Friday, July 3, 2009

In Defense of the Critic

Being a critic is a thankless job, most often. I admire real life critics who do it for a living. After all, it is the ultimate “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” profession1. You are always going to hurt someone, cross someone off. Let me get straight to the point, for once, and only just this once.

I was accused, recently, of criticizing things far too much, having no authority in the fields I am criticizing people for, and while that is completely true, the premise is utter bullshit.

For the sake of coherence, which I doubt too many of my readers are comfortable with, I will go about this in logical sequence, another thing brainwashed sheep have difficulty doing. Having accepted the criticism that I have no authority in the fields I choose to criticize people in, the proposition on the table is that I should graciously accept defeat and cease any further attempts at criticizing things I do not understand. Well, I am willing to accept that proposition, but only as long as my one condition is met, and anyone with half a rational brain (again, it would appear I am singing to the tone deaf) would agree that what I am about to suggest isn’t too unfair.

So, all those of you, anxious to know the key to shutting me up, hear me well. The same rules must apply to you as well. Since none of you are authorities on music, movies, literature, politics, cars and practically everything under the sun, YOU HAVE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP as well. When you stop opining about how good the latest Michael Bay fiasco is, or how good Ledger’s joker was (oh, what a bitter-sweet was that is), or how great Michael Jackson’s mediocre song and dance styles really are (if you take out the pop out of it), then I will follow suit. When you admit that you have no basis to be showering laurels on these sorry excuses for “artists” and that you will forever purse your lips regarding your personal attempts to glorify these people, I will lay down my pen.

Before I end, I must clear the air. My comments on my facebook status message etc, about the mediocrity of the pedophilic Michael Jackson as an artist, were hardly to stir shit up. That is my true opinion. Would the world have lost out if Michael never sung a single note? Not mine. And while it is politically incorrect to diss the dead, I have never cared for being politically correct. So here is a big fuck you to Michael Jackson fans, and a vehement fuck you to Sacha Baron Cohen and Universal for bending over backwards. If you can’t handle the witty and not so witty snipes at “MJ” (funny, how that is so similar to OJ) then don’t fucking watch TV, don’t visit my blog and definitely DO NOT click on this next link.

Another contribution of MJ to pop-culture is definitely his contribution to costume design on movie sets, having inspired the alien in M. Shyamalan's Signs and the instantly noticeable Joker, from the crap-chute that was The Dark Knight.

Yes Michael, I know “You’re bad”. Now if we can only get rid of the Catholic Church, the kids will be safe.

And for those looking for a moment of sensitivity, Billy Mays just died last month as well. He will be missed. He did have a soothing voice. Or he just nagged the fuck out of you till you bought something. But he will still be missed by me; Funny guy.

  1. Unfortunately, the professional critics are just whored out publicists. I have yet to come across a decent review of a “mega-hype” movie that does justice to the profession, whether it be favorable or not.

  2. I was thinking about calling this post, “Fuck You, Michael Jackson”. Only one thing prevented me. The possibility that he really was a pedophile and that a title like that might be insensitive to the plight of the kids whose lives MJ touched.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Red, White and Brown Nosed

For a man that makes his living off stereotypes, Russell Peters does not notice the dichotomy of assaulting the media for using stereotypes for furthering agendas and propagandas. But for those people that like intelligent humor, be it the wit and sarcasm of Yes, Minister, or… the wit and sarcasm of George Carlin, you will instantly notice the fallacy of Peters’ chosen words. He is a part of the media. But unfortunately his ignorance is shown by his inability to take part of the blame, or it just shows his hypocrisy.

In his “new” act, “Red, White and Brown”, Russell Peters claims to have found himself a new voice; retiring old jokes. As usual, his act is confused as he shuttles between his identity of a North American and his “cheap” accented brown identity, and in that we can take solace, that Russell Peters is Indian, not just genetically, but even culturally.1 He is a true hypocrite; One that would do Mother India proud.

