Friday, December 29, 2006

Damn these Hucksters!!!!

Dorks. That big, fat and irritating coca-cola advertisement is still doing the rounds. Do people even stop to think? Oh. Stupid question. Just goes on to show the pervasiveness and the power of the media in general and advertising in particular. To influence “people” and societies in all the wrongs ways, most of the time. If there are two professions that need regulation, it is these. Especially that whore of capitalism, consumerism, whatever, called advertising. Scratch that, even the media in equal portions. Speaking of which, yours truly has just – after years of scouring shelves and streets – laid hands on Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants. A harsh critique-cum-parody-cum-satire on advertising. About a world that is run (for all practical purposes) by ad agencies. Where your standing is defined by your ability to own. About a world divided into two: the haves and the have-nots. About a consumer-driven society gone horribly wrong, which anyway is the fate of any such society. Anyway reading has just begin, full review later.

The copy of The Space Merchants i just got happens to an old 1981 edition (the book was written in 1952, which makes its prescience even more so prophetic), prominently stamped “DISCARD” by The Harrisburg Union High School’s Instructional Media Center (hmmm… instructional media center).

And this is what precedes the book in the ‘raving reviews’ pages. The St. Louis Dispatch gets it down pat – “…a bitter satire on the conscienceless activities of the ad men…” Kingsley Amis, “The Space Merchants, clearly, is an admonitory satire on certain aspects of our own society, mainly economic…” “In The Space Merchants, we have some of the best satire of our times; it has The Hucksters beat us all hollow.” That was the Denver Post. This is what The New York Times had to say “…a civilisation built on the code of the huckster, where the account executive is king, and the captive audience is just that—a mass of helpless, hapless serfs, living by the law of the singing commercial.” See what advertising can reduce us to? And I stress, this book was written in ’52. A classic I’m sure it will turn out to be. Huck! I guess it already is one.

“Give me the airtime, and I will sell the Earth.”

Thursday, December 28, 2006

my land, my peoples

A picture's worth a thousand words. These are worth billions to me. They tell me the story of how almost ten lakh people can crowd into a 3-kilometre stretch, driven there by nothing more than faith.
The sweltering heat. The suffocating humidity. Fainting is common. Stampedes more so. All to see the Siblings on their journey once. To see the gods who take sick leave. To see a king turn into a sweeper. To get a hand on the ropes that pull the chariots. Just once is enough. It's the dream of a lifetime for many people. Driven by nothing more than faith.

Once a part of them, you lose your Self in the flow. Carried away by the fervour that each one emanates. It's a time to celebrate. A time to worship. A time to wish. A time to pray. A time that i hope never passes.

Ha!!

Indians make up one of the major human ancestry groups, with relatively little genetic differentiation among people from different parts of the country, according to a new study conducted in the US. "We were struck both by the low lewel of diversity amongst people spanning such a large geographical region, and that by the fact that people from the Indian sub-continent constituted a distinct group when compared to populations from other parts of the world" says Pragna Patel, who led the study.
And this is from the synopsis of the report
"....The authors performed an extensive investigation of Indian genetic diversity and population relationships, sampling 15 groups of India-born immigrants to the United States and genotyping each individual at 1,200 genetic markers genome-wide. Populations from India, and groups from South Asia more generally, form a genetic cluster, so that individuals placed within this cluster are more genetically similar to each other than to individuals outside the cluster. However, the amount of genetic differentiation among Indian populations is relatively small. The authors conclude that genetic variation in India is distinctive with respect to the rest of the world, but that the level of genetic divergence is smaller in Indians than might be expected for such a geographically and linguistically diverse group.
Ha! More ammo. You can read the full PSoS Genetics report here

Saturday, December 23, 2006

here by "unbelievable" demand

This post could also, alternatively, have been titled... And yes, that's the Page. Y'know, Jimmy of the dirigible band. Notice chai in hand. cheerio. pix off. purpose served. Full story still available. In person only. No credit cards acepted.

Monday, October 16, 2006

And a list of who I think are the three ugliest women celebrities (U.G.L.Y, not unattractive, UGLY!) of recent times: (in no particular order)
• Julia Roberts
• Barbara Streisand
• Stacy Ferguson aka Fergie
There you go! List complete. For now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

drawing a line

The more you immerse yourself in books – in words, thoughts, ideas, notes, footnotes, anecdotes, history, geography, historiography, et al – there’s one thing that screams out at you from every page: YOU KNOW NOTHING!!! And if this is what the pursuit of knowledge and ideas is all about, so be it. Because there’s so much we know, and that much more we don’t.

But what I know is that reading, and understanding, leads to one thing dangerous –opinions. And the minute you have an opinion – even if it is about the lack of hair on SRK’s chest – you draw a line. Between you and those who don’t agree. Between those that are with you and between those that aren’t, or even worse those diametrically opposite and in opposition to you. Ah! There’s so much we need to know…and so do you.

Monday, July 03, 2006

he too a blogger

Among other things, yours truly is also the official compiler [and editor] of a magnum opus full of aphorisms called “Life’s immutable rules according to JG’s parameters”, expected to be published any century now. As of today, it contains exactly one rule, “You can dance to Ironmaiden if you know the cha-cha-cha.” And the JG in question just happens to a friend of mine called Jubin George, and he too a blogger now. Take a look at his profile later. An avid Steinbecker, he can usually be found in the heavy-duty literature section at random bookstores across the city. And just when self thought "ok cool...almost figured out..." he comes up with this blog and the writing just is top-rate, in calrity of thought and style.

Religiously, he’s so pro-Christ, he believes the last true Christian died on the cross, no wonder he’s anti-church. This fellow’s a thinker, he is. He’s also a Commie. And as everybody knows, you can only be two of three things at a time: Intelligent, Honest and Communist. Find out which two, post by interesting post, at Jubin’s own Paradox Paradise. Like i said, he's a thinker. He thinks he's right. :)
And in other news, the football World Cup unfortunately ended days before its scheduled ending. Four years more.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

my land beckons…

Another haitus. This time brought about by that plagues most of us. Wanderlust. Or as Steinbeck would’ve put it, “…an urge to get away from Here.” And Here is everywhere that is everyday. This is the time. A time for unpredictability and the unexplored. A time for no agendas and aimless wandering with some purpose. Coursing through peoples and cultures of mine land. wandering and wondering at the bold richness that makes this place what is is. Everyday brings something or someone new. And isn't that something to look forward to?

So unless I do a Dharmapada for no reason, or the Juggernaut’s wheels take me, or both of which seem unlikely, regular thought processes, venom spewing, online dumping and such like should resume week after next, Tribhuvaneshwara willing.

Matthe siguva. Ati sheegradalli….

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hiatus. It's called. Brought on by various things like work, football, life and other such disorders. As a sign of life, i give you this week's PostSecret. sheesh!
And among other things, the portly artist currently known as Balraj (he of the late biriyani cartoon fame) takes his first tentative steps on the blogverse in the form of a QuantumLeap.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

David Beckham, in mine opinion, is a much better "leg spinner" than Anil Kumble.

one big cup

My money's on Argentina. The Boys from Brazil (no, not the little Hitlers Mengele cloned, the team) will unfortunately have to go back empty handed. There are many reasons for this. Reasons why Argentina will win: Messi, Sorin, Riquelme, Ayala Saviola, Crespo, Tevez, Heinze. Ha! Take that! One of the reasons why Brazil will lose: The Curse of the Black Pearl. In other words, Pele's said that Brazil are favourites, and going by his prediction record, it only means that Brazil will lose. So on that note, we watch now a mastercard ad from Argentina that tells us what we all knew: Argentina kicking the s**t outta Brazil: Priceless.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Calling all exhibitionists

Spotted: A hoarding (for a jeweller) next to Manipal Centre with big, bold letters that read, “Show the world your family jewels.” Now, here is one guy who needs WordWeb, linked to in this post, if only to know the difference between an exhibition and an exhibitionists.

An Amazing Post

Remember The Escapist? The amazing creation of the amazing Kalavier and Klay, whose story was so amazingly recounted by the amazing Michael Chabon in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay? Well. That's him below. Seen here at the mercy of a too-hot-to-be-dastardly Nazi who's not dastardly anyway, from a cover by Brian Bolland for "Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist". Amazing, ain't it?
Check it out and more, including stories about the amazingly real Kavaliers and Klays, the art of Mike Mignola for The Escapist, views and reviews, amazing insights into comics history, and info about the amazing book at The Amazing Website of Kavalier and Klay. And yes, read the book as soon as amazingly possible. Because as if ruining amazingly great comics by turning them into not-so-amazing movies wasn't enough, it's the turn of books about comics. The Amazing Hollywood is all set to amazingly ruin the book by making a movie out of it. Even with Chabon himself scripting it, you know how amazing these monstrosities can get. So get hold of this amazing book, and enjoy the amazing website. And yes, do take a look at the amazing covers of the various editions of the book in the cover gallery. And if you have the time, ask yourself, which one you would've like to own. So, enjoy and have an amazing time.

