Salacious adventures realised on their recent Scotland tour, Wide Awake return to their exclusive London residency at the Hoxton Pony for a Halloween fancy dress special. Delivering an uninhibited night of mischief and bass line wobblers from filthy Jackin House, Strip Club Hip Hop and all other manner less club music genres.
Led by the 7ft tall 18st Winston (the rabbit) the kind of guy to be One Direction’s number one supplier Wide Awake features CJ Beatz and Jordan Crisp.
Keeping the sullied flesh in motion on the dance floor are East London DJ Booth scoundrels Bill and Will.
2-4-1 cocktails till 9PM| Tables from £350
Strictly guest list only – Entry is free on the Wide Awake guest list until 9pm.
Entry free all night should you flash the door girl a Wide Awake T-shirt which can be obtained with a click or two at http://cjbeatz.com/.
RSVP by sending an e-mail with your full name(s) for the guest list to
I’m at a little café in Islamabad, sipping a cappuccino. A young woman in a ponytail and jeans walks in and orders a dozen chocolate cupcakes; her two small children press their noses up to the glass of the dessert display case. We strike up a conversation, and she mentions that her family has just moved to Islamabad. “Great place to live, isn’t it?” she says.
I agree with her. I should know: I’m an Islamabad girl, born and raised, and there isn’t a city in the world I would rather call home. If anything, the city can be too quaint for some; residents of Pakistan’s larger metropolises sometimes poke fun at Islamabad for being too quiet or too small.
But you wouldn’t know any of that from the godforsaken hellscape depicted in the latest season of Showtime’s Emmy-winning drama Homeland. If the above scene from my real life had been “fictionalized” on the series, the view outside my window would have been a smog-ridden urban disaster. My cappuccino would have been a bitter black coffee from a dingy little shack. The friendly woman would have been a burka-clad hag shrieking at me in some awful, invented language to cover my sinful head. But of course, my uncovered head would just be a front, because I would turn out to be a villain, plotting the gruesome death-by-mob of some white guy.
For years, I’ve stayed on the fence about Homeland’s shameless bigotry, giving it the benefit of the doubt even when its depictions of Muslims have been less than nuanced. As the show begins its fourth season, however, I have been forced to re-evaluate my faith in both its intentions and its intelligence — starting with the horrendous teaser poster featuring a red-hooded Claire Danes as a lovely dash of color in a foreboding sea of black burkas.
As I watched the premiere episode, my anticipation over seeing my hometown as the setting of a critically acclaimed American television show quickly fizzled as I watched Carrie Mathison and her fellow CIA agents arrive in a wild, filthy, menacing land that looked nothing like the place I’ve lived in my entire life. The show’s clear lack of homework on Pakistan is astounding; the setting, the characters, and the language that Homeland tries to pass off as “local” are all foreign to me. It would be unreasonable to expect Homeland to get everything right, and I didn’t — after all, its “Islamabad” was actually filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.
But I still expected some semblance of effort from a show that positions itself as a serious drama grappling with U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world. Since the show’s creators didn’t bother, allow me to offer some real-life context.
1. Islamabad is a beautiful, well-planned city — not a grimy netherworld.
In the season’s third episode, we see Carrie smoking in the open night air against a nondescript concrete cityscape. Ambassador Boyd (Laila Robins) comes out and scoffs, “Best view in Islamabad — which isn’t saying much.”
This isn’t just insulting from a character that Saul Berensen calls “one of the good ones” — it’s a mind-blowing distortion of fact. So hell-bent is Homeland on depicting Islamabad as a Third World “shit-hole” that it has somehow managed to make even Cape Town — one of the most beautiful cities in the world — look ugly, dirty, and characterless.
The real Islamabad sits at the foot of the densely forested Margalla Hills, which provide a scenic green backdrop that Islooites wake up to every day. Great, leafy boughs arch over the streets, blooming purple and crimson in the spring and bursting with autumnal hues in the fall. The neighborhoods boast manicured lawns and grassy parks with swing-sets and walking paths. Unlike the dusty “Agrabah“-style bazaars seen on Homeland, Islamabad has properly structured markets and modern shopping malls, as well as snazzy restaurants and quaint little ice-cream parlors, picturesque parks and hiking trails, and wide avenues lined with meticulously cultivated flower beds. It’s not the hopeless maze depicted in Homeland, either; the city is actually planned along a grid, divided into sectors with neatly arranged blocks and streets that you can easily find your way around. This is something the writers could have ascertained from a cursory glance at Google Earth.
