Sunday, March 29, 2009


Today when I was at a party, I realized a fundamental truth by seeing a friend and an acquaintance in action: To him it was not a right to not follow the law but rather a duty to obey them when you agree to the laws of the context.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No offence

If we offend, it is with our good will That you should think, we come not to offend, But with good will. To show our simple skill, That is the true beginning of our end.

—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The wisp in my glass on a clear winter's night
Is home for a billion wee glimmers of light,
Each crystal itself one faraway dream
With faraway worlds surrounding its gleam.

And locked in the realm of each tiny sphere
Is all that is met through an eye or an ear;
Too, all that is felt by a hand or our love,
For we are but whits in the sea seen above.

Such scales immense make wonder abound,
And make a lone knee touch the cold ground.
For what is this man that he should be made
To sing to The One whose breath heavens laid?

-John Sparks

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Man Watching

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can't bear without a friend,
I can't love without a sister

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it's with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler's sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A PostModern Song

Yesterday a drinking buddy of mine told me a love story that reminded me of this fabulous song
But then the following text says it more approriate for the times :)

I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her, `I love you madly', because he knows that she knows (and that she knows that he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still, there is a solution. He can say, `As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly.' At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly that it is no longer
possible to speak innocently, he will nevertheless have said what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her, but he loves her in an age of lost innocence. If the woman goes along with this, she will have received a declaration of love all the same.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


KekulĂ© dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity -- most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to being with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Slumdogging and the Missionary

I havent yet seen the movie but this one has some sensibility involved

…Slumdog Millionaire is one more representation of India as the white man sees it, not as we do. It's a five-hundred-yearold tradition. Look carefully, the triumphant picture in the papers could be the enlightened missionary with the tribal boys. The tradition is strong: we've always been cosy with the representations. It's worthwhile to remember we did not tell an Indian story and force the world to recognise it. They told us an Indian story and forced us to applaud it.… (((And gave it eight Oscars.))) One feels awe not for the film, but for its miraculous journey. (((Eight Oscars.))) Clearly, in an increasingly low-brow ocean of publicity and hype, the idea of true excellence is a drowned raft. Not shorn of the hype, but because of it, to an Indian, the film ought to disappoint. (((Eight Oscars.))) It tells me nothing that I don't already know; and it tells me things I know to be not true. Unlike Amitabh Bachchan I have no problems with the film focusing on India's abject poverty. That focus is salutary, and crying out for further exploration. My problem is the opposite - that it trivialises it. (((Eight Oscars.)))

Uses its excreta and chopped limbs to tell a dubious story that leaves the viewer not disturbed but cheerfully smug. (((Eight Oscars.))) You leave the seat exhilarated, not in pain.

The film tells a very big lie: that India's poor have a happy shot at leaping out of their misery into affluence and joy. One day you can be in the crap heap - diving into excreta - and the next running down a slum girl who may have failed to make school but seems to have managed to walk through Vogue's offices on her way to teenage. (((And to walk through eight Oscars.))) With a stunning lack of plausibility (((eight Oscars))) you see the slum child Jamaal grow into a refined public schoolboy who must surely be eating cucumber sandwiches for lunch. India's wannabe wealthy - billionaires among them - would slice their fingers to boast such a sophisticated son. For that accent alone, they would throw in their toes too.

As many cooing admirers have remarked, the director is on a lickety-split run, (((eight Oscars))) pacing his film like a Kobe Bryant fast-break in an NBA finals. Throw, catch, feint, weave, leap, dunk; turn and start running again. Aw! Gee! The camera is shaking, the story is sprinting - there is no way anyone can tell if a few chapters have fallen out, several links of logic lost. (((Eight Oscars.))) You have to be grateful Jamal only grows up to be Dev Patel. Given the absence of any need to explain the miraculous transformation, he could well have become Brad Pitt or Prince Charles. To further celebrate the carnival of implausibility, Master Dev acts with the cool flatness of the cucumber sandwich (that he surely must be eating) - no neuroses of the slums tarnishing his soul.

For those celebrating the authenticity of the film, (((eight Oscars))) here's a secret: the makers clearly had no interest in verisimilitude. (((Verisimilitude, always a Bollywood strong suit. Eight Oscars.))) It's been the rough approach of artists working the India material for the last hundred years. It arises from a clear understanding of "audience". The awgee mobs filling theatres around the world, and paying in dollars or some such muscular currency, cannot tell the difference between Hindi and Hindu or the vast distance between Mumbai and Agra. Much like the American tourists at the Taj Mahal, who cannot distinguish between an unlettered, ignorant urchin and a licensed guide. (((Or the Taj Mahal and eight Oscars.))) The awgee mobs - which include vast swathes of awgee India - will not be held back by the remarkable metamorphosis of Hindi-speaking slum children into English-speaking teenagers - smoothly accomplished whilst riding the roofs of trains, without the intervention of any forms of schooling. Nor will they wonder by what divine principle (((eight Oscars))) some of the desperately destitute speak Hindi and others English. In the happy world of air-conditioning and popcorn - and fountain Pepsi - (((and eight Oscars))) the poor can be made to do whatever we wish. Dance, sing, love, win quiz contests, murder with a Webley & Scott, die in a tub full of currency notes (((and eight Oscars))). What is the meaning of being rich (((eight Oscars))) if you cannot make the poor do whatever you wish? What is the meaning of being Hollywood if you cannot make of India whatever you wish?…

