Saturday, March 21, 2009

These days, I cannot make up my mind about who I am.

This morning, for example, facebook told me that I am most like Jacques Derrida of deconstruction fame. Deconstruction is, somewhat infamously, the philosophy that says nothing…

Of course, I am more than happy to be Derrida if, as this obituary claims,
“...much of his appeal was personal: with his shock of silver hair, solemn scowl and broad jaw, he could pass for a veteran Hollywood star.”

(You may find the similarity striking, yes thank you …no fools, not the dead part, nor the silver hair or grimace…just the Hollywood star bit, and no, not the veteran either)

On other interesting unrelated trivia, John Searle, a professor of philosophy at Berkeley quotes my real aspirational self, Michel Foucault here,

"With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?" And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part."

By the way, have you noticed with all these new facebook quizzes that they are written/ copied/ plagiarized/ blatantly scanned and reproduced by morons who cannot spell and/ or are prone to typos?

For example,

You are having a sleepover, but only one person is aloud. Who do you chose?
(The silent one? Or even better, the one who can spell?)

You have been invited to a disco where people will be n couples.
(And then you will ask me what n-1 is equal to? Oh wait, that was the GRE)

On other fronts, I am also a bartender, Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (Philosophical Rumination No.1 - Am I the lunch or the boat or the French people?) , Mickey Mouse, a shitzu, Mars, London (the city, not the loo – yes, going to London often means going to the loo on the subcontinent, another linguistic subversion no doubt) and a toaster.

Maybe I’d rather just be Derrida.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It has been raining for the past few days in Austin. As I get to my day and tasks, I also read poetry. Rains and poems seem to go together in some ways. Poetry, like epiphany, does not come often. If it does, it is overlooked, seen as a set of words, a meaningless non-sum of meaningful parts, as if one were to have visual agnosia.

A poetry reading primer

(a) Take off your literal glasses
(b) Preferably make it rain
(c) Try and be lightly buzzed, the more natural the substance the better...life, for example, would be a good start
(d) It doesn't need to rhyme in order for you to like it!
(e) You don't need to understand all the words, absorb before you understand
(f) Make a picture of words, paint it in
(g) A healthy appreciation for metaphor, allegory and analogy might be useful
(h) Read it aloud
(i) Play music, preferably non-metal
(j) if still unsuccessful, try harder to achieve (c)
(k) If you like it, memorize it...(it's a strange pleasure to know by rote the things you like)
(k) At this point, if yet floundering, give it up, your life is complete I assure you

Food for thought, via the Wondering Minstrels (who are wonderful!)

London Airport

Last night in London Airport
I saw a wooden bin
labelled UNWANTED LITERATURE
IS TO BE PLACED HEREIN.
So I wrote a poem
and popped it in.

-- Christopher Logue

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I have dithered long enough. This is my six hundredth post.

I waited so long so I could say something change-worthy. Something to indicate that I or the blog or life itself has changed. Dramatically. And then write it the same way. The lesson here is that perhaps change, unlike the movies does not happen like a lightning bolt. There is perhaps value to slowness and persistence. So in my six hundredth post, having closely perused the content of the other five ninety nine for the past few weeks, I can safely say it hasn't been a bad blog stint. And hopefully, it will not get worse.

From 2002 to 2008,
(a) I moved countries
(b) changed professions
(c) learnt to drive
(d) completed a research project I am struggling to write
(e) lived both in India and the US
(f) published written work
(g) visited Mexico, Turkey, Switzerland, UAE and Singapore
(h) wrote my second Master's thesis (this time a much more rigorous one!)
(i) developed almost as much a liking for cats as dogs
(j) embarked upon many half assed, thankfully never completed projects
(k) spoke in American and British accents (sometimes both at the same time!)
(l) learnt to love cooking
(m) calmed down and then un-calmed many times over
(n) grew my hair long
(o) named the blog

This year, this blog may change form. Watch this space. Until then, I will however, keep writing.