On Life, The Universe, And Everything – Part I

29 04 2007

I just realized that I’ve been putting off blogging for over 10 days now. My browser has around 8 tabs locked on topics that got my rant juices flowing. So, lets review what’s recently pissed me off and/or tickled my interest in brief detail:

Topics covered:
1. Animal assassination and how PETA advocates killing animals
2. Condoms are data security protection measures according to Google
3. Sanitizing Orkut
4. The Hoopla around the Abhi-Ash Wedding
5. Why Superman could be real
6. Why Asians are smarter than the Brits! Proof by the Brits!
7. The flipping insanity of the Gere-Shetty kissing episode and how I can take down Bolly-Kolly-Tolly-MollyWood thanks to the Indian Penal Code
8. And the stupidity of “smart” people for trying to give laptops to kids who cant read [old news I know but due to recent events, my rant instincts have been rekindled and are flaming.]

It all started off with this article I came across on Reuters Berlin’s polar bear cub Knut receives death threat. For those not aware of the history behind this story, Knut was born a couple of months back in the Berlin Zoo, but was rejected by his mother at birth. One of the zoo’s keepers has taken on the role of the cub’s “parent” to the extent that he “has slept in Knut’s cage, played with him and fed him porridge since the cub’s mother rejected him at birth.” This has created a major furor among animal rights activists who wanted him put to sleep, rather than having him raised by humans, claiming it was “unnatural”. Doesn’t that seem a little oxy-moronish to you? Animal rights activists, i.e. people who normally infest groups like PETA, wanting an animal killed because he is being raised by humans who, to put it mildly, are keeping him alive, because that’s not natural??? Doesn’t the fact that these people are going to great lengths to help this cub survive actually deserve respect and admiration, rather than condemnation from the very people who otherwise preach to us “Don’t wear fur! Don’t eat meat! Don’t mistreat animals! Don’t kill animals!”??? Flipping insane!!!

Compounding the insanity of an already insane situation is the death threat against the cub. Why the heck would someone want to threaten a cub? What do you gain? If you look at it objectively [and cynically], at least those wackos who go about threatening people claim some kind of ideology like religion, greed, sexual frustration, lack of toilet-training, etc. But what possible motive could you have against a cub, especially one that has been rejected by its mother and would otherwise have died? It’s unnatural??? It doesn’t even make sense. I wish the Germans find the idiot who sent the threat so that they can ask him what his motive was. I’ll bet it’ll be something like, “My mother never cared for me like that zoo keeper cares for that cub! That’s makes me upset, jealous and furious! Since I didn’t get that kind of love, he shouldn’t get it, so I want to kill him.”

So that was Day 1. Day 2 was a lighter note courtesy of this wonder of journalism from my favorite techno-tabloid titled Need enhanced data security? Try a condom. Apparently, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council is promoting a concept called PCI Data Security Standards [PCI DSS] as ways for e-commerce sites to enhance the protection of your personal information when you go shopping online. One of the Register’s readers decided to do a Google Image Search on PCI security to get a copy of the PCI DSS logo, and instead found that Google recommends Durex “extra safe” condoms as a PCI Data Security Standard. Just goes to show just how much Google cares about ensuring your personal information isn’t “penetrated!!!” Priceless. [Sorry for the pun! Couldn’t resist!]

Day 3 was a day of highs and lows, i.e. I came across 2 topics to rant on, one good, one maddening. The first was about tackling objectionable content on Orkut. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting a little sick of all the spam that I come across on the site. And I’m not just talking about the pimps, callgirls, orkut account removal messages, and people advertising their webcams. I’m talking about the Orkut addicts whose goal in life is to get AS MANY friends as possible on Orkut. Like that’s some status symbol! The other day, I got this scrap that said, [I’m even being accurate right down to the punctuation, which infuriated me even more] “HeY! Whatz Up??? ThIS Is Hari!” And I’m thinking, “Hari??? I don’t know a Hari! Who could this be???” So very politely I asked “Who are you?” Response I got was, “I’M HARi-HAraN 18 1sT YeAR EngINEERING! ADd mE As Ur FRnD!” I was in a crabby mood that day, it was hectic at work, so I tersely responded “Sorry! No can do! I don’t know you so sod off!” I admit it was a bit harsh but like I said, I’m sick of this kind of spam. I use Orkut to keep in touch with people I know. Yes, I meet some new people through common friends, but that’s usually cause I also meet them in the real world, and we have something in common. But, its not a contest. A friend of mine mentioned to me that some ignoranus[i love this word] actually sent him a note saying, “Congrats da! You’ve hit 1,000 scraps!” Huh? So what??? Who cares if you get 1 or 1,000? That’s not the objective of the site. That’s my view anyway.

