Archive for October, 2010

Eternal sunshine of spotless Facebook

“Catcher in the Rye” is a literary masterpiece written by an eccentric genius J.D Salinger. He never gave a public interview, never published any other major book. He spent a reclusive life by reading Hindu, Buddhist scriptures,  lived in solitary confinement all through out his life  in his high walled house. Banned by US govt after it first got published, Catcher in the Rye  is now part of the US high school syllabus. ‘Don’ Bradman, considered as one of the cricket’s iconic figures lived a rather unusual “star like” life after his retirement from International Cricket. He never entertained ‘media’ into his home. Pordenone Montanari, 73, considered as the “next Picaso”, the existence of whom is unknown till a few months back, lived a reclusive life for 18 years indulging in painting his masterpieces which were found by “accident”. Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematics genius, has turned down a million dollar prize for solving the Poincare conjecture. He simply turned down the “field’s medal” considered as the Nobel prize of Mathematics. He lives in a pest infested 2 BHK apartment with his old mother in Russia.

The four iconic human beings which i have mentioned belonged to four different streams, Literature, Sport, Art and Science. All of them belonged to the “Present Generation”, our generation,  hence whose lives can be viewed from a contemporary perspective.

The common thread connecting these four individuals is their philosophy of life, their belief that “privacy” is an invaluable asset of one’s life which sadly the present generation have absolutely no clue.

The so called “Popular culture” of present society is being shaped, not by intellectuals, not by scientists, not by authors, not by philosophers, but by some rouges who call themselves ‘artists’. These so called present generation artists belong to a special breed of human beings whose existence have to do with “Exhibitionism”. I don’t find fault with them though, as it is their prerequisite to make all their personal lives public. But these small bunch of  people are influencing a generation without much effort. As per my knowledge of Tollywood (a south Indian movie industry), most of the famous stars are uneducated, who haven’t completed even their high school. Most of them are star sons, grand sons, cousins etc who have absolute no knowledge of anything. But their fan following runs into millions ( going by their Twitter account followers), their opinions are valued, their way of life is revered and they are seen as “Godly” figures. The worst outcome of this star worship is an undercurrent philosophy of the need to “exhibit” ones private life in public without much concern.

This phenomena can best be explained by “Facebook” whose revenues have surpassed even Google. Unlike Google which is somewhat a necessity, FaceBook has a unique philosophy as its bedrock. Its business dwells on “popular culture’. It’s about “sharing”. Day in and day out, i see “ridiculous” sharing from my Facebook friends. Some one shares his pic with his girl friend on a bed, some one shares his “private outing” with his close friends at a Goa beach. It became a norm nowadays to share the most private thing one could ever have “The honeymoon”. Then comes these ever famous young Indian wannabe NRIs sharing their pic with the newly brought 50k Audi, wearing sunglasses at night. The moment these “normal” desis step into USA, they feel like stars and  assume that it’s their right to showcase everything that they do in USA to the poor folks back in India. What do they cook, where did they go for their week end vacation, how did they receive degrees along with their phoren friends. pchh, such a glamorous life, we  in India miss it horribly.

I have 400 odd random friends in my Facebook account. I am in touch with less than 10 of them, i have never spoken with 200 of them. I hate 100 of them and i am not interested in 350 of them. Why should i share my engagement pics with 400 of them? Simple question.

Many of us can’t even define what “privacy” is , many of us don’t even know the meaning of that word. I really wanted to see how Laxmi Mittal married his only daughter in Versailles. I wanted to see the marriage pics of the daughter of George bush, i never saw the marriage pics of Mukesh Ambani. If i am not a movie star, does money have something to do with privacy?. If i give 100 crores to a famous south Indian movie actress will she still kiss 60 year old , buffalo looking “stars” or am i wrong. At present i am totally confused.

P.S. btw I am not yet engaged.

Rakta Charitra

FOR ME,  the most historic cinematic moment ever was not when that white girl screams in a bath tub in Psycho or that speech of Don Vito in God Father or Schindler begging “one more, can i save one more”  in the Schindler’s list or “yee haat mujkoo dedo takur” in Sholay or that dreadful ending in ‘Apocalypse now’, or that violent  shit of Clockwork Orange or those brilliant shots of Citizen Kane or all that gore of Kill Bill or that dramatic ending of the Taxi Driver or that “mere pass maa hai” or that La Motta hitting the crap in ‘The Raging Bull’ or whatever. FOR ME, the most historic cinematic moment ever was when that helpless guy ‘comes’ for the second time while his friends are watching him online in American Pie.

