Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kalpen Suresh Modi

The stars come out in DC. Rock stars recruit movie stars to work for them.

Kal Penn is an example of name recognition (and the time-honored tradition of rewarding your political hacks) over qualifications.

Modi (er, Penn) is a first generation American born to Indian parents.

His moral dilemma over a role in the TV series 24 is instructive. He was supposed to play the role of a terrorist but almost turned it down. When I read it, I thought I might actually like this guy. I thought, “Good for him. He doesn’t want to be portrayed as a whack job who wants to blow up innocent people.”

But my hopes were dashed. His ethics alarm went off all right, but not because the character was a terrorist. He was worried about the racial profiling aspect of the role. Check this out from Wiki:
In January 2007, Penn appeared in the first four episodes of the sixth season of 24 as Ahmed Amar, a teenage terrorist. Penn says he nearly turned down the role due to personal ethics, stating, "I have a huge political problem with the role. It was essentially accepting a form of racial profiling. I think it’s repulsive. But it was the first time I had a chance to blow stuff up and take a family hostage. As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I'm brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people's thought processes?"

Well, he does have a strong sense of morals. While filming for his White Castle movie he refused to eat meat so they prepared soy burgers for the restaurant scenes.

As for his credentials for the post, he did go to UCLA and majored in film and sociology. And he has been a guest lecturer in Pennsylvania. He is regarded as a poster child for Asian stereotypes.

What can a 32-year-old with a BA in movies do at the White House? Well, Kal will be working for Valerie Jarrett, the Secretary of Community Organizers. As an actor, he’ll be getting the message out.

Another example of this administration’s fixation over image.

Here's the Kal Penn photo album, in all its decorum and sophistication:

Primed for a role at Homeland Security?

Experience as Surgeon General?

His White House portrait, perhaps? (Hey Valerie, did you check his tax returns?)
I've come to discover the fun the libs had with Ronald Reagan and his old film roles, especially Bonzo. They were on to something.

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