Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beautiful Boxer - Thai Movie

A picturesque, sensitively-handled story about the true-life story of a Thai kick-boxer who became famous as a top Kick-boxer and then used his earnings to help his poor family and pay for a sex-change operation. Truly fact is stranger than fiction.
The story narrated in a Flash-back traces the budding femininity of a five-yr old, the parents particularly the mother handled it acceptingly- no doubt  help by their Buddhist outlook and that society's general acceptance of people's different sexuality- the emotional support from the girl who he worked with and his trainer and his wife was very important in giving him the courage to proceed in his professional Boxing career.  Surprisingly the fact that Iran has the highest number of sex-change operations in the World and paid for by the State came out!! So THAT is why Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can confidently state that there are no homosexuals in Iran as one of the couple has to elect to undergo a sex-change operation and get married presumably as prostitution also doesn't apparently exist on Iran.

The actor who played the main part was an excellent kick-boxer and I was convinced it was a sport I should take up until the last fight in Tokyo when he/she was fighting a thick Japanese female wrestler and jumped on her shoulders, locked her neck with his legs and elbowed her viciously on the back of the head whereupon she collapsed on the ground in a TKO (technical knock-out) and I revised my former position. I thought the acting of the protagonist was a bit too 'cringy' but on the whole I liked the touches of Thai culture in the film.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Circumstances - Iranian Film

A film set in fairly modern times as a mention to Obama and the 2008 Oscar winner -Milk, was made in the course of the film.
It revolved around the relationship between two teenaged girls whose close friendship spills into a sexual one. Shireen, the daughter of two dead dissident professors holds on to Afateh the fairly spoilt daughter of an affluent family. The relationship attracts the attention of Afateh's older brother Mehran who becomes fascinated by Shireen's beauty. He is a bit screwed up himself - being a crackhead and later chucking his career in music to become a nut head religious fanatic who rats on his Underground friends who throw wild Parties secretly.  He 'rescues' Shireen from the Lock-Ups when the girls are caught in a Raid on one of the same parties. There is a scene of Afateh having a virginity test while arrested by the Morality Police - this had been alluded to in Azar Nafisi's 'Reading Lolita in Teheran'. Mehran then later marries Shireen - that part surprised me, as in his paranoid state he had set up cameras in the family's residence and no doubt discovered the illicit sexual relationship between the girls but persisted 'rescuing' her from the evil clutches of his sister and her friends - patriarchy gone mad - when he eavesdrops on the conversation in bed between the two girls and Shireen explains to Atafeh that she agreed to marry her brother to be close to her he goes ballistic and rapes his wife-Shireen. I give full credit to the character Shireen who then comforts him when he bursts out sobbing 'Why am I not enough for you?' 
The music was interesting in the Film and as luck would have it we had a young Iranian there who said we missed out on a bit -with the music not being translated -- nice to think the Director carefully sorted out everything to the smallest detail!
There were other sub-themes and the film gave an interesting view of modern Iran and some of it's Customs - like the married couple sucking honey off each other's little finger at the Wedding Ceremony.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guyana vs Costa Rica Match - FIFA Qualifier

So as I went to Ashmins to purchase tickets it struck me about the dubious connection of local football to alleged Druggie Kingpins as the local sponsors were thanked on Local Television. So no different from the Russian Mafia trying to infiltrate the English League then- allegedly. At least good to see a boost in some form for Sport. Bought my yellow Polo Tee with the Golden Jaguars logo in an pure impulse buy.
The traffic cops were well organised, making their presence known on the East Bank Road by 5pm. There was parking in the Parking Lot in front of the Stadium but for some strange reason Guyanese driving monstrously oversized vehicles preferred to damage the parapets and park off-road and the Police did not seem to object and insist that they (pay) use the Car Park.

Attendance was sparse at the starting but after the first twenty minutes or so it became about 7/8ths full. The Stadium was looking a bit tatty-- the bucket plastic seats faded and across the field you could barely make out it was Orange-- good Forward-Planning whoever decided on plastic seats without a protective Cover overhead in the cruel Tropical Sun-- did you get promoted to State-Planning for this brilliant piece of decision-making? The Scoreboard was not functioning-- I felt they could have paid a man to just stick on a number/the score under two signs with the Country's name! Also contributing to the general shabbiness was the fact there was no clock - I felt this is crucial to a Game. On a positive note-- the place was wonderfully cool by the time the match started at 8pm.
The mood was buoyant and even me myself had high expectations of the guys winning. Sadly this was not to be... the Costa Ricans were definitely aggressively stalking the ball and got in two goals in the first half by sheer perseverance! The Guyana team repeated mistakes from the Mexican game- but maybe they just haven't figured out a good strategy? Just after the middle of the second half our Goalie let in two more goals-- I was astonished at the crowd's immediate reaction-- people from both the Red and Green Stands got up, voted with their feet and left! That must have been disheartening for the Players-- after the match #7 came to the Stand and had a brief discourse with a few excited and disappointed fans -- #7 seemed pretty downcast himself. It was interesting the hear all the experts in the Crowd around me and I confess, I myself who know precious little about soccer, turned to the guy next to me and confidently pontificated a couple times in disgust that you can't kick a ball without playing it to another team member. Ah well, will cancel my 2014 trip to Rio.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

