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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Mid-Week Culture Open Thread


    by Shariq on 2nd October, 2008 at 1:36 pm    

    Hey guys. I saw Ae Fond Kiss on tv a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a really well made film. Of course one of the reasons that films and novels are written on issues such as mixed-race relationships, forced marriages etc, is because its an important issue facing many british-asians. These types of stories also have a dramatic narrative which translate well to movies and novels.

    However I was wondering if people had recommendations about films, books, documentaries, music, plays etc which have a broader vision. Something which you found fresh and which didn’t follow traditional storylines.

    I’ll start things off by recommending Suketu Mehta’s, ‘Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found’. It was written a few years ago, but gives a really nuanced and interesting perspective on modern India.

    In an age of ‘drive-by’ journalism, Mehta actually spent a couple of years developing relationships with a range of fascinating characters. A leading anti-terror policeman trying to fight the criminal underworld, a glamorous young dancer making her living in Bombay’s bars, an internal immigrant family trying to make their way out of the slums - its all there. Anyways, I look forward to getting some excellent recommendations.



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    39 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. douglas clark — on 2nd October, 2008 at 2:16 pm  

      Shariq,

      I, too, saw Aye Fond Kiss. And I’d kinda thought it would be interesting to ask everyone what they made of it? Then I forgot.

      My own take on it was that there were two heroines, the younger daughter and the ‘would be’ made ‘arranged marriagee’. Which no-one else sees as the point. They have apparently minor roles, but they are actually essential to the tale.

      It is quite clear, to me at least, that the younger daughter is the most centred person in the whole story. She has ambitions that are clearly different from what is expected of her, and yet she pursues them.

      The ‘victim’ of the arranged marriage is clearly not at all happy about it.

      My tuppenceworth.

    2. Random Guy — on 2nd October, 2008 at 2:23 pm  

      Watched Ae Fond Kiss a couple of years back when it first came out. I think it was a very good story - probably one that needs to be told I suppose. Very relevant to our modern “multi-cultural” times and the challenges faced by couples who have to confront and decide how to overcome deeply traditional barriers to be together. Definitely one of my favourite home-grown movies.

      You like different? I suggest Amores Perros or Old Boy. Not sure if they fit in your genre preference, but excellent movies imo.

    3. Socrates — on 2nd October, 2008 at 2:24 pm  

      Of course one of the reasons that films and novels are written on issues such as mixed-race relationships, forced marriages etc, is because its an important issue facing many british-asians. These types of stories also have a dramatic narrative which translate well to movies and novels.

      But they can also be lazy, hackneyed, cliched and full of the ‘tick the right-on’ boxes of artistic mediocrity, and cringe inducingly self-conscious, as it parades its own obligation to ‘explain’ Asians to white people as if Asians are animals in a zoo, or on the other hand, over-compensates to project a ‘positive image’ to counter the stereotypes and prejudices that Asian people face. On the other hand, Asians are fodder for white writers or directors to feed on. Ethnic minority art is expected to be full of social realism and ‘gritty’ narratives of X, Y and Z. This is not just an Asian thing — how many movies, plays, or TV dramas about gun crime in the Afro Carribean community have there been recently, complete with tragic shootings on bleak South London council estates. If a distinctive humanist artistic talent like Satyajit Ray was born today in Coventry rather than in Calcutta 80 years ago, he’d never get to make any movies. (Alright so I used Ray as an Indian example, you can choose any original film maker really). British Asian art is so grim, and it has been for a long time. And don’t even get me started on the Arts Council gravy train.

    4. Jai — on 2nd October, 2008 at 2:29 pm  

      I’m currently reading Conn Iggulden’s “Conqueror” series of novels about Genghis Khan’s life. They’re an absolutely cracking read; in many ways the dramatisation is like a Hollywood blockbuster — in terms of the scenes, dialogue etc the books would translate superbly to the big screen. They’re really gripping and entertaining if you enjoyed movies such as Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven etc.

      As for Genghis himself and the other major Mogul characters, their personalities, behaviour and ways of thinking are basically depicted as though they’re a bunch of Klingons* ;) Page-turning stuff and definitely a guilty macho pleasure.

      Rumbold — I’ve been meaning to recommend these novels to you in particular, due to your interest in Eastern medieval history.

