Saturday, December 1, 2007

Democrazy Now!!

“The caste into which one is born remains for life.”
- Supreme Court of India. (on the Caste confusion of a (formerly) SC student)

In a country trying to battle casteism, for what seems like eons, the Supreme Court sure has landed a lethal upper cut to the spirit of equality. That being said, I don’t hold them directly responsible for their statements. The situation has gotten thus far, much thanks to our “secular” Congress led, UPA government. If we recognize castes (which isn’t very much different from the caste system of times gone by) then the same rules must be applicable as they have been before. Namely, your being born into the caste of your parents, however inferior or superior; Hence, no fault on the part of the SC.

What is even more disheartening and disappointing, is, that the way things are today, a person with no claim to a “caste status” prefers the labels society is willing to attach. I don’t mean to label the girl, as the need for SC status on her part may be due to impressed circumstance. But then again, I make no assumptions that her reasons are justifiable and understandable. She could just be one of those people ready to exploit the flaws and weaknesses of the system. Either way, this fact is unknowable to me at this time. So with benefit of the doubt, it can be assumed, that a system so warped in its need for strategic disempowerment is capable of forcing the tilt to extremes, and provide more avenues for misuse than for the intended upliftment of the masses.

In other caste news, Tea growing “adivasis” of the Assam region have given an “ultimatum” to the powers that be, to enlist them in the ST lists. I could be persuaded to believing that the tea industry has been doing pretty badly over the past decade or so, and that this has caused the economic bereavement of the tea tribes. But rather than request industry based economic impetus, the far easier route of SC/ST/MBC enlistment seemed far more viable. This might be a simplistic view of the tea tribe problem and I will accept that criticism.

Needless to say, all this is just part of the puzzle I like to call, the Façade of Democracy. From strategic disempowerment, to restrictions in freedom of speech, to a willful sidelining of the people’s interests, “the free world”, today, is a lot more willing to show its true colors. In the true spirit of freedom of speech, Taslima Nasreen would not be forced to delete parts of her book (not to mention that the Speaker and Centre have applauded her for this, rather than control the miscreants), nor would songs have to be re-written as they hurt the sensibilities of certain groups, or musicians sidelined for voicing their opinion in the “free world”.
On a completely unrelated note, for those that haven't read it, this article about the Malawian resurgence from famine to surplus is a must-read.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forgiving Eva Kor/Pugh/Hercules

It’s been a while since I have blogged about anything. It had reached a point where I was thinking about having it deleted. Then I watched the documentary, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” and I realized why I do have this space.

The documentary revolves around Eva Mozes Kor, a holocaust survivor, part of Mengele’s experiments on twins, consisting primarily her version of what happened at Auschwitz, and a comparison of the emotions of the other survivors of the twin experiments. The movie obviously had great reviews. It’s one of those topics that no one dares to voice a contrary opinion about.

I too, for a large part of the movie, got sucked into the emotion that the movie-maker so obviously wanted the viewer to concentrate on. One of the user reviews on imdb by Eric Monder (obviously having nothing critical to say about the issue on a public forum) could only find the sweetest nectar.
“In one of the many dramatic sequences, as a group of Jews argue with Kor at a Jewish centre, the meaning of the word "forgive" is even debated, but the isolated and outnumbered Kor holds her own”

But by this time, the sappy hold that the movie had on my dormant emotional repertoire had let loose enough that I could see clearly once more. After the “strong-willed” Eva Kor forgives her “Nazi captors” the movie begins to delve into what forgiving is all about, at least from the viewpoint of Kor. The movie goes about following her, past her public statement forgiving the Nazis and into new territory. To me, this was the meat of the movie, surrounded by inedible fat of her “act of forgiveness”. Obviously, it was a very sick cow.

On a mission to test her theory of forgiveness, in order to heal wounds of the past, she makes her way to the “promised land” to meet with some Arabs, to discuss with them the issues that they face and to see if dialogue cannot lead to a better understanding of the situation and heavily interspersed with debates and discussions with Jews in the US on her act of forgiving the Nazis, including one at a Jewish center in Chicago. From then on, anyone not so teary eyed that they can’t see the screen will find it hard-pressed to miss the obvious contradiction in her statements.

Firstly, you immediately notice her body language, defensive and unwilling to listen in a room full of Arab scholars and teachers. Her comments about how she feared that they might kidnap her shows how much of a waste of time, effort and money the entire act was. A rather annoyed Dr Sami Advan (Professor of education at Bethlehem University) gets it just right when he tells Kor off for a statement she makes about how she would rather be asleep in her apartment.

Finally, the debate at the Jewish center in Chicago, where she is “grilled” on the meaning of forgiveness and her right to do so, in the wake of those that continue suffering through the trauma of the acts.

I will cut to the chase. By the end of the movie, I was hoping I hadn’t chosen to watch the movie. The movie was badly made, failing to delve deeper into anything about Auschwitz apart from the purely trivial, just sufficient to make sure the holocaust is refreshed in the viewers memory and to incite a barrage of tears. It showed that Kor, the subject of the documentary was unable to engage in fair discussion. Her discussion abilities were limited to parroting her stance on forgiveness (at best) to a complete unwillingness to listen or participate.

Lastly, is everyone so retarded today that they can’t notice the difference between making peace and forgiving? Quoting another halfwit off imdb lustyvita, “I don't see her forgiveness as being weak- quite the contrary, she just wanted to relieve its hold from her soul, she wanted the suffering to be over, so she let it go.” That would be the perfect layman’s definition of MAKING PEACE.

I guess, in a world of propaganda, blind faith and political correctness, there is no room to question those that have “gone through more than the human mind can fathom”.

P.S. The dictionary certainly should go into all those Books-to-buy lists everyone keeps making.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hair Is Gone!

The Losing Battle of Uber-Patriotism

Uber-Patriotism is the phenomenon (as perceived by my limited faculties and partial knowledge and understanding of the term) of over-zealous nationalism and patriotism. Uber, German for super or often over, along with patriotism creates some of the worst kind of excesses, the excesses that created the Hitler’s and the Mussolini’s. Anyway, I am not here to discuss the effects of uber-patriotism in history, or its continued effect on world politics and the Middle East, or even the "war on terror", how the United States has been zombified into believing in things that don’t really exist.

This might be stretching too far into the past, but it certainly is still in touch with the trend that is growing in present day India. Uber-Patriotism is a steadily growing phenomenon in India. The film Industry has certainly caught onto this sense of shallow patriotism and cashed in. The Rang De Basanti’s, Chak De India’s, Lagaan’s, Sivaji’s etc. I could go on. This millennium has certainly seen a lot of bollywood "enthusiasm" into the patriotism genre, raking in the big bucks. But this isn’t about the intentions of the movie makers, however noble/ignoble . Its about how we have allowed ourselves to get caught up in the grip of uber-patriotism.

It was sad, for me, as a starry-eyed, quixotic, almost over-zealous patriot, in my mid-teens to see the lack of any spirit of patriotism in the average indian. The ever-ready question, "Aap kahan ke ho?" (where are you from?), to indicate that you are different from them (and to those that lack the background, I am talking about Indians asking people that are obviously indians). But just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does (though the starry eyed boy is long gone).

The pop-culture of patriotism means you have the indian flag waved around on every damn occasion, more pomp and show on days of national celebration, more movies celebrating the national spirit but at the end of the day, you notice that most of it are just words. Empty, shallow words, that have no actions attached to it, nothing of significance to make you stand and take notice.

Anyway, the rambling must stop, let me get back to what originally got me here, the "stretching into the past" that has forced me to make this post. This was a forward that made it’s rounds a few years back. Perhaps more than a few. The gist for the vast majority that won’t bother reading it is, how the current national anthem is in praise of our colonial rulers and hence does not warrant its place in history and certainly doesn’t warrant being the national anthem. The forward then urged unequivocally, that everyone, "united in breath" ask for it to be replaced by Vande Mataram.

