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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Even in Throwing Shoes We Indians Only Imitate

I have lost the count of number of shoes that were thrown at various public figures in India over last several weeks.

My 15-year-old son recently observed: Even in this we are copycats.

Wardrobes of India’s glamorous ramp-walkers began to malfunctions only after Janet Jackson incident.

The most popular programs on Marathi TV are often where young singers, even school-going kids, sing old Marathi songs, just imitating the original singers.

Muzaffar Ali (The Times of India, May 3, 2009):

“…The West invaded India with technology and ideas through multinationals and their hidden persuaders, the advertising agencies. With this came a new form of entertainment — the movies. Hollywood began to make inroads in the metros and small-town India and Bollywood emerged as a hybrid product — aping the West but with one eye on mofussil audiences. In the process, we created one of the world’s largest markets for the Hindi film product. This became more and more formidable, more monolithic, typecast, formula-based and predictable. It promoted obscurantism, violence, vulgarity, vengeance and ultimately, a male-dominated one-dimensional and over-the-top form of celluloid expression…

… First, we need to universalize ourselves. We need to find our roots.”



Artist: Jack Ziegler, The New Yorker, May 11 2009, Cartoon Caption Contest #192

My caption:

“Has a guest on his show kissed Jay Leno on the lips or had a wardrobe malfunction?”
(A question that was asked on India’s talk show)