But, reading this article, Mumbai Police can now nail web offenders, really gives me some hope for the future of the site. Until now, people on Orkut were relatively anonymous as authorities did not have any arrangement in place to request Google for information on users. And especially in cases where hate-crimes, underworld dons, and such were glorified, or in cases where people reported that they were being defamed, there was a need for some system to allow authorities to tackle these issues. The current arrangement enables the authorities to request Google for user information when objectionable content is reported, so as to track down the suspects who posted the material. Granted, this has nothing to do with the spam that I was ranting about earlier. But, I hope people will start being more responsible on how they use the site in the knowledge that they can be tracked by the cops if someone objects to how they’re using the site. Orkut is a great tool, but people need to start respecting other users a bit more. Again, this is just my personal opinion.

The other topic of the day was the much-awaited media blitz covering the Aishwariya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan wedding. In fact, a friend specifically asked me to rant on this, but having diligently avoided following the media hype I was at a bit of a loss on what to say. Then, I saw this article,
Abhi-Ash wedding: Amitabh apologises to media for high-handedness of securitymen, and I was all fired up to rant.

The media complained that security staff at the wedding manhandled several media-persons while they were trying to get the inside scoop on what they dubbed “the wedding of the decade” that took place at Bachchan Sr.’s bungalow. They even objected that buses were parked between the media and the bungalow preventing the paparazzi from taking snaps. Now, what I want to know is why should the Big B apologize? Why should he indulge, and try to mollify, actually, the media for trying to invade the privacy of an event, which he expressly made clear to be a private family affair, specificially requesting that the media respect the privacy of the family and keep the paparazzi at bay??? If he had said he’d let the media in then there might be a case. But since the media ignored his requests, why should he pander to them as though he was in the wrong! Imagine complaining, “He must apologize because he parked buses so we couldn’t see!” As if the fact that he built a temporary wooden roof all around his property to shield the people inside from prying eyes wasn’t hint enough that he didn’t want the media to pry??? Gawd! What maroons!

The media really needs to get a grip on just how far they can push into people’s lives for a story. There are limits to journalistic license. I’ve mentioned this before in an earlier post, The Demise of Decency, on the early coverage of the murder of Bob Woolmer last month. Fine! It was a marriage between two celebrities, so you’re allowed some media hype! But don’t bloody expect sympathy for violating the wishes of the your subjects. Sometimes, you have to wonder if these people even have a conscience! And after all this they have the balls to say, “All they could have done is gracefully posed at the end. It was just a wedding after all.” So, we viewers were subjected to a week of constant media hype counting down to the event, plus all day coverage of the event with a flood of shots of the bungalow from various angles as the day progressed with meticulous chronicling of every person who entered and left the event, all because it was just a wedding??? Total freaking idiots!

I’ll stop this post here for now lest I run out of steam for the rest. Stay tuned for Part II, coming shortly. Hope you’ve enjoyed this so far. Give me some feedback people!!! 225 hits and no feedback???


My Kind of Lingo

20 04 2007

A friend of mine sent this to me this morning. I just had to share this with you guys as it had me in stitches. Enjoy and share these with others. I definitely will start using them from now on.

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this years winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone: (n.) the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation of yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Cashtration: (n) The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

6. Girafitti: Vandalism spray painted very, very high.

7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

11. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? and then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a
serious bummer.

12. Decafalon: The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action

14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

And the pick of the literature:

18. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole

Hahahahaha… Ignoranus… priceless….

Damn The Word, Hail The Gun

19 04 2007

Well, it’s started. In the aftermath of this week’s Virginia Tech shootings, I’ve had this nagging feeling that this is going to lead to some extreme reactions, blowing things out proportion. Please do understand I am in no way diminishing or making light of what happened at VT. What happened was sickening, and my condolences go out to all those who were affected by this horrible event. When I talk about blowing things out of proportion, I’m referring to the reactionary measures that are bound to follow that do not logically have much relevance to this event. I’m being a little cryptic I know, but bear with me. I don’t want people to think that I’m actually condoning this sort of behavior.

I just read an article titled Student Arrested over Va. Tech Remarks, which mentions that a 22-year old university student has been arrested for, I quote, “… making comments that classmates deemed sympathetic toward the gunman blamed for killing 32 students and himself at Virginia Tech.”. It goes on to say that he was “angry about all kinds of things from the fluorescent light bulbs to the unpainted walls, and it made him angry enough to kill people.”

