Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for September, 2008

Soft porn Thomas Hardy

September 27, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Emotional weather report, Movies 2 Comments →

Question from a reader: “Sarah Palin and the fundamentalists make me think that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is now shifting from speculative fiction to fact. I read it when I was in my early teens and I remember being seriously freaked out. . .

“Some years after the book was published, a film version with Faye Dunaway and Elizabeth McGovern came out, and I clearly remember that it was distributed in the Philippines under the title “Slave Girls”. (Chalk one up for subtlety). I remember seeing the trailer – the usual technically polished Hollywood trailer – suddenly being spliced with its new title, a crudely designed sign that read “Slave Girls” in a faux handpainted logo. Can anyone among your readers or your circle of friends confirm or refute this? Did my brain just make that up? I would dearly like to know.”

I remember that The Handmaid’s Tale was retitled for the Philippine market. This is a common practice among the local distributors, presumably to increase the movie’s box-office appeal. Who can forget how Jude, the film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s gloomy Victorian masterpiece, suddenly acquired the new title, “Bare”? Now there’s a bit of sexy stuff in Thomas Hardy—check out the character of Eustacia Vye in The Return of the Native. Or the eponymous heroine of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, whose film adaptation directed by Roman Polanski somehow avoided being retitled “Disgrasyada!” The print ad for Bare prominently featured an apparently naked Kate Winslet, fresh from the box-office bonanza of Titanic. The distributors managed to restrain themselves from throwing in a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Adel has just reminded me that Hal Ashby’s Being There, starring Peter Sellers as the gardener whose babbling is mistaken for brilliance, was shown in Manila theatres as Supergenius.

How to immigrate to the US

September 26, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 1 Comment →

In the October issue of Reason Magazine, Mike Flynn, Shikha Dalmia, and Terry Colon illustrate what it takes to be a legal US immigrant. Brilliant flowchart for those who are standing in line; it’s going to be a long wait.

The internet is not running out of addresses.

September 26, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Technology 2 Comments →

“Google’s “internet evangelist” Vint Cerf has been in the UK and in the headlines this week, visiting the British Computer Society and The Guardian, among others. Both the Times and the Telegraph have picked up the scary “news” that the Internet will run out of IP addresses by 2010, warns Vint Cerf, or just a touch less accurately, Father of the internet: ‘web is running out of addresses’.

“It is certainly true that IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is running out of addresses, because technically it only supports 4 billion of them (2^32). However, we saw this coming at least 16 years ago, and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) adopted Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) way back in 1996. This provides up to 2^128 addresses (340 trillion trillion trillion), which means there’s well over 4 billion addresses for everybody on the planet. Indeed, according to Wikipedia, IPv6 can provide 2^52 addresses for each of the 70 sextillion observable stars in the known universe, which I think may constitute “comfortable headroom” even for a pan-galactic internet.

“Further, most of us already have computers that can support IPv6, without even downloading an update. . .” Jack Schofield in The Guardian.


September 25, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Money 2 Comments →

By Kevin Allman at, via 3Quarks Daily.

Dear American, My Dear Friend:
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America.
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.I am working with “Mr. Phil Gram,” lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a citizen, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check.
We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction.
After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Do not discuss this message with anyone! Time is of the essence!
Yours Faithfully.
Minister of Treasury Hank Paulson

Sometimes you don’t want to be invisible.

September 24, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok 13 Comments →

You’re walking into the mall. You stop at the guard’s desk for the obligatory security check. You know and he knows and everybody knows that this is part-pantomime and part-placebo, because even supposing you had a bomb in your possession, it is highly unlikely that the guard would identify it as such (Maybe if it were a large round ball with a fuse sticking out like in Road Runner cartoons). Weren’t there bag inspections as usual the day that Glorietta 2 blew up? 

So you’re doing your role in the pantomime when someone literally walks into you, treading on your jeans. It’s a woman so preoccupied with texting that she doesn’t look where she’s going. She says “Ay!” and keeps on walking. She does not say “Excuse me” or “Sorry”. It is as if you are invisible. Ordinarily you would let it go, forget about it. You put up with so much aggravation in this city, you hardly even notice it anymore. In fact, you’re so accustomed to dealing with rude, uncouth behavior that when people do exhibit good manners, you do a double-take. Every time someone says “Sorry” or “Excuse me” or “Walang anuman”, you feel like saying, “Thank you.” 

Today you do not feel like putting up with other people’s shit. Today you refuse to be invisible. You walk slowly behind the woman who had crashed into you. You observe that she is wearing flip-flops and an anklet. She is still texting, oblivious to her surroundings. You calculate her pace. At the right second, you step on the back of her flip-flop, sending her sprawling. “Oh I’m sorry,” you say sweetly, and walk away. Someday, while texting, she may walk into an open manhole and disappear forever.

Cats for Barack!

September 24, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Current Events 6 Comments →

Vote for vision, change, and someone who knows where Spain is. (I am a cat, but I know that (former) fighter pilots should know some geography lest they bomb the wrong place.) Someone who knows the difference between the former Soviet republic named Georgia and the state where Atlanta is. Someone with a sound environmental policy, who understands that polar bears are an endangered species (I love bears!).

Reject George Bush in lipstick!

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