Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday night - Slum boy edition

According to Nate Silver on Keith Olbermann's show tonight, "Slumdog Millionaire" is going to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Tonight I finished reading an article in The New Yorker ("Opening Night" by Katherine Boo) about the real life of an impoverished teenage boy (turned thief) living in a slum of Mumbai, outside the airport. Toward the end of the article, which I don't believe is available online, there's this (I'm typing it):

Sunil knew nothing of the movie that ends with an airport-slum boy finding money, love, and fame. However, he might have recognized one of the movie's conceits: that deprivation may give a child a certain intelligence. The other conceit -- that a child's specific miserable experiences might be the things to spring him from his deprivation -- was a lie. It was the movie version of the electrified fence. The women who had been manicured and exfoliated and blown out would linger at the premiere past 1 A.M., then head to the after party at the JW Marriott. They could relax, not just because the film about the slum boy had a happy ending but because the boy's suffering had been part of the solution. . . .

Earlier in the article:

This was the marvel of many great twenty-first-century cities, including New York and Washington, whose levels of inequality now match those of Abidjan and Nairobi.

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