Archive for Uncategorized

ECO-FRIENDLY OR BUST

Image Typewriter  III

If we still ask the question whether we should use environmentally safe methods or not – be it manufacturing cars, plastic water bottles or extracting oil or minerals from the Earth – we are in trouble….!

The choice is really simple. Make it green OR make money.  Manufacturers still choose against green because of the costs involved.  Their accountability is to their bottom line.  Period.  Not to the fact that their profitability comes at a greater cost to the planet.

The idea of organic or bust – is not just a “trendy” thing.

The favored option today is to cut a chunk of operating costs and produce a cheaper product/service in the process.  When it comes to production, everything we do and how we do it – the choice should be between whether to do it organically or not do it at all.  Be it mining, packaging, polished foods and the bane of every environmentalist – plastic bags, plastic bottles that are still being produced…thanks to powerful Industry lobbies .

If our actors like Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon and George Clooney – whose job is not to monitor these things – can explain clearly, effectively and speak out about Fracking and the Darfur problem, Somali refugees etc.  etc., why do our lawmakers stumble and fall trying to explain them while we spend millions in taxpayers money on government funded “studies” and “research” on what to do.

How are these folks, actors/celebrity asking questions, gathering facts?  Meanwhile what are our elected representatives doing?  Are they (a)seeking answers, (b)pondering the problems or (c)looking for solutions -  in other words, their job?  If so, wouldn’t we at least have found a cure for cancer by now?

What is going on with this role reversal?

The impact of what goes on in one part of the world sooner or later reaches others. So why are we not asking the so-called “political” questions?  Our apathy and preferred ignorance does not bother us.  Nope.  Shame on us if we are not up to speed on last night’s “Family Guy” episode, though.  Go figure….!

Hello all!

Computer Mouse

Here’s all or some…of my salvaged blog posts published earlier!

Kids on the Telly

Image Typewriter  III

Watching Indian TV. They say children are raised better in this country than the “western world” with its fractured family values. Children here are nurtured in the lap of the family – almost always watched by a caring grown-up one of the family elders, grandparents ……

Not so much in reality. Turn on the news on TV and you are greeted with the familiar spectacle of grinning children crowding around TV cameras when a reporter files his/her report from the streets – whether it be the scene of a train accident, a political uprising, a celebrity sighting or a home invasion.

They are smiling – irrespective of the seriousness or levity of the reportage – They are have big grins on their faces to celebrate their ten seconds of glory in front of television cameras as their vastly inappropriate smiling visage is beamed into hundreds of homes across this nation. Why are they smiling? Where are the parents?

I do understand that in this vast land of severe survival issues, priorities are set about what is REALLY important and what is not, in the life of it’s citizens, but my question is still, who will teach these young people the value of propriety and sensitivity? Of all the grown-up they are surrounded by, maybe someone at home or in school, should sit down with these children and discuss something like sensitivity….and then wait to see if, crime, poverty, corruption, killings, rape, and the rest of the issues that detract from this developing nation’s soaring aspirations – ills reportedly bred among the countries poorest – do not then automatically disappear?

A random thought, at best.

GOING TO THE MOViES

Image Popcorn II

It would appear, the audience has regressed – Week after week movies do terrific business at the box office. Movies that are supposed to define what audiences want. While the actors/director/art director/DOP and everyone involved in the making of the film and their uncle, claims with a straight face in a blitzkrieg of television and written interviews prior to its release (read marketing strategy), that the film was, for lack of a better word, “dumbed down”. It is not meant for enlightened folks that are watching said interview or reading said review by critics – of which there seems to be a whole lot of them and all with perfectly discerning tastes – who decry these films over and over. Yet the film performs spectacularly at the box office. To what do we owe this enormous imbalance? Who are these films made for and what makes a filmmaker the singular authority on and purveyor of all things pedestrian?

The director or producer that supposedly has his finger on the pulse of “the common man” is as much fiction as the stories he/she churns out with amazingly consistent mediocrity. Everybody, even the “masses” to which we all bow to, know that a film today is as good as its marketing engine (read juggernaut) not cinematic quality.

