slipgun's den

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

Thursday, January 29, 2004
an argument against roswell
Listening to: AC/DC - highway to hell


After seeing so many cult like sites, listening to a good soundtrack and being ambushed by some fans, I started watching Roswell for a short time. Please clarify exactly why do people like to so much after reading this.


  • First of all, they have had 3 seasons to ponder over such questions. Also they are based on a series of graphic novels and they have a much bigger tendency to examine originations of characters. Repeatedly. So I expect some answers.

  • If all the matters they are dealing with is essentially teenage ones, why the whole overtone of aliens? I know that might provide a bit of novelty value but using that as a content is limited to covering-up their secrets (which might have been any secret. they may have been Mexican guerilla fighters tired of US FTAA policies in Latin America and thus they had been raised from birth to be such. much nicer)
    For teenage issues I can see saved by the bell and Beverly Hills 90210. Thank you very much.

  • Whenever they come out with their secret to someone, it is more like a racial difference, "mom, I am actually an alien, as is max and his baby." (Which seemed more like that they are Hispanic Muslims) isn't their any gravity in being an alien left? That is why ET never came back to make an authorized sequel trilogy. even when max gives up the baby so he could lead a normal life away from all this mess, the only parallel I could draw was with he being a ghetto superstar and his son/daughter growing up to become a crackwhore/dealer.

  • Now Max and her old flame (both half human) have a baby which is fully human. Michael says, "Pure genetics. 1/2 + 1/2 =1". Ok so what? We are humans to the power of 1028 or what? Does this serial has any brains or is just there to infuriate me?

  • More about the alien stuff. Max has a GF (who is btw very cute) and his sister is married. And they have very normal and 'satisfying' sexual relations as it seems because there was no issues of infertility and the likes before the marriage which would have yielded problems. it would very interesting if they devoted at least 1 episode to tell us exactly what parts of a human system (I remember skeletal, endocrinal, digestive, central nervous, reproductive, respiratory and some others) are human and which one are not.

  • so that leaves us with the mental make-up. If all the powers are being streamed from their brain, I think that is still alien. As their memory also records all which has happened as aliens as well as humans, more proof that their brains have alien capabilities. So why all the teenage stuff? I mean they have undergone some serious shit and can't have the maturity levels of teenagers.

There are so many loose ends; constant viewing would have helped me point out some more. But this is it. I wouldn't have any problems if Max's current GF and ex-GF would have made out till 3rd base instead of blowing herself up. Well, this doesn't work for me. I hope very well for people who do watch it.



Friday, January 23, 2004
movies that i saw '03
Listening to: motion picture soundtrack - the future freaks me out


One of my activities had to go up on the altar for sacrifice and make enough time for other pending activities and my movie viewing habit has died out. I am not sure if that is the sole reason. It may also be one of things I got saturated of. This includes quick-make noodles, McDonalds, an onion with each meal and glucose supplements in orange flavor which I started having in my jaundice phase.

Anyway, I have decided to put up a list of movies I saw in the last some months considering there have been no new additions in the past month. So this is safely the definitive list of movies I saw in 2003, mostly on TV. No reviews, just some words in front of really bad movies. It wouldn't hurt if you could comment on anyone of the movies. Will give other people a good idea of what to rent and which one to miss.