      (*A note for the closet Trekkies here — remember how Martok and some of the other major Klingon characters were during the last couple of seasons of DS9 ? Genghis and his senior officers are portrayed as less trustworthy but equally ruthless, bloodthirsty and swaggeringly cocky, charismatic versions of that. Read the books and you’ll see what I mean.)

    5. persephone — on 2nd October, 2008 at 2:48 pm  

      @3 Agree that sometimes when ‘brit-asian’ (even that label conjures a stereotype) issues are covered it presents a false microcosm.

      It would be refreshing to see/read ‘brit-asians’ outside of what is commomly presented, in fact smashing the tired stereotypes.

    6. Sid — on 2nd October, 2008 at 3:17 pm  

      #3 could developed into a blog post in its own right.

      Anyway, went to see IN-I, in which Akram Khan and Juliette Binoche. Its modern dance with drama and mime with style. Funny, intense and very sexy.

    7. Rumbold — on 2nd October, 2008 at 4:58 pm  

      Jai:

      I keep hearing about those books but haven’t actually read one.

      “A note for the closet Trekkies here — remember how Martok and some of the other major Klingon characters were during the last couple of seasons of DS9 ? Genghis and his senior officers are portrayed as less trustworthy but equally ruthless.”

      How sad. I presume that you are referring to the real Martok, not the Founder one? Heh.

    8. Sid — on 2nd October, 2008 at 5:08 pm  

      As for Genghis himself and the other major Mogul characters

      I though Genghis was a Mongol. As in from Mongolia.

    9. Rumbold — on 2nd October, 2008 at 5:31 pm  

      ‘Mughal/Mogul’ is the Persian form of Mongol. The Mughals, then in Central Asia under Babur, saw their dynasty as a Timurid one, that is to say descended from Tamerlane. However, they were also descended from Genghis Khan. The Timurids had settled in Central Asia and intermarried with the local Turks (something Ashik no doubt would have frowned upon, but then they probably would have just decapitated him). Perisan was the main language of the area before the Timurids settled there, so they adopted it and eventually brought it into India, where it would morph into Urdu.

      Most people use ‘Mongol’ to refer to the state under Genghis Khan and his successors, and ‘Mughal/Mogul’ for Babur and his successors. However, as the Timurids orignally named their Central Asian land ‘Moghulistan’, Jai is technically not incorrect, but it can get confusing if you refer to Genghis Khan as a ‘Mughal/Mogul’ instead of a ‘Mongol’.

      And as for ‘Khan’…

    10. Sid — on 2nd October, 2008 at 5:41 pm  

      hmmm, technical, but I think its correct to say Genghis Khan was a Mongol but Timur and Babar were Mongol/Mughals with the Mongol quality diminsihing with time. So Babar was far more Mughal than Timur who was far less Mongol than Genghis.

    11. Rumbold — on 2nd October, 2008 at 5:43 pm  

      Agreed. And it is better if people stick to those usages.

    12. Jai — on 2nd October, 2008 at 6:20 pm  

      I though Genghis was a Mongol. As in from Mongolia.

      You’re absolutely right, Sid; that was a typo on my part due to low blood sugar levels at the time.

      Let’s just blame it on the credit crunch, along with everything else ;)

      ************************

      Rumbold,

      I keep hearing about those books but haven’t actually read one.

      Seriously man, check them out if you’re into that sort of thing (the 3rd one in the series, dealing with Genghis’s clashes with Iran, Arabs etc — “Bones of the Hills” — has just come out in hardback, and paperback versions of the first two — “Wolf of the Plains” and “Lords of the Bow” are already available). It’s completely worth it, and even though each novel is about 500 pages long, you’ll find yourself racing through the story.

      They’re great fun to read; Genghis and his crew are so unapologetically Klingon-like in their attitudes and ambitions — no politically-correct moral hesitation or self-doubt, and they just don’t give a crap about destroying anything or anyone that gets in their way — and it’s darkly entertaining how the morality and idealism in the stories is inverted. The ruthless all-conquering “bad guys” are obviously the heroes (or anti-heroes, more accurately), whereas those groups we’d regard as being peace-loving and ethical are targets of the Mongols’ aggression and are inevitably defeated one by one. The personalities of the various characters are also very well-defined and their behaviour and reactions are quite realistically depicted.

      Of course, anyone regarding himself as a decent person wouldn’t have sympathies with the main protagonists in real life, and you sure as hell wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of Genghis’s emnity…..but the books are great in the same way that Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street held your attention as a charismatic (and ultimately villainous) anti-hero. Very interesting regarding the level of historical detail too, they’ve been very well researched by the author.