Friday, June 02, 2006

expression

Freedom of expression. Ok. Then how come the ‘secularists’ baying and braying to get the Da Vinci Ccode banned are baying and braying to get Fanaa a proper release in Gujarat? General disconnect happening. Whatever.

We have our Sardarji jokes. The Europeans have their Polish jokes. And the Poles in Poland (which is 95% Catholic), or in other words, the Surds of Europe, are laughing at us because The Code is being asked to be banned, when in Poland it had a free run. And it is banned in Punjab. Wonder why it is so in the land of Sardarjis? Oh. Sorry. That explains it all.

a haunting melody

Forget the spirits and the séances. Forget the pentagram, the candles and the necromantic chants. All you need is HIM's song. Check this out if you want to summon a ghost. Talk about ‘possessive’ musicians.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Treachery of Images

"This is not a pipe" declares Magritte, the painter. That's what the french words at the bottom say. And it's true. That is not a pipe. That's just a painting of a pipe. Guess Foucault agrees.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Reflections on an Ian McKellan weekend

Poor Ian McKellan. His characters seem to be getting a raw deal nowadays.

In one movie, he loses out to people who could’ve helped his cause, but have fundamental differences with his views. And ultimately he’s the loser.
In the other, he loses out to people who could’ve helped his cause, but don’t, because they have fundamental differences with his views. And ultimately he’s the loser.

The movies in question, of course, are X-Men: The last stand and The Da Vinci Code, respectively.

Watch X3 for some good action and the introduction of new characters and see some old characters lose theirs. The stage is set for more. If not anything, X3 looks like a clean-up act before an even better X4 turns up. The Da Vinci Code, not surprisingly, suffers from the usual limitations of the medium of cinema. And Tom Hanks’ habit of swallowing up syllables doesn’t quite help the cause either. Neither does the irritating and melodramatic background music which though ostensibly to heighten the ambience does nothing of that sort and instead just ends up irritating the viewer. But it doesn’t matter, because you’ve already read the book and know the ending. Do however , look out for the howls of laughter and snide comments and smart-alecky views expressed when the famous Disclaimer comes on before The Code.

But all said and done, both movies are worth a watch. Poor Magneto! Poor Sir Teabing! Well, the world needs losers, who might need a reason to get back in the sequel. At least, the Ian McKellan weekend ended on a good note with HBO airing yet another rerun of The Two Towers (no, not The Twin Towers!), the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and it was nice to see Gandalf the White charge down with the Eomer, and the Rohirrim to end the Battle of Helm’s Deep on a victorious note.

Well, here’s looking forward to X4, and the Magneto movie, and more LOTR reruns. Three cheers to Ian McKellan!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

how do you explain this?

What’s the difference between Casteism (discrimination based on caste) and Social Justice?
“Lower caste” people penalised for being born into a lower caste. That’s casteism.
“Upper caste” people penalised for being born into an upper caste. That’s social justice.

And what is Affirmative Action? Anything, just about anything, that looks like it may get you votes, give you power and feed your corrupt, anti-national vermin soul. No matter the high cost of such an action. The country be damned. Its future be damned. Reservation zindabad!

Jai Mata Di! Let’s metal!

HE smiles! Yes! Smiles in his new video for ‘I love you o Sayyoni!’ featuring the luscious Candice. Listen up as he goes “One time!” a la Wyclef. And for those of you who could not get enough of HIM, he’s acting!! Yes, Himesh is going to act in a movie next year. 27 hits in 6 months he’s given us. And now a hit movie? Wait and watch.
Also, Himesh has promised to compose a Heavy Metal song (whatever that is) for his new movie Hostel. So that should bring the metal boys into the HIM-fandom. Here’s wishing HIM all the very best.

This has been a Himesh Reshammiya update. What? You want to see him one more time? Ok. Here goes. Let it not be said that theBekku did not give you a glimpse of HIM when you needed it. Enjoy!

lost in translation?

The 'Legends of Khasak' has been read and loved. A masterpiece. The english translation, by none other than the author himself, i am told is good. The immortal characters, the eternal philosophy just touched upon, I lived in Khasak when I was reading it. In english, it's a great masterpiece (i reapeat) but the how and why the original created a storm in Malayalam literature is lost on you. As much as I understood the book – maybe because I have been to the Palghat area, or because I was born and brought up in a village, or because I know all the cultural/mythological/spiritual references OV makes – at the back of my mind, I felt I was missing something. Something more evocative. Something more closer to the heart. And all because i know not Malayalam. My bad. Because now the heart that wants more wants to read this:
Because at the end of the day, ‘similar’ does not mean ‘same’. Because an imitation, no matter how good and true to the original, is still not the original. Because...'The Legends of Khasak' is not the same as 'Khasakkinte Ithihasam'.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Branwell Brontë’s “Thorpe Green”

For no particular reason, but...
Because a beautiful poem such as this deserves to be read, understood and appreciated.
Because Branwell Brontë deserves to be read, understood and appreciated.
Because this poem had no place and it deserves much better.
Because Branwell Brontë deserves his due.

Thorpe Green
I sit, this evening, far away
From all I used to know,
And nought reminds my soul today
Of happy long ago.

Unwelcome cares, unthought-of fears
Around my room arise;
I seek for suns of former years,
But clouds o’ercast my skies.

Yes–Memory, wherefore does thy voice
Bring back old times to view,
As thou would bid me not rejoice
In thoughts and prospects new?

I’ll thank thee, Memory, in the hour
When troubled thoughts are mine—
For thou, like sun’s in April’s shower,
On shadowy scenes will shine.

I’ll thank thee when approaching death
Would quench life’s feeble ember,
For thou wouldst even renew my breath
With thy sweet word “Remember!”
Patrick Branwell Brontë
March 30th 1843, Thorpe Green
And Branwell Brontë is slowly getting his due. As more and more people come to know and touch his tortured genius through his words. Across the ages, you empathise. A broken man, a man who lived not up to his potential or his dreams. And he came to know that. Perhaps it was a sign of this perception that he should choose paint himself over in the portrait that he painted of his illustrious sisters. See this famous painting of the Brontë sisters? It was painted by Branwell.
See that patch of paint in the painting? That is Branwell painting over what would have been his self-portrait. Erasing himself. But they say the paint is peeling over, and soon maybe the world will see Branwell again. Just one layer of paint. It is a good sign perhaps, that this silent, self-effacing soul will once again see the light of day. If only through his beautiful words.

Friday, May 19, 2006

India First - An illustrative example

As was bound to happen, at a discussion the whole Da Vinci Code business and religion playing censor and all that, the name of a certain Hussain cropped up. Yea, the same one who shares his initials with Samuel L Jackson’s favourite 12-letter word. Anyway, his depictions of Saraswati and other goddesses came up. The whole goddess topic is a topic for another day. But what I want to focus on is what came next. As expected, his depiction of Bharat Mata came up. And not just was She included in the list of goddesses, but the question was also asked if it was “insulting to Hindus?” and “what do Hindus think?”. That my Motherland is nothing short of a goddess, I agree. But what’s with the “Only Hindus should take offence” thing?

Now, unless I am drastically mistaken and the meaning of these words have changed, Bharat Mata in Hindi is Mother India in English. Our land. Our mother. And since when did the personification or the term for our Motherland become a Hindu thing? Unless I am drastically mistaken again, no matter if you are a Hindu, Christian, Parsi or anything else, people of this land are all Indians. Hmmm…or is that not the case?

All this raises certain uncomfortable questions in my mind:
1) Should only Hindus take offence at an insult to our Motherland? And if she is depicted obscenely? Why? Why did not one member in that television audience (which is not saying much) have the sense to point this out? Should not Indians who are Christians, Muslims and Sikh be equally incensed? Or are you not Indians? I am not insinuating that only by being incensed at hussain’s depiction of our Motherland can you prove your Indian-ness, but it would help don’t you think? Especially when you were a member of the audience and supposedly have a brain and a voice. C’mon, in today’s times it’s the “minorities” that can claim anything and have more power. Use it for the best.
2) Shouldn’t everybody have said, “what do you mean Bharat Mata is an Hindu goddess?” I am not a Hindu, but I do think I respect my country and my country is as much mine as anybody else’s?” Or do you not think this, people?
3) Or are you agreeing that India is a Hindu country (which it ceased being a long time ago). It is not now. Not least in the way we use the word Hindu nowadays. We are “secular” now aren’t we? So in effect, you agree your duty lies with your faith first and your Country and your Motherland much later? For one, I think we are and should be Indians first.
4) Is the media and the so-called intelligentsia muddying the waters by equating Saraswati with Bharat Mata? I might even in some weird fashion reconcile myself with his other depictions, but not Bharat Mata. Because I see a basic distinction between Saraswati and Bharat Mata. Or is it just me?
5) More disconcerting about all this is the fact that by keeping quiet and not thinking, and not speaking when given a chance, this is will only give credence to the fact or the truth in some (fanatical) minds that at the end of the day people of other faith are “outsiders”. At this point, I do not think it amiss to mention one of the things that Hitler had against the Jews (whether true or misguided is not the question here). What he felt was that “The Jews are Jews first and Germans later. Not the other way round. The Jew is always a German Jew, not a jewish German.” You get the point. Are we walking down that path? Why feed the flames people?