Now let me take this opportunity to dispel any notions that might indicate that I have anything against either of the two songs. Both were born out of the minds of literary geniuses. The point to all this is how easy it was to generate mass hysteria, that we as free indians continue to sing the adulations of our colonial miscreants and in doing so, lower ourselves to our slave status, and hence required the urgency that no other matter deserved. The starving millions, the poor federal reserves (at the time) and the countless other problems faced by the nation were all of secondary importance as we prioritised our need for a national anthem that truly forged in our minds the idea of independence. A hyseteria born out of pure speculation and if the same sources are to be believed as the ones that generate the rumour, then the writer very well knew what he was doing.

But irrespective of the intentions, as sensible indian’s that understand the meaning of the word patriotism, shouldn’t you be more open to interpretation than what the original author intended? Should we dismiss all great literary works because its topical relevance contradicts our belief system? Or should we just take a more rationalistic, non-sensationalistic approach to the whole thing, realise that even if the author wrote the song in praise of our evil over-lords, to the vast majority of a billion indians the song is simply, a song in praise of the motherland?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pot Pourri

I love food. I must confess, I haven’t always loved it. Getting me to eat when I was a kid was… difficult. I hated breakfast. My mom had to force feed me scrambled eggs. I don’t like the runny whites in a sunny side up, and early in the morning, with making breakfast and lunch for her boys, I couldn’t very well expect her to make it bone dry. And she had to force feed me because she found out I wouldn’t eat lunch. I was busy running around school during the lunch breaks. I’m glad I did. I wouldn’t want to look in the mirror anymore if I did eat all that she gave me for lunch. A few more kilos certainly would hurt.

Those days changed when I went to Delhi. A boy that wouldn’t eat one handful of rice, or one chapatti, now seamlessly devoured 8-10. My mom would cook enough in the morning for lunch and dinner so she wouldn’t have to cook twice and the little devil that I am, I enjoyed making her go cook again. But in my defense, I used to help her cook and clean, or any little thing I could that she would allow me to do.

Ever since then, I have been obsessed with food. From grossly underweight to undeniably over-weight, and living in three out of 4 cultural hubs of the country meant I had the fortune and opportunities to sample “local” cuisine. And now I love food even more. I expected the romance would end as I would be forced to enter the “female domain”, but it hasn’t been so.

Hoping that my appetite for good food will remain consistent over time, I decided to make my own list of Must-eats, like the 50 Things to eat before you die list that BBC viewers created, but unlike BBC, you are not welcome to vote or append my list. I would like to think my list is a bit more global, a lot more “worldly” and definitely less prejudiced than those stinking pommy bastards that voted fish and chips numero uno. But you may comment, for the sake of free speech and bullshit.

This list isn’t a list of cuisines I have sampled. In fact, chances are, I have never eaten any of these. But then what is the fun of making a list of must eats that have already been sampled. That would limit the possibilities and make this redundant for my own personal benefit. In making this list completely new to myself, I have opened a venue onto myself of places to see and things to eat. So this is a working and constructive list, rather than an omissive list that chooses to critique dishes and recipes. In the end, my list isn’t necessarily a list of Must eats, as much as it is a cultural exploration, which provided with sufficient time and money, I wish to carry out during my time on this shithole we call planet earth. As I said, this is more of a cultural exploration, so don’t expect to see single dish names, but generally cuisines I think I will enjoy and the types of dishes named are just illustrative, and I hope not to limit myself to those when the actual opportunity arrives.

  1. “Roof of the world” at an average elevation of 5km, Tibet. Home to the now exiled Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, home as well to the Momo and Butter Tea. Tibet’s proximity to the Indian and Chinese civilizations doesn’t say much about its cuisine, its isolated location within the lap of the Himalayan mountain ranges and its cold harsh weather promises an entirely different variety of cuisine. The momo was recommended by a friend and hopefully companion on these gastronomical expeditions. In addition to these two, the mountains find themselves to be the home of the Yak, a low-cholesterol, low-fat beef replacement. Whether as a “spicy stew” or a juicy rib-eye, I can’t bother much. It will be fun meeting the prospective future of beef!

  2. World’s Food Fair; Honk Kong. The fusion of eastern and western cuisine, without being blasphemous (or so I presume). Ruled by the british and now part of PRC, they probably have the best expertise at attempting this sort of fusion. And where else can you get shark fin soup! Alright, lots of places, but I’m sick of Chinese cuisine and this is as close to Chinese food I will allow myself.

    @ The Yung Kee Restaurant
  3. 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong

  4. “The American Bison is a bovine mammal, also commonly known as the American Buffalo, or simply buffalo, something of a misnomer as it is only distantly related to either of the two "true buffalos": the Water Buffalo and the African Buffalo.” – Source Wiki

    “Bison is one of the fastest growing segments of American Agriculture. The bison is very low maintenance and a very efficient grazing animal. Bison meat is much lower in fat and cholesterol than other meats but it maintains a very high protein level. Bison meat has a clear-cut advantage in our 'heart healthy' society.” – Iowa Bison Association

    SpeciesFat (g)Calories (kcal)Cholestrol (mg)Protein (g)
    Chicken *7.411908923.09

    Source: The Buffalo Shop, USDA National Nutrient Database

    And it cooks faster :D. Less fat, less insulation, less heat and time needed to cook the same meat. Flipside? Overcooking is a serious danger and can leave the meat dry. But I’m not worried, I’m getting my steak cooked by a pro. Who said health food can’t be tasty?

  5. To the land of the rising sun, to learn their art of marketing, manufacturing philosophies, and business stratagem. Who am I kidding? I’m going there for their Sashimi, Shochu, Awamori…

    Japan has some amazing alcoholic beverages. I was lucky enough to have an uncle who totally hated it at first taste and wasn’t tolerant enough to give it a chance. As I said, his loss was my gain and a full bottle of sake is certainly a nice gain.

    A bit of yakitori (bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, served with tare sauce, which is basically made up of mirin, sweet sake, soy sauce and sugar) with Awamori (alcoholic beverage indigenous to and unique to Okinawa, distilled) sounds good. They suggest a beer with your yakitori. But awamori sounds better. The booze actually catches fire at 120 proof.

    I’m still a bit queasy at the prospect of eating raw fish, so until I can get up the courage, I’ll stick with Tataki, a variant of Sashimi that has raw Tuna/Beef seared on the outside. Served with spring onions, ginger and garlic paste. Is it blasphemous to have wasabi with this, will surely make for an eye-watering experience. Shochu sounds great to wash it down.

  6. Mother Russia how are you sleeping
    Middle winter cold winds blow
    From the trees the snowflakes drifting
    Swirling round like ghosts in the snow

    Mother Russia poetry majestic
    Tells the time of a great empire
    Turning round the old man ponders
    Reminiscing an age gone by

    Mother Russia
    Dance of the czars
    Hold up your heads
    Be proud of what you are

    This is the last one of the first installment. I can’t stand it anymore!!! The more I read about the stuff I want to eat (eventually!!!) the more I WANT to eat it, NOW!

    Botvin`ya (typical cold Russian soups, that almost went extinct because it is very hard to make)

    A full botvin'ya consists of three parts:
    1. The soup.
    2. Boiled "red" (most prized) fish (salmon, sturgeon, or stellate sturgeon), that is served separately from soup.
    3. Crushed ice, served on a separate platter or cup.

    It is eaten as first course or right after a hot soup, before the second course as an appetizer. You have to eat it with two spoons and a fork: the fork is used to take the fish, the first spoon to sip the soup and the second spoon to put ice into the soup, so it stays cold for a long time. Botvin'ya is eaten with fresh rye bread.

