Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Grass Is Only Greener 'Cos You're Blind

Switch on the news and yes, it's another typical day in Sri Lanka; a bomb goes off somewhere in the north - east, killing more civilians and soldiers than reported by the news. Politicians play musical chairs in parliament; members of the opposition jump to the government, and vice versa. The president makes a statement containing standard catch phrases such as 'peace through unity' and 'unity through peace' and 'fight against corruption' etc. The stock market falls. The price of bread increases, thus leading to the increase of petrol, eggs, tomatoes and socks. The weather forecast says sunny skies, so everyone carries their umbrellas to work for the pounding rain that is sure to fall.

No, things are not good at home; it's amazing that we still listen to the news faithfully. My father used to buy 2-3 papers every day to read; now he just buys 2-3 a week. It must get pretty monotonous to read the same old garbage regurgitated every day; especially if the foul stench of BS is so obvious. Don't get me wrong though; all is not lost. True, it's not exactly a time of prosperity, but things could be worse. And so what if every other nation on this Earth is either cutting or cancelling foreign aid to this island? We don't need the "white-skins'" money; we just need them for tourism.

You see, despite the instability of our economic as well as political situation, not to mention the civil war that has been synonymous with our country for the last 25 years, we still have tourists. Couples in their late 50's or even families for that matter still travel to our shores, mesmerized by the vision of elephants and smiling short Asians waiting on their every desire, pouring tea out of ornate porcelain pots and calling them 'Master'. Despite all our flaws, I must admit we probably have the most sensational tourism board, capable of some serious deception. After all, tourism IS all about deception; promoting the good and hiding the ugly. If there’s not enough good to promote, or too much ugly to sweep under the rug, we make something up along the way and people buy it; hook, line and sinker. It’s confusing to say the least; many sports teams have refused to tour our island, stating security reasons. However, it seems where young, tall and strong athletes of South Africa and Australia fear to tread, the old, short and camera-armed Chinese are not. And then there are the Germans. Don't get me started on the Germans.

What is it about tourists? I’m not going to launch into some sort of racist dialogue here, don’t worry. If you think about it, we’re all tourists in our own way. A majority of us have been to another country, either for a vacation or education, and I have no issues with that at all. But as I observe another tourist bus passing down the street, I notice that most of the occupants are, as mentioned above, in the twilight of their lives. I just don’t get it; what possesses them to spend their hard earned life savings to travel to this country of all places? We’re not known to be fashionable, or modern, or even quaint and rustic for that matter. Why not some forgotten Mediterranean island with cobbled streets and soft music in the air? Surely anything beats our broken roads and congested traffic!

I guess the point I’m trying to make is; isn’t it amazing how other people can find your situation to be totally desirable and even envy you for it, while you cannot think of a single sane reason to stay? Just as I find it ludicrous that people choose to vacation in Sri Lanka, there are countless people from various nationalities who are actually dreaming of landing on our shores. Why is that? During the holiday season, the queues to get onto the planes out of the country are almost as long as the queue for people waiting for a taxi at the airport to get them to their hotels. You can imagine the scene; us looking at their queue, shaking our heads saying “Fools, what are they doing here?” while they look at our queue and say “Schochen! Wie einteglechen von tischenkauf lieber scneider wunderbra haffen!” I remember how excited I was when I first went to Goa in 2002; when I got there however, I found the place flooded with my fellow college mates. I can only assume that the rest of the Goan’s were in my campus, lodging in our hostels.

Yes, the tourism industry is all about deception and manipulation. We know there are people out there who will pay good money just to leave their country. All we have to do is promote ourselves to the fantasy of their choice. “Yes, come to Sri Lanka, we have wonderful beaches and great resorts. What’s that? You’re calling from Jamaica? Well we have mountains and stuff filled with green things too! Ya maan! Rasta baby, rasta!”

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don't Say Goodbye, Say TTYL!

If I were to spend some time describing myself, I’d find it a lot easier to make a list of things that I’m not, rather than a list of things I am. For example, I am not tall, I am not good dancer, I am not an intellectual speaker, I am not ‘sexy’, ‘fashionable’ or a ‘BFF’ (these last three points I have learnt thanks to those ‘insightful’ Facebook quizzes). However, I most definitely AM well mannered.

Oh yes, when the occasion calls for it, I know exactly how to be all charm and sophistication. I become my alter ego; Sir Samuel, the Baron of Bull. Throw me into a formal dinner event and I’d fit right in. To a point; of course, the lack of intellectual conversation might trip me up, but otherwise I’d do rather well if I do say so myself. You’d have to have real X-ray vision to see me for the shady little phony that I am.

However, in recent times I’ve come to realise that there have emerged a new set of social do’s and don’ts. And just like the rest of the world, it’s all gone a little mad.