Thus, in the small and little ways, we are letting ourselves be whittled away when it comes to national identity and a common object of pride and joy. This whittling away will not just erode our sense of unity, but also pare down our feeling of one-ness, and grow our minor distances into an un-crossable chasm. But by then, it will be too late to build any bridges. Let us nip these small things in the bud. Let us not let our narrow mindedness distract us from the larger issue. Let us oppose those people hell bent on creating differences among us, and are anti-national. Let us learn from our history before it’s too late. We don’t need another partition – either in our hearts or in our land.

So there you go, whether you are angry at or appreciate the art of depicting Hindu goddesses is your personal prerogative. But no matter which faith/religion we belong to Bharat Mata is still our Motherland, and even if it pleases your aesthetic sense, I think we should oppose his depiction of Her, which I must say even by itself is cheap, publicity-oriented and a piece of worthless crap. She is our Motherland, and let no one get away with insulting her, even if it supposedly happens to be one of us.
We may have enough chances and reasons and grounds to curse and kill each other based on our differences, but when the opportunity to rally behind a common love and to stress our inherent unity presents itself, let us grab it with both hands. And oppose Hussian's depiction of Bharat Mata. Now and later, even if we're disagreeing about something else.

sacrilege and a link to redemption

Finally just what we all wanted. A True Christian™ talks about the DaVinci Code movie. Straight from the sanctified keyboard of Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian. Read and understand.
And while you're at it, why not give a look-see to Spidey's (yes! Spiderman's) greatest bible stories, here and here. And remember to keep the faith. Remember to forgive those that have sinned, for they know not what they do.
'nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within[a] you."
Luke 17:21
Enter the Bible Gateway. For it is a long road to hell. Regret. Repent. Now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Just because….

….when the rains come down in nostalgic torrents during eventide, and the sweet smell permeates your emotions, you feel...
nahin nigah mein manzil to justajoo hi sahi,
nahin wisaal mayassar to aarzoo hi sahi...................................

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Like Mary said, “Come again?”

To “you” who opposes the release of just another movie. I will repeat myself, in the briefest way possible.

Da Vinci Code the movie may be delayed, and most likely never see the light of day in India. But don’t you realise that by opposing it, you are just drawing attention to the movie? It’s a work of historical fiction, dammit! The Eyyala in return wonders if the Vatican controls the country through St.Sonja. You would do good to look up Karunaidhi’s oft quoted expansion of the acronym AICC. Now coming back to the issue at stake, it’s just another viewpoint dammit. 40 million people have already read the book as per published figures. That does not includes the millions and millions more who have read it in pirated copies and through PDFs circulated worldwide. How much more damage, if any, can the movie do?

Also, under the guise of being secular, you are just acting so damn orthodox and ultra-conservative, not to mention insecure. The notion/theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene is not anything new. It has been around for ages, centuries even before Holy Blood, Holy Grail or the Templar Revelation or even The Da Vinci Code came out. Ha! How long do you think it is before Holger Kersten’s Jesus Lived in India catches the world’s imagination? How long before the publishers of Prof. Hassnain’s A Search for the Historical Jesus realise that they can capitalise on this controversy you have created yourself. Or for that matter The Second Messiah or Freke & Gandy’s Jesus and the Goddess. Imagine John Allegro’s publisher bringing his book into the spotlight again. And you know what the book says? Let me summarise it for you in one sentence – Jesus was a magic mushroom.

You say The Da Vinci Code will tarnish the the religion’s image? Wake up! Nobody could or can tarnish the religion’s image any more than you yourself and your predecessors have done. The countless genocides, the complete destruction of many cultures, forced conversions, through the centuries, across the world. All in the name of Christ who preached love. Do you honestly think that this did or does credit to your religion? To Jesus the Christ. And you say a movie will “tarnish” the image! Sir, if you truly believe that just a piddly movie can tarnish your religion's image, I don’t think you have too high an image of your religion in your own head.

Theologically speaking, you have put one too many eggs in a none-too-big box. And what is happening now is just the logical flow of history. And it will continue. Of course with the collective IQ of the world falling, may be not. Maybe your numbers will increase. All the best. Go man, read Baigent’s The Jesus Papers, that does more damage than a well-written pulp book like Da Vinci code can ever can.

Tell me, do you honestly think that a true Christian will stop being a Christian once he sees this movie? No, you say. Then why do you bother? Oh! I forgot, you need numbers, not believers or true followers. Is that the case?

Let me ask you this? Is the firm belief in Christ’s celibacy / single-man status a prerequisite for me to believe that he was The Son of God? Does the fact that he was married take away anything at all from what he said in The Sermon on the Mount? Think not. Yes, you may have some cause for concern say if somebody came out and said “Hey look at me, I am the descendant of the person who sprung from Jesus’ loins.” a la the Princes Anastasia case.

So let the movie release with all its fanfare. Don’t worry. The Christ you hold in your heart will still be the same. The Christ that you so adore will not change. Believe in your delusions, but don’t get in the way. Please. We need our mindless entertainment, thank you.

Hah! But in the end, all I can say is “Oh Lord! Protect me from your followers.”

Holy Boner Batman!

Time for some juvenile fun of the boner kind.

This classic sequence comes to us from 1951, Batman issue 66. Way back when Boner meant “An embarrassing mistake” or “A blunder”. Today of course with all the slang it means something else. What, you ask? Well….it means…umm…an erection, a hard-on, you know…atttenshun!!! So you can imagine the hilarity in this sequence when all go BONERS!!! Batman’s Boner! Joker’s Boner! Boners, boners everywhere. Whose boner is the biggest? Boners on the papers. HILARIOUS!!! Imagine. Joker trying to force Batman into a Boner!! And Batman hot on the case, studying the greatest boners of all time. And then Batman’s greatest BONER! And don’t miss the lat panel where Robin wishes and hopes that there will be no more BONERS! Go ahead.
Freak out on you-know-what. To see the panels in greater detail for better visibility, just click on the panels

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

get rid of (insert name here)

Presenting Permanent Solutions to Common Problems! Because the best place to put your problems is in a grave, all you have to do is give them a picture, and they'll give you an autopsy report! Just get in touch with them.

Credit cards accepted!
Note: Hitman is a cruelty-free organization. None of their services have been tested on animals (i.e. non-humans).

Many thanks to the Shanu for bringing this to our notice. little does he know. hehehe. *evil grin*

Friday, May 12, 2006

Butter fruit jam

The boys are back! A couple of songs have been listened to and it’s all good. Impatience as to the purchase of the CD is happening. Rocking!! The new album, some of the older, more experienced Pearl Jammers say is kick-arse, to put it mildly. Not that the new album will make any difference to almost 80% of Pearl Jam's fans here, they who have have no PJ experience beyond Ten. Anyway, the new album rocks. Except for the cover. Coming from guys whose art has always been as great as their music, this one, kind of sticks out like a sore thumb.
Just the name of the album (which is also the name of the band) and a butter fruit. The feathering is amateurish, the lighting and the shadows even more so? What do you graphic designers think? Is this a good cover? Is this a good design?

Wonder what Ament was thinking? Him of Ames Bros., being the brains all those awesome concert posters, previous artwork. Wonder what Eddie wants us to know? Or is telling us?Because the back cover features the same butter fruit, albeit without the seed.

Knowing Pearl Jam, its significance/ symbolism is something that will hit you right between your eyes when in the middle of the night when you’re savouring a cool breeze when you’re racing through half-empty streets after a long session with the boys and the songs from this album are playing in your head and the lyrics are gently drumming the sides of your skull. And then you’ll wonder “why did I not get this before?” and of course most likely you’ll be wrong. But still.

And while we’re on the topic, here is all those hundreds of great PJ concerts you’ve missed over all those years, in one place for your listening pleasure. Each concert in full, in totality. Eddie’s speeches and ramblings included. Crowd remarks, applauses, screams and all. A few nice radio interviews as well. Not to mention those live-only covers. So till we get our hands on the new album, let us make do with this. Turn those speakers on. And LISTEN!!

Someday, we’ll figure out the butter fruit.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Revenge of the Natives

English not your mother tongue? Does reading books by Indian authors who are only out to prove that they know English give you a headache? Are you still using outdated words like “shaped like a leaf” when what you actually want to say is “oblanceolate”? Then read on.

