Monday, June 30, 2003
I finished reading Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men .. and other sorry excuses for the state of the nation" (for the amazon page, refer to the link on the right nav). It is an intensely subjective tirade on the American way of life. He launches into the "election" of Bush and mass-media-manipulation-message. Facts and figures are thrown in a dime a dozen to prove his logic. But at the same time he tries to portray it as a political satire.
As soon as that ends, MM launches into rants on the social structure (based on races), the educational system and the capitalistic corporates, then moving into the age old dispute between men and women and then some.
All in all it's a read for someone who is well aware of America's policies/behaviour and harbours that slight dislike for America. In all, it's the perfect piece written for the foreigner who despises the US for all it signifies. The fact that he has done very intense research to collect facts and figures, weighs heavily in his favour. What would appear inconsistent, is that, In My Humble Opinion, he has misused facts and thrown them loosely all over the place. That in itself lends a certain disbelief to the entire book.
All and all, the book borders between humour (downright satire, rather) and a political and cultural rant. The fact that is classified as the former as MM insists himself, takes away the seriousness behind the entire writing.
In the end, you're left with a bitter mixture or after-taste of incredulity and resentment.
Before I proceed, here's a bit of advice to the drinking class. Never ever, never ever, try mixing Jamaican rum with peach flavoured ice tea. Trust me.
So before anyone asks, read the topic. Saturday night, a friend was in town and after a day of hanging-out at The Leather Bar and Cascade, we landed up at a friends place at 10.30. Giving us company was a bottle of Jamaican rum and an assortment of drinks.
We sat till the wee-hours of the morning, with the solemn promise that whatever we speak of doesn't go out of that room. The scene was set with Dylan, CCR, the Chicago soundtrack and Madhushala.
We spoke about myriad topics - We spoke of love, we spoke of people acting the way they do, we spoke of maturity and age, we spoke of relationships, we spoke of staying in touch and they way people work out. It was insightful. I learnt a lot. No details. As I said, nothing goes out of that room. I'm recording it here for my retrospective days.
There's a book review (free subscription required) of the book "'Curzon': To the Imperial Manner Born" at the NYT. It reminds me how little I know of Curzon. All I remember him for, with a distasteful expression, is the division of Bengal.
What I don't know is that he was responsible for the restoration of many of India's monuments, reform the police system and reorganize the irrigation system. What I don't know is his efforts in extending Western knowledge of Indian art, archeology, and literature. What I didn't know was that, being immensely unpopular with his peers, he made the following remark ''Let India be my judge''.
Have we judged him or have we pre-judged him?
Other news heralds the first gay rally in India - Is this the beginning of a new dawn in Indian culture? I would still think that this would be a phenomenon restricted to the metros, though over the ages sodomy and homosexuality has been seen in rural India, more as a victim of circumstances and less, as a matter of choice.
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