      How sad. I presume that you are referring to the real Martok, not the Founder one? Heh.

      Both were equally cool and charismatic ;) Turned out to be a very interesting and complex character, didn’t he ? I thought he was best in the episode where Martok’s given command of that ship after being liberated from imprisonment and he’s clearly psychologically traumatised, along with the episode focusing on Worf’s wedding and showing how besotted he is with his own imperious aristocratic wife. He was similarly entertaining when giving advice to Sisko around the time of the latter’s own wedding. Lots of different shades beyond the obvious warrior angle.

      Brilliantly acted by JG Hertzler too. You could see why his Martok would inspire such loyalty and respect, and why people would “join his cause” under his leadership — maybe it’s just me, but the depiction of Genghis in the books reminds me very strongly of him (albeit more brutal and less concerned about the death of innocents).

    13. Jai — on 2nd October, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

      However I was wondering if people had recommendations about films, books, documentaries, music, plays etc which have a broader vision. Something which you found fresh and which didn’t follow traditional storylines.

      “Sacred Games” and “Red Earth and Pouring Rain”, both by Vikram Chandra, are very good. You’ll like the first one if you enjoyed “Maximum City”, since it deals with various aspects of India’s criminal underworld.

      Film-wise, desi movies about relationships I can recommend are “Namastey London” (obviously fairly mainstream but still refreshing and quite unpredictable) and of course “Dil Chahta Hai” from a few years ago.

      “Ek Haseena Thi” and “Being Cyrus” are also very good offbeat movies, and both happen to star Saif Ali Khan in roles very far removed from the generally cuddly characters he’d played up to that point. The second film also has a hilariously sardonic English-language voiceover by Saif’s character.

      “Omkara” and “Sarkar” are impressive too if you haven’t seen them yet, and are very different in style and characterisation to the usual Karan Johar-type Bollywood blockbusters.

    14. Socrates — on 2nd October, 2008 at 7:50 pm  

      #3 could developed into a blog post in its own right

      Name me one truly original Asian writer to have emerged in Britain since the year 2000. I can name one. The poet Daljit Nagra. Apart from that, nobody. Name me one truly original film maker. I can name one. Asif Kapadia, who was last seen directing straight to video trash in America, because the scripts he wanted to make in the UK couldn’t get financed, whilst every two-bob hackneyed grim-up-north piece of misery cinema verite pandering to white people’s creepy obsession with Asian life, or some da- glo shiny faux Bollywood ‘Carry on Paki’ tragi comedy gets made. It’s a joke. The Arts Council are the promoters of the most pompous and self-important but lazy productions, and ’social worker art’, art as journalism or anthropology, is elevated to levels it does not deserve to be elevated to. It’s absolutely pathetic.

    15. sonia — on 2nd October, 2008 at 8:25 pm  

      vikram chandra = sacred games, im reading that now, its good. but i think i got a more ’sensuous’ picture of bombay#s underworld in shantaram.

      arts council is about ’social worker’ art -is that a problem? there is a renewed focus on art as a therapeutic tool and at the end of the day the arts council is about encouraging artistic endeavour, and not about setting up elitist standards on what is art and what is not. it is meant to be about wider involvement in the arts, especially encouraging individuals from groups where artistic activity isn’t really considered a serious or worthwhile effort.

      i mean it could be said to be unfair that if one is from a ‘certain’ group it seems easier to get a book deal or a grant to do your work, but then that applies to the whole creative industry anyway. but this is why its so important for artists to do the whole self-publishing, independent media thing.

      but its not really their fault there is little talent coming out here in britain. its because most people’s parents want them to become engineers doctors lawyers investment bankers. so much creativity suppressed. as far as i can see a lot of asian writers writing in english “postcolonial” are actually #from# ‘home’ - many doing MFAs at western universities etc. and getting book deals that way.

      the interesting thing about stories is of course our fascination with ourselves. surely all people can identify with the universals of emotion and feelings and thoughts which is what books are about in the end.