The introduction of SMS’s and emails has brought a new standard to communication. Gone are the days of letter writing; it’s amazing how much one can convey in a single text message. The character limit of 160 per message has led to us to develop a whole new jargon, where the use of vowels is minimal. Add a few numbers and punctuation marks to your message and you can describe your entire day’s routine and still have a few spare characters to ask ‘n wt u bin up2?’ Now I’m no stranger to messaging, but even I feel like some kind of literary scholar compared to my fellow text partners. I remember when I first started using a cell phone, I spent close to a month trying to figure out what ‘kewl’ meant. (‘’Kill Everyone With Love?” “Kiss Everything With Lips?” “Kids EveryWhere Lie?” “Know English, Write Latin?”) When I was told it was just another way of saying cool, it was sort of an anticlimax.

But it’s just not information that goes with messages; one can now convey the intangible, such as feelings and moods. Yes, the lipstick mark on the love letter has now been replaced with the colon and asterisk. Confusing to say the least; let’s just say that the first time I saw that in a message I was glad I knew what it meant and not dismiss it as a typing error. Even the style of writing your message provides room for interpretation; I can only guess at the number of arguments I have had with my ex’s simply because one of my messages didn’t have enough dots in them, or if the average number of smiley’s used in a conversation was lower than usual. Another important aspect of messaging is the ETR, or estimated time of reply. Messages have to be replied within a certain time frame; the better the friend, the faster the response. I find myself falling prey to this many times; when my close friends don’t reply to my messages, a little scene unfolds in my head. My friend hears his/her phone beep, takes it out, sees the message is from me, makes a face of disgust and hurls the phone in slow motion, while simultaneously taking out his/her six shooter and filling his phone with bullets, all the while laughing maniacally as the phone erupts in a ball of fire. But that’s just me.

And then there’s the ambiguous study of missed calls. I consider this the height of advancement, simply because despite its complete lack of definition, we still use missed calls to convey all forms of information. A missed call could mean any of the following things, or even all of them at once if you’re really unlucky:

1. I’m broke, call me back
2. Yes
3. No
4. I’m thinking of you
5. Wake up
6. Goodnight
7. Good morning
8. Where are you?
9. I’m bored
10. I’ll have fries with that, thank you

If you’re not quick enough to make the appropriate response, you’re in trouble. This will lead to further missed calls, which again you’ll probably be at a loss to explain. This will be followed by the angry silence, during which you will most likely have to resort to lower levels of communication’s such as phone calls to clear the whole matter up. Most of these scenarios end with one party saying “Why didn’t you say so?!” and the other party going “But I did! I gave you a missed call!”

And woe unto you if you should commit the cardinal sin of switching off your phone! My lecturer once couldn’t get in touch with a classmate of mine at night because his phone was off. When he asked him why it was off, my classmate simply replied “I was sleeping”. This was met with a look of utter disbelief; he might as well have said he had been abducted by aliens and was not in our space-time continuum at the time. I mean, what is the point of having a cell phone if I can’t reach you at any time of the day or night that I so choose? So what if you’re busy? So what if it’s 3a.m.; what are you doing, sleeping?! Who cares if you’re at a funeral? Just speak softly.

Yes times have changed, and we now have to be a bit more careful about our actions in this digital age. What’s worrying though is the fact that all of the above has become quite common to the average person, at the expense of more traditional social rules. Phones go off in the middle of every church service, wedding, funeral, class, you name it. Add to that the fact that simple courtesies are now being treated as completely alien. Just the other day I held a door open for a lady as she was coming through behind me. She gave me such a confused look that said “Are you trying to sleep with me?” and “Do you think I couldn’t do that myself?” all at the same time.

Next time I’ll just get her number and give her a missed call; maybe I’ll get lucky, or maybe she’ll call back and say the fries are over.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's Bonus Post

It was just a few hours ago that I wrote my last entry, but I stumbled across this video and I just HAD to share it! It's from the show "Inside the NBA" which is a segment on TNT with Ernie Johnson and ex-NBA stars Kenny "The Jet" Smith and Sir Charles Barkley. One of the funniest shows in sports for sure, and this episode is especially hilarious!

You don't have to follow basketball to enjoy this! Have a great day!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Women Are Reading The Wrong Movies

There are a few things in life which I can say I am extremely fond of; one of them is basketball, and somewhere in the top 5 is movies. Yes, I love movies, but I'm not what I would call a movie 'buff' per say. The term 'movie buff' conjures up images of a short bespectacled man who takes a small notepad with him to the movie theatre, or perhaps a short nerdy teenager who'd ask a girl out to a movie because he actually wanted to watch the movie.

Don't ask me why both of my illustrations happen to be short; I guess it's a guy thing. My point is, I enjoy movies that entertain, be it old fashioned blood gore and explosives, or edge-of-your-seat drama, or silly romantic comedies. However, this doesn't mean I'm into pointless movies in which the sight of a man covered in shit is supposed to induce laughter; I want some form of intelligence behind the performance too.

