Dystopian portraits of our planet’s future continue to inspire today’s filmmakers, producing quality works ranging from Children of Men to District 9 to Wall-E. Wanuri Kahiu adds her short film, Pumzi, to this fascinating genre, exploring a world ravaged by water shortages that forces East African survivors to live in contained communities. Pumzi follows its protagonist, who must protect a germinating seed from government officials. Earlier this year, Wired did a piece on the short film and Kahiu, a promising filmmaker in Kenya’s evolving film industry.
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Jonah Hex is one of DC Comics more esoteric properties, but in the days when board games are being optioned for blockbusters, it’s not so far fetched that a 1970’s sci-fi western comic book would get the big screen treatment. The versatile Josh Brolin stars as Hex, a scarfaced cowboy antihero who… you know, fights bad guys. It looks promising. Mask of Zorro promising. Megan Fox also stars.
Here’s Bay Area indie band Rogue Wave performing Depeche Mode’s classic “Shake the Disease” on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic.
“Drive It Like You Stole It”, the single from the Glitch Mob aimed at driving up anticipation for their forthcoming debut album, Drink the Sea, has been in my head for a month solid.
I thought I’d be able to shake it, but it’s impossible. The synthesized driving beat and the ebb and flow of the industrial rollercoaster of sound have stuck it in my head, possibly permanently. The Music Ninja says, “The Glitch Mob is out to rob you of your senses,” while XLR8R called the track “an anthem… announcing the coming of the beat scene’s heroes”. The MP3 is widely available on the Internet, including right here, which is a good move when it comes to dropping one’s first album.
Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to May 25th, and the rest of this album. You can check the group’s homepagefor almost-daily May tour dates, covering massive swaths of the US.
“Drive It Like You Stole It” [MP3]
Many of the IPL’s leaders of fanatic glee and cheer hail from Australia. Would it be immodest or perhaps ill-advised for Indian women to gyrate and shake in the nearly naked costumes of India Premier League’s cheerleaders? Whatever the take, it is, however, clear that with foreignness AND fair-skin on their sides, these white recruits easily circumvent the normal social sensibilities that keep the flesh trade in the shadows. Yet, just as the tightly bound bopping bosoms provide a well-needed respite from the seemingly endless cricket matches, one only need observe the commercial interventions in the telecasts of these games to see the underlying cause of what cultural critic bell hooks calls ‘worshipping at the mantle of whiteness’.
Sales of the famed skin bleach Fair and Lovely have been trumped in recent years by the introduction of Fair and Handsome, which tries to bring men out of the closet by rebranding the same product with masculine colored packaging instead of pink. Commercial breaks in cricket matches now show products such as Vaseline’s local line of body care products recently released a whitener that promises to match the corps with the already bleached face. “Fanta face / Coca Cola body,” says one old disco chime heard throughout West Africa where the skin-bleach phenomenon nearly rivals that of South Asia. The best, however, is Fela Kuti’s song “Yellow Fever”, which makes small work of mincing up the worship of whiteness to a darn funky beat.
Nonetheless, globalizing consumerism has accelerated the trend like a sticky pedal, as all sorts of Americanisms spread worldwide with local flavors. Star endorsements and proper packaging spells profits, by any means necessary. Yet, not to be outdone, the India Premier League importing white women to titillate the fans is a new high (or low) in the internalization of native inferiorisation. It celebrates native ugliness with Pom-Poms and glitter, fair feminine flesh set against glitz of this region’s favorite pastime. Few fans seem to peel away from their zeal. Fair and Handsome is one of the most widely selling skin creams on the planet according to many marketers. Hence, sitting in the stands, under cloak and cover from the sun’s darkening rays, fans in India can enjoy whiteness while their boys play ball. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.