Monday, July 31, 2006

The Eternal Mel

Yes, others have said the exact same things, but let me add my note to all that's being said about Mel Gibson:

- He's so obviously an anti-Semite. There's been enough evidence .... his behavior, his film and his family.
- The first apology didn't refer to his anti-Jew remarks. Gibson only said he was sorry for these later, when it was pointed out. He wants Hollywood and movie-goers to not boycott him. Make no mistake, he still has the same beliefs.
- Nothing he'll say or do in repentance now and later will ever change that. It can't, because - unprovoked - he chose to express something that he believes in. He'll always be a Jew hater.

And no, drunkeness is not an excuse. How can they defend this SS Nazi? How?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Syd Barrett

Roger 'Syd' Barrett passed on last week. One of the founders of Pink Floyd, he left the band in the late '60s, well before Floyd's major albums came out. He was replaced by David Gilmour after he lost his mind, and the album 'Wish You Were Here' was with reference to Barrett.

I chanced upon The Piper At The Gates of Dawn, from Barrett's time, in '04. Astronomy Domine, a weird number from this album, wasn't easy to forget.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Again: Murder in Bombay. Resilience?

'Bastards!' I recall this headline in the Daily Mirror after the London tube bombings one year ago. It was also expressed spontaneously, soon as many of us heard about Bombay now.

Today, a bunch of hatemonger killers left explosives on trains across Bombay and got off, before hundreds were blown up. A curse on these godless heathen.

All Cities Do Step Up During Tragedies
Now about the media that covers Bombay's tragedies. Oh, the city is used to it, right? The city is 'resilient', and it's residents will rise to the occasion, Bombay's spirit shall ne'er die, this is after all 'Bombay'.

Where doesn't this happen?

What city isn't resilient, where don't citizens step up and help each other after a disaster? It happened in New York, London, Madrid, and in any other terror zone. Why does the media keep on about how each city is unique and shall rise from the ashes. Come on, they all do, and it's not extraordinary. Because it's a question of staying employed, not losing an earning opportunity - there isn't a choice for most ordinary survivors. And people will always reach out during a tragedy, like they do in Bombay everytime.

Excitement For Some Of The Unaffected
However I saw a different kind of 'resilience' on television. There were resilient people in Bombay grinning on camera, yelling, laughing as they waved to viewers, and overall having a good time as clueless reporters asked for soundbites. Happens every time, and so terribly crude when viewed against the background of tragedy.

They were obviously not directly affected by the bombings - no damage, no injuries, no loss of life, and for such people this was some welcome excitement. Trains were bombed in the city where they live, nothing happened to them, but wow how exciting - be all buzzed and do nothing. A diversion from their monotonous daily lives. For every genuine donor, facilitator or life saver(there were many), there were several of these jokers on the sidelines. One of them even said 'It is a sad day for Bombay', smiling cheerfully.

News Coverage - Watch Us, We Sensationalize More.
Do any of us care for reporters and news anchors' faux expressions on Indian TV channels? . Those affected are tired of cliched comments about 'spirit' and how 'Bombay is different'. Did anything change for them since the last tragedy? As always, rookie and familiar reporters were competing for stories by asking the most inane questions:

'How do you feel after these explosions?' (I feel great. What do you think?)
'Do you want to go home now?' (Nope, thought I'd standby until the wee hours)
'Will your family be worried about you?' (No, they're hoping I'd be taken)
'Are you going to get on a train now?' (No, heading to the airport)
'Do you feel different than the last time Bombay was attacked?' (Yes, this time I feel really awful. Last time I was happy.)
'Do you think Bombay will get back on its feet?' (Difficult to say. Let me watch and get back to you in 6 weeks.)

Bad enough when posed to dazed victims, and incredibly worse when asked to the grinning/excited folks above. Completely unaffected, their cheerful smiling demeanor, even as they professed sorrow and shock, should make anyone recoil with disgust.

Speaking of expressing disgust, do read this column. Are these attacks a surprise any longer? No.

Windows Live Mail - what a mess!

Right off my comments on Cnet -

Been trying this beta 'upgrade' on and off a few months now.

What a complete disaster Windows Live Mail, beta or not, is! What the heck is the MS team doing - nothing works on this piece of trash!

  1. Can't open an email easily,
  2. Can't open a link within,
  3. Can't update contacts,
  4. Can't delete an email, and
  5. Microsoft even threatens us ambigiously when we try to opt out of beta?! Just try opting out.
Besides they'll keep telling you they're working on the Classic Hotmail view, and that you should try LiveMail. It's confusing as both do not work. Oh, and it works supposedly on IE only, not Firefox. Another super-smart move from MS. Not.

I've anyway switched to Gmail a long time ago. I used Hotmail for 12 years and it became bad to worse to now unusable. Hotmail was already a usability disaster right from login to logout, and so is 'Live Mail' now.

Can MS get anything right?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Did I miss something?

Just finished 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari'.
Now what was so fantastic about the book? Honest. Maybe I didn't get the point. Maybe I didn't like the narration and the way it was all conveyed. Maybe it was too much hocus-pocus? Maybe it was hard to recall it all for self-improvement.


It was all about what most people already knew. It was nothing new. There's a zillion self-help books, new age thinkers, and courses that supposedly do the exact same thing.

Felt like the book was much too simple and random in its message. We get the same preaching in many other ways and often. What was different here?