Friday, 22 August 2008

Kurt Vonnegut

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will | The A.V. Club

I still find it difficult to believe that he is no longer with us. Of course, being a fan, I know that he is perfectly alive in plenty of other moments. So it goes. Slaughterhouse Five had a revolutionary impact on me; and the way I thought about life and time as an entity. I would say that the discovery of Vonnegut's many and varied literary contributions was a life changing experience.

He thought, and wrote, like no one else, in my experience. I don't know -- he had a way of ridiculing the truth, while still maintaining its validity. Kurt's writing gave me the feeling of being on the edge of some kind of epiphany.

It is the kind of peculiar, edgy and dangerous prose, which inspires me to write. Very few people seemed to have the ability to see what is really going on in the given situation -- I think Vonnegut was one of those people. Seemingly every Vonnegut book I read, contains some kind of mind-bending truth or observation. (I should point out that this was not meant to be hero worship or a sycophancy; only observation and respect.)

He has made a great contribution to this world. I see things differently, now. I discovered Vonnegut's fairly late; I wish that I had caught on earlier.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Olympics in Beijing

I wish China, and her people, all the best of luck in the Olympic Games. While the excitement of the sports will remain the same, no matter where it is held, the location does seen to be bringing out very strong feelings with some people. In everything I read, there seems to be one controversy or another.

China seems to want to prove something to the rest of the world; and that is coming across in a rather pointed way. Everything needs to be strong, perfect, spotless and unblemished. I thought the Olympics was supposed to be about competition and acceptance, not intimidation and social unrest. Rather than saying what a good job China has done, people were talking about Tibet, Internet censorship, or the opening ceremony miming incident. It is unfortunate; because, even though I am a casual observer at best -- I find myself thinking about the political and social issues, as opposed to The Games. I cannot remember the actual Olympic Games being turned into a propaganda opportunity. I have only read about this kind of thing in history books. It's quite strange -- everywhere I turn, China wants to flex its proverbial muscle.

Aren't there sports in the picture, at some point? Sure, there are, if one wishes to focus on that, but they seemed to be running a poor second, to everything else that's going on. It's quite bizarre.

Even with everything else, I'm sure China will make a good job of this year's Olympic Games. Hopefully, everybody will remember that the sports and culture are the main reasons everybody travelled to Beijing.