Recently I've had the opportunity (if I can call it that) to see a few movies that dealt with romance. No, that doesn't necessarily make them 'romantic' movies, hence the whole 'dealt with romance' phrase. I'll explain my reasoning later.

Movie No.1: High Fidelity

'High Fidelity' is a movie based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, the same author who wrote 'About a Boy' which was also made into a movie starring Hugh Grant. John Cusack plays a somewhat jobless man who is going through a difficult break-up, and as a result starts regaling the viewers with his top 5 break-ups. It's an interesting and humorous movie that has done very well to convey the views expressed in the book in a manner suitable for the big screen. I won't give much away, but it's a great movie, dealing with male issues in a relationship, and also has one of Jack Black's best performances.

Movie No.2: The Notebook

Yes, I know. THE Notebook. The very name invokes images of scented candles and other gooey romantic thingy’s. Go through any girls list of favourite movies and you'll find this one in it. Women speak of it with the same glazed look in their eyes that we have when we recall any scene from 'The Godfather'. Yes, it is the holy grail of romance, and so it is with a sense of mortal dread and impending doom that any man sits down to watch this movie; the last time I felt this way was when I went to the dentist.

But, being the objective movie critique that I am, I steeled myself and set down to have a look; it's got an 8.0 rating on IMDB.com, and any movie with such a high rating has to be watched, no matter what its content.

To cut a long story short, only my moderate crush on Rachel McAdams got me through this movie; it had so much cheese in it I had a sudden urge to order-in pizza. The movie is well done however, but its content had me asking a lot of questions.

Movie No.3: Wedding Crashers

Right about now, some readers will be thinking "Pfft! That's not a romantic movie!" I know that, dumbass. That's why I said movies that dealt with romance. (Ha!) Despite all evidence to the contrary, 'Wedding Crashers' is one of my favourite movies. Yes, in spite of the rather crude sexual humour involved and Vince Vaughan's eccentric character, I still liked this movie a lot. This time, my moderate crush for Rachel McAdams had nothing to do with it. It's funny, I loved the dialogues, and even Christopher Walken did a great job in a movie I was surprised to see him in.

Now for the verdict. To be honest, I decided to write this review only after watching 'The Notebook' and frankly, I just didn't get it. That may seem like a typical response from any male viewer, but let me give you my reasons first.

In my opinion, both 'High Fidelity' and 'Wedding Crashers' had believable romances; you can see the chemistry the characters have, and you genuinely want them to have a happy ending. In ‘Notebook’, we only believe that the characters are in love because the narrator states (in a rather warm fuzzy voice) that ‘they were inseparable’. Blech! As for the happy ending, well, watching the 'happy' ending for 'The Notebook' was as uplifting as watching Tiger Woods win a golf tournament; you knew it would happen, and you wish you could get the last 2 hours of your life back. 'High Fidelity' had humour, great music, funny sub-stories and great actors to go along with the romance. 'Wedding Crashers' had great humour and great characters to support its romance story. 'The Notebook' has nothing but the love story, and in my opinion that failed. There's no humour, no drama and Ryan Gosling’s character Noah, who ironically enough is a carpenter (get it? Noah? Noah’s ark? Carpenter? Oh never mind!) has to be the most annoying love interest in movie history!

It's no wonder that women complain about not being able to understand us, they've been reading from the wrong (note)book. Allow me to enlighten you; all men are useless, but we're simple creatures with good intentions. If you're looking for Mr. Right, someone who’ll write you 365 letters in a year and fantasize about you over a period of close to 10 years, build a house for you just because you said so, steal you away from your fiancĂ©, read to you while you’re in a mental institution and then proceed to die with you, side by side, holding hands; well you’d have better luck searching for the elusive Purple-n-pink Polynesian Porcupine.

I hope you are enlightened.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rewind and Repeat

The world is ending. No, this is not another discourse on global warming and how it could actually benefit mankind (please read "Hurray for global warming!"), but this is another undisputed fact. The signs are clear, the cards have been dealt, the stars have spoken. We are living on borrowed time.

Yes, borrowed time. Why do I say that? Well, let me illustrate. Do you watch TV? A typical television show consists of around 21 episodes, and always somewhere in the lineup there's a flashback episode. That's the one where the characters end up 'looking back' at events that occurred in earlier episodes. (Personally, I hate those shows; what's the point of watching a new episode if it's made up of old episodes?) These episodes are usually thrown in towards the end of the season, and when you see that episode you know that it's almost done.

That's exactly what's happening to the world right now. My friends, brace yourself; we're in the flashback episode. Horror of horrors.