Russell Peters is a cult comedian, like George Lopez, or Dane Cook, mediocre comedians targeting fringe audiences and cults that they have cultivated. Perhaps with respect to the specifics of the jokes Peters is “fresh” but considering the subject matter remains the same as his earlier acts (same jokes about Indian cheapness, about Chinese accents, about Italian machismo…). And while there is some humor to be found even in repetition, it can only go so far. If Red, White and Brown weren’t advertised as a “new act”, perhaps this would be a good extension of his earlier acts… and amusing2. However, this blatant attempt to beguile audiences or just his ignorance as to what constitutes a “new act” takes out some of the fun of watching a mediocre comedian.

After all, it doesn’t hurt if you are eating an egg salad sandwich, knowing that it is an egg salad sandwich and nothing more. But when you are served an egg salad sandwich, all while you were expecting smoked salmon, then it is just disingenuous; and you have every right to take it as an insult to your intelligence. After all, you just paid for something more!

P.S. I watched it on YouTube; “The new home of piracy”.


  1. Peter’s attempts to make the distinction between his genetically derived Indian-ness, such as his skin color, his physical attributes versus Indian personality traits (which he claims not to have) is a large part of the act as he discusses his trip to India. It is only laughable that he does not notice how he undermines his own point!

  2. Notice the distinction between amusing and funny. A good knock-knock joke is funny. Repeating a good joke over and over again, is at best… amusing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fuck Leno

I’ve been watching a lot of Leno the last few days, and suddenly it dawned on me, the similarities between Simi Garewal and the slimy rich fuck that is Leno. Leno is the biggest ass kisser I have ever seen. He makes Jon Stewart seem like an investigative journalist. Wait, that isn’t fair; Lou Dobbs makes Jon Stewart and The Daily Show seem like a news show; I didn’t mention O’Reilly or Limbaugh, because that’s a circus. That is where I will be taking my kids after the elephants and the lions are extinct.

Anyway, back to Leno and his ass-wipe of a show. Is it me or do the audience at Leno’s “Tonight Show” laugh and applaud every damn fucking thing, even when it isn’t funny. The “awws” from the audience makes me think they will fit right in at a screening of Full House. But I digress again. Leno had the chance to interview Broke Obama and Con-doleezza Rice; and throughout the interview, the only thing I noticed was that his big fucking chin couldn’t be found; because it was stuck up their ass.

But what was more pathetic was when he was kissing this dumb broads ass on his show (Emma Roberts, for the Google perverts). While he had his head stuck up this barely legal chick, and she was making fun of Paul Giammati for being old, all I could think of was, let’s see where you are when you are as fucking old as him (btw, the only thing different about her being 18 is that men in basements with beer bellies could finally jerk off to her images in public. I am currently looking for a basement and free beer.)

Back to Leno though, Leno, the thoughtful, empathetic guy who worries about the crises faced by America and its middle class; the guy who does two free shows in Detroit to lighten up the days of a few people who are facing financial hardships. Fuck that, I can’t do it. Give me a couple hundred classic and super cars and I’ll be a fucking asshole 365 days a year – for free.

To those that think this is just another angry rant (well, it is that, but not just), this is who Leno thinks is worthy of interviewing (resting on the laurels of an Obama interview1); Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Dennis Rodman, Lisa Lampanelli, Emma Roberts, Frank Calliendo, “cast” of American Idol, Bill Mays and John Cena (in the last two weeks). I omitted some names, for instance, the saving grace, Michael Caine. And just to prop up a benchmark, a network that is predominantly a comedy network, whose sister networks include Nickelodeon and MTV in that same period, interviewed Michael J Fox, Tom Zoellner, Peter Orszag, Seth Rogen, Bruce Springsteen (yes, the dirty black blots on this list), Jack Cafferty, Nandan Nilekani, Gen. Richard Myers and Jim Cramer.

And all this thanks to NBC; the worst network to date; worse than Star Plus and their Saas Bahu serials. Wait! You can’t make me pick between the two. I would much rather light a match to my pubic hair. I would much rather tweeze every single hair off my body; I would much rather watch Sarah Palin become President of USA. Can we bomb the US then using the “Bush Doctrine”?


