Transformers 2:Revenge of the Fallen

[This post is somewhat dated, and I have cooled down a bit, but I still largely feel what I felt when I wrote this. So here goes:]

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is just about the worst movie from the point of-well, everything except special effects- that I’ve seen in a very, very long time. And I’ve seen a lot of bad movies this summer, simply from not having anything else to do. I know that the movie is aimed primarily at people who only care about seeing big machines blow up other big machines, and to be honest, I’m into that myself, sometimes. But this was an altogether more painful experience. It was as if I was paying money to sit for 2 and a half hours in a crowded theatre with a bunch of people who hoot every time we get a glimpse of Megan Fox’s cleavage while Michael Bay was shouting insults from the screen. In surround sound, and with never-ending explosions in the background. Of course, the fact that I went with 4 of my friends, and 2 of them loved it and the others thought it merely “long” might also mean that he’s not so much an asshole a really smart panderer who knows exactly what the lowest common denominator is looking for in a summer blockbuster.

And speaking of stereotypes: I don’t think Michael Bay is a racist, exactly… I just think he has been conditioned to believe that racism-or rather, stereotypical minority characters who are all the more offensive for the ridiculous way in which they are attempted  to be included-sell(s), and judging by the kind of collection that Transformers 2 is raking in, he’s not likely to change his mind any time soon. And yet the movie is just wrong, in so many ways- I can’t believe this man found a way to imbue robots with instantly recognizable racial characteristics, and then decide to portray them in the worst manner possible. Especially when they perform no part whatsoever in the central plotline, or what stands for it here. My question is, how do we tell him YES for giant fighting robots, and no for the ridiculously caricatured dialogues* and characters** and events that make up the rest of this movie?

*Megan Fox:”But how do you know?” Shia:”Because I BELIEVE!”; also, that ridiculous blinking contest between those two about who first says the L word.  Oh, hell, I don’t know why I’m quoting, every LINE is a cliche.

** from everyone in the last movie to the new and gorgeous Isabel Lucas.

WTF!

I can’t believe that I live in a country where the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the land, says THIS.

How f**king primitive do you have to be to say that a woman cannot be a rape victim just because she is promiscuous?

The next box on the same page about women who are married in UP having to go through “virginity tests”. And the story on the facing page of the newspaper was about how the Christian front in Mizoram wants to question the HC order legalizing homosexuality. Really. It just proves that for all our technical expertise and thousand-years tradition of “synthesis” and “tolerance”, vast parts of the country still continue to be ignorant bigots.

Watching Serenity

And yes, River Tam IS awesome. Alas, it also makes me want to go out and just beat someone up.

(Which is bad, because despite the very serious issues they faced, the series itself was much more light-hearted. I’m not, though, at this very moment, having made ridiculously stupid mistakes in an exam that I had every chance of doing well in, and just having been rejected for an intern that I was really hoping to get.)

UPDATE: Got the intern! Apparently,  a misunderstanding. A very depressing misunderstanding, but of course, now I really don’t care 😀 😀 .

I Can Forgive…

…passing ultra-populist legislation, making claims to executive authority that are just as ridiculous and ill-founded as his predecessor, and wanting to force national service down teenager’s throats, but causing an unexplained and unlikely-to-be-(adequately)-explained suicide in a show that prides itself on rationality, especially when it’s my favourite show, is just the last straw.

Disclaimer: I got the links off google news and I have no idea what camps the sources are from or even what slant the specific articles have, because I barely read them. They may well be a little too biased(the national service post, at least goes on for a bit about SLAVERY) for the emotions I wanted to convey. But I AM pissed at having to watch such a miserable episode after waiting all week for it.

Pretty much exactly what I wanted to say

Well, not really, I would’ve ranted a lot more, but this is probably what I would have said if I weren’t so pissed:
The Media Wrongs In Mangalore.

Great article,dude. Essential point(or at least my essential point): Beating up women in pubs has nothing to do with Indian culture, and the debate about what constitutes Indian culture is entirely irrelevant to the right and wrong of this particular case, which is settled by the obvious fact that nobody has the right to attack another person in any situation.

Home;Random Musings

Meanwhile, I skipped 60% of the questions on a quiz I was supposed to do really well for because I never looked at the back side of the paper, and I cracked the bottom right corner of my laptop screen and it might take an obscene amount to repair. Also missed the events treat in Barbeque Nation. Also, it’s so bloody hot!

On the plus side, I knew something about twilight bothered me much more than the quality of the prose, and here it is.

I find that there’s a lot of stuff I want to write here about my personal life, but I’m constantly reminded that more people (who actually know me and who I might want to write about; strangers, I don’t mind quite so much) do read this than I had expected. I’m toying with the idea of keeping this as a more of an “ideas” blog and making my currently dysfunctional and entirely anonymous livejournal into something a little less anonymous and update it a little more frequently. In which case, I’ll change the name of this one, a relic from the old, mostly personal blog, which sounded pretty retarded even then.  Any suggestions? Posts will still revolve around the same topics, most of which are mentioned in the About page.

There was a whole bunch of current events stuff I wanted to write about, including:

  1. Pakistan’s surrender to the Taliban in Swat and the price of peace. Something I actually want to “think aloud” on.
  2. Moral policing in Mangalore. No two sides to the problem here, just need to get the ranting out of my system.

