G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Indo US Nuclear Family Deal!

Rahul Gandhi was made General Secretary of Congress in September 2007 at the age of 37. His father was made one at the age of 39 in February 1983. His grandmother...His great-grandfather, His great-great-grandfather....

Over to America.

Maureen Dowd writes “The Nepotism Tango” (NYT September 30, 2007):”…. 116 million Americans — nearly 40 percent of the nation — “have never lived when there wasn’t a Bush or a Clinton in the White House….When asked by Tim Russert at the New Hampshire debate about the d-word, as Poppy Bush calls it, Hillary replied: “I’m running on my own. I’m going to the people on my own.”

Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar. But then, without nepotism, W. would be pumping gas in Midland — and not out of the ground. ”

The Economist wrote in May 2007:

“…These days, it is tempting to argue that America is becoming a monarchy in the guise of a republic…

Walter Bagehot, a 19th-century editor of The Economist, argued that people like to see a “family on the throne” because it “brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life”. Similarly, American politicos chart the clash of great families and their retainers. Biographers probe the psycho-dynamics of presidents' personal relationships. Did “43” invade Iraq as part of an Oedipal struggle with “41”? Will Hillary take revenge on her philandering husband by outperforming him in the Oval Office? And lowbrow journalists compete with each other to reveal what goes on behind the glittering façade of the White House…

The dynastification of American political life is weakening America's claim to be a democratic beacon...The dynastification of its political life also points to a deeper problem: the fact that America is producing a quasi-hereditary political elite, cocooned in a world of wealth and privilege and utterly divorced from most people's lives…

Isn’t this true of India too?

“quasi-hereditary political elite, cocooned in a world of wealth and privilege and utterly divorced from most people's lives “.

Other than the spectacular rise of Mayawati nothing has happened in Indian politics, for a long time, that gives me a hope.

For instance, all FIVE major political parties in Maharashtra are nepotic to the core and look & sound the same. Eerily they bring to my mind images from George Orwell’s Animal Farm:

“The pigs and farmers return to their amiable card game, and the other animals creep away from the window. Soon the sounds of a quarrel draw them back to listen. Napoleon and Pilkington have played the ace of spades simultaneously, and each accuses the other of cheating. The animals, watching through the window, realize with a start that, as they look around the room of the farmhouse, they can no longer distinguish which of the cardplayers are pigs and which are human beings.”


Artist: Everett Opie The New Yorker July 23, 1960