Legend
b - Bad

- Matrix
- Somebody like you (b) : I thought Ashley Judd in panties would be a good idea. Bad choice.
- Out of sight
- The core (b) : can it be more anymore stereotypical?
- Matrix reloaded
- Dil chahta hai (Indian)
- Suraj ka satvan ghoda (Indian art flick. highly recommended)
- The wedding planner (b)
- Psycho '98 : still scary
- Ginger snaps : the only good horror flick apart from 'the ring' and other Japanese movies.
- bend it like beckham
- The haunting (b)
- mimic (b)
- Cocktail : better than risky business
- Bruce almighty (b)
- As good as it gets : nice
- Strange days
- playing Mona Lisa : some great acid sequences
- The big hit : the best adaptation of pure hongkong action flicks to a Hollywood environment. Hilarious
- Sugar and spice : black comedy. Indeed
- drop dead gorgeous (b)
- save the last dance : the mtv production pisses me off but nice moves.
- French kiss
- High fidelity : this ROCKS
- When Harry met sally : what? I watch romance. No big deal
- Blair witch project 2_book of shadows (b) : rape. Very gross
- Silence of the lambs : finally I get to watch it. Still scary. Too much
- Little Nicky
- Airheads : another great hair metal flick with guest lemmy from motorhead. God is here
- Jossy and the pussycats (b) : why? A travesty of time and space.
- Memento DVD (movie of the year) : this shit is good on DVD. You HAVE to watch it.
- Midnight in the garden of good and evil : strange movie with 2 of my favorite actors
- 28 days (b)
- Clueless : the soundtrack rocks
- Everybody says I am fine (Indian)
- American beauty : I can see the movie over and over and still love it till I grow out of teens.
- Undercover brother : SOLID!!!!
- Fast times at Richmond high : Cameron Crowe classic. Also one of the best nude shots ever
- Girl interrupted : Ryder and jolie kiss and everything is great
- Along came a spider
- 12 monkeys : was this a French production? A good SF flick.
- finding Forrester : unrealistic but nice
- Loser (b): why? Why?
- Rosemary's baby : one of the earlier Roman Polanski flicks. The ending. Chills down my neck
- Shallow Hal (b) : what happened to the farrelly brothers?
- keeping the faith : Jenna elfman is hot. As is Edward Norton
- Cruel intentions (b): bad flick. Good sex and kisses. Bad ending
- Three kings : this rocks or what? Amazing.
- O brother, where art thou? : The Coen Brothers rock too. And that soundtrack is ethereal.
- East is east
- Frequency
- The negotiator
- The graduate : now I understand Wayne's world 2 and a Simpsons episode from the 5th season
- 15 minutes
- Risky business
- Bicentennial man : more sentimental than Asimov intended
- Dr. no : the 1st and best James bond flick
- Hannibal : they changed the ending from the novel. Damn mofos
- The thing : classic Carpenter. Isolation, paranoia and the best animatronics.
- If only, the man with rain in his shoes : nice British love story with Penelope Cruz.
- The tenant : the other Roman Polanski. Even more terrifying.
- A.I : this was good. I don't why people didn't like it
- Serendipity (b): only because of Cusack. I love this guy.
- run Lola run : techno makes a comeback. This is one tripping music video
- Payback
- Everyone says I love you : woody Allen is my new favorite director
- Dinner with friends
- The best man (b): this movie fails at being a black flick.
- Wayne's world 2
- Sleepless in Seattle : love it. Like serendipity, the couple doesn't meet for the major length of the movie.
- The cider house rules
- Jackie brown : my first Tarantino flick
- Full frontal : nice. Duchonvy was the best
- dancing in September
- Frankie and Johnny : I hunted down the piano tune. 'Claire de lune' Debussy
- Three to tango : Perry deserves better
- Clear and present danger
- True lies
- Ringu (the ring)
- Erin bronkovich
- Unbreakable : shymalam's much ignored flick. It is actually good.
- Ring 0_birthday : after memento, my favorite drama flick.
- screwed (b): why do the SNL cast have such mediocre careers in movies?
- Ace Ventura: pet detective
- Sweet November (b): really really worthless. And anachronistic
- My big fat Greek wedding
- Naked gun 2 1/2 - the smell of fear : and I thought hot shots was the epitome of slapstick
- Joy ride : a worthy movie in the slasher suspense genre.
- Jerry Maguire : is this really Cameron Crowe's work?
- The gingerbread man
- Final destination : 'into the void' - NIN
- American pie 2 (b)
- Monkey bone : another ignored movie. The sheer scale of imagination. w00t!
- Zoolander : I can't get enough of shitty punny comedy.
- Miquad alley : Mexican art flick. Salma Hayek hotter than ever as a crackwhore. Wow
- Getting personal : bad movie which I really like for no reason.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004
i met someone
Listening to: the Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site


Relax, this is not another teen love story. Well, I originally planned to play a pun of sorts and tell you that I finally found a guy in this armpit of a city that I live in. I know him from school and it is such a relief to have someone to discuss your studies with. But as it turns out, fate somehow knows all my plans beforehand.

