Archive | August, 2007

Spent

28 Aug

I read a book yesterday, and I am still trying to understand why does that book exist.

The book in question is Spent by Joe Matt, technically it falls under the category of a Graphic novel or sequential art or illustrated novel or a comic (whichever term you are comfortable with).

But for me it is none of above, true it has panels, there are characters, dialogues everything but the question that still begs to be answered is why?

It is not a unsatisfying book either, it was fun to read, it had its poignancy, witty conversations, character definitions, everything that a conventional book should have but the question still remains why?

So many whys?
Let me explain the plot in brief so that you can understand my confusion better and hopefully as I write it I would be able to fathom its rationale and its raison-d-etre (i hope I spelled it right).

The book is about the author’s obsessive-compulsive behaviour and the twelve years he spent in Canada as an illegal resident there.

These are just some facts, the book does not delve on all of these facts.

It is primarily about the author and his personality. It starts from no where (actually in a book store where author is with one of his friends and he discovers one of the comic books that his friend is fond of and he buys the only copy available to infuriate him) and is focused on the author’s addiction to pornographic movies and masturbation.

Joe Matt has projected himself as a loner due to his unnatural addiction,unable to find a steady girlfriend (he made his last one leave to pursue his self-afflicted carnal pleasures). He spends most of the time editing porn movies to have the purest collection of the best scenes and the best basest women. He is the miser to the extent of not eating food,staying in a sub-human dingy accomodation, he is a socio-path to the extent that he keeps jars to pee in his room, so that he doesn’t have to meet his landlady or other inhabitants in the paid accomodation (they share a common loo). He does this despite being decently off. He refuses to spend any money, tries to fleece his friends and has only two pre-occupations, thinking about sex and money.He is so very addicted to these that he even compromises his career (as a graphic novelist) and has not done anything for years (he apparently spent lots of years on this book, which could have been possible in months).

Nothing wrong, these all can be and are interesting premises to create an interesting story (which he has).

So why I am perplexed or disturbed by this book?

What I am unable to fathom is the extent to which the author willing to depreciate himself in the public eye. He is not ashamed to embarass himself and lay bare his darkest thoughts. He is willing to show (it’s a graphic novel) his sexual organs, the way he masturbates, his selfish focus on himself and his needs.

All laid bare for public ridicule.

This humilation is so dark, so stark, that the fact suddenly seems fictional.

Is it real or an alternate fiction diguised as a biography?

I wonder and I reel.

I will clean the puke from my carpet in the evening.
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Passion

27 Aug

Passion.

Such a commonly used word.

Passion for life.

Passion in life.

Do things passionately.

He is such a passionate worker.

Passionate lover.

Passionate spectator.

Fact is, despite its liberal usage, passion probably is the hardest to define, forget practice.

Passion is a commitment.

It gives meaning to life and is the meaning of life.

It’s not about doing something or anything well. It is also not even about enjoying something.

It is loving it, loving it more than anything else in life.

People generally say the word passion, while actually mean desire.

Desire is a thought, empty, meaningless, an end without beginning.

People seek life and look outwards for it. At friends, icons, symbols, they project others life, their world, their reality their passion unto themselves.

Another fallacy which is associated with passion is success. Success defines passion.

Success is external.

Passion is I, within & without.

It can be enjoyed with many but shared with none.

Seek passion, revel in passion, wallow in passion, burn yourself.

So what is passion?

It is nothing or everything. Because it is you.

And the day you find yourself, (to paraphrase a friend) you will leave your footprints on the sands of time.

FAHRENHEIT 451

21 Aug
If you want a commentary on modern life, there might be no superior book than FAHRENHEIT 451.

Extract from the book-

“We know how to nip most of them in the bud, early. You can’t build a house without nails and wood. If you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the Government is inefficient, top heavy, and tax mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non? combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy. Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won’t be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I’ve tried it; to hell with it. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your dare-devils, jet cars, motor cycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I’ll think I’m responding to the play, when it’s only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don’t care. I just like solid entertainment.”

Tragic but true. In our hearts we always suspected that we lead a shallow life but the book makes us aware of the abysmal depths we have plunged to.

I am less Indian

17 Aug

Indians in company of foreigners try to emphasize only on one point that they are more like them than the uncouth,uncultured Indians.

Yes I am an Indian but I am less Indian.

Can we stoop any lower?

Sanjay Dutt

2 Aug

For the last two days there is debate on every news channel whether the court verdict on Sanjay Dutt is fair.

Let me say in the beginning that I belong to the group that belives he should have been freed and my opinion is biased since I have been his fan for the last 20 years.

I have two rationale for believing this-

Rationale 1: The purpose of law is not to punish the individual but the act. This means either there should be an action of malice or an intent of malice.

Now it is easy to say that how can one prove whether an action would or would not lead to the wrongdoing (in this case Sanjay Dutt possessing the gun).

In normal circumstances (with common citizens) it might be difficult to differentiate but with a celebrity, whose every action has been in public eye for the last 48 years, it is easier to establish the intent.

Also unlike Salman “Black Buck” Khan where the illegal activity actually caused harm, there is no reason to believe that it would have led to any action.

The history of entertainment from Sinatara to Sanjay is full of such stupid follies.

I firmly believe that the very foundation of justice has been ignored through this judgement.

Rationale 2: There should be different laws for such entertainers. As simple as that.

I apologise if I have offended anyone.