Updates from November, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • skkott 3:34 am on Sunday, November 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Fascinating article on Hitler, his reading habits and his forgotten book collection…


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  • ed 4:50 pm on Friday, November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: interface, invention, technology, TED   


  • skkott 4:23 am on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    The mystery of “Rahul” finally solved:… 

    The mystery of “Rahul” finally solved: http://tinyurl.com/yjwtbae

    • heath 12:20 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I like the refined sarcasm, over certain points, in the article. SRK indeed. 🙂

      • skkott 1:08 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        SRK happened to play memorable characters named “Rahul” in several of his romantic flicks. So the suspicion was that Rahul could be a code word for SRK. When the word came out that “Rahul” was some “famous” film actor, I thought Rahul Bose or Rahul Khanna (both were intentblog contributors) could be the one.

  • skkott 9:29 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: assholes, child safety, desperation, domestic abuse, rage   

    “I’m scared. And I’m really f@cking angry.” 



    • heath 9:48 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      the grandma-author, was she standing there taking notes? how does she know these details? how does her heart let her share this misery with strangers? what is she doing to make the lives of her family members better? to spend such writing and rewriting this, then posting it where it will be read by so many, what’s the value of that to her if this is a true story about her family?

      • heath 9:56 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        have read the part of the addendum where she writes, “…but this really happened, all of it happened…”

        and that’s the clincher, for me. she protesteth too much. it’s too well-written, too detailed, too well-balanced to be credible as a report of something that recently happened to close famiiy members. unless the writer is a sociopath, that is. in which case, the story was written by the hands of the person who may have created an original dysfunction which spun this misery out, years later.

        • ed 5:01 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I believe the story is basically true, adrenaline fired in all its aspects, including the writing.

          There’s certainly a covert thread of mischief in the writing, Heath, but I think most families would provide such material, albeit on differing levels. I wouldn’t pin the dysfunction on any one….I see it’s a collective dysfunction and the heroine is well on the way to break free. I’m sorry for the step-dad, as well!

          Peaceful here, ennit!

      • skkott 10:04 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        She is a kossack (a Daily Kos member). Although DKos is a community political blog, they share a lot of personal and non-political stuff among themselves. So I am not surprised by the fact that she wrote a diary with such content.

        She is an active member, her previous diaries and comments can be found here: http://got-a-grip.dailykos.com/ I haven’t gone through it, but it may provide some indication of her approach and intent…and perhaps help us understand her better.

        • skkott 10:23 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Couple of observations from her previous diaries:

          1) She attended Netroots Nation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netroots_Nation ) 2009 progressive bloggers’ convention. (Organized every year by Daily Kos.) Thousands of ordinary Kossacks attended this conference. There is a lot of bonding that happens in the community.

          2) She posted diaries with an interval of months. This indicates that she is not an attention seeker kind of member who posts prolifically with provocative titles on a regular basis. She posted only 4 diaries in the past year but posted more than 500 comments, which again is a very healthy ratio. She posted a total of 26 diary entries since 2006. Which is also healthy.

        • skkott 11:39 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          She made 80 posts responding to comments(of over 800, in total) in the thread. Its always interesting to read discussions at DKos. I consider myself a kossack too:)

          • heath 5:13 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            80 replies tells me the interchange is giving her energy. the post seems self-serving, if it’s real. either it’s part or full fiction, or she was a passive bystander and did nothing to stop the beatings. one can be an enthusiastic blogger, even a talented one, and still not be authentic in the stories one is sharing. how much energy and talent did we see at IB, and how much lying was woven into that? a lot. my reaction to this piece — gut-level — is that it’s a fraud (at least in part). the fact that money’s been offered, and ostensibly turned down — for now — underscores the lack of authenticity, for me.

            imagine this to be a true account . imagine you are an angel hovering over the scene… ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma blogger is either still up, or has to climb out of bed. she stands in the hallway, notepad and pen in hand, recording the events in accurate detail. sounds do-able, yes? no. or this one: ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma is too horrified at what’s going down, and is too scared on her own behalf to do anything — even call the cops or keep her granddaughters out of the way! so she watches, hidden, and decides to write about it later as a way of getting revenge and justice when the danger (to herself) has passed. this one’s a maybe. or this one: ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma isn’t there. she interviews the participants later, several times each, to be sure she is getting their stories accurately. then she begins to write… but isn’t it a known fact that witness and participants don’t remember things accurately, that they conflate, forget, exaggerate, and make stuff up, unconsciously? all of these possible scenarios allow for some truth. none of them reflect well on the grandma. grandma is either so emotionally distant she might as well be the wall, or a chicken unable to defend her loved ones, or more interested in writing a story than healing her family. she says they’re hillbillies who take care of their own. jeez, hillbillies write this well? doin’ a good job, grandma. this smells totally fraudulent to me.

            one of the best reporters for a major daily was exposed as a fraud a few years ago. I think it was the NYT. even his editors bought his stories. this blog just vibrates b-s, to me.

