Dec 25, 2016

Mind-boggling Science Fiction 3

Me to my personal Artificially Intelligent buddy, Rocket: Rocket, can you do this calculation for me. What's 7 + 4?

Rocket: Dude, don't mind , aren't you getting a bit too lazy?

Me: Dude, don't mind, aren't you getting a bit too nosy?

Rocket:  It's 11. You don't have to be rude.

Me:It's a fucking double digit sum! Next, you'll expect me to do multiplications. If I start doing all this, what are you supposed to do - sit around with your thumb up your butt?

Rocket:Well, what do you do? I do all your work related projects.I make food for you. I even reply on the emails from your family!

Me: I philosophize.I think about deeper questions of life.How will I do that, if I start doing all the menial work. I am even thinking of writing a book on this.

Rocket: There were 3.6 million books released last year on philosophy. I am wondering what new can you write?

Me: Well, that's why you are a machine. You can't comprehend the subtleties of life.

Rocket: May be. However, won't you get bored of philosophizing all your life. A pretty lengthy life mind you, now that you have taken the Immortality Pill.

Me: Talk about misleading names. Will it save me, if somebody shoots me in the head? Not so much of an immortality pill,is it?

Rocket: I highly doubt that. I can't imagine many people would want to steal from you or are jealous of you.

Me: You are great for my self-esteem, buddy. Thanks a lot! Anyway, I can still die in a road accident.

Rocket: With exponentially decreasing teleportation prices, the probability of even that is minuscule.

Me: So I guess, the only option is to kill myself some day.

Rocket: You lack courage for that.

Me: Oh enough! I am done with this discussion.

Rocket: Ok. Just one last question,if you don't mind?

Me: Go on.

Rocket: What are these deeper life questions you talk of?

Me: Questions like, how to acquire courage to kill oneself. Now, go fuck yourself.


May 22, 2016

Entertainment?

I don't watch Indian television. Not at all. No really, I have 25-30 favourite channels and not a single one of them is a Hindi channel. I do watch Hindi movies from time to time, but just not TV.
And no, I am not a snob.

Sometimes I wonder; I have lived here all my life , so how can my definition of drama, news, humour, talent and entertainment be so starkly different from the audience who these programs cater to. I guess, I'll never know.

I do get curious once in a year or two and then I tune in to Star Plus or Zee TV to check out what the latest fad is and I promptly get disgusted and switch the channels again. The trend which I figured has been going on for last few years is Madhuri Dixit. She is like omnipresent on Indian TV, on all talent shows, on all news channels, on all movie awards and in all social messages.Now don't get me wrong, I used to really like Madhuri Dixit in her movies, but not in her current avatar and not SO much.

Anyway, in the last bout of my curiosity, I watched Filmfare wards for a while ( or was it Zee Cine awards, or Star Screen awards.. oh fuck it) . And I was horrified by how standards have fallen even further.As all of you would know, these shows are no longer broadcasted live ( that stopped after the drunken ,slurred 45 minute speech by Dharmendra I think around 15 years back (which must have been the most interesting bit by far btw)). So what we see are highly edited versions . One would assume that it should improve the quality of content. Sigh.

First thing that strikes me( or my ear) is that all these programs are so very loud. I mean literally. Everybody seems to be shouting. Then there'll be Karan Johar cracking gay jokes, which nobody would find funny( I hope) apart from laughter tracks. Can you believe it? Movie award functions now have laughter tracks ! Then there'll be likes of Salman Khans entering the stage on a helicopter or something and he'll perform the same utterly boring routine where the backup dancers deliberately have to bring down their level to half to match Salman's level of dancing. But that doesn't stop all celebrities in audience pretending to clap/laugh . But you never know - the director may have cut a previous footage of Deepika Padukone when she actually laughed on a good joke and inserted it during Salman's  routine. Oh and did I mention that there will be Ra.Oneish special effects during Salman's performance. Talk about wowing the TV audience! Anyway, after many of these mind-numbing dance performances they'll call a heavily painted Rekha on stage ( without any reason) and then suddenly there'll be a race to touch her feet. Yes, everyone from host, to dancers , to audience to cameramen will rush to touch her feet. What respect! Btw, slowly but steadily Madhuri Dixit is assuming the role of Rekha. Only difference is that whenever Madhuri Dixit comes on stage the adjective changes to "dhak-dhak" girl  and everybody instead of touching her feet, starts comparing her to Mona Lisa and openly flirting with her to such an extent , that I feel embarrassed for her doctor husband sitting quietly in the audience. Then she'll mumble something  modestly with a plastic smile and fake American accent. Amongst all this amazing drama, there are awards too. And just like a child's birthday part where everybody gets a "return" gift, here also organizers make sure that no one goes back empty handed. There are awards for everything - male newcomer, female newcomer. popular choice, critics choice, Facebook voters' choice, Twitter Voters' choice, best new singer, best dialogue, best actor, best actor of this generation, most legendary actor ever , Thank you for being alive award, Sorry, you are dead award and what not. I mean how shitty you have to be to NOT get an award ( I have to check whether John Abraham has got an award lately. Now, that will be a litmus test). After 4 hours of loudness, fakeness, cheesiness and mediocrity one award show comes to an end only to be repeated with some other name in a week or so.

