Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Waking life / Philip K. Dick

Anyone who has seen Waking Life and wondered about the reference to Philip K. Dick, the sci-fi writer, will do well to read this famous essay/speech by the writer: How to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later. In it, the strange coincidences discussed in the movie are shed some more light upon and given the writer's own personal analysis. A very good read. For those who haven't seen the movie, perhaps this clip from the movie will encourage you to see it immediately. It is one of my favourites and greatly influenced my recent writing. A must-see for anyone interested in philosophy.

Saturday, 13 October 2007


I think everytime my fingers are mischievious enough to delete someone off my humble phone, some part of that someone eventually dies. Now, this is a grim affair but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to go through the painstaking and morally questionable task. Everyday millions of people are deleted off millions of mobile phones. I'm sure I'm deleted somewhere as we speak. The problem lies where we are unable to let go. From time to time I have felt the satisfying urge to smash my phone on the pavement and liberate myself from the eveready clintele. I have deleted ex-girlfiends without so much as batting an eyelid; I have given away entire friendships into the abyss of hit-the-road-jack-and-don't-come-back-no-more-no-more-no-more-no-more. As much as I would like to keep these people on my phone, the fact is that my sim card only has space enough for 200 beautiful people. Hence I delete. And so must you.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

A Withnail / Hamlet moment

"I have of late--but wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither..."

Hamlet (that literally barking-dog-mad) Prince of Denmark

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Rocking the Mike

I think most of the time why I choke on the invisible freestylin' mike is because I just do not have the hip-hop element in me. Nada. Zilch. When I try to make things rhyme I try to make them as ambiguous as I can get. From the chickens of a potter lady in Shanghai to the hallucinations of a guy in an Amazon jungle, that is how random I want my imagination to run. On the other hands, the hip-hop MCs I see are always struggling with their rhymes because they always want to fit everything together like a jig-saw puzzle.

Not to say that there is anything wrong with that but if one really thinks about it then why the hell should the ambiguous pattern of life be made so solidly rhythmic? Nothing happens in rhyme. I hate things that rhyme because it is just so all too convenient. Most rappers make hope rhyme with dope and imagine that it is a connection for which I should be thankful to them ('you opened my eyes' and all that bollocks) but it really isn't. It restricts me; it restricts the reader and most of the time it restricts the listener as well but most of the time the listener is so awestruck by the 'awesomeness' of rhyme that he/she immediately buy into the whole song be it about shredding babies or raping cows.

Give me prose anytime.

Rappers don't understand prose, they think they are sentences. Mind you, I'm not making a full-on assumption on the hip-hop couture because I know many a rapper out there have read a book or perhaps (crazy as it sounds) some poetry too. All I'm saying is that I don't quite understand it when someone thinks they are poetical just because they rhyme. When did that standard fall in place? I missed that meeting. Poetry (and it don't matter if it's street poetry) is supposed to be a free form of expression free from the limits of limits.

In such scenarios, the wake-up call of madness is perhaps the best an artist of any art could possibly ask for. Me, as a former poet and as one that wants to be one again, I'm having all too many difficulties with fitting my old persona with my new. This is again something that I think only poets go through, not street-poets (if you think I'm being prejudicial, fuck off right now) because rappers all too often stick with the image that make the most sense to them whereas to me (whether or not I'm a bloody poet) the only sense comes in losing myself all the time, everywhere, anyhow.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Daft punk - Harder, better, faster, stronger

Kanye West - Stronger

I have to say that as much as I like the Daft Punk original and the DPs in general, this Kanye West rework is good to the extent of being better. However, one line in the lyrics seems quite odd to me : 'Let's get lost tonight/ you could be my black Kate Moss tonight'. That simply has to be the most racial chat-up line ever. What kind of moron goes to a woman and says something like 'you could be my white Tyra Banks' or 'my brown Gisele Bundchen'? I don't quite get what Kanye was doing with that. Good song though, much better than anything else that he has done. At least in my books. Or ears.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Three Cliff Bay

Getting a free ride with some friends, I visited the Three Cliff Bay at the Gower beach near Swansea. Only a 30 minute drive from Cardiff, this beach is much better than the other beaches in Wales - Porth Crawl and Tenby - that I have visited before. The beach is quite hidden and one has to traipse down a slippery trail to reach it. I didn't have a camera on me...and when I borrowed a friend's camera and walked up all the way up on a nearby peak to get pictures...the bloody batteries died!! A very nice place and well worth a visit. There are caravan camps and a supposed hotel nearby so I'm planning another trip one of these days.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Crazy Racists wasting our time

Beauty may lie in the eyes of the beholder but offence, surely, lies in the ears of the offended. Why is it then that in the climate of political correctness that we live in these days, a whole new sub-culture of incorrectness is growing for the sake of argument? The most recent shenanigans surrounding Big Brother was a white, middle class contestant Emily Parr’s use of the pejorative ‘nigger’ in reference to Charley Uchea, a black contestant on the show. Parr’s apologized but was evicted by Channel 4, a decision that saw 922 viewers complain about the unfairness of the eviction.