Fine, that may not have sounded as cool as, say, "Welcome to the Matrix!" or something like that, but bear with me. Just take a closer look around. Have you noticed how everything is making a 'comeback'? The intelligent minds in the world of fashion have worked long and hard and come up with this conclusion; retro is cool. What?! That can't be right! How are we sposed to get to wearing space-age suits with little Saturn-rings around them ala The Jetsons (remember that show?) if our fashion journey is going in reverse, back to the days of extra huge sunglasses and the Granddad-style cardigans with elbow patches? No, something is wrong somewhere. And its not just fashion, what about movies? The latest trend in Hollywood is the 'sequel'; yes, just make a movie, any movie, and then make three more after it with the same cast, same plot, same everything. We've even gone back to musicals with the likes of 'Hairspray' and 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street'. Musicals?! What happened to CGI?! And now we're making a Knight Rider movie?! WITH David Hasselfhoff in it?!

Don't even get me started on music. Where do I begin? Every other song is now 'influenced' by something we've heard in the 70's or 80's. My current favourite song? "Beat it" by, no not Michael Jackson, but Fall Out Boy. Of course, the music industry knows how to sufficiently disguise the dearth of musical ingenuity in today's day and age. They use terms such as 'cover' and 'remix' to make us believe that the artist is releasing his own 'interpretation' of some classic tune. Westlife were quite adept in this little feat of trickery, releasing single after single of re-hashed songs, the only difference being that they had to make a music video for it which the original probably never had. Throw in some 'cute' 20-something men in tight sweaters and puppy dog faces and they'd make you believe that "Star spangled banner" is an original song of theirs. And most of the time its terrible; how can we forget Britney Spear's version of Joan Jett and the Blackheart's "I love rock n roll", not to mention that terrible cover of the Rolling Stones' "(I can't get no) Satisfaction"?! Oh and of course, special mention to the A-Teens; ABBA wannabe's! ABBA?! Are you kidding me?!

Hip hop artists are a little more subtle, they just steal a chorus or a hook and rap all over it, thus creating something 'fresh' and 'new'. Sure, and if I cut off the roof of my car, I am suddenly the owner of a 'new' convertible.

Yes, the world is stuck in a rut. The wheels are spinning but we're not going anywhere. Be warned, soon you'll find the Bee Gees latest single "(Still) Staying Alive" storming the charts, and you'll probably stand in line to buy the single. Right after you go to see this summer's blockbuster movie "I've almost forgotten what you did last summer.. but not quite", all dressed up in your coat-tails and top hat.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Mourning

It's a familiar scene around the world. Your eyes fly open, you look at the clock. Damn, you've overslept! Fall out of bed, brush, wash, try not to admit you've aged 5 years in the last 2 days, burn off your tonsils with coffee, run a comb through your hair, run out the front door. Yes, it could only be Monday.
History has proved that Monday is just not a good day for, well, anything. It was Monday, October 19th 1987 (now known as Black Monday, no less) when stock markets around the world were hit by one of the biggest losses in recent history; the Dow Jones itself fell by 22%, losing billions. It was a Monday, November 18th 1929 when a devastating undersea earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck off the coast of Newfoundland, destroying vital transatlantic underground submarine cables and causing a tsunami that wiped out many communities in the Burin Peninsula. It was November 4th 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 with a dog named Laika on board, becoming the first country to launch a living creature into orbit. Being a Monday however, this story could not have a happy ending; apparently, the capsule was not designed to be retrievable and she died a few hours later from stress and overheating. It was a Monday when God decided "Right, I've had enough of this lot, I'm going to flood this planet and kill off everything. Except for Noah, because he's the only one sober enough to build a boat..."
Yes, we're all familiar with the Monday blues. Unless of course, you live in some Arab emirate, where the week starts on Sunday. How bizarre is that? I wonder if they call it the Sunday blues then. Next thing you know, they'll declare August the first month of the year and call 3 o'clock in the afternoon 'midnight'.
I believe that the degree of depression one feels on a Monday morning is largely dependant on how you spend your weekend. If you've spent a large majority of your Saturday and Sunday unconscious, or better still, in jail ("yesh mishter po-leesh-offisher, I seen the man who hit me car, and hish name be Jack Daniels"), chances are Monday morning will bring the usual vows of eternal sobriety and, along with it, the increased loathing for one's job. Then there are the 'party animals', whose sole purpose is to dislocate every bone in their body by gyrating to some devils orchestra of electronic blips and squeaks (its apparently called music. I call it "listening to Star Wars' R2D2 dialogues in fast forward"). But then Monday comes around, and with it the realisation that you have now lost 25% of your hearing, you have no sensation in your feet anymore, sleeping 6 hours in 48 is not the best way to come to work, and that you're a lot older than you thought you were last night.
Or maybe it's a bit of weed that keeps your weekend spinning. Literally. Yes, what better way to spend one's free time than to light up a joint, listen to Pink Floyd and discuss the utter pointlessness of ones life with your friends, who by this time can only be resolved into foggy little blurs of colour thanks to your drug of choice. I can only imagine the pain of coming down to Earth on Monday. No, you are not a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, you are not floating on a river of love, that epiphany you had over the weekend about saving the world might not pan out after all, and your right ear lobe does not look like the shape of Africa. Ouch, that's gotta hurt.
Yes there is no escaping the Monday blues. Even if you're a student; inevitably you end up spending the wee hours of Monday morning frantically putting together a week's worth of assignments. Who knew there was so much work?! I guess you have no choice but to resort to your tried and tested dog-ate-my-homework excuse. Oh, that's a real winner. Now if only you had a dog...
But then there are the few of you who end up spending your weekends with family, cocooned in a snug blanket of warmth and happy feelings. To you, going to work is a weekly emotional ordeal, a bitter and heart-wrenching experience, as you tearfully wave goodbye in typical hindi-movie-bride style, perhaps with Celine Dion's "My heart will go on" playing in the background. Not that I've ever heard of a hindi-movie with Celine Dion in it, but you get the point.
Me? Oh my weekend has been great. My exams are over (no more business law and economics, thank you very much!), ze Germans have yet to make an attempt at my life (someone actually asked me to write more often. Being a Saturday however, I can only assume he was drunk.), the NBA playoffs have begun in spectacular fashion (a game 1 upset and a double-overtime game in the first two days!), Danica Patrick finally won an Indy race (I can now claim to be a fan of her driving skills and not her, well, err, hmmm..), the Premier League is down to a photo-finish thanks to Manchester United's draw with Blackburn, and the parents are going to Thailand for a week, giving me free reign at home and the oppurtunity to terrorize my brother without restriction.
Yes, life is good!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Reason For Blogging....!