As for the best view in Islamabad? Take your pick:
The Faisal Mosque
Spring in Islamabad
The Pakistan National Monument
2. Nobody speaks the bizarre, nonsensical language of the “local” characters on Homeland.
Imagine a show about New York City in which the “native New Yorkers” spoke English like the characters on Downton Abbey, spending wildly inaccurate amounts of money to go to nonexistent places. That’s what it feels like to watch Homeland if you speak Urdu.
Homeland consistently botches the most fundamental aspects of Urdu conversation, in ways that are both painful and hilarious to anyone who actually speaks it. If someone inquires about the whereabouts of their family members, and you have to tell them that they died in a drone strike, you don’t say “mujhe maaf kijiye,” as the strange, veiled woman in Homeland’s premiere does. Saying that does not mean “I’m sorry for your loss”; it means “forgive me,” implying that she personally murdered the inquirer’s family members.
The English accents are just as inauthentic. In real life, Pakistani English sounds nothing like the oft-caricatured Indian English accent. On Homeland, however, Pakistani characters speaking in English sound either like Apu from The Simpsons or like the carpet merchant singing the opening song of Disney’s Aladdin.
I find it hard to believe that the show’s producers couldn’t find a single native Urdu speaker or any Pakistani actors. At the very least, why not hire a language consultant? If Game of Thrones can hire a linguist to properly construct believable, fictional languages like Valyrian and Dothraki, why can’t Homeland hire somebody to check the basics of a real-world language?
3. Americans aren’t hated, and protests don’t instantly dissolve into bloodthirsty mobs.
The death of Sandy (Corey Stoll) at the hands of the mob was disturbing — and not just for the reasons Homeland intended. His attackers were less like a group of people than a zombie horde on The Walking Dead, breaking car windows and barbarically dragging him out while Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) shoots them in their faces with videogame indifference.
It’s troubling not just because it appears to dehumanize this frothing Pakistani mob, but because the violence and rage shown are largely uncharacteristic of Pakistani people, particularly in Islamabad. Perhaps Homeland should have drawn inspiration from the tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who have been peacefully gathered outside the parliament building in Islamabad for the past two months, listening to speeches and singing along to live music. This is a community that gathers together every year in a candlelight vigil for the assassinated politician who died taking a stand for a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. And no protest would take place at the gates of the U.S. Embassy; the building is such a fortress, nestled deep within Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.
It’s also ridiculous how unsafe Homeland makes Islamabad seem for Americans (or anyone who looks Caucasian), from the suspicious stares of those fake Isloo natives to the unspoken rule that Carrie must cover her head to go out in public. In reality, American and European visitors can often be seen around the streets of Islamabad — adults and children alike, by the way, so Carrie could easily have brought her poor daughter with her.
In Homeland’s most recent episode, the U.S. ambassador notes that she “can’t complain about bad relations with Pakistan while at the same time doing nothing to make them better.” The irony, of course, is that Homeland seems to be going out of its way to portray Pakistan in as unflattering a light as possible and to exaggerate anti-American sentiment in the country.
This is unfortunate because, while American foreign policy is certainly not popular among Pakistanis, people in urban Pakistan tend to be very fond of America’s other major global export: its pop culture. Entire generations have grown up watching Friends or The Simpsons. My grandparents listened to Elvis. Despite its flaws, my mother has actually been a fan of Homeland. Given the influence American entertainment holds in Pakistan, it’s unfortunate that Homeland should use its resources to willfully distort and darken the way our nations perceive each other.
And that’s why it’s important to call the show out on its offensive inaccuracies. The last thing the world needs is high-production-value hate mongering.
Courtesy of ‘FATIMA SHAKEEL‘
FATIMA SHAKEEL is an international relations graduate working with a democratization think-tank in Islamabad, Pakistan. She is a contributor and creative team member at Desi Writers’ Lounge, a literary website dedicated to supporting South Asian writers. She also writes poetry and short stories, and her freelance work has appeared in publications including Instep Today and Papercuts. You can read more of her writing on her blog.
Always partial to a decent new singer-songwriter, this is a quick post to draw your attention to the latest acoustic artist to enter our radar. Josh Healey released his second EP on Monday, and you can hear the whole thing via SoundCloud above.
If it’s up your alley/down your street/your cup of tea, it’s available now on iTunes.
Written by Harry Dean of Labelled Independent
Plastc has one foot in the future and the other behind the merchants’ counters
Are you ready to ditch your cash-stuffed wallet but wary of putting all your financial information on an easily-lost device? The future of making payments may well be with (or on) the Plastc, a new kind of card that conceals the latest technology and security measures in the form of a card that can be used in any existing magnetized-swipe system.