Does this strike anyone else as a tad too extreme? Yes, this kid may need some serious mental help, but arresting him for just saying something??? That’s just going too damn far and being too damn paranoid. How many times have you used the phrase, “I’ll kill you!” or something similar, at someone? According to the police in Colorado, making such a statement is a crime that can get you arrested. Just where do you draw the line between a plain statement and criminal intent? How do you do this? You can’t just go out and arrest everyone who says “I want to hurt someone!” If that was the case, the jails would be overflowing with people who said stuff like, “Put out the trash now, or I’ll beat the crap out of you…”

What I expect to happen now is that any person who makes a statement, verbal or written, that in someway makes someone nervous, especially in some sort of academic environment, will be presumed guilty of criminal intent. So, anyone who writes a dark story, or play, is suspect. Just imagine if this had happened sometime in the past. Do you think Stephen King or even Edgar Allen Poe would have been let off the hook? Nope, they would have been branded as insane, and locked away. And in those days, human rights was just a funny word, not a public sentiment.

But beyond all this, there is a much larger issue. Gun Control. Cue the NRA [National Rifle Association] and its propaganda circus. Consider the dichotomy that exists in the US. Its the right of every citizen to own a gun [so says the NRA]. But a person does not have the right to say or write, “I want to hurt some people”! I can own a weapon which I can use to shoot you, but I can’t say “I’ll beat the shit out of you!”??? Huh??? Which is more lethal??? Never mind the whole Freedom of Speech issue at hand as well…

Anyone above the age of 18 can go out and legally buy a gun in the US. And you can very easily get a gun illegally if you don’t want to endure the mandatory waiting period of a few days or don’t want to reveal your identity. Even assault weapons can be legally purchased. Why the heck would you need a Uzi or Kalashnikov in every home?

The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is the mantra politicians should be following if they’re sane. Words are just words. Yes, they may imply some sort of mental imbalance and cause others some mental anguish, but they can’t physically affect a person. But if you make it possible to translate words in action by making weapons accessible to the wackos out there, then you’re only asking for trouble. Make it difficult to get a hold of weapons. Then you make it easier to deal with these lunatics.

At times, I feel we’re on the borderline of insanity. We take offense too easily and make a huge hue and cry when someone says something we don’t like, and we start imposing all sorts of controls and regulations to limit what people can and can’t say. For example, pPeople get monumentally upset when you refer to a person as a “dwarf”, not “a vertically challenged person.” But at the same time we don’t do a damn thing to make it illegal for people to buy guns and other weapons, and make all sorts of stupid statements like “Its a constitutional right” or “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

What a load of utter horse shit! Make it illegal to own a gun. Severely punish those who break the law and obtain guns illegally. It’s time for the politicians to start acting like sane human beings and say, “Enough is Enough! Guns kill people! We don’t want guns in our homes, near our families, and on our streets!” Charlton Heston [he’s the President of the NRA] can say what ever he wants, but there are no wild frontiers anymore to tame, so there are no more wild animals and “wild savages” to protect against here. You don’t need guns to survive these days.

People. Use your bloody brains.

Hail The Word, Damn The Gun. That’s what your mantra should be.

P.S While this is a US-centric post, this message is for whole damn world. Wake up and smell the coffee people. Help get rid of guns in your country. You’ll be far better off for it.

My Perfect Threesome

18 04 2007

Now I know what you dirty minded people out there must be thinking. And shame on you folks. I’m talking about the perfect mobile audio setup. Well, actually, its about how to maintain a music collection and make it mobile…

This is my problem. I am an extremely poor organizer when it comes to my music collection. Started in 1999, it has now ballooned into a behemoth that hogs about 50GB of diskspace, so much so that a good chunk of it is permanently stored on one of my backup drives. The crux is that I listen to maybe 20% of the collection regularly, and the rest of it is either duplicates, albums and live versions, or utter trash thats is there courtesy of some extremely poor taste and lack of musical judgement on my part.

Its amazing how a person’s tastes change over time. I guess when I started building this collection, there was a thrill in that “I’m downloading whatever the hell I want.” Remember, this was when Napster was still the king, unlimited bandwith was just coming up and the RIAA still had its thumb in its arse and did nothing. Course the problem with the too much freedom like this is that you usually end up wondering, “What the hell was I thinking?” a few years later when you’re sifting through the pile of junk you’ve built up over the past few years. I’m appalled at some of the stuff that I downloaded, and actually listened to years back.

