Monday, June 30, 2008

The Rise of the Rest

Currently Consuming: Fareed Zakaria's "The Post-American World".

Its an optimistic and non-doomsday approach at the slow but sure resurgence of a non-western world. Highly recommended for those eager to get a grip on the mechanisms of an ongoing global power-shift - politically, economically and socially. Here's an excerpt:

"Look around. The world's tallest building is in Taipei, and will soon be in Dubai. Its largest publicly traded company is in Beijing. Its biggest refinery is being constructed in India. Its largest passenger airplane is built in Europe. The largest investment fund on the planet is in Abu Dhabi; the biggest movie industry is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Once quintessentially American icons have been usurped by the natives. The largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore. The largest casino is in Macao, which overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenues last year. America no longer dominates even its favorite sport, shopping. The Mall of America in Minnesota once boasted that it was the largest shopping mall in the world. Today it wouldn't make the top ten. In the most recent rankings, only two of the world's ten richest people are American. These lists are arbitrary and a bit silly, but consider that only ten years ago, the United States would have serenely topped almost every one of these categories.

These factoids reflect a seismic shift in power and attitudes. It is one that I sense when I travel around the world. In America, we are still debating the nature and extent of anti-Americanism. One side says that the problem is real and worrying and that we must woo the world back. The other says this is the inevitable price of power and that many of these countries are envious—and vaguely French—so we can safely ignore their griping. But while we argue over why they hate us, "they" have moved on, and are now far more interested in other, more dynamic parts of the globe. The world has shifted from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism"

The Skinny on Fuzon 2.0

Its different. The sound is very subdued, especially Rameez Mukhtar's vocals. They are much softer than his predecessor's vocals, with light classical undertones (much lesser movements and experience than Shafquat). The instrument sections overpower and at times, even drown the vocals out, purposefully - something that wouldn't have happened in Shafquat's era, because he WAS the centerpiece. However, there's a definite, audible drop in quality in terms of arrangements, versus their earlier albums. Having said that, there are a few true gems on Journey. Neend Na Aaye is one of them.


When you hear an album like Journey, it makes you feel that the group had a handful of surefire trump cards, which they played in the first round. The follow-up album is supposed to be a testament as to what you're made of, and in terms of that, Journey is quite a dead-end. And this is NOT because Fuzon lacks Shafquat, its because Journey lacks commitment. This is exactly how I feel about Jal, as well - especially when listening to their new song (Sajni) with that creepy Beauty and the Beast-type video. Seems like both Shafquat and Atif crossed over to B'wood and/or went solo, while the going was good.


But unlike Jal who are queued for a quick fade-out, Fuzon does have enough firepower to sustain themselves, sans Shafquat. However they plan to do it, they better figure it out quickly, else they'll just be a bunch of mid-life crisis-jaded Paki rockers reminiscing about the good ol' days, while Shaf mitwa's his way across the IIFAs.It requires a redefinition in their sound, which they have achieved. And it requires a serious reaffirmation in their composition and arrangement patterns, which they are yet to achieve. But when one hears songs like "Tu Kahan", one knows that they, sure as hell, still have the soul.

In other news, doesn't something about that album cover remind you of Savage Garden? Or is it just me. Also, Amy Winehouse, her hornet's nest updo and her vocals are overrated. High-five anyone? High-five?

Talk about songs which will live forever

Lost in Time

Where is Ahmed Jahanzeb? After the brilliance of "Parastish" back in the day, he just faded away.

The ability of certain thoughts, memories and even, songs, to fade away with time is quite scary. Makes one realize how imminent the end really is. Kaho Ek Din is a brilliant number, though, as is Aap Ki Yaad.

In other news, currently sampling Fuzon's Journey. Its the latest album of the new avatar of the group (sans Shafquat). The lead singer is the new face/new sound Rameez Mukhtar, and the group is going to several heights to resuscitate and prove that Fuzon "2.0" is as marketable as its former life - including getting cricketer Wasim Akram to feature in the music video. It would be best not to pit Rameez against Shafquat, because the comparison is sheerly unfair. One will miss the early Fuzon feel from the days of Shallum and Shafquat being together, because the freshness of that sound was awesome. Giving the sound an unbiased listening currently, and shall update soon. Regardless of the disbanding, brilliance in melodies like "Khamaj" will live forever.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sometimes all you need...

