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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Current Events’

The invisible army of Filipino migrant workers in American warzones

April 20, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events No Comments →

Over the past decade, contractors and subcontractors have earned billions of dollars providing half a million Asian migrant workers, primarily from India, Nepal, and the Philippines, to perform the menial tasks in American war zones that soldiers will no longer do: cooking, cleaning, laundry, construction, and base security. Employing these workers—an invisible support army with no domestic political constituency—has allowed Washington to keep troop numbers and casualty figures artificially low. Over the years, prompted by worker unrest and some media attention, conditions for workers have somewhat improved on the bases. But the very first phase of their exploitation—the manner in which they were recruited—has not changed, and they continue to be hired through the same extortionary system that supplies labor to the Gulf countries.

Read The Men in the Middle at Dissent, via 3QD.

John Oliver talks to Edward Snowden

April 07, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Television 1 Comment →

On surveillance, security, and the freedom to send out dick-pics.

How to spend your summer vacation (if you’re a student)

March 25, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Contest, Current Events, Language, Movies, Tennis No Comments →

1. Watch German crime thrillers for free.

Every Wednesday 6pm at the 4th Floor, Room 3 of Goethe-Institut Philippinen, Adamson Center, Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati.

April 8: Dreileben – Etwas Besseres als den Tod (Beats being dead). Directed by Christian Petzold (who made Nina).

A sexual offender escapes from a hospital. His escape and the police’s hectic search serve as a background to the love story between Johannes, a boy from a rich home undertaking his civilian service, and Ana, a pretty girl from Bosnia.

April 15: Dreileben – Komm mir nicht nach (Don’t Follow Me Around). Directed by Dominik Graf

A sexual offender is loitering somewhere in the Thuringian forest. Police psychologist Johanna is sent to Dreileben to assist in the case.

April 22: Dreileben – Eine Minute Dunkel (One minute of darkness). Directed by Christoph Hochhäusler

Frank Molesch, convicted of murder, uses an opportunity to escape. He takes refuge in the forest. The awareness that he has become fair game changes him. The police combine all their technology and manpower to capture the fugitive.

For more information, visit their website.

2. Get a free trip to France (if you speak French).

Filipinos aged 18 to 25 are invited to participate in LabCitoyen, an annual program launched by Institut Français that selects French-speaking youth from all over the world to participate in a series of conferences, debates, and workshops on citizenship over the course of a ten-day, all expenses paid visit to France.

Each year, Institut Français opens this contest to Francophone youths to raise discussion and awareness on various issues concerning human rights and citizenship.

This year, interested participants are to create a 5-minute video documentary in the French language on the theme “Human rights in the face of environmental challenges,” in view of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) to be hosted by France in December 2015.

COP 21 is vital as 195 governments will endeavor to sign an ambitious, universal and legally binding agreement to limit global warming to 2°C,
before the effects of climate change become irreversible.

One Filipino shall be chosen by the cultural section of the Embassy of France to the Philippines to participate in the 10-day program in France from July 15 to 25, 2015.

The deadline for submission of videos is on April 20, 2015. For the complete mechanics, visit their website.

3. Tennis lessons

Since our eldest niece was two we have been bugging her mother to let her take tennis lessons. After all Martina Hingis was only two when she picked up the racquet. True, her mom was playing in tournaments during pregnancy, but the point is that we can make like the Djokovic family at tennis matches and jeer at the enemy. Or the Federers and invite fashion editors to sit courtside wearing large sunglasses.

We volunteered to take the kid to her lessons, and then our sister pointed out that her classes are at 10am. Yuccch, sunshine. So we won’t be trundling out our horrible tennis relative impression (Mary Pierce’s dad, Jennifer Capriati’s dad, Steffi Graf’s dad, etc), but who knows.

The niece is expected to balk at physical activity since she’d rather dress as various Disney princesses, so we have recommended a regimen of Maria Sharapova videos (free earplugs for the whole family).

Cumberbatches decline to whore out wedding; media reduced to reporting fan reactions.

February 16, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Television 2 Comments →

Ha ha ha! Try journalism.

Martin Freeman was said to have been best man, aww. So they’d already rehearsed it, just switched roles.

To Kill A Classic: Does Harper Lee really want her 60-year-old “sequel” published?

February 07, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events No Comments →

killamockingbird-covers-636x399
TKAM covers

Harper Lee’s entire reputation is based on one novel, the American classic To Kill A Mockingbird. She never put out another novel…and then her publisher announces that a “sequel” to Mockingbird will be released this summer.

For decades she refused to have that novel published, and her wish was honored and enforced by her lawyer Alice Lee, who was also her sister.

Three months ago Alice Lee died. Then the publisher announced that the novel Go Set A Watchman would hit stores.

Of course To Kill A Mockingbird fans are thrilled, but is this what Harper Lee really wants? She has always been reclusive. She was cheated of the proceeds of Mockingbird. She is reportedly senile.

What is the truth here?

More: An earlier story about the disputed Mockingbird royalties in Vanity Fair.

Another angle: Don’t do it, Harper Lee, by Jessa Crispin of Bookslut

If all beauty pageants were like this, we would watch them

February 03, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events No Comments →

And if all Oscar nominees were required to dress themselves without the aid of stylists we would start watching the Academy Awards again.