That’s the boat I find myself in today. After some extreme nagging by my two younger brothers, who had a riot making fun of some of the “songs” that’d I downloaded in my “young and dumb” days, I finally decided I needed to get things organized. My only obstacle was figuring out how. A 50GB collection represents something over 10,000 songs. Plus, I’m too damn lazy to actually sit and manually go through the entire collection and delete files I dont want. That’s so old school, so ’90s. I’m a child of the computer age. I want a software to do it for me. I told you I’m lazy.

For the past 8 years [God has it been that long???], I’ve sworn by WinAmp. I loved its unobtrusiveness, its plugin support, and skinning. Plus it wasn’t a hog compared to Windows Media Player [WiMP!!!!]. The only problem I had with WinAmp was managing the collection. It didn’t do too good a job of managing the physical files in the collection. Whats the point of removing a file from your library and still have it sit and take up diskspace?

So, for the past year I’ve been looking for a tool to help me organize my music. I had tried iTunes a few years back, but at the time I thought I was too bloated a tool. I came across a program called MediaMonkey, which was ok, but I still ended up using WinAmp for playback and syncing. One of the things I had done with WinAmp was I’d got a plugin setup that let me sync my playlist to my USB drive and my Sony Ericsson w810i Walkman phone. So I could export my lastest playlist and hear it in my car [my car has a USB jack], or when I walked around with my headphones on.

I think you get an idea of what kind of trinity I’m trying to achieve here. I want the ability to have my collection, i.e my most recent playlists, follow me whether I’m in front of my computer, in the car, or walking around with my headphones. A friend of mine, who’s a serious Mac Junkie, had been pushing me to consider iTunes again. So I decided, “What The Heck! I’ll give it a shot!” I downloaded iTunes 7, fired it up, pointed it to my current music collection, and specifically told it, “I don’t want you to take control of my files. Just playback from where they are!” I didn’t want a situation where I actually had to sit and manually play around with the files if I wanted to go back to WinAmp. Again, the lazy angle.

I spent a few days playing around with it, and I started to realize that iTunes may be what I have been looking for. It did a good job of organizing the music, and the entire thing was a pretty powerful media organizer that let you play from the main library. Not like WinAmp where you had to define playlists. This was more dynamic. iTunes lets me identify duplicate songs, and when I delete files from the iTunes Library it asks if you want to permanently delete files. I was sold, and so I rebuilt the entire library in iTunes and specifically let iTunes take control of my entire collection. Today, I’m an iTunes junkie, and I’m rating and sorting my collection constantly.

But, I still need mobility. Googling around for some Windows iTunes plugins, I found a tool called iTunes Agent. iTunes Agent is small system-tray tool that lets you connect non-iPod devices to iTunes and export playlists to them. Sounded ideal enough, so I downloaded it and tried to set it up. It’s not exactly entirely intuitive at first, but after looking around on the net for some clarification on the user interface, I got it to link up with my USB drive and export playlists to it from iTunes. My audio-in-the-car itch has been scratched.

To sync to my w810i, I needed to connect the phone to my PC in File Transfer mode, and then configure the Agent to detect a unique folder on the memory card of my phone. Sounds a bit complex and it is.

iTunes Agent works by looking for a specific unique folder pattern on any attached memory device. Putting the w810i in File Transfer Mode turns it into a generic USB memory storage device. Defining a unique folder in there lets you sync your music from iTunes into that folder. Its the same with my USB drive. I just have to make sure that I use a different unique folder name for each device I connect.

So, now I can playback the same songs on my computer, in my car, or on my MP3 phone. I have achieved my audio perfect trinity, my perfect audiophile threesome.

Citizen “Illegal”

17 04 2007

The other day, I was reading this article on the BBC titled Migrant Workers Hold LA Protest, and I was struck by the thought, “Wait a minute! They’re illegal immigrants, but they want citizenship???” Doesn’t it seem absurd that the US is considering giving people who illegally entered their country the right to become citizens? Consider that these people don’t have Social Security numbers, they don’t pay personal income taxes, that they don’t actually exist as they never really entered the country. Yet, they demand recognition??? Why??? Why should they deserve it??? Shouldn’t they be punished for breaking the law? That’s what most other countries do.