Do you often find yourelf at a loss for words, expecially adjectives and synonyns? Do you find your comprehension levels fall when reading something written by a person with a PhD in grandiloquence? Do words like pernicious, visceral, synaeresis, and postmodernism leave you stumped? Is there somebody you know who uses big words in a conversation that leaves you frustrated, because you don’t understand it and you’re too embarassed to ask and show your ignorance? Then read on.

Because now all your troubles are at an end. Now there is a solution! You can now increase your comprehension levels and add to your serverly limited vocabulary with just one simple download and a simple installation of a tool called WW. Simple to use, the only thing that will not be simple is your knowledge of English, or at least the words. Look at what happy users have to say:
• “Sooperaagide magaa” says Ramesha, a typist from Bengalooru who used this tool and is today the undisputed master of the adjective in his locality.
• Shreethamma from Kodagu says, “Now I can actually understand the meaning of the words that my city-bred, convent-educated cousin uses. What he’s trying to say is beyond me, but at least I understand the words. Thank you WW!!”
• Even Kaavya Vishwa from D-harvard uses our product. “I just internalised the words from about 5 books and used WW to find synonyms which I then pasted above the original words.”
• T.G.Shenoy in his usual magnificently obtuse and oblique fashion says, “The felicity of syncretism, in a neo-classical context when juxtaposed with the post-modernistic paronomasia and the dichromatic expression of the Fauvists is unfeignedly an augury of anaclisis and a splendid modus vivendi. Pederasty not included. And yes, the noetic prestidigitation of conjugal propinquity is not a sine-qua-non for the discernment of the zeitgeist of the present age and the ethos of the introuvable and the ineffable.”

See! As Mr.Shenoy has so kindly shown us, by using WW, you can even say intelligent-sounding stuff that doesn’t even have to mean anything. Total nonsense, as you can read in the para above. Yet, you will look like a star, a thinker and a true social commentator because the other ignoramooses will not want to admit they never did understand a word and will instead bow down to your superior intellect (read vocabulary) and nod their heads like Chennapatna dolls.

There you go. The wonders of WordWeb – the saviour for those of us for whom English is still a foreign language. Download now! Satisfaction guaranteed.

revelation of the month

ANTI-REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY WORKS!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

why people are not categorical

When You stick your neck out
When You put your neck on the line
Fools and enemies bring out the guillotines.

Isles of the Dead

This is a painting called Isle of the Dead. By a painter who was acknowledged as a master and an influence by none other than Di Chirico himself.

And this is the supposed homage, a variation of the painting above. By a great modern artist.
Just goes on to show you that no matter how brilliant and original the person – doing the 'cover' so to speak – is, he can never quite capture the emotions, the stories, the torment and the tranquility that the original artist captures in his creation. And all of it and more that went into its creation. In this case, Arnold Böcklin, whose original doesn't so much tell you things as much as it invokes ineffable emotions. While the 'cover' that is so cold, so precise and so impersonal is surprisingly by HR Giger. Yes. HR Giger.

It is not about technique, not about mastery or skill, but about what the creations is saying. The person who is covering may have his heart in the right place, but still. And speaking of covers and reworks that don't quite get or convey what the original says reminds one of that great song Diamonds and Rust. And in this context worth a mention, as another case-in-point. Originally by Joan Baez, D&R was her song about Bob Dylan. Which she wrote after they broke up, and the song that captures her hopes, her pains, her heartbreak, her love and hate and her fond and not-so-fond memories of Dylan. Ok? And then there is Judas Priest. Acknowledged masters of their art. The masters. And they cover Diamonds and Rust. Metal-ify it, so to speak. Nothing musically wrong, but can Priest's cover ever cover even half the territory and the emotion of the song? What were they thinking??? What was Giger thinking???? So there you go.

And speaking of variations, it is best left to the original artist himself. Like nobody could or can do better variations of Isle of the Dead than Böcklin himself. Just like Pearl Jam. No one covers or can cover Pearl Jam songs better than Pearl Jam themselves.

Friday, May 05, 2006

musical links and a download

One of the greatest advantages of having friends who don’t wake up, breathe and go to sleep on English songs is the little things musical that they throw your way. Of course it helps if you are ready to listen to them with no baggage in the head. Like this guy here, the Mall-Bong a.k.a Victory Janardhanan a.k.a. Viju. Not only does he bring to my notice one of the bestest songs in recent times ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ from Gangster, but also slowly tells me that the basic tune for that came from this 70s Bengali band called Mohiner Ghoraguli. And then goes out and gets the MP3 of Mohiner Ghoraguli’s Prithibi for you to listen. In one stroke, you get to listen to the bestesht song right now, it’s inspiration, get to know and listen to another great band in the form of Mohiner Ghoraguli.

Now coming to ‘Bheegi Bheegi’ which features the superb contemporarising and arrangement skills of Pritam, the awesome lyrics of Mayur and the amazing vocals of James, a Bangladeshi singer. In totality, a gem of a song. Apparently James and his band are a big name in Bangladesh. Listened to a few of their songs and they’re nice.

Another interesting nugget yours truly dug up was that when recording James was so petrified that the composer had to get him drunk to get him into the studio. So if James sings like this when he’s drunk, keep him drunk I say!! Bring on the whisky!! For James in this song has by far the best whisky-soaked voice i've heard in a long time. Even the Axeman agrees. So go ahead, Download it here. Sit back. Close your eyes. Listen to the song. See the emotions.

H for ?

This is the logo of the History Channel.

And the H does stand for History. Not Hitler. Really.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Another one bites the dust


Me best friend from college Prashanth Soans gets married today. Fellow Camel Walker Janakiraman is already married. Most Psyched Up is married. King Rattler was married. Thatha still is. So are many of the boys from the gang(s) and almost all the girls. Aravinda and Harsha’s families are on the hunt. Sam Da Man has picked up a scent and is walking straight into the trap. Bum chum GaddaMan could swing either way.

One by one they’re all falling like nine pins. Soon there will be no one left. Because you could be next. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

History is bunk

There is something to be said for the power of commercialism and the purely monetary Profit Motive. It has achieved what years of common history and centuries of a shared culture could not. Bring three neighbours (and a fourth) together to host the 2011 World Cup. It’s been done before, but this time, one neighbour’s new.

And it is these three neighbours – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – that cannot see eye to eye when celebrating that momentous moment in our history, the First War of Independence. Soon it will be the 150th year of that moment in our history when all of our people came together as one against a common enemy, an outsider. A unity that opened the eyes of the East India Company and the British to the strength that we had when we were as one. At that point all these three countries were India. Have we forgotten that? All the people in all the cities in all these three countries were one family. Yes, we have forgotten.

Sad it is. The emotion that is Greed can bring us together, but not the pride that is in Unity.

Anyway who cares nowadays? Who gives the proverbial flying F? And of what use is it anyway? Thinking of things that cannot be. Things that don’t touch us or affect our daily grind. Thinking things like this does not pay for the beer, neither does it help one score with that hot chick. Why bother when you can instead crawl up with the latest issue of Cosmo? Why waste precious time thinking about history when it’s much better discussing cell phone features and the latest episode of Desperate Housewives?

Who cares? Some do. Even if it yields no material gain. Even if it is only shooting air about ideas and opinions. And for those of you who belong to that minority, here is some more food for better thought.

You wanted Moore, right?

Apparently, youtube's embed code doesn't work as well as iFilm's. So here goes. The Alan Moore Culture Show – the BBC documentary in all its six parts and all its glory.

basic nonsense

Just think. Even a hardcore Sharon Stone fan falling asleep and that too when Basic Instinct 2 is in full swing. And that too after having said “No one gives a hard as Stone does. To see what I mean, watch Basic Instinct 2. Mind blowing stuff!” Poor Cow! Did not know that the best parts of the movie were exhausted in the trailer, and that the “other” best parts are best viewed from ones inbox or at rapidshare if one’s friend had a paid account and he gives you access to view the real basic instinct. Thanks Mall Rat!! (Mall as in Kerala, not Mall as in Forum).

Poor Cow! He deserved better.

The only rush of blood to the head (the one atop the neck) happened with just about 5 minutes of the movie to go, when the Digital Dolby Sound at PVR decided to go silent. And without any fuss, they continued playing the movie and next thing you know the credits were on and the screen started closing. Many grumblings later, the first of the confrontations with the congenitally stupid staff at PVR revealed to us the absurd notion of audio censorship “Sir, that’s been cut out. Only picture you can see, not sound.” Anger happened. More blood to the head. Exhortations to fellow viewers happened. And in jumped yours truly threatening them with dire consequences, not through a hot head, but through smart ass witticisms. Leading from the front, refunds were asked for. Or else we will give into to the baser instinct for dignified violence we said. And finally after many minutes, they played the last 5 minutes again, this time with audio. And it is at this point that I think the Cow woke up.

the new flavour of communism

For those of you who missed or might miss today’s issue of Asian Age, theBekku presents:


And now, my two bits:
“Religion is the opium of the masses” is a famous Marx-ism. Now it seems that Marxism itself has turned into a stimulant. And even God likes it. Gone are the days when it sparked off a struggle. The revolution! Now in a full-bodied flavour! And the next time you stop off at a chai kada in Commie Kerala (God’s own Country?), you might suddenly be asked to take a big invigorating sip of Marxism.