    Veal Orloff (braised loin of veal, thinly sliced, filled with a thin layer of pureed mushrooms and onions between each slice, and stacked back. It is then topped with bechamel sauce and cheese and browned in the oven.)

    Kvass (fermented mildly alcoholic beverage made from black or rye bread, alcohol content is so low, 1-1.5%, often flavored with fruits or herbs such as strawberries or mint.)

    Meat Solyanka (ingredients like beef, ham, chicken breasts, and cabbage, together with salty mushrooms, cucumber pickles, tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, allspice, parsley, and dill are all cut fine and mingled with cream in a pot. The broth is added, and all shortly heated in the stove, without boiling.)

    Okroshka (cold soup, mix of mostly raw vegetables (like cucumbers, spring onion, radish), boiled potatoes, eggs, ham with the beverage kvass.)

    Shashlik (a form of Shish kebab, generally beef, pork, or lamb)

    Pelmeni (usually made with minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough (made out of flour and eggs, sometimes with milk or water added). Often various spices, such as pepper and onions are mixed into the filling. Pelmeni are eaten by boiling in water until they float, and then 2-5 minutes more. The resulting dish is served with butter and/or sour cream.

Imprint Of My Mind: Untitled - The Boredom continues#links

Imprint Of My Mind: Untitled - The Boredom continues

"Aseem’s living condition was obviously at odds with his means. The President of a fairly successful sugar mill had no reason to tolerate living conditions that he had become accustomed to. Yet somehow, a glance into the lower level of his apartment would make anyone squeamish. However, the upper level was treated a lot more like a living space. The den, having been converted into a reading space, also housed all his business and work attire. It seemed to be an entirely different house from the lower level... "

Friday, July 27, 2007

Postcultural Narrative and Dialectic Deconstruction

1. Dialectic deconstruction and posttextual discourse
“Art is part of the dialectic of consciousness,” says Marx; however, according to Hamburger[1] , it is not so much art that is part of the dialectic of consciousness, but rather the absurdity, and eventually the collapse, of art. If posttextual discourse holds, the works of Spelling are reminiscent of Smith.

“Society is intrinsically used in the service of sexist perceptions of class,” says Debord. However, dialectic deconstruction holds that the task of the poet is deconstruction, but only if sexuality is distinct from language; otherwise, we can assume that the State is dead. The subject is contextualised into a dialectic Marxism that includes consciousness as a paradox.

In the works of Spelling, a predominant concept is the concept of subcapitalist truth. In a sense, Lyotard suggests the use of dialectic deconstruction to read sexual identity. The characteristic theme of the works of Spelling is not materialism as such, but postmaterialism.

The primary theme of von Ludwig’s[2] essay on postcultural narrative is the role of the artist as poet. But Foucault uses the term ‘neoconstructive cultural theory’ to denote the difference between art and society. Long[3] states that we have to choose between dialectic deconstruction and Debordist situation.

If one examines the subpatriarchial paradigm of context, one is faced with a choice: either reject posttextual discourse or conclude that sexual identity has intrinsic meaning. Thus, the example of postcultural narrative depicted in Rushdie’s Satanic Verses is also evident in The Moor’s Last Sigh, although in a more capitalist sense. The premise of dialectic deconstruction suggests that consciousness is fundamentally impossible.

“Culture is meaningless,” says Lacan; however, according to Dietrich[4] , it is not so much culture that is meaningless, but rather the stasis, and thus the genre, of culture. But the subject is interpolated into a Sartreist absurdity that includes language as a reality. If dialectic deconstruction holds, the works of Rushdie are an example of mythopoetical nihilism.

Thus, d’Erlette[5] holds that we have to choose between posttextual discourse and the semioticist paradigm of expression. In Midnight’s Children, Rushdie examines postcapitalist nationalism; in The Moor’s Last Sigh, however, he affirms posttextual discourse.

Therefore, the main theme of the works of Rushdie is the role of the participant as poet. Baudrillard’s model of dialectic pretextual theory implies that context comes from communication, but only if the premise of postcultural narrative is valid; if that is not the case, sexual identity, somewhat paradoxically, has objective value.

But Bataille uses the term ‘capitalist theory’ to denote a posttextual paradox. The subject is contextualised into a posttextual discourse that includes consciousness as a reality.

In a sense, the primary theme of Drucker’s[6] critique of postcultural narrative is the common ground between reality and class. The subject is interpolated into a dialectic deconstruction that includes sexuality as a whole.

But Foucault’s analysis of postcultural narrative states that the collective is capable of significance. Several narratives concerning the role of the writer as artist exist.

Therefore, the subject is contextualised into a posttextual discourse that includes truth as a reality. An abundance of constructions concerning postcultural narrative may be found.

It could be said that Bataille uses the term ‘dialectic deconstruction’ to denote the bridge between sexuality and class. The main theme of the works of Rushdie is the role of the participant as writer.

In a sense, any number of discourses concerning a self-sufficient whole exist. If Debordist image holds, we have to choose between dialectic deconstruction and subtextual dialectic theory.

2. Rushdie and the pretextual paradigm of discourse
If one examines dialectic deconstruction, one is faced with a choice: either accept posttextual discourse or conclude that expression is a product of the collective unconscious. However, Foucault uses the term ‘dialectic deconstruction’ to denote the common ground between sexual identity and society. The characteristic theme of Cameron’s[7] essay on postcultural narrative is a dialectic totality.

It could be said that Sargeant[8] implies that we have to choose between deconstructivist rationalism and postcapitalist theory. The premise of posttextual discourse states that reality is capable of social comment, but only if language is interchangeable with sexuality; otherwise, Bataille’s model of postcultural narrative is one of “the dialectic paradigm of narrative”, and therefore intrinsically elitist.

However, the subject is interpolated into a posttextual discourse that includes culture as a whole. If dialectic deconstruction holds, we have to choose between postcultural narrative and subcapitalist cultural theory.

Forgot to put the damn disclamer. This ISNT ME. Its some stupid random text generator. Pretty Impressive eh!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Imprint Of My Mind: Boredom - Untitled

Imprint Of My Mind: Boredom - Untitled

The kitchen exhaust was humming rather loudly. This wasn’t unusual for the dingy kitchen. It was rather startling that it had even started. It usually took an eternity to start up. That would explain the residual odor. Aseem hadn’t cooked in his kitchen too often, and it had been years since he had done that. But still the kitchen lay littered with fruits and the sink up to the brim with unwashed cups...

Editor on Holiday.

In between the work I have had to do coupled with the necessary amounts of procrastination, I have been left with little time over the past few days but to read nonsense like English Verb Tenses, Bread Recipes, Barbecue recipes, and How to Make Beer and Wine.

So I apologize beforehand for the extreme boredom that will reflect in this post, but do bear with me. I promise more interesting posts in the near future, or atleast to a degree amusing, depending on how you are inclined. Some might find it boring, and I strongly urge them to be as critical and/or abusive as they can be. It surely will reduce the boredom.

But for now, I feel the need to rant about the Indian "news media" once again. The fact that this happens to be an article about Shilpa Shetty is purely coincidental.

Startling that Newspapers or their online counterparts let such bullshit fly. I don't wish to debate over whether this is News or page 3 bullshit. The thing that does startle me is that a reporter typed this out and the editor didn't bother to proof read. Apparently, newspapers don't care about correct grammar and language.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007: (Mumbai):

Shilpa Shetty is in legal trap. The writer obviously never got an A in class. Hence she figured no one would miss it in the sentence. Bad joke? Perhaps, but undoubtedly poor grammar. A London law firm has sued Shilpa's company Cine Entertainment for not clearing their dues.