Here I was after a 3 hour practice test. This regimen has slowly got my confidence improving everyday. I believe I can do better and better everyday. So anyway, I came out of the exam hall and went to the nearest traffic junction. This intersection is pretty busy and has 3 main shopping areas on each side. There is a guy who runs a restaurant and a bar and a fast food joint in the same mall overlooking this busy square. I had planned to check out its fast food joint, (bar and restaurant covered, thank you) a very textbook case. It had the usual Sino-Manchurian cuisine (basically the Punjabi versions of chowmein and other mutilated specials), a south Indian list (how I hate coconut) and McBurger imitations. Its got big wide glass panes to see the real life action muted on the streets and something caught my eye. A foreigner sitting alone. That too a girl.

you have to understand why I was so shocked. If you check up on lonely planet's India guide, the first sentence in this state's entry is 'a corrupt wasteland. Go at your own risk.' or something to that effect.

So I ganged up all the xenophobic elements of society who were anyway leering at the 'phirangi' (all girls are extinct in this city as they are soon going to be all over India very aptly picturized in a new indie movie) and marched to throw her out of the city. Hehe. Actually, I went to have a burger as I had planned. A short side note on the food. It was actually good. The served it in a very nice style and it was really big. I had specifically asked them to keep cheese out of the equation and they had complied. Also they had put a sauce I last remember from the time it was liberally doused all over pork ribs in TGIF.

I had my priorities right. So after eating I went up to her. She was an Israeli (good thing rannoush is not here) and had detoured here after spending three months over at Andaman and Nicobar islands. She took a boat or something and landed up in Calcutta after 3 days. Here's the funny part. Instead of going straight to Mumbai from there, she had to renew here VISA or something and for that she had to go to the border. The nearest one was the Nepal border. So finally here hopscotch and skipping sessions came into use and one idiotic government ritual later, this was the closest 'big' city. Waiting for the train in the night, I had caught up with her.

Instead of my usual habits, I am not going to overanalyze this meeting and take every last bit of fun out of it. Suffice to say that this chance encounter was timed well. I am almost at my breaking limit. This whole intentional celibacy has started affecting me know. Staying cut off from my friends and the world in general in real life (I had one too before this PC swallowed it) was affective in making me study but now, its become like a prison. A good one with heating and nice food. But still a prison. It felt so good to talk to someone the same wavelength again. We talked about Israeli trance scene, the freedom of girls and some other things.

It is still surreal to meet washed up people in this place. But I hope more people are mislead to my city.

Saturday, January 10, 2004
gamerlog IV : with new PC pix
to my favorite part. gamelog!!! so i have picked up 2 games to start gaming again and thats after trying quite a few to work. the first one is Blood Omen 2. this is what scares people away. this is like the gaming equivalent of relic hunter. a B grade Tomb raider. this is like the bible of bad adevnture games. a really bad combat system which is slow i guess the mouse running around must be laughing at us slowhands. the explanations are ridiculous. they might as well have invented electricity in this mediveial world instead of operating doors through some weird glyph magic. and the puzzles may be nice with the levers for a box in a room situated somewhere else but which town planner has such a convulted sense of architecture? the only reason i am still sticking to it is because i have started it. so here's a warning. do not start playing this game even if your choices are limited to ET on the atari and this.