I suppose, when they meant Marxism, they did not mean this.

And in other news, seems like the guy in the old Moods condom ad where he hesitates to ask the shop owner for a condom need not hesitate or feel shy any longer. All he has to do now is stride confidently up to the counter, and ask for a bottle of Pepsi.

Savitri's mantra

Most people know now that the word ‘Hindutva’ was Veer Savarkar’s contribution to the lexicon. But there exists a word, though not often used, which gets geographical when it comes to the Hindus. That word is Hindudom. Though rarely used nowadays, this word means the geographical spread of our land, and beyond just the artificial boundaries that we have to live with today. And the originator of this word was a lady called – Savitri Devi Mukherji nee Maximiani Portas, also nowadays popularly known as Hitler’s priestess.

My association with Savitri Devi, if I may call it that, began in one of the many narrow and busy bylanes of Banaras somewhere by the Ghats, when I chanced upon this small book with the title “A warning to Hindus”. Today I thank my lucky stars I picked it up, because this small 1939 treatise has long been out of print, and the history of the book and the times Savitri Devi was living in, and the people she was in touch with, and her ideas about India all come through, nay shine through in this book. Her reasons for coming to India and her love for the Hindus might be construed as a little misguided, which to a certain extent it is, but no one can deny her love for this land, and especially for its people. “Europe is merely powerful, but India is beautiful” she said. She and her husband, Asit Mukherjee, also played the roles of spies during WWII passing on information about British officers to the Axis, and interestingly enough, played no small role in bringing Subhash Chandra Bose in contact with the Japanese. A polymath, a philosopher, a prolific author, spy, orator – Savitri Devi was all this.
To a large extent, Savitri Devi was also responsible for the origin of yet another interesting term “Hitlerism”, which in short is the metaphysical/ spiritual expression of the Führer ideas and philosophy or in other words NS mysticism. This being the case, she is also known as The "Mother of Esoteric Hitlerism".

To know more about this intriguing personality, go here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

down, but not out

mr.Tormentor is down on one knee, saying sorry, waiting for you to come back and give one chance to make up for lost time. please?
This came from the Glumster. "What do you call the calcium growth that is sometimes found in your nose?" Answer: A fingernail. Gihahahahaww...

A painting. By one master painter about another master artist.

in other news...

*click* …aur aap dekh rahe hain Sansani. App ne dekha ek ghar ki kahani jo durghatna mein khatam hui. Ab suniye ek rape ki darnkh kahani. Balaaltkaar!! Ha. Ek masoom ladki jisko... *click* ...and we’re here at Mumbai’s most happening nightspot, the night is still young and all the happening people are here, oh! Here’s this guy, hello sir! You look happy, tell me, how much would you pay to have a model’s clothes fall off on the ramp and… *click* vardaat! Jisme hum aapko dikhayenge k eek insaan apni hawas ki pyaas bujha ne keliye kitna gir sakta hai. Rajesh jisne… *click* and in our continuinf focus on alternate sexuality, we have with us a gay activist who feels that this woman-tuened-man is hotter than some of the women or men he’s met, lets ask him… *click* great offer! to buy the complete set of Tintin comics for less, visit ndtvshopping.com *click* aap dhoni ke hajaam rahe hain aap ko ab kaise lagta hai? Haan ji, mein dhoni ki cutting karta tha, pehlse se, unke ball thode wak hain lekin un zulfonka... *click* *click* *click* *click* *click* jhalak dikhlaaja, jhalak dikhlaaja, ek baar aaja aaja aaja aaja aaaaaja….jhalak dikhlaaaja........

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hmmm...

According to a CNN-IBN promo, Rajdeep Sardesai is the ‘face’ of Indian TV journalism. Hmmm…thought it was some other body part, like say, a particular orifice of the nether regions.

Rahul Gandhi says that if ‘the party and the senior leaders’ is willing he will take charge of UP. Hmmm…couldn’t he have just said “please mommy, can i?”

The Dalai Lama is out to improve Islam’s image. Hmmm….very commendable, but has responsibilities of being the ‘world leader’ finally started taking precedence over the responsibilities of freeing Tibet?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

find the truth in screen

What is a restless sole called? What is intuation? What are Manking? Have you ever taken a Fiancy? Find out, and also read about Pooja’s dead bodies in the synopsis of this storeys – The mot shattaring thrill.
In a politically correct world, plagiarism becomes "inappropriate similarities". How bad. So sad.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

V for Validation

Further to the sentiments expressed in this post, which agreed in principle and in fact with Alan Moore who'd washed his hands off the movie V for Vaanthi, here is Alan Moore agreeing in retrospective and in fact about all the other travesties that we have enjoyed in the past. Watch.
These might be highly incidental to the core issue of the Narmada dam(s), but these peripheral fallouts have been good:
• More people now know NBA stands for Narmada Bachao Andolan, and not just the National Basketball Association
• They know there exists a river called Narmada
• We all got to see Ms. Nafisa Ali scream her guts out on TV all virulent and vehement about nothing. We know she has a good voice.
• We now know Ms. Ali is more anti-Modi than pro-NBA (the Andolan, not the Association), and that Modi once called her a 5-star activist
• It has been proven that celebrities can turn "Activists" in less than 2 days flat
And this! Which could just mean that all the farmers who went in for the cheaper and more effective option of colas as opposed to actual pesticides might just be right

where are the answers?

The Narmada is back in the news. Why? Is the NBA against all the dams that will be built across the Narmada? Or are they against the Sardar Sarovar Dam in particular? If the flashpoint was reached when the height of the dam was increased in keeping with the judgement, are they fighting against the raising of the dam height? Would the people of the NBA be happy and pests like Arundhati Roy go away if the height of the dam was not raised? Or do they want the dam work to stop in toto? Why has it suddenly become a Gujarat thing? Aren’t Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra a part of this project as well? Well, all 4 states have been asked to submit status reports on rehabilitation, but why does Nafisa Ali, she who is on the NBA’s side, make it look like a Gujarat thing, or in particular an anti-Modi thing? Or is it a fight for proper rehabilitation? The picture is so hazy that the Supreme Court judge himself asked the NBA lawyer, “Is it a case of inadequate rehabilitation or no rehabilitation?”. Replied the NBA lawyer (who is either ignorant, lazy, or just can’t understand English), and this to the judge, “Read the Ministerial report. It is comprehensive enough.” Thus dodging the questions. So what is about? As concerned citizens, how do we make up our minds if we don’t get to read “ministerial reports”? If the dam is going to benefit millions of people, across 4 states, why has nobody yet raised the issue about the pros being more than the cons? All the focus is on the harmful effects of the dam, so who will take the side of the beneficiaries and speak on their behalf? Why is the beneficial aspect, if any, not highlighted? Why do we only get to hear Aamir Khan, Rahul Bose, Arundhati Roy give great sound bytes? Why is there not a single interview with the people who will actually be affected? And affected by the dam also includes those whose lives will be better right? Why is Medha Patkar going on a fast against whatever, right and why is Modi going on a fast for whatever, wrong? Or is it the other way round? Both sides interpreted yesterday’s judgment as a victory, so who is right? Where does the truth lie? What are the facts? How do we make up our minds? Who do we ask? We being the concerned citizens, yes, but informed citizens? Dammit.

Monday, April 17, 2006

waiting for virgin

The little boy had waited for the new set of Gothams to come. Months later he gave up. Now he waits for the time when he can go his friendly book seller and ask, “Have the Virgins come yet?”

Goodbye, elder brother.

Dr.Rajkumar. That doyen of Kannada cinema. Nata Sarvabhauma. Gaana Gandharva. Kannada cinema’s Dhruva Tare. Kannadigara Kanmani. Annavru. We can go on have a Dr.Raj sahasranama, and it would still be not enough. Respected in life, and insulted in death.

Dr.Raj. Bekadare avaru, karnatakada rajare aagabahudagittu. Aadare, avaru Rajana sthana bedayendu, sadaa Rajakumara aagiye ulidaru. That more or less sums up the man. In English it means, “If he wanted, he could have been the Raja (king) of Karnataka, but he chose to always remain a Rajakumara (prince).” A direct reference to Dr.Raj’s refusal to join politics, much like his contemporaries MGR or NTR had done. His calling was the arts he said. And he was a fine actor. And a fine singer. He also could’ve have gone over to Tamil cinema, but he chose to stay with Kannada, for which he’d said that he would do anything.

