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, May 20, 2010

Why I like 'The Untouchables'

I really like Brian De Palma's 'The Untouchables', 1987.

I like it for its excellent cinematic values but more importantly because it shows, in the end, it's income tax evasion, and not guns or trial-by-media, that pins down Al Capone.


How does this work in independent India?

SWAMINATHAN S ANKLESARIA AIYAR
:

"...According to the Direct Taxes Enquiry Committee of 1958-59, not a single Indian was convicted of tax evasion in the decade after Independence. The situation has not improved since. ”

(The Times of India, AUGUST 20, 2003)

I have often felt that America is much fairer place than India for punishing the guilty of economic crimes.

Anand Teltumbde
argues:

"...It is unbelievable that our institutions like the income tax department or the banking system are not able to trace the source of these high value currency notes or for that matter, this “gift business”. Can corruption be pervasive without institutions winking at it? When more than half of the gross domestic product is stolen every year in the broad gaze of these institutions, one has to see corruption itself as completely institutionalised..." (EPW, April 10 2010)

'more than half of the gross domestic product is stolen every year'? Whatever IPL inquiry eventually(?) throws up will be a side-show!


FBI Accountant Oscar Wallace played by Charles Martin Smith