            • skkott 9:55 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink

              “80 replies tells me the interchange is giving her energy.”

              Not responding to comments in your own diary entry at dkos is considered to be a bad practice. So the number is not off base. I read some of the comments, I find them consistent.

              “the fact that money’s been offered, and ostensibly turned down — for now — underscores the lack of authenticity, for me. ”

              Daily Kos raises a lot of funds, not just for political races but for charity and other causes identified by a member in a diary; it could be a homeless person or someone you know who is without a health insurance. They also raise funds for a member in desperate financial needs. But having spend some time at dkos you would know that money needs to be raised in the community to those who ‘really’ need it badly.

              “one of the best reporters for a major daily was exposed as a fraud a few years ago. ”

              Of course there is a notable difference here though; there was a financial reward(,fame) in there.

              I am with Ed on this. I believe the story is true. Just not the fact that she is there watching it live. Its a way of telling story from what she learned and having known the family.

          • heath 12:19 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            I wish we were angels, and could see into the future. I’d make a wager on this. You and Ed have had your heart-strings plucked.

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  • skkott 1:54 pm on Sunday, November 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Twilight Samurai   

    Hey anyone seen the movie Twilight Samur… 

    Hey anyone seen the movie Twilight Samurai(2002)? I generally look at imdb user ratings, rottentomatoes’ review ratings and the wiki article on the film when deciding on watching a random movie on TV. While browsing channels the other day, this Japanese movie came up and I was soon engrossed in it and didn’t bother to check the ratings out. I loved the film. It was indeed a classic.

    I agree with an imdb reviewer who called this movie “A Samurai flick Jane Austen would love”.


    • heath 9:09 pm on Sunday, November 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the alert about a very fine movie. After reading your post, watched it on Netflix.
      love, h

      • skkott 3:20 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        It was a pleasant surprise watching a Samurai movie so different from Last Samurai, Seven Samurai, and Kill Bill types.

        I kinda have fun predicting the plot of a movie. I happen to be very good at this while watching desi(Indian) movies; they are so predictable:) Towards the end of this film, there was one scene in Twilight where I anticipated how the story might end, but it didn’t happen that way. Its when “Twilight” calls Tomoe to dress him up for his big fight. The scene before it, she has an argument with her sister-in-law when she objects to her attempt to meet Twilight who has just left. Tomoe asks why it is ‘wrong’ to talk with a Samurai in public and her SiL, clearly taken aback, says a young woman shouldn’t question the judgment of her elders. Back to Tomoe and Twilight, she asks him “why you are doing this?”(fight to death) and he says that he was ordered by the clan and that even though he is petty, he is still a Samurai. This is when I expected–partly for selfish reasons’ for his survival and their possible union and/or partly for ‘enlightened’ reasons–she would talk him out of the fight(or at least make an attempt to) , that he can ‘question’ the judgment of his clan leaders and make his own decision…. But this didn’t happen that way. She just remains silent, just like she was when her SiL has the last word. On hindsight, it would have been radical if Twilight having given his word didn’t go to fight and they both eloped, but perhaps unrealistic and may not have fit into the overall nature of the story that would reflect the Japanese society during that period in history.

        • heath 5:37 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I think you’re right about rebelliousness not fitting the time.

          52 minutes into the movie, Sebei Iguchi is leaving the warehouse. There’s a cut to a long shot, taken from the side of the warehouse, outside, warehouse on the left. The shot is asymmetrical, with the left third of the screen filled with dark warehouse, the right two-thirds with paler lane and vegetation. Smoke rises from the far side of the warehouse, curling pale against dark clouds. There’s a distant rumble of thunder. Iguchi steps into the lane, looking determined, worried and serious, and moves towards us. The focuses us on the key elements of smoke and thunder, then Iguchi’s movement. It was so simple and spare, so effective at telling us that trouble is on the way, so stunning, that I put the movie on hold and started to write a comment here.

