Mr. Jindal’s Neighbourhood

Okay, okay, I will write about Cuba soon enough! But first, let’s get to something a bit more topical…

Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscar. So what? Who cares? Well, it is sort of important. I enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t great. It was no Chariots of Fire or Citizen Kane or American Beauty. It’s a just a well-filmed, colourful romp through Mumbai. The characters were shallow, the plot predictable and the “message” –if there was one– was tagged on and superficial. Like all tiresome Danny Boyle movies, it has way too many scenes of people running. And running. And running. And of course a scene of someone diving into shit, ’cause that appears to be one of Mr. Boyle’s obsessions.

But that’s not why this matters. It matters because it further solidifies the arrival of all things South Asian into the Western (and thus global) mainstream. If you haven’t figured it out already, India is the future. Ironic for a nation so steeped in the past, no?

Now, how’s this for a segue? Further indication of the arrival of Indians was the US Republicans’ choice this past week of who would deliver the rebuttal to President Obama (praise be upon him) after his first televised speech to Congress. They chose –drum roll, please– that doofus from Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, a 37 year old American of South Asian origin.

I don’t like Jindal. I wrote about him briefly here. He’s a freakin’ Creationist with a science degree. I know his type all too well, the kind of self-serving South Asian who got into politics, not because he wants to serve, but because it’s a good career move. Enough with those cookie cutter bastards!

Even with how much I dislike the man, I was braced for the racist comments. On cue, here was Ann Coulter:

“Even Gov. Bobby Jindal, whom I suppose I should note was the first Indian-American to give the Republican response to a president’s speech, began with an encomium to the first black president. (Wasn’t Bobby great in Slumdog Millionaire?)”

Really, Ann? Weren’t you great in The Machinist and TransAmerica? Is your only cultural reference for Indians a pop movie made by an Irishman and starring a Brit? You have no other historical or political reference or connection to make? This is it? This is what your vaunted Ivy League education and personal media empire have wrought for you?

But back to Jindal. Well, we all know now that he tanked. Even those who are supposed to support him, like the National Post, gave him a fail. This, my friends, is officially the nadir of the US Republican party. Their choice of Jindal showed the baseness of their thinking: “Well they’ve got a darkie, so we should counter with our darkie!” Because that’s the only reason I can see for selecting the clearly out-of-his-league Jindal for this task.

Take a look at his pathetic 3rd grade performance:

As one of the commenters put it, how out of touch are these idiots? The frakking Governor of Louisiana is criticizing the new President for spending money on disaster preparedness. Katrina, anyone? Idiots.

PS, Apropos of nothing, R.I.P. Philip Jose Farmer, one of the finest and most underrated American science fiction writers in history.