But by not punishing these people, does it not, in fact, encourage people to illegally enter the US, as they know that there is the hope of salvation [I can’t think of a better word for this] and citizenship at the end of it? Isn’t the US actually making things more difficult for themselves by legitimizing, and thereby condoning, these illegal acts. Why bother with immigration laws, the INS, border guards, and fences along the Mexico border, and all the other stuff if you’re gonna let people get away with it in the end? What kind of signal does it send if people are encouraged to circumvent the legal frameworks in place? Does that mean its OK to break the law? What does it mean for those who have legitimately entered the US? Don’t they deserve more preference?

Sure, this is how they get their maids, garbage-persons, etc., people to do any other work that Americans consider beneath them. But is having cheap labour THAT important that you’re willing to let these people get away with breaking the law? Why not just put up a sign then saying, “Come One! Come All! We Don’t Mind If You Cross Illegally! We’ll Still Let You Stay. Just Clean Our Shit, Cook Our Meals, Do All The Work We Wont! You Can Be One Of Us!”

It’s the typical type of insanity that takes place when politicians start abandoning logic and sanity in pursuit of getting elected. For god’s sake these people aren’t even allowed to vote. Yet they have so much clout that they can actually stage a mass protest rally against a proposed law that requires them to pay a penalty if they wish to legitimize their status. They’re saying the penalty’s are too expensive. Don’t those who go legitimately have to pay all those fees and taxes for all those years before they can become citizens? How do the “illegals” have the right to question what the penalty should be? If they want something so bad, they should be willing to pay the penalty to achieve it.

Also, one should ask how come no illegals were actually arrested at the rally and deported. Isn’t that within the purview of the INS? Isn’t that what they’re SUPPOSED to do with illegal immigrants. Just what does the word “illegal” mean when talking about “illegal immigrants”? Does it mean, “they broke the law, so its criminal” or does it mean, “they broke the law, its ok. We’ll let this one slide?” Where do you draw the line then?

So, at the end of all these I’m left with more questions than answers. And I still don’t understand how the average American can actually sit by and let criminals be legitimized by their government. I know for sure that if something like this happened in my country, I’d go ballistic that my government is condoning, and even encouraging, this sort of illegal activity. It lessens the value of my citizenship, and does not penalize people for breaking the law, rather encourages them to do so. Makes you wonder why the heck you bother to do things legally in the first place.

Looks like another nominee for the “Monumental Stupidity Awards for 2007”. I’m building quite a list. So far I have sheep fondlers, confused eco-warriors, and now inane politicians. I wonder what the future will bring.

The Truth About “Public” Morality in India

17 04 2007

Yesterday, the BBC website splashed this headline across its front page Gere kiss sparks India protests [Ok, I admit it was not splashed across the frontpage but it was on the front page…] Being the news junkie that I am, I wondered, “who did Richard Gere kiss that would make Indians protest, and just what the heck did he do?” Prior to reading the article, I thought “Maybe it’s ’cause he used his tongue.” So with my news trash senses tingling, I delved into the article to find that he kissed Shilpa Shetty. On the bloody cheek. And her hands apparently. Which left me scratching my head and going, “Whats the bloody deal?????” Talk about a let down for my news-trash senses.

The more I read the article, the more cheesed off I got and more I was inspired to rant about it. Some highlights from the article that I found particularly hard to digest were,

“Demonstrators in Mumbai (Bombay) set light to effigies of the Hollywood star, while protesters in other cities shouted “death to Shilpa Shetty”.”

The protesters said Gere insulted Indian culture by kissing the hand and face of the Bollywood actress.

Protesters said his embrace of one of the country’s leading ladies had been “vulgar” and demanded an apology from the film star.

This incident proves one thing. It doesn’t take much to turn Indians into a rabid, violent mob. Personally, I think these buggers are as bad as those mullahs in Pakistan who issued that Fatwa against their tourism minister for hugging her French paragliding instructor after her first jump. Never mind the fact that she’d just jumped from something like 10,000ft above sea level and actually survived. What human being wouldn’t be ecstatic? Its an adrenaline rush like no other. But what do those “wise” old men know?

Getting back to the Indian mob, even now I still fail to see what the bloody deal is with the kiss on her cheek, oh and her hands. How does Richard Gere’s PDA [public display of affection, for those clueless] brand him as having, “…insulted Indian culture by kissing the hand and face of the Bollywood actress.” If he had locked lips, they might have a case given that prudishness is a national “public” trait [I’ll elaborate on the “public point shortly.] But, kissing the cheek and hands is pretty much standard nowadays in most social functions. If I meet a friend [of the opposite sex] and give her a peck on the cheek as an affectionate greeting, does it mean that I have violated the integrity of Indian culture??? That I have sunk to new levels of debauchery and demeaned Indian womanhood for all eternity???”