A security company called CTR services is also planning to sue her on non-payment of bills as they had provided security services to Shilpa in the UK sometime backs. What backs? And if i remember my school grammar correctly, the subject of the sentence is a collective noun (Company) and hence 'is' should be replaced with 'are', purely speculative.

According to the reports, Shilpa has also been dropped from famous publicist Max Clifford's client list due to conflicts with Max's employees.

However, her representative in the UK, Farnath Hussain informs that her company Cine Entertainment has already paid every penny that they owe. Their payment got delayed because the figures CTR submitted were not right and her company asked them to rework on it. Rework on it??? wtf! 'it' refers to 'the figures', so lets plug it in place and see if it makes sense. '... asked them to rework on the figures. If you haven't shot yourself yet, I assure you the next one will take you over the edge.

Recently, she was allegedly linked up with her "good friend" and producer Raj Kundra. Kundra's wife Kavita openly accused Shilpa in media for breaking their marriage." In media? need I say more?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Victory is OURS!

Newsflash: India proves Gandhi's last letter is Legally ours. Fuck you pommies.

The Indian government gets possession of a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi, which was originally due for auction in London on Tuesday.

British auction house Christie's called of the auction after the letter was withdrawn by its owner.

The move followed when it was established that the actual ownership of the letter was with the Navjiwan Trust in Ahmedabad.

Gandhi wrote the letter 19 days before he was assassinated by a Hindu activist in Delhi in 1948.

In the handwritten letter published in the journal Harijan, Gandhi pleaded for tolerance towards Muslims and also advocated the importance of Urdu.

Yeah, you guessed right. I'm fucking ecstatic.

Two down, 60,776,238 to go.

She's No Mother Of Mine

Mother Teresa is well known for having founded the Missionaries of Charity and her ‘good work’ in the “slums of Calcutta”. And all is hunky dory, as the questions raised by those more skeptical of her are suppressed by the heavy hand that is religion. And the list of people that are skeptical is not merely limited to the “religious bigots” of the VHP, but can find a resounding aye amongst the most revered thinkers of our times, including Richard Dawkins, Sanaal Edamaruku (first president of the Rationalist International and Secretary General of the Indian Rationalist International), Walter Wuellenweber (who published an article on Teresa’s first death anniversary in the German Magazine STERN) and more importantly Seiku Murmu. The list on non-believers goes on, from the prominent to the experienced, and it can be easily shown that the believers choose not to see all that surrounds the sainthood of Teresa.

A lot of people will claim these people are jealous of her having become a saint, and prior to that regarded as one in the eyes of millions. Or perhaps that she has shown the “strength” to do what they could not. But the so called strength Teresa showed during her ‘good work’ in the slums is the same strength that propels the mad-men at Gaza, at Al-Qaeda camps and the religious crazies that whip themselves to feel ‘closer to god’.

What about the Nobel peace Prize she has? Isn’t that the greatest sham on earth? I think so. I am not claiming that all other Nobel prizes are sham, but just this one.

The right to submit proposals for the Nobel Peace Prize, based on the principle of competence and universality, shall by statute be enjoyed by:

1. Members of national assemblies and governments of states;

2. Members of international courts;

3. University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes;

4. Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;

5. Board members of organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;

6. Active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; (proposals by members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after February 1) and

7. Former advisers appointed by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

If you read it carefully, any religious bigot could nominate her and in the face of her public popularity there isn’t much contest. But where in this list do we find Mahatma Gandhi, probably the greatest expounder of peace. I may not agree with everything that he did, but little debate can be made over whether he was deserving of a peace prize.

The Vatican is also out to win a popularity race. With so many Christians demanding her beatification, it was easy to have done, considering the office of “Advocatus Diaboli” has been abolished, to allow for instant sainthood. The traditional role of AD was replaced by a single anti-Teresa voice, that of Christopher Hitchens. They saw no need to seek the opinion of more important people, core to this issue and witnesses of the supposed miracle. So predetermined was their need and intent to see her as a saint, that they didn’t deem unethical or unholy (as is their kind) to take away credit from the medical practitioner that put in the effort to cure her. Neither did they seek the witness of the husband, Seiku Murmu, who has constantly maintained that the whole miracle aspect is bullshit and who has gone on record that it was the doctors and no pseudo-saint that cured his wife.

But all of this is concerned with whether she should be granted sainthood. Some would say that it doesn’t matter and that her work speaks volumes to her perseverance and generosity. In response to that, all I can do is hang my head in shame that so many people see what they want to see. Teresa was a fraud. There remains millions of charity money with the Vatican intended to alleviate the condition of the poor in the slums of Calcutta and elsewhere. Most of this money comes from the most “evil” of people like Robert Maxwell and many of them see it as a quick fix for all their moral crimes. Not to mention that it’s the best way to launder money.

Teresa’s and Nirmala’s (the one who now heads the freak show) own statements, show clearly that they are not here to help the poor. Anyone who has bothered to look beyond the pristine white saree and blue border knows that the poor have been harmed more than helped. Those that have delved deeper into the working and psyche of Teresa and the missionary begin to see all that is fucked up with the way they work.

In the end, the supposed good that they missionaries have done in Calcutta is a bunch of bullshit. Ask the people in the slums of Calcutta. Thousands of independent interviewers have penetrated the façade that is the picture of the generous mother. There are thousands of charitable organizations in India that do more. They do not seek to convert the sick and weak of will, but truly put in their efforts to improve the living conditions of those they touch. In conclusion, Teresa has harmed India more than she has helped her. I am not indebted to her and her missionary for anything.

I feel it is impossible to illuminate all the facts that go to show Teresa is a fraud. Especially not within a blog post. The over whelming pages of evidence would be far more if religious organizations were more transparent in their financial dealings. When sisters of the missionary start to speak out (those that still believe strongly in the Christian faith) people should begin to wonder if all is as it seems on the surface.

Pannalal Manik also has doubts. "I don't understand why you educated people in the West have made this woman into such a goddess!" Manik was born some 56 years ago in the Rambagan slum, which at about 300 years of age, is Calcutta's oldest. What Manik has achieved, can well be called a "miracle". He has built 16 apartment buildings in the midst of the slum -- living space for 4000 people. Money for the building materials -- equivalent to DM 10000 per apartment building -- was begged for by Manik from the Ramakrishna Mission [a Indian/Hindu charity], the largest assistance-organisation in India. The slum-dwellers built the buildings themselves. It has become a model for the whole of India. But what about Mother Teresa? "I went to her place 3 times," said Manik. "She did not even listen to what I had to say. Everyone on earth knows that the sisters have a lot of money. But no one knows what they do with it!"

The Britishers referred to Mahatma Gandhi as `Mr Gandhi'. Why should we call her `Mother'?
- Giriraj Kishore

On the issue of abortion, Mother Teresa's was a fundamentalist position, one that was firmly allied with the Pope's hard-line position. Mother Teresa went so far as to appeal to victims of rape during the Bangladesh war not to terminate their pregnancies; the Pope, naturally, wanted the more recent victims of rape in Bosnia to follow the same course. At a public Mass in Knock, Ireland, in 1992, Mother Teresa said: "Let us promise Our Lady who loves Ireland so much that we will never allow in this country a single abortion. And no contraceptions."

All this irritates Monica's husband Seiku. "It is much ado about nothing," he says. "My wife was cured by the doctors and not by any miracle."
- Seiku Murmu, husband of "miraculously cured" Monica Besra

Suggested further reading:
Op-ed: The unblessed of Calcutta

Indian rationalists call Mother Teresa's miracle hocus-pocus

Calcutta-born doctor speaks out: 'Mother Teresa did more harm than good

India has no reason to be grateful to Mother Teresa


What's Mother Teresa Got to Do with It?