Plastc’s list of innovations wouldn’t be complete, however, without enumerating its new technologies. It has Chip and Pin (EMV) built in, NFC/RFID capabilities and can show barcodes and QR codes on the e-ink screen. This prepares the Plastc for contactless payments, gift cards, loyalty cards and even proximity-based building entry systems. The card also pulls biometric data from your face, adding an extra layer of identity verification. Chip and Pin and NFC, however, will require a firmware update after shipping to activate. Still, the fact that the Plastc can be updated is a nod to its plan for future usefulness even after all these technologies become commonplace. It does run on a battery, but it shouldn’t need to be charged for 30 days.
According to co-founder and CEO Mark Stubbs, the card’s robust magnetic strip also should allow it to be used for transit-turnstile swipes as well in many cities – though only time will tell if the MTA’s primitive card-swipe system in New York will be able to react properly with it.
What really sets it apart from mobile phone payment systems, though, is its security system. Since it tethers to your mobile and has a proximity sensor, you can set its Wallet app to send a notification to your phone if the two move too far away from each other for a certain amount of time, the threshold of which is determined by you. If the card is determined to be lost, you can swiftly and remotely wipe all its data – until, of course, you are reunited with your card and can re-sync with it.
While some businesses have yet to even embrace credit cards due to fees (and sometimes, tax-dodging), Plastc helps ease the transition of payments into this secure, biometric, flexible era with its simple magnetic strip. Want to stay ahead of the curve with your payment system? It can be pre-ordered for $155 and ships in the summer of 2015.
1. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything.
2. We do not live in a pitch economy, almost no one is buying ideas, they’re buying companies, they’re buying something active that is generating capital.
3. We’re all Missourians today, that’s right, we all live in the SHOW ME state. We want to see evidence of your success, of the implementation of your idea, we don’t just want to hear you talk about it.
4. Ideas are in the air. Many people are working on similar breakthroughs at the same time. While you believe your idea is unique, there’s a good chance someone else is aware of it and is trying to achieve the same goal and is working while you sleep.
5. Talk is cheap. That’s why it’s so hard to get someone of power to converse, never mind go to a meal. A professional can tell in just a few sentences whether you’re real. Furthermore, if you create something real these same professionals will be breathing down your neck.
6. Success is hard work and very few want to do the heavy lifting. Because it’s boring, because it’s challenging, because no one is paying attention, because it might not pay off in the long run anyway.
7. Too many people want others to do the work. They revel in their seats as they pontificate about the great things that can be achieved with their ideas. Why don’t they just make the effort themselves? Because they don’t have the desire. That’s the secret of life, we all follow our desires, our passions, and a mediocre idea with incredible follow-through by someone who cares about it trumps a great idea with lame execution every day of the week.
8. In the tech economy everyone believes it’s about the idea. But so many of the successful companies were not innovators so much as combiners of previous technologies with a bit of vision and great execution. Google didn’t invent search and Facebook didn’t invent social networking and Apple didn’t invent the portable music player. In each case someone else had the initial idea. But Google took someone else’s idea and employed algorithms to deliver the search results you always wanted but had previously been unable to find. Facebook regulated the marketplace, they created a social home that worked on all media, and found a way to eat Google’s lunch by figuring out advertising on mobile. That’s right, Facebook survives on advertising, they didn’t invent that model, they just refined it. And Apple bought SoundJam to build iTunes and threw FireWire into the pot to create the iPod. So don’t keep thinking about coming up with something out of thin air, but utilizing the already extant
blocks to build something new and desirable, in some cases just a better mousetrap. Yes, there is a first mover advantage, but only if the first mover has a great product that he keeps improving, staying ahead of the pack.
9. It’s easier to tell someone what to do than to do it yourself.
10. If you want something done right, do it yourself, because rarely does anybody care about it as much as you do.
11. What looks like a bad idea to some is a winner in the hands of another.
12. Opportunities are abundant, but most people are afraid to do the work.
13. If someone is telling you what you could do, you’re probably best off ignoring them, because you know better what you should do, and will put in the effort to make it a success.
14. What separates winners from losers is whether they’re willing to get their hands dirty. Behind every overnight success is a ton of unseen work.
15. It’s easy to judge, it’s much harder to do. But don’t think your efforts are sans judgments, because someone always has to buy to make you successful, whether it be an intermediary or the public. So if your product/service/music has no traction, there’s judgment right there, it’s not commercial. Too many people blame someone else for their failures when they should really be blaming themselves.
16. Don’t waste people’s time with unimportant details, what is important to you may not be important to them. An expert knows what has potential. Your pet project is irrelevant to them if they can’t make money with it. Respect others’ time and knowledge.
17. Many people don’t follow through because they don’t want to, not because they’re incompetent. While you’re busy lamenting you didn’t get a return phone call or e-mail, frequently that person is not tanning at the beach but expending effort on what will help him out and make him happy. Want to motivate someone? Think about delivering what they want.