Blogging From a Moving Vehicle (Again)

January 31, 2007

Except this time, the vehicle in question is a cruise ship. Joy.

Details to follow.

Managing Contradictions

January 28, 2007

If there is one thing that has to be said for Indian Communists, it is this: they know how to deal with internal contradictions that would make other peoples’ heads explode.

I’m not taking about ‘privatization is good for Bengal but not for India’. That’s just administration, and is hardly important. Contradictions in that hardly make a difference. No, I’m talking about the important stuff. Ideological contradictions.

Do you remember the APJ Abdul Kalam election? The Communists had opposed Kalam at that time, saying that it would be a bad idea diplomatically to have a President who had run India’s nucear program. Then, with stunning irony-deficiency, they put up their own candidate: Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, formerly of the Indian National Army, a guerilla group which had fought against the British Indian Army alongside the Japanese Army during World War II- which was legally treason and effectively terrorism. Chew on how that would go down diplomatically.

But the stunner is not just in the irony deficiency. It’s that the Communists, who normally shag over China and all its doings, and plea for China to be given a special status are hand-in-glove with the remnants of the All-India Forward Bloc, the remnants of the Indian National Army- the ally of the Japanese army which conducted the Rape of Nanjing, used the Chinese as slaves, and conducted human rights abuses which make the Gujrat riots look like a pleasant day trip. So much so that the Chinese are still using them to whip up nationalistic fervour.

In a rational world, you’d expect the Indian Communists to be at least embarassed about the association with the AIFB. But no, they’ve had them in the Left Front coalition for years now. You have to applaud the way they deal with contradictions.

Racial Stereotyping

January 28, 2007

My laptop has a slight problem with the ‘L’ key on the keyboard. For some reason, you have to hit it very precisely to get it to register. My typing style is such that I don’t always do it, which is a problem when it comes to typing ‘also’. It always comes out ‘aso’.

Maybe it was designed in Singapore.

HLL is an Evil Corporation

January 27, 2007

I always knew HLL was evil, but I didn’t realise the scale and magnitude until this week. Their assault on dark skin with Fair and Lovely always attracted attention, but a much greater sin has passed out of the spotlight for years now. There is not a single variant of Bru that is not blended with chicory.

The shock! The horror! The utter desecration of the legacy of Baba Budan! For the past fifty years, HLL has been poisoning coffee with this filth! And supposedly this is to drive costs down so that the middle class can afford it. Bullshit. This is just a naked attempt by an irresponsible corporation to market adulterated beverages to the poor. If they truly cared about the middle class they would sell 100% coffee at low cost. It’s their social responsibility after all.

I think we need to file a PIL against HLL. Or anyone else who adulterates coffee with chicory. If the Supreme Court throws it out, we shall follow in the footsteps of theothernilu and burn effigies.

Coffee is Like Working Capital

January 27, 2007

You get working capital from an external source like a bank or a moneylender. The external source gives you cash to buy raw materials and process them now. In the future, you sell finishhed goods and return the original cash along with interest.

Coffee works the same way. It gives you wakefulness immediately so that you can do whatever you have to do. Once it wears off, you sleep for all the time you stayed awake instead, plus a little bit extra (which represents the interest).

Not only that, both also keep you running on a daily basis, and are essential to the continuing existence of civilization as we know it.

How to be 133t

January 26, 2007

I am in a taxi on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway.

Amit Varma is sitting in the front seat.

And I am blogging and he isn’t.

Bwahahahahahhahaahaha, as Booster Gold would say.

How to Ensure Representation in the Private Sector

January 24, 2007

FDI in everything. 100% FDI. In all sectors. With no voting right caps. In fact insist that foreign investors have more voting rights than Indian ones. The CEO should be a foreigner too.

These Western buggers are mad about diversity and inclusion. They’ll put special hiring schemes for all minorities, downtrodden or not, without Parliament ever having to make it compulsory.

Sometimes I am overawed at my own intelligence.

Betty Cooper

January 24, 2007

It occured to me that Betty Cooper was probably the most superfluous member of The Archies. Guitars? Check. Drums? Check. Keyboard? Um, not essential, but they can add something. But what unique rock-and-roll-music sound depends on a tambourine? The damn thing just goes shshshshshshshsnnnnding.

For that matter, I also wonder what I ever saw in Archie Comics. There was a time when I’d borrow two double digests a day from the neighbourhood lending library. These days, I wonder what I ever found funny about stories that didn’t even match up to the none-too-sophisticated humour level of the Kushwant Singh Joke Books.


January 22, 2007

The Times of India’s circulation will plummet this year, once people begin to realise that they can get better quality of news  and editorial, and as many scantily clad chicks in Maxim.

Sympathy for the Devil

January 22, 2007

I finished reading Lucifer today. It isn’t comparable in sheer artistic style to Transmetropolitan, in conceptual mindfuckery to Y: The Last Man or Preacher, or in scope and scale to Sandman or Fables. But of all the comics I’ve been reading lately, this is the one which best explores the emotions of its characters. In that respect, the ‘real author’ it reminded me most of was Nevil Shute.

There are wars between the host of angels and various different factions of demons and the damned. There are supernatural killers and entirely new Creations. But the theme that resonated with me the most was Lucifer’s values and motivations, and how they brought him into conflict with his father and brother (Yahweh and the archangel Michael respectively). This is not so much run-of-the-mill fantasy as it is soap opera with a supernatural setting. A family drama where the patriarch is not just godlike, but is God. Tremendous.

And the theme of familial conflict is repeated with minor characters as well. Jill Presto’s anatagonistic relationship to the baby she concieves after being raped by the Basanos Tarot Deck (you read that right, she actually is raped by a deck of tarot cards), the demoness Mazikeen’s defiance of her mother Lilith (the first wife of Adam), and Ellaine Belloc’s loss of three fathers (read it, explaining is too complicated).

On now to Ultimate Spider-Man. It doesn’t even compare to any of the stuff I mentioned above when it comes to storytelling. It rehashes old characters, Brian Michael Bendis stretches stories to three times their ideal length, and there is no mindfuckery at all. On the other hand, Mark Bagley is behind only Jim Lee and Mark Buckingham when it comes to drawing hot women. Ultimate Shadowcat. Yow wow.