Wednesday 31 October 2007

Dear Film Critic,

I understand you are not very bright. Actually, not even average. Or, just below. Had you been any of that, you would have become an Engineer, like the rest of us. And had a regular job type thing. So, by definition, you cannot write a brilliant review. But that's alright. The rest of us aren't very intelligent either and we don't mind mediocrity -- even by our standards.

However, when you take yourself and your silly job that exists because newspapers and TV channels need to fill space and time, seriously -- there is a simple rule: You stay relevant within the layer you just defined for yourself. Just like the movie is expected to stay logical within its structure. In other words, one does not compare Annamalai and some obscure Eastern European movie -- Annamalai is brilliant because it is Annamalai.

Or, stop saying 'No Smoking' is a bad movie because you have decided that the masses will not be entertained or that the director is self indulgent in your opinion. I have a feeling, you basically belong to the camp that says 'Lost Highway' is a great padam but 'No Smoking' is not, because the former was called a great padam by some clever crtic (who was also white). Not that you can't or shouldn't -- but don't.


How to win awards and prizes #21

Argue thus: I am jealous. Therefore, you should not.

Peru vechhaye, soru vechhaya?

Generally, the monetary policy statement cannot be faulted insofar as it provides for a respective measure of increase of credit. It recognises the problems posed by the appreciating rupee, albeit in a casual way, but it does not promise any remedial action. The monetary policy statement is more significant for what it has apparently in store for the future.
Is the Op-Ed page a meal or is that mint too? Kadasila saapade kadayatha?

Tuesday 30 October 2007

Someone should tell these geniuses that the absence of diversity does not necessarily mean the presence of discrimination. Asking for a normal distribution of demographic detail is akin to mocking evolution. Think deeply and send your certificates to Seattle.

No Smoking

Go watch it.

I did not understand it fully, though I am blaming that on my Hindi. I have a feeling it's a very very good movie.

About Decision Makers

If you want to know the reason a Democracy elects whom it does, attend a strategy meeting in any given company.

Sunday 28 October 2007

Thanks to this boy's photographs and Google Gadget, life isn't as bad as I had imagined it to be.

In fact, I am not even dead these days.

Saturday 27 October 2007

Ban Private News Channels

Watching Harinder Baweja on TV made me wish DD I was still the only Television News available.

And, naturally, I checked the Tehelka website. Exhibit A.

Puke of the Day

What happens when you roll Amit Varma and Jagadguru into one? Sex change.

PS: Apparently, it's not necessarily a change in gender. Right-wingers: check.

Friday 26 October 2007

Virtues of a True Devotee

The number of 'I's in one's write-up should be greater than the number of sentences written.

Because, by I, you mean He.
Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.

Thursday 25 October 2007

About Awards and Prizes

This is most annoying. Actually, not. Giving away a meaningless award is the surest way to make one take himself even more seriously.

After all, the world needs more Jagadgurus. And Al Gores.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Global Cooling


Jonny would have been so happy. He even thought the stripper was charmed.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Puke Help

I have decided to hate this woman. Reasons invited.

Monday 22 October 2007

Recursion, Science & He

If you doubt Science, chances are, you will doubt Him. I challenge you to understand what He means[1]. If you cannot, your only reasonable option is to believe in Him.

[1] -- Just so that you understand how mysterious His ways are, the permalink is not valid. Only the true believers in Him and therefore Science can access the post. Others may read the second post in the main page.

Saturday 20 October 2007

Thathhuvam #151

When the toll fee exceeds the cost of food, one understands one should not go to Krishnagiri for lunch.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Why Racism is a good thing

Unfair discrimination exists whether we like it or not; I wouldn’t have married a gum-chewing vegetarian. Ultimately, we’ll help the people we discriminate against if we try to understand more about them; genetics will lead to a world where there is a sympathy for the underdog.
People who may get arrested because they called Andrew Symonds a monkey, should be ashamed of themselves for not feeling sorry for him.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Attention Investment Bankers etc.

Wanted: A derivative of derivatives.

(If you can't think of any, treat your wife as such).

PS: Suddenly, the irritating boys who insist on asking what the geometric significance of a second order derivative is, will have a large Gujju woman to contend with.

PPS: Yeah, it's not really funny if you did not learn Calculus in a room which also had Dhyanesh.

PPPS: Since we are in a Dhyanesh mood anyway, if there is a valid fourth order derivative and it turns to out to be 0, can we take that Gujju woman to be at her maxima then?

PPPPS: I know, but did the Tamil hatred for maxi start here?

Katrathu Tamil

Watch the spectacle of a wonderful story being mercilessly butchered by bad screenplay, cliched dialog writing, poor editing and atrocious casting.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

The Chief Strategist

When one is employed to strategize, one feels compelled to.

Monday 15 October 2007

Puke of the Day II

There is a reason why people are boring. That, precisely, is the reason they should not attempt satire. Or whatever the fuck this is.