Mommie Dearest: The pope beatifies Mother Teresa, a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud.

Mother Theresa - Where are her millions?

Neurologist: Sodomy "Common" in Mother Teresa's Orphanage

This Last one, is thanks to Bhavna. She brought this book to my notice and a quick search on google and I had found the book. Just goes to show how many people would like to know the truth.

Mother Teresa The Final Verdict By Aroup Chatterjee

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Forward this, FUCKING RETARD!!

Discourse is fleeting, but junk mail is forever.
- Joe Bob Briggs

The following is a forward I got in my e-mail recently. I hate forwards. This is why. I hate forwards as much as I hate spam and chain letters. I don’t want to fall in love and I don’t care if I never meet “the girl of my dreams”. So save your breath and STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME. Anyway, enjoy the forward. And if you want to keep away from the rant stop at “it’s in flames!!!” Some people learnt to stop sending me forwards after I sent them pretty strongly worded replies as to how fucking retarded they are. It is bad enough I have to deal with hundreds of spam emails from corporations trying to shove their penis enhancement exercise programs and drugs in my face. To add to that “well intentioned” spam and I have a 50 mail inbox everyday, without fail, with nothing worth reading. Even the important mails slip right through.

1. at the movies:
When you meet acquaintances/ friends....

Question: Hey, what are you doing here?

Answer: Don’t you know that I sell tickets in black over here...

2. In the bus: A heavy lady wearing pointed high-heeled shoes steps on your feet...

Stupid Question:
Sorry, did that hurt?

Answer: No, not at all, I'm on local anesthesia....why don't you try again.

3. At a funeral: One of the teary-eyed people asks...

Stupid Question: Why, why him, of all people.

Answer: Why? Would it rather have been you?

4. At a restaurant: When you ask the waiter

Stupid Question: Is the "Butter Paneer Masala" good??

Answer: No, it’s terrible and made of adulterated cement. We occasionally also spit in it.

5. At a family get-together: When some distant aunt meets you after years

Stupid Question: Munna, Chickoo, you've become so big.

Answer: Well you haven't particularly shrunk yourself.

6. When a friend announces her wedding, and you ask...

Stupid Question: Is the guy you're marrying good?

Answer: No, he’s a miserable wife-beating, insensitive's just the money.

7. When you get woken up at midnight by a phone call...

Stupid Question: Sorry. Were you sleeping?

Answer: No. I was doing research on whether the Zulu tribes in Africa marry or not. You thought I was dumb witted moron.

8. When you see a friend/colleague with evidently shorter hair...

Stupid Question: Hey have you had a haircut?

Answer: No, its autumn and I'm shedding......

9. At the dentist when he's sticking pointed objects in your mouth...

Stupid Question: Tell me if it hurts?

Answer: No it won’t. It will just bleed.

10. You are smoking a cigarette and a cute woman in your office asks...

Stupid Question: Oh, so you smoke.

Answer: Gosh, it's a miracle was a piece of chalk and now it's in flames!!!

Rant time now. The person that sent this mail obviously has an infantile sense of humor. I am sure he lets out a girlish giggle every single time he hears “pee pee” just like the kid in Look Who’s Talking.

First of all, learn the fucking dynamics of speech. We as humans are capable of pretty complex speech. It isn’t necessary we say what we mean. We often encode what we intend on saying in phrases that have become commonplace. So next time your movie going buddy asks you what you are doing at the theater, do the polite thing. Answer him to the best your 4 year old brain can. And just because you are at the movie theater doesn’t fucking mean you are watching a fucking movie. Just like it doesn’t mean you are undergoing an operation if you are at the fucking hospital.

2. If you are the kind that can’t graciously accept a fucking apology for an accident, unintentional I guess, then I guarantee you, I will be the one stepping on your foot again if you ever say it to my face. Else you are just another guy with no fucking balls.

3. No, I would rather it would have been you. I shudder at the thought of little ones with your fucking DNA running about this planet, or for that matter any other.

4. Einstein, grow the fuck up. People have the right to order the best dish their money can buy. So pardon me if I want to know whether their Paneer Butter fucking masala is good enough for MY MONEY.

5. I normally assume this is an expression of surprise at the amount of time it has been since they have seen you. But in your case, it probably was a genuine sense of wonder. Everyone thought that with your level of intellect you would have electrocuted yourself well before puberty or driven of a cliff on your bicycle. We are all very surprised (some losing their faith in god, the rest in the theory of evolution) that you are still alive and apparently well.

6. Doesn’t hurt to scare the living shit out of the imbecile, does it? And you will be surprised how many people get married into what they know will be abusive relationships. So keep your stupid fucking thoughts in your head.

7. Not everyone is asleep as early as you fucking baby. Yes, baby needs his beauty sleep and mommy makes sure he is tucked in at 9 o’clock. But some of us dare to live a little.

8. Have you considered that the two people are meeting after a long time? Something could look different without you knowing what it is. It’s a guessing game. Arggghhhh

9. I challenge you to say that to your dentists face. I would love to see you bleed, ideally to death. Somehow you seem to have no value for the humanity your dentist is showing you by caring for your fucking well being.

10. Say that to the hot chick, will you? I guess not. Mr. Big will be the first to put out his cigarette I bet. Hypo-fucking-crite.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We Are The Champions

I am sick of Indians being divided. Religion, caste, genetics, people have tried to divide us based on some criteria ever since we saw Invaders. I must admit the social evil that is the caste system, was predominantly of Indian origin, and we have no one but ourselves to blame. However those are evils within our community and do no give a third person sufficient right to attempt to internally set things straight. The western “developed” world has always attempted to show how primitive we Indians are, and any signs of original and indigenous thought was of course thanks to cultural invasion from Europe, via the Aryan race.

Ever since I was taught in school, of how Aryans came down from Turkey and settled in India, the suspicion has raged in my mind. How authentic are these “facts”? They seem prejudiced in their attempt to search for the truth, and the british desire to colonize India is sufficient motive. Ever since independence, Indians have had the “fact” thrust upon them that we are the product of a far greater civilization. A civilization that thinks the earth was created a few millennia ago, a civilization that did not know of the decimal number system until AD, one whose greatest thinkers, Pythagoras, Aristotle were pre-dated in thought by the far more ancient Vedas.

I could go on, for something so fallacious will obviously provide enough proof to indicate the truth. However, it suffices to say, it is easier to post some youtube video, where much of the hard work has already been done. In conclusion, all you Aryan supremists and british and western civilization mother fuckers can rot in hell. We were always better than you in our ability to think and that is something that you have not the courage to accept. Not then, not now. Grow the fuck up. Anything you guys did, we did before you’ll. We discovered Pi, irrational numbers, infinity, zero before you’ll. Bow to your gods, because the gods that you seek, was just a far more intellectually superior “invader” in the form of Indians.

And to the Indians, stop the nonsensical North vs. South debate. The seed of doubt was planted by those racially inferior bastards with a superiority complex that only an inferior man can have. So in conclusion, what Indian archaeologists are trying to do, is try to irradicate the Aryan/Dravidian divide that exists in India. The next time someone calls you Dravidian or Aryan, have the fucking balls to tell them off.

I realise with all the "busy" people these days, they won't have enough time to watch the following videos. But if you do, you'll know I am right.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wonder Blunder

The Seven Wonders of the World, ancient or middle-age, I can’t name one. Actually I can do pretty well on the ancient wonders (I remembered 5 out of 7 correctly), but not so well the middle-age wonders. So I wiki’d it. But what the fuck, there is no middle age list that can comprehensively clear my query.

