Friday, October 31, 2008

Hot Asian men who are not Tony Leung

The Good

The Bad

The Weird (makes up for non-hotness by being weird)

The Movie

The most entertaining movie I have seen this year. Sergio Leone meets Tarantino in this totally stylish Oriental Western set in 1930s Manchuria (but shot apparently near the Gobi desert). Three things that could have made this a really good movie: a plot, a script and a little bit of acting. But not to worry. Its quite amazing that the movie never has a dull moment despite the absence of such basic things.

Two unmissable scenes: train robbery at the beginning and a 20-minute chase at the end to the score of Don't let me be misunderstood. Delightful.

PS: Yeah, London film festival. Just got to see a couple. Sad work story. Don't ask.

PPS: I like the Good guy though I know, the Bad boy looks like Johnny Depp. But just a boy he is, no?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nilave ellai. For now.

For everyone who ever asked me "why is the Bay of Bengal the richest water body in the world?", take this.

Also, excuse to post my favorite Cartier-Bresson once more.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Agni pariksha

So Bill's birthday is coming up and yeah, I believe in doing nothing and to be fair, so does Bill. However, since this is the big three-oh[1] and all and because certain people have been asking me over and over again what I am doing for this non-event, I decided to do some research. As of now, this is the best gift I can come up with. Please to let me know if you can think of something better. Thanks.

Btw, off off off to Chicago soon. Yippee!

[1] Yes, thirty years and have not worked a single day of his life. I have never met a more impressive person. Yes, I know. I am a loser.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sir Humphrey strikes again, Nobel Fun

1. Special Tax Rules

Its that time of the year when people who have a Phd have to fill in forms though they are penniless and the rest of us just have to have faith in Sir Humphrey. Which means that Bill has been pouring over tax guides (which apparently have been greatly simplified this year) and here's a gem on page 2:

Self-Employment: There are two kinds of self-employment pages - short ones and full ones. If your business is straightforward and your annual turnover was less than £64,000, you can probably use the short pages. If your business is more complex, your annual turnover was £64,000 or more, or you need to make some adjustments to your profits, you will need the full pages. (Names at Lloyd's of London have their own version of Self-employment pages)

Needless to say, I am most interested in the last line. How the fuck does one get to be a Name at Lloyds? And more importantly, how many of Sir Humphrey's minions were involved in the making of tax forms specially for these Names at Lloyd's of London?

2. Nobel Fun

Adam Kirsch over at Slate on the ignorance of Swedes:

Horace Engdahl, the academy's permanent secretary, made that clear this week when he told the Associated Press that American writers are simply not up to Nobel standards. "The U.S. is too isolated, too insular," Engdahl decreed. "They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining."

It did not take long for American writers to rise to the bait. The Washington Post's Michael Dirda pointed out that it was Engdahl who displayed "an insular attitude towards a very diverse country": It is a bit rich for a citizen of Sweden, whose population of 9 million is about the same as New York City's, to call the United States "isolated." David Remnick noted that the Swedish Academy itself has been guilty of conspicuous ignorance over a very long period: "You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lectures."


What does distinguish the Nobel Committee's favorites, however, is a pronounced anti-Americanism. Pinter used the occasion of his Nobel lecture in 2005 to say that "the crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless" and to call for "Bush and Blair [to] be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice." Doris Lessing, who won the prize last year, gave an interview dismissing the Sept. 11 attacks as "neither as terrible nor as extraordinary as [Americans] think," adding: "They're a very naive people, or they pretend to be."

As you all know, I love Bamse and and find Kirsch's way of paying no attention to Swedish insults totally amusing. But well, lets admit it, even Bamse can be a little silly sometimes. How else can one explain Roth?