Thursday, October 27, 2011

As Bangkok Drowns

These pictures from The Atlantic will say more about the flooding in Bangkok, Thailand than this blog possibly could, so check out that gallery right now.

And there's still more havoc to come.
"In the worst-case scenario, if all the dykes break, all parts of Bangkok would be more or less flooded," Seri said.
Yet the government is surprisingly lackadaisical about the country's worst disaster in nearly half a century.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who said two weeks ago that Bangkok was likely to escape the floodwaters, said on Wednesday that it could be flooded for as long as a month. "But we shouldn't face water as high as two or three meters or staying for two or three months as we've seen in other provinces," she told reporters.
They say Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Now, the Thai people are accusing the Prime Minister of squabbling as Bangkok drowns.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Popular Indian Actor Thought "Hero Hitler In Love" Was A Great Idea For A Movie

(thanks, MetaFilter)

An economic advisor to the Indian Prime Minister recently highlighted why the failing Indian educational system needs to improve.
"I think it's of critical importance. For a long time we have focused on higher education, but in the last decade we have shifted our focus to primary and secondary education. We need every child in school," said Rajan.
Exhibit A: An upcoming independently-financed Punjabi film called Hero Hitler In Love.

First, just take a moment to listen to the theme song by actor/producer/director/musician Babbu Maan:

Quite literally, the majority of the words to the song are "Hitler in love oh baby, Hitler in love."

Then take a look at the synopsis:
"Hero Hitler in love revolves around Hitler (Babbu Maan) who lives in his village Ishqpura. Hitler is a man with unique and different thoughts who loves his fellow villagers and helps them unite with their soul mates. Hitler falls in love with Sahiban (Mouni Roy) who lives in Pakistan and decides to bring her to his village. Hitler believes in solving the problems by talking about them but when something crosses the line he decides to become real Adolf Hitler. Hitler loves car racing but when he is set up to fail in the Asian car racing competition he decides to take revenge. The story shapes how Hitler takes his revenge and fights to win his girl and reunite both the nations."
Turns out the solution to decades-old bitter hatred between India and Pakistan is simply to win a girl's transforming into a quirky, love-sick Adolf Hitler.

As if that weren't bad enough, take a look at the movie's Facebook page. Look at the number of "likes" and comments on the fairly regular status updates.

Greeting all the movie's Facebook fans with "Good Morning, Hitlers ;)" is bad enough.

But this one left me speechless.
‎19,000 loving fans for Hero Hitler In Love thank you for your love and support ♥ , we promise we will give you full fun , a family entertainer film this year this November , thank you once again ♥ good night and sweet dreams take care .
-@ HHIL team .
I don't think they had good nights or sweet dreams in Auschwitz. And as far as being taken care of goes...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Chicago, and Beyond

It's been interesting watching the Occupy Wall Street meme spread across America over the past few weeks.

Some are dismissing the entire Occupy ____ movement as a bunch of hypocritical hippies:

And some wealthy capitalists who make money off songs about becoming wealthy capitalists have also jumped aboard the buzz.

Overall, I can't speak for the actual motivations of most people in attendance.

But at least here in Chicago, protesters have targeted the Mortgage Bankers Association's conference with a creative bit of symbolism.

And the MBA press release, in turn:
"America is about freedom of speech. We worry, however, that the focus of the protesters is about what isn't working in this country, while inside this conference we are working on building a safe and sound system to support the dream of homeownership. We have more than 3000 mortgage bankers coming here this week to look for solutions to the continuing troubles of the housing market. 
We all recognize that our industry faces a trust deficit with policymakers and the public and that people in our industry contributed to the events that led to the financial crisis. The mortgage professionals who have gathered in Chicago this week are about sustainable homeownership and ensuring access to affordable mortgage credit for qualified borrowers."
As it turns out, the Robin Hood stunt is part of Take Back Chicago as one of several targeted protests planned for this week.

In other news, there is at least one place hiring right now - the Federal Reserve in Chicago.

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