    16. sonia — on 2nd October, 2008 at 8:36 pm  

      i dont have a tv - so how do i get to see this? i had a look on the net and i’ve found some Karachi Uncovered documentary the actor Atta Yakub made. Now that is rather amusing, its ‘refreshing’ in the fact the guy Atta doesn’t make bones about his stereotypes of ‘back home’ and going and finding out something different..of course its funny that people thought that an entire country/entire subcontinent has people of all kinds cheek by jowl. this idea of ‘indian/pakistani/bengali’ as “one” thing, is something you encounter from so many british asians here who’ve never lived in the subcontinent and seen the schizophrenia for themselves.

      i’d write a book ‘dhaka uncovered’ but i guess the likes of ashik would have it banned ..

    17. Muhamad — on 2nd October, 2008 at 8:47 pm  

      I’d recommend “Half Moon” (Niwemang). Directed by Bahman Ghobadi, and written by both Behnam Behzadi and Ghobadi. The film is about a Kurdish musician whose dying wish is to visit Arbil.

    18. shariq — on 2nd October, 2008 at 9:01 pm  

      Random Guy, I loved Old Boy! What an awesome film. I remember coming out of the cinema and feeling, wtf just happened. I really liked 21 grams as well so Amores Perros has been on my to watch list for a while.

      Socrates, I agree with what Sid said. If you put your comments together and edit them slightly and send the final version to writers at pickledpolitics dot com, one of us will publish it.

      Sonia, I liked Atta Yaqub’s documentary as well. Of course that also dealt with only one part of Pakistani society, but it was a side which you don’t often see in the media.

      Muhammad, I’ll try and check out half moon. Have you seen ‘edge of heaven’ btw? its a turkish/german film about overlapping identities. very, very, very good. in fact i might do a review of it soon.

    19. El Cid — on 2nd October, 2008 at 9:19 pm  

      Socrates, you sound like a very eloquent fellow.
      But I have a question: why depend on public funds?
      There are a lot wealthy Asians in Britain (some on this site - je je). Put on a production, get noticed, find a private sponsor, do something. You sound like the kind of chap who could.

    20. El Cid — on 2nd October, 2008 at 9:20 pm  

      On the other hand, wait until your piece is posted and I’ll ask again.

    21. Muhamad — on 2nd October, 2008 at 9:28 pm  

      I have seen Edge of Heaven, and the beauty of Nurgul is still stuck in my mind. :-)

    22. halima — on 2nd October, 2008 at 9:44 pm  

      I’d recommend Transamerica, stumbled upon it by accident, but is a surprisingly sleeper hit, also about identities, family, love and relationships.

      And loved the beauty in Into the Wild (about well to do kid in US turning back on society and capitalism to go into Alaska and live in the wild).

      Gonna reserve passing judgements on Bollywood as I’e been told i have bad taste in Bollywood ..:-) but I think everyone’s talking about Rock On….at the moment.

    23. Random Guy — on 2nd October, 2008 at 10:11 pm  

      Yeah Shariq, Old Boy was good. Not watched 21 Grams yet.

      Other good movies: No Country for Old Men, Hero (with Jet Li), Paradise Now (Palestinian).

    24. Ravi Naik — on 3rd October, 2008 at 12:47 am  

      Gonna reserve passing judgements on Bollywood as I’e been told i have bad taste in Bollywood ..:-) but I think everyone’s talking about Rock On…

      I don’t like Bollywood, though I enjoyed watching the “Love Guru”. Here is a clip. ;)

      As for books, I am currently reading “In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India“. This is by far the best book I’ve read about India.

    25. sonia — on 3rd October, 2008 at 12:26 pm  

      yeah he was going out to discover the ‘glamorous’ side because he seemed to think it didn’t exist. (*but he was honest about his ’stereotypes’ so he comes across as likeable) sorry my post should have said that all kinds of people do live cheek by jowl in the subcontinent -the glamorous models/vjs and the traditionalist oh you cant go out without your dupatta and everyone else in between etc.

      good question from elcid = relying on public funds = not very reliable - well there are lots of us and not much of public funding (unless we start taxing large corporations as they should be taxed)

    26. Jai — on 3rd October, 2008 at 12:42 pm  

      I thought the Beeb’s dramatisation of Meera Syal’s novel “Life is not all ha ha hee hee” a couple of years ago was very good. A bit more realistic in terms of its depiction of relationships etc too, at least with regards to the professional desi crowd as opposed to the “grim oop north” stereotype. I genuinely can’t think of any other positive examples from recent years.

