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Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Chó Guevara

Chó

Place your Chó T-Shirt orders here. Available in S,L,M,XM,XXM.

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3:43 am

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Request

Apparently, Dr. Pandey's article is terribly popular online. I usually stumble across these web pages through random Google searches for some of my invented names for rituals, places, people and events. I can only guess how much of the original is doing the rounds in the email-forwards business.

I know, I cannot get over it, and am terribly proud, but somehow I am also a little concerned at the lack of attribution (a bleeding link to the original). Ya ya, intellectual property etc. Would I not be more pleased if the traffic to my blog increased as a result of this?

What do I do? Plis to advise!

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9:51 pm

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Sai Baba Embraces Atheism

It appears that when it comes to serving the needs of the people, faith (or the lack of it) does not seem to bother our leaders. Today Tamil Nadu CM M.Karunanidhi shared the dais with prominent godman Sai Baba to inaugurate the lining of some water thingamajig for the thingy of the stuff.

When reporters questioned him about sharing public space with a renowned atheist, the saffron-robed, afro-sporting godman had this to say: "It is not serving god that counts, but to think if god exist at all!"

Many prominent commentators like Dr. Acharya 'Som' Pandey point out that this indicates a slow, but definite move towards the secularisation of god-worship. Dr. Pandey also quickly adds that since the Rig Veda talks extensively about a prevalent atheism even amongst the gods (also referred to by B.M.H. Bradley as "Deist Existentialism", in his seminal 1932 book, Rig Veda for Dummies), today's announcement by the Baba is only a reaffirming of the atheist core of Sanathana Dharma.

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8:26 pm

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Of Barebreasted Hindu Goddesses

...

"Hi, Jeremy."

"‘Lo, Suzy."

The Goddess Kali’s eyes flashed red with anger. "Don’t call me that!" Behind her, a whole pantheon wandered the aisles, looking for late-night snacks.

...

"I didn't know that you were a Hindu Rocker. I thought you were a Dark-Circled Vampire!"

...

Listen to Nightshift in the Automart by Andrew Gudgel at Escape Pod

Reminds me of the time when this severe looking Goth-chick, no older than 14, and with multiple piercings, walked up to the counter at Starbucks and ordered a creamy latte.

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10:14 pm

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ende mol Jade Kutty

When white-guilt-ridden Britain disowns Jade, she need not fret. She just has to take up this offer. (The nice people of Kerala are also very forgiving. They first forgive the Congress, then they forgive the Communists, then the forgive the Congress, and then they forgive the Communists etc..)

Image source

When I first saw her, I thought Jade looked like a bad photoshop mashup of Dave Barry (or Ozzy Osbourne) with Shakila. But then Shoefie's post (also titlethanks) brought the whole scheme to light.

Late night Malayalam TV will never be the same yegain!

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9:11 pm

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Magyar Magyar Magyar

I am so utterly speechless!

Time to sue Dr. Pandey for breaking the exclusive contract he signed with me.

Update: This one's even better. It's got pictures of onions and Nehru.

Update 2: Art, you'll never really die!

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10:06 pm

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why Priyaranjan Dasmunsi should go fuck himself

First for being an arsehole, second for being an idiot.

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10:27 pm

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Talking Libertarianism to the Liberals

Lawrence Lessig of Creative Commons talks to a bunch of liberals who would rather not have any copyright laws.

Warning: Video is a little long and also has dodgy synch!



Lessig comes across as a sensible liberal (yeah I know!) who understands a few things well. Some of his important points are:

1. Getting rid of copyright discourages creativity by reducing the incentive to benefit from the creation.

2. To make somebody abandon their right to enforce their copyright, and make them agree to a universal freedom-to-copy is basically anti-liberty (he calls it imperialistic).

3. Romanticising hacking (like romanticising terrorism) is not going to win the hearts of Americans/ordinary people, and is actually counter-productive, as all free-to-copy supporters are viewed as thieves.

Link via Boing Boing


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11:19 pm

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Now the home-video boom starts in Chennai

I mean the official version of the home-video boom. Currently, a very large part of the home video market, at-least in TN is hogged by the Thiruttu VCD 'pirates'. And I tell you, no matter how much I am supposed to hate them (for I am part of the industry that is purported to 'suffer' because of them), I can only blame the industry for not being shrewd enough to not cash in on consumer needs. A need that the bootleggers filled really well.

Maybe the industry is still nostalgic about theatrical, box-office collections (or of-late, satellite rights), or idiotic enough to not realise that the market is big enough to go low-price.

The word 'pirates' itself is fairly romantic and inaccurate. Their operations are in-fact as properly streamlined, and as tuned to demand-and-supply economics as any other industry. (They even have a long-tail—Bergman is very popular you see!). They have a very good distribution system, including young men selling DVD's in railway compartments along with peanuts and plantains.

The only problem is that they are doing something technically illegal, and therefore are subject to extortion from the anti-piracy squads. This cost, the pirates pass on to the consumer; but since the scale of operations is so huge, they can still beat the horribly expensive prices quoted by the 'official' vendors.