Just mentioning so that I’d be reminded of getting around to it sometime.

ADDED:

Links: Check out a brilliant(if long) interview with Alan Moore, here;

Libertarian Hotties! 😀

It’s barely 5 AM, and I’ve had less than 2 hours of sleep, from 2 to 3:45 AM. I woke up for no reason, felt aroused for almost no reason, and haven’t been able to sleep since*. I’ve been tossing and turning, feeling lonelier than I’ve felt in so, so long… 10 minutes ago I finally gave up on the attempt and started watching Quantum of Solace from where I left off yesterday night. I can’t seem to think, and I can’t seem to write coherently, either: this mediocre attempt at penning down my thoughts is going so, so slowly, and feels so much jerkier than usual. I’m really hungry, but I can’t find any food for 2 more hours unless I’m willing to go outside and search for an “open” street vendor, and even that is unlikely at this time. And now I’m randomly surfing the net for pictures of Olga Kurylenko.**

Why is this happening? Yesterday night was perfectly fine, even good. I felt surprisingly sleepy during class and consequently bunked 2 hours- oh yeah, broke the New Year’s resolution; I’d broken the “study at least a little bit every day” one already, as well- right before the lunch break, leading to 2.5 hours of interrupted sleep before lunch, which is extremely rare for me.  The worst part is that I have class from 8 to 4 tomorrow-today, dammit- with only a few breaks in between, a classical dance show to take in at night, and then the official start of Saarang on Thursday, with all the work that goes with it. If I could’ve picked a day to have less than 2 hours of sleep on, it wouldn’t have been today; not to mention that I wouldn’t want it to be because I felt unexpectedly depressed, too lonely even to retreat into the somewhat childish fantasies which are usually my unfailing last resorts.

Maybe I should study or something, make the most of this time when I can’t sleep anyway, especially since I’ll almost certainly end up skipping out on a class or two to catch up on sleep.  Oh, I know I’m not going to, I just thought about it.

I can’t seem to bring this to any sort of coherent conclusion, and I have no idea why I’m writing this anyway. Hope I feel better the next time I post…

*In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I did try the obvious remedy.

**Ok, so I’d probably be doing that even if I were perfectly happy. But still.

Creative Writing, part 2

As I mentioned before, I’m one of the coordinators this time around, and this is the apparently also obligatory “pretty much everything SUCKS*, please send in your entries if you’re even remotely good at writing” post.

Especially Three Phase, in which nobody seems to have understood that the whole point is to make a poem, a short story(or, I guess, an essay or monologue of some sort, if you wish) and a one-act play out of the same topic. NOT OR. OR doesn’t get you anything.

* Except for one very interesting piece in the “Eliminate” category, that is.

Men’s Rights?

[UPDATE: I no longer hold with most of the opinions expressed on this page, although I won’t entirely disown it. So this post is still here merely to serve as a record. After all, that’s what most of the posts here are for.]

Via Bryan Caplan who quotes from Tyler’s book. The article is aptly titled, “Men’s Rights? Stop Laughing!!!”

A Dr. Rangel, a well-known blogger and MD, offered this recipe for impressing a woman:

Wine her, Dine her, Call her, Hug her, Support her, Hold her, Surprise her, Compliment her, Smile at her, Listen to her, Laugh with her, Cry with her, Romance her, Encourage her, Believe in her, Pray with her, Pray for her, Cuddle with her, Shop with her, Give her jewelry, Buy her flowers, Hold her hand, Write love letters to her, Go to the end of the Earth and back again for her.

Just imagine substituting “him” for “her” in this passage, and telling women to do it.  “I want to be his girlfriend, not his slave” would be a reasonable response.

What is Robin’s lesson?  Men take a lot of abuse in our society, but rarely complain about it.  Why not?  Because when men complain, they look weak and get mocked.

Paranoid?  Consider:  You hear that a woman’s husband is cheating on her.  Your likely reaction: Sympathy.  OK, what if you hear that a man’s wife is cheating on him?  Your likely reaction: Poorly suppressed laughter.

Similarly, how do you react when you hear that a man’s wife “won’t let him” do something?  “Ha ha, he’s whipped.”  What if you heard that a woman’s husband “won’t let her” do something?  “How awful – how can she live like that?”

We usually think that people who complain have a raw deal.  What Robin points out, though, is that the people with the rawest deals don’t complain because the world won’t listen.

Any thoughts? I completely agree, for the record, except for the fact that I don’t think MOST of my friends would laugh at the man who’s wife is cheating on him. *I do suspect-hell, am pretty sure- that some would, though, whereas nobody does anything but sympathize with the woman who is being cheated on. You can point out that this is a relatively new development, and that the flip side is far worse for women in societies where they ARE discriminated against, but that doesn’t change the facts here, or the conclusion it suggests about most of the developed world.

PS: I was looking for a better title for this post and (on a tangential path) I was wondering, whats the latin root for men? I ask, because misogynists hate women, but misanthropes hate mankind in general i.e. all humans…ok, latent sexism there, but is that the only reason, or is there a better equivalent? I’m pretty sure I saw something a while back, but I can’t seem to remember it now.

*Apparently not. See the comments. Yet another reminder that we need to be careful about possible selection biases, points of view and emotional attachments when trying to decide a logical question.