      Beyond that, there was “Britz” more recently, and “Second Generation” a while back. The latter obviously tried to break a few more stereotypes although in some ways it still wasn’t very realistic in depicting modern life for the average 2nd-gen British Asian, even those who don’t buy into the joint family/arranged marriage malarkey.

    27. Zak — on 3rd October, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

      mischief night is funny

    28. Leon — on 3rd October, 2008 at 8:31 pm  

      Christ alive I’m a fecking cave man culturally compared to you guys! The last fiction I read was Terry Pratchett a year or two ago…only really read political/non fiction these days.

      That said read the excellent Bill Hicks biog Agent of Evolution recently. Truly fantastic book and highly recommended for any Hicks fans out there.

    29. Golam Murtaza — on 4th October, 2008 at 7:29 pm  

      In terms of books, James Fergusson’s ‘Kandahar Cockney’ is worth checking out.

    30. Rumbold — on 5th October, 2008 at 11:58 am  

      Jai:

      You probably have already read them, but I would recommend anything by Bernard Cornwell. Most people have heard of Sharpe, but he has also done a number of series set in different historical periods (Hundred Years’ War, the Saxon migrations, etc.). Most are pretty similar to Sharpe in style, but if you like that style, then they are great.

      Lesser known is the work of Brigadier Allan Mallinson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Mallinson ),
      who has a gentler style, but the books are still very good.

      Martok was one of my favourite characters. He probably benefited from not being made into a full regualr, which ensured that he still retained that air of cool mystery. And he was a Klingon, which is always a bonus.

    31. persephone — on 5th October, 2008 at 9:52 pm  

      Recommend a book called The October Horse about
      Julius Caesar & his battles with the Republicans and events leading up to his assasination & the early years of his heir Octavian.

    32. BenSix — on 5th October, 2008 at 10:30 pm  

      Lately, I’ve been reading an odd brew of Brideshead Revisited, an Ian Rankin novel, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept and the Atrocity Exhibition. All are recommended, but they’re probably best experienced separately.

      Ben

    33. Jai — on 6th October, 2008 at 11:13 am  

      Rumbold,

      I haven’t actually read anything by Bernard Cornwall (yet) although I’m aware of his work. I’m particularly keen to read his series on Arthurian Britain; I’ve flicked through some of those books in Waterstones/WHSmiths and they’ve definitely sparked my interest. Anything medieval seems to get my attention.

      (By the way, have you noticed that post-”Kingdom of Heaven”, there’s been a sudden spate of novels on the Crusades too ? Many of these show “both sides” like the film, ie. having Arabs as major characters.)

      Regarding Iggulden’s Genghis novels, to get a flavour of what I’m talking about, your best bet would be to read the “Prologue” of “Bones of the Hills” at your local Waterstones etc. It’ll only take 5 minutes of your time, but you’ll subsequently understand exactly what I’ve been talking about — you may well find yourself hooked !

      It’s also a perfect example of what I was saying earlier, regarding the “Hollywood blockbuster” style of writing in these books — at the end of the prologue (especially after the last sentence spoken by one of the Mongols), you can just imagine the opening title sequence and some thunderous music kicking off. Great stuff. Very blokey too.

      By the way, no I’m not getting paid to plug these books, in case anyone’s wondering ;)

      **************************

      I also very, very strongly recommend “Shogun” by James Clavell. Absolutely brilliant for anyone who likes the whole Samurai thang.

      **************************

      Martok was one of my favourite characters too; very charismatic dude. I liked how they made him such a well-rounded (and upbeat/dynamic) character too. He was probably the most well-defined Klingon in ST after Worf, and his personality provided a nice constrast to the more straight-laced and dour tendencies of the latter.

      The show gave the same treatment to other Klingons like Kurn; I guess it played a part in showing why Klingons, well, love being Klingons (along with the obvious sneaking admiration/affection some of the human/non-Klingon characters had for their lifestyle, a la “The Last Samurai”), rather than just portraying them as one-dimensional glorified thugs, as had previously been the case.

    34. Jai — on 6th October, 2008 at 11:19 am  

      Persephone,

      Conn Iggulden’s also written some best-selling novels dramatising Caesar’s life (the “Emperor” series). I haven’t read them myself yet, but if his Genghis books are anything to go by, I expect they’re superb too.

      For a more historical/non-fictional overview of the rise & fall of the Roman Empire, I also strongly recommend “Rubicon” by Tom Holland. It’s very readable in its style, and the level of detail it goes into regarding Roman culture and their lifestyle is quite incredible — it really brings everything to life.