When I set about writing this blog just a week ago, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. It was just something that appealed to me, and also provided an opportunity to 'vent'. Never did I imagine that just one week of writing would lead to: 1) a friend confessing that she believed I was a 'dim wit' all this time; 2) numerous lecturers regarding my joblessness and 3) an invitation to hook up with some girl, just to prevent me from writing anymore.

All in all, a satisfying first week, I must say! Who knows, at this rate I'll be receiving death threats in a month and, if I may paraphrase Turkish from the movie "Snatch", I'll probably need protection against 'ze Germans' in 6 weeks. Maybe I should take up that blind date after all...

Ah, dating. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I have dated. Yes, as in actually dated. Yes, dated girls. What do you mean, 'real girls'?!

Much is said about the mysterious workings of the dating game. Some say it was birthed in ancient Greece, as a sadistic and psychological torture experiment. Others say that its foundations are so obscure, it makes the Da Vinci code look like a fairy tale for toddlers. Centuries have passed, and yet there has always been some form of 'courtship' present in society, its rules of engagement subtly changing with the times like a hyper-active chameleon. Yes, cultural and social values have changed, and the rules of courtship have seamlessly adapted as well, almost as if there was an unseen hand that subtly re-wrote the text books, an evil shadow that one could only sense, and not touch.

Today it has evolved into a complex and convoluted science, filled with contradictory rules and regulations. Every step of the 'date' is fraught with danger, every little element subject to change with the slightest shift in the mood, every word and gesture holding the possibility for victory or humiliating defeat. For an accurate illustration, picture yourself playing a game of Russian Roulette. While riding a unicycle. On a tightrope. Over the Niagra Falls. Yes, that's about right.

Being a man, I am understandly lost when it comes to these things. We can take apart and put together a home computer with the greatest of ease, but we can never figure out what is going through our date's head at any given time. It's been said that man's search for alien lifeforms has been fueled simply by his desire to find something they could understand. Let me give an example. You're having dinner, when all of a sudden she brings up the 'ex-boyfriend'. Immediately, alarm bells start going off inside your head. It was a horrible breakup, she says. I see. She thought it was meant to be. Right. There are times she thinks about him. You start to wonder why NOW had to be one of those times. By then of course, the alarm bells have changed to Saran gas sirens and cries of 'Abandon ship!!'. But it's too late, because nothing you say or do in this situation will allow you to escape.

You: Yes, he was a real jerk wasnt he?
She: Well, he wasnt that bad, ok?! Who do you think you are??
(Ok , scratch that.)

You: Maybe he had his reasons, you know? Perhaps..
(Nope, thats definitely out.)

You: Some guys just suck.
She: Yeah, why do only weirdos ask me out?
(Great, and here you are on a date with her, what does that make you?! Scratch that!)

You: You'll be stronger after this! You're a confident and intelligent woman! You'll do better than him! Everything's going to be wonderful! (Attempted smile of encouragement)
She: [wow like, this guy is like, so totally gay!] Uh-huh. Right. Can you drop me home now?

