Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
"Am all outta ammo, Sarge...should I go for the shoe throw?"
An ILLE exclusive:
By declining to uphold the dictates of Prop. 8, The Attorney General of the State of California, Jerry Brown, has taken a bold and laudable move to stop the fundamentalists from treading upon our fundamental rights. With every election in the U.S. it becomes more and more apparent that the religious zealots in this country are breaching the "separation of church and state" doctrine that was guaranteed to the citizens of the U.S. by the Founding Fathers of the Constitution. Fundamentalist churches and other evangelical religious institutions, flush with cash from their tax-exempt status, are now focused on wielding political power and becoming the proxy voices of their parishes. California pastor, Rick Warren, one of the strident voices in support of Prop. 8 (the proposition that opposes civil rights through the banning of same-sex marriages) has enough influence in the political arena to be invited to conduct the invocation ceremony of the 44th President of the U.S. -- Barack Obama.
The rise of religious institutions in the political sphere is an alarming development because it erodes the very bedrock of secularism that the U.S. was founded upon. The Founding Fathers of the U.S. Constitution, such as, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, were well aware of the pernicious effects of religion in the affairs of the state, having experienced the oppression and hegemony of the Church of England in the late eighteenth century in the 13 colonies. In his New York Times bestseller, The God Delusion, author Richard Dawkins includes a remark from Jefferson that might have reflected his frustration with the rigidity of religious systems -- "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man" (64). Dawkins appends another revealing quip on anti-clericalism by James Madison, the fourth President of the U.S.: "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution" (64).
And starting with Prop. 8 in 2008, a system which at times has perpetuated superstition, bigotry, and persecution is now running roughshod over the civil rights of honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of the U.S.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Indeed, the "only" other ethnic representation in the entire catalog for Taylor Gifts (estd. 1952) was an African-American figure -- Item # 29017A -- a plastic figurine of President-elect Barrack Obama. He also appears in a campaign collectible, genuine, legal-tender, dollar coin -- Item #29033A --displayed in an airtight, protective, acrylic coin holder with felt box. You can also get a John McCain version of both.
These items did make Indian Roller wonder about something else:
Is it illegal to damage or deface coins?
Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.
At taylorgifts.com, there's a sombre-pale-faced Santa who reminds you that there are only 10 days left until Christmas. It's his busiest time of the year and it appears that he might even be forced to work while sitting on the throne using one of the top Christmas decorations featured on this site, The Singing Toilet Paper:
Here's a plug for The Singing Toilet Paper from the Taylor Gifts catalogue:
"Plays a medley of Christmas tunes, including Jingle Bells, Santa is Comin' to Town, and We Wish you a Merry Christmas, as the paper pulls from the roll. Miniature device installs undetected, serenades the unsuspecting. Batteries included."
Ah, would the "unsuspecting" be the ones who will discover the day after Christmas that they are head over heels in debt?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Lost and Found Near Ackerman Union - From the Ground Up
An ongoing primer for the floccinaucinihilipilification of Christmas season in the workplace:
If you are not accustomed to feeling sudden, inward bursts of cheer and generosity in your workplace due to the onslaught of Christmas-season cheer, you might be temporarily consigned to a minority feeling. In fact, here are some scenarios in the workplace around the Christmas season that you may find alarming, if not downright vexing:
#1 Insensitivity: Some of your clueless co-workers will send mass e-mails to your group or department with clarion calls of "Merry Christmas!" If you do not observe Christmas, you might catch yourself thinking, "How could she be so clueless?...Let me teach her a lesson...ah, let me write back, Happy Hannukah and the Best of Kwanzaa too!" But resist that urge and take the higher ground -- Maintain the Obama mindset in the face of these Sarah Palins. Remember, the Grinch did not react until he was pushed to the limit.
In his best-selling tome on personal development, First Things First, author Steven R. Covey writes that "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
So be true to the Grinch in you and for that Christmas mass-mail, in your e-mail application, choose "Move to Trash."
