This phrase was used on the BBC world service a few times yesterday in reference to the ban on laptops and other devices from some airports on some carriers, for reasons to do with airline competition, deflection of other news stories, or plain incoherence. I did not note who said it, but a quick search shows the phrase pop up a few times in the last 6 months, from for example, Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at a security think-tank: the Royal United Services Institute. The phrase has some affinity with pantomime terror, but I am more interested in how opportunist news stories can be used to run cover over less savoury announcements. The famous good day to bury a news story Sept 11 incident from Stephen Byers adviser Jo Moore.
This somehow got me to wondering about other ways news which must be gotten out is nevertheless buried in plain sight. I wondered if there were any dissertations written on The Chilcot Inquiry, because when that report finally came, after 7 years, on 6 July, 2016, it was released just one day before the ten year anniversary of the London 7/7 bombing. Was this an attempt that also benefitted from the plain sight effect of their simply being an avalanche of volumes, too expensive for popular reading, too thick for journalists to summarise, and too dull, making it the greatest unread tome since Quixote, so very uninspiring for public commentary, buried in plain sight without any action on the calls to put Blair in front of a war crimes tribunal.
Critics rating: 4 stars.
For those in need of an alternative to Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, in April 2017 we will get the Hindi film Begum Jaan, I hope soon also for a UK release. It is a remake of Rajkahini by the same director, Srijit Mukherji.
Impressed that the fire stuntsperson managed a fair impersonation of the map of india in this scene from the trailer.
Watch the trailer here.
Since Begum Jaan ‘is the Hindi adapted version of Bengali movie Rajkahini’, the promoters have taken the remake principle to heart as a marketing strategy by staging a debate as to who is the better Begum, Vidya Balan or Rituparna Sengupta?? See here for the way to beat this up into a smart promotional angle with a series of other character match-ups.
The trailer for Rajkahini (2015) is here, of course with Tagore song…:
and if you are into mapmaking its a tragic feast…
Here’s SCROTUS warning us of the pantomime terrorism situation in Sweden. The double speak bubbles capture his discourse with uncanny accuracy. People may think this is kids stuff, but as a sign of the end times and I think Todo’s caught it just right.
Another volume on the horror that keeps giving (accounts of capital and how bad it is – figure people gonna wake up and do owt? Not holding my breath given the fun kids were having knocking on the door for sugar yesterday. Still). Haymarket seems to have a decent list now that’d not all trotting out the same old. This is on my list:
There is also an extract:
In Capital Marx writes that, like zombies, living labour under capitalism becomes ‘subservient to and led by an alien will and an alien intelligence’. In tandem, the mass of machinery to which workers are subordinated in production assumes the form of an ‘animated monster’, a monstrosity endowed with a soul and intelligence of its own. Factories, machines, assembly-lines, computerised production systems all take on a life of their own, directing the movements of labour, controlling workers as if they were merely inorganic parts of a giant apparatus. As capital assumes the form of ‘a mechanical monster whose body fills whole factories’, workers become ‘conscious organs of the automaton’. This reference to workers as organs of capital, which we also find in other Marxian texts, returns us to the theme of corporeal fragmentation. Labouring for capital, protests Marx, workers become mere appendages of this ‘animated monster’, dismembered body-parts activated by the motions of the grotesque corpus of capital.
Read more of it here.
War criminal notes.
Someone scratched out his eyes.
Apparently when the note is wet and rubbed with a coin, the ink comes off. Still legal tender – money itself is not the greatest evil, but illusions in piggy pollies must be criticised.
NDTV have a record on this topic which is, erm, unenviable. For example, they had run a phone in poll to see if their audience wanted Afzal Mohammed Guru hanged, held before the court gave its verdict, on what was a frame-up according to many, and the ‘torturer for the nation’ proudly proclaiming his role in getting Afzal’s confession… So it is deeply troubling that even now Police action cracks down on legitimate dissent. Cultural event! Maybe there is more to it, but it looks dubious to me – what threat was this demonstration to the nation? Kanhiya Kumar zindabad.
Full story here.