... is a cheesy chick-flick. Yes, I know. This is not the most heterosexual thing that has been said on the Revolution, but its true. While I do have a significant axe-to-grind with hardcore Kleenex-sponsored chick-flicks, some of the new, moderate "coming-of-age" variety are rather watchable and well-made, if you will (like The Holiday, in recent times, and of course, my all-time favorite, Fools Rush In). Therapists have stated that a guy's admitting to his appreciation of things which have belonged in traditionally feminine territory, is a good way for him to reap benefits of exploring their emotional side (read: get lucky).

Anyway, I saw this one a little while ago, and its more of a rom-com than a full-on chick flick, but enough disclaimers. It took me a while to get my hands around what made me set away my typical scoffs/guffaws, and actually appreciate the sentiment behind it. Perhaps one of the things that got me enticed in the first place, was the fact that the title was such an apt definition of the way our generation thinks, most of the time. And of course the fact that the film had the same name as one of the best Oasis albums ever.

Definitely, Maybe.

First things first. Abigail Breslin is a young, feisty Ellen Page, without some of the over-the-top attitude, which has the tendency to get really old, really quickly. She retains the movie's innocence, very effectively. And for as much as I love Van Wilder, I never thought that Ryan Reynolds would mature into such an intense actor as exemplified by his performance in DM (have y'all seen The Nines? He's cataclysmically brilliant).

DM is not as stereotypical as you might imagine from the promotions, in terms of its script. There's a distinct honesty about the film's trajectory. Almost as if the scriptwriters were saying "Well, that's how things are. Face it!". The flow of relationships through this film, and the characters' reasoning for beginning, stalling, ending and rekindling them (or the lack of reason, thereof) is what makes DM special. Because there are no answers, and there are no right decisions. Only decisions which you make, based on circumstances that surround it. Only words you say, because everything that happened up to that moment, propel you to say them. You know those moments when you meet someone you never expected to meet ever again in life, randomly? And those several awkward seconds or minutes where everything comes back so rapidly, as if to rewind, freeze and fast-forward time, all with the same velocity. DM has at least half a dozen such moments, and they're all handled with the same care, without making the audience weary. Now that is challenging.

Each relationship subplot is something that each of us can relate to, at some level. The cast is literally handpicked for them. Isla Fisher. Rachel Weisz. They leap out of the screen into reality, sinking comfortably into their simple or wayward or inherently confused characters. And each relationship has a lifecycle of its own, almost like a buffet where you get to pick what you want from them, based on your taste/thoughts - and therein lies the brilliant uniqueness of the concept behind DM. Something which I can only define as "selective periphery". Laying out parallel yet distinct processes for the viewer to extract his/her own meaning, relation and appreciation.

DM lingers on weeks after you see it, although you may not realize that this will be its impact when you first see it, and one would distinctly hope this isn't a result of personal introspection. Clearly the critics circle resounds my opinion (73% and Certified Fresh on RT), and one would attribute that primarily to DM's lack of pretentiousness. It doesn't try to preach, solve or resolve. It just is. Even though, Bill Clinton says, "it depends on what the meaning of the word is is". No, Bill, it doesn't. Because it just is.

In other unrelated trivia, DM is one of the first films I have seen which broke the 5-5-5 Hollywood number code. High five, anyone? ... Anyone?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bring on the haldi

KeepTheDoctorAway - Curry Spice Could Prevent Diabetes and Obesity

Cosmic ... Live!

Rahman's Theme from Bombay, live at the Hollywood Bowl.

Yanni's One Man's Dream - Live at the Acropolis.

Pure Gold! What an absolute journey! Two of the most haunting renditions in history, in my opinion. These songs are examples of simple instrumental compositions, which have power in both, their melody and their arrangement. And if watching these at a Live performance - without any of the technological gizmo-graphy that goes into a studio recording, without vocalists, without backup dancers, without video/stage gadgetry - is still capable of giving you goosebumps - then that's the sheer power of their music.

In the first video, its awesome to see Western violinists working to play the violin segment of the Theme, with typical Carnatic movements. Its challenging, but they seem to have done a fine job.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kismat Konnection

Every summer needs a breakaway dance hit to kick it off. Something that gets you moving the minute it starts. Well, here's 2008. The high-pitched brass loop is the best part of this track, with Pritam on the controls, Neeraj 'Viking' Sridhar on the vocals.