#2 Shameless Consumerism: Holiday raffles, toy drives, and calls for donations will flood your senses in the workplace and mount an assault on your wallet. You might get e-mails from valued colleagues because "it is the season for giving." The raffles taunt you with the prospect of a 52-inch plasma TV while the pictures of needy, inner-city schools who are beneficiaries of the toy drives rankle your guilt. Why do we plant a Christmas tree in the corner and declare the need to line it with toys and trinkets without which we got along just fine throughout the year? And what message are we relaying to these kids through our toy drives? That if your parents cannot afford a gift that you really do not need, we'll step in and feed your want, just this once, every year. And what about the kids whose parents do not observe Christmas? Should we pander to their desires even though their parents do not subscribe to this "bizarre" custom of gift-giving designed around a fabricated birth day? Hmm.
Take the high road again, Grinchophiles! If you have been doing community service for the last 11 months of the year, steer clear of the assault on your hard-earned dough. Now is the time to indulge yourself with a pair of running shoes that will allow you to run away from your workplace delusion of Christmas cheer. And your reward? You will be smiling on New Year's Day because you did not exhaust that cheerfullness and your wallet by 12 pm, Dec. 25.
More to come...What's the deal with that song, "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas?"
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"It's the economy, son...and we need your piggy bank for our bailout..."
Admit it, for all the talk of a secular America, it is predominantly, a Christian nation with Christian predilections. And that is never more obvious than the weeks that count down from Thanksgiving day to Christmas day. The President of this nation has a giant Christmas tree hauled over for just the occasion although you will scarcely ever see him honor the birthday of Buddha with a Bodhi Tree in the White House. How about a palm tree for Muhammad's birthday or a faux burning bush for Moses birth anniversary in the lawns of the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Keep dreaming, my heathen friend or allow yourself to be saved by the Lord!
Unless you work for a religious organization, you can safely assume that your workplace will remain secular throughout the year with occasional festoons and party favours showing up for employees' birthdays, anniversaries and baby showers. The one exception is the month of December, when Christmas wreaths begin to adorn office hallways and the office atrium serves up the aroma of a freshly-cut Christmas tree. You will also receive an occasional "Merry Christmas" or a "Happy Christmas Holiday" greeting from a co-worker. And what do you do if you want to remind the multitude of "unquestioning believers" that Christmas was a made-up birth date of the Prophet by the Christian theocracy to supersede the Roman pagan holiday, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, on Dec. 25? Well, that kind of mentality would classify you as a Grinch.
And that's how it all begins...What would a Grinch do in the workplace for the Christmas season. Critiquing the raison d’etre of this faux birth date will make you the most unpopular guy in the office during the Christmas holidays -- and you will draw parallels to the Grinch in the Workplace. The Grinch is an independent thinker and a celebrity, however -- with several movies to his credit -- while most of your colleagues are not. So, who would you rather be? Besides, the Grinch is green and Green is in, Green is the color of cool. Just ask Al Gore.
Countdown to Christmas: A Survival Guide for the Grinch in the Workplace
#1: Anger: Anger is the appropriate response to this flagrant violation of the expectation that workplaces need to remain secular. Besides, when you expend your anger at the workplace, you will find that your time at home is filled with tranquility and calm.
#2 Derision: When a cheery co-worker greets you with a "Happy Christmas", respond with an equally uplifting "Happy Hannukah", "Eid Mubarak", or "Kwanzaa Greetings."
# 3 Denial: You can pretend not to look at the Christmas ornaments that are decking the hallways of your path to the coffeemaker. Distract yourself by checking your text messages as you walk the corridors suffused with Christmas cheer.
# 4 Avoidance: Save all of your vacation for this time of the year. Honor the Wiccan in you and drive out to a festival of Yule. Or organize an annual festival of dredle spinnin' and kugel eatin' in Alaska. Or go on a fat-burning, annual Haj to Mecca.
# 5 Shock: This one's for the environmentalist in you. Why are we cutting down more trees to fill a corner when Mother Earth needs more forests and whatever greenery that we have left on this planet?
More to come…from negative-centeredness -> positive vibes -> taking charge of your Christmas-season destiny
A ten-step primer to the floccinaucinihilipilification of Christmas season in the workplace by the Grinch in YOU.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
While fear and uncertainty gripped Bombay earlier this week, here's how two of the city's luminaries shared their fears and dread in their own words...
Excerpts from Amitabh Bachchan's blog:
"As an Indian, I need to live in my own land, on my own soil with dignity and without fear. And I need an assurance on that.
