Thursday, November 17, 2011

Angular Momentum

Seven Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation

1. A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

2. A dangling modifier walks into a bar. After finishing a drink, the bartender asks it to leave.

3. A question mark walks into a bar?

4. Two quotation marks “walk into” a bar.

5. A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to drink.

6. The bar was walked into by the passive voice.

7. Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They drink. They leave.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Metallica: Live In Bangalore 2011


A friend of mine gave me an album called Load by this band called Metallica. The adolescent part of me, just coming out of a pop era, wanted to venture out. You know how that age is right? Trying to rebel, looking for symbols that help fuel this rebellion? ‘Mama Said’, a song from the album was the one that started my journey with Metallica. From Load to ReLoad and the ever energetic song ‘Fuel’, paved my sure shot hold on Metallica. Hetfield became God. He ruled my musical devotion till I went further back to discover Jim Morrison. I realized praying to one God was not enough.

The songs of the album Load will always have a special place in my memories. Though the album is not so critically acclaimed (ReLoad rated even lower). It was my first full-fledged Metallica album. Oh and what songs! House that Jack Built, Until it Sleeps, Bleeding Me, Thorn Within, Outlaw Torn! Endless listening to a recorded cassette on a Sony Walkman. Those were the days when I used to immerse in a single album and listen to it day-in-day-out.

From Load and then ReLoad, I went back. The Black album happened. What a revelation it was. The old sound of the band was even more awesome. Full of rage that appealed to the changes that I had to face around. ‘College and growing up’ does not sound as good as ‘College and growing up with Metallica’. Words cannot describe the soothing effect the songs had when I used to lie in my bed late at nights with Hetfield, Hammett et al singing me lullabies; the lullabies that resonated with my anger for the world that I could not understand.

Then during sometime in 2001-02, I got my hands on some college deposit refund that went right into funding ‘And Justice for All’ along with Jimi Hendrix’s greatest hits.

I had heard ‘One’ before but with this album came a sound and feelings that were darker than ever. Metallica was coming out of the Cliff Burton era and most of the songs had painful and poignant dedications to him. Give a listen to ‘To live is to die’ and you would know what I am talking about. Another month or two was spent in playing this album over and over again.

With the entry of the .mp3 format and computers... you know how the songs started pouring. Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and Kill ‘em All were immediately given a shot. But the charm of listening to one album over and over again was lost. So much for having a choice.

But Metallica stayed. Lingered on. Hetfield still gripped the angst that was plucked by Hammett’s guitar and resonated appropriately by Ulrich and Newstead.


Sometime around mid-June 2011, we heard that Metallica was coming to India. Their first ever trip to India. Decades of wait to see them live was suddenly not just a dream. It was going to happen. As soon as the haze lifted, intense planning was initiated to ensure that tickets were available and booked. We, a country so full of Metallica fans, were sure to go all guns blazing to be there to see them live. Metallica was to perform in Bangalore on 30th Oct, 2011. Tickets were booked 2 months in advance. Information was shared with like-minded fans. Friends went crazy on social forums. Then the tickets arrived. Oh the happiness. Something tangible. So the dream was realizing.

The train journey happened. We arrived a day in advance in the rock loving city Bangalore. Lovely weather greeted us. Slight rain, slight sun. Pleasant cool temperature. A friend of a friend showed the most awesome courtesy that anyone can offer and happily allowed us to stay at his place. A friend who had a Metallica poster framed on his wall. Now you know what I am talking about!

The craze was slowly filling up everywhere. YEAH YEAH was one of the cries that kept on repeating on people’s mind. Everyone had waited for so long, me included.

This benevolent soul of a friend then went overboard and booked a bus for 12 people. The bus, filled with 12 Metallica fans. The bus with a super music system that played the songs we were soon going to hear live. Beer flowed in the bus. Anxiety reaching a peak.

One of the Big 4 were going to perform. Metallica was going to perform.

We entered the venue an hour or two before the Metallica show. It was raining a bit, but all it dampened was the soil on the ground. We waited and waited till they started testing the drums and guitar. Imagine the response from a crazy crowd that was around 30,000-35,000 strong. The sense of time soon evaporated.

Hetfield came along. Hammett, Ulrich and Trujillo followed. What then followed was a hysteria for close to 2 hours or 18 songs. Even Hetfield was surprised when people sang with him. Oh Bangalore you rocked. And HOW! Words will not capture the feelings that filled almost every person who was present for the concert. Dream became a reality and suddenly the reality was so dreamily-beautiful that I started questioning. Did it really happen?

It did. And it was AWESOME!


You can read a post by another Metallica fan here:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yes and No, uncertainty and a discussion

It all started with an innocuous yet a very deep Tweet. Suddenly some doors opened, some people (sjcakes, URM1, probabilism, KdProQuo) peeped in and started having a wonderful (and rather long) conversation that happened in a short time. No one knew where it was going to lead...