Love it! Its got all the right hooks in all the right places. So money, don't even know it. And Shahid's dance moves to add to it. (Xinu, stop drooling).

PS: Vidya Balan's trying hard to get out of "desi aunty" mode, in an attempt to be hot. Ok. Nice try.

Song of the Weekend

Rahman kicks it old school with this track, which is highly reminiscent of his older works (1947, Kandukondein, etc.)

Hawa Sun Hawa - OST Adaa (A R Rahman, Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik)

Now THIS is creative

Well sung, Brilliantly conceived!

WTG - Sheena.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Its beyond belief that something so astoundingly beautiful is so painfully boring.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Whatever happened to...

the Preity Zinta that we all loved, from Dil Chahta Hai and Dil Se? She was cute, fresh and bubbly. Now, she looks visibly haggard, tired and rather irritating - to the point of being intolerable. And it hasn't even been that long since then.

Stress and alcohol?

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Dose of RGV

y1pyA790wasbJFovT7X7IppyFMmWfuJ7ZAYIzwVGhRTPP2X4dKtSDHgW_Vj5F9EyqMDh0LWW_aEvcwAfter AB Baby's and Aamir's entry into blogdom, noticed that another visionary has raised his voice with a net-presence. RGV's blog is a reactionary one, which dwells significantly on responses to "reviews", "comments" and "opinions" of other film personalities, critics and aam junta.

However, a few of his insights, specifically with regards to the construct of scenes from his movies, are truly inspiring. One may have to search for them, amongst predominantly inflammatory and opinionated posts - but they're out there.

Here's one of my favorites - RGV outlining the structure of a scene in one of his most definitive films - Kshana Kshanam (Telugu) - featuring Venkatesh and Sridevi - in one of her most lovable performances

(interesting to note that he based KK and its premises on 'Foul Play' and 'Romancing The Stone')

"Also one of my favorite examples of how you can create drama through editing is in the above mentioned chase in the forest.

I start from a mid close up of Venkatesh and Sridevi running towards the camera they look back to see if anyone is following them and as Sridevi turns back she looks at something on the ground screams and both fall from the frame we start wondering what has happened then I cut to see Ramireddy and cops looking around. We further wonder where they disappeared. Now we suddenly see both of them against a mud wall crouched. Now we know they are safe but still wonder what that falling from the frame was about. Then Sridevi sees something stifles a shout. Venkatesh reacts to that and reaches out towards the camera and I cut to a top angle to see Ramireddy in the foreground standing at the edge of a pit and a hand reaching out in the ditch to retrieve Sridevi’s floating handbag. The audiences then realize that they fell in a ditch in the first shot.  

This is a classic case of manipulating the audiences mind with dramatic editing technique. If in the beginning itself when they drop out of the frame, if I showed them falling into the ditch the whole sequence will look very informative. But by revealing it bit by bit I was making the audiences imagination race."

Truly simple, subtle - yet brilliant. Granted that this technique is one inspired from several clever and nifty tactics from the vat of global film-making. The knack is that RGV caught and replicated it - and its a matter of lauding his observation. In my opinion, good film-making always has been hallmarked by the ability of entrancing the audience to the degree that they are rendered unable to notice such intricacies. To be able to get your viewer to say "wow" instead of "how did he do that?". Not just the suspension of disbelief, but "visual manipulation" which could result in even the simplest of scenes coming across to be mesmerizing.

In other news, heard that Karan Johar's coming out with a blog, soon (My Name is Karan). Should it be called a Klog, and don a golden caramel template?

Analyzing Keyword Activity on RevEv

Thanks to the Googleplex for pushing 93.67% of Search-resulting hits onto the Revolution. BlogSearch resulted in another 3.8%, and since Blogger is also owned by Google, that knocks them up to 97.47%

A pittance of 1.27% from AOL and 1% from Windows Live. I mean, Yahoo isn't even a statistic anymore (and still surprisingly Ranked #1 on Alexa, over Google). And whatever happened to AltaVista - surviving because of Babelfish, I guess. And Lycos, Webcrawler, Excite? Sigh. The Search Engine Wars of the '90s are now nothing but a sinister memory, with the big G emerging triumphant and unopposed.

Anywho, back to the main crux of the post, which is analyzing last quarter's keyword activity (predominantly on GOOG) that leads to RevEv:

Top Result
Saam Daam Dand Bhed (hmm, guess I wasn't the only curious one to know what the background to that shlok was).