Sometimes Jon Stewart's jokes are created out of thin air; so much so that the audience does not notice. You can't possibly expect something that hasn't been rehearsed. Take this play with words for instance.

Talking about "pestilence and fear in the modern world" with Philip Alcabes (with AIDS as the talking point):

"I'm wearing a condom right now, on the show. I've been wearing it since 1987... Has a couple of holes in it, but I'm working through it."
- Jon Stewart


1. I think it is perfectly fair to mention here that Obama seems to be nothing more than a media whore at the moment, and would be on my blog if I had a few million readers, and answer questions about how he would avoid drinking India’s “newly developed” Coca Cowla, if it ever became the “state drink”.

2. This was written on the 7th of April.

3. How to make Leno less lame?

4. Things some guy hates ABOUT Leno.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pissing In The Wind

Holy Coca Co(w)la. The Colas are doomed!

India is the land of useless regulation. We are world leaders in double standards and NO standards. A blog I visit, recently had a post about how Indian products make unsubstantiated claims, which in first world countries would be unacceptable. But in the land of hindutva1, hypocrisy and lack of regulation make a perfect couple and no valentine's day for them either.

So what is the connection between colas and Indian hypocrisy? Not the pesticide thing… I really don't care about that. So if the pesticide scandal and the prospect of impending fatality are not big enough to bring a multinational corporation down, then what is? Piss. Yes, urine, and not just any urine, the blessed and holy piddle emanating from the saviors of the world, beef. This wee-wee is being branded by none other than the saviors of bharat mata, the RSS. As if the great Indian rope trick, images of free roaming elephants and dung laden streets weren't bad enough for urban India, now this.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are "doctors" and "scientists" that claim "research" on cow urine therapy has been performed to demonstrate its effectiveness.

"Our Aim is...

Our main aim and objective is to prevent and cure most of the diseases by applying a totally natural and highly effective new concept. We will be pround if we will be able to give some Relief to this world. We are trying to follow the path of serving humanity shown by God. We are trying to make this therapy much more simple and feasible."

In the face of this fundamentalist ignorance, I quote the words of my Goan brothers2, "Aamcha Feni aamka jai, tujha mut tu pee" (roughly translated: "We want our feni, you drink your piss").

But before I end this post, I have a few questions. Will golden showers stop being a fetish in India and be part of the rejuvenation regiment? I guess you don't have to worry about taking a whiz in a pool anymore.

1. Hindutva isn't the only one I think is guilty of this hypocrisy, for the record.

2. I have never found any record of anyone having said this. As far as I know, the only person that has ever used this phrase is my uncle, Vijay Bijur. Therefore I attribute this to him.

His "story" goes like this. The slogan was raised by the goans during the prohibition era of Morarji Desai, who claimed that the reason of his good health was that he drank his own piss. As far as I know, this is a fabrication of his brilliant mind.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Holy Wars

“In a short space of time all the people in the Delhi fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers.”

Taken from the Tuzk-e-Taimuri, Timur’s (alleged) memoirs recount a fateful day of “ethnic cleansing” as he looted and plundered and amassed wealth and a haraam harem. I could see Timur being an egotistical, religious maniac, exaggerating his escapades to sound impressive; to furnish a permanent place in the annals of lunatic murderers. But in spite of his bloated ego, Timur’s intent is clear. The infidels must be purged. Allah’s will be carried out.

Elsewhere, less than a couple of centuries away, the French Religious wars raged on, 36 years, probably desensitizing a couple of generations of brie lovers to violence. The culture shock the French must have faced was thankfully short lived. Nearby, less than 20 years later, the Germans and the British would start one of their own wars based on their inability to agree on the details of what god “instructed” some random asshole on some remote mountain over a millennium ago. Over these 66 years… and one day, an estimated 15.6 Million people would be wasted away at god’s command1.

Almost instinctively, the apologist is certain to point fingers at the murderous tendencies of prominent “atheist” mad men, Hitler2 and Stalin3. While this argument has swiftly and effectively been rebutted by the “four horsemen”, I choose to show that the genocides and wars that raged from religious and theistic impetus have been far more gory, gruesome, blood curdling than the major wars of the 20th century, The World Wars.