All kidding aside, too much emphasis is put on dating nowadays. I firmly believe that you'll meet someone when you meet someone. And if you do, asking to spend more time with that person shouldn't amount to some kind of binding legal contract involving flowers, candy and fake smiles. Because if it does, the pressure and expectation is almost certain to lead to disaster.

And then these spurned and rejected lovers get all depressed, and start writing depressing notes and blogs, flooding the world with pathetic attempts at being deep and knowledgeable, and yet succeed only at being, well, pathetic.

Which forces other (jobless and dim-witted) people to start their own blog so that they can show them that hey, the world sucks, so what? It's all quite funny if you think about it.

Hurray for global warming!

The kids are all completely mad.

Yes, its true. Todays generation of teenagers are losing touch with sanity. Losing touch? Nay, they've completely alienated themselves from it! You'd think the world was bad enough as it is the way the 'adults' are running things (every other nation trying to blow up someone else, kill people here for oil, kill people there for land, kill people because they're black, kill people because they're white, kill people over here for trying to kill us first; well you get the idea!), but putting your faith in today's youth to carry the world through is like a 400-lb man doing situps; it'll give you a nice warm feeling for a while, but in the end its all just pointless.

Why this bleak outlook, you ask? Don't I know that today's youth are arguably more intelligent than any generation in recorded past, with higher average IQ's and better learning capacities than our parents and grandparents? Also, don't I know that today's youth have more oppurtunity, security, are in better health and have more priveleges than all generations before us? Why, they're just blessed beyond words aren't they?

Yes, that's all true, and maybe I should rephrase. Maybe they're not ALL mad, but the ones I've come across sure are!

It seems to be a trend with teenagers in Sri Lanka to have two aims in life; get out of school, and then find another aim in life. The teenagers of today have given a new meaning to the term 'secondary school'; to them, it definitely is secondary, if not tertiary or dead last in their priority list. To be fair, its not their fault; our education system is so counter-productive that its hard to find enough reason to convince your 16yr-old-hormone-crazed-always-on-edge kid not to drop out after 10th grade.

Most kids nowadays just don't care about anything anymore. The apathy is easily seen in their words and actions, and is disturbing not just in its presence but in its intensity. Engaging them in a conversation with the words 'future' and 'career' in it is like driving a car without wheels. Through mud. Backwards. Most boys turn to booze, pot and angry metal bands with names like "Serpent's Backside" or the sort, claiming to be enlightened. (Heck, the only way you could enlighten them is to set them on fire.) Sri Lanka may still be known for its smiling faces in the future, but the cause may more likely be due to some form of herb rather than our affinity to foreigners. Most girls on the other hand just mope around with some random boys and then eventually elope with a rickshaw driver and are never heard from again. I kid you not.

True, this may describe only a small percentage of today's youth in its entirety. But the trend in the recent past is disturbing; more kids are just not bothered with their life anymore. They just don't have the faintest idea why they should waste valuable time and gray matter to work out where they're going to be in 10 years. Of course, its easy for us to immediately blame the so-called 'western society' and its evil and perverted morals. But there has to be more to it than that.

Well then its a good thing that global warming is going kill us all. We can rest assured that the future of the world will be left to single-celled organisms and roaches, rather than our misguided and jaded youth. What a relief!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Till divorce do us part

When God created the Earth (this is the part where the aethist segment of my readers switch to another window...) He decided it would be prudent to earmark the passing of one year with four seasons. We are all reasonably intelligent people, so we already know this. Unless you live in Sri Lanka, where the concept of winter is like the idea of an honest politician; non-existent. But then, we as humans have carried it much further.

Yes, we now have a season for everything. There are sports seasons for every, well, sport. We have a season of giving during Christmas. The season of colours in India during holi, as well as a season of lights. To those still struggling in the grip of universities and schools, we have exam seasons. Thanks to valentines day, we have a so-called season of love. And then there's marriage.

Ah, marriage. Some wonder why we have such gooey and bubbly feelings about marriage, when the very ceremony involves agreeing to the morbid statement of "till death do us part". Sort of tells you where its all going to lead doesnt it?

Those of you who know me personally know that marriage is a taboo subject for me. It's all well and good, and I'm not against it per say; I'm just not into discussing it right now. I'm in the prime of my life, for crying out loud! This is my time to enjoy life to the fullest, pack my bags every now and then and head out on some wild adventure, hunting wildebeast in the African plains or if all else fails, wild girls in the not-so-African plains of Colombo. The fact that I do neither, is a different and unrelated topic all together...

But as I was saying, I'm all for marriage. Marriage is a good thing! God was all for it as well, and so he gift-wrapped a wife for Adam in the shape of Eve. The fact that things went considerably south for Adam afterwards is, again, completely besides the point.