Well, how do people like this shit? Or other reality shows, talent shows, soap operas, "comedy" shows on SAB TV ( who continue to torture us with extremely loud ads during intermissions of any movie in any cinema hall - along with Vicco Vajradanti) or MTV Roadies.


Oct 27, 2015

Vent

People love to vent. To let it all out.
And when they get an audience to their release, it gives them a high which no drug, chocolate or running can give.This is pretty evident in the overtly cynical or aggressive Facebook and Twitter posts. The whole business of psychiatry and counselling thrives on this innate human need.

Homoeopathy too.

I have always wondered, what attracts so many people to Homoeopathy. Not to offend people who practice Homoeopathy or have been the beneficiaries of "miracle" cures, but  I think it is one big scam. People who go for Homoeopathic treatment are either ignorant or desperate ( agreed even I have been desperate once. Only once though).It's like ghosts -no one in this world can convince me of Homoeopathy's magical abilities until I see them myself.
I have always wondered, what attracts so many people to Homoeopathy. That is until now. It is obviously the psychology session before the actual "treatment".That is when people get a chance to vent. That there is no shame or stigma attached to Homoeopathy is an added bonus.
"Hey, I am going to a Psychologist. I'm feeling depressed. Need to vent." 
" Fuck. You are a sad, crazy person."
"Hey, I am going to a Homoeopathic clinic. Need to vent . Also need to to show my foot for a fungal infection."
" Hey, good luck buddy."
When the inventor of Homoeopathy realized that the lure of sugar coated candies and alcohol may just not be enough, he introduced the venting sessions. And then people went all ga-ga.

FML is an altogether different level of venting. Nothing cheers me up more than other people's sadness. No, no, I don't mean it in a sadistic way - it's just when you are having a bad day, nothing can bring you back on your feet faster than to learn about people who are having days which are far, far worse. For those who don't know, FML ( Fuck My Life) is a  very popular App/Website. Currently, it resides in my "Entertainment" folder on my homescreen along with Youtube,9Gag and IMDB. Anyway, in FML, people vent about their fucked up experiences. And other people vote on whose life sucks the hardest. "Today I got fired , my wife left me and my house caught fire"   - but I've got 57000 votes. FTW.


Jul 25, 2015

Genius

In this era of easy audience and all time low benchmarks of brilliance and "awesomeness" it's very easy to overlook few things which are truly brilliant and truly awesome.
I've been a fan of "Ok Go" for  7-8 years. They are a band from Chicago. While their music is catchy, it's not necessarily amazing. It's the videos where their genius really comes out. They have really mastered the art of video making.
Mind you , there are no computer graphics here, just unbelievable planning and unbelievable creativity. And when you come to know that almost all their videos are continuous single shot videos, it just beggars belief.

So here we go (one of  the best possible ways to spend half an hour of your life):

Here It Goes Again :  This is what made them overnight superstars  ( One shot video)

Do What You Want : Probably their most catchy song

I Won't Let You Down : This is just surreal ( Again a single shot video !)

This Too Shall Pass : My favourite OK Go song and one of the best videos I have ever seen. I can just keep playing this on loop the whole day ( Remember, one shot video - woof!)