Now, the pirates obviously save on 'rights costs', but incur the comparable 'maamool' instead. So, if only somebody could make the 'official' duplication and distribution cheap.

Moser Baer proposes to do just that (warning! PDF link). And the prices they quote seem to be in line with my assumption about the 'rights costs'.

This is the way to beat piracy. Not by creating stupid regulations that line the pockets of inspectors. Bootleggers show up where consumers feel official vendors overprice; and piracy does not go away while they can bribe the inspectors, and yet give the consumer a good-deal. The money only comes back into the industry when piracy inspectors fund films.

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2:26 pm

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Hindu Economics

There has been some confusion regarding the workings of a newspaper recently, so I thought I'd help clear things up.

However much I hate The Hindu, I know Mr. Ram is not stupid enough to think that he's doing his readers a favour by taking on advertising. Let's look at it this way. The Hindu discovers in a survey that a substantial number of its readers are not interested in the editorial (or otherwise) crap it produces, and even if they're willing to read it, they do so simply because of habit, while the cost of the newspaper is too insignificant to break the inertia. (Cheaper than mint is what Sudhish insinuates.)

Now if Ram were a true commie, he wouldn't mind the Tamil Nadu Government taking over the running of The Hindu so that it may carry on its "noble moral duty as part of the fourth estate".

If he were a protectionist, he would demand that the Tamil Nadu government buys up a definite number of copies of The Hindu everyday and distribute it in households for free. This in order to offset decreasing circulation, falling ad-revenue, and the paper's inability to "subsidise worthy news" for its readers; so that it may yet carry on its "noble moral duty as part of the fourth estate". Something like what is described here.

But Mr. Ram, we know is a proper Capitalist who researches, manufactures, and markets Communism. So he does the sensible thing, and discovers that the only way people will continue to buy his papers is if they actually make a profit (or break even, or at-least end up spending less than 50p net per copy) by getting good money from the recycling chap. So Ram decides to increase the number of pages in his paper. To offset costs, he takes on more advertising. This he can, by showing high-circulation rates (which is achieved as explained previously, and also as Sudhish explains so eloquently, by appealing to the "younger generation"). Every Austrian will appreciate the ingenuity free-markets breed in the businessman. Hell, I read Metro Plus everyday, and I'm glad The Hindu can afford to feature Calvin and Hobbes, rather than some crappy version of Kanni Theevu!

So let's go through this again. Newspapers make almost all their money by selling space to advertisers. So, newspapers are in the "space" business, not in the "news" business. The way they sell space to advertisers is by showing a large circulation. And the way they do that, is by making the paper as bulky as possible, and yet as inexpensive as possible; as interesting journalistically (did I make that word up?) as possible, yet as cheap journalistically as possible. All for the readers.

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9:25 pm

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Significance of the Vishnu Idol

The discovery of an ancient Vishnu idol in an excavation in Russia only confirms certain ideas I have always had about our ancient and glorious land and culture.

The report says that the area in which the idol was found is called Staraya Maina. In the Rig Veda, there is a passage that goes, Itham ascati pasyat syantham, ekam mainam starayath kalam. This translates into Staraya Maina is the name of the land of the 45 rivers (on whose banks the noble Rishis conducted the famous Horse Sacrifices), where the sun god descends into one fifty two forty seven. While the first line identifies a location, the second line talks about the exact latitude and longitude at which the solar spectrum produces interference lines at one, fifty two, and forty seven.

The extreme precision of the calculations show the advanced science of the Vedic period, and also a thorough knowledge of SI units (it has been conclusively proven that French scientists stole the system from the Indians.

The discovery of the idol confirms the location in Russia, identified in the Rig Veda as rus soviath sapthamahanagaratham (the ancient and holy land of the 722 flying vehicles). The ancient connections between the Russians and the Indians has been unequivocally confirmed. In Russian orthodox Christianity, worship is conducted very much like in Vishnu temples. The Russians refer to the feast of Vizhnyir Ekoratsya Vikhunh, directly corresponding with Vaikhunda Ekhadasi.

The Russian language also owes a lot to Sanskrit, whose origins 50,000 years ago roughly correspond with the language of the people of the Smritzyi archaeological site, along the banks of the now-dried up Vernstokhlin (Varnasatyakhalini) river system.

It is common knowledge in the archaeological community that the Parashurama Sutra, the basis of all government policy in the erstwhile Kerala kingdom of Vaazhappazhaa, contains the lines Sthulyam Kaamyunishancha kalanam brighahaha. The links between the ancient Russians and Indians almost certainly aided by the 60,00 odd scholars of the University of Vexalate (Sk. Vekhshalatha, Ru. Vekholotsla), in modern-day Central Afghanistan, in the 17th Century BCE, is said to have transferred political ideas through the land of the Vanga (Ru. Vangnya) in modern-day West Bengal.