However, it is increasingly difficult to find fellow believers in wedlock. The media is no help whatsoever. The only thing that the average person loves to read about more than a celebrity dream wedding is a celebrity nightmare divorce. Jus recently the Sir Paul McCartney-Heather Mills divorce was all over the headlines, and not just because it was over. The attention was at the sum involved in the settlement. Apparently Ms Mills was seeking £125 million and only (yes, only) received £25 million. She was also 'outraged' that the judge had ruled Sir McCartney's asset value as £400 million instead of her estimate of £800 million.

Mind-boggling numbers. And there are so many more, such as Michael Jordan (£84 million, or $168 million), Neil Diamond (£75 million, or $150 million), Steven Spielberg (£50 million, or $100 million) and Harrison Ford (£42.5 million, or $85 million), all who are no stranger to the (financial) pain of divorce. You'd think that considering this was Harrison Ford's second wife, he'd know better!

Despite all this, we're all thrilled when celebrity couples DO get married. Maybe we're just excited to see how long it'll be before the pair are throwing money at each other instead of promises of never-ending love. In which case Pamela Anderson has provided ample material, getting married to Tommy Lee, Kid Rock and some other reject if I'm not mistaken. Not much odds for those marriages, one of them lasted only 2 months! And then there was Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman. I mean, come on! That was doomed from the start! (Rodman - 6 foot 10 inches. Electra - 5 foot 3 inches. Go figure!) Recently it was Beyonce and Jay Z who got engaged, and I can already see the fallout from their divorce; both with new no.1 singles on the chart, titled "Bills Bills Bills (The divorce version)" and "99 problems (and the b**** IS one)". And if you've heard about Beyonce's on-stage persona known as "Sasha", you can only wonder who Jay-Z is actually getting married to....

Yet if we look real close, we do find a few sources of light in the murky darkness of celebrity marriages. Though of course, we hear less of them thanks to the media, just not interesting enough unless there's an affair with a personal assistant thrown in somewhere. Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, to name a few that come to mind.

But it was Daniel Craig who restored my faith in the sanity of celebrities; when asked about his engagement with girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell, he simply replied it was none of their business, and that he didn't believe in publicly announcing his marriage plans, as only members of the royal family do that.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mobile Madness

It's a Friday night, and being the socialite that I am (not), I'm about to head out of the house. Before I head out the door however, I do my pre-flight routine. Unlike members of the fairer sex, it doesn't involve running back to the room and completely changing my outfit for the 81st time ("ooh! im so fat!!"), it's much simpler than that. Tap right thigh, tap left thigh, tap right butt cheek. No I don't get a kick outta touching myself, neither am I superstitous; its simply a way to check if I have my keys, my phone and my wallet.

You would think that out of these three 'essentials', the wallet would be the most important item to carry. But then again, lets review. Can you really imagine yourself stepping out into the world without your cellphone? I mean, without your wallet, well, SOMEONE will pay for you, surely. And without your keys, well, you'll work SOMETHING out. But the cell?! It's irreplaceable! How will people get in touch with me? How will I take pictures of my dinner? How will I be able to check my email while I'm eating dinner? How will I update my blog while I'm in the loo? How will I call ANYONE? (Cos of course, you don't remember a single phone number by memory; who needs to, its in the phone!) I know people who even save their ATM pin numbers in their phonebook, under inconspicuous names , like "ATM PIN" or "Rob-Mee-Blind".

Yes, the cell phone is indispensable. I myself am a testament to that. If my phone battery dies when I'm out, I'm in panic. Because, like many people, I'm under the happy delusion that the entire world is trying desperately to get in touch with me at that very minute, and that as soon as my phone is back on again, my inbox will be flooded with msgs from friends and family, wondering if I'm alright, and of course to tell me that I've won the lottery.

So just imagine losing a cell-phone. I have luckily never done that, but I know quite a few people who have, and let me tell you, its quite an ordeal. Just the thought that some evil thieving slimy no-good soul-less person is using YOUR cell phone with reckless abandon is enough to drive the sanest of people completely berserk. Which leads me to wonder: why havent we devised some form of anti-theft device for cell phones? We have thumb-print scanners for laptops, even retina scanners for the extremely insecure. Why not some form of hi-tech accessory or feature that limits the use of the phone to, well, you! Or perhaps a GPS locator device? Or even better, something with TNT and a detonator that will 'self-destruct in 10 seconds' if you press the secret button hidden in your Rolex?

But no. Instead of trying to work out some fool-proof way to keep our phones safe and in our pockets, people think they'd rather spend time and money to construct... this.