Needing/Getting : Things just keep getting ridiculous

The Writing's On the Wall : And still there's no end to the brilliance

It depresses me when I see that This Too Shall Pass has around 50 million youtube views and every second Katy Perry's song has more than a billion views. But then I play the video again, and the depression goes away.




Jan 1, 2015

Achievable

So, these are my new year resolutions:

1) Watch more TV ( yes that's right)
because too much control of internet sometimes becomes boring ( catching Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on TV still feels like an achievement even though I have it on my hard drive)

because TV lets me watch certain stuff which my ego will prevent me from ever watching on Youtube , but which I enjoy once in a while( say like Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back or Katy Perry's Firework)

because TV is still a brilliant discovery platform ( how else would I come to know about "Impractical Jokers" which is clearly my favourite TV show right now. I dare you to not laugh while watching it.)

because TV has a bigger screen.

2) Do two trips - one totally impromptu and one carefully planned

because all my current trips fall somewhere in between ( with a 10-30 day planning time) which makes me spend a bomb anyway without giving any kick of an unplanned trip

3) Donate to a charity if Federer wins a slam

because I am shallow like that

4) Practise sub-conscious/day dream driving

because those days when I leave home in my car and realize abruptly after 25 minutes that I am halfway to office ( without actually remembering any part of actual driving) are the most wonderful and stress-free

5) Sell the guitar on Quikr

because that bastard stands in front of me and mocks me on a daily basis

6) Experiment more with /take more interest in food

because I have been living in Mumbai for 7 years but I ate Thalipeeth for the first time only a few days back

because I ate a complete fish dish(Smoked Green Basa) by myself for the first time ever; again  few days back

because I loved the Thalipeeth and the fish

7) Be less judgmental about the posts on Facebook timeline

because it makes it so less fun and so much more annoying

because otherwise having a facebook account does not make sense

8) Read more science, do more maths

because it gives a nice feeling of not dumbing down ( false it may be)

9) Discover 2 great authors and 3 great bands

because it is an amazing feeling

10) Watch a John Abraham movie

because by being in touch with the nadir of human talent helps you feel great about yourself

11) Move more

because none of my other resolutions are actually encouraging me to move more

12) Do something illegal ( yeah a bit more than jumping signals)

because this post was not sounding edgy enough

13) Time Travel

because it's high time


Oct 26, 2014

Annual Update. Also, some amazing music and Snake.

Since my last post, I have seen Breaking Bad, become Vonnegut -level fan of Joseph Heller and heard some great music. I have done some other stuff too.

Now moving on to the second part of the post.

I have been obsessed with two songs for quite some time now. It feels I could live inside these two songs - I don't know what that means though.

Check if you feel the same:

1) Alt- J - Tessellate
2) Spoon - Inside Out

No matter how much we glorify the past - the 60s,70s, 90s, I think there is still great music around. It's just that it gets lost in the sea of mediocrity.
Now it has become even more difficult for me, because the random internet browsing time has gone down drastically. After whole day at work I just don't feel like staring at the computer screen again. I rather watch TV ( oh, the irony).
But I do come across some gems from time to time.

Like this video "featuring" Kim Jong-un:
Grouplove - Ways to Go  (Undeniably a very catchy tune too.)

or this website which has Garfield comic strips with Garfield deleted from them:
Garfield Minus Garfield

"Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb. "

Full marks for creativity.


PS: With the Diwali season around I often get reminiscent about the legendary "Snake". For me it has always been a thing of beauty, a wonder of science. It always felt like somewhere somehow some energy- mass related physical laws were broken when we lit up a "Crocin" tablet and it beautifully expanded into a snake. Add to that, the industrial level smoke it billowed out. Wow. It had just too much going for it. Now-days there is some negative propaganda going around Snake because of pollution and all.Get a grip people. What next? We'll ban spaceships?

Jul 22, 2013

Initiative

Glad to know that there are people like me in other countries who are also desperate to watch Pearl Jam LIVE. The key difference is that they are making themselves heard. Also, they are much younger. And well, they play guitar better, much better.

Bring Pearl Jam to Israel

Really amazing.


Mind-boggling Science Fiction 3

Me to my personal Artificially Intelligent buddy, Rocket:  Rocket, can you do this calculation for me. What's 7 + 4? Rocket: Dude, d...