Friday, May 28, 2010

From around the interwebs...

Some random stuff to make you think about stuff...

Moonshine or the kids?
Writing from the Congo, NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof illuminates an uncomfortable truth about poverty around the world. In far too many cases, some of the world's poorest people spend far more of their incomes on alcohol, tobacco and other frivolities, than they do educating their kids. And the culprit is usually the man of the house. Give women control of the finances, and outcomes begin to look very different. There's a follow-up post on his blog, here.

The Basiometer: "stale" bules
A quirky article at Indonesia Matters.
"In short, Basiness [staleness] is that kind of icky feeling you get when you meet a Bule [white person] and you know and they know they've been in Indonesia too long."

Charities fear rise in acid attacks avenging slights on family honour
Acid attacks are on the rise in Britain. While this ghastly form of violence is usually associated with South Asian and Middle-Eastern cultures, it also takes place with some frequency in South East Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean. It is almost always associated with some kind of gender-based conflict or resentment.

Hollywood whitewash? 'Airbender' and 'Prince of Persia' anger fans with ethnic casting
You may have already heard about how upcoming film The Last Airbender has royally pissed off Asian-Americans with its casting of mostly Caucasian lead actors in a film clearly set in an Asian-inspired fantasy world. But consider also Prince of Persia, starring the decidely un-Persian-looking Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton in the lead role. Fortunately for us, director Jerry Bruckheimer is around to grant us a revisionist history lesson: “Persians were very light skinned,” he said. “The Turks kind of changed everything. But back in the 6th century, a lot of them were blond and blue-eyed.”
I can't say I was around then, but that sounds suspiciously like some BS to me.

Above: Two, um... "Persians"


  1. Well, Persians were Indo-Europeans and not Semites or Arabs or whatever is the popular opinion on them. Which makes casing of Jake G. (who is Jewish) double ironic, because Jews are Semites and Prince of Persia is an Indo-European.

  2. Basiometer - bwahahahaha. And what about all those bules who are basi from before they even get on the plane at their place of origin.

    Btw, I was in Indonesia for a year recently, and somehow the whole bule dynamic in Indonesia just felt really...uncomfortable for me. I haven't quite put my finger on the why, but perhaps it's this: It's one thing to feel like a minority in a white majority country, but it's altogether something else to feel like a minority in your own country and see white people act with a 'majority' mentality.