The American-moviegoer problem with Aishwarya Rai, the super-beautiful, violet-eyed Indian actress, is obviously of a xenophobic and shameful nature, but a problem nonetheless. I’m sorry to sound like a guy wiping windshields at a Baton Rouge car wash, but she has a three-syllable first name that’s hard to hang onto and is somewhat difficult to pronounce.

Even after reading this Martyn Palmer article in the 3.30 London Times and practicing the pronunciation of her first name over and over, I still can’t remember it. Quick — turn your head away from the computer screen and try and say her name. See? Plus it contorts your mouth every which way to say “aysh” (pronounced like J. Carrol Naish?) and then “war” and then “ya.” I’ve got enough aggravation.

Plus she apparently said in an Asian website q & a that her favorite all-time film is Casablanca. As I’ve recently explained, it’s not flattering for a 2007 person of any accomplishment to put Casablanca at the top of his/her list. It strongly suggests that the person has a bland, schmaltzy, not-very-inquisitive movie mentality, which suggests that he/she has a bland and schmaltzy mentality in other respects.

Plus there’s a woman named “Sashay” who responded to Palmer’s article by saying that (a) the piece “conveniently left out the part about how Aishwarya married a tree during her engagement,” etc., (b) that “the few Indian movies I’ve seen her play, she is either being knocked over the head or having her hair pulled by some man, like somehow it’s romantic,” and that (c) “she’s an average pretty girl that has above-average luck.”