Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

Opines, comments, rants, concerns, imaginings from Neale Sourna, fiction author and more -- www.Neale-Sourna.com, www.PIE-Percept.com, www.ProjectKeanu.com, www.AuthorsDen.com/nealesourna, www.CafeShops.com/NealeSourna, www.Writing-Naked.com, and www.CuntSinger.com

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Vin Diesel, "The Chronicles of Riddick", and the hate machine

Why all the acrimony toward Vin Diesel's entertaining self-assuredness? The man doesn't boast what he can't do. The man hand-delivered PITCHBLACK, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, and well, everything he's done. And, at least he has real acting talent to back his bold words, unlike a certain "acting," Cally-forn-ya Governor.

CoR is fun, is what the CONAN series should have been, is worth seeing again, and is a lot more positively thought-provoking than TROY. Mr. Diesel and Mr. Twohey delivered a beautiful to look at, viseral, and interesting to watch film. Let's face it, Riddick and Neo are the only NEW ADULT myth films around, at present. And, I like it. So, there.

Monday, June 21, 2004

BBC News / India stages Ms World for eunuchs

Friday, 9 March, 2001, 19:48 GMT
India stages Ms World for eunuchs

India's eunuchs have long lived on the fringes of society

More than 100 eunuchs are competing at "Ms World 2001" in India, during Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, which begins on Friday.
In Bhopal, capital of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, eunuch beauty contestants will sprinkle powdered colours on each other to mark Holi as they grace the stage.

Eunuchs are known in Pakistan and India as hijras, Urdu for "impotent ones". The expression is broadly used to describe those classified as neither male nor female. Born male, the eunuchs adopt women's names and clothing.

Living on the fringes of society, eunuchs live mainly by singing and dancing at parties, prostitution and begging.

Eunuchs dressed in colourful saris with heavy make-up and jewellery often gatecrash wedding parties, singing songs and dancing until paid to leave.

Third sex

No one really knows how many eunuchs India has. Estimates vary at between half a million and 1.2 million. Many eunuchs are castrated at puberty, while others are hermaphrodites or simply cross-dressers.

Eunuchs deny long-standing allegations that they kidnap and castrate boys, according to the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Indian media have reported cases of teenage boys being forcibly castrated. In 1995, a eunuch was arrested in New Delhi for castrating a man after drugging his food.

Ancient blessing

Hindu sacred texts are said to contain references to eunuchs and descriptions of impotent men who danced and cast spells. To this day, many Indians believe eunuchs have occult powers so they pay for their dancing and singing.

According to the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, which dates from around the third century BC, the god king Ram blessed eunuchs. When Ram was banished, he urged all male and female followers to go home.

Being neither, the eunuchs waited 14 years for his return from exile. Ram blessed the eunuchs for their devotion.

Bid for political power

Indian eunuchs are starting to emerge from the fringes of society by entering fashion and politics. Last November, eunuchs modelled designer clothes at fashion show in Lucknow, capital of northern Uttar Pradesh.

Voters in Madhya Pradesh made history by electing India's first ever eunuch legislator in February last year, The Times of India reported. Shabnam Mausi or "Aunt" Shabnam, 40, was born to a Brahmin family and made a living out of singing and dancing.

Madhya Pradesh also has two eunuch mayors and three senior business executives. And in Uttar Pradesh, voters of Gorakhpur elected Asha Devi, a eunuch, as mayor last November, Reuters reported.

Plans are also underway to launch a eunuchs' political party. Shabnam Mausi said she planned to register a party with the Election Commission of India after January.

The party would be open to males, females and the "third sex" from all over the country.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Offbeat - AFP / Prisoners get TVs to stop riot over England football game

Offbeat - AFP

Prisoners get TVs to stop riot over England football game
Wed Jun 16, 8:11 AM ET Add Offbeat - AFP to My Yahoo!

LONDON (AFP) - Officers at Dartmoor gaol avoided a planned riot by giving inmates televisions to watch the Euro 2004 football match between England and France.

Prisoners were planning to wreck the remote Devon prison because they could not watch Sunday's European Championships game, which France won 2-1.

But prison bosses swiftly chased up an outstanding 4,000-pound order for TV sets before rounding up the ringleaders and placing them in a separate unit - where televisions and radios are banned.

"In no way did the prison bow to any sort of blackmail," a senior Dartmoor official told The Sun.

"We have been installing TVs in cells under our decency and humanity agenda," he was quoted as saying.

"The ringleaders of the planned riot were all identified in the segregation unit," he said. "Their plan backfired because they could not see or listen to the game."

But one officer at the prison was furious at the decision to hand brand new portable colour sets to around 25 inmates.

"It's an outrageous waste of money to appease prisoners," he told the newspaper.

"What happens when they decide to riot if they want something else?"

Dartmoor was the last prison in Britain without TV sets for inmates, according to a Prison Service official quoted in The Sun.

Reuters / Cinema Halls Suspend Lesbian Film in Indian State

Cinema Halls Suspend Lesbian Film in Indian State
Wed Jun 16, 5:57 AM ET Add Movies - Reuters to My Yahoo!

AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Some cinema halls in India's western state of Gujarat stopped showing a controversial film about a love affair between two women from Wednesday on fears of attacks by hardline Hindu groups.

The move came after two days of violent protests by right-wing Hindus who vandalized cinemas in several cities against the screening of the Bollywood film, "Girlfriend," which they said violated India's traditional culture.

"We have decided not to show the film from today for security reasons," Ashok Purohit, owner of City Pulse group, which runs two multiplexes in Ahmedabad (news - web sites), Gujarat's main city, and Gandhinagar, the state capital, told Reuters.

"Though there have been no attacks on any theaters or any threats from anyone, we're not taking any chances."

Gujarat, one of India's most industrialized states and ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, was torn by the country's worst religious riots in a decade in 2002. Some 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were slaughtered in the riots.

Cinema owners said they were taking precautions after members of hardline groups such as the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal ripped posters and smashed windows in theaters screening the film in various parts of India including Bombay, home of Bollywood.

"Security of the building and the general public coming to watch the movie was paramount while deciding to suspend the shows," said Anshu Vyas, a spokesman of Fun Republic, a countrywide chain of multiplexes.

Groups like the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal are part of a growing tribe of cultural vigilantes in India opposed to the country's increasing Westernisation.

In the past, they have launched violent protests against Valentine's Day (news - web sites) celebrations in India and have also stopped a film on the plight of widows forced into prostitution, saying they denigrated India's ancient traditions.

Homosexuality is banned in India under a law first framed by British colonialists, but a strong gay rights movement has grown over the past few years in urban centers like Delhi and Bombay.

"Girlfriend" had a lukewarn opening last Friday, but shows at some cinemas have been packed since the controversy erupted.

In Bombay, the film is showing in over a dozen theaters with police protection and crowds have started thronging cinema halls after television channels aired scenes from the film.

"Our shows were sold out yesterday. The crowds have increased after all this controversy," said Pawan Jain, manager of a cinema in central Bombay.

But some said they were disappointed about missing the film.

"Why should they stop screening the film? The choice should be left to individuals," said Abhijat Shah, a college student who came to watch a noon show in Ahmedabad.

"Nobody, whether it's a religious or political group, should decide what's good or bad for me."

Community - Planet Out / Russian parliament rejects anti-gay bill

Community - Planet Out

Russian parliament rejects anti-gay bill
Tue Jun 15, 8:25 PM ET Add Community - Planet Out to My Yahoo!

Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.

SUMMARY: A bill that grouped gay men with pedophiles and alcoholics has been dropped in Russia, after opponents claimed it was unconstitutional.

A bill that grouped gay men with pedophiles and alcoholics has been dropped in Russia, after opponents claimed it was unconstitutional.

The bill was intended to ban anyone with any illnesses -- whether physical or mental -- from serving in the country's Duma, or parliament. It claimed that homosexuality should be included as a sickness.

"Chronic diseases and latent diseases undoubtedly influence one's capability to communicate and observe acceptable behavior norms," the bill said, according to the Moscow Times.

"They prevent [deputies] from making decisions for their electorate."

However, despite generating international publicity, the Duma refused to give the bill a first reading on Friday, with some members claiming it was unconstitutional and gave no presumption of innocence for Russian citizens.

This is not the first time the country's parliament has considered some controversial anti-gay laws.

A bill looking to punish gay men with five years imprisonment was overturned by the Duma in April. Homosexuality was decriminalized after the fall of the Soviet Union, but was illegal during the communist era.

Community - Planet Out / Lesbian-themed film in India stirs anger

Community - Planet Out

Lesbian-themed film in India stirs anger
Tue Jun 15, 8:25 PM ET Add Community - Planet Out to My Yahoo!

Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.

SUMMARY: The Bollywood film industry was shaken on Monday after a cinema in the Indian city of Bombay was attacked for showing a new lesbian-themed movie.

The Bollywood film industry was shaken on Monday after a cinema in the Indian city of Bombay was attacked for showing a new lesbian-themed movie.

Far-right Hindu extremists protested outside the cinema after it showed "Girlfriend," the first Bollywood film to deal with lesbian issues.

The angry members of the Shiv Sena party, mostly students, smashed windows and burnt effigies in the street, press reports claim, saying they were disgusted at the film for depicting a relationship between two women.

While India's film industry is the biggest in the world, it mainly shows straightforward love stories that are tame by Western standards.

"What one does in the bedroom and bathroom should not be displayed publicly," Shiv Sena leader Arun Pathak told the Reuters news agency. "We'll not allow such a film to be screened."

However, Indian authorities have deployed police Tuesday to ensure those wishing to view the film are not restricted. They hope that such a presence will stop any more protests from taking place.

Gay cinema has had a turbulent past in India, where issues surrounding sexual diversity are still taboo. Earlier this year, an Indian film depicting gay men and drag queens premiered in the United Kingdom, after it was banned in its home country.