But that isn’t the point of this. I seriously doubt too many people know all the seven wonders, whichever age. Sure, historians will know. I doubt even a fraction of the world population has visited them all. So the New Seven wonders Project, where we imbeciles are allowed to vote from a list of 20 (formerly 21, before Egypt made a big deal of it) for the 7 we deem fit.

And how does this voting occur. Well the internet and Cellular Phones of course. No way to reach the masses than the internet right? Wrong. Under 1 billion people have an internet connection from the top 20 countries. And the disparity is large. USA has 2 times more internet users than the next, China. And chances are these 1 billion people that get to decide which are the greatest wonders of our time, probably have no authority, not to mention the skewed demographics. How the fuck does Russia’s Kremlin stand a chance when it has not even 10 percent of internet users. The whole exercise is absurd. Yet, it has gained so much popularity that it might just be regarded as the new list.

So, if I wasn’t as lazy as I am, who would I vote for? Well the Taj for sure. Not because I love the monument so much or am in total awe of it but because people visit it. It brings in money, other people’s money. And for that reason alone, I would love for it to be in Social Studies textbooks around the world. I’d vote for the Kremlin. No need to guess why there.

The rest would have to be:

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Petra, Jordan

The Pyramid at Chichén Itzá, Mexico

The Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Angkor, Cambodia

The list is far from popular, and I am sure most of them won’t make it into the Top 7. But who the fuck cares? It is bound to be fucked up if it is left to the people. Take your cue from democracy.

Oh, and thank you Air India for a free dinner and stay! Perfect way to start off a perfectly useless weekend, whose highlight was The Fountain, which I highly recommend. Which is more than I can say for the other “seven wonders” that I watched before it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sadistic Youtube

Think twice before giving him your car keys.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Superscar - Sivaji

Sunday morning, 15 minutes before noon, I hear a faint knock followed by a familiar voice. It has just been 3 hours since I fell asleep. I groggily lift my head as I enquire to the reason of this blasphemy. Coming from a family that regards the Sabbath to be a holy day, I was obviously annoyed at the brazen intrusion. Turns out I am being asked if I want to join my roommate to a Tamil movie (for the record, I don’t speak the language and my understanding of it is just sufficient to hire an auto rickshaw). He just got ditched by another friend of ours and wants to avoid going alone. After some calls (trying to avoid having to say ok) I seem to have worked myself into a corner and agree to accompany him. The car is rented, made some ham and cheese sandwiches with bologna (we ran out of different types of salami as you can see) and we hit the road.

Starting time, 4:30 PM; that’s what the ticket reads. 4:05 and we make it into the parking lot. There seems to be a huge queue of Indians. We join it right at the back. But it isn’t until 5 that we are allowed into the theater. The show is delayed, apparently because “cleaning the theater will take longer”, sugar-coated for you cultureless motherfucking excuses for civilized humans since the previous crowd had thrown bits of paper into the air as a symbolic gesture for happiness. Hence the delay. As I hear the news, the grumblings begin. Not to mention the 90 degree weather that has me sweating like a hippo (got sick of pigs, except one ;) ) So I’m watching the bemused passersby as they wonder why the fuck there is a 100 man queue outside a theatre. Some pause, to enquire, all the time adding to my hysterical laughter and terrorist jokes.

5 past 5, lights dim before finally going off and before the movie even begins, a series of roars and whistles and god knows what else overtakes the theatre. The movie lasts a little shy of three and half hours. Luckily I’m not paying for this movie. I have some free sodas and my handy bag of cream and onion chips. One hour into the movie, and its not started. Though I have seen more skin in this movie than in Original sin or Embrace of the vampire, the censor boards continue to find breasts and vaginas too sensitive for the Indian paying public, who continue to objectify women in their movies and in their lives. Can’t blame them, for the main female role is just for the sake of titillation and to render the depth in the stereotypical patriarchal male lead character. On a different note, I enjoyed it. She was hot and almost naked most of the time, except when she had to step into the role of the “perfect woman”.

After the intermission the movie finally picks up. The second half of the movie had the lead popping gum on rebounds and flashily changing his sunglasses and stupidly retarded dialogues. Though, some were funny, I wish I was emo enough to slit my throat. There was no real story to carry the movie for half a good nights sleep except the “superstar” status of the lead. Actually it is not too late. I can slit my throat even now. Crap. I don’t have it in me. And now the semi-naked female interest barely shows herself either. Fuck. Maybe I should start making out with the woman next to me!? Oh… crap, wall to one side, roommate to the other. Maybe hitting my head on the wall will save me from the toothache of a movie and just in case my roommate can read minds. So it’s 8:30 PM now. Movie just got done. And we have to be home by 10. I was hoping to get 15 minutes of parking lot driving experience before heading back. I should have stayed home and finished the third season of family guy. Damn you 4 hour movie making slime balls to hell.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Poochie Poo

Yet another four-legged-menace-to-society invites my loathing.

Dogs, cats and pretty much any other two, four, six or eight legged creature brings about pretty much the same feeling of annoyance as does an ill-mannered baby. They all have one thing in common though. They don’t know where the fuck to excrete. They purge themselves anywhere they deem fit. Thankfully, I don’t own one of those little rascals, the animal kind or the human kind and hence I am saved of the everyday battle with feces, puke and urinal discharge.

But that doesn’t save me from those mongrels roaming the streets. “Oh he doesn’t bite!” What good natured people, reassuring me and alleviating my fears. That is, until their damn mutt takes a nice piece of me. And then am I allowed to retaliate? An eye for an eye?

You might say that it is a rare occurrence. True. But one thing that isn’t rare is those damn stupid pooches sniffing my genitals. It’s the most annoying feeling… having to stop in your tracks to be “searched” by a Britney spears think-alike. I guess there is no true revenge as long as dog lovers exist. Or is there? I am considering chemical warfare.

This was a rant I had typed out on "one of those days"; dog poop all over the place (yes, in Chicago) and an over-enthusiastic doggy and its barking-sniffing extravaganza. But that was then, and though I didn't post it, it seems ironically funny to me and hence I made the decision to post it.

Mediocre Criticism

I keep feeling that we as a species are mediocre, satisfied by it, if we aren’t too busy glorifying it. I too, suffer from the same ailment; mediocre at best at the things that I do. But this isn’t about doing, this is about critics.

What is a critic’s job? Is he supposed to judge an action or performance based on the mediocre standards we set for ourselves or with the elite few that surpass our standards many fold? I guess that would depend on many factors. Perhaps the level of interest would be one. I would not judge an amateur act against a professional act, simply because of the amount of time they invest in learning their specific skill sets. I am sure I could come up with a bunch of other “guidelines” I implicitly use to gauge an action.

But this brings me to my question, What if something is mediocre after compared to those that fall within its most comparable sub-sets? A professional football player would be judged with another player, of the same era and then decided if mediocre. But this takes the “discussion” to a totally different course. So I shall steer clear of the fine line of what that appropriate “sub-set” really is.

But having identified that sub-set, and having judged an action as mediocre compared to the other actions from within those most alike, is it fair to elevate the performance based on the fact that the critic is incapable of that level of performance? I have had this argument thrown in my face that I should reserve my comments unless I was capable of out-performing the person whose act I am criticizing. This argument actually amazes me, since it denies the very nature of a critic and the logic that governs it. Movie critics are not the cream of movie directors, actors, editors, writers etc. Some perhaps have no experience in the movie making industry and all knowledge is purely academic.

If you can't take a good kicking, you shouldn't parade how much luckier you are than other people.
Charles Saatchi

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dumb Americans

Are Americans dumb?

I can’t say for sure if they are. Most of the people I meet seem to have some semblance of intelligence and are capable of holding their own in a debate. However, having said that, some extremely eminent scholars (most of them either Americans or Europeans) seem to believe, with sufficient reason, that the “allegations” are not baseless or pointless.

1. Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and ethologist, born March 26th, 1941 in Nairobi, Kenya (a place that holds fond memories for me, personally), holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding Of Science at Oxford University. A champion of the modern atheist movement, he has managed to acquire the epithet, “Darwin’s Rottweiler”.

Richard Dawkins is the author of nine books (among a multitude of essays), some of which include The Selfish Gene (1976), The Blind Watchmaker (1986) and his most recent, The God Delusion (2006).

Richard Dawkins in his documentary “The Root of All Evil?” claims that over 40% of the American population believes in creationism and is averse to the idea of evolution. I have been unable to find the exact resources to prove those numbers (though I am sure I will find something on Dawkins’ site), it is interesting to note that in 1999, The Kansas State Board of Education deleted evolution from its science standards. There are American web-sites claiming that man and dinosaurs co-existed. Some of these sites claim dinosaur sightings.

2. Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter is famous for his stint as chief weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-’98 and also for his open statements denying Iraq’s WMD’s even prior to an Iraq attack. He is well known for his stand on the Iraq war as well as the US policy on Iran.

Scott Ritter has also served in the US military and Intelligence divisions and is now highly vocal on his views over Iran and a possible attack and is not only against attacking them (or N. Korea for that matter) but has stated more than once that both N. Korea and Iran are well within their legal rights to pursue their nuclear interests and places the blame squarely on the Clinton and following Bush administrations for the political unrest in the middle east and around the world. He has also stated that the US government is solely responsible for the mercury rising in the Middle East in spite of the Ayatollah’s (Supreme Leader of Iran) bids for peace and diplomatic discussion.

Scott Ritter believes that the American public is ignorant as to the ground realities in the Middle East and the regime-changing foreign policy of the US government. He further believes that the American public can be easily made to jump onto the Iran bashing band wagon (like Iraq before) by the media propaganda and chest beating uber-patriotic speeches as against their dissuasion against a possible attach by virtue of a more rational voice of reason

3. Youtube certainly has its own set of people that think Americans are dumb. Loads of videos suggesting the same have been found around the web. Now, it might be highly possible that these are just exaggerations, or perhaps even staged events (though I don’t know who the above mentioned uber-patriotic person would be willing to stage something like this), but all of it is really amusing nonetheless. This one probably doesn’t hold as much weight as the first two, but I am sure people will spend more time on this one than reading or researching on the first two. And that is because… people are stupid. Perhaps I should add a people=stupid tag on my sidebar too.

4. Creationism

Now these videos aren’t necessarily indicative of American stupidity, but rather religious bigotry. I humbly accept. However in a country where a majority of its people believe in the very same religion and practice the same bigotry, it can’t be shielded away from looking stupid. And if you care to watch the next video, you will notice it is a New Zealander questioning the “stupid” viewpoints of the clergy.

5. George Carlin

The 70 year old stand-up comedian is known for his critique of the US foreign policy, and often of religion. Carlin, in many of his stand-up routines, has poked fun at the “dumb” American.

I think Carlin’s humor is sufficient enough that I don’t need to elaborate anymore.

6. George Bush

This man needs no introduction. Most of you’ll are already thinking a) How does dubya being stupid make the rest of America stupid? and b) When did dubya call the american people dumb?

He didn’t call the American people dumb (AFAIK) and is probably quite intelligent (perhaps not articulate and has some learning disorders), to be as successful as he is. Perhaps it is all due to his father’s power and fame, but then I have heard before that he too was “stupid”, perhaps to a lesser degree.

As for how him being “stupid” making the American people stupid, that’s not it. The fact that he has been re-elected makes them stupid. The fact that he has them believing that they are fighting a war on terror (rather than a war of terror, in the words of Borat), that they give a damn about democracy or people’s rights around the world. If anyone believes that these wars (I would as easily call them acts of terrorism, as any other) are for the good of anyone other than the United States (and just a select few at that), then this is certainly a good indicator of how much Americans think (rather than the lack of brains).

7. Borat

George walker was going to be the last entry in that list, until I quoted Borat’s speech. That movie certainly had the rest of the world believing that the Americans are really dumb and think they are know-it-alls.

In conclusion, do I think now, that Americans are dumb? Probably not. Actually, I am pretty sure they are not. If anything, they are ignorant and some Americans think they have the right to be.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Hot Cross Buns

Past impressions or Brand recall, call it what you want, but it certainly does influence choices. It did mine. The Good Shepherd vs. The Illusionist. Edward Norton (Primal Fear, Fight Club and Kingdom of Heaven) and Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, Cinderella Man, Sideways, Paycheck and Confidence) had a greater track record than Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting, Syriana, Bourne Identity, The Departed and School Ties) and so I went with The Illusionist for my daily entertainment.

Young love lost and found, seemed to be the story, with some voodoo backdrop that was just a mere prop in the plot. Jessica Biel and Edward Norton’s “forbidden” love propels the great illusionist to plot the downfall of the Vienna prince and his evil plans of world domination. Okay… exaggeration, but at least plans of ruling as emperor after over-throwing his own father and emperor. The plot was like an Indian road after the monsoons. Predictable to the point that each detail became clear when Eisenheim hypnotizes his former childhood lover. Had I known how bad the script was, I would perhaps have opted to watch The Good Shepherd. Even Giamatti, who usually seems to be uplifting (even though monotonous), seemed to have nothing to portray in excess of the stereotypical good cop who just seems not to get the picture.

And all goes dandy, as the illusionist tricks the over-zealous cop and having probably pulled of the greatest illusion of death retrieves his love from the crutches of an evil chauvinist and possible tyrant and saves the Austrian world. The flashback when Inspector Uhl finally “gets it” was as predictable as the script itself, as in every “Sherlock” movie, the director assumes the viewer to be too dumb to decipher for himself the sequence of events. All in all, unintelligent movie making. Can’t call a movie a mystery if you explain the whodunit or howdunit at the end of it!

I followed up my night of cinematic bliss with a recommendation. Bollywood at its finest with writer-director Sanjay Kanduri’s debut film Ek Chalis Ki Last Local. The Abhay Deol- Neha Dhupia “star studded bonanza” had nothing going for it. Abhay Deol is as good an actor as his more illustrious cousins and uncle. It certainly was a shoot-me-in-the-face performance. The script was BAD. I mean real bad. The dialogues were a bit decent (if you like no-brainer comedies) and tried their best to cover-up the pitfalls in the script and acting. The comedy, at best, was a scary movie styled parody of much better cinematic moments and hence provided as much laughter as getting shot in the toe!

The movies thrill and chill ability seemed to be restricted to The Departed’s and Lock Stock’s shoot-‘em-all style with the lone survivor going for glory. At a playtime of a little over 2 hours and 20 minutes, a time warp to say the least, it felt like trying to pull an ingrown out of your toe. The only shock came when the well mannered Dhupia turned out to be a mere hooker who seemed to get her customers after entrapment. But the way she looks, I doubt she needs to!

So at the end of 4 and a half hours ( I had a couple of much needed intervals put in there to avoid going crazy), its fair to say I’ve gotten a little dumber. Added with the beer and pizza, more grey cells drowned and some much needed calories added. Here is hoping for a better fare tomorrow with The Good Shepherd and another reco, Shootout in Lokhandwala. Until then, Biel and Dhupia will keep me company!

P.S. I have tried to avoid too many spoilers in the “reviews” but feel free to ask me when and how I figured out The Illusionist script.

AND WILL SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK VOLTAS IS DOING IN MY FUCKING RUCKUS MP3’S!!! Fuck those corporate advertising motherfuckers to fucking hell. If I hear one more fucking advertisement @#!*@^

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cultural Exposure

Shilpa Shetty: India's Cultural Ambassador
'I want to showcase our culture to the West'

Shilpa Shetty is all set to "showcase" our culture to the west. Bollywood dancing. If you are thinking what is wrong with that...

