links for 2010-02-05

  • "But what if – I started thinking – what if Trudy were the main character?

    As a Latina, her joining forces with the Na’vi would be an exciting act of solidarity. She would come to see that those who would colonize Pandora are the same as those who had colonized her ancestors. And she would hop on Toruk, the wild and ferocious dragon-like creature, and fly off to defeat the colonizers once and for all."

  • "The problematic element for me was the generic country, which I thought fit too neatly into uncomplicated Western ideas of an unstable African nation. The script’s use of details picked from various African conflicts (ethnic violence, an uprising “in the south,” genocide perpetrated against a once-powerful ethnic minority that sounded an awful lot like “Tutsi,” child soldiers abducted, drugged and forced to commit atrocities, a charismatic and ruthless leader, etc.) and lumping of them into one generic African genocide seemed to play on the audience’s expectations about the Bad Things that happen in Africa. The conflation of conflicts separated by decades and thousands of miles undermined the unique horror of the real conflicts. And it erroneously suggested that those conflicts were interchangeable, apparently bound together by some vague tie of “Africanness.”"
  • "The same report notes people can be discharged under DADT even if they are not gay or lesbian, apparently there are cases where men have accused women who refuse unwanted sexual advances of being lesbians, or because the women are successful and some men do not want to serve under them. "
  • “I haven’t had a moment to figure out which Bolly-celeb I look like. (I didn’t even consider finding a mainstream/Hollywood celeb.)”

    “I know I do not resemble anyone in the small group of desi celebs familiar to most Americans (e.g. Mindy Kaling, Padma Lakshmi, etc.). I couldn’t instantly think of a Latina/Persian/Arab/other brown-skinned celeb familiar to most Americans that I might resemble. (This is a small pool too! How many can you think of? The Kardashians don’t count ;)! Therefore, the number of potential possibilities seemed much larger in celebs more famous in South Asia than in the US. “

    “Racially ambiguous looking, that’s my excuse. My growing list of what people think I am: Latina (but depending on my shade at the time anything from Argentine to Mexican), Native American, Filipina, Mongolian, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Turk, Arab, Chinese… “

  • "In the 21st century, access to cheap, ubiquitous broadband is as essential to economic development as paved streets and roads. Medical services, governmental operations, business and job development, distance education and services we can only imagine will be delivered via broadband internet networks. Those communities that have them will get ahead. Those denied by the digital-divide business models of the cable and phone companies will fall further behind."
  • "Colin Powell has decided that it is time for the archaic “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy to be ended, was indeed a very pleasant surprise. This is considering that Powell, a Conservative, was previously one of the strongest supporters of the notion that gays and lesbians should not be allowed to serve openly in the military. Today, Powell publicly admitted to changing his mind…"