I am ashamed to say this and not afraid to share this now with the rest of the cyber world, that last night, as the events of the terror attack unfolded in front of me I did something for the first time and one that I had hoped never ever to be in a situation to do.
Before retiring for the night, I pulled out my licensed .32 revolver, loaded it and put it under my pillow. For a very disturbed sleep."
Posted on: November 27, 2008 - 11:06 pm
Excerpts From Aamir Khan's blog:
"I dread to think of how various political parties are now going to try and use this tragedy to further their political careers. At least now they should learn to not divide people and instead become responsible leaders. An incident such as this really exposes how ill-equipped we are as a society as far as proper leaders go. We desperately need young, dynamic, honest, intelligent and upright leaders, who actually care for the country.
SHOCKED, HEARTBROKEN, HELPLESS, ANGRY.
Gabbar Singh! Are you listening?
Slumdog Millionaire (2008), co-directed by Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandon, fails to extricate itself from its own self-created "filmic ghetto" of stereotype and poor choices. Focusing on the story of Jamal Malik ( Dev Patel), a love-struck kid determined to shed his violent and tragic upbringing in Bombay slums, Slumdog Millionaire is a well-intentioned but ultimately failed attempt at social commentary. Running 2 hours and ten minutes, the film is rife with stereotypes, cliches and bromides that would make any Bombay-wallah cringe in dispair. Jamal's love interest is Latika (Freida Pinto), a hapless orphan whose presence offers nothing but predictability from her first appearance on screen.
Both Patel and Pinto struggle painstakingly through maudlin and fatuos lines of love, anticipation, and honour. Indeed the narrative, nothing short of hackneyed Bollywood-masala, forces this viewer to wonder why the filmmakers didn't just throw in a few song-and-dance numbers since they had the famed music director, A.R. Rahman, in their company.
The most jarring element of the film, however, lies in what amounts to an unfortunate decision by the filmmakers to ignore an integral component of Mumbai life - its language. Not only Jamal, but hoodlums, thugs, and minor characters speak an immaculate English, barring one Hindi expletive (matherchod - motherfucker). In fact, the language of the slums in Mumbai, Bambaiya Hindi, is a mix of Urdu, Hindi, and Marathi. If the filmmakers really wanted to speak to the needs of the people of Mumbai, they should have tried to stay true to these roots instead of trying to pander to a global audience. Pinto and several members of the Indian cast are obviously uncomfortable with the nuances of their feelings rendered in the English dialogue and they often mumble their lines in incoherent little sentences as if reading a teleprompter on their co-actors' eyes. Indeed, because many of the exchanges between Jamal and Latika are barely audible, the filmmakers should have redone entire conversations in ADR.
The uneven storytelling is not aided by the Dutch angles which seem more ostentatious than helpful to the construction of the film. The pretentiously hip music does not adequately convey the grim conditions of some of the worst slums in India. Foreigners became cardboard cutouts created for comic effect, while antagonists are instantly familiar because they are either wife-beaters or are swearing at women with foul language. Even veteran Bollywood star, Anil Kapoor, portrays Prem Kumar, the host of, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" with a healthy dose of histrionics and insincerity. The problems with language continue as Kapoor mumbles part of his lines in Hindi, an act which leaves the non-Hindi speaking audience clueless because the lines are not always followed by subtitles in English. Perhaps the only redeeming element of this mediocre and forgettable film is the soundtrack, which offers some innovative and entertaining lyrics.
One is left to wonder why such a problematic film received so many positive reviews from Hollywood-media critics. Is there an element of the "noble savage" in the way that Hollywood critics relax the standards for filmmakers who touch on South Asian themes or are they just being safe and politically correct in not identifying sloppy filmmaking for what it is? Do Hollywood movie critics have double standards for Hollywood-based films as compared to foreign films?
Slumdog Millionaire is a dog in Danny Boyle's oeuvre and barely deserves a B-movie grade. Prem Kumar's million-dollar question in the eponymous show to Jamal should have been: "Will this dud-of-a-movie pass the critics' muster...Are you sure?...Or would you like to go 50/50?"