Sridhar Rangaihn, director of the banned film, "Pink Mirror," said he hoped the U.K. showing of the film would help expose the "contract of silence" that the country's lesbian and gay population are forced to endure.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Common Problems of Self-Involvement

I've been carrying a rejection letter about, since like February, or January, with the intention to mention it here. I like the letter, in actuality, but as you see by my posting irregularity, whenever a really juicy thought flies through my head at mach speeds, especially while traveling / commuting, by the time I get to my keyboard I've forgotten to post it.

The brief answer for this little notice, is this.

I'd submitted to a local, very local, like on my busline local, writing contest. I'd completely forgotten about it, then received the notice of "no." It contained a list of who'd been told "yes" and "no." That's the good part. When you're work is rejected along with the works of the likes of local famous award-winning anchormen like Mr. Leon Bibb and literary stars like Mr. Antwone Fisher [I hope this isn't embarrassing, Fish, we all get the letters, we just don't usually know that we got the can with the world famous, too, dude.] I got put in the club with Leon and Fish. Tres Cool.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Brad Pitt, TROY, and Brian "I'm the Original Hannibal Lechter" Cox

I already knew the women's parts had been obviously given short shrift when they cast all unknowns or washed up ladies, except for Saffron Burrows, who would have made a great and complex Helen [even at 31]. No Amazons. Problematic, y'know, with Achilles' fearful necro-sex with a dead Amazon. [Ah, classic lit.]

Brad - great. And great naked. Achilles' fighting style - great. Brian Cox - Always deliciously great, and just dripping here. But, get serious, no professional warriors with missing body parts, and any over forty are kings; not bloody likely in real life.

No Troians who look like Turks. Troy is in Turkey last time I checked; and no political conflict representing patriarchy [male gods and male-like female gods like Athena] culture [Greece] versus matriarchal [Sparta, Troy]. No explanation for the true cultural and religious importance of the horse, or the rivalry between Greeks and Spartan/Troians. And, oh, come on already. The old Helen's so beautiful that's why we fight. Or the old she's my wife and that's so fucking important. Or the old and stupid Helen was only sixteen when she married. More likely she had been much younger on her wedding day and had two kids by sixteen in that ancient day, when brides were dead in childbirth by twenty.

So, trying to impose 21st century western values on the ancient world cuts all the possible visceral quality this film almost had.

This was a political, cultural fight with Cox' Agamemnon ego in full inflate. Two brothers, Agamemnon and Menelaus, married two Spartan sisters, Clymtenestra and Helen. Spartan women take care of themselves, they're not doormats. Plus, moviewise and Iliad-wise, I don't remember the Spartans actually showing up to reclaim their queen in any great fashion. Maybe, I forgot.

Maybe they forgot to go get her because they agreed with her dumping her alliance enforced marriage to bore and boorish husband Mene for a better ally with the same values she has--and her the inheritress/queen [the title queen in ancient times meant owner of the land not just some guy's insipid, whiney, spineless wife]. Eleanor of Aquitaine had the same problem in the 1100s A.D., whoever bedded/wedded her got all she owned--France, Spain, part of England. That's all. Helen has Sparta and all those mighty Spartan warrior lads, who did not make it to this film. Hm.

Homer said this was a tedious, TEN YEAR WAR, which here is cut down to maybe three to four weeks, as cued by virgin royal Briseis' scars, which barely heal on screen before it's all done. And, poor Sean Bean gets stuck trying to sell Odysseus' conceiving the Trojan Horse pinata without motivation or, again, without explanation of why it wasn't burned with all Greeks inside instead of so easily accepted. I bet he had more fun getting killed graphically while protecting "the little one" in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING.

Mr. Pitt did his job and delivered starpower; buff, casual nudity; and well-turned athletics. To bad, the writer and director and producers here gave us less than was given in INDEPENDENCE DAY, the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, and even THE MATRIX TRILOGY. Depth, character, integrity go so much farther than boring, dated bullshit of supposed blond girls [how many blonds in Sparta, especially pre-Viking?] so beautiful that all a guy's pals will show up for ten long years without seeing their own wives and kids and lands untended, just for physical beauty and the idiot old guy who can't keep her down on the farm after seeing Paris?

XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS covered this same territory of a great, unstoppable warrior with a volatile temper better. Seeing Lucy Lawless' Xena and Pitt's Achilles go toe to toe in a battle [y'know the one that's in the book, when he battled the Amazon?] would have been great. Instead though, the above the line leaders of this ship half-stiffed him. Brad could have had what Lawless had, because when Xena/Lucy went to the Elysian Fields for her lover, to Hades and found her son, to Hell in repention, and Heaven in reward; it was deep.

Mr. Pitt did his share, as did Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom and Peter O'Toole, Mr. Cox, and Ms. Burrows, but they were left on a plank in the middle of the ocean, leaving us without fulfillment.

Man Asks, "What Do Women Want?"

Stupid Dude, that's not your question. YOUR question is, "What does MY woman want?"