This incident sparked yet another racial debate, the last one having involved Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty, a Bollywood actress, where the former had racially abused the latter on the reality show. Goody gave the excuse that she didn’t realize that it was racist. So far so Goody. How then, does it seem unfair to evict a contestant like Parr when she obviously didn’t learn anything from her predecessor and who, in fact, used an expletive that historically has an even crueler connotation?

The critics of the decision argued that since some members of the black community use the word amongst themselves with affection in movies and rap-records, the community should either not take offence or learn to eradicate the term from their popular and inner lingo. What these critics fail to understand is that only a small proportion of the black community uses the term as a greeting between themselves. New York City even passed a resolution in February, 2007 to ban the use of the word and with a 17.4% (source: US Census) black population being the largest ethnic minority in the city, this surely points towards something.

One would think that in these times of unprecedented education and social interaction brought by technology, racism can only decline, however, the truth is socially more complicated. Critics belonging to the I-will-stop-if-they-stop school of thought perhaps don’t see that an insult is an affront because the offender does not belong to the same group as the offended in the first place. Why must we use the word ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke’ to refer to a homosexual person or ‘spastic’ or ‘retard’ in reference of a challenged person, even if the gobbledygook is used by some in these groups to define themselves? Surely the English language has enough words to break such monotony of degrading filth. Our zeitgeist is in the unique position to document its evolution and like Big Brother the collective Beholder is constantly watching both the beauty and the beast, waiting for their tongues to slip.
[this was a feature for my journalism assignment so is a little late]

Monday, 6 August 2007

Jeff Buckley Bio

All you Jeff Buckley fans out there...check out this streaming video: Everybody here wants you (2002) that has some rare footage and the biography of the singer/song-writer. He is one of my favourites and I'm going to put a lot of his stuff in the music section soon. Tell me what you guys think!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007


The song in the backgroun, Mi Swing Es Tropical, is quite cool and swingy and my feet were tapping under my seat at the cinema when they played this new iPod advert. Went down to see Transformers with some friends which was quite alright given that you don't mind excessive noise, headrushing special-effects and annoyingly cliche American teenagers hailing eBay.

An interesting scene, I found, was the one in which some American soldiers in Qatar, while fighting off an scorpion-like Decepticon, tried to get through to the American Defence only to face the compulsory service of an Indian call-centre worker. How fitting, I thought, that mankind would always have to combat some such economic hurdles that it has placed within itself, to save itself. I like that this multi-million dollar franchise of a movie, which is probably going to start a new rave over Transformers merchandise and made-in-China toys, still cheekily accuses the American government of having excessive secrets and sheds new light on the 9/11 conspiracy debates, showing how easy it for for them to both keep and manipulate informaion.

It also explains to children, the major-target audience and adults alike ( in the process subtly undermining the gulliblly government-and-media brainwashed American parents in the movie) that in times such as ours when leaders simply want to push dangerous buttons and retaliate to possible terrorist attacks, it would be nice if everyone just calms down and check the skies first for any flying contraptions. The lead actress Megan Fox is quite a fox and should be coming to a teenager bedroom near you in the form of a pin-up poster and keeping enough guys waiting in anticipation of the sequel. I just think I won't be one of them. On a 2-4-1 Orange wednesday deal (two quid) the movie was good enough to watch, but for six quid of my hard-earned cash, I would watch something else.

I was never a fan of Transformers. In India, we had a cartoon show called The Centurions which was quite similar except the transformers were American vigilantes and only human. Does anyone remember that? I have to say, these Autobots and Decepticons with their special effects may have more (ok, much more) appeal but the eleven year old me that came home from school in Calcutta, tired and heavy with education, found this cartoon quite cool. Now, you wouldn't find me dead around shows or movies that have such premise. How time changes things. For the good. Click below and find out!

Sorry indeed!

And just like the other 'House'-mates, he's probably going to flog the last of his breath in shameless publicity from now on. An Al Gore sort of environmental epiphany would seem out of place given his stance on climate-change, C02 emissions and air travel.