Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day; set him on fire and he'll be warm the rest of his life."(!)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
as selected by the Guardian's film writers in 2004(?).
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
"Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have; intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have."
Monday, September 03, 2007
Richard Corliss profiles the magazine that gave us headlines like "Saddam & Osama Adopt Shaved Ape Baby!" and "Mental Supermen Lock in ESP Duel; Top Psychic's Head Explodes!".
The paper revealed more shocking historical secrets than The Da Vinci Code. It informed us that the seer Nostradamus had an idiot brother, Nostradumbass. One cover story declared that President Lincoln was actually a woman. The headline: "Abe Was a Babe!"
Friday, August 24, 2007
"[W]e should rid ourselves of the oppressive image of a flawless cultural grounding, transmitted and imposed [on us] by the family and by educational institutions, an image which we try all our lives in vain to match up to. For truth in the eyes of others matters less than being true to ourselves, and this truth is only accessible to those who liberate themselves from the constraining need to appear cultured, which both tyrannizes us and prevents us from being ourselves." - Pierre Bayard, "How to Discuss Books That One Hasn’t Read"
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Absolutely fascinating article in Psychology Today. The authors harness the latest insights of evolutionary psychology to find reasons for several of their sometimes politically incorrect assertions, including almost all suicide bombers being Muslim and the male midlife crisis being a myth.
Women often say no to men. Men have had to conquer foreign lands, win battles and wars, compose symphonies, author books, write sonnets, paint cathedral ceilings, make scientific discoveries, play in rock bands, and write new computer software in order to impress women so that they will agree to have sex with them. Men have built (and destroyed) civilization in order to impress women, so that they might say yes.Read it - you'll be a wiser man (or woman). Sex is the key, isn't it? And isn't that the reason why many of these subjects are politically sensitive? Isn't even race a 'sex' issue? Many of the most important social groupings are defined by who can have sex with whom....
Many middle-aged men do go through midlife crises, but it's not because they are middle-aged. It's because their wives are.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Former American President Calvin Coolidge was known as Silent Cal. Once a woman sitting by him at a dinner party said she had made a bet she could get three words out of him. "You lose," he replied.
“Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.” - Nietzsche [philosopher, madman]
“The move from a structuralist account . . . marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony . . .” [Judith Butler, a well-known professor at the University of California – Berkeley]
George Orwell’s putdown of this kind of impenetrability in perhaps his most famous essay:
I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
“I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
Here it is in modern English:
“Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.”
Roger Sandall’s insightful piece on the response to an Islamist preacher calling scantily-clad Australian women ‘exposed meat inviting rape’ touches on Thomas Mann, Nabokov, art, ‘paederaesthetics’ and the sexualization of everyday life.
The so-called artist’s ‘gift’, wrote Thomas Mann in 1903, has dark roots in a poisoned psyche. ‘It is a very dubious affair and rests upon extremely sinister foundations.’ The world should know that most artists today are sick in mind and spirit, a danger to decent people and heedless of the damage they cause. Plumbers and carpenters and other tradesmen are reliable friends. But artists are not. ... ‘Literature is not a calling, it is a curse, believe me! It begins by your feeling yourself set apart, in a curious sort of opposition to the nice, regular people; there is a gulf of ironic sensibility, of knowledge, scepticism, disagreement, between you and the others; it grows deeper and deeper, you realize that you are alone; and from then on any rapprochement is simply hopeless! What a fate! [Tonio Kröger, Mann]’___________
Stephen Spender: ‘Thomas Mann is a monumental figure of our time. Reading [his] journals one feels that this monument is made of very hard, resistant, almost cruel material: but under the surface there is a human being who, together with Freud, was the greatest human being this century.’
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Fobsie'll like this.
The New York Times' Critics' Choice DVD pick for the week: The 36th Chamber of Shaolin!
Monday, May 14, 2007
If you ignore the wastes in the foreground, and the 'Your future has meaning' hoarding, you could catch parts of newly built beautifull St Martins Church at Palarivattom Junction, Kochi City, Kerala, India.
