Friday, 30 April 2010

Mr Ebert, Your Opinion Sucks

If you are an internet geek, and read either Roger Ebert, with whom I agree most, if not all, of the time, or know anything about videogames on the internet, you will have come across this article, and much more recently, this article. I, like many, many, many of my brethren who enjoy, love and admire videogames, and are in awe of the people who make them, would like to respectfully disagree. The problem, of course, is that you can't really define what art is. You can identify something as being art or not art, but defining why you think so is rather difficult. Why is the Ode to Joy art? If it is art, why isn't Hit Me Baby One More Time? They're both music.

There is no point in me going on and on about it. I am just here to say, videogames can be art, and have been art, and will be art. Anyone who stereotypes videogames as being about mindlessness, whether about killing, or racing, or solving weird puzzles, has clearly never enjoyed playing a videogame in his or her entire life.

In the end, he asks why gamers care whether games are art or not. While it is true that in the perfect world we wouldn't, we ain't in the perfect world. Saying that we could never belong to that elite club of art people only makes us more infuriated, because we do want to be taken seriously.

Videogames can be art. Play Braid. Braid is art. It is difficult, and thoughtful, and art. Play KotOR. IT has a terrific story, is a great deal of fun, and offers just as much to think about as the Star Wars movies. If they're art, KotOR is definitely art.

In a bit, I shall post my favourite videogames and why I love 'em. Go away, you people who think videogames are sad. You lack intelligence.

Friday, 16 April 2010


My love of music is exactly as one of my father's friends described his love for music; 'One morning I just woke up, and music was there!'

While it may sound dramatic, or astonishing that one could pass through life without realising music was there, and then to just discover it, it is my truth. All too often, my friends would discuss bands I did not know about, did not really care about. Music to me was the songs we sang in assembly, the carnatic lessons I took from Ravi sir, the folk songs Amma taught me, and the random Disney and Bollywood that Radha would insist on playing. I made a few attempts at Coldplay, at Bon Jovi, at the Beatles, but nothing more than what fell right into my lap. My first real connection came in the summer after tenth class. That was a glorious summer, where I did absolutely no work, and just sat around doing whatever I wanted. Night after night I woud sit in entrenchment road with Sita, watching Seinfeld, and then Friends, and then Scrubs (11.00, 11.30 and 12.00 respectively). And I listened to some truly awful music; lots of Coldplay, and Linkin Park, (chalk this down to beginner's ignorance) Dashboard Confessional, and some nonsense by random people Radha was listening to. All awful. There was also much Rahman, and Dire Straits, and Nirvana and Rush. An eclectic combination of artists.

Now I've grown out of that. I discarded what I didn't like, memorised what I did, and grew intellectually superior about the rest. I went through a period of punk music, which is dead now. If you say Green Day and Avril Lavigne, I will take a stick and beat you. But I listened to the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground. Old school punk music that was really basic. The Ramones have only ever written one song, but that song is so amazing that I really don't mind listening to it again, and again, and again. Coldplay, on the other hand, have also only ever written one song, but it's a pretty crap song, so I prefer not to listen to it. Then I moved on to just old music. AC/DC, Guns N Roses, even more Dire Straits and lots of The Who. The entire discography of the Beatles, and a huge load of Queen's best music. Now I listen to what iTunes calls 'alternative', and what I like to call 'vaguely original' (elitist snobbery, anyone?). This is the Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Florence + the Machine, Regina Spektor, to name a few. There's always Rahman, and MS, and T M Krishna, and Sanjay.

A question that comes up everytime anyone talks about music is 'What kind of music do you like?', and the answer I keep hearing is, 'All kinds, really'. This is probably true. However, a musical elitist like myself needs some sort of qualification, some standards. Well, more than just 'originality', anyway. By that definition, Lady Gaga is original *coughnoshe'snotcough*.

So I like lots of different music, but the music I like best, the music that I love, and listen to all the time, and can't live without, what I like to think is good music, is music that has two things:

Firstly, I would like a melody. A melody that doesn't rip someone else off (if you tell me all the chords have already been played by Black Sabbath, fuck you. I HATE metal. Like I said, no discernible tune). One that isn't just a 'nice tune', if you will. Something that makes me stop and think.