Musically Inclined
Kesariya Balam
Trinity Metallica Nusrat
Aaoge Jab Tum Raga
Baawri Piya Ki
Hindi Sad Diamonds
3.2 Bedrock Humate (whoever you are, call me)
Craig Armstrong Piano
Andrew Oldham Orchestra Last Time
Gaudi Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dub Qawwali
All it takes is a little faith
Adaa Way of Life
Hawa Sun Hawa - Adaa

Lyrically Inclined
Aklo Hosh Nami Danam (3rd most popular)
Kesariya Balam - Translation
Bazeecha-e-atfal hai duniya mere aage

Miluju Tebe (2nd most popular)

Family Guy Related
Ode to squiggly line
Stewie Griffin Squiggly
Bill Engvall Stewie Griffin

Totally Random
Manish Malhotra Gay (My All-Time High #1 Kloset Hit Generator)
Roger Federer Arbaaz Khan (2nd highest, all time - nice!)
(ahh, a VoUD believer)
Delsey Fake (now how desperate can you get?)
Via Agra Greatest Erection for Mankind (Jai Tantra)
Yellow Book Tattoo Removal Girl (see, I told you, I'm not alone!)
War isn't about dying for your country, bastard (damn, u have issues)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Its Rockin'

Farhan Akhtar/Ritesh Sidhwani's latest feel-good, feel-young, realistic-feeling flick. I like it. Kinda like Dil Chahta Hai-gone-Rolling Stones. Got a young and fresh vibe. Farhan Akhtar looks like he could deliver a natural performance. S-E-L give the music a rock touch (dare I say, doing a Pritam?), which seems to be their latest wave of experimentation.

It could also be the work of a really talented teaser-maker, which have the ability to make trash look designer. This could also be true, considering that the film is directed by Abhishek Kapoor whose only claim to fame, is an ill-fated attempt at trying to resuscitate the flat-line career of lost Khan, Sohail (talk about betting on the wrong horse) in the forgettable "Aryan".

In other news, the follow-up teasers for "The Happening" say that New York Times called it "Sick" and "Disturbing". Wow, talk about leaving it to the audience to find the silver lining, there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Alright, I've been getting plenty flack for my willful violation in spelling the word "wierd". So to prove the need for defiance - consider the following.

Wi - as in Nintendo Wii
Erd - as in nerd.



More on the next episode of Sesame Street. Stay tuned.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Ah, summer

Its finally here. Well, barring the freak showers that NY had today - remnants of the horrific weather pattern that the Central US has been rammed with. So much to do, so little time.

Here are a few interesting recent developments that have been occupying significant bytes of mindspace:

  • Snoop Dogg has recorded a song for a Bollywood movie. Yes, it is true. No, I am not kidding. Snoop Dogg and RDB have collaborated for a hip/hop track for Akshay Kumar's Singh is Kingg. We are a few steps closer to Desi Girls Gone Wild, and X-rated Spring Breaks in Pondicherry, aren't we?
  • Shah Rukh announces his Temptations Reloaded Tour to go head-on-head with Bachchan's Unforgettable. They are officially bringing their battle onto the streets. Not only is this going to be horrid for the event market, but gang wars have historically resulted in both parties getting hurt. How infantile.
  • Signature came in runner-up on Britain's Got Talent. Second to George Sampson. If you're bummed, watch this kid do the Fred Astaire "Singing In The Rain" breakdance performance, you'll know why.
  • And from Torrey Pines, the Crouching Putter, Tiger Woods cracks the US Open on a bad knee. In Robin Williams' words - Black athletic ability and Buddhist concentration. The man is legend.
  • Music of Love Story 2050 has been sampled. Anu Malik needs to attend Arranging 101 again, and a Bollywood Bootcamp on "Music in the new Millennium". Review's here.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Found the perfect song to define the current state of mind.

This is The Verve with Lucky Man. Take it away!

Btw - for more on The Verve, they are best remembered for Bittersweet Symphony from the OST - Cruel Intentions. Here's an ill remix of the track mixed with Jay Z's Dirt off your Shoulder. Also, Kanye West does a mean sing-along to Bittersweet Symphony.