The awgee sociologists also know that the grand hosts of India's grandest shows all come from the slums. Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan - the only two who've ever hosted the Hindi version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? And, of course, now Anil Kapoor in this fast-break film - (((eight Oscars))) who chooses to host it in English, because the slum boy has lost his Hindi as he grew up (just as Kapoor himself did - the upward mobility from the slums is a veritable avalanche!). Awgee and awgee also know that these grand hosts play sinister games, like planting wrong answers and summarily handing over contestants to the fat and tough police (for electrocution and empathy). The awgee media tells us the film is about hope. And hope, as we all know, is greater than inconsistency, inaccuracy, implausibility, dodgy politics, and partypooper critics (((and eight Oscars))). And since the film is about the triumph of impossible hope, (((like winning eight Oscars as a brilliantly gifted British director in the former Raj))) it is impossibly greater than all of the above. QED. And yes, of course it is also a fantasy, a fairytale. And since, for these poor sods, hope too is a fantasy, it all coheres, hangs together beautifully. (((and wins eight Oscars.)))

The awgee readers of awgee media know that this is the crucial difference between people like Satyajit Ray, (((won only one Oscar to go with his 32 Indian National Film Awards))) Mira Nair (((mere Oscar nominee and won only one National Film Award))) and the Slumdog millionaires. Their films were about poverty and streetchildren; this one's about fantastic hope. (((and eight Oscars.)))

In their heart of hearts, the awgee readers know the poor are desperately in need of hope. They also know that hope is all they can - and will - give them. (((Besides the eight Oscars.))) And let's be honest - false or true, fantastic hope is still hope. (((And eight Oscars is one more than seven Oscars.))) The awgee media knows something even more fundamental. (((Oscars are better than eight lakh of rupees in the bank.)))

Never criticise the celebrity whose interview keeps your shop alive. The road to poverty is paved with robust criticism. The world of entertainment is studded with shining pyramids of implausibility. Each one's true reward is a singing cash register. But great awards, fools argue, must go to the fragile hutments of truth and excellence. (((And the awards go there eight times.))) The wise, on the other hand, (((are too stuffy to go be entertained by knockout movies))) know the awgees at the Oscars better. They know they have a rare gift (as in the film) for turning ordinary shit into tasty chocolate and peanut butter.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Quite an Expression

The Indian elephant is known sometimes to weep 

One evening in the 1930s, Ma Shwe, a work elephant, and her three-month-old calf were trapped in rising floodwaters in the upper Taungdwin River in Burma. Elephant handlers rushed to the river when they heard the calf screaming but could do nothing to help, for the steep banks were twelve to fifteen feet high. Ma Shwe’s feet were still on the river bottom, but her calf was floating. Ma Shwe held the baby against her body; whenever it began to drift away, she used her trunk to pull the calf back against the current. The fast-rising water soon washed the calf away, and Ma Shwe plunged downstream for fifty yards and retrieved it. She pinned her calf against the bank with her head, then lifted it in her trunk, reared up on her hind legs, and placed it on a rocky ledge five feet above the water. Ma Shwe then fell back into the torrent and disappeared downstream.

The elephant handlers turned their attention to the calf, which could barely fit on the narrow ledge where it stood shivering, eight feet below. Half an hour later, J.H.Williams, the British manager of the elephant camp, was peering down at the calf, wondering how to rescue her, when he heard “the grandest sounds of a mother’s love I can remember. Ma Shwe had crossed the river and got up the bank and was making her way back as fast as she could, calling the whole time – a defiant roar, but to her calf it was music. The two tiny ears, like little maps of India, were cocked forward, listening to the only sounds that mattered, the call of her mother.” When Ma Shwe saw her calf, safe on the other side of the river, her call changed to the rumble that elephants typically make when pleased. The two elephants were left where they were. By morning Ma Shwe crossed the river, no longer in flood, and the calf was off the ledge.


Lets say there are two sides of a fence and a mercenary who is willing to do what he is paid for.
On one side of a fence he creates a puppet to satisfy the needs of that side's owner.

Now, he has come onto the other side where he is commissioned to design a puppet that controls the other puppet failing which orders are to destroy it.

ps: Isnt this the plotline for Fury

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Crossing the Rubicon

funktionlust: "the pleasurable sensation that an organism experiences when it is functioning according to its physical and sensory potential."