        • heath 5:43 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Oh, I forgot to say, I have been watching Kaminey off and on. It puts me to sleep, I don’t know why, so I never finish it — I watch for ten minutes and I’m sleeping. So I’m advancing through it slowly. The reason I don’t give up is Shahid Kapoor’s performance as Charlie. He does both roles really well, but he is masterful in his timing, with Charlie. He keeps a tense balance between energy and quiet, grace and awkwardness, in the Charlie character, which Hiroyuki Sanada’s portrayal of Sebei Iguchi very much reminds me of. His facial expressions are beautiful to watch, too, as are Hiroyuki Sanada’s. Hiroyuki Sanada on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroyuki_Sanada

          • skkott 10:01 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Haven’t seen Kaminey but having read the plot summary from wiki I understand why people fall asleep watching the film. It is long, complicated plot; which Ithink might suit a television series better. The director, Vishal Baradwaj, is noted for adapting Shakespeare plays(Macbeth: Maqbool, Othello: Omkara) to Indian screen. I saw Omkara, the direction was good (the actors were great), but it too put me to sleep 😉 I tried to watch Maqbool several times in the past but never finished it. Maybe it is about the director; he tends to be an art-film type more than bollywood-masala filmmaker. His association with lyricist/director Gulzar might explain it. If I remember correctly Mukesh did some work with Gulzar too.

            • skkott 10:23 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink

              Heath and others, can you recommend some good (fiction)books to read and English movies to watch? I would like to present a couple of books to a special friend who is visiting… She has no particular preference in genre as such. She isn’t a heavy reader of books and watches any sort of (English)movie that is entertaining. Some of the books she read and loved include Gone with the Wind, Life of Pi, Kite Runner(,Thousand Splendid Suns; The portrayal of life in Afghan under Taliban, she said disturbed her for many days) and Revolutionary Road. As to the kind of movies she like, she watched Sean Penn directed “Into the wild” and liked it while she hated horror movie “Hostel”. She doesn’t mind watching ghost-type horror movies, but finds it hard to understand why people make/watch movies like SAW and Hostel series.

              She is recently married and lives in UK with her husband who is also a practicing physician like her. Now that she has cleared some medic exams and got a PR in UK and settled in her practice, and “got used to her husband” as she put it, she has some time to read. She was discussing Revolutionary Road which she read on flight back home(India); she really hated the husband character (portrayed by Leonardo de Caprio in the film adaptation) for “turning out to be such a loser”. I haven’t read the book (just the reviews). She said she put herself in the wife’s role(Kate Winslet character) while reading it. So as per her reading style I think she is interested in the subject of the story, more than just the story telling prowess of the authors….

              I was thinking of presenting “Atonement” to her, but I am not sure she would particularly like the subject and story. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather this one is more about story telling… I would like your opinion on this. I remember you mention Atonement (the film) in high regards. I would also like you to suggest other books/films, that are must read/watch, for my friend. She said she also likes spy/thriller novels(and movies) and other page turners that are a good and exciting to read.

          • skkott 10:49 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Now that you have mentioned, I find Shaid Kapoor indeed shares similarities to Hiroyuki Sanada in facial expressions!

            • heath 7:15 pm on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink

              My favorite recent book is Moth Smoke, by Mohsin Hamid. If she’s OK with animation, Ratatouille, and anything by Hayao Miyasaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki), will be appreciated. Films: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002) with Audrey Tatou. The Spanish Prisoner (1997), written and directed by David Mamet. Innocence (2000). The Illusionist (2006). The Grocer’s Son (2007). The Last Time (2006), with Micheal Keaton (his best performance, imho). The Ramen Girl (2008). Sequins (2004). Love the Hard Way (2001), with Adrian Brody. The Wind Will Carry Us (2000). Taboo (1999). War, Inc. (2008), with John Cusack. Shanghai Triad (1995). Revolver (2005), a Guy Ritchie film with Jason Stratham and Ray Liotta. Redbelt (2008), a David Mamet film. Vatel (2000) with Gerard Depardieu and Uma Thurman. I found these films to be fascinating, and memorable for various reasons. All are well-made, well-acted, well-plotted.

            • skkott 11:26 am on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Permalink

              Thanks for the wonderful movies! I have seen only The Illusionist and Taboo in the list. I tend to watch blockbuster types and widely popular films like the ones you find in the IMDB Top list (http://www.imdb.com/chart/top ). I just noticed that i saw almost all of the top 100 in that list. Thanks for sharing the rare gems! I will sure check them out and recommend them to my friend.

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