Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A photo that never fails to bring me down to earth... Its quintessential zen. Posted by Hello

Utterly quotidian

Yeah. Today's blog is full of hot-air. No substance. I just felt like typing a few random words, is all. Actually, I fiddled around with my blog's settings, and included a new tab on the side-bar, and added a couple of links of personal interest.

Current mood: Serene, but this serenity could be the calm before a storm.
Current music: Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz. Soothing...
Currently reading: Tarski's Introduction to Logic.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Birthday blues

I have now been alive 23 full years. I just stepped into my 24th yesterday (May 24). It sometimes feels wierd -- the concept of birthday... rather, the way we observe this occasion. Growing up, I never `celebrated' my birthday, nor my brother's, nor my parents', as an occasion. They would wish me (or I would wish them) and be done with it. And we didn't expect anything more.

It took me a while to realize that for a lot of people I know, birthdays are a big affair. Moreover, they expect me to treat their birthdays as big affairs as well. I find this difficult. Birthdays are viewed as occasions for rejoicement, but I feel that they should, if anything, be occasions for reflection. However, as far back as I remember, when I look back at the past year, I count more shortcomings than acheivements. This deficit increases with age. I also think this is true with a majority of those who do care to look back.

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced there is no real reason to rejoice on anyone's birthday. Is there an occasion for Hope? Maybe... I can hope on a birthday that the rest of my life will not be as miserable as it has been until now. But rejoice... what for? The only thing I can think of is for having made it to this birthday alive.

All my morbid ideas have increased my desire to get wasted tonight. Now if there is one thing birthdays are an occasion for, it is getting wasted. Hell, yeah.

I also want to rant about why I HATE greeting with cards. It is probably the worst damned ritual civilization came up with. But that is for later...

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Fitness Mania

I had a good workout today. I ran about 3 miles (in a half hour). I know that's nothing, but for someone who's running after a while, it's good. Here in America, everyone works out. Yet, a lot of people are obese. I guess they should be thankful to themselves for working out. Everywhere I see, food products are either labeled `fat-free' or `no-fat' and the like. Then what would explain the obesity?

Anyway, working out is a Good Thing. It gives me a much needed break from my sedentary lifestyle.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Here goes nothing...

This has to be one of the wierdest things ever... This new website ( offers help to people who are looking for a GMail account (As of now, GMail by Google is still in development, and trial accounts are being offered only to a select ``few'').

So, this website hints that `active' Bloggers can possibly get GMail accounts... I had not posted for a while, and so here goes...

I want a GMail account too. Its got 1G storage for goodness' sakes!

Friday, May 14, 2004

To My Friends.

Yes, its me. I just crawled out of my shell. I begin to slowly look around at the world outside me... there are still a few things I recognize. I see my friends. They are glowering, for they are disappointed in me. I try to raise my hands to wave at them, but I am covered in so much cocoon mucus that my arms feel chained to the ground. I stand in the sun until some of it melts away from my body. I feel strong enough to walk a few steps.

My friends, take me back into your folds. You are all that bind me to this existence. To this otherwise pointless length in time. I was a fool this time, i have been a fool before, and i probably will be a fool again. But there are other times too. Times when I was not a fool. I ask you to recall those better times, and ``what could have been''.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Israel applauds Syria sanctions

The Australian: Israel applauds Syria sanctions [May 12, 2004]

Truly, this is my moment of zen for today. Israel's audacity to even make such a statement, it boggles the mind. If there is a single nation state that has violated more U.N. sanctions than any other, if there's one country that has nuclear weapons in the Middle East, if there's one country with the most widespread state-support for terrorism in the name of `national security', yeah... that's Israel. And who gets slapped with sanctions? Syria.

Don't get me wrong. I am not exactly Syria's supporter. Its America's hypocrisy that I am unhappy with. Talking about hypocrisy, of which Uncle Sam has no shortage, I wonder... why doesn't the U.S. do anything about half the countries in Africa, which are ruled by tyrannical dictators? These oppressors are undertaking genocide and ethnic cleansing of a magnitude that would even put the Nazis to shame.