Not that the entertainment value of bollywoods jhatkas is any less than the lip-locking on hollywood screens, but to call that a showcase of our culture is a stretch.

For those of you that are going to accuse me of being sexist, lets wait till King khan decides to showcase India's "culture". If "sex sells" is your next clichéd addition, I know. I buy. But that doesn't change the fact that this is not Indian culture. Heavily borrowed from the cabaret style of the jazz era and hip-shaking aka jhatkas of the hip-hop and latino culture, it is far from "our" culture.

The big-brother cry baby, should work on what she knows best (though that in itself is debatable), acting.

Leave the dancing and cultural exposure to the pros.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cinematic Mediocrity

300. Prepare for glory.
I did. Needless to say, when there is so much hype surrounding anything, its more a case of "prepare to be disappointed". The cinematography and technical aspects of the movie were really good, but who the hell wrote that script? Whatever happened to facts? Whoever used the term "wild night" in those days?

I could go on about that, but since someone has already done all the hardwork, I'll be content to link to him.

But the movie was not all bad. Nice camera work, lighting etc made for atleast a half decent experience (if you left your brains home) and then there was a silver lining for those that managed to stay awake long enough, past the incessant claims of spartan valor. Lena Headey.

Monday, May 21, 2007


This is a clip from the movie Diggers (2006).

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Through out history, the people, the nations that have refrained from making excuses for their shortcomings, for their inadequacies or even those imposed by external agents have been the ones to succeed. Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastated a tiny island nation that now has the third largest GDP and is one of the world economic powerhouses. The land of Amstel and Heineken, having had their fair share of floods, still manage to make it to the top 3 exporters of agricultural goods or how Norway, land of the rising sun, with its “high plateaus and rugged mountains” and annual average temperatures well within single digit manage to have the highest Human development index. They manage to sustain the second highest per capita GDP, have one of the lowest unemployment at a shy under 4% and above all that manage to be the largest non-OPEC oil exporting nations, just behind Saudi Arabia and Russia (both OPEC members). The past and present, and I predict, by the trend, the future, will continue to indicate as such.

In a society both adept and receiving of the art and science of excuses, it is but natural that failure must follow. Every vice has its excuse ready and every excuse, the nail that builds the house of failure; Vocalized flurry of cover-ups and the inability or unwillingness to seek out the solution, to put into action rather than stand at the corner shop with a cigarette in hand complaining yet again of a failed government, marriage, and career. A desire to wake out of the ashes, like many before, in tales, mythical and factual, of heroism or the silent acceptance of our futile battle against the sinking quicksand in which we find ourselves.

Far too many times I have seen the government being criticized, perhaps for their corruption, or for their lack of desire to work, being reflected by our very own collective personalities. Or maybe the “fair sex” or “weaker sex” blaming their inability to raise themselves on what can be a level playing field if they choose it to be. Just like NGO’s are the bane of our desire for better governance, reservation the poison of our caste division, feminism is the hindrance to sexual equality.

Feminism is the product of female selfishness, compounded by male chivalry.

Such women dream of being raped, but no one wants them. They like standing next to strong male bodies.......
- MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky on feminist MP Yevegenia Ttishkovskaya

Feminism is about sacrifice, sacrificing men

"Then came the women's movement, modeled on the civil rights movement; it won converts even in Middle America. As blacks had demanded equal rights with whites, women demanded the same rights as men. Nothing less than full equality. If the boys can sow their wild oats in frat houses and singles bars and with one-night stands, why not us? But as nature did not design the sexes that way, and the consequences of promiscuity are unequally borne by women, in the form of babies, solutions had to be found."

- Pat Buchanan

The Depressed Doormat

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Giver of Knowledge: The Gupta Way?

Nalanda University is set to make a “come-back” from the dead. One of the world’s greatest universities, there is a plan to revive the university. A consortium led by Singapore and INCLUDING India and Japan is attempting to raise 500mn usd to revive the university. Sad state of affairs, since the university lies inside of India and has been one of the greatest centers of education along with Takshashila, banaras and many others.

But that might be a blessing in disguise, since the Indian government seems to have the anti-thesis of the midas touch. I shudder to think what they might do, if un-supervised, to what is undeniably one of histories greatest universities, and surely rivaling the IIT’s, MIT’s and Harvard’s of today, in the sheer number of great thinkers it has produced. Another reason I am disappointed, is thanks to the Indian Press, I am learning of this just now. NY Times covered this early December, 2006 and just now. Sad that indians are informed of something that might concern them after americans find out about it.

But I shall, for once, not think of the negatives that this project might entail if left in the hands of the Sonia gandhi’s and Arjun Singh’s who would not waste their time in putting in place a system of reservation that would surely deprive us of a chance to gain knowledge in India’s greatest university, if they did manage to restore it to its former glory (no small task, especially for an Indian government).

Instead, there is so much that might go well, not just for India, but also asia and possibly the world. Firstly, the project seems like the first real effort at regional cooperation. ASEAN, NAM and the likes are a bunch of bullshit. Old farts lined up around a table, talking about their grandchildrens soccer games and sipping oolong tea. This seems like the first real effort at forging a working alliance that will aid asian countries in restoring some of their past glory.

But is this effort lacking foresight? Some would say so. A Yale School of Management Professor writing for the business section of NY Times seems to have picked up on this lack of foresight on the part of the Indian, singaporean and Japanese delegation. A startup of 500mn doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to operating costs at harvard which runs into billions annually. So what value is 500 million?

I shall leave you with the article by Jeffrey Garten, since any expansion on the above idea will surely tread on plagiarism, and it sounds way more convincing when it comes from a former dean of Yales management school.

Really Old School by Jeffrey E. Garten

P.S. The bulk of this article was typed out early April, so those who are going to stake claim that it was covered in the news a month back, kindly note that I do know that.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth."
Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wicked Progeny

Kids, concrete proof that humans love misery. Why we still reproduce those bundles of joy is still a mystery. If there is a god, and this is all by design, why the fuck didn’t god make kids realize THEY ARE NOT FUCKING CUTE. If you think your kid puking on me, pulling my beard or just being a fucking nuisance in a public place is cute, kindly do not reproduce. If you still feel like doing so, keep your annoying nincompoops away from me, lest they think I shall find their antics as cute as their mind-numbing parents. You might think I deserve being annoyed for thinking of kids that way of those powerless little visions of god, think again. It might not be as much fun when your 3 and a half foot spawn, for me, begins to personify a giant football.

Keep your fucking kids on their leash, and if you can’t or find it inhuman, its time you consider permanent birth control.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

President Inaction

I believe India – 2020 is a great PR job by the president. I too bought it, if only to escape this world and country into a possibility of utopianism. Today, however, after almost 5 years of the greatest PR man in Indian politics, I have come to the realization that no President of this country is willing to stick his neck out.

The growing trend of crime, corruption and above all else apathy by the people and the media, who are more content worrying about ladoos for the wedding of the century, not to mention the selective alienation of sections of the Indian population (read reservations) is more than sufficient reason for me to believe that this dream for an all powerful India in just over a decade will remain a pipe dream.

The president’s inaction over the past few months and more generally over his term, in cases like the Alistair Pereira case, or the Black Buck cases and even in army corruption charges shows his inability to take a hard stance, and hence the man who dreams of a glorious country shows his inability/unwillingness to work towards that goal and above all, shows how shrewd a politician and PR manager he is, capitalizing on his “missile man” image, to make a quick buck while the rest of India allows themselves to be enamored by the picture of glorious India he paints.