sjcakes: yes is the beginning of knowledge (tho I've heard "no" may be the beginning of wisdom).
KdProQuo: 'No' is the beginning of freedom.
sjcakes: depending on the question/desire, it can also be yes.
probabilism: perhaps it may be unjust to even walk on the path assessing righteousness of either of the words.
sjcakes: wisdom and knowledge are not righteousness - the are result and use to whatever end they're made.
URM1: Yes, is not necessarily always servile. No might mean the end of possibilities.
probabilism: A Yes may very well be close to the clear conscience. A No might imply a new chapter.
KdProQuo: No is more certain than a Yes?
URM1: How? Why? As @probabilism points out, a judgment is unfair. The operative word in this case should be 'situation'
probabilism: certainty is a fact. calling out Yes or a No, one may be able to see the facts in retrospect.
URM1: Certainty is perception, belief. Quite different from fact, I'd say.
sjcakes: certainty is a perspective.
probabilism: certainty cannot be a perspective if one prioritizes relativity of life as secondary.
sjcakes: certainties can change. Review your life and see.
probabilism: but I do see a point in what @KdProQuo has said. we dwell in greys & find comfort. perhaps black & white are needed.
KdProQuo: But Yes and No both can exist in either Black or White.
sjcakes: and their meanings spam a gamut of grays as well as colors.
sjcakes: darlings, the entire menagerie needs the full spectrum, the entire rainbow hues and shades too!
URM1: We pick colours as it suits us. A 'yes', a 'No' and a 'Maybe' are all decided on opportunity/convenience
KdProQuo: Or habit or comfort.
probabilism: indeed. so why not drive that partial willingness to cull out b&w | habit oriented comfort is perhaps lack of will.
sjcakes: more simply: drive out habit and kill it for the blood sucking life destroyer that it is
URM1: So yes and no, good and bad, light and dark, two sides of the same coin, etc. and life goes on
sjcakes: two sides but there's also an edge - is the edge a third side? it always gets overlooked
probabilism: I think edge is the side that you can choose. perhaps often imbibed by b&w.
KdProQuo: this third side is what makes dissolves the blackness in black and adds the white and vice versa.
sjcakes: it is the INFINITE line enclosing black & white, bounding their edges & exploding infinite colored possibility
probabilism: exactly. that's why one could look beyond normalcy of relativity & visualize an absolute.
KdProQuo: Brother, I am scared of absolutes. They dissolve the intensity of grays that soothe and explain so much.
probabilism: no need. absolute is the other side. not the evil side.
sjcakes: so you absolutely want to deny the existence of absolutes out of fear??
KdProQuo: Yes the fear of losing freedom. The fear of subjecting to absolutes decided by a very subjective audience.
probabilism: Freedom is earned, thus not lost. audience changes over time but freedom is constant.
sjcakes: freedom can be lost. Earning doesn't preclude losing.
probabilism: the intensity of earning freedom is far too superior to the act of losing it. thus the sheer & clear winner.
URM1: Are you sure freedom is constant? I am not. And yes, @sjcakes, the edge/grey is the third side.
probabilism: it definitely is. like i said we stop at grey & forget what we can actually put to use.
sjcakes: tempted to site horrific cases to the contrary but too tired.
KdProQuo: reminds of "every win is not a victory and every victory is not a win."
URM1: Why must one try to be either? It isn't human. We need and use both.
URM1: The best we are allowed to have is a life of moral compromises in lieu of physical peace/comfort.
probabilism: moral compromises, eh. doesn't sound comforting considering this discussion.
probabilism: may be i said it wrong but i agree that both are needed.rather we need to use them.we simply seem to stop at grey.
URM1: Yes, we seem to stop at grey because grey is easy - makes no difficult demands on our conscience.
probabilism: and i have experienced it first hand - if you decide to get out of grey & ask for more, you are hated!
URM1: So suddenly it becomes about the judgement of others, rather than voice of the self? But I won't object.
sjcakes: which highlights the issue us confusing self w others. Needing others approval/conforming vs knowing/living u
probabilism: @URM1 yes. i would have loved it, had you objected it nonetheless :)
URM1: No, I understand how society plays us, and that to be able to lead peaceful lives we must alter our yeses and nos.
sjcakes: we forget it us a game and play it with our real person instead of PLAYING IT.
probabilism: as socially developed animals,perhaps we can make a choice & not let society outplay us. its not individualism am talking.
URM1: Sure we can. But do we? The ideal affirmations and negations hardly ever happen.
probabilism: yes yes. but that is not good enough reason to not enough try it.
URM1: Definitely. Some idealists are always needed to give this world hope. You pick your yes, I'll pick mine.
KdProQuo: That reply just made me smile. I agree. Moral compromises are required and are highly malleable.
probabilism: and I'll stand by your side to back you up. idealists fail because they stand up but never stand by.
KdProQuo: Every grey has a black and white. Situations decide the intensity of either.
probabilism: and they equate in the end. my question is, why not equate it to start with.
URM1: But the question is does relativity ever take a backseat? Who can claim to be logical/emotional at all times?
sjcakes: I can CLAIM to be BOTH at all times.
probabilism: no one can claim so. but one must try to. this is exactly where bond b/w logic & belief comes in.
probabilism: but then if perception rises from my information or absence of it, where would belief stand? a hunch of logic?
sjcakes: (grinning) More things are perspective than even perspective wants to admit
KdProQuo: belief and logic rarely go hand in hand. belief is more instinctive. logical belief is science, yeah?
sjcakes: logic and belief. Depends.
probabilism: @KdProQuo i completely disagree with it.logic & belief are not be honest, spending time with them tells you more
URM1: Sure they are opposing forces. But that does not stop us from choosing according to convenience.
probabilism: yup. and we can stop it. change the direction with belief. and proceed with logic.
URM1: But from time to time life makes us all select a black or a white, painful as it is. And we let 1 win - head or heart
sjcakes: pick red instead. Or green. Society will bitch and whinge. But after a moment will forget. But you won't.
probabilism: yes. ironically, if you make a habit out of it the pain subsides :)
sjcakes: the pain doesn't subside. You just get better at justifying your ignoring it
probabilism: you may be right about the ignoring part of it.

...No one still would probably know where it led. Apart from this blog post.