Archive | June 8, 2011

Anarchy in India

Before it had malls, a theme park and fancy housing compounds … Gurgaon was widely regarded as an economic wasteland. In 1979, the state of Haryana created Gurgaon by dividing a longstanding political district on the outskirts of New Delhi. One half would revolve around the city of Faridabad, which had an active municipal government, direct rail access to the capital, fertile farmland and a strong industrial base. The other half, Gurgaon, had rocky soil, no local government, no railway link and almost no industrial base.

As an economic competition, it seemed an unfair fight. And it has been: Gurgaon has won, easily. Faridabad has struggled to catch India’s modernization wave, while Gurgaon’s disadvantages turned out to be advantages, none more important, initially, than the absence of a districtwide government, which meant less red tape capable of choking development. …

Meanwhile, with Gurgaon’s understaffed police force outmatched by such a rapidly growing population, some law-and-order responsibilities have been delegated to the private sector. Nearly 12,000 private security guards work in Gurgaon, and many are pressed into directing traffic on major streets. …

Celý piroh. (CHT Jesse Walker.)

How to Make Half a Million

I learn from Rachel Maddow’s show that Larry Flynt has a standing offer of a million dollar reward (well, actually “up to” one million) to anyone who will “provide documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with a Congressperson, Senator or other prominent officeholder.”

So the obvious thing to do is to call the officeholder you most fancy and suggest having an affair, spilling the beans to Flynt, and then splitting the reward.

Three Science Fiction News Items

1. David Tennant is almost unrecognisable here taking the Roddy McDowell role of ham-horror-actor-turned-real-life-vampire-hunter Peter Vincent in the upcoming Fright Night remake:

David Tennant in FRIGHT NIGHT

David Tennant in FRIGHT NIGHT

He looks a tad sleazier than the original ….

2. Rumours are flying about the possibility of another Torchwood/Doctor Who crossover for next year.

Frank Miller's BATMAN and DAREDEVIL

3. Back in the days before he found neoconservatism and lost his talent, Frank Miller famously reinvented both Batman and Daredevil in a way that has shaped the treatment of those characters ever since. Miller’s take was a strong influence on the Burton and Nolan Batman movies and on the 2003 Daredevil movie. Yet despite even photographically imitating Miller’s exact panels, the Daredevil movie never quite caught the spirit of the material it was drawing on.

The good news is that Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One are due to be released as animated films, while a rebooted live-action Daredevil will also be adapting Miller’s material.

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