The Vishnu idol is depicted with a hammer in one left hand while the deconglated seventh arm on the right side holds a reticulated sickle. This hammer and sickle imagery is also found in the Parashurama Sutra, conclusively placing the origin of great and popular Russian political ideology in Vedic India.

The Bringdunthaladeena Upanishad also mentions Kaamyunishcham in its list of land sacrifices, where under the directions of the King, all the land in the country was donated to the performance of sacrifices where Brahmins continuously tickled horny silk-rats (Gandharvamooshicam) until they collapsed in orgiastic exhaustion. The text also clearly identifies a group of scholars referred to as the Paalita Buryam, who oversaw the functioning of the King.

For years, western historical study dominated by Greco-Capitalists, has sought to undermine the Vedic Indian contributions to what came to be 19th and 20th Century world politics. The Greco-Capitalists also attributed the ideology of Communism to the work done by Karl Marx, one of their own. It has been well documented that Marx indeed visited Kerala and West Bengal, and had thorough understanding of the Parashurama Sutra, a copy of which he picked up in the old-book-stall near the Cochin airport. Later on, as part of the larger Greco-centric Capitalist conspiracy, Marx took all the credit himself.

In 1952 in Soviet Russia, an archaeologist, Prof. Varely Smirzkoff of Odessa University found artefacts near the ancient Belarussian town of Kozhikodz. He was the first to speculate that the ruling political ideology of his country could well have had its origins in Vedic India rather than Modern Europe. Stalin funded Smirzkoff's research until Smirrzkoff was suddenly found to have stolen over 500,000 paper clips from work over the course of his tenure at Odessa University. He was sent to Siberia, and with him went almost all academic proof that would have certainly brought Russia and India closer together.

In one meeting with Nehru, Stalin is indeed said to have remarked, "Your land is ancient, and if you promise not to side with the Americans, I will buy onions from you, in recognition of the intellectual legacy India had left for my country". He did not elaborate on this as the Smirzkoff's research had not achieved much by then. But alas in just two-years time, Prof. Smirzkoff was shovelling permafrost dressed in grey overalls.

This recent discovery should resurrect the pioneering work started by Prof. Varely Smirzkoff, who died of Contracted Poloniumitis of the nose, in 1964.

-- Dr. Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey
PhD (corres.) M.A.S. University, Darjeeling

(The write is Hon. Director, Smirzkoff Centre for Historical Speculation in Pune, India. He lives with his wife Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey, and twenty two children in suburban St.Petersberg. He can be contacted at acsomuchval@pandey.ru)

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6:51 pm

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Everyone's favourite punching bag punches back

I have many problems with this. I always have problems when anybody uses cinema as an excuse to get away with murder. Condescending to apportion only a 'part of the blame' to movies is as useless as a smiley-face. Also, masking your prejudice in nostalgia merely smacks of pessimism and an ugly elitism.

A possibly sane inquiry into media-effects is betrayed by an underlying puritanical prejudice. (A tendency also described here)

Blaming rationalist, libertine, non-religious, show-business, capitalists can give the self-righteous mind quite a bit of satiation and tranquillity. Paternalism is almost always selective and never entails any reflection.

At the end of a lip-smacking, misdirected witch-hunt, one usually has no energy or thinking-time left to see if the real causes have even been identified properly. As a result, shit happens again, and we very promptly reach the twisted conclusion that the last witch-hunt was only inadequate or not severe enough.

Interestingly, political correctness today somehow extends to 'do not call for censorship'. So we need to ferret around for interesting euphemisms like 'self-regulation'. Peer pressure (?) somehow extends to 'let's bring talk of market forces into this' (Egad!). Mate, what the heck do you mean by 'negative publicity'? Don't you know this is show business?

And before you patronisingly talk about 'warped titillation' conjured up by evil pimps and prostitutes to pollute 'impressionable minds', just ask yourself when you saw your first piece of porn, or when you first heard somebody say fuck (or equivalents), or how old were you when you first saw your parents fight. Kids have brains and common-sense, usually, a lot more than they end up with when they have grown old enough to start bullying their own children.

And to answer the question in your title, everybody knows that life is weirder than 'art', while movies try desperately, obviously, and in vain to go one-up on life; and every kid who watches films knows that too.


9:33 pm

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Monday, January 01, 2007

This Theatre is Certified with TN Agmark

Who's worse than a Commie do-gooder? A politician who is always ready to listen to 'requests', and yet couch his policies as Commie do-gooder rhetoric. (link via Kaps)

This is what is at the root of most of our twisted & verbose laws and government-set standards & procedures. Every single lobbyist/humble request-seeker/vote bank has to be satiated proportionately.

And what the fuck's with the "seats at least 20 inch wide, a 41.5-inch gap between two rows" business? Just a couple of days ago, at work, we were mulling over a THX style certification system for cinemas in Chennai/South India. Now we have the government doing it for us. Interestingly, the environment lobby's not that big in TN (or the popcorn lobby, or the noisy-bastard-on-his-cellphone lobby), then they'll have the government looking at crossover networks, sound isolation, lamp brighness, amp wattage etc.

Egad!


4:53 pm

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