slipgun's den

everyday epiphanies treated to overanalysis. plus techno-social-cultural babble from a 3rd world point of view.

Monday, June 30, 2003
of falling towers and reducing speeds
listening to : roy orbitson - pretty woman (in a shitty cyber cafe)

And while my download rolls away at speeds only snails after a bong hit can match, I intend to write something down.

My home PC's modem has been taken away for some days now after it a blew a fuse or something somewhere and I could not connect to the net. So my daily walks to this cyber café and now I am using it to download drivers. The support guys had just came over and installed a new modem but surprise. Not everything can be hunkydory and murphy's law kicks in. they didn't bring the drivers guessing that I already had them or something. DUH. Whatever it is their duty is to do things completely and they r Taking customers so lightly.
Anyway, this has been my barrel of woes since I have left Delhi and returned to my hometown Patna. Can you believe this, there is no cable line service here or DSL for that matter. The best you can go is to get an ISDN line or if your dad knows the rulers of this wasteland or Bill Gates than maybe a t1 line. It's a wasteland believe me. My state is one of the most backwards in this country and if you ever want to see exactly where all that money those NGOs and UNESCOs take its here.
And now even the government is bent on destroying whatever it is left. India could have developed a great tourist industry which is far below its potential right now but guess what? The government is bent on taking away even whatever it is based on. Let's face it. Whoever comes to India, most of them have heard of Taj Mahal and now the state government wants to build a mall behind it deviating the second most important river, Yamuna from its course. I just don't get it. What do they think? That the bloody Americans/Europeans would be missing their malls and their cultural exports so much here? Mutherfuckers.

So anyway, all is not well in slipgunland. (Vy, you realize this is intended as a comment to you) My cable operator's selection of channels limits to around 50 and of them I watch around 10. And every channel is being received perfectly except for 2 which I watch and which I don't think the linguistically challenged community here would even need. HBO and Star World. Oh yes, guess his explanation? Well he says the signal is being infringed.
Let me make this clearer. My house is very near – and when I say near I mean it – to a TV tower. Its almost like you can jump off the tower and commit suicide and splatter yourself on my terrace thus providing me much needed relief from having it painted and done. (Reconstruction is going on. Expansion of the house to let it on lease).

Trivia : you can sit outside and watch the tower and if the clouds are going by, it gives an illusion of falling down on the viewer. Nice, scary and ethereal.
So my cable operator says that the signal is being infringed and goddamn he is right. I started messing around and actually, HBO's picture was being overlaid by the audio transmission. So it was nice to see Clint Eastwood spout some ethnic dialogues.

Meanwhile my download nears completion. I write more when I reach home and get the PC connected.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
PANTERA To Issue 'Best Of' CD Through RHINO

Veteran metallers PANTERA, who have been the subject of breakup rumors for the past couple of years, will be issuing a "Best Of" CD on September 9 through Rhino Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. The tentative track listing for the album, titled "The Best Of Pantera: Far Beyond The Great Southern Cowboys Vulgar Hits", is as follows:

01. Cowboys From Hell
02. Cemetery Gates
03. Walk
04. Mouth For War
05. This Love
06. I'm Broken
07. Becoming
08. 5 Minutes Alone
09. Planet Caravan
10. Drag The Waters
11. Where You Come From
12. Cat Scratch Fever
13. I'll Cast A Shadow
14. Goddamn Electric
15. Revolution Is My Name
16. Hole In The Sky

TESTAMENT Singer Jams With HALFORD At Hollywood Gig

TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy joined HALFORD on stage during the two bands' gig at the House Of Blues in Hollywood, California Friday night (June 6) for a rendition of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "Rapid Fire". TESTAMENT had previously recorded a version of "Rapid Fire" for the JUDAS PRIEST tribute CD "Legends Of Metal - A Tribute To Judas Priest", released through Century Media Records in 1997


A statue honoring late QUEEN frontman Freddie Mercury has been erected at the Dominion Theatre in London, home of the stage show "We Will Rock You", according to Undercover News. reports the statue is eight meters tall (approx. 27 feet) and was placed at the Dominion in Tottenham Court Road on Saturday morning to be unveiled Wednesday, June 18. It is expected QUEEN members Brian May and Roger Taylor will be on hand to unveil the stature.