In comparison, the two world wars overshadow the two major religious wars (that I can recall) by sheer volume of cadavers. With conservative estimates of 19 and 40 million chronologically, they far outyield the 15 million estimated of the religious wars.

Tanks, mines, missiles, gunships, bombers, fighter planes, submarines, and of course, Fat Man and Little Boy have made the body count of the world war’s possible; making wars a little more impersonal in the 20th century. The days of staring into the eyes of the enemy had been left behind in the medieval ages, to those who could stomach the blood and gore; to the pious. Technology in battle had the ability to delay the effect of battle, the effect waste of human life can have on a rational mind, only bringing it to the foreground post mortem.

But what the religious wars lose in body count, they make up for in sheer callousness and underestimation of human life. Staring into the enemy’s eyes, day after day, for decades together, mercilessly slaughtering, is a task that the religious masses seem to effortlessly pull off and master. Only god knows what devastation these armies would be capable of, if they had the resources of the 20th century, with enough enemy bodies as in the 20th century4.

1. These remain just the most obvious, bloody, and patent representations of religious violence. James Haught recounts other atrocities that have been committed by religion and the pious.

2. Hitler’s religious beliefs are still highly debated, and to this day, attempts to prove his atheistic ideology have been inconclusive. However, Hitler was a practicing Roman Catholic and remained one until his death.

There is an obvious rebuttal to this point of mine, and I will preempt it by offering my rebuttal, saving us some time.

Many claim that Hitler, an irreligious man (at least one who was against Christianity in his heart), used his ties with the roman catholic church to gain the sympathies of the catholics and protestants, and was nothing more than shrewd confidence trick. Having said that, it was the above mentioned churches that lent credibility to Hitler among the people of Germany, and more importantly, they were not against the bloodshed and means of the Nazis and Hitler. So as co-conspirators, the above mentioned churches are just as guilty as Hitler’s ideology (whatever it may be).

3. Hector Avalos, a scholar of the Bible, has in his book “Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence” claimed that Stalin “had a complex relationship with religious institutions in the Soviet Union.” I say claimed, as I have not read the book myself and rely on a source, while not completely reliable, certainly no worse than the monkey work contained in certain other texts.

4. The world population and its explosion has been a primarily 20th century phenomenon. During the period of the two world wars, the population rose from about 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion, in spite of the massive bloodshed in the two wars, of 131 million or 0.131 billion, or more importantly 6.5 percent of the mean population. While the world population during the 100 year period of the two religious saw a negligible rise from 427,000,000 to 500,000,000 and the death toll at 3.5 percent.

While that figure might seem to indicate the brutality of the world wars, it is limited, as almost all statistics are by the “big picture”. The big picture here shows of a zealous war, fought with no major technological assistance, in just a small portion of the earth (the world wars were fought by 35 and 68 countries compared to a handful during the two medieval wars).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gun Shy

"There is no reason for anyone in the country, for anyone except a police officer or a military person, to buy, to own, to have, to use, a handgun. The only way to control handguns use in this country is to prohibit the guns. And the only way to do that is to change the Constitution."

-- Michael Gartner

NY Times: Daily gun deaths in USA

Gun control is probably one of the most controversial debates in current day United States. After LGBT rights, abortion and possibly the death penalty, gun control is probably the most hotly debated issue. A pacifist for as long as I have thought about this question, everything seemed black and white. People for the right to bear arms have always struck me as a little crazy.

My first experience with a handgun was not so long ago. Even though it wasn’t loaded, the safety was on, I felt a bit like a geeky teen at the prom, just approached by the prettiest girl; apprehensive, panicky and definitely sweaty. I was silently relieved when the firearm was put back into its gun safe. Okay, not so silently. I even made it a point to vocally point out how uncomfortable I was, if my body language hadn’t already betrayed the fact.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always been in reverence of handguns. During my high school years (Junior college back home) I was quite the gun enthusiast, admiring their inherent beauty, while awestruck at their immeasurable power, but always too much of a pussy to ever venture into the real world of guns. Forensic science and firearm forensics especially, held me captivated. Fortunately, I told myself, firearms let go that strangling grip, of an invention that definitely would have been the end of me, and from a career that would definitely be a dead end. My knowledge of firearms, therefore, always remained nascent and underdeveloped.