(FYI - The original chord progression and percussion sample for Bittersweet is based off of The Andrew Oldham Orchestra's version of "The Last Time" by the Rolling Stones).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jus one quos-chin

Remember that scene in Mukul Anand's "Hum" where Amitabh Bachchan and family pretend to be high-society folks and show up at Kader "General" Khan's place. Eventually, Kader Khan 'discovers' that Amitabh isn't the real deal when he sees a hole at the bottom of his shoe. Much abuse and disgrace ensues, followed by a song and dance, but that's besides the point.

Now I don't know about you, but wasn't it presumptuous to assume that AB was low-society because of a hole-in-his-shoe? I mean, it could have just been a bad shoe? Even then, Amitabh (urf Tiger) and clan lived in a rather upscale house in the hills - what was he doing with a torn shoe, anyway? How is it possible to believe that three alike looking kid brothers from the same dad (?) will grow up to be Amitabh, Govinda and ... Rajnikant? Some savaals that Bollywood films will never be able to give answers to.

Mega Star Rajni (*UPDATED*)

In my spare time, I subtitle hit Rajnikant movie scenes

I call this one - "Double Bagging"

Fresh off the bus ... campaign bus, that is!

Woodcutter needs some 'Axe'

"Shock Discovery at the Swamy Residence" - (3 part series)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Make your own at BombayTV!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"We are seeing a historic hydrological event taking place with unprecedented river levels occuring. We're in uncharted territory -- this is an event beyond what anybody could even imagine". - Brian Pierce, National Weather Service in reference to the flooding in Iowa.

Sounds like something Morgan Freeman would say during a cliched press conference scene of a Hollywood disaster movie.

Truth is elaborately stranger than fiction. God bless Des Moines for what lies ahead.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Capt. Obvious @ FHM

FHM India voted Katrina Kaif as the Sexiest Woman in the World, ahead of Megan Fox, Kareena, Bipasha, etc. Duh - its about time?Granted there's a significant bias since its FHM India, I couldn't agree more vehemently. Go Kats!

So lets recap superlatives here. India has the sexiest woman in the world (Kats, as above). Also, we have the most beautiful woman in the world (Ash), a la CBS News. The Cheapest Car in the world (Tata's $2500 Nano). The World's Largest Commercial Employer (Indian Railways - 1.6 million employees).

And according to Forbes 2008, check out the list of richest men in the world:

1. Warren Buffett (US, $62bn)

2. Carlos Slim Helu & Family (Mexico, $60bn)

3. Bill Gates (US, $58mn)

4. Lakshmi Mittal (India, $45bn)

5. Mukesh Ambani (India, $43bn)

6. Anil Ambani (India, $42bn)

7. Ingvar Kamprad & Family (Sweden, $31bn)

8. K P Singh (India, $30bn)

9. Oleg Deripska (Russia, $28bn)

10. Li Ka-Shing (Hong Kong, $27bn)

So, lets get this straight. The 10 richest individuals in the world include 4 Indians and 1 Mexican - and just 2 Americans? And browns and beaners are struggling to get green cards?


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ode to the Squiggly Line

“Oh squiggly line in my eye fluid;

I see you there lurking on the periphery of my vision.

But when i try to look at you, you scurry away.

Are you shy, squiggly line?

Why only when i ignore you, do you return to the centre of my eye?

Oh squiggly line! It’s alright, You are forgiven.”

-Stewie Griffin

O Mealy-Mouthed Brit Enfant Terrible. You are my Wordsworth.

Butt Out, Bill

Could the invasive marketing team that created those annoying scrolling vignettes for the Bill Engvall show during Family Guy, drop dead? I mean, doesn't TBS get that publicizing a Step-By-Step type revival sitcom featuring that bearded, Blue-Collar buffoon, which is clearly scripted for screw-up, is taking away from the trance-like abilities of TBS' few remnant trump cards?

In other news, the sequel curse seems to losing steam, with Sarkar Raj. Gonna try catching this flick this week, but meanwhile, the music review's up here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Saam. Daam. Dand. Bhed.

Its interesting to note that the central principles of what governs our business, social and political worlds of today, date back to early scriptures. The above four mono-syllables are from the Mahabharat, and the statutes for success by 'getting your work done' (applicable to war, diplomacy, business/trade, etc.)

You can get it done by influence (Saam) or by money (Daam). Or you can be murkier, and get it done by punishment/force (Dand). The last one hit me like a ton of bricks - "Bhed". By creating differences. By division.

The wicked concept of "Divide and Rule", which first helped the British conquer India in the first place, and secondly, was left behind to haunt the world of state politics in India for centuries. This age-old principle continues to ravage the world of Indian politics, as more borders are created, more states are formed, more hatred is nurtured and more differences are highlighted.