Guns 'N Roses Tribute CD Line-up Finalized
Dillinger Escape Plan, Shai Hulud, Most Precious Blood, Rye Coaltion, Vaux, Aaron Turner of Isis, Taken, Time in Malta, Nora, Every Time I Die, God Forbid, Haste, and one more secret special guest are included in the line-up of the upcoming Guns 'N Roses tribute CD. Release date will be in 2003.

Static-X Announces Name for New Album
"Shadow Zone" has been announced as the title of the upcoming Static-X album due later this year.
Alien Ant Farm Chooses New Album Title
TruANT has been set as the title of the upcoming Alien Ant Farm album. Release date is mid-August.

Hammett Explains "Why There Are No Solos?"
METALLICA's Kirk Hammett recently explained to Holland's why there are no guitar solos on the band's new album, "St. Anger". "The reason for that is because again we wanted to move together all four of us in the same musical direction," he said. "We also wanted to preserve the sound of the album. When we tried to put overdubs on the album and put guitar solos on the album it kind of…it sounded like an afterthought, you know? Like something was put on after we created it. It stood out. We wanted to preserve the sound of all four of us in a room just jamming. Spontaneously together. To put production stuff on top of that just didn't sound right. We tried to put guitar solos on, but we kept on running into this problem. It really sounded like an afterthought." Asked if he's satisfied with how the record came out, Hammett said, "Oh yeah, absolutely. I'm so proud of this album. It freaks me out. I haven't been this proud of an album since 'The Black Album', I must say. I mean, the 'Load' and 'Reload' era for us was such a reaction to our first five albums. We didn't want to do what we had been doing: play fast, over the top and aggressive. If anything, the 'Load' and 'Reload' era was a big experiment in hard rock. We needed to do these two albums for us to make 'St. Anger'. If we would have made 'St. Anger' in the mid-nineties, it wouldn't have been fresh and as exciting for us as it was now. It would have felt like doing the same old thing. We needed to balance it out. When we finally got around playing fast and aggressive again, it sounded fresh. You need to get to point A to be able to make point B sound better, you know?"

Korn's new track "Did My Time" is set to be featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life" movie. A video for the cut is expected to be shot this week with Dave Meyers (Kid Rock, Papa Roach) directing, while the song will impact at radio on June 24th. "Did My Time" is taken from the bands recent sessions for their upcoming new album, which they are self-producing. Korn's new album is expected out later this year through Immortal/Epic.