      Tom Holland also wrote a similarly excellent (and detailed) book called “Persian Fire”, about the clashes between the Persians and the Greeks. Plenty of stuff about the Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae, for those who liked the film “300″.

    35. Rumbold — on 6th October, 2008 at 1:28 pm  

      Jai:

      “I haven’t actually read anything by Bernard Cornwall (yet) although I’m aware of his work. I’m particularly keen to read his series on Arthurian Britain; I’ve flicked through some of those books in Waterstones/WHSmiths and they’ve definitely sparked my interest. Anything medieval seems to get my attention.”

      Most of the series are trilogies. The Arthurian one is very good, as is the Holy Grail one (set during the Hundred Years’ War). A few of the Sharpe books are set in India.

      “Regarding Iggulden’s Genghis novels, to get a flavour of what I’m talking about, your best bet would be to read the “Prologue” of “Bones of the Hills” at your local Waterstones etc. It’ll only take 5 minutes of your time, but you’ll subsequently understand exactly what I’ve been talking about — you may well find yourself hooked!”

      I have been starved of historical fiction for a bit, so I am looking forward to them.

      “Martok was one of my favourite characters too; very charismatic dude. I liked how they made him such a well-rounded (and upbeat/dynamic) character too. He was probably the most well-defined Klingon in ST after Worf, and his personality provided a nice constrast to the more straight-laced and dour tendencies of the latter.”

      In some ways Martok was a superior character to Worf. Worf was a good comic foil, but always very predictable. Even when he did something out of character, he did it in a predictable way. Martok was a bit edgier, and looked cooler. The Klingons from the orginal series were funny though.

    36. persephone — on 6th October, 2008 at 4:54 pm  

      Thanks Jai

      Several there that sound interesting men in skirts (oops I mean historical) books.

      Picture a smiley face here (cos I don’t know how to do that)

    37. Jai — on 6th October, 2008 at 5:47 pm  

      Rumbold,

      I have been starved of historical fiction for a bit, so I am looking forward to them.

      They’re a very enjoyable read. Apart from the obvious action sequences, there’s an incredible level of depth to the characterisation of the various players — lots of nice little touches (in some cases “quirks”) in some of the things they say and do that make them very human and “realistic”.

      In some ways Martok was a superior character to Worf. Worf was a good comic foil, but always very predictable. Even when he did something out of character, he did it in a predictable way. Martok was a bit edgier,

      Agreed. It’s interesting how they mixed the somewhat blokey and cocky warrior aspect of his personality with the fact that he was also basically a romantic old sod, along with being extremely well-spoken (even suave). The combination did make him a lot more unpredictable.

      and looked cooler.

      I’ll tell you who he really reminded of, in terms of his appearance and sometimes the way he spoke — the pirate Captain Hook from “Peter Pan” ;)

      (Refer to Dustin Hoffman’s performance as the lead character in the film “Hook” from a few years ago, and you’ll see what I mean.)

      The Klingons from the orginal series were funny though.

      It was amusing how their appearance (almost nothing like the way Klingons looked in the movies and the other ST shows) was turned into an in-joke by DS9, in the “tribbles/time travel” episode. “Enterprise” can up with a somewhat convoluted explanation for it, though…..

      I’ve always thought a spin-off show focusing on Klingons (”Star Trek: Empire” or something) would have been a much better idea than “Enterprise”. Imagine what a fun and dynamic show it could have been, along with being slightly subversive in depicting such a bunch of non-PC macho types as the heroes (like the Genghis books).

      Although in some ways, growly Sisko was probably the most “Klingon” human character of all. And not just because of that beard, either.

    38. Jai — on 6th October, 2008 at 5:51 pm  

      Persephone,

      Several there that sound interesting men in skirts (oops I mean historical) books.

      I’ll have you know that wearing a lungi is an honourable and time-honoured tradition amongst some guys in India. It ain’t just a desi sarong, y’know.

      (joking)

      Picture a smiley face here (cos I don’t know how to do that)

      Colon (”:”) followed by right bracket symbol (”)”)

      ie. :)

      See ?

      Hours of endless fun.

    39. persephone — on 6th October, 2008 at 6:13 pm  

      and long may the tradition reign (say the female contingent in india in unison)

      :)



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