They came into the forefront while sampling the soundtrack of Sarkar Raj, where they form a pulsating background chorus. Check out the track "Subah" from SR - really mellow and dark. Reminds me a lot of "Aankhon Mein Raho" from Company - only more gloomy and less "love song"-ish. The singer (Pamela Jain - last remembered for Zindagi Hai Dua, from ARR's Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa) has a very Chitra-like voice, minus the bad Hindi pronunciation. The bass riffs and percussive loops in the background do have some influence from Sunita Rao's Paree Hoon Main. Now there's a track!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What's your major malfunction,...?

Sameer Mishra and the audience of the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee get caught up in a curious misunderstanding. Hilarious!

Sameer went on to win the Bee, continuing the traditional 'spell' of desi kids cracking these bees. Doesn't come as a surprise at all, that there is soon going to be a South Asian Spelling Bee across the US. I'm tempted to end this post with a "spellbound"/"spellbinding"-type pun, but I'll hold myself back. I'm currently cleansing my cliche cache (say THAT 20 times fast).

Kabhi Na Kabhi To

My undying appetite for obscure (but good) music led me to chance upon the Boban Markovic Orkestar, a Serbian brass ensemble of exceptional trumpets and tubas. Given that brass is an acquired taste, and it does take a while to start to get over the jarring sound, (especially for fans of jazz who have audibly adapted to the gentler saxophone), I was introduced by a fellow musical aficionado to a certain track of theirs, that got me amusingly curious.

The track was called "Mere Yaara Dildara" (bear in mind, that BMO is a true-to-the-soil Balkan group). It was only upon listening to the track that I realized that it was a cover of A R Rahman's song of the same name, from the obscure and forgettable Priyadarshan flick Kabhi Na Kabhi (Pooja Bhatt/Anil Kapoor/Jackie Shroff).

And a rather unique cover as well, as they seemed to have sifted out the mediocre parts of the song (read: the chorus, S P Balasubramaniam's disgraceful pronunciation and Chitra's shriekage), and maintained the catchy interlude and verse into a really interesting fusion of brass and Bollywood. Bet there are all of two-and-a-half desis who have identified that this song exists. Another small sign that Bollymusic is slowly yet certainly becoming a global inspiration.

Here you go:

My Rhapsody Playlist


This one's about cookies. Who can resist them? Especially good, warm, soft and chewy cookies? Salivating, yet? So I tried these really awesome made-to-order, fine-baked cookies at work today. Really good stuff. Love the name of the place - Dough Ray Me. Try 'em out. (They do mail orders :-)

And in other cool cookie concepts in NYC, Insomnia Cookies just kicked off "late night home delivery" of their warm, fresh cookies, which are made onsite at their Greenwich Village location. Now that's a business idea, and a great way to kill that late night cookie craving at 3 AM.

Stewie Griffin: You didn't love me. It was my cookies! Its always been the cookies. Well, sugar, the bakery just closed. Go get your fill somewhere else, you oatmeal-raisin-loving freak!

Is it me, or is the PA music at NY Penn Station always sounded a lot like what the band played on the Titanic as it sank? Eerie.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

You Can't Keep a Good N**ga Down! (Spellchecked Edition)

Obama-mania has officially made the ticket.

Finally, an end to this primary circus, as Barack Obama becomes the first-African American to clinch a major party's nomination. Now THAT is Change.

Tell them White House homies to stock up on Grape Soda. Tell the West Wing pantry to stock up on chicken.

Come Novemba, Capitol Hill's gonna go gangsta.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Your anguish sustains me


Stewie Griffin for President


The gorgeousness on the Yellow Book "tattoo removal" commercial caught my eye. Turns out to be model, Blanca Soto, former Miss Mexico World. Sizzle!



Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mindless in Manolos

I admit that I have never been a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker, and her pointless pout. Frankly, the allure of S&TC has always been the glitz and glamour of it all. Quite like New York, it may not be the ability to party like a rockstar, but the accessibility to that ability, that makes all the difference. So when the movie's around the corner, I'm thinking - Snappy narrative decked up in Furstenberg, styled by Escada, to the backdrop of the sexiest city in the world. With script that esoterically and unabashedly oozes with Manhattan pride, dripping in sexy shock value, tailored with dialogue where designer labels are used more often than prepositions. But how are they going to cover the issue of substance? The TV show barely has enough of it, sufficient to keep your attention for 22 minutes, sans commercials. But here's a question I never thought I'd have to ask - who has ever watched S&TC for the intense emotional side of it all? Isn't that what Maury is for?

