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."

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