And if you want to shock yourself with the things that we do to our nature, click here.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Czech Republic / Slovakia
In Czech with English subtitles
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Sound: Dolby Digital
“ONE OF THE YEAR'S BEST FILMS! A SATIRICAL MASTERPIECE!”
- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
“Horrific but also funny! Line up outside New York’s Film Forum--and then other theatres nationwide!”
- Stuart Klawans, The Nation
“Raucously inventive and completely out of its mind!”
- Aaron Hillis, Premiere
“A bracing blast of old school surrealism!”
- Dennis Lim, Village Voice
“The last true surrealist...provides the full Svankmajer flavor--as well as a comic metaphor for human existence itself!”
- J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“Marvelous stop-motion animated sequences.”
- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Awesome! Plentiful animation sequences!”
- V.A. Musetto, New York Post
“B plus. Darkly comedic...encourages simultaneous laughter, horror and thought. If that isn’t art, what is?”
- Tasha Robinson, The Onion
“An excellent jolt of blasphemy!”
- Nathan Lee, New York Sun
“The Marquis de Sade, Edgar Allan Poe, Delacroix, orgies and questionable therapeutic practices! Mixes high and low with deranged glee!”
- Time Out, New York
“100% Svankmajer....a potent cocktail....a double-barreled blast of Euro-cult outrageousness!”
- Grady Hendrix, New York Sun
“Svankmajer’s filmic imagination is genius....continues to enthrall, mystify and utterly creep us out!”
- Parisa Vaziri, Film-Forward
“His finest live-action feature to date!”
- Ken Fox, tvguide.com
“Combining horror, comedy, drama and absurdity has rarely been so much fun!”
“Four stars! (highest rating)”
- Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
“Intriguing!...Shot through with the Czech director’s customary black humor, and punctuated by some cheerfully gruesome animation...A fully formed film which transcends polemic by an intelligent use of the imagination.”
- Richard James Havis, Hollywood Reporter
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
“If you take hyphens seriously, you will surely go mad.” ~(Oxford University Press style manual).
The workday proves dull not only to the Computer Programmer, but to the novelist. When there's war to attend to, and heartbreak, and class struggle and familial strife and rage against the dying light, why would one preoccupy oneself, when endeavouring to write fiction, with the nine-to-five? Work does play an important role in literature. It just doesn't mirror the importance or merit the attention it gets in real life.
Contemporary readers like the Marketing Consultant should shudder to the core at [Bartleby's] display of existential freedom.
From God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything:
There are four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Tennis again, wondering if Allen Ginsberg is not more important than Alan Greenspan:
Perhaps that makes you the true misfit -- one who does not even recognize it and would disavow it if asked. When asked to consider the useful social role he plays, the philosophical rebel prefers not to. Or has something happened to the currency of the idea itself of the rebel of conscience, the revolutionary of the soul, the transcendence seeker? ... [The philosophical rebel] alone has the courage to say, "I have no clue what this shit is." ... he does not jump when the Man says jump -- he scarcely moves; he hardly hears the Man; he can hardly even see him; he has to squint. It's his constitution to be cautious and to ask the relevant question Why? ... Could it be that the voice of what you want is God's voice? Could it be that what you want is what God wants? Could it be that you are eating and sleeping and fucking for God? And if that is God's voice then what is this other voice that would hobble the hipster and tie him down, would frighten him into a frightful day job he half believes in and half detests? That must be the voice of the devil!
Cary Tennis at Salon.com:
In the lizard mind where all things are writ backward on the mirror in God's pink lipstick, I am you and you are me. We become what we behold, as Blake said. What we see is what we are. If you are naked I am naked. We are porous in the sensorium of sex. We are not impervious; we cannot look at it without tingling. It hijacks our sex. So if we do not like porn it may be because porn is too powerful. We don't care to lose our freedom to this thing, to have our sex run off one way while we who were children once gape in astonishment and wonder and frightful surprise at the size, the perfection, the wetness, the hairlessness, the lips, the machines.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Annual list of the most innovative companies in the world. Infosys at no 14.
Know these attempts:
The Whole Earth Catalog
We are as gods and might as well get good at it. So far, remotely done power and glory - as via government, big business, formal education, church — has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing — power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG.
