Monday, March 7, 2011

Smile ---We're On Candid Camera!

While doing the scut-work for a client's upcoming trip to India, I tripped across an interesting piece of information: certain factions in Hyderabad were planning “Cairo-like” demonstrations. Since it's my job to stuff people into little silver tubes and launch them toward strange and exotic locations, I thought I should check it out.

Hyderabad Legislative Assembly

 My first line of inquiry is always, the source of all things internationally scary. Nothing except a brief mention in the India national profile.  So I checked the English language newspapers in Hyderabad. Not much there either, only a mixed bag of “eh” and “factious clashes.” 

(Note: This afternoon it was announced there is an event scheduled for March 10th -  something called the Telangana Million March. And even the newspaper qualified the march by saying the parents of students expected to participate were requesting a rescheduling of the march because it conflicted with set school examination dates.)

I also queried several of my road warriors, a couple of whom had just gotten back from  nearby Bangalore. No one had anything major to report. Finally one of my intrepid  voyageurs put it into perspective. “Would you tell them,” he asked, “not to go to Madison?”

Okay, fair enough, but it got me to wondering: what kind of press are we getting? Finding out wasn't as easy as I thought when there are far more serious demonstrations going on around the globe. Still, I think the question should be asked: how does the rest of the world view events here?

The had several articles and lots of opinions, not the least of which was Jeffrey Sommers who said, "A month into office, he was keen to establish himself as the new sheriff in town... Walker... presents himself in a way that could be right out of Frank Capra's central casting..." while Clancy Sigal of the same paper calls "Wisconsin's governor Scott Walker, a dim bulb but ultra-reactionary ...with obvious political ambitions."  The Guardian mentioned “Tens of thousands of demonstrators" were gathered in the Wisconsin state capital. 

Wisconsin State Capitol Building
Not surprisingly, El Nacional de Venezuela had pretty substantial coverage, (I have to say I love their word for protesters: manifestantes. It just sounds so…so… Marxist.. and soooo Spanish!) They reported there were 70,000 manifestantes marching for their rights in Madison.

Aljazeera actually had a pretty balanced report, estimated “close to 100,000” demonstrators.” They offered no opinions whatsoever. Not much of anything in Le Figaro which surprised me because France is such a hotbed of union protest.

Rome’s la Repubblica, however, seems to like Governor Walker a great deal, “The governor's plan is literally more than drastic anti-union. The brave Republican wants to close the current gap of 137 million that in a couple of years should exceed three billion dollars…”   

What was missing from almost all these reports was the reasonably peaceful nature of the protests and counter protests. No bullets, no mace, no water cannon...okay...that would've been cruel and unusual punishment in winter in Wisconsin. I guess I just wanted them to talk about what didn't happen. But then again, that nothing ugly happened probably removed it from the news cycle and I guess we should be thankful for that.

Stepford Wives  - 1975
Michele Bachmann - 2010
On the other hand, Michele Bachmann’s performance on MEET THE PRESS was beamed out to the immediate world. (Kinda reminded me of that scene in CONTACT when the Vegans beamed back the opening of the Nazi Olympics because it was the first thing ever broadcast.) I am ashamed to admit I actually live in the place that would send that Stepford automaton to congress. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o' the Week
Doubt she’s from Stepford?  Just watch her eyes while she blathers. 
It is just too scary for words. 

The Wifley Person's Bonus Tip
Do not compare Jesse "the Gov" Ventura to Michele Bachmann.
Apples and oranges.


  1. Bachman is another female disgrace

  2. Travel Tip of the Week: When touring Cairo, Hyderabad or Madison, don't forget your skateboard for emergency escapes.

  3. what, no mention of Charlie Sheen from the rest of the world?

  4. The Wifely PersonMarch 9, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    I'm a mother. I feel terrible for his parents. They must be so upset!