Sunday 14 October 2007

Puke of the Day

If you wonder why Amit Varma is a rock star, this may help,
We live in an open economy where you make or break your life. Instead of deriving inspiration from someone like Ambani, what this movie tries to say is that the poor guy who throws stones at Ambani's car is actually a good guy and it's the society that's responsible for all inequalities. When a movie promotes such arrogantly foolish ideas, everybody ends up paying. If such ideas click, it will lead to a downward spiral. It is in light of such misguided but talented directors like Ram Subbu, filmmakers like Maniratnam appear like visionaries, like gods. In a society which has had a stream of movies that have always portrayed the working class as good and oppressed and the ruling class as villains, Maniratnams's 'Guru' is really a towering achievement. It clearly says: 'The world is waiting for you. Go ahead and make your life'. 'Kathradhu Thamizh' is the kind of movie I would NOT want most of our teenagers or anyone without original thinking to see.
Murder, such idiots remind us, is pure.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Heard on TV

You are not in the market to develop a beautiful spreadsheet but to make money.
In other words, sell, people.

Sunday 7 October 2007

Paul Krugman, Sharma Varma, Nilu etc

Amidst the political drama in Karnataka and a strike that wasn’t really a Bandh in Tamil Nadu, the Indian National Congress has revealed the underlying reason for all this unfolding of excitement. Dr Manmohan Singh has accepted “Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion” to extend the ‘The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme’ across all districts in the country. It certainly will be interesting to see if this signals that the young Mr. Gandhi will be the next Congress candidate for Prime Minister.

The ordinary citizen has very little control or claim over what are essentially internal dynamics in the Congress party. However, it does make me jealous that Mr. Gandhi gets to use my tax money to buy his way into possibly becoming the next Prime Minister. Democracies do have a strange way of sanctioning what would otherwise be counted for corruption – election promises. This was the reason Economists from a generation ago thought Democracies would run chronic deficit budgets – they argued, those in power will stay in it only if they provide the pleasure of public spending beyond the means that taxation allowed.

This situation is only made worse in developing countries like India. The socio-economic conditions that exist in societies such as ours make it impossible to have an electoral plank that does not indulge in competitive populism. We have seen free rice, power, TV and very many things. People, it appears, expect to sate their ‘corporate advertising fuelled hunger’ by trading their votes. A politician who promises fiscal prudence in India has to either be an idiot or be absolutely sure of his caste calculations.

In fact, a curious outcome of competitive populism has been: states that have better delivery mechanisms are caught worse in the vicious cycle. Consider Kerala and Tamil Nadu – two of the most advanced states in the country, in terms of many socio economic indicators. Perhaps because of this, or in spite of this, the indicators of governance are also relatively better evolved in these states when compared to others. And, one has a Communist government and the other is ruled by a coalition that won the elections on a promise of cheap rice and free color television sets. When was the last time anything like this was a poll plank in Bihar? I am tempted to assume, the inability of the government to deliver – even on a bribe to the electorate -- is a fiscal blessing in a casteist and chaotic disguise.

Inefficient governments do serve a purpose. They are not good enough to implement their own bad policies. This, in my opinion, has been the biggest reason for India to do reasonably well in certain restricted pockets; assuming, we overlook the vast majority of areas where India has performed miserably. Corruption, another weapon to combat bad policy, is perhaps that invisible lubricant supporting everything. For every meaningless government regulation, there is always a pliant government employee at the right price. This begins from the most trivial of things: the lane system in Mount Road, Madras that I had written about a few months ago is no longer implemented; though sign boards to that effect exist. I am not sure if we have the inefficiency or corruption of the Police to thank for this.

Yes, the states that have been mentioned here are doing much better than those in North India. Some might even argue, the reason they have been doing better is because of the very schemes dubbed populist – the mid-day meal scheme in schools comes readily to mind. While there is no doubt that some of what is being accused as a bribe eventually does what many would have desired anyway, the method leaves the taxpayer disillusioned. Not to mention, jealous too – when those born into certain families get to use the money to buy power.

A fair suggestion seems to be: make tax payments benchmarked to specific projects. The other more desirable and less likely option is – reduce the size and the appetite of the government.


Saturday 6 October 2007

Puke of the Day

Paul Krugman has something to say about jokes and jokers. Amit Varma makes more sense[1].

When one has nothing to say, one should not. But then.

[1] -- Wait, Paul, for all his idiotic statements, is not ignorant. I'd rather read him.

Thursday 4 October 2007

An Irrationally Exuberant Tribute

Bumper stickers, Robert Schiller, idiot TV anchors and many many people have tried to use the phrase that the evil capitalist Alan Greenspan came up with. Now, the gold standard has been set[1],
I think that a good liberal is one who criticizes irrational exuberance even if it comes from other fellow liberals.
Mysterious may be His ways; the outcome, is always the same. Yet, stunning.

[1] -- I don't know why He refuses to accept our links. We shall overcome this by sheer devotion.