the other game is the best i have played since IGI. its called freedom fighters. this game is so awesome, for the first time in my gaming life i am actually using teamplay. i am not into squad 3rd person shooters like hidden and dangerous but this game just blows everything else. shortly, its set in a alternate history where the soiet union never collapsed and actually went from strength to strength capturing South America. the game starts when a invasion of US takes place. all you 'get your war on' people, check this game out. maybe i am looking too deep into a game but the similarities between the current occupation in iraq and the war in the game is too good to miss. the newscasts which the government sanitates to show everything is all right (and the hilarious headlines scrolling in the bottom are not to be missed). the game wants you to do things to get charisma points and thus quantifies the repsect you have in the undergournd rebellion and the amount of troops you can carry. the gameplay just blows everything else into dust. this is like the best 3rd person shooter next to Max Payne that i have got my hands on. changing a city into a war zone is done quite well. enemy troops' AI is probably the best i have encountered. or maybe it is the increased difficulty setting i have resolved to play on. the level design is not entirely linear and gives you a set of areas interconnected to form a mission which you have to go back and forth. the rebel base in the sewers is so fucking awesome, you have to see it to believe it. i can keep going on and on but i guess you get the idea. this is what my 'brand new PC' is made for. get this game, double time.

also check out the following pix of my new PC. they are a bit low quality ones shot in posthaste with a bad webcam but i guess the coolness gets across.

CPU tower

red LED

green LED

gushing for the black mama
Listening to: Unearth - endless


strange days indeed. the start of the year makes me feel better about music then last year. i just hope it turns out to be better too. 2003 was definitely the year nu-metal died a slow excrutiating painful death. i am not sure if i am weeping for it for only a few bands of this much hated genre sound good in this short period of aging. on the opposite side, due to the internet (and this is where its actual benefits come into spotlight) i am now listening to every good band in the underground harcore/emocore scene and a handful of indie music too.theundergroundscene.net proclaims the aforementioned band to be big in the next year.

even more weirdness has engrossed me in the past few days. currently my life has only 4 activites - studies, TV, sleeping/eating and other neccessary bodily functions which should be bunkable and the PC. my "brand new PC". mmmmmmmmm... *drool*. in a quick succesion of what may seem like co-incidences but what my grandmom ardently believes to be god's will being enacted so that i would study, cable TV went down. the cable operators (each handling a local colony/residential area as a monopoly) went on strike to get taxes down (update : they yielded today to show free news channel and their ilk). more importantly, i did not feel the loss of a 6 hour ordeal as it had become. i had almost reached saturation point watching so many serials documented elsewhere here. simulataneously, my ISP's cross-atlantic connection went down. so i had enough time now to study and on 1 day, i completed my maths part syllabus (i so hate co-ordinate geomtrical interpretation of complex numbers). devoid of anything else to do, this could have been the ultimate nightmare. it was saved by my "brand new PC" and also helped quickstart my gaming schedule again.

so i have now devoted an entire partition to games. it hasn't been so easy. as said in the earlier post, XP has been giving me a lot of problems. more of them are asociated with the ancient graphics drivers bundled along with VIA's motherboard. the infamous S3 ProSavage DDR for its hardware TNL support, theoretically. but i have made my peace. i went online to read XP startup tweaks over at ArsTechnica and 3D spotlight and - hold your breath windoze ppl - got the startup down to 35 seconds from the moment i switch on my "brand new PC" to a fully functional desktop. the XP loading bar doesn't even hang around for half an iteration. a lot of services were stopped mostly. i even updated S3's drivers but to no avail for games already giving me a problem. so i got HALO: combat evolved for pc and installed that along with DX9.0b. it refused to start telling me to increase my RAM (in the works. probably will get another 128 this week or next) and then telling me that the video card was known to have problems. arghhh! anyway, i got it started in safe mode but committing such an atrocity to what is a purely graphics based games is not in my blood. then there are those 3 CD games. its a really strange thing. i have tried out 3 games of 3 CDs each - return of the king, hulk and simpsons. all of their installation's work very well but when its time to rea the 2nd CD, they just fail. and no, all of them do work as tested on my earlier system and other people's PCs too. strange, ain't it?

