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."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Alas India has no Jon Stewart because there is no more Pu La Deshpande

Homer Simpson [episode 2F12 The Simpsons] “Homer the Clown”:

“Aw, being a clown sucks. You get kicked by kids, bit by dogs, and admired by the elderly. Who am I clowning? I have no business being a clown! I've leaving the clowning business to all the other clowns in the clowning business.”

MICHIKO KAKUTANI asked on August 17 2008:
“Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?”

“…In fact, Mr. Stewart regards comedy as a kind of catharsis machine, a therapeutic filter for grappling with upsetting issues. “What’s nice to us about the relentlessness of the show,” he said, “is you know you’re going to get that release no matter what, every night, Monday through Thursday. Like pizza, it may not be the best pizza you’ve ever had, but it’s still pizza, man, and you get to have it every night. It’s a wonderful feeling to have this toxin in your body in the morning, that little cup of sadness, and feel by 7 or 7:30 that night, you’ve released it in sweat equity and can move on to the next day.””

My answer: Jon Stewart is the most trusted American. He is also funny.

India today has a few good commentators, India has some good comedy shows (e.g. Sony’s Comedy Circus where artists like VIP, Kashif Khan, Ali Asgar have shown an early promise of reaching the heights scaled by Johny Walker, Mehmood, Ganpat Patil गणपत पाटील and Om Prakash) but it does not have anyone where both those skills confluence as they do in Jon Stewart.

No one is even close.

It was not always so.

Versatile, multi-talented artist and philanthropist P L Deshpande पु. ल. देशपांडे participated vigorously in the election campaign of 1977 to defeat tyrant Indira Gandhi’s Congress party. Congress leader Y B Chavan derided Deshpande as a clown at election rallies.

After Mrs. Gandhi’s crushing defeat, Pu La said: “Now I go back to being a clown.”

Indeed clowns don’t grow on trees.


Artist: Warren Miller The New Yorker 20 October 1962