‘[Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century] might well be the most complete, compelling articulation of the possible look and feel and actual operation of a sustainable society ever written.’
The doings of Cho Seung-Hui have brought the 2005 Korean film Oldboy into public discourse.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11 Nov 1922 - 11 Apr 2007)
Listen to the title character in his 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine:
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’”
It’s 50 years since the introduction of Helvetica, which has been called the official typeface of the 20th century.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
pigs, ducks, chicken and cattle shrieked and tore the sky into two.
blood flood the kitchen floor
women smelled of grease and garlic
bottles are emptied
bowels are cleared
morning air, stayed like a drunkard's breath
christ is up in the air
sermons are given and doors closed
churchyard quite and strewn with color rags
at home, food, laughter and howls started
family feuds are renewed for the coming year
then people strayed out
ducked the police on the streets.
Happy Easter was a Drunken Roar.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
‘All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.’ ~ Aristotle
‘We must cultivate our garden.’ ~ Voltaire
‘Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.’ ~ Oliver Goldsmith
‘There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.’ ~Thoreau
‘I do not like work even when someone else does it.’ ~ Mark Twain
‘Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.’ ~ James Matthew Barrie
‘To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.’ ~ John Dewey
‘I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.’ ~ Jerome K. Jerome
‘The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. You can’t weigh the soul of a man with a bar of pig-iron.’ ~ Samuel Gompers
‘One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours -- all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.’ ~ William Faulkner
‘To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.’ ~ Pearl S Buck
‘Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.’ ~ Elbert Hubbard
‘What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed?’ ~ Gerald Barzan
‘If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.’ ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
‘Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.’ ~ Margaret Fuller
‘Life is just a dirty four-letter word: W-O-R-K.’ ~ J. P. Mcevoy
‘No man ever said on his deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”’ ~ Senator Paul Tsongas
‘The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.’ ~ Robert B. Reich
‘Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
[...] that sequence in Music in Darkness where the gallant young soldier gets blinded for life while trying to save a cute little puppy from Swedish friendly fire captures Ingmar Bergman at his most profoundly misanthropic, resolutely non-life-affirming and precociously cynical. To be born blind is tragic enough, but to be blinded during a fruitless puppy-rescuing operation suggests that God is not only cruel but possesses a demented sense of humour. As does Ingmar Bergman.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I'm often asked if there is something I think writers ought to do, and recently in an interview I heard myself say: "Several things. Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world." [...] "Be serious." By which I meant: never be cynical. And which doesn't preclude being funny. [...] "Take care to be born at a time when it was likely that you would be definitively exalted and influenced by Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy, and Turgenev, and Chekhov."
A great writer of fiction both creates - through acts of imagination, through language that feels inevitable, through vivid forms - a new world, a world that is unique, individual; and responds to a world, the world the writer shares with other people but is unknown or mis-known by still more people, confined in their worlds: call that history, society, what you will.
But of course, the primary task of a writer is to write well. (And to go on writing well. Neither to burn out nor to sell out.) To write is to know something. What a pleasure to read a writer who knows a great deal. (Not a common experience these days ... ) Literature, I would argue, is knowledge - albeit, even at its greatest, imperfect knowledge. Like all knowledge.
Serious fiction writers think about moral problems practically. They tell stories. They narrate. They evoke our common humanity in narratives with which we can identify, even though the lives may be remote from our own. They stimulate our imagination. The stories they tell enlarge and complicate - and, therefore, improve - our sympathies. They educate our capacity for moral judgment.
[...] ("Time exists in order that it doesn't happen all at once ... space exists so that it doesn't all happen to you.")
To tell a story is to say: this is the important story. It is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path.
To be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention. [...]
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
For those who have anything to do with Africa..
