can.” They think they can get a pretty penny for the ransom as they have no clue the big millionaire businessman from America has come home with empty pockets. Hijinks ensue from there of course. If it all sounds zany, it is. I’m probably not explaining this in a way that will make complete sense unless you’ve seen the movie, so just see for yourself — once you click play, there should be a CC on the bottom bar with the volume and other controls — click on that CC for the subtitles!
The first 15 minutes:
If you’re really interested, you can follow from Part 1 to 2 to 3 etc. if you click over to youtube… here’s the end where poor millionaire and the gangsters have their happy ending and say their goodbyes and have some choice words for Obama! Oh and there’s a Bollywood song and dance number as the credits roll 🙂 Here you go:
For some reason, I always get this vision of you coming home in a good mood and rocking out with bollywood hits!!
Yup, I can see that vision now.
Here’s something worth watching:
Aung San Suu Kyi (virtually) at Davos
Wonderful. I’m listening to it right now. Thanks.
Wonk, just for you!
Fozzie: Hey, why don’t you join us?
Gonzo: Where are you going?
Fozzie: We’re following our dream!
Gonzo: Really? I have a dream, too!
Gonzo: But you’ll think it’s stupid.
Fozzie: No we won’t, tell us, tell us!
Gonzo: Well, I want to go to Bombay, India and become a movie star.
Fozzie: You don’t go to Bombay to become a movie star! You go where we’re going: Hollywood.
Gonzo: Sure, if you want to do it the *easy* way.
Fozzie: [to Kermit] We’ve picked up a weirdo…
LOL, The Great Gonzo! Thanks, you made me smile. Now you reminded me of this bit of silliness… kinda Bollywoodesque now that I think about it…
The Muppet Caper — Miss Piggy’s Fantasy:
OK, here is a joke from the youth on Twitter:
😆 Don’t know if it is for real, but it is funny.
I loved that interview with the Egyptian woman. She was great! Thanks, Wonk.
She was indeed. You find the gems Wonk.
Jnoubiyeh 1:09am via Web
Nothing can overcome a people unified in their struggle for freedom. #Egypt #Jan25
Before the revolutions were tweeted this would seem too sappy, but under the circumstances…
RT @WorldPeace2Day: RT @abdulmalik_: If the dove is a symbol of peace, the #Twitter Bird is a symbol of freedom #jan25 #egypt
Yes, the little Twitter birdie has become a symbol via the workings/sharing of information at critical times in the lives of people.
Watching Al Jazeera Live Stream. Just had coffee so I can stay awake and watch the Million Person March Live.
I watch the live feed from youtube bc I’ve had some problems with the AJ site’s feed:
Now that is real hope and change
RT @Dima_Khatib revolution in #Egypt isn’t an Islamist, radical, fundamental or monster revolution. It’s just people seeking freedom. #jan25
Yes, indeed it is a Freedom Revolution and we all know ultra control groups want to get power, and want to restrict freedoms.
CNN’s Ben Wedeman:
RT @bencnn: #Egypt changed beyond recognition #Jan25. It will not go back to what it was before. The sooner EVERYONE realises that, the better for all.
RT @bencnn: Tiny pro-Mubarak demo on Corniche near State TV. Today there will be attempt to counter the Tahrir protest. #Jan25 #Egypt
Steady stream of men and women walking along Corniche to Tahrir Sq. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit one million plus #Egypt #Jan25 8 minutes ago via web
It’s amazing. They are not deterred at all.
I just saw a Nick Robertson report. He says every time he tries to file a report he is surrounded by people who want to tell him how they feel. There is no way to put this genie back in the bottle.
AJ’s Evan Hill
“evanchill: Morning in Cairo. Crowd steadily filtering into Tahrir. Not big yet, but getting that way. Maybe 2,000+ #jan25
Mubarak’s Grip on Power is Shaken
CAIRO — The government of Egypt’s authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak, shook Monday night, as the Egyptian Army declared that it would not use force against protesters demanding his ouster and, in an apparent response, Mr. Mubarak’s most trusted adviser offered to talk with the opposition.