Thursday, November 27, 2008
From the Diaries of ILLE : Itinerant Little Leprechaun Erin
If the massacre of Native Americans and the betrayal of their trust was part of the "manifest destiny" and the grand plan for annexation of their land was biblical prophecy, how did the lowly turkey get caught in the fray?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
According to the world-renowned exponent of global trends and New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, we inhabit a hot, flat, and crowded world where clean water will be a scarce commodity. And he isn't talking about a Roman bathhouse. In any event, one of the consequences of the flattening of the world is the creation of an environment in which products could be competitively produced in any corner of the world. This should lead to a fiercely competitive market of vendors, thereby pushing prices down of most commodities and benefiting the average Joe (even Joe the Plumber).
But one commodity appears to resist that trend and has become a major bugaboo in the overarching theories of Mr. Friedman. But that commodity also happens to be the might samosa, the staple snack of more than a billion people on this earth. The global disparity in the price of the samosa has flummoxed many Wall Street gurus and continues to be a bete noire of economic theorists who are painstakingly trying to fit the earth into a One World/One Theory paradigm.
At a tea stall in Calcutta, the samosa may cost you Rs. 2 (about 4 U.S. cents), at a posh hotel in Bombay it may set you back Rs. 60 ($1.25) and at the Gaylord's in San Francisco the sumptuous snack is roughly, $2.50 each. But as we all await a globally flat price of, maybe, 4 cents a samosa, a hawker in Sonepur, India, bucked the flattening trend by charging a Dutch couple the princely sum of Rs. 2,500 ($40) per samosa.
According to a BBC report by Amarnath Tewary in Patna, "The young hawker insisted in broken English that the samosas were specially made of Indian herbs and had aphrodisiac qualities, local official Paritosh Kumar Das told the BBC. "
Read the full report here:
Tourists in India in samosa shock
It appears that samosas laced with herbs and aphrodisiacs are worth their weight in gold. There might be rumours that Keith Richards is seeking to trade his Rolex for samosas laced with other uplifting substances.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
"Monitor size matters, Quigley. This way I don't have to see YOU."
While the American media has been busy excoriating Sarah Palin for her gaffes in grammer, her sentence constructions have vindicated those of us who cannot claim English as our first language or mother tongue. Palin has freed us from some of those ghastly regimens of "proper" English and overthrown the shackles of colonial, linguistic hegemony. First it was the gansta rappers who freed us from the taboo of dangling prepositions with their diction. Now, Palin comes in with an unbridled, dumb-as-you-wanna-be version of the language that had been regimented to exclusivity by linguists and grammar-nazi's in the same manner that the Catholic priests guard the rights to holy communion.
Conjunction, hell...what's your function? Why can't the Verb agree to disagree with the Subject? What's the tension between the past, the present, and present perfect? Why can't we just speak Palinese...Apparently, 26 per cent of the Republican conservative base had no trouble understanding her. Imagine that -- a base of supporters who believe that we should return to the sanctity of a 2000-year-old book to live our daily lives and yet they rejected the rigid syntax of a 1000-year-old language, English, by accepting Palinese. We're on to something -- a new language, a new vernacular, a new way, a new day. Viva Palinese!
Case in point...start your day with this:
Two gems of Palinese from Sarah Palin in an interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008. Notice that you get the gist of it without wallowing in the messy details...It's the gestalt, baby!
"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008
"Well, let's see. There's ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―" --Sarah Palin, asked by Katie Couric to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade.
Coming Soon to Amazon:
"Better Grammar? You betcha!" by Sarah Palin
Friday, November 7, 2008
ILLE was in West Los Angeles to grant the Indian Roller a short interview on the political aftermath of this week's election:
Indian Roller (IR): Were you able to vote in this election?
ILLE: No, Leprechauns and other mythical creatures are barred from the voting process. But, not being able to vote allows me to observe this election as a neutral, non-partisan representative of the American people.
IR: Could you share some of your observations?
ILLE: Well, it's hard to put in words anything that the media hasn't already said. But I should like to add that the election of an African-American is the absolute denouement of the history of civil rights in this country and a direct salute to diversity of the American people...Obama's father is African and his mother, an American...so, he deserves the moniker, African-American.
IR: Let's talk about California...Many political pundits claim that it is the harbinger of controversial issues in U.S. politics? Do you agree?
ILLE: As far as the issues in California go, Prop. 4 and Prop. 8 were the two Bible-thumping issues and it was interesting to note that the same Latino and African-American demographics that voted for Obama might have voted Yes on Prop. 8 to deny the right of marriage to same-sex couples. Prop 4 was an anti-abortion measure couched as a family-friendly proposition with strong Bible-inspired verbiage.