Emotionalization. This would probably be the iceberg on the route, and the most apparent, "elephant-in-the-room"-type mistake in the concept-level scripting of the movie. They deepened something that the world has come to love as shallow. For most, S&TC (the show) is a whipped-cream-laden hot-fudge sundae after a week on the South Beach diet. Its about fleeting indulgence. But when you pack it into a 2-1/2 hour "chic" flick, you don't expect to see a whiny tale of break-ups and make-ups, laden with tears, repentance and forgiveness. Unfortunately, S&TC is almost funereal (albeit well-dressed), for the most part. I mean, one of the montages actually had Auld Lang Syne in the background. Auld Lang Syne? Was this a documentary on the Irish potato famine? And the best part was that, as the end of the reel approached, I'm assuming one of the crew members (probably the SoHo intern) suddenly realized that they need to spice it back up. Everyone just magically cleans up their act and becomes happy again. The justification of the resolution is shorter than Thursday-night dresses in the MPD (a record which I always thought was tough to break).

On the show, the multi-layered vignettes of the 4 women that patch in together are absolutely key, but this is startlingly eliminated as the movie predominantly focuses on the trials and tribulations of Carrie Bradshaw, with almost apologetic diversions into the lives of the others (and significant sidelining of my boo, Charlotte. Yes, I said boo. Get over it).

Without the trademark romps around sleek Manhattan social nights (with the exception of an oh-so-obvious sponsored plug for Fashion Week), the hype around S&TC wrote a check that the movie just wasn't able to cash. Honestly, it felt more like watching an R-rated version of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, than the big-screen version of the TV show of the same name.

Pretentiousness and Promiscuity in Penthouses, Cosmopolitans in Sleek Lounges, Sexy People in Obscenely-Priced Clothes, Hot Parties in Obscenely-Priced Pads. With expectations like these, evidently built by the last few seasons, one was clearly ill-prepared for the movie's affected focus on the M-word, especially after setting the trend of being the most anti-commitment show on TV. S&TC had become many a viewer's partner-in-crime as they either fantasized about or related to facts like "everything is temporary" and "life is short". Why? Oh, why did the makers have to choose to suddenly play the "scruples and values" card on us? Its like day-traders playing long-only strategies? Its like the Gospel Channel playing on MTV After Dark? These, and many more questions, boggle one's mind while watching the disappointing travesty that is S&TC: The Movie. What should have been crisply edited and crafted as an exciting one-night stand, resulted in a long-drawn, bitter and painful relationship.

If trademark S&TC masala is what you expect on the grill, sauteed with not-so-subtle sarcasm, curb those expectations, and wait for the DVD.  And if you're a female and a big fan of the TV show, hide the chocolate cakes and your credit cards, because the post-watching depression will lead you to indulge on both.

The Suppression of Absence

Dubbed the "Telectroscope", New York's latest "Look-At-Me-I'm-Cool" exhibit is located at the Fulton Ferry Landing near Brooklyn Bridge.

The concept is centuries old - something that purportedly inspired the development of fiber optic technology - digging a tunnel under and across the Atlantic Ocean, and using a series of mirrors and lenses, simulate the working of a periscope. So that someone in London could see someone in New York, in real time. Many old wives tales claim that this tunnel was secretly built.

In true "Blair Witch"-style, the artist, Paul St George, continues to go with the hype that the Telectroscope is the completion of that very project. In reality, its a broadband live video transmission of images in London, with feeds at Tower Bridge (London) and Brooklyn Bridge (New York).

The goal? Suppression of Absence. Which to me, its sounds more like Suspension of Disbelief. I guess its a gentle reminder of how close and accessible things are today, and concepts like the Telectroscope, which may seem trivial to us today, in the era of YouTube and webcams and video-teleconferencing, was a "pipe dream" (pun intended) for people who, centuries ago, craved to be connected, globally.

Aside from all the fuss, its a typical NYC "David Blaine-ish" illusion-novelty, while I'm sure plenty of SoHo plastic bimbos would probably still dig the tunnel rumor, and spread it like its hot.

In other news, where are they now?