1982. The Gokak Movement. Kuvempu, Masti refused to join in. But Rajkumar when informed, joined in with all his heart and soul. “I am ready for any sacrifice for the sake of Kannada land and language,” he declared. And it was only then that this campaign went beyond just an agitation and truly became a ‘people’s movement’. That was the power of Dr.Raj. Till the end, he remained a humble man, epitomising the universal values of humility and peace. And he remained true to Kannada.

Here is another interesting fact. Dr.Raj began his film career in 1954, at a time when Karnataka as a state did not exist. It was only in 1956 that the state of Karnataka was formed, by which time, Dr.Raj had already endeared himself to Kannadigas everywhere. So in effect he was the first cultural icon of Karnataka. And as Karnataka went from strength to strength in the coming decades, so did Dr.Raj. And it was only right that the celebration of his fifty years in Kannada cinema, was fortuitously delayed. Because the grand function that took place to mark 50 years in cinema came at a time when we were celebrating Suvarna Karnataka, or 50 years of Karnataka as a state.

Over the years, he came to embody the finest in Kannada culture and became a role model for all Kannadigas. He went beyond being just an actor. So much so that when he sang “Huttidare Kannadanadalli hutta beku” it became an anthem instantly, and seemed as if he had captured the feelings of millions of Kannadigas into that one song. And it is for this reason that he was Annavru. Translating this word into ‘elder brother’ does not even begin to do justice to the word Annavaru, and the emotions that came with it when we called him that. His charm and the emotions he evokes goes beyond mere acting or singing.

And then age took over, and he died, to the sorrow of millions of us fans and admirers. Death comes to us all, but what happened next in this case is exceptional and shameful. We could go into many theories and detours and the many dimensions about what came to pass. But that is for another day, when the fog lifts.

But Annavre, the people who threw stones and burnt busses were not your fans. And you know that. They are not the abhimanidevaru whom you so respected and loved. But still Annavre, on the behalf of all of us fans and admirers, apologise for the way we behaved and insulted your name and your memory. Your last journey was anything but dignified, and you deserved more than that. And those of us who live on will have to live with that shame for the rest of our lives. As for me, that one last glimpse of you that i got was worth all the lathi-charge and the tear gas that came my way.

But you know who your true fans are. You started your career with Bedara Kannappa, and brought tears to many eyes, when in the film you offered your eyes to Lord Shiva. Even in death, you did good by giving sight to two people by donating your eyes. And inspired by that, many members of your many Abhimani Sanghas have donated their eyes. And these are your true fans, and the ones that will do you and your memory proud. Even in death you were a role model.

One last thing Annavre, you sang in that anthem ‘huttidare kannadanaadalli huttabeku,
“…Mundina nanna januma
Baraditta nanthe Brahma
Illiye, illiye…
Yendigoo naa illiye…”

And I will hold you to your words. And I know you sang true. You will come back. Dr.Raj is dead. Long live Annavru. Yendendigoo neevu illiye. You will remain forever in our hearts and minds.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Having played up to every man’s Lolita fantasies, she then moved on to being the hardcore soft porn blonde that set lots of loins afire. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and congressmen, we’re talking about the one and only Britney Spears. Best enjoyed on video with the sound on mute. A trailblazer in her own right, she’s done what you have fantasised about, but could never do – lock lips with Madonna. And as of today, her total album sales have reached the 85 million mark. Yessir, 850 lakh Britney albums sold. So if you haven’t bought her albums, your intelligent friends haven’t bought her albums. Who did? And what kind of people are those that actually buy Britney albums? Think. And if you think that people who buy Britney Spears’ albums are dumb dolts, with bad keyboard skills, guess what? You thought right. Because that great cultural indicator of our times Google, has kept tabs on those trying desperately to keep tabs on Britney. Hungry for information, and thirsty for knowledge about everything Britney (including dutty pics one supposes), they did the one thing that all of us do. Google her. But that’s where they give out their dolt-headedness. B.R.I.T.N.E.Y S.P.E.A.R.S. How difficult can it be to spell that, especially if you are fan, her worshipper? Not much you’d think. And here’s where we present Exhibit A. The prosecution rests. Thank you.

d.o.a.

We begin our slow crawl to death the second we are born. Maybe that’s why we come into the world crying. Some primal instinct that lets us know that the shadow of death follows in our every footstep. We’re Dead On Arrival. Each of us has come into this world with a fixed stock of years to live, or exist, as the case may be. Every year we live, we exhaust it from our supply of time left. And what better way to celebrate this than on one’s birthday. Where we wish each other, splurge on parties…and in some subliminal way living the illusion that we will live forever. Birthdays become a celebration of life. When in fact they are moments for mourning. For our time is fast approaching. Birthdays are reminders that one more year has passed. You’re older. And hopefully, wiser. And that’s a good enough reason, one hopes, to celebrate. If not for anything, for having made it to one more birthday…without dying.

Breathe. Breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid. Breathe. And now you’re shorter of breath, and one breath closer to death. (with due apologies to pink)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Testosterone art

Art seems to be going the metal way. Or is it the other way round? Testosterone Art? Never knew it existed. But sub-genres are always welcome eh? Like in metal, some of which include (just append the word ‘metal’ to every word)…Heavy, Classic, Thrash, Nu, Death, Black, Christian, Hair, Power, Progressive, Industrial, Melodic Death, Grindcore, Goregrind, Noisecore, Pronogrind, Metalcore, Gore, Doom, Gothic, Folk, Melodic, Epic, Symphonic, Ambient, Brutal, Viking...and still counting. Contributions welcome. Sorry, A Chunk Of Iron does not qualify as metal in this context. And no, Jethro Tull is not a metal band, even if Mister Anderson insists on playing a metal instrument.

And speaking of Testosterone Art, go here for the world’s oldest example of teen graffiti. Just shows, boys will be boys, and always barbarians.

Monday, April 03, 2006

gets into eeks!mode

This guy here. He writes so well, you’d have thought he was a writer. He thinks so well. You'd have thought he was a thinker. But no, he calls himself a graphic designer. George Supreeth. World famous in Bangalore. Well, almost. And he debases himself by saying, he’s into advertising. Technically yes, but not 'advertising' as i see it. George. Nice guy. Trained martial artist. Hellboy fan. Jesus impersonator. Comics freak. Thinks he's funny. Graphic designer. Those of you who may have marvelled at the interiors of the WorldSpace showroom on Brigade Road, know that it was George at work. His blogger profile makes for interesting reading. So while he’s a supreeth, he’s also prolific as you can read. Very modest he is, no? Then drill down to nibtitude and look at his sketches and his comic and finally amble down to Ixmod for some interesting, though-provoking reads. What's Ixmod? Ixmod is George's Bangalore-based design collective. Huh? Ok. In their own words, IXMOD stands for Integrated Experience Modeling, a design process which accounts for all the experiential aspects of your brand. Huh? Figure it out for yourself at Ixmod, the website, and see why these words actually mean something, and why our man here (shown below in an awesome self portrait [taken from nibtitude]) is so good. Or vice versa. Or nothing. eeks!

V for Vattay Vaste

Halfway through the V for Vachowski movie, this not-so-whispered conversation was overheard from the group behind us:
“Dai, do you know who wrote this story?”
“No, Who?”
“Ah! The Tchaikovski Brothers!”
“Oh really?!”

Yes, in as many words. Just sums up the kind of people who think that V for Vacuity is a great movie. And the kind of people that V for Vacuum in their head newspaper reviewers seem to targeting by giving super Star status to V for Vapid. But let’s say you do manage to get it out of your head that V for Vandalised was based on a graphic novel called V for Vendetta, even then, even as a movie, V for Vomitus is a vasted effort and time. And as the credits rolled in after the endless torment that was V for Veak and as as I was V for Vailing, this appeared “Based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd.” That says it all. No Moore. And yes, the word ‘based’ that is the keyword.