IR: So, are you opposed to Bible-inspired propositions?
ILLE: If you look at the chequered history of religion and affairs of the state in the U.S., you will find that the Bible was used to justify slavery...the Bible was quoted to ban inter-racial marriages until California overturned the ban in 1948...and the Bible was often used to justify subjugation of women and deny them suffrage. During various times, for various causes, the Bible has been used by various religious groups as a Weapon of Mass Discrimination...the Bible is a WMD.
IR: Are you saying that the Bible is being used to deny civil rights to U.S. citizens?
ILLE: It's interesting to note that a large proportion of the African-American community in California voted to create a historic milestone in the struggle for civil rights by electing Obama to the Presidency. The Rev. Martin Luther King lived and died fighting for the rights of every dis-enfranchised American citizen. He fought the religious and social bigotry and the biblical justification of slavery. I'm not certain, then, that I understand why some African-Americans voted to ban same-sex marriage based on their faith in the Bible. A "No" vote on same-sex marriage is an attack against civil rights...there's no denying that.
IR: So what do you recommend?
ILLE: Well I see a two-part, long-term solution to the malaise of the mixing of church and state. First, the Government should withhold the tax-exempt status of all churches that choose to engage in the political affairs of the state. Second, I propose an Education programme to empower people to think for themselves and not be waylaid by wanton interpretations of social laws that are derived from ancient dogmas, ideologies, books, and fairy tales that have little relevance to our modern-day lives. If people could think for themselves and engage in their own spiritual quests, we wouldn't need these religious institutions that thrive by controlling your mind and by telling you where to donate your money... and how to vote. It's because people have allowed themselves to become the sheep and have become addicted to rote passages that give them simple fables of hate and love --
IR: Any final words?
ILLE: I think it was Mark Twain, one of America's foremost writers, who said: "A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. "
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The McCain-Palin campaign unveiled a unique solution to the current financial crises plaguing the U.S. The plan includes boosting our economy with revenues generated by cage duels between Joe Six-Pack and Joe the Plumber to be officiated by Joe Lieberman.
"There will be blood to pay, you betcha," said Sarah Palin,"but that's how you achieve trickle-down economy, gosh darn it!"
Palin, who is credited with successfully galvanizing the base instincts of her Republican party die-hards added that for years, the economy of Alaska has survived on revenues from cage duels between Bullwinkle and Joe Camel.
"I've always pitted big cartoon characters against big tobacco agents and guess who's winnin'(sic)," she quipped with a wink, "The State of Alaska and my hubby, Todd Palin." She later amended that statement by saying that she was referring to her husband's winnings in dog-sledding across America and drilling for oil in the backyard of their trailer home in Wasilla.
"Friends, I am proud of Sarah Palin,"said Senator McCain clutching a pen and clenching his teeth,"She can spot a terrorist from miles away." McCain added that Palin honed her terrorist-detection skills by "keeping a clear watch on the Bering Strait" and "staring those Ruskies down."
"It's a tough job and only a maverick like her could do it,"adding that, in 2004, George Bush should have ditched the "crusty" Dick Cheney and picked Palin as his running mate.
"I am no George Bush and I picked Sarah Palin as my partner," McCain announced to the thunderous crowd at the moose-carving party. A few minutes later, he had to explain to his supporters about the salient differences between an Arab and a "decent American."
"I am proud of my supporters,"beamed McCain,"they are patriots, heroes, and now, because they understand the difference between an Arab and an American, they will refuse to vote for Obama!"
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Do not fret. These easy questions will help you decide. You must answer an emphatic "Yes" to all of the following...there are no "if's", "but's" or "maybe's"...:
Do YOU believe:
- That the United Nations is responsible for our current financial snafu?
- That Freedom is to be "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Death" penalty?
- That Putin will rear his head in the airspace of Alaska?
- That traveling abroad is un-patriotic?
- That every Muslim is a terrorist?
- That your IQ is less than Bullwinkle, a liberal, socialist elite from Wassamatta U.?
- That you can use "You betcha", "Gosh darn", and "Joe six-pack" in a song?
- That the capital of the United States should be Wasilla failing which Alaska should secede?
