Saturday, June 30, 2007

Comfortably dumb

I used to think John Locke (the character from Lost) was crazy when he thought the Island was trying to communicate with him. So by considering the possibility that the F-9 Park has established some form of communication with me, I can admit being a bit crazy myself.

Well it all began when I started taking these walks at the park. Nothing suspicious really happened until very recently I noticed a certain trend that had developed. Whenever I was in the car ready to leave, the mp3 player would play "Don't go away" by Oasis. Now that may appear to be a trivial occurrence for the casual observer, but considering it had happened several times at the same time of the day made it a bit obvious; the park didn't want me to leave and it was communicating that to me by sending out magnetic waves to my mp3 player causing an interference with the algorithm for shuffle play and thus ensuring that the particular song was played at that specific time. It couldn't have been any simpler.

Then I started to think of any other unusual incidents that may have slipped under the radar while I was busy walking. It is then that it occurred to me. I noticed that the song "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd had been played suspiciously excessively. In fact, I remember once it even played twice in a row, which is very odd as the probability for that happening is extremely low (it's actually 0.00021). That is when I started connecting the dots. The half hour that I am at the park actually has a numbing effect in the sense that I'm more or less unaware of the people around me and am in a dreamy state while completely engaged in my thoughts. I think the park has a lot to do with it, and it's made sure that I found out who's responsible.

I really don't know what to expect next from the park. So far it has used subtle signs to let me know of what's going on. I'm half expecting the modus operandi to change from subtle to downright in your face. But for now, I'm enjoying the music.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Worth a lot more than a thousand words

Before the mapping of the human genome, people used to blame everything on the genetic makeup of individuals. I remember watching a documentary on BBC that tried to establish a link between criminals and a possible gene associated with their activities. It was almost an attempt to blame everything on fate.

Genes or no genes, there’s no denying every person is different. For instance, everybody has a different thing that they notice when they first look at a girl. A friend of mine used to pay close attention to the nose; other friends were more concerned with other parts of the human anatomy. I personally notice the hair at first glance.

A friend of mine uses the analogy of a picture to describe a lot of situations. According to him, a picture can be interpreted in many ways and can be liked and disliked depending on the person and his or her tastes. So a book could be a bestseller and at the same time be not liked by a number of people. The same goes with music (in fact all kinds of art), food, sports… in effect every possible thing can be liked and disliked by a number of people at the same time. This just goes to show the uniqueness of the human individual.

But this applies more to art, since art is always open to interpretation. So I don’t really understand how people give a damn about music reviews. For someone who listens to pop, it’s possible for that person to find jazz not too appealing. So a person to review all types of music is really not doing justice to it anyway. To take it further, the review wouldn’t mean much even if the person has no bias at all.

If you think about it the more you’d realize that this is a clever mechanism designed by God to allow the smooth functioning of the universe. Imagine if everybody had the same likes and dislikes. I’d like to think that everyone would be looking for the exact same thing causing a major anomaly in the supply-demand equation. Try equating that with relationships and you’d think that the human race would have very little chance of survival. So maybe I’m ensuring our existence when I consider the Mona Lisa nothing more than a painting of an old hag who probably used the picture in the matrimonial section of the classifieds.

(The point of my argument also supports one of my previous posts concerning beauty pageants, proving further that the concept is absurd)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cracked rearview mirror

The human race is very selfish. I’ve hardly seen a person do something generous unless he or she benefits in some way. Take charity for example. There are two reasons I could come up with which would explain why people give charity. Firstly, contributing to charity gives people satisfaction. It satisfies them that they’re doing something substantial to make the world a better place. The second reason would be fulfilling a religious obligation. People would be willing to spare some money in order to be able to enjoy the afterlife in heaven. In both cases they’re benefiting in some way. I’d like to see someone do something without getting anything in return, even if it’s only a feeling of satisfaction. Like for someone who hates giving money to give it anyway, and still feel bad about it. Now that would be an unselfish person, since he really has nothing to gain.

I believe that’s where the saying "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" comes in. No matter how innocuous or straightforward something may appear, there are always some strings attached to it. That’s why I’ve made a habit of looking in the rearview mirror; I’m cynical as hell. Or, perhaps, I may be a bit selfish myself.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

a Miss fit

I hate beauty pageants. Or, since 'hate' is such a strong word, let me say that I find the concept distasteful. I recently read in a local newspaper that a Pakistani woman will be taking part in one of the many international beauty pageants being hosted these days. What bothered me more was that the article was written by a woman, and according to her this shows that Pakistani women are now heading in the right direction. In another article, an unnamed author describes the participants of the Miss Pakistan pageant (to be held later this month in Toronto) to be strong, confident and enthusiastic women taking Pakistan forward to the 21st century. What a load of bull. Beauty pageants are demeaning to women and for them to approve of this only makes it even more disturbing. Pakistani women would be more strong and confident if they were not taking part in these ‘competitions’.

Yes… these people would like to salute our country’s new policy of ‘enlightened moderation’. From what I see, there isn’t much enlightenment involved, neither is there any moderation. There are only a bunch of women competing with each other over how they look while wearing minimal clothing. Yes, that sure would seem to be necessary for success in the 21st century.

There are so many of these pageants these days that it makes the whole thing even more absurd. First there’s a Miss Universe thing and then there’s also a Miss World pageant. Since there are only human participants, I don’t quite understand how the winner of a Miss World contest wouldn’t automatically become Miss Universe, or vice versa. And to make it more confusing, there’s also a Miss Earth contest. Great. I won't be too surprised if they come up with another one called 'Miss Galaxy', however corny that may sound.