I’ll be in Houston this weekend attending the CO Frequent Flyer DO. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of other CO FFs, the CEO, and other frequent flyer luminaries.
Josh Marshall latches on to another point about the news media that I have similarly noticed. Very little original, in-depth reporting about a topic is generally done by most media. Those items that receive wide circulation among the major media have to percolate up through various channels, and, unfortunately, not all of them make it.
My most commong (and amusing) point is a correlation I’ve found between Wired magazine and BusinessWeek. Generally, Wired will report on a given topic, which will be followed up by a similar report viewed with a slightly different perspective in BusinessWeek four to eight weeks later. It could so happen that both sources independently had the same idea, but more likely to me is that someone at the BusinessWeek office is a subscriber.
Imagine my surprise this afternoon as I was watching some basketball when I saw a commercial for a new movie that looked oddly familiar. The highly stylized nature of the action clearly identified a unique movie, one that I felt I had just recently seen. Then the name flash up. “Kung Fu Hustle”.
And I laughed out loud, as my copy is still sitting next to the TV. It’s not often I’m ahead of the curve on, well, anything, so I’ll enjoy it while I can.
In my global search for music I find “entertaining”, I picked up a CD by a vocal group called Budak Pantai while I was in Singapore. At the time I bought it, I had no idea what the group sounded like, who they were, or what to expect. The title of the CD, “The Cattle are Lowing @ Blue Moo”, with a picture of a cow with antlers and a string of Christmas lights running through, gave the impression I wouldn’t be disappointed.
And, so far, of the eight to ten CDs I picked up on the trip, this one has been my favorite. An amusing group of five guys singing offbeat renditions of western songs, including a number of Christmas favorites, primarily a capella (though there are a few songs with some acoustic guitar accompaniment), recorded as part of their live show, hits all the notes I’m looking for in some of my more “peculiar” music.
Now if only someone could explain to me just what the joke is behind track 13.
Kuala Lumpur is an odiferous place. Walking around the city, smells both delicious and repugnant assault your senses
KL clearly has any product you might want at any price you can afford. Heading to centers such as the Suria KLCC shopping mall, you can buy from Gucci and Coach, Nike and Sony. All the high end products you could ask for, waiting to be scooped up. Too pricey? Head down to Chinatown, pick up the cheap knockoffs at the street markets. The latest handbags and wallets, all on sale. Special price, just for you. Let’s make a deal.
The most amusing aspect of the knockoff business was with the entertainment side. Periodically a police officer would wander through the area, and the guys running the show would scramble to move their tables out of the street. Once “law enforcement” moved on, tables and chairs would be moved back out to service the willing customers. When a deal was struck, the front men would call out to the couriers to drop off the product, or make a run to a nearby location to pick up the merchandise.
The catch? To the movie industry, it’s a hands-down debacle. The rise of digital has made perfect copies an easy objective for pirates, and it some cases even the latest theatrical releases are available. This week’s big ticket item: Constantine, which the groups were pushing heavily.
Suria KLCC is like any high-end mall you might find back in the States, seven stories of commercial goodness that makes the Short Hills Mall look like a place for slackers. Dozens of restaurants, at least two or three food courts, immaculately kept. You’d almost forget you weren’t at home.
Except that you look around and see clearly you’re a minority here. Asian and Malay men and women mix around, going about their business. Some women wear headscarves, one or two even wear the full covering. Traditional dress can be found almost everywhere. Most, however, go about in modern street clothing. Those few of European descent stand out by comparison.
The evening was spent watching the Phillipene lounge singers. Their lively antics and their over-the-top performance amused me to no end. The were on the way to ending their run in KL, heading back to the Phillipenes in March, returning to KL in April, then spending five months in Shanghai before returning again to KL.
It’s a long time to be on the road, away from home.
I’m back home, and still have to post the last two travel entries. I’ll get to that either today or tomorrow.
In catching up on the political discourse that occurred while I was away, I came upon this entry. On my flights returning home, I had a few conversations with other passengers on economic-related topics, telling them how I was lucky to have found a job by the end of 2000 as many college grads were having their offers rescinded prior to the summer of 2001. This seemed to confuse some very intelligent people, as it has now been forever linked in the consciousness of most Americans that the recission was caused in large part by 9/11. The unfortunate thing is that it was already well underway, and was even beginning to rebound. Granted it excaberated the recission, but it certainly wasn’t the root cause.
The non-stop GOP talking points win again.