PM undergoes bypass surgery | To return in 6 weeks

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underwent a successful marathon surgery in New Delhi on Saturday, during which doctors made five bypasses around blockages in his heart.

He was in the intensive care unit (ICU) and was conscious by the night, and would be back to active life within six weeks, his doctors said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was wheeled into the operation theatre 5 of AIIMS at around 6:40 am. He was given anesthesia immediately. The surgery, led by Dr Ramakant Panda of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai and a team of 11 other doctors finally started at around 7:30 am.

The surgery was a live heart one, which means that the heart continues to beat as the surgery is performed.

Grafts placed in 1990 when the PM underwent his first bypass and stents placed during an angioplasty he underwent in 2003 were found to be clogged. A total of 5 bypasses were done on the PM. 4 arterial grafts and 1 venous graft were created and positioned.

"Some blockages were found in the coronary arteries where some of the grafts that were placed in 1990 as well as the stents placed in 2004 were found to have been obstructed," said Dr Ramakant Panda, the surgeon who headed the team operating on the Prime Minister.

Dr Reddy also explained why the surgeons opted for coronary arterial bypass graft surgery as opposed ot going for Angioplasty, considered a less complex option

"Though angioplasty is as good as good as surgery, there is no doubt about it. But in this particular case with the honourable Prime Minister we thought that surgery will be a better long term option because there are too many blockages. Also the stent too already had a blockage," said Dr Reddy, one of the operating surgeons.

Considering the number of blockages in the PMs heart, the team of doctors felt they could not wait beyond the Republic Day parade.

"Given the nature of the blockages, it was considered advisable to do it earlier rather than much later," said Dr Panda.

The surgery ended at 7:30 pm and had taken nearly 12 hours.The Prime Minister is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a week and will be constantly monitored.

Meanwhile, the PM is reported to have taken the surgery with strength of mind and body. On gaining consciousness, he is reported to have said, "I am ready."

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D-War Korean Movie

  I could talk about the long delay of D-War's eventual release, increasing its ledger to the point of becoming the most expensive South Korean film. I could focus on director Shim Hyung-rae's intent to conquer the U.S. market with a primarily English-language film with primarily U.S. actors and how he obtained the over 2,000 screens he desired to practically guarantee a significant box office take. But ever counter-narrative, I'll focus on how D-War supports Martin Kevorkian's thesis put forth in Color Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America.

But first, the plot. "Imoogi" is not the Korean word for 'dragon' as the title might suggest, but refers to a mythical large snake. There are good and bad Imoogi. Apparently every 500 hundred years there's a woman, the most recent incarnation being LA resident Sarah (Amanda Brooks - Flightplan), who has a spirit (called Yuh Ui Joo) that helps an Imoogi become ‘celestial'. The bad Imoogi spends way more time hunting this woman than the good Imoogi and the woman has a companion, recent manifestation being Ethan (Jason Behr - TV show "Roswell"), who's supposed to protect her long enough to die instead for the good of the good Imoogi. If you don't get it, don't worry, early on it's explained to you twice and believability doesn't really matter because the film is really just a vehicle for computer animation prowess.

D-War Some of the computer imagery is decent, such as the King Kong moment or the speedy, street-slithering. And such is partly responsible for the first weekend gross that put D-War at #5 in the U.S., staying in the top ten for one more week. But as for lasting impact, intriguing dialogue and well-orchestrated acting and editing would have helped, but like Sarah, such was sacrificed in order for the dragons to slide on screen. Those with whom I shared witness to the spectacle vocally cringed at much of the forced dialogue and plot propulsion. Poor pacing is the main problem. Many scenes are so quick they end up dampening the impact of the images. What should generate awe, say, when the Imoogi or the massive Atrox Army is introduced, end up uneventful. In a past life, Director Shim was a comedian, and although there are bits that could work, this same poor pacing, following a storyboard like it was a power point presentation, hinders the impact of much of the humor as well.

I'm left to look around for something in which to engage. What I found was further evidence for Kevorkian's argument about how black characters are being placed behind the computer screens of our movie screens and what this says about technology and race.

This cinematic practice has reached cliched proportions in Hollywood. It's one of those things you don't notice, but once someone like Kevorkian points it out to you, you no longer can not notice it, like the negative space generating an arrow in the FedEx logo. Die Hard, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible 2, Transformers etc., and now D-War, all cast black actors as computer operators. Although this partly represents a well-meaning effort to replace past stereotypical portrayals of blacks as ignorant with portrayals of them as highly intelligent, Kevorkian finds evidence that the black body is being placed in front of these machines to protect the white body from the contamination of technology, from the fears and anxieties spawned by technophobia.

In D-War we call him Bruce (Craig Robinson - Knocked Up). He searches for the information (touching the data), while the processing of the information (exploiting the data) is Ethan's domain. Heightening Kevorkian's argument further, Bruce's other job is driving Ms. Yuh Yi Joo and Ethan around the streets of LA. And the only time that Bruce actually freely acts on technology outside of Ethan's instruction is when he gives Ethan a gun. This is contextualized within the film as a bad choice, implying that Bruce doesn't have the capacity to exploit technology like our hero Ethan. (This questioned gift is then dropped from the plot like it's hot.)

Let me state explicitly that I am not implying here that Shim's Bruce is a consciously racist portrayal. (At least Shim doesn't have Bruce die first like Michael Bay smashes the black voice in Transformers.) The placement of the black body as a technological interface seems to me more evidence of structurally racist industry practices, audience genre demands, and a problematic genre trope than conscious politics. However, now that Kevorkian has pointed out the invisible arrow resonating in the negative space, we can't ignore it. It's up to us to change direction.

In the end, D-War is more valuable as pedagogy for globalization than as entertainment, demonstrating how the new Hollywood stereotype of the black body in the black box has returned to LA in the form of a monster movie from South Korea. Globalization is a thing of the past that is here to stay. The considerable success of D-War in South Korea, where it reached the all-time top ten of ticket sales, and its reasonable success in the U.S should have us looking at what we want, and don't want, to keep traveling to and fro our respective lands.

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