Many important and essential things in our lives like films, books, girls, life, god etc have a unique property. The more you explore them, the more complicated they get and you will abhor the peripheral niceties that these things have to offer.  Masand, a film reviewer for CNN-IBN gave a rating of 3 to Rajni’s Robot and gave a 4 for “A Single Man’, a simple story about a gay professor. There is no way one could compare these two movies because their target audience is different and the philosophy is different. “Movie psychology” is like an onion, it has layers, once you go deeper there is no turning back . The more deeper you go, the more chaotic it gets and it becomes hard to appreciate the ‘outer layers’.

Some of the greatest movies ever made like God Father, Raging Bull, Clockwork orange, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse now etc whose emphasis was not on technical finesse(hence excluding the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Spielberg etc) but on an undercurrent philosophy that is very difficult to comprehend. It’s difficult to explain Don Vito’s character or Lo Motto’s psychology or why do the taxi driver do what he does at the end of the movie or the Marlon Brando in Apocalypse now. Humans have the tendency to ascribe greatness to things which they cannot explain. Man created God as a single answer to many questions that he was not able to answer, that he couldn’t understand because it’s an easy way out.

“If you thoroughly enjoyed a movie like A Single Man, you will never be able to enjoy a movie like Robo ‘more’ than the one who couldn’t appreciate The Single man”. This single line explains the whole of  Indian movie industry.

The other side of this argument is ‘exposure’. If i ask you to choose between Ron Jeremy( the porn legend) or one time married famous Urologist to ask a question  “how to satisfy my woman”, whom would you pick?. You are an idiot if you don’t pic Jeremy. Similarly, the best person who could review a Bollywood movie is a south Indian because a south Indian has “exposure”, he watches both Bollywood movies and south Indian movies, whereas Masand has absolute no clue as to what south Indian movies are all about. In India this problem becomes even bigger.

There is huge outcry for the movie “Rakhtha Charithra(RC)” released yesterday( which i already watched), as there were some scenes about a former CM of AP. It’s sad and overwhelming when i hear someone say that India is a “tolerant, secular” country whereas the actual truth is far from it (not comparing with China though). No Indian film maker was able to make a movie on Gandhi from a neutral perspective. It’s ironic that a “foreigner”, not an Indian filmmaker made the best documentary till date on the life of “Gandhi”(Richard Attenborough’s GANDHI 1982) .

When Michael Moore took “Fahrenheit 9/11” , accusing Bush( he was the president of USA then) to be directly responsible for the war and the terrorist attacks, the Oscar academy gave the movie “Best Documentary award” for that year. In India several such attempts made by bold Indian film makers or authors were banned, censored or ridiculed (Banning of the novel “Such a Long Journey” by Rohinton Mistry is the latest testimony of this attitude).

RGV, the maker of Raktha Charitra belongs to a rare genre that Indian filmmakers fear to get associated with. Some of the finest present generation Indian directors who belong to this genre are Vishal Bharadwaj and Anurag Kashyap . Their side of the story and their cinematic vision has to be respected. The benchmark of a pluralistic  society is not in organizing a CWG meet or is not in conducting a free and fair election, but  is in the level of acceptance to different views.

BlackBerry Boys

My blood boils whenever i see the new BlackBerry Advertisement. Nothing to do with the BlackBerry Brand as such, but the way they showed these suit wearing, fat guys shamelessly singing ” We’re special, we’re clever, we’re very very clever”. I guess i am safe here to assume that they represent the top notch corporate leadership. MBA- Business-analysts, Bankers etc…

The intellectual ingenuity of these so called “BlackBerry”  users can be best summed up in a single para , told by a legendary character Gekko played by Michael Douglas in 1987 “Wall Street”.

“”Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A”

Ofcourse, Gekko is wrong . But the concept of greed is  universal. It explains everything, the recessions, the depressions, and the oppressions. As per science,  greed kills you too![link].

1.3 million people have lost their jobs during the last recession due to these BlackBerry boys [link]. Let me tell you that these very very special and clever boys are only a handful due to which millions have lost their jobs all around the globe. The business module created by these boys is so genuinely genius that it’s hard to pinpoint the actual culprits. Millions of lives shattered, thousands of families ruined by this recession and no one, not a single BlackBerry boy was held accountable.

When Ramalinga Raju made a scam running into thousands of crores. He was kept in jail for few months, later got shifted  to a five star hospital and now he is on a bail. The problem here can be best explained by a dialogue from a movie called “Aparichithan”. If you loot a dollar from a single person  it’s not  a big sin, but if you loot one dollar each from a million people, its a corporate scandal. But in most of the cases noone is held accountable.