- That you are a maverick?
Remember, a vote for Palin is a vote for Freedom -- from the pesky g's as in, cheerin', winnin' and moose-huntin'!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Recently, I started reading the Cartoon History of the World III, an extremely well-researched and illustrated book (see image), and the perhaps one of the motifs that emerges from the book is that religion, while it provided succour and stability to many cultures, was a cause of great suffering and humiliation to those that were deemed to be, the "others." Although Mr.Gonick, the author, never avers to it, but I came away with the feeling that mass religion is the scourge of humanity and we'd be much better off thinking for ourselves and engaging in our own spiritual quests. This would obviously result in a drop in attendance at churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples but the world will be better for it. Let's pray to the Almighty Dollar (or the Euro or the Yuan) instead. Everybody can see it, visualize and fantasize about it, and we all know how it feels to have one in our hands--it is an out-of-body experience to hold a Ben Franklin in your hand.
Which reminds me, if you ever felt uncomfortable with the inane drivel of modern-day religions but felt shy to voice your opinions, go see Bill Maher's Religulous. It makes laughing stock of our strict adherence to religious strictures and offers up a good laugh in the process. I was in stitches throughout the entire movie and Maher's sharp-witted questions to the defenders of the religious scriptures reveals the depths to which we are ready to accept the hocus-pocus in our religions while we are quick to deride other religious canons as inaccurate and mere fantasy. By the end of the documentary it is fairly clear that all mainstream religions today are based on some virtue-inspired fables, fairy tales, and myths, but it is alarming to see the custodians of those religions trying to convince Bill Maher that their beliefs are the one-true beliefs. And it this trait of unilateralism in every mainstream religion that makes these religion so potentially dangerous, pernicious, and deadly. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
Two quotes that I'd like to add here:
“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it”
"Religion is the opiate of the masses."
In the chequered history of the U.S., religious bigots have Bible-thumped their way into justifying slavery, inequality of sexes, and a ban on mixed-marriages. So, don't let the religious bigots define what marriage means for the rest of us...Vote "NO" on California Prop 8. Marriage is an equal right for all!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Bapu (father of the nation), as he was known to those who loved and revered him as beacon of a secular India, was partly inspired by Henry Thoreau and in turn, inspired other proponents of non-violence and peaceful civil disobedience, such as, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
On the fifth year of the unilateral and illegal occupation of a sovereign nation, Iraq, by the Bush regime, these words by Gandhi ring true, once again:
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"
And here's a pic from BBC Day in Pictures from Amristsar, India...Little Gandhi's in a march!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
the fire of the Lord,
you walk the way that
He would stride
and talk the way
He should be communicating
You say you have
the keys to joy and bliss
and yet all you can offer
is the door to hate and
the path to the bigot's lair
When you stand in the front of the mirror
shorn of your sequined garb
and your silken linings,
do you see the face of your Father
or do you count those
wrinkles that bear the weight
of your spite and wanton rantings
on what is right or what is wrong
as you would see
as you would decree
When you stare at yourself
do you think of how
the son of the Lord would opine
on your riches, your marbled edifices
your golden tiaras and Prada steps
your bullet-proof Mercedes and
your mile-long retinues
your trail of sycophants
the confetti and the sheep of your cult
those showers of praise and
adulation...do they make you that
you're greater than thine Father in Heaven
and do you really need Him more
than He needs you
When those long and stately hallways
grow longer still
when the giant windows that
frame your sheep grow dimmer still
When your feet finally yield to
your lifelong burden of deception
Will your soul step up and teach you
a few common courtesies that you denied
your world...like a little humility, brotherhood,
love and tolerance of the other.
"It's your mother, Lord...did you forget her birthday?"
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Yesterday, a mailer showed up in many California homes that said, "Don't Let Sacramento Politicians Remove Products From Your Grocery Bag". The mailer was a four-page flier touting the benefits of BPA to us, the consumers, and how banning BPA would result in fewer options for the consumer. The kicker in the mailer is the statement is that "no other state in the country bans BPA." To put words in the mouth of Kramer's attorney, Jackie Chiles, this mailer is, "deleterious, devious, despicable!"