not that i haven't worked on my own. go over to www.tommti-systems.de/ to get a 3d analyzer thingy which takes any exe of a game, and then provides all the options to starting it. the reason of its immmense utility, especially in the SE Asia market considering the popularity enjoyed by VIA motherboards is that it has a hardware TNL emulator. basically it makes the game think its working on TNL Graphics card and has thus allowed me to play spiderman now, although i am not really sure if it was worth the effort. the other software i finally get to work on is samurize.com. its like a god send application for power users. it basically utilizes low level programming of the VB sorts, really initutive and creates a combined display of motherboard temperatures, your mail status, teoti feeds to any thing under the world in a 'litestepy' kind of shell thingy. you have to check it out just for the immense coolness.

Friday, January 09, 2004
a new PC !
listening to: Between the Buried and me - Mordecai


damn this weather. who would have expected that my city situated in the northern plains and far from the extreme temperatures of central india is now the coldest place in india. it shifts from 15 degrees to 4 degrees in the night. all i can think is of the next test i have to give at 8 am. i know my hands will freeze and stop working and that will be the fruit of my toil and labor currently in progress.

right now is a time to be happy. suddenly i had this idea last tuesday to get my PC upgraded. it would have been a fantasy to put it in practise cuz my grandmom would have not allowed anything new to distract me from my main aim and function in life - studies. surprisingly, there was no opposition. now my earlier PC was bought in 2000 and now three years old, i had only got the RAM increased. so that explains my semi-retro interest in gaming picking up good ones from 3-5 years ago. inquiries into the market for a top of the line graphics card were disapointing. turns out i810 only supported cards uptill 2x and even the low end ones now work on 4x and upwards. plan A cancelled. a friend suggested for a complete upgrade in a giveback scheme. and by saturday, i had bought myself a new one.

now the old one was a P3 550 with 192 MB ram and 20 GB HDD. so i paid some 15000 bucks (thats approx 375 $) and i got a P4 1.8 Ghz with 128 Mb DDR-RAM and 40 GB HDD. as the pics will illustrate, i also got a cool cabinet (although my grandmom thinks its a bit garish) and everything else in black too. oh and not to forget a optical mouse. i have kept my old philips speakers. they are mroe trustworthy than any of the shit out there.

the problem is that its got XP loaded. now i have worked on it but for the past 5 years or so, windows 98 has sort of dominated everything else. plus this whole new side of windows imported from NT isn't exactly helping. there is some really weird shit going on here. last night, i was online for around 20 mins and then suddenly the system tells me it has to shut down because Remote Procedure Call has some error or something. a WTF and 85 seconds later,(boot-up in 25 seconds. hehe) i went into the services administration thingy and set the error control right. plus a lot of programs just want to go on the internet by themselves. good thing they ask me first. or i think XP reports every request. whatever the case may be, i had to shut down windows update, windows messenger, WMP liscensing and a lot of other things just so to get things in control. it will take me some time to get used to XP but i think this bronco may not be all that wild.

lets review the performance too. my friend was telling me about the virtues of DDR ram. if you haven't heard, its got aggestible Video memory. you can change the amount of memory to use (in flavors of 8, 16 and 32) for video from the BIOS. still, i was a bit apprehensive as it was less than what i had earlier. all the programs are running better. long documents in opera7 and acrobat reader took time to scroll earlier and if they had photos, good luck. all of that has smoothed out. i installed the dialer of the ISP before setting up the modem and it took a serial connection instead. wonder, wonder.... anyway, i installed the games i was dying to play on a better system and that is where the disappointment sunk in. IGI 2 and Postal 2 were 2 of them and both have miserably failed here. IGI2's face models have become very intresting what with the ears being stretched to the face an all the text seems like klungon. Postal 2 refuses to work at a better pace but will co-operate when you pee in someone's house. you can see that the performance and smoothness of the game has improved but loading times have gone down signifying the death of any speciality in DDR.


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