Liberia: Peace in Progressby Paolo Pellegrin
A K Gopalan: From Satygrahi To Revolutionary :Manini Chatterjee
IN MEMORY OF A K GOPALAN: B T Ranadive
India Today http://www.india-today.com/itoday/millennium/100people/menon.html
Statements made in UN by V K Krishna Menon http://www.un.int/india/ind19.htm
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Checked out The Onion recently? Here are some headlines from ‘America’s finest news source’:
‘Thousands More Dead In Continuing Iraq Victory’
‘Troop Morale Boosted By Surprise Visit From First Dog’
‘Dictator Slays Millions In Last-Minute Push To Be Time’s Man Of The Year’
‘15,000 Brown People Dead Somewhere’
‘Pope Admits: 'God Ain't Said Shit To Me'’
‘Vatican Unveils New Rosary For Windows’
‘Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack’
‘20 Terrorists under 20: A Look at the Dynamic Youths Most Determined to Make a Difference to Your Community’
‘Girl Moved To Tears By Of Mice And Men Cliffs Notes’
‘Google Announces Plan To Destroy All Information It Can't Index’
‘America Online To Build Three Million Home Pages For The Homeless’
‘NASA Launches Probe To Inform Pluto Of Demotion’
‘New Study Too Frightening To Release’
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
For a month starting mid-December, Kashi Art Gallery, Mattancherry, hosted artist Bose Krishnamachari’s Laboratory of Visual Arts (LaVA), an installation comprising a collection of books and DVD’s freely accessible to all visitors. The generous facilities included half a dozen wide screen LCD TV’s and many portable DVD players.
Work prevented me from spending all my waking hours at the gallery, which is just 3 km from home. Nevertheless the weekends were a treat, with the following films resurrecting the cineaste in me:
Dont Look Back: a documentary by D A Pennebaker covering the ever fascinating Bob Dylan’s mid-60’s tour of England.
L’Atalante: a classic romance considered the masterpiece of 1930’s French filmmaker Jean Vigo, who died at the age of 29.
The Decalogue – Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4: I could manage to see only the first four chapters of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s series of hour-long films made for Polish TV in the eighties, based on the Ten Commandments.
Jules et Jim: the classic film of the ménage à trois – a very French film by Francois Truffaut.
La Jetée: Chris Marker’s brilliant experimental film is high-concept science fiction – a highly original meditation on images and memory. Such a big punch in less than half an hour.
Aparajito and The World of Apu: Two and three in Satyajit Ray’s renowned Apu trilogy. Straightforward storytelling, lyrical cinema. Love Apu, love life.
Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or: Luis Buñuel may be the baddest of cinema’s bad boys. Wild, crazy, offensive, exasperating, nonsensical. In other words, Surreal. With help from Salvador Dali.
The Seventh Seal: Ingmar Bergman proves that cinema can be the vehicle for the profoundest meditation. If the theatre has Hamlet, the cinema has this b&w beauty. Awe-inspiring.
Paths of Glory: Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant, passionate (anti-)war film.
Meshes of the Afternoon: Maya Deren’s short film is as avant-garde as they come. The higher mathematics of cinema – not for me.
Short Cuts: Robert Altman’s masterful adaptation of Raymond Carver’s assorted short stories runs an exhilarating three hours plus. The screenplay is a tour de force.
The Matrix Revolutions: Eyecandy/mentalfloss, by the brothers Wachowski. Third in trilogy.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Went to Velankanni for two days. Though, I have no god to prey on, I look forward to the yearly pilgrimage with the family. Mainly for the trip across Tamil nadu, which I love. Huge expanses of land tilled and watered by hardworking people. The beauty of pure bred Dravidans.
I ve given a link to velankanni church's official site on the title, for those who are interested. U can hear Beatles, chanting halleluya !!!! More pics will be posted in my Photodome (click on Wolf's Eye under links).