Just goes to show that great books should be left to themselves, and should be read and imagined, not seen. Comics fall through the cracks, but still care must be taken. Great stories should be told, not shown. Unless of course you happen to be Shankar Nag. Which nobody is. So leave them books alone. V for Venting Spleen over. And just in case you thought the movie totally and completely killed V for Vendetta, i leave you with what V (the real V, the one in the book has to say about the movie and his treatment thereof):

V lives. Because ideas (and great stories) are not just bullet-proof, they're also hollywood-proof. V lives. Go. Read the book. And look out for this panel. Read. The truth will set you free.
Ave atque vale

A letter to Rajdeep 'Cosmopolitan' Sardesai

This is a letter that was sent to Rajdeep Sardesai, currently of CNN-IBN today. Of course, he was informed in the letter that it would be posted on theBekku. The only alteration is that Sardesai's blog post in question has been hyperlinked below and not in the letter.
Dear Mr. Sardesai,
Ref: Your blog post and your program State of Bangalore

I read your blog post on ibnlive Southern Discomfort, how you have a way with words, sir!) and I thank you for taking the time out to think of us poor third-class citizens you call South Indians. You say news channels by leaving out cities out in their coverage are “breeding a growing sense of resentment and even anger at being left out of the news hierarchy.” Let me clarify sir.
We neither feel no anger neither resentment at being ‘left out’ as you put it, especially if that channel happens to be CNN-IBN. We have our local channels that speak to us in our own language, thank you. Speaking for myself, I have ETV Kannada News and Udaya News to see what’s happening in Bangalore and Karnataka. And these channels (who you leave out when you say ‘news channels’) also report national news if you did not know it already. Likewise, I’m sure that the people of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have their Sun News, Asianets and ETV to keep them up to date with what’s happening in their backyard, their state, the world and everything in between. In some areas, much better than ‘news channels’ (by which you mean national, English news channels) ever can or hope to. And yes, if your version of news means hours spent discussing fashion weeks, I’m sure we can live without that. We do not, I repeat, we do not, need you to get all righteously guilty and sob over us folks south of the Vindhyas. I appreciate your concern though.

So it was in this context wasn’t it, Sir, as you say in your blog, that you did the Eye on Bangalore series. State of Bangalore programme in front of the Vidhana Soudha. Well, I was one of the viewers of the programme and I do think I will share my thoughts with you.

Bangalore you say is more ‘cosmopolitan’ than Kannadiga. Thank you sir. First insult. Why an insult? Here’s why. Going by your behaviour and your views (stated and implied) during the programme, your idea of cosmopolitan came across or rather your definition of ‘cosmopolitan’ was:
• do not rename Bangalore to Bengalooru
• people need not (or was it should not?) make an attempt to learn Kannada when they relocate to Bangalore
• bars and pubs should be kept open till morning, or even better, should not be closed at all.

Sir, you have perverted the idea of ‘cosmopolitan’ and by saying Bangalore is more ‘cosmopolitan’ than Kannadiga, you have just insulted all us Kannadigas. I took a look at your face when the poll results came out. When 74% of the respondents said that they supported the renaming of Bangalore, you were shocked weren’t you? So what did you do? Tried to say that this couldn’t be right and turned to the eminent panel of Bangaloreans you had assembled and asked them, almost saying, “C’mon this can’t be right?”. When a majority of them also said, yes they did, you played a masterstroke. Turned to the people in the carefully chosen audience and asked, “Is that what YOU want?” and before we could see or hear more, you cut away to something else. Clever editing or cheap manipulation. And here I was thinking that the poll was supposed to reflect what the people felt. I did not know that when you meant ‘people of Bangalore’ you meant those people who were sitting as your audience.

One more thing, it’s not funny when you invite people on stage as part of a panel and muck up their names. Arundhati Raja should be called Arundhati Raja. Not Arundati Roy (or rai or whatever).

By the way Mr. Sardesai, Bengalooru is pronounced Bengalooru, not Bung-galore. But then you wouldn’t know. You are cosmopolitan. Who considers that learning a native tongue is anti-cosmopolitan. That closing bars at 11 is anti-democracy. You wouldn’t understand. You say future lies in ‘localisation’ and even in the context of news, you will always report it in English. How can you even say ‘localisation’ when what you want to say is ‘cosmoplitan’? Please sir spare us.

And yes, you’re lucky our Chief Minister is such a nice man. And you could get away with how you treated him. If it was anybody else, sir, I’d rather not think about it. Ok. So he’s not as conversant as you are in English. You in the role of an arbiter should have taken that into account, and not treated him like you did. He may not have felt bad. But I did. Have you heard him talk in Kannada? He would’ve taken you apart. But then, you wouldn’t have anyone speaking in their native tongue in your ‘cosmopolitan’ channel now would you?

So that’s that for now, Mr. Sardesai. I could go on. But I have better things to do than spend more of my time on a lost cause. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,
A proud Kannadiga,
Shenoy
Bengalooru, Karnataka, India.

PS: Again, a copy of this letter has also been posted on my blog at http://schrodingersbekku.blogspot.com
That was that then. The whole letter. Now, moving on to related news, my friend Jubin is of the opinion (and I agree) that CNN-IBN (and i paraphrase) manages the impossible task of being the worst of CNN and the very worst of NDTV. Couldn't have put it better meself. And by the way CNN could stand for Chicken Noodle News. Check out this blog, read the comments, and follow the links embedded in the main body.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Himesh, Himesh everywhere


Coming soon… Jai Mata Di! Let’s Rock! - The Himesh Reshammiya Tribute Album. A nod to the all-pervading presence and ubiquitousness of a man who seamlessly blends religion and rock-n-roll in a catchy all-exhorting slogan. And a way of us fans saying thanks to the man who gave such great classics like aashiq banaya aapne and made Tanushree sizzle to his beat. A fitting tribute to a man who made history by becoming the first music director ever to win the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer. By the way, if you haven’t picked up Aaapka suroor yet, what are you waiting for? Get it today. Ah! Yes, coming back….

A mammoth 2-CD pack, the Himesh Reshammiya Tribute Album will feature 4 great songs and 32 (yes, thirty two) great tracks. Total value for your money. Each great song will have eight versions – original edit, unplugged version, remix version, a mix of the remix, an instrumental version, an acapella version, a ringtone version and a dhoomph-dhoomph heavy bass play-it-loud-like-the-northies-when-cruising-down-brigade-road version.

Triskaidekophiliacs rejoice! Thanks for this cow. The album will also have a couple of Bonus Tracks – yet another version of the hit song - ‘Naam hai 13 13’ or for those who don’t think in Hindi ‘Naam hai tera tera’ and a new song ‘Cap ke neeche kya hai?” Look out for the music videos featuring Himesh Reshammiya on all music channels. News is that Emraan Hasmi has agreed to be in the video. So get ready for more Himesh Reshammiya. And rush to your nearest music store today and pick up Jai Mata Di! Let’s Rock! - The Himesh Reshammiya Tribute Album, and get a free Himesh Reshammiyya poster, Himesh Reshammiya T-shirt, a paste-on Himesh Reshammiya-style stubble. The whole Himesh Reshammiya kit. Cap not included.

And if you haven’t had enough of Himesh Reshammiya yet, here he is my favourite composer/singer/video star Himesh Reshammiya once more.
We wish you all the best sir. Jai Mata Di! Let’s Rock!

Monday, March 27, 2006

If you are of the kind that does not mind wasting your time in inconsequential causes, you might want to consider signing this.
Yours truly
Petitioner No. 49779

A continuum of absolutes

I am Shenoy. I am Shenoy’s son. I am Shenoy’s grandson. Shenoy was my great-grandfather. I will be Shenoy’s father. I am Shenoy. And I refuse to be the weak link.

And you thought human cultural existence is not a continuous nonspatial succession. It is…a continuum, but one in which the parts and portions are distinct and distinguishable from adjacent parts and portions. In their own time. We are the continuing. We shall be continued.

"...I’m coming home to my family
Where I can be strong
Be who I planned to be
Within me my ancestry
Givin’ me continuity........
......This is what my daddy told me
I wished he would hold me
A little more than he did
But he taught me my culture
And how to live positive
I never wanna shame
The blood in my veins and bring pain
to my sweet grandfather's face
in his resting place
I make haste to learn and not waste
everything my forefathers earned in tears
for my culture..."
from 1 Giant Leap's My Culture.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Makes you Think

Best American Weblog, Best Topical Weblog, Best Community Weblog, Best New Weblog AND Weblog of the Year : One blog won all this at this year's Weblog Awards: the 2006Bloggies. It's billed as an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard, and it's called PostSecret. These secrets can be anything and you should see some of the secrets that people send in. Makes you think. Frank Warren has also seleceted some of the "best secrets" and published it (other people's secrets which they shared with him) in a book. Makes you think. So, what secrets do you want to get off your chest? Ah yes, the postcard shown above by the way, you won't find on the blog. It's now in an online gallery. Makes you think.

Hmmmm....a collection of words which are often omitted from dictionaries, and are in danger of being eliminated from the English language. What! You must be joking, i actually know a few people who use these, half their vocabulary seems to come from The Grandiloquent Dictionary

batmanjokeralienpredator

Some have said it's the best Batman movie ever made. Just a rider, these comments were made before Batman:Begins came out. The best Batman movie ever made. No not Burton. But Sandy Collora. Even though it was made in 2003 and events have gone futher, nothing can take away anything from Batman: Dead End, a fan film by Sandy Corrolla. Great feel. Truly batman-ish and so totally Gotham. And in just 8 minutes. Shot in four days on a $30,000 budget, B:DE packs in Batman (duh!), Joker, Alien (yes!) and Predator (yes! yes!). How will puritanical Batman fans take it? But ok. Let a man have his fun. And if Collora's words are to be believed (which we must) even Alex Ross said something to the effect of 'best batman movie'. After all, it's a fan making a movie. Not money milking movie studios. What you waiting for? Here it is. Watch it now! Just hit play below.