An Instructive Walk Around The Block

Having a free Saturday afternoon following a visit to the office, I invited my Girl Friday and her young friend from the Pomeroon to check out the new Ice-Cream place in Hinck St. We passed the Stretch Your Dollar place on Robb St -- a Fire Hazard if ever there was one- spilling out onto the pavement and overwhelming the Pavement Vendors. Business was brisk and I ended up picking up a few things to the amusement of the girls.  I was surprised to see some good quality clothes amongst the cheap and nasty albeit a bit dirty. No receipts given.
There seemed to be a flurry of little Eating establishments and stores selling knick-knacks and clothes since I was there last that I almost missed the entrance to MediCare!   Bruster's had a very small entrance and the line seemed to move rather slowly although the cashier was pleasant enough when I got there - she omitted to explain that there were two scoops as a standard - not bad value $300 for two scoops- there were interesting choices and number of options, though the Ice-Cream a bit overly-sweet mainly due to the addition of a syrup. Compliments to the poor guy who wasn't getting clear instructions from the cashier and patiently dashed up and down a couple times! All the Staff I saw were Guyanese and everything seemed Kosher and upfront with a receipt.
In direct Contrast, we headed to the Avenue of the Republic where the premises of Central Garage has been turned into Retail Units -- primarily Chinese. No prices and no receipts, a handful of local sales assistants but mainly non-Guyanese Chinese running the Show.  Most goods seemed shoddy, but I bought a few colourful hair clips for my nieces.  Is this really the way we want to go - keep the population ignorant and poor-- offer third-rate and poorly trained goods and services or--- head for a better educated and discerning Public who can afford to pay for better-quality stuff?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Guyana vs Mexico or Mexico vs Guyana

Although my brain told me we didn't a have a Snowball's chance in Hell, I still switched on to watch, hoping that we would fight the good fight...
... they (the Mexicans) had a Penalty Kick just after 2 minutes and their first goal in the 11th minute. Our guys' strategy seemed to be defensive as they were mainly bunched up protecting the Goalie.. this meant that when they did wrest control of the ball they ended up kicking it towards the Mexican end where no team member was available to make the shot effective - at least initially-- they seemed to improve in that aspect as the game wore on. In the 43rd minute Ricky Shakes, our team guy did some fancy footwork but had to make a wild kick causing the receiver to make a desperate dive to head into the Goal-- this seemed to surprise the commentators who shrieked 'peligroso,peligroso' (danger) a few times-- seeing as he missed the ball by several feet I assumed they meant he was in danger of getting his head kicked!
By the 24th minute we had our 1st Yellow Card. The rapid Spanish meant I couldn't figure out who-- but several El Capitaines made me think it was the Captain of the Team. It was interesting the hear the rapid Spanish commentary excitedly intoning goali, goali, goali after the Mexican team scored... rather like watching the opening film of the Gay Film Festival with the men cheering and jeering at the screen with the bravado of a gay protagonist and the hypocrisy of the Minister meeting men in Bars for sex respectively... but I digress...
Guyana got its goal in the 51st minute-- a man with his 'fro tied back-- No11. The Mexicans seemed rather pleased with their third goal which was a bit of a fluke-- an elegant back cross which surprised the Guyana Goalie. In my opinion-- the Guyana Goalie was The Most Valuable Player as the Mexicans definitely made more 'tries' and he did a couple of good saves-- also helping us was the misjudging of the dimensions of the Goal by the Mexicans -- a lot of tries flying over the Goal. We got another yellow card, then at about 92 minutes or so... we lost the signal-- the screen remained blank, they ran the ads about three times in succession and I fell asleep. The final score up to that time was Mexico 3 Guyana 1.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Survival Strategy

I deeply regret not buying a Phd thesis published as a book I saw in a second-hand shop wherein the author of the piece speculated that having many children in Haiti was not bad as a strategy for a poor woman as basically the possibility of at least one child out-living the parent increased with the number of children; so that in a poor country with little or no Social Services the parent/mother has some means of support in Old Age. Or so I gleaned from a quick flick through the book.
So to jump to today's News where in an Inner-City area the mother of seven was in the habit of leaving the children in charge of the oldest- a 14yr-old boy without leaving any food- this mind you from KN - not known for the reliability of its news - http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2012/06/06/baby-dies-starvation-suspected/
Along with the two previous examples of bad parenting:  http://gtobserver.blogspot.com/2012/04/outrageous-storystories-of-poverty-and.html I wondered about this aforementioned strategy. Having come from a farming background where large families were the norm in order not have to pay for Labour - better education led to subsequent families getting smaller.
Someone pointed out, don't know whether it's true, that the area with the largest growing population was Africa not India as I thought. The Nigerian Minister of Education recently complained that the system could not afford the education of all children if large families continued to be the norm - there is supposed to be free Primary Education in Nigeria. Here in Guyana, I am a bit alarmed to see the amount of drop-outs from High School and the lack of concern with erratic attendance of the primary Schoolers - parents apparently not caring about their children's future -seeing the older ones as mere unpaid help, in the past week a Jamaican mother allegedly holding down her 15yr old to be raped saying 'little sex wouldn't kill you' when the man supporting her financially wanted to have sex with the 15yr old daughter who objected.
In the meantime-- employers not finding the help they want at the price they want are now looking towards other countries for Labour!