Saturday, June 07, 2003
listening to: from zero - one nation under

I finally get around to writing something more personal. Well the week I was away in the end of May, I had gone to Bangalore. The much needed break away from civilization.
The train journey alone took 40 hours. So make that 80 hours of solace and a private hell. With the temperatures touching 47 degrees, you realize the essential futility of trying. A burning hot journey already overcrowded by students from the inner reaches of the country - over 50000 pupils landed up for the exams - and in the midst of all this madness, a strange comfort of aloofness. I needed a break. I got it. I need to refocus on what I had done with my life and what I had to do.
Its not a very good feeling when in the middle of the night when everybody around is rolling and rocking with the train and studying to death for the exam, you wake up. Literally. Wake up to the mess you have created in your life. A purely hedonistic way of life misbalancing the essential equilibrium and confidence others had in me. For the past so many years, my parents never asked me or questioned me. Now they have reason to do because I am not very sure of myself. I have to confide in it. It is not very nice to know that you are a complete loser in every field of everything which you had intended to do and started the year for. More disorienting are the rolling train tracks beckoning you to jump on them and become another piece of pulp.
That depression didn't exactly stop there. It became a waking nightmare. All those things which Vy wrote about judgment came back to me. Every place I lived, everyone I met was a loser to me. A whole company of losers and I had become complacent in it. I was trying to judge people by my yardstick and all I could see was the bad part in them. The part which had become nothing.
How I wanted to smoke or drink and do the very normal human things to keep in control.
Reaching there went to my brother's place and we got some meat and beer for the night. 2 bottles of beer later, I picked up the urge to go and call each and everyone on my diary. A early dinner and I was again off to sleep dreaming a lot of weird stuff.
2 am. These are the things why I tell people to relax. Chronic headache. Symptoms: anxiety, depression, and most importantly - guilt pangs. In the middle of the night, I woke up to my private hell. I could not share it with my family. For all they know, I am this weirdo who is not going to listen to them and is on a endless trip of ecstasy. It started hitting me again. How I wasted my life. The torment never ended.
The next day, went to meet one of my old friends. Old timers would remember me posting about the girl who asked me to marry her. Well she had shifted to the same city. Her dad came to know that she was in a relation and - expect stumpy's comment here - moved her to another city. Don't ask me. It is just the way orthodoxy still prevails in Indian society. Meeting her after such a long time was a nice experience. I tried to talk some sense into her about not loosing the will of trying setting myself as an example not to be emulated before the whole conversation became ironical. A lot of it was center on the concept of independence, a subject which I can tackle later. She was pretty depressed too. Then she told me something I was expecting to justify her behavior. She had a bad break off some years back and wanted to get even with boys since then. (Why does everyone want to take revenge on someone else for something else. I am pretty sick of it all).
In these testing conditions, I called up one of my juniors and asked him to meet up. Luckily at the mall, we met up with 2 more of my friends who were in similar conditions and very cool with it. Now Bangalore has over 2000+ pubs and it was time for me to turn to the only stable source. It was a good reunion. A junior updating on all the shit which had taken place in school since I left and the other 3 seniors laughing at their own misery. I was not setting a very good example but at this stage of my life I hardly cared. You have to understand the non-involved, aloof, on-my-own-trip persona I had in school and the fall down I had caused.
This was one of the main problems since I had the nervous breakdown some days ago. I knew I had taken the step to become as average as I can be. I had crumbled under whatever life had put up on me. And it is not nice to realize your frailties and making a fool of yourself in front of total stranger and closest people at the same time. I had become this human like everyone else. For all I knew, I could possibly be smoking next.
Hopping pub to pub, after 3 or 4 of them we decided to have some good ice-cream. You won't need a description if I told you the names. 'Death by chocolate'. Man that was HEAVY. As it grown very late, the closest open eating joint was pizza corner. And on top of it all, it had a whole jazz setting with all the heavyweights framed there and the ambience harking to the old stuff. I gave them 'battle of los angeles' and asked them to play it. In that grey daze of inebriated consciousness, I could see Louis Armstrong do mic check.
The next day was pretty much spent half when I woke up as the previous night had been spent on his PC. I gave my exam, copied some CDs of my junior, and went to see x-2. The next day was again spent in exams and caught my train in the evening back to Delhi.
It helped me shift my perspective in control. The first thing I wanted in my life was discipline which as will see, I try with first doing this thing everyday.