Come to think of it, what is the crux of the problem? That he kissed an Indian woman in public or that he kissed a Bollywood actress in public??? If it’s the former, then people need to grow up and stop being so bloody immature. If its the latter, then HA!!!!! WHAT A LOAD OF ELEPHANTINE HORSESHIT. I can’t think anyone who can beat the Bolly-Kolly-Tolly-Molly crowd that is the Indian film industry when it comes to vulgarity and using sex as a marketing tool. Just look at what movies are covering today. Rape, Kissing [on the lips, not just the face and hands], Extra-Marital Affairs, Homosexuality, Pre-Marital Sex and on and on. How can the very same public that laps up this trash turn around and start pontificating about the immorality of what Richard Gere did? Look at the trash thats on the TV these days, the various soaps and stuff. They also deal with similar topics. Ok, they’re not as blatant as movies, but they don’t leave much to the imagination as well.

If Richard Gere’s actions were vulgar and an insult to the public sense of morality, then the actions of the filmi crowd are tantamount to full-blown prostitution, with the producers and directors playing the parts of the pimps. And ironically enough, the other part of this controversy is Shilpa Shetty, a Bollywood actress. Just how hypocritical can you get?

Grow up people! The whole issue is that it was Richard Gere, a famous Hollywood star, not some local bakhra. I bet if it was some Indian guy it wouldn’t have led to effigy burning. Some minor outrage maybe, but not this kind of reaction, no way. I’m willing to bet that the majority of protesters are male, who would give their left arms to be able to do what Gere did. If any women were part of this, then I’ll bet that they are the ones who lap up the shit you see in the movies and deem that as entertainment, and therefore acceptable. If you can accept, even enjoy, on-screen kisses, gropes and what not, then you bloody well can accept that fact that a guy can kiss a girl’s hands and face, and not escalate it into some major public controversy. If you don’t like it, then tough. You can’t have it both ways.

What a load of crap. I still can’t get over how stupid this whole thing is. For a culture that gave the world the Kama Sutra, the temples of Kujraho, and some of the most erotic art you’ll find on the planet, its amazing, and depressing, how unwilling we are to accept something so insignificant as a kiss. Pathetic!

Automagic: The Kelisa Conundrum

16 04 2007

When I first saw the Perodua Kelisa in 2004, my reactions were “Yuck! A Tin Can”, followed by “What a lame attempt to copy the Mini?”, finally ending with “AAARRRGH!” I swear that this car, and its siblings, the Kancil and the Kenari, have tormented me for the 2 years I was forced to share roads with them in Malaysia. I consider it a sin that the Mini’s looks have been abused, violated even, by the creation of this, this… monument to mediocrity…

When I see something like this video, it makes my heart sing. Maybe there is salvation for us purists who feel that a car has to look, feel, and sound like a car to be a car… [enter existential quandary…] I’ll leave it Jeremy Clarkson to express exactly how I feel about the Perodua Kelisa… You’re on Jeremy…

What I really love about this whole topic is how I found this video. The BBC had an article a couple of weeks back titled Malaysia Lamblasts Top Gear Host. Why would this interest me? Cause I know how sensitive Malaysians are when it comes to their [cough, cough] “national pride”. And knowing Jeremy Clarkson, when he pisses people off, its usually something outrageously funny.

So after watching the video over and over again for about 15 minutes [I rewound the explosion and sledgehammer bit quite a few times], I realized something even weirder. The video was posted in December 2005, and the Malaysian “outburst” was in April 2007. One and a half years and 201,309 views, and then they get MAD??? Jeesh, I know Malaysians can be a bit slow, but this is possibly a new world record in “slowness” of processing information…

There is a message to all you car designers out there. Make it look like a car, not some breadbox with wheels on it. There’s more to cars than having umpteen knobs to fiddle with [even though certain fetishists are well satisfied by this aspect]. Yes, I belong to the Top Gear school of automobile philosophy, and I believe that a car needs personality, style, and some amount sex appeal. It needs, “Ooommphhh!”

Otherwise, whats the bloody point? You’ll be stuck with an unattractive, high-maintenance, nerve-wracking nightmare that’ll make you dream of new ways of using 4 sticks of dynamite, a crane, a one-ton weight, and a sledgehammer. Ahhhh, what it is to dream.