The wise man says to me "Son. Turn away from evil you can't deal with, and evil you don't have to deal with." If only Africa had as much oil as the Middle East... Better still, if the U.S. produced more oil than anyone else, probably a lot of wars wouldn't be fought.

Operation Enduring Freedom? Nah... more like Enduring exercise in self-defeat

Yeah. That is what this whole Iraq enterprise is. An exercise in self-defeat. I came across multiple independent sources saying exactly the same thing about the US occupation in Iraq. "The US army is tactically winning, but strategically losing." How true. Yet, I feel sad for this country, that refuses to learn from past mistakes. I feel enraged about this administration that simply refuses to waver from its set course. Even when it becomes clear that the course is not viable. I am tired of this president who simply doesn't accept responsibility, and his chummies, who simply dismiss dissent, or launch disparaging attacks in an attempt to discredit said dissenting voice(s). Not even a plausible attempt at self-analysis... ahh, I can go on.

But there is one more thing I feel. It is fear. I know this might sound ridiculous, but what if the Feds come across my posting, and detain me for `inflaming passions' (although I doubt I really say anything of substance), or for being a threat to the nation's security? Some out there might say I haven't posted anything of enough magnitude to warrant such action. If that is so, its exactly because of my fear of persecution.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Who Da Man? Kobe's Da Man.

Bryant Goes Court to Court (

We are lucky to be living in the same time as Kobe Bryant. I have seen some pretty amazing players on the court, but just no one came close to Kobe and the superlative performance he put on display tonight against the Spurs. What makes it even more admirable is that he came to the basketball court after spending almost two days in a judicial court, pleading not guilty in his sexual assault case.

I know this is an illogical wish, but for the sake of basketball, I wish that Kobe is set free. I recently found myself looking up the jury on his trial. I was hoping that at least some on the jury are basketball lovers... I mean, if they saw tonight's game, they might change their minds.

Rock on, Kobe!

Memories of School

Florence English School

I was recently reminiscing about my school days at my website. I thought I should mention that here.

American media, Iraq and the great Conservative conspiracy.

The American media, for all its proclaimed freedom of expression, is more deferential to the government, than media in many other countries: countries which don't champion themselves "guardians of democarcy", but still give the press a greater amount of freedom than does the United States.

By no account is Dubya the greatest public speaker. But he left me thinking when he defended the war effort in Iraq some time ago. Refering to the difference in cultures, he said, "Its condescending to think that one fifths of the world doesn't believe in freedom and liberty". Now where did he get that from...?

I do believe that the President is driven to war ultimately by his idealism, and not by greed. But it is this very Conservative idealism that is flawed. Of course, it doesn't help that the hawks who `advise' him are not entirely guided by lofty motives such as freedom, liberty. Noam Chomsky writes that American foreign policy is inherently designed to dominate other nations, subdue opposition and exploit resources for selfish interests. Of course, this is partly true with any nation's foreign policy: self-betterment. But usually, it is acheived by more subtle means than the ones America has historically adopted.

Conservatives have been dreaming of a New World Order where America reigns supreme for quite some time now. The excellent newsmagazine Frontline reports that right wing think tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC) sent an audacious letter to Clinton. "No longer should the U.S. contain the Saddam Hussein regime.... if Saddam does acquire the capacity to deliver WMD, [among other things,] a significant portion of the world's oil supply will be put at hazard". Others like the RAND corporation were instrumental in getting the government to pump money into advanced research and development, mainly for weapons. The focus for most of these think tanks is to establish pax Americana, albeit with American military pre-eminence.

Hello, World!

In true nerd style do I begin weblogging. I kept hearing about the popularity of weblogs, and quite frankly, I didn't know what the big deal was. But then, I felt there are issues out there on which I want to comment. There are events, situations from my own experience that can be shared. Thus, I turned to blogging.