Yes, this my friend, is the Elephant Cell Phone Gadget. What does it do? You'll never guess! It cleans your ears. I kid you not! Follow the link above if you don't believe me...
I must admit, I have never been a 100% fan of the whole mp3-cell phone concept, but compared to this engineering marvel... well, I'd rate that the greatest invention since the wheel in my opinion!

For a further list of bizarre gadgets, click here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

To gym, or not to gym.. That is the question

Fashion. I am the last person who can write anythin on fashion. I probably know as much about fashion as Robert Mugabe does on economics. Show me haute couture and I'll show you how-I-cut-your fingers off with a blunt instrument.

But what I DO know is that as much as it is about the clothes on the outside, it also involves the body underneath. Too often have i seen low-waist jeans on girls that didnt' HAVE a waist.

Now, I've been going to the gym for about 6 months, and people still laugh when I tell them I'm not working out to 'look good' and 'get the girls' (that sadly is a lost cause). It is the truth, however. I have long since given up the desire to possess 50 cents' chest or Usher's abs. But I was a member of my college basketball team for all my college years, and I still hold on to the (rather silly) hope that my basketball playing days are not over. That and the fact that if I didn't, mom's cooking would result in me walking around with a continent hanging off my belly.

If you enjoy playing the 'people' game as much as I do, the gym is a great spot! Here you will find all sorts of specimens, men and women, young and old, the bulldogs and the ballerinas. Some have a legitimate need to lose weight or stay in shape, and of course there are those who just want to give it a shot and see if they're the next Arnold-in-hiding.

But then there are the weird ones. For them, its the uncontrollable urge to get more 'buff'. My friend would be a prime candidate for this category; just the other day he told me how he'd lost tone cos he hadn't come to the gym for 3 days. He then proceeded to bench press twice the weight I was lifting as I quietly and almost apologetically shuffled out of the room. And then there's my personal favourite, the "ooh im soo fat!" syndrome. Just recently two girls joined the gym; they can't be more than 20, and they both look to be in stunning shape. And yet they come day in and day out, working out exercise after exercise, machine after machine. But why?! They are both working girls, they have no need to lose weight (they probably have the combined weight of a slightly malnourished American) and they look great. So why waste time and energy at the gym, lifting weights as if they're dress size depended on it?

Maybe I'll go ask them next time.. Only thing is, they'd probably look at my faded T-shirt, red headband and multi-coloured tracks and think I was a time traveller from the 80's....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Hey hey! After much deliberation and planning, my blog is finally up! I've already put up a post of an article id written on facebook, jus to get started off. This blog will try to be as light as possible, with a touch of sobriety now and then. I'm a simple man with simple tastes, hence most of these posts will focus on movies, sports and laughs, though not necessarily in that order. I doubt i'll be stirrin up much controversy, but heck criticism is very welcome!

Till the next post,


Status Quo

So, after much persuasion from my friends, i finally joined facebook last year. This is quite common for me in hindsight, i showed a similar resistance to join friendster, hi5 and orkut when they were the 'in' thing at the time. But eventually, with the appropriate amounts of kicking and screaming thrown in, i signed onto all these sites and became a rather active user if i do say so myself.

Now, after many years of mindless surfing on the net, i can claim to have some form of experience in these so-called 'social networking' sites. It all starts the same way, you resist, you cave, you upload your pic, you tell everyone how wonderful you really are ("and in my spare time i like to swim with dolphins off the coast of Fiji"), you add all your friends, and you start snooping in everyones profile ("aha! so ur her 2nd cousins uncles daughters housemaid's son!"). Its all very fascinating.. for a while. And then, when all the euphoria is gone, you're bored. You dont make new friends fast enough to keep adding them, hence you're stuck.

Not so with facebook, at least not for me. Why? Is it the endless number of applications you can add? The vast array of ridiculous and pointless quizzes you can take? ("How hairy is your soul mates' ass? Take this quiz to find out!")


Its the status msg. Yes, this tiny little line is one of the center-pieces of the site, the real heart of the matter, the sole reason some people login everyday. And to some, the status msg has become, if not an addiction, then an art form. There are normal msgs ("so-n-so is at work"), the bizarre ones ("So-n-so is a one-legged man in a 3-legged race"), the cute ones ("so-n-so is absolutely in lovey-dovey with honey-bunny-cutie-pie") and the depressed ones ("so-n-so wants to die.now.pls.") Its almost a competition out there to be 'cooler' or more creative at least. I find myself being sucked in many times, tryin to think o somethin to clever to say. I have since come to the painful conclusion that im jus not clever. Often I'll come across a msg so depressing and stupid i jus wanna write on their wall "look, fine, ur life sucks, u want to die, u got dumped, and ur heart is in a million pieces. now stop tellin everyone,we dnt really care!"

Harsh? Cruel? Perhaps.. i admit im rather impatient at times. but seriously, when the owners of facebook came up with the status msg, they had no idea what they would unleash.
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