It has been said that fear always springs from ignorance. It could be argued that this was the case with me and firearms. They would be right. I was soon to re-discover and re-think firearms; though not as blue eyed as my teen self. Having been on the Pro-gun control side of the issue, the arguments for gun control were sufficiently convincing to me. After all, who needs more guns in the hands of the corrupters of society?

But things would turn gray soon. Thanks in part to an “indie” movie that I accidentally came across (a sign from god? *^%K, I’m republican) tackling the very issue of gun control. Dear Wendy, probably one of the most hated movies (because it is “ideologically doctrinaire on the one hand and a wannabe hot youth movie on the other”) seemed to make sense to me. I guess I am THAT insane. The movie is about a pacifist youth, exploring guns, his fascination for it, and the eventual demise of his pacifist views when he is forced to use his guns, and on the law too!

People dislike this movie, because it is supposedly anti 2nd amendment, and “talks about an issue the filmmakers know nothing about”, but for some reason I found it the exact opposite (again, only cranial misfirings to blame). The movie was a romanticized commentary on perceptions of guns, pacifism, pacifism and guns, their incompatibility etc. And for me, it began the dreaded thought process of the “morality” of gun culture.

While the movie had barely begun to make me think, barely budging me out of my comfort zone, another incident would force me on a fast track to reconsider my stance. The Mangalore Pub incident (where 40 politically backed psychopaths violently evacuated a pub of all its women, while battering them and assaulting any men that came to their aid, all in the name of Indian culture, while media and law enforcement paraded and silently witnessed, respectively) while initially leaving me unaffected and unruffled, as my capacity to withstand Indian stupidity and idiocy was assumedly at its limits; would soon turn to shock and squeamishness, as I witnessed the videos of the act. This was further compounded by the reactions to the incident, which I thought Indians would unanimously find revolting. What I was to discover, painted a very different India, from the one I was exposed to, during my formative years in three of India’s four metropolitans.

Apart from an unprecedented culture shock (one that I didn’t even notice when I first stepped onto US soil), these incidents forced me to empathize, (not with the women, for that would be patronizing) with the men that tried to protect their women (be it sister, girlfriend or just out of humanitarian kinship). I was forced to relive the scenario, for the terrible fear that gripped me, warned me of my unpreparedness for such an eventuality. “What would you do under these circumstances?”

The answer would not come, possibly because I really was unprepared, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. And being as physically advantaged as I am, there was no recourse in sight. That is when I came across Thomas Jefferson’s own views over guns. He opined that guns (as a symbol of power) are necessary for every citizen to hold onto, not to shoot down their neighbors dog, but to make sure no one else gets to shoot him down, or his rights.

A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
--- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785.

It can be argued, and rightly so, that Jefferson was in an era of the Wild West, where an honor code was sufficient to keep people from killing each other, which has been eroded away by people and, I hypothesize, their religion. In fact, since we are quoting Jefferson, here are some more, to get some perspective:

We may consider each generation as a distinct nation, with a right, by the will of its majority, to bind themselves, but none to bind the succeeding generation, more than the inhabitants of another country.

"We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

--Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.

While the debate in America is a lot more complicated than Jefferson could have visualized, with all the (religious) nuts that roam around freely, I feel that India, which is in this regard more than a 100 years behind it’s time (arguably more), is yet to embark upon its true revolution. We are yet to fight for our freedom, and show that we will not stand for an aggressor, whether it is from within the state or from outside of it. All Gandhi did, was show to the world that we have the capacity to withstand immeasurable amounts of cruelty and injustice. And while Gandhi’s non-violence might have earned us some brownie points in international opinion, on our non-violent and non-aggressive stances, it has long been nullified with the history of violence since then. It is time; I think, that Indian’s re-evaluate their stance on guns. It is time we lose our sheepish naiveté, our misplaced mistrust of guns and our indoctrinated fear of revolutions.