Asawin Suebsaeng

Asawin Suebsaeng

Reporter

Asawin Suebsaeng is a reporter at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. He has also written for The American Prospect, the Bangkok Post, and Shoecomics.com.

Full Bio | Get my RSS |

A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., Asawin came back to DC with hopes of putting his flimsy Creative Writing major, student newspaper tenure, and interest in human rights and political chicanery to some use. He started cutting his teeth at F&M's student-run weekly, The College Reporter, serving as editor in chief. He has interned at The American Prospect, been a reporter for the Bangkok Post, and scribbled for ShoeComics.com. His favorite movie is either Apocalypse Now or Pirahna 3D, depending on the day or mood.

Poll: Obama Better Prepared Than Romney For Extraterrestrial Ass-Kicking

| Wed Jun. 27, 2012 11:59 AM EDT

If Battleship or Invasion of the Pod People suddenly became our political reality, Barack Obama would beat Mitt Romney in a landslide in the 2012 presidential election.

Politico has the, uh, story:

The majority of Americans, nearly 65 percent, say Obama is better suited than Romney to handle an alien invasion, according to a new National Geographic Channel poll, USA Today reports.

The poll also shows (for realz) that if space invaders attempted to annex Earth, 21 percent would favor sending in The Hulk to help repel the invasion, 12 percent would favor the Dark Knight, but only 8 percent would place that 3:00 a.m. phone call to Spider-Man.

Furthermore, separate internal polling of the Mother Jones DC office shows that American voters by a 2-1 margin believe that if Barack Obama had to deliver a rousing speech to fighter pilots on our shared humanity and the universal right to freedom from alien annihilation, it would look something like this:

Bad news for the Obama camp, though: The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy issued a statement last November that the US government has no proof that life exists beyond our planet and that a large-scale intergalactic war with Martians is not in fact imminent.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Short Takes: "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator"

| Wed Jun. 27, 2012 6:00 AM EDT

Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
SKYLIGHT PICTURES
103 minutes

Filmmaker Pamela Yates, who previously embedded with Guatemalan government forces and left-wing insurgents to document the dictatorship's genocide against indigenous Mayans, now chronicles efforts to build a case against Efraín Ríos Montt, the former general and de facto president whose death squads allegedly tortured and murdered tens of thousands. While Yates shies away from the fraught history of the conflict, her interviews with survivors and regime troops strike an emotional chord. All told, Granito, which airs June 28 on PBS, offers a taste of the slog that inevitably results when people try to hold a tyrant accountable. Trailer below:

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

21 Adjectives (and 4 Adverbs) to Describe Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom"

| Sat Jun. 23, 2012 6:25 PM EDT

Whiny, sententious, stale, tedious, rambling, unamusing, flat, ho-hum, childish, embarrassing, jejune, twitchy-eyed, daffy, obvious, frustrating, self-congratulatory, left-leaning, emotionally manipulative, alarmingly candy-ass, maddeningly idealistic, and arduously quirky.

The Newsroom (premiering Sunday, June 24 at 10 p.m. EST on HBO) is a regrettable homecoming to television for writer Aaron Sorkin, the noted wit-and-quotable-monologue maestro behind Sports Night, The West Wing, Charlie Wilson's War, A Few Good Men, and a whole bunch of other plays and movies. After tanking so severely with NBC's one-season Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, you'd think that taking five years off from TV—and winning an Oscar in that interim—would have heralded a rebirth of Sorkin's small-screen touch; the kind of flair and insight that gave us the triumphant second and third seasons of the Bartlet administration.

Verdict: It is now clearer than ever that Aaron Sorkin should stick to churning out scripts for profitable and critically hailed Oscar bait, and stop trying to revisit the brief era when he was considered by many to be the best thing to happen to television since RCA color.

Steve Carell: Serial Young Lady Sexer?

| Fri Jun. 22, 2012 7:00 AM EDT
Ahh, yeeeeeaaahh.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Focus Features
101 minutes

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is a lovely little film—one that's painfully funny, and drenched in rich metaphor. The premise is admirably gimmicky: With an Armageddon-size asteroid barrelling towards earth, human civilization is coming to an end in a few weeks. As expected, people the world over start panicking like wild animals. They loot, riot, and of course surrender themselves to nihilistic hedonism (feeding martinis to their toddler kids, injecting heroin at will, drunken orgies daily—basically, partying like they all just got back to Berlin after the Great War).

Dodge (played by Steve Carell), on the other hand, gets sedated and very, very mopey. So does Penny (Keira Knightley), Dodge's neighbor. In the midst of all the oh-shit-the-world's-coming-to-an-end commotion, the two strangers forge an unlikely bond, flee the city in Penny's Prius, and go on an adventure looking for Dodge's old flame. Thus kicks off their surprising road trip, set against the darkly humorous backdrop of imminent apocalypse.

"To Rome With Love": Assembly-Line Woody Allen

| Fri Jun. 22, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

To Rome With Love
Sony Pictures Classics
112 minutes

Woody Allen's new movie, quite frankly, sucks. As is true with too much of Allen's 21st century output, it trudges along as a mash-up of the director's less inspired flights of fancy. If you cobbled together various pieces of used scratch paper from the floor of Woody Allen's office, taped the scraps together with little-to-zero discipline, and tacked on an extra dose of tired surrealism, you'd get something along the lines of To Rome With Love—a sorry little movie that is at its very best playfully self-indulgent, and at its worst hellishly self-indulgent.

I could recap the synopsis for you now, but I'm instead outsourcing most of that work to this guy at LA Weekly. Suffice it to say that the movie takes place in (you guessed it) Rome. Through a ragbag of strained vignettes, the film weaves together disparate tales of infidelity, opera, fame, infidelity, love, more infidelity, disillusionment, and infidelity. The ensemble cast is top-notch, with a disarming blend of sex, smarts, and suave befitting a movie of far greater worth. But because of the overflow of competing plotlines, none of the star players (particularly Ellen Page as a seductive pseduo-intellectual who specializes in the "perversion of the dialectic") get the screen time they're due.

Thu Jun. 12, 2014 5:51 PM EDT
Mon Apr. 28, 2014 12:48 PM EDT
Fri Apr. 25, 2014 6:05 AM EDT
Sun Apr. 20, 2014 11:00 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 17, 2014 6:00 AM EDT