A Dic-K's tale

The DIC(K) is made up of what was once a part of CONgress. Then Grand Old Man decided to take castrate CONgress in God's Own Country and the DIC(K) came apart from the main body. A powerful organ was taken away from CONgress. CONgress thought, "I don't need DIC(K). I have had no balls anyway, that too for over 50 years. So what use is DIC(K)?". But...DICK(K) Head then realised that on it's own any DICK(K) can't do much, so started looking for friends. And as everybody knows, all DICK(K)s have close neighbours in the form of arseholes. So DICK(K) Head turned to areseholes. And two nuts, especially the left one. Also, DIC(K) started having performance problems. But then, soon, CONgress wanted DICK(K) back. CONgress and DIC(K) then flirted around. CONgress made statements like, "We are deliberating on what to do with DIC(K)." Then CONgress Owner, and Commander of the Ball-less Brigade, Red Sonja (Author of 'The Sari State of CONgress' and soon to be immortalised in SICKOphantic's book The fArt of Sacrifice) said she wants DIC(K). "Get me DIC(K)", she thunders. Hearing orders, CONgress starts sends feelers (many feeers) to DIC(K) Head. And DIC(K) likes being felt up. So many toddy kuppis and midnight masala sessions later, CONgress and DIC(K) decide to get together, with CONgress using DIC(K) to fuck more people. So that is how things stand. Or are erect. Await further developments. Till then, DIC(K) is safe in the hands of the CONgress.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Speaking of inners

Those who live in glasshouses should not change their clothes with their lights on. Unfortunately, the Congress Party, I mean, Sonia ‘NRI’ Gandhi seems not to have known about this. Which is why they’re in the state they’re in. At a time when parallels were being drawn with the Emergency Days, and left with no choice but to resign, she did what she had to resign. But still saying “sacrifice”. And the definitions of the word ‘martyr’ seem to be changing. Sonia, I mean the Congress Party, thinks us all a bunch of fools, which I guess we are. That’s it. For a nice take on Sonia, I mean, the Congress Party, no, I mean, Sonia, go to the communal cow as he goes about Deconstructing Sonia, with his trademark puns, neologism and spelling mistakes.

This is Inner Voice Ver2.0. Go, know more about the high falutin’ Inner Voice Ver1.0. And yes, NRI means Not Required Italian.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mera Rang de Basanti…


During one of our many conversations, the Communal Cow made a very valid point. He is of the firm belief that all is lost on a generation that needs a popcorn entertainer to tell them about their heroes, their history and those who came before us. To paraphrase him, a generation that needs aids such as this to rekindle their pride is doomed and is useless. Which is why he has come up with his own version of Rang De Basanti’s byline, “A generation weakens” he says. I think I quite agree. But that’s not to take away anything from the movie and Mehra’s efforts. We do what we feel should be done. But at least the Communal Cow got the point that the movie was trying to make. Which brings us to the point of this post. And it’s not a review (there’s enough of them already), but merely an attempt to clarify certain aspects of the movie, considering how many people have fallen for the red herrings, so to speak. So let us try and clear the fog about this masaledaar hindi movie that has all of us talking.

Is RDB about crashing MIGs? Is it about our brave pilots who lay down their lives while piloting those flying coffins? Yes, some would say. “Did you not see the last slide that came on before the credits started rolling? It said that the movie is in honour of our brave pilots.” They will tell you. And it’s at this point that we need to understand that at the end of the day, RDB is a film, a movie. And all good movies have something that is known as a ‘plot device’ which is simply put, a thing/concept/person brought into the narrative to influence/ advance the plot of the movie. Now this MIG plot device (in the context of the movie) could have been anything else. It could have been a train accident, an innocent victim caught in a smuggling racket, a viruddh-type justice denied angle or even a clichéd gangster thingy. That’s the point. These are all clichés. And would these alternatives have grabbed your attention as much as the MIG angle did? Think not. Any film maker, even if it is Vikram Bhatt, will try to bring something new and unique into his movie, and with RDB the case would have been more so, and Mehra could not have chosen a better plot device. Also, by choosing this particular one, he has also managed to bring attention to the state of our air force’s planes and our pilots. But this specific thing is just peripheral to the point that RDB is trying to make. And yes, the last slide is just an afterthought (I think). Remember the rouble that RBD got into with the defence ministry? Most likely, it was just inserted there to calm the nerves of those in the ministry who (like the people who inspired this post) thought that Mehra is making fun of the Indian armed forces.

So getting back to our point, what this MIG plot device also helps do is take the story forward by linking the MIGs with the Defence Minister who is (quite intelligently) equated with Gen. Dyer. Now, here again many people think that this comparison calls for a total suspension of belief and is totally far fetched. Two things. Firstly, it’s not as farfetched as you would think. Instead of our enemies from outside, our enemies today are our own people. Think about it. And secondly, don’t forget that RDB is a masala movie, not a historical documentary. But it achieves more than a hundred other masala movies could.

Another objection that some people have raised is that through RDB, Mehra is telling us all to take up arms and go around killing politicians/other assorted termites in the system. No he’s not. But it wouldn’t be such a bad thing now, would it? Anyway, if you see the movie, and listen carefully, the answer is right there. Join the IAS. Get into politics. Join the police force. Change the system. Ho many people will you kill? Kill the fault in the system, not the propagators. Again here, it should be pointed out, the assassination of the minister is just another plot device, albeit a truly farfetched one practically. But like Bhagat Singh himself said, “Jo ooncha sunte hain, unko sirf dhamake ki awaaz sunayideti hai…” Close enough, I guess. And this is exactly what RDB tries to do. Be an explosion that opens the eyes of at least some people. But at the end of the day, let us not forget, it’s just another bollywood movie starring Aamir Khan, with music by A.R.Rahman, and that the MIGs and the ministers are just plot devices.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hinglish? You said...

This post was actually sparked off by a comment in response to Jugular Bean’s comment on the FORK OFF! post. Thought it should be pursued further and here is the result in this format:
Film name
Hindi song
English translation

Rishtey
Apna banana hai…
This is our banana…

Suraj
Bahaaron phool barsaao, mera mehboob aaya hai…
O spring, shower flowers, my beloved is a nanny (aaya)…

Yaara Dildaara
Bin tere sanam…
These bins are yours, darling…

China Town
Baar baar dekho, hazaar baar dekho…
Look at bar bar, look at a thousand bars…

Ijazat
Mera kuch saamaan tumhare paas pada hai...
Some of my saamaan is still with you…

Tezaab
So gay yeh jahaan…
This world is so gay…

Teesri Ankh
Chugg de punjabi…
Give me a chugg, you punjabi...

Rock Dancer
You are my chicken fry, you are my fish fry...
You are my chicken fry, you are my fish fry...

Raju Chacha
Tune mujhe pehchaana nahin...
The tune did not recognise me...

Yeh Mohabbat Hai
Bechain mera yeh dil hai…
This heart of mine is without chains…


Well. Guess that's enough for now. Please add to the list. Uuse comments box. Smile.

1 of only 4

If someone wears this limited edition t-shirt, is he homophobic? or is it just nascent xenophobia? Ah! But how it pleases me.

Beauty? What beauty?

For years, beauty pageants, have been going on. And forever they have been mired in controversy. The women’s rights organisations blame beauty pageants for ‘exploiting women’. While others have gone on record saying that events such as Miss India are nothing but skin shows. To all of which assorted organisers have come back with the same reply, “…not an exploitation of women. Don’t call it a beauty pageant, because intelligence also plays a big role in a [half-naked] woman winning a title…” So on and so forth. And wonder of wonders! This time the organisers of the Ponds Femina Miss India contest have actually stayed true to their words. They have gone beyond mere anatomy, bikinis and good make-up. Just take a look at the winners. They definitely don’t look like the winners of a ‘beauty’ pageant. Far from it. And no amount of make-up can save them it seems. Also, looks like reality TV has also taken its toll, and the winners who got the maximum votes got them from the congenitally blind.

Finally ‘inner beauty’ has been rewarded over shallow, skin-deep Maybelline/L’Oreal-enhanced external beauty. Has to be. There’s not much that’s externally beautiful about this year’s Miss India winners. But they ‘look’ intelligent. And if you’re thinking that intelligent women have to be necessarily unattractive, think again. Take a look at yash birla. So, has a new age dawned? Can we expect an IQ round at next year’s pageant? Will Mensa be a proud sponsor? Shall we see dissertations being presented? It’s too soon to tell. But a fine start has been made. On an a side note, hopefully next year’s bunch of ‘intelligent women’ will a lot more pleasing on the eye. After all, it is us poor folk who will soon (very soon) have to watch these crusaders against poverty and champions of the underprivileged in a hot-n-steamy bollywood item number.