It’s Good To Be Brown

Just came back from watching my friend Anjali Patil dance in a spectacular Kathak performance at the Museum of Civilization. You know, it’s times like this when I’m really glad to be Indian. The clothes, the music, the dance, the food, the languages, the ethic, the history, the religions and the gorgeous, gorgeous women –man, it’s just so bloody cool.

I couldn’t take a photo of Anjali’s actual performance, so instead here’s a blurry pic of her at the after-party, courtesy of my trusty (but blurry) Treo 600:

Get Some Perspective!

Today’s recommended reading is Charley Reese’s latest on how to solve terrorism and the crisis in the Middle East: bitch slap Israel.

Now, let’s talk about the whole kafuffle about Newsweek‘s story about US troops desecrating a Qura’an. The story, since somewhat debunked, resulted in violent demonstrations across the Muslim world during which people were killed. Of course, conservative pundits are decrying Newsweek reporter Mike Isikoff as “anti-American” and other such predictable nonsense. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Continue reading Get Some Perspective!

Belinda

There are very few new truly creative projects arising on the Web these days. It’s with pleasure that I discovered this one, called PostSecret. It’s a blog where anyone can submit a secret dressed up as a postcard; they call it a “community art project.” It really is quite gripping reading.

In other news, celebrity Ceonservative MP Belinda Stronach recently made waves when she defected to the Liberal party and took up a cabinet post in Paul Martin’s government. I have earlier disclosed my very brief association with the Stronach family in this bulletin entry (see Jan 16, 2004). With that in mind, here’s my take on this event:

  • Belinda’s father Frank is, to some extent, the master who pulls her career strings. And Frank always wanted to be a bigshot in the Liberal party of Canada. Is Belinda’s move in part a reflection of Daddy’s unfulfilled ambitions?
  • It is entirely possible that Belinda’s move was an altruistic one. She had earlier expressed a liking for the Liberal-NDP budget and has now moved to act on that support. Moreover, her handlers are likely poised to paint her move as “patriotic”, since she is effectively reducing the chances of another election, and no non-politician wants another election.
  • It is equally possible that Belinda’s move was one of opportunism. This is, after all, a woman who arrogantly sought the leadership of a major political party without ever having held public office, giving her a very real chance of moving straight from private life into the Prime Minister’s chair, without ever having weathered an election. With that kind of ambition, it’s not a great stretch to imagine her discontent with being an unadorned MP; the lure of a cabinet position would have been palpable.
  • What is very likely is that her Prime Ministerial ambitions have been quashed. In the Conservative party, she was always a contender for the leader’s office and hence the keys to the nation. With the Liberals, she stands a greater chance of being with the ruling party, but is way down in the pecking order. The Conservatives may never give her another chance, and the Liberals will make her wait a decade before considering her as leader material, if ever.
  • This might all blow up in her face. Many believe that the Liberal budget was designed to fail because the Liberals actually do want an election but don’t want to be seen as the ones who forced it. If an election comes, will Belinda’s constituency support her move? I suspect not. She and her team may have greatly overestimated the potency of her charisma which, while unique among the babe-free Conservatives, is not not so important for the Liberal base. She stands a very good chance of losing her federal seat.

Time will tell, my droogies. Time will tell.

Pin The Tail On The Jack-Ass… North Korean Style

The Asian Heritage Month literary event last night was by all accounts a great success. Many thanks to the organizers (particularly John and Ismail) , to the Ottawa Public library, to Octopus Books, to the six other authors and, of course, to the many audience members. I took some boring photos, but I don’t think anyone wants to see them. It was a particularly moving evening as accomplished poet Asoka Weerasinghe broke into tears while reciting a poem about tsunami-affected Sri Lanka, his home; and even I had trouble keeping it together as I dedicated my reading of “Nataraj”, in my opinion the finest story I’ve ever written, to the memory of Sue Jane.

My next scheduled public appearance will be Friday June 4 at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where I will present the results of our recent study of post-traumatic stress disorder among Sri Lankan children affected by the tsunami.

So let’s lighten the mood by looking at a game that North Korean kids play. See, this is why the Asian educational system is kicking our asses!

And remember that UK memo I mentioned earlier, the one that confirms that the Bushies were manufacturing a reason to go to war with Iraq? You can read the actual document here.

Until tomorrow, I leave you with a request from the CBC:

Until next Thursday, CBC Ottawa will be inviting people to send in
photos to a contest called “Seeing Asia in Ottawa”. It’s a way to celebrate
Asian Heritage Month, and we’re looking to receive photos from people
of all ages, with a range of photography experience.

I hope you can mention this contest, or forward the details below, to
anyone who would have fun taking an Asian-inspired photograph.

Thanks very much,

Kate Porter
associate producer, CBC Radio Ottawa

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