Friday, June 06, 2003
Listening to: team sleep - the passportal

Continuing in the veins from yesterday, here is a change for me but not for most of the people who rant daily. Sorry midnight kitty, but I am still doing my daily dues. Today I am going to pick up WWE and Are You Hot? Ubiquitously American serials that tend to exploit whatever vestigial human characteristics are left.
WWE producers must have faced a human challenge when starting out. How to get the men watching infinitely long serials. Soaps worked but mostly on the womenfolk with their infinitely long plots, drawn out with so many characters that thing could never be unraveled. Once in this fictional world of real life bitching people, you could never be too updated about it.
On a tangent. It got me thinking about the relevance of information in context with time. You know how we - informationaholics - tend to be so finicky with the f5 button. People just have to know things as earlier as possible. People just have to have latest albums as fast as they can. Guilty as charged, I myself have DLed linkin park's meteora 5 days earlier and deftones' self titled (the best album this year) 3 days before. It is crazy to see how stock markets work on the basis for first information bringing another factor into the context of all this. Exclusiveness. Knowing something more than the next person makes you powerful. Ahem. Bacon must have loved that. But then with time information usually disseminates thus bringing the whole exclusiveness and time-relevance factors into one. We can get really philosophical here and start asking questions as to why is the data so important.
Another day, another time. Right now, I have to pick a bone with the producers of WWE and the chairman who I do not believe is Vince McMahon. Now enticing men to see long drawn soaps could only be one by putting in animal like characteristics.
Violence, the basic premise of WWE. Get so many able-bodied men and start fighting. However good it may have been in the earlier days with less politics and more fighting although the wrestlers always had a weird personality. This also gets the characters problem out with so many people fighting, aligning, grouping and doing everything that soap characters do. A personal observation is how the level of violence keeps going up. Blood becomes commonplace now in every other match.
Bring in sex too. Get female wrestlers, have some bikini matches and get them featured in playboy.
More basic instincts? Not basic but something very close to the impressionable youth, patriotism. The episode that I caught had some legless flag-waving fan of Mr. America mauled by piper's pit. Ah the reprehensions. The evil of attacking unarmed people. That too physically challenged. (Mentally too for taking the risk and the money from the producers. whatever, at least these guys are professionally trained to handle such stuff. dumb fucker).
Aha. Now u has a potent combination for mindless pandering of the first kind. Damn it even got me. I will not miss the judgment day featuring on Sunday having stretcher matches, bikini comps and some really royal rumbles.
Bringing me to the other show that I caught 2 days back late night on AXN. Are you hot? At first, I was pretty annoyed of the show. The very overtones of the show reeked of so much shit. Every competitor was a self-promoter so full of egoistic shit. Every judge was so brutal and had absolutely no diplomacy. Then when the host said, (quote) "there will be no bad Aretha Franklin renditions, no acting" that everything would fall into place. This show was the ultimate repartee to all other such talent hunts that were basically looking for looks and mold ability. They said about talents but underneath that it was still saleable content and the willingness of the person to become a commodity and no more a person.
Being out of the loop of the whole reality series and thus missing out on the whole degradation of TV, I could not see the sequence. 2 serials. Both very basic in their instincts.

Thursday, June 05, 2003
just to get into the flow of things, before doing a more personal journal entry, here is a rant on WWE and review of X2.
i went to see X2 in bangalore where i was for the last 7 days or so. so the whole trip will also be reviewed later.
disclaimer : i ain't no big fan of marvel comics. i have been following some of the comics and know almost all the characters but as a ardent comic book subsribing kid, that i ain't. even in the regional comics, i was following them till around 5-6 years ago. now their only value left is the novelty of being a comic book geek in the crowd of more hep people. the amount of fun of being a NERD in the crowd, yes.
and it is really weird how all these regional comics lift entire plots and characters from international ones on the basis of conusmer ignorance. and they r mostly right is the worst part of it all. a big chunk of kids reading these stuf are never exposed to the DC/marvel stuff here and so the story goes on. and it does not stop at this point. it is repeated in movies where copies are made, TV serials (one of them got sued lately. it was the costliest serial in indian history), and music.
a farther reach of education is a must when u see all this. from the stands, when you can observe the reselling of stuff in a inappropriate manner, then u realize the meaning of education. how education aims at bringing everyone at a common footing so that people can discuss from there on and thus the march of human understanding. education does not aim to factory mass produce kids for labor. but that is what is hapenning. giving a enivronment where all these things are available to a kid so he can come up to a common intellectual level and know the previous history of human development was the aim.
of on a tangent and see what it yeilds. getting back to the point, X2 - and i am gonna say it in the starting - was a ok movie. one of those which just gives momentary pleasure and cannot even try to be a masterpeice. it does try too hard to become and epic sort of thing but remains a comic book story where the plot does not matter because of the need for infinite continuity - a factor influencing soaps too - makes it too intricate to follow. the only plot of such movies which i had followed was mortal kombat. now that was a flic.
the very epitome of the plot was so wrong. alkaline lakes in alpine valleys don't and can't exis. somebody should have told brian singer that. bending rules for mutant characters is ok but u can't change nature dude. filling it up with loads of trivia for the comic fans and bombastic action sequences equivalent of 2-3 comic frames or the full page spread isn't gonna translate very well.
seems to be all. i am trying to create a daily regime sort of thing so expect me to be more regular.

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