When do movie lovers with taste for good cinema decide enough is enough and demand to see up on that screen, stories that catch and hold the collective attention? Decide for themselves, what entertains and what doesn’t, instead of being told. I have met so many people in Mumbai that say they never watch Hindi movies. Period! Most of my friends don’t. Now, isn’t that a shame?

Indians may have lost the confidence or the ability to define for themselves who they want to be perceived as and hence what they want. Where once there was an identity or even a clear alignment with such a one, albeit established by others – now there is a vacuum. Fear, uncertainty or waffling has taken away the clarity of who we are as a nation and our combined sensitivities as a people. We are uncertain of what is entertainment, in our current culture. We are caught between extremes of being proud of it without clear cause or shamed by it – clear cause or not. Sadly, there seems to be nothing in between.

Starbucks bans Screenwriters…!

Image Typewriter  III

The reasons provided are new – the vindication is old – one of them being, that writers sport “a desperate and depressing air” that is not becoming of the image of a Starbucks!! Hear hear!

One would say, thanks to the current economic ill-winds that are sweeping this nation it is not hard for anybody, to have “a depressing and desperate air”, these days. Why single out writers? Perhaps, the allegation suggests that writers project more of it than the rest of the population, if that be so, God save us all from those unholy types that help sustain – in part – a multi billion dollar-a-year industry. Way to go!

One understands and sympathizes with the fact that ultimately it all boils down to profits and yet, how “desperate” an act of piecing together a scrappy corporate ideology in a sad attempt to boost the sagging bottom line of one company does that single policy exhibit? Dear American consumer, let us all unite in knocking down those that do not look, act or exhibit buying habits, similar to the rest of general populace. No matter, that condemning a well-established social prototype – a fixture of the coffee shop culture seen all over the world – to extinction, seems a good idea under the circumstances.

What one doesn’t understand however, is how these “desperate” creative types would be identified and weeded out…”banned” ….as the company clearly states? This puts the company in a virtual no man’s land – a slippery slope of adopting sweeping policies that overreach in terms of discrimination and prejudice towards a particular group, in this case, profession. Perhaps the company is losing sight of the fact that writing happens to be a legitimate and if not always a revenue boosting profession, in Los Angeles and other little pockets of creative exercise around the world it is a staple, a universal fixture, for better or for worse. Starbucks’ “internal research” claims “it couldn’t find evidence of a good script ever having actually been written by anyone sitting in a Starbucks” and said the majority of writers use their venues to “play Words With Friends” on their laptops instead of writing. Just curious about the source of this “research”. Did it come from looking over the writer’s shoulder to spy on the progress of their “work”….? One wonders!

It looks more like, Starbucks, as a company is directing its hostility towards a particular group with the argument that Writers are unproven as a legitimate revenue generating profession. In that case, may one direct their attention to a certain young woman whose early relationship with coffee shops eventually led to a billion dollar franchise with a now multi millionaire literary personality as the fountainhead. There’s no doubting that together JKR and HP has clearly etched a place in the history of not just British, but global popular culture for all generations to come, irrespective of whether or not you sit down to analyze how it affects the bottom-line of a particular American company.

Perhaps the argument is for the fact that writers may write in coffee shops and produce brilliant (or otherwise) revenue earning work, but they do not do so, while at Starbucks. I agree, the overcrowded, noisy, often times school-kid infested venues seem ill-conceived to produce inspiring work of any creative standards. A note to fellow writers: perhaps long overdue is the need to say goodbye to those uninspiring surroundings and move to the little cafe down the road where it is quieter and the coffee is priced right. Take your laptops where creativity actually stands a chance…..and finish that screenplay! While writers will always be around, with or without an air of “despondence”, however, the scary fact is that prompted by economic stagnancy, one company somehow seems able to impose limits on a public pursuit in a way that once was thought impossible in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!