And secondly, I'd like imaginative lyrics. I'm willing to forgive quite a lot for imaginative lyrics. I mean, lyrics generally would be nice, I like music I can sing along to. Singing along to instrumentals is irritating. But interesting lyrics, fun lyrics, that's the best kind. Which is why I really like Dave Matthews Band's latest album. They've got some terrific lyrics. This is why I don't mind listening to the Hoosiers. The music itself isn't all that new, but their words are quite cool.

I am not a fan of writing about myself on the internet. But it was either this, or more modern poetry. Music is better, nein?

Saturday, 10 April 2010


Learning is a painful process. For one thing, it involves thought. For another, it involves effort. Perhaps the worst combination ever.

I have learnt many things.

Religion is fun.

Poetry makes gods weep and demons smile.

Being angsty on the internet is of no use to man or beast.

Being angsty generally is of no use to man or beast, but can, on specific occasions, make oneself feel better. However, these events are few and far between, and are best avoided.

Sleep is always good.

Food is to be avoided, unless it is with people you like. There are better uses for ones time than to sit and eat.

Facebook is addictive.

So is your mum.

The making of long lists is boring to the ignorant reader, and I don't care. There are no ignorant readers round these parts, which is the way I like it.

The making of long lists is also boring to the knowledgeable reader, but at least they know they can't do anything about it.

To my complete surprise, America is BRILLIANT (more on this later. if i feel like it).

America is wasted on Americans.

The graphic novel is a medium of unparalleled intensity, both visually and narratively.

I love reading inane spiderman comics.

I like rhyming words with words.

Left of centre is always right.

Puns are the lowest form of wit (yeah, riiiiiiight).

Sarcasm comes a close second.

Buying rare books makes me feel much happier than anything else.

Though reading, and looking at, rare books is also quite cool.

The world is a depressing place, and it needs all the humour it can get.

Which is how I justify:

Your mum.

Music is just so exciting. It just is. (Exciting, exciting, exciting).

The Pope is a paedo. This is just the truth.

Endings are easy.

You just,


Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Glow of Death

I hate being
And I sure dislike
But I keep seeing
Your old rental,
It’s black as ever
It’s even been
I tell myself
I haven’t forgotten,
Your picture stays
On my nightstand.
But so does my
Bad chick-lit, and
Contact lens solution.
I wonder,
I really do,
What actually happened.
Quite often,
I remember
Your smile
(That funny little thing).
I never knew
What made you smile
All I could do
Was wait a while
It always came
Later, not sooner.
And when I called your name
It would disappear.
I try my best
Not to forget you,
But I suspect
This love has died.
All that’s left
Is a glow.
How cold it is,
This glow
Of death.


ok, so i wrote more modern weird poetry. i will admit, this pseudo-intellectual thing is getting to me. PSEUDOOOOOOO. America seems to have kicked my inspiration into overdrive.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Happiness is about being rich. Anyone who thinks otherwise underestimates the value of food, clothing, shelter, ice-cream, a large tv, a blu-ray collection, bose speakers, all seasons of both the west wing and the wire, and access to iplayer. Not to mention hard pillows, a soft bed, a warm rug, an ipod, a book collection larger than mount kilimanjaro, black darjeeling tea, and woolen socks. and let's not even go near the fast internet, the terrific laptop, copies of every single great video-game ever made, the state of the art earphones, and the hard drive that'll never, ever be even half full, even filled with all the music in the entire world. oh, and how about the ability to pay for tickets for david tennant in hamlet, to go see avatar in imax 3D, to fly first class and drive around in a ferrari, and buy the last remaining first edition of harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban?

Oh yes, happiness is about being rich. Friends, family, pets, those are things that you can't really help. People will like me, or they won't. But money? The glistening, glimmering, glint of gold, the shiny yet subtle seduction of silver, the smell of green dollars and the texture of purple pounds and the weight of thousands and thousands of rupees? That is something I can work on. That is happiness.

Or, as Calvin puts it: 'A trillion billion dollars, my own space shuttle, and a private continent!'