Oh, I almost forgot, Clement tried some freak bike trick on an empty NH47. Luckily, He and His bike incurred no major harm. Both of them lost lot of paint. But as always Clement went to work the next day. Bravo Clement! Get well soon. Watch your speed. ;)
Sunday, January 14, 2007
One day, I was traveling with my father's friend from his house to mine, in Lagos, former capital of Nigeria. As we turned the corner and entered the Pfizer Road we saw a large group of people coming towards us. I thought it was a traditional Yoruba masquerade group which is a common sight in Nigeria. My father’s friend pulled the car out of the road and parked it, but kept the engine running. As the group came closer, we realized that it was not a masquerade. We saw a large naked woman being chased by a motley group of people. She was neither running nor walking. Suddenly the big group was in front of us. Three or four kids with shattered branches were running along her. Every now and then they beat her and the branches cracked loudly on her skin like a whip. She was not crying. Actually there was no expression on her face except for deadly paleness which shows tremendous fear. Her dark brown skin was glistening with sweat and blood. The kids seem to be thoroughly enjoying what they were doing. A man with a huge potbelly was trotting behind the naked woman holding a can. Obviously he is carrying petrol. And then we saw a kid, rolling a car tyre among the crowd. “Oh shit they are going to burn her” my father’s friend said. With a shock, we realized that we are part of an execution. The group was driving her towards the large bush beyond the dead end of the road. Even though the car’s a/c was on, my father’s friend was sweating profusely. I was confused, and started asking him questions. Under his breath he told me that the woman must’ve stolen something and was caught red handed. Now they will take her, into the bush and put the tyre around her head, pour petrol and would burn her alive. By that time the group had moved much behind us and into the bush.
We both sat frozen in the car. Then few women with kids on their back came along. I quickly opened the door and asked them what’s happening.” She is a thief” they said. “She had stolen a loaf of bread and a pair of cloth from someone’s house”. My father’s friend jammed on the gas and the car screeched on to the road. We drove like crazy before the burning smell of the tyre reached us.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
It was a perfect fall.
vulnerability - flesh against thorn
brittleness - bone against stone
abrasion - sand against face
crackle - skull against flint.
whistle - mouthful of wind through the lungs
red - blurred sting in the eyes
thought - muffled and petered by a choke
fear - vague dull heat in the guts.
It was a perfect fall.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Joy is heavy vehicle driver. To be more accurate, he used to be a heavy vehicle driver. As a youth he was fascinated by vehicles. But unlike others, his passion was for heavy vehicles like Lorries, tippers, JCBies and bulldozers etc. So after getting a heavy vehicle license, he left for Middle East, where he had opportunities to fulfill his passion. Within couple of years, he became an expert in driving all kinds of heavy vehicles. He came back home after three years and got married to a beautiful girl. Marriage photo at his home shows a perfect couple. Joy beaming with joy. Handsome Joy with beautiful Mary. After a month long honeymoon, Joy left Mary at home and went back to Middle East. Three more years went by, and to Mary's joy, Joy came back home. He brought jewelleries and cloths for Mary.
After a week, Joy threw a party at the local toddy shop for all his friends. With toddy, they had boiled cassava and fish, shell fish, duck curry, fried crabs, huge fish heads and what not.. The court musicians sang the saddest songs on request and a glass of toddy. The court jesters cracked the wildest and the funniest jokes that sent Joy rolling on the mud floor with laughter. The party went on till mid night. Party stopped only when the supplies stopped. Joy had the time of his life. After six years of hard life in the desert, Joy relished warmth of his people, the camaraderie of the drunkards.
The very next morning, Joy came back to the toddy shop, and then party started. Party continued for three months. Then it was time for Joy to go back. But Joy extended his leave and partied more. Money in his account dried out. Joy pawned his jewelleries and partied more. Joy got a telegram saying that he no longer had any job. Joy put his hand on his wife’s jewelleries and partied more. By this time, apart from the toddy shop he started visiting Navaratna bar, one of our town’s important watering holes.
The time when his parties were solely sponsored by his wife’s Jewelleries, which was quite a lot, Joy started his famous swinging between the bars. He starts his day at the neighborhood’s friendly toddy shop and then swing to Navaratna bar and from there he swings to Premier bar and then to Swapna and then to Alankar and by teatime he will be promptly back at the friendly toddy shop to restart the cycle. Navaratna-Premier-Swapna-Alankar. It was during this time one of the witty bar birds named him Tarzan Joy for his famous swinging between the bars. The name stuck. Even his wife, during their hugely rare courtships, lovingly calls him Tarzan. And he loved it. That is the story of Tarzan Joy.
The reason for this entry is that, I saw Joy this morning near my house with some of his cronies. When I asked him what’s happening, he said that they are all going for fishing in the river. And that is what he does for his living.