The Center for Science in Public Interest, http://www.cspinet.org/nah/bpa.html, has this quote from the National Toxicology Program in its page:
Here are NTP's conclusions:
The NTP concurs with the conclusion of the CERHR Expert Panel on Bisphenol A that there is some concern for neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures. The NTP also has some concern for bisphenol A exposure in these populations based on effects in the prostate gland, mammary gland, and an earlier age for puberty in females.California has always been one of the trendsetting states in matter of consumer rights and legislation and it would be reassuring if the folks in Sacremento used the scientific data to consider banning products, such as BPA, that are deemed harmful to babies, of all people. And not to worry, BPA Lobby, if BPA is indeed proven to be harmful, we'll find alternative ways to keep our foods safe and fresh. So, don't invite the wrath of Jackie Chiles.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
While driving up the 5 interstate freeway up through Central California, I made two new discoveries that could offset the fact that I nearly fried my brains in the 100+-degree summer heat. First off, we found a great classic rock station K100 (99.7) out of Visalia which is miles away but manages to reach the 5 freeway because the land is flat and bare and desperately needs a lift from Jimi Hendrix, Eagles and their ilk. That's definitely a relief for motorists who are not into Mexican ballads and Christian sermons that fill the airwaves for a big swath of the 5 freeway. Secondly, if you are looking for an alternative to usual fast-food chains, there's an Indian Restaurant, Taste of India, snuggled away right off the 58 Highway Exit at Buttonwillow.
We ordered a half plate of tandoori chicken, a green salad, a veggie-wrap, and some raita (yoghurt salad) to douse any extra heat. The food was uninspired, the decor in this windowless restaurant is punctuated with bizarre notices (e.g., "You must pay for what you order"), and the carpet could use a cleaning. We didn't pay any attention to the rating, because we were just happy to discover an alternative to the run-of-the-mill highway diners and fast-food chains. But I'd probably stop here again on another trip because it seemed like a family-owned/operated restaurant and I often get a craving for some red-hot tandoori chicken.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Viacom would like to review the usage patterns of YouTube viewers in its lawsuit against YouTube and Google. The music industry went after individual users and it will be interesting to see how this wrangle between an old communications behemoth and a relatively new kid in the digiverse affects the viewers who have been getting their daily dose of uploads and downloads. What would be an ideal result of this litigation is a way for artists to get royalties for their copyrighted material that is being freely distributed on YouTube. After all, it would be fair for YouTube to share a portion of its revenues with the original content providers of copyrighted material. While this could result in a complex math to determine the exact share due to an artist, it's still worth exploring. The downside might be that YouTube, strapped by legal straightjacket, would lose it free-wheeling flavour in order to safeguard its bonafides, similar to the new Napster.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
"C'mon Suzie, think positive thoughts..."
I have been trying out the Bamboo from Wacom for the second day now and it's quite responsive compared to my old-as-Moses Intuos 2 that ran through a com port with a separate power attachment through a Wacom adapter. I bought the Bamboo (black) through Amazon and paid around $170 for it. The setup for the Bamboo was pretty straightforward and the tablet gets its power from the same USB connection. Less mess, less cables. And I like the name, Bamboo. Reminds me of the days when I used to paint bamboo leaves for hours with a black sume-i ink. And my first gag is dedicated to the Indian Roller, of course.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Here are a couple of possibilities...
Donuts & Cuppa Joe
Lip Gloss Retouch
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Plenty...as the Indian Roller's doggerel here proves:
Obama, Obama mama
(To the tune of Bahama, Bahama mama by Boney M.)
Obama, Obama mama
Got the biggest schtick in town Obama mama
Obama, Obama mama
But the Muslims bring him down Obama mama
I'm pissed at smears
Don't call me "Muslim" dear
And I'm looking high and low
As the bible-belt plays ever hard to get
I'm a winsome Christian on the go
Obama, Obama mama
You should all be looking for Obama mama
Obama, Obama mama
And I'm sure you will adore Obama mama
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Which reminds me, I should really put in a plug for these brush pens that I recently bought at a neighbourhood OfficeMax. They are made by Faber Castell and are sold as Manga sets, but you can use them as all-purpose ink and paint brush pens. The line is bold and the workability of the pen/brush tip is excellent. You might have to get used to the feel of the pen/brush but it is nowhere as difficult as getting used to the stylus on a Wacom tablet.
So pen/brush away...here's a pic. of the set.