35. Test for Tension

35. Test for Tension

Rama and Laksman kidnapped!

But none of the Vanara seem to have noticed as they are harangued into building the immense causeway that will link Ayodya to Lanka island (something that not even world leading construction companies can do.) They toil away under the supervision of Boss Sugriva and the architect Nala so not even a seagull can distract them from their work.

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PBS Idea Channel: Why Doesn't Hollywood Cast Asian Actors and the problems with that

Another interesting discussion on Diversity in American media - and I emphasis the American. Host Mike Rugetta talks to GQ contributor Kevin Nguyen about this topic that is trending at the moment.

As the image illustrates they talk about representation I nGhost in the Shell  along with Hollywood recent history of whitewashing. It's a good video and well worth a watch in summaries the gripes that many Asian Americans have.

And it is Asian Americans, they address the controversy not just in GITS but it's reception in Japan were Scarlett Johansson casting was welcomed, from this and articles online only Asian American only seem to have this problem, believe that all media they consume (or at the very least produced in their country) must validate their existence.

The Japanese youth in a YouTube video welcoming who are welcoming this cultural exchange (after all through out Japans history has been mimicking the west and selling back it's culture,) It is true as Kevin Nguyen acknowledges that Asian markets produce content representing their own intended market but he suggests that a movie, for example when attempting to sell Asian as a global brand, of course any large and multi national entity such as Hollywood could be more sensitive to local diversity.

But..this is course problematic with films costing upwards of $200 million dollars cannot depend on a small audience for it return on investment even with failures like The Great Wall starring Matt Damon a Chinese production it must market itself out to a global market which is generally more conservative and less adventurous (not to mention complying with local censorship laws) the Chinese financiers are not going to ask every Chinese- American if the film mis okay with them - no they are going to ask the People Republic of China Communist Government. 

Kevin Nguyen is correct it saying that a product must be focused on it's core audience but I fear that the accountants and shareholders will demand bigger and bigger success at the boxoffice and therefore more generic and clichéd representation (including white people of course) in the short and medium term (applicable to a web of local laws and norms) and that diversity (racial, gender and sexuality) will be relegated to premium VoD and streaming services in the West.

Solar revolution on the Indian Sub Continent.

Solar panels for sale at a market in New Delhi. India’s solar power prices have fallen to 2.62 rupees per kilowatt hour. Photograph: Saurabh Das/AP

Solar panels for sale at a market in New Delhi. India’s solar power prices have fallen to 2.62 rupees per kilowatt hour. Photograph: Saurabh Das/AP

wow this amazing - one of the most populous (and hottest) countries in the world is installing enough renewable power sources to meet the Paris Accords on Climate Change under cutting big coal. This will have long term significant repercussions for unleashing 10s of millions from energy poverty in one of the  fastest growing countries in the world. 

more info on The Guardian

Selling the East Indian Company


Interest twist in cultural appropriation and a demonstration of the wider and deepening culture of globalisation can have on historical reviled brands. Cultural appropriation can be controversial  for any body but more so when a profit motive is between it.

You may be familiar with the East India Company from various film most notably Disney's Pirate of The Caribbean franchise, the company under royal warrant and its private army  as cast as the big bad manipulating the unfortunate pirates - even in a time where piracy is a real threat off the horn of Africa and in the Malacca Strait nothing is more dubious in the eyes of the one corporate behemoth that wishes to buy up as many brands and to capitalise on your children childhoods and adulthood nostalgia, is another corporate behemoth that once monopolised the trade in spices and people, but I'm getting off point.

The Article inThe Guardian interviews the chairman and owner Sanjiv Mehta about his intentions of recreating the flag of unbound exploitative capitalism and sell it back to the millions of global citizens be created in Asia where the East India Company ruled the seas.

Living in SE Asia and being more aware of the brand and history that my fellow brits I'm quite interested in how successfully the East India Company will become - it reminds me of the similar brand in Thailand such as the silk merchant Jim Thomson and Chinese Shanghai Tang that play on the relevant countries distinctive cultural Hertiage and giving there wares a premium and modernising twist (either through their designs and packaging).

Whilst nothing appeal to my tastes - it is rather expensive but it does deliver a recognisable brand that many newly wealthily Asians (particularly those schooled or have the intention of sending their offspring at English private schools) will aspire to.

I wish them all the luck on the seven seas.

Prince Harry my Hero?

Prince Harry my Hero?

If you haven't guessed by reading Ramayana: The Thread of Luminance I’m staunch anti-monarchist and committed republican but this week I've been impressed no amazed by the courage by both UK’s Prince Harry and Wills comments about mental health and the importance of coming to terms with ones grief and anguish on the Telegraph podcast MAD WORLD from Byrony Gordon

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