Episode 20 - Chaos in Egypt... But what's next?

Hollywood and the Bechdel Index, Egypt after Mubarak, Pie vs. Cupcake, Wisdom of Arnie, Citing a Swan, Philanthroper Reinvents Philanthropy

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socialnetwork_publish.jpgDavid Fincher's The Social Network is one of the best films of the year.

It's a great story of how money, lots of it, undercuts friendship and dissolves loyalty. The characters are wicked and nerdy and their billion-dollar creation, Facebook, is so familiar to people it feels like part of our daily life.

But what about the women in the movie?

Aaron Sorkin who wrote the screenplay for The Social Network has already defended the film against charges of misogyny for the way women are sidelined and minimized. He blames it on the poor character of the males in the film.

treu_grit_publish.jpgThe Social Network may be a nominee for best picture but it fails a simple and intriguing metric when it comes to women in film: the Bechdel test.

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel brought the test to life in one of her comic strips. A character decides she's going to measure movies by three criteria:

- There must be at least two women in this film
- They must talk to each other
- They must talk about something other than men

Today on Day 6 Tasha Robinson who writes for The Onion's AV Club applies the Bechdel test to the Best Picture nominees for 2011. 

Parazit_publish.jpgKambiz Hosseini and Sahman Arbabi were on The Daily Show last week. Jon Stewart seemed emotional as he praised them for their satirical Farsi-language TV show Parazit.

That's because this is comedy with consequences. Parazit targets the politics and culture of their home country, Iran.

Kambiz and Salman admit they've closed the door to going back to Iran. If they ever returned home they'd be killed. But they laugh about that too. They're great at finding the absurdity in Iran's political paranoia and cultural autocracy. It's comedy as the voice of sanity and satire as an antidote to despotism.

Plus, they're the nicest freedom fighters I've ever met.

egypt 2_publish.jpgIn Egypt,  unprecedented protests this week compelled citizens into the streets, not just in Cairo, but in Suez, Alexandria, Mansoura and across the country.

President Mubarak has sent out soldiers and tanks, but so far the demonstrators are not intimidated. Tear gas rises above the crowds who are ignoring curfews and chanting in spite of the military.

Egypt is not a democracy.

If Egypt's impressive upheaval dislodges Mubarak and this is the beginning of the end, there are lots of questions:  What is next for the state? Who is the obvious successor? And perhaps. most of all:

Will the Egyptians who bravely took to the streets accept a new regime imposed by the military?  We'll get you some answers.

schwarz_publish.jpgArnold Swartzenegger, former Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia, movie star and ex-governor of California made some paid appearances in Canada this week.

A ticket to see Arnie cost just over four hundred bucks. 

In return, Arnold thrilled the crowd by uttering some of his famous catch phrases: "Girlie man", "I'll be back", and the silent one he was thinking but not saying, "So long, suckers."

Mike Balazo thinks Swartzenegger was a schmozzle.

cupcakes 2_publish.jpgHow much of your investment portfolio is in cupcakes?

Cupcakes have gone public.  An IPO is being prepared for a New York based cupcake franchise.

That means people- well, bankers technically-  are betting the tiny cakelettes are a lot more than a frosted fad.

Not so fast says Day 6 bakery correspondent Chris Trowbridge. He says the effete and smug cupcake is not only a Sex in the City-era hangover from the late days of the Bush administration... but there's also a challenger: Pie!

That's right: it's Cupcakes vs. Pie in the Day 6 pastry cage match.

brutus_publish.jpgThe guy with the swan is Lou Maieron, the mayor of Erin, Ontario. The swan is just Brutus.

Lou is reading Brutus some of the court transcripts from his multiple appearances before the Ontario bench. Lou was fined for not having a permit for Brutus, an offence under the Migratory Bird Act.

Lou wouldn't pay.

He argues the swan isn't his and is free to leave his farm at any time. After all, Brutus did appear out of the blue.  

And Lou says if he buys a permit for Brutus he'd be on the hook for any bird that touches down on his farm.

As you can tell by the size of the transcripts, justice is a bit of an ugly duckling in this story. You can hear the outcome on Day 6.

philanthroper_publish.jpgA huge scandal hit a powerful charity this week. 

The multibillion dollar Global Fund has been shaken by fraud allegations, millions of dollars of inappropriate spending. 

Stories like this- and there's many more on a smaller level- shake the trust of donors, especially when your budget for charity spending is modest.

Enter a new website and a revolutionary idea for charitble donations. Philanthroper features a new charity every day and does diligence on the ones they put up on their site. If you decide to donate, Philanthroper makes it easy for you to click away your cash and you're done... as long as you give the mandated amount:

A single dollar.

Taking a page from Groupon and other collective consumer sites, Philanthroper counts on a group buy-in to deliver more money to the charities and limits your gift to one buck.

And you get to be a benefactor to multiple charities. And you never fret over your commitment. Or money.

cairo.jpgAnd this is the week we started our Day 6 Oscar pool.

The prize: a double pass to Cineplex. 12 movies over 12 months for you and a friend.  Just go to our site and vote in the Big 6 categories.  

Does best actor award go to Jesse, James or Jeff?  (Jesse!)

Will best supporting actress be Haillee or Helena?  (Haillee!)

Go vote. it's all right here.

And have a great weekend, cupcake.

Brent Bambury @CBCDay6 


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