One such very very clever BlackBerry boy is Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of Enron who is serving 2 decades in prison for the Enron scandal. He was a famous alumnus of Harvard business school. His answer to the interview board when he was asked whether he was clever, he replied saying “I am F****g clever” [link]. Heavily inspired by the theory of evolution, he believed in the concept of “survival of the fittest”.

Ofcourse, some boys are good too. Recently, there were some stories as to how less the present Governor of RBI is paid when compared to top corporate CEO’s. RBI Governor D. Subbarao got a gross salary of Rs 1,28,500 in the month of June 2010. This corresponds to an annual package of little over Rs 15 lakh for RBI Governor, who is a signatory to all the currency notes in the country. On the other hand HDFC Bank Managing Director Aditya Puri earned Rs 3.40 crore in 2009-10 while ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s pay package stood at Rs 2.08 crore during that fiscal. [link]. If you just go through the credentials of SubbaRao here, you might appreciate what i am trying to explain.

I don’t give a damn for some MD working in a private corporation fashioning Blackberry and wearing shiny shiny shoes portraying to be very very clever. I believe it is important not to forget that if Narayana Murty has created a million jobs, some 10 greedy lunatic Wall Street analysts were responsible for making millions jobless and hundreds lifeless.

Here is the song once again…

We wear cool suits, We wear shiny shoes….We’re the Corporate Boys….oyeah! We’re the Corporate Boys..

We are greedy, We are selfish, We are very very selfish…We’re the Corporate Boys….oyeah! We’re the Corporate Boys..

We do steal, we do fraud, we do cheat, we do all in the moove…coz We’re the Corporate Boys….oyeah! We’re the Corporate Boys..

ooooo yeah! We’re the Corporate Boys!!!

A Sad Story of Human Evolution

I am not an authority on this Babri crap. Right now, I am more interested in Robot review rather. If you want some serious shit on this subject i suggest you go and read the post and first few comments here . I am like the old guy in “Munnabhai MBBS” –‘Carrom ramwa nu juice piwanu … majja ni life”.

I thought when they pronounce court verdicts, the final judgment will be short and crisp,  like they do in Indian movies, something  like “IPC 302, you are dead, MF”. But i was wrong. If you don’t know it yet, yesterday’s  judgment  was like 12000 pages. All the people who are ready with sticks, knives , stones and petrol bombs were confused as to what the judgment was all about. It will take them atleast one day to read, comprehend and react.

Yesterday was a historical day. It was a day when a judicial court announced and validated the existence of GOD. It’s unprecedented. Justice Sharma announced that “yes, this is where lord ram is born”!!!. I thought Ramayana was a st0ry till yesterday and Sri Lanka is an Island. So it’s a possibility that the Sri Lankan govt may file property damage charges on India and Lord Ram for destroying “Ravan’s Lanka”.

There were three judges who gave their verdict. Mr Sharma, Mr Agarwal and Mr Khan.

So yesterday’s judgment was simple. Mr sharma  thinks that Ram was born there, it was not a mosque and it was constructed by destroying already existing Hindu idols. Mr Khan thinks that Hindus “believed” that ram was born “somewhere” around that area and it was indeed a mosque which was destroyed and it was constructed on the “ruins” of Hindu idols which were damaged much long ago and the third one, Mr Agarwal played safe.

So judges thought that reconciliation is the way forward and hence even though the majority agreed(ie 2 hindus : 1 muslim) that it is a clear cut “Ram Janmabhoomi” they have given a consolation prize to muslims – a 1/3 piece of land.

I got rather a wonderful idea. If justice is reconciliation after all, why not divide kashmir into 3 parts and give one part each to India, Pakistan and terrorists. Problem solved, problem solved, problem solved.

I would have respected this judgment if Mr khan gave the verdict given by Mr Sharma and vice-verse. And i wondered what would have happened if the bench comprised of “2 khans” instead of “1 khan”.

History has failed once again as a teacher . 2000 thousand years ago, a God King was believed to be born and people worshiped his idol for a thousand years, a Muslim ruler destroyed the site and built a mosque 500 years ago and rulers of modern India destroyed the mosque 20 years ago and now they are trying to construct a “grand temple”.  A sad story of human evolution where no one actually evolved.

About Straight Post

SP is all about freewill. I was once a revolutionary who lost his ideals in technology, a philosopher who lost his integrity in debugging and a poet who lost his soul in coding. SP is just the way I see the world. No hard feelings.

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