Friday, September 26, 2008

A Blogger's Apology

This post comes out solely because I'm sitting at home with my laptop, wondering about the great luxury called wireless internet and how it must not be wasted. All this percolates down to me typing out this post.
So what better to exploit the luxury called wireless internet than to write a post about why I think most of us (or some with narcissistic inclinations like myself) continue to write posts every now and then. I borrow the name of this post from a dear teacher of mine, who, in the second year of college, had all of us write a small piece called A Physicist's Apology, defending the subject we supposedly loved so much (I do love it, but I don't think I'll marry it, more of a friends with benefits kind of thing).
Right then, on to the blogger's apology. I arrived very late on the blogging scene, well after the
blogging boom reached its peak. I took to it, thanks to a dear friend and noted blogger whose blog I hold in high esteem. And then on, I've been writing as and when I feel like, whether I have something to write about, like the last few posts, or not, like this one.
Blogging is therapeutic to a great extent. When you've repeated a story to about 200 people, your blog is like the 201st person you can repeat it to. Many a time, you'd find something interesting somewhere, and not find an audience for it, your blog is your best friend.
But above all, a ticking blog counter and a high number of comments is the ultimate food for the inner narcissist! We all would like to think that people like to hear what we have to say, to read what we have to write, even if that may not be entirely true. So day after day, we visit our blogs, we advertise our posts, check for comments and then go to the counter to find that one extra hit, so we can sit back satisfied that someone's reading it. As much as it is food for the self-obsessed self, it is also the cure. There will come a point of time, when you stand convinced of yourself as an interesting person with interesting experiences to share, and then the hits really don't matter.
Before this gets pointed out, every time I say 'we', I mean 'I', I'm just doing what others did 4 years ago!
Long live wireless, whose grace extends upon most of us bloggers with a little too much time on their hands!
Fully aware of what follows...

Monday, September 22, 2008


For the longest time now, I've been an ardent fan of the Simpsons. Its been a way of life for me to get home before 6pm (now 6.30 pm) to watch the show every evening. I firmly believe that is one of the best, if not the best, animated shows of all time. One can imagine the amount of creativity required to have a show like this running for 20 years! Over the last few days, a strange obsession has taken over me. I've got on to doodling Homer Simpson. And its not just once or twice, my notebook's littered with Homer's doodles! Just last Saturday, I caught myself drawing on a sheet of paper I was adjudicating a debate on (of course, only after the debate got intensely boring!). Another character that I like to doodle is Homer's centurion boss, Mr. Burns, but Homer continues to be Numero Uno! The man just immortalizes our inner sloths! Vivat Rex Homer!

One for The Simpsons' fans,


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apocalypse Now

No, this will not be a review of the movie. I switched on CNN last night, and I was greeted by horrific images of the damage caused by Hurricane Ike. I changed the channel and looked elsewhere. About a week back, it was Hurricane Hanna that had caused large scale devastation and I'd done essentially the same thing, changed the channel.
This morning I opened the newspaper, and staring me in the face from that colorful front page was the news of the demise of the Lehmann Brothers enterprise. Lehmann Brothers is (or was) one of America's largest financial tycoons. Just late last year, the company had declared record profits and just yesterday, it filed for bankruptcy. It turns out that Lehmann Brothers is only one in a long line of institutions that have drowned or are about to follow suit (AIG for example) as a result of the sub-prime crisis and economic recession in the US and economic slowdown around the world; a deadly cocktail of rising prices and falling income.
Desperate for some better news, I quickly flipped over pages and then again, images of the effects of a devastating typhoon around Taiwan.
All of this transpires in the same week as the Delhi serial blasts and in a year that has seen the following:

1. Record oil prices
2. (An unsolved) Global food crisis
3. Huge number of natural calamities
4. Economic crisis and record inflation figures in most countries. Zimbabwe just recorded inflation of 4000 percent. A meal in that country costs over 10 million Zim Dollars! The central bank in Zimbabwe just issued a 1 billion ZD note and then collapsed seven zeroes from the currency to rescale things back to 'normal'. You could just as well make paper planes of that money and blow it all away.
5. Almost a record number of terror attacks, no less than four serial bomb blasts in India within this year itself.

Looks rather ominous doesn't it? Its almost as if everything we've done over the last hundred years has somehow come around to bite us where it hurts most in the year 2008. All the mistakes have somehow piled up and the day this year dawned, the limit was breached. I don't mean to be a doom prophet here, but we'd better not change the channel or flip over pages anymore.

Save yourself. (And as I write this, I notice a blue button at the bottom of the page that aptly reads, "Save Now")

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Le Voyeur

Let me begin this with a redundant question. Has anyone noticed the meteoric rise of reality tv?? No? Oh well, too bad, but since you came here, you still have hope if you read what follows.
You have to notice this new show called "The Moment of Truth". They call people on the show and administer polygraph tests and if people are honest in public, give them loads of cash. Sounds easy right? Wrong. The questions can get amazingly intrusive, sometimes to the extent of wrecking up people's marriages. For example, last week, a woman was asked the question, "Have you ever slept with another man after your marriage?". A very sheepish "Yes" followed and the look on the family's face pretty much said it. Whats more is that if the polygraph finds you lying even once, you lose all your money. So this woman, after having answered some 15 extremely intimate and embarrassing questions, finally ended up failing the test and losing all the money. So, no money, no family and public humiliation.
Controversial as it may be, the show is amazingly popular and has a big fan following, as do a lot of other controversial reality shows. Leads me to ask to questions,
1) How much can people sacrifice for a chance at easy money?
2)This is more of a conclusion than a question. Human beings have an inbuilt Peeping Tom mechanism.
And this is why reality TV is such a hit, because of this amazing hunger for scandal and details that are not accessible. The more intimate or inaccessible a piece of information is, the more coveted it becomes; an irresistible urge to peep into the innermost depths of other people's lives! The size of this set called "other people", of course, can vary from person to person.

Not passing a moral opinion here, just saying we're all voyeurs!
Another hit from the American think tank!