why i read jwz

I love this guy…

Dear Diary, tonight I saw a shirtless man run down the middle of the street. Being chased by another shirtless man. Whose pants were falling down. Because he had just taken off his belt. Which he then began using to beat the first man.

Good times.



i wonder if hell has a shower room…

Why do heaven and hell
obsess us so
pervading our lives
unwanting, unflinching
does it matter where we go?

Norwegian wood

The book, not the song.
I just finished reading it. The english translation was superb. I can say this even though I cannot compare it to the original japanese version. It carries the careful unravelling of the protagonist’s emotions and feelings and in the process the complete picture of his personality the same way Murakami might have wanted it done. The story shows an uncanny resonance with the ripples of my own life, though, if I were to compare both fact by fact, I would find nothing in common. That’s storytelling for you.

The book made me think about suicide in the 1960s. Specifically, the suicide rate in Japan in the post-war era. There seems to have been a tremendous effort to shift social habits, culture and the likes at a national level in Japan after the war. Now, it seems, they have succeeded. But at what cost? There must have been huge perturbations during the 60s and the 70s in Japan, a total shift of the cultural consciousness of the Japanese.

I wonder if there’s research, or books on the subject, or have I pulled something out of thin air?

who runs the world

or more specifically, who runs your world?

Interesting snippets from BBC’s power series. It’s heartening to see the variety of answers.

“My mum. And football players like Pele, Zico and Ronaldo are important characters – I feel compelled to follow in their footsteps.” – Ronaldinho (soccer player)

“One shouldn’t have any doubts as to who runs the world – it’s women, of course.
It’s obvious, because all the important things in life are done either because of women or thanks to them.” – Yulia Tymoshenko is former Prime Minister of Ukraine.

“I’ve worked for GE for 23 years and the people who rule my world are investors and customers. – eff Immelt is Chairman and CEO of General Electric, the world’s largest corporation

“We live in a globalised world, in a world of mutual inter-dependence.
[The world is run by] a complicated structure of decision-making bodies, starting from local powers up to national and, for example, the EU, WTO, and UN.” – Mikhail Gorbachev

“Professionally, my world is run by the directors and producers who make films – but they have to ultimately rely on the audiences.” – Helena Bonham Carter

“I used to joke that we had 15 members in the Security Council but you have 16 – [that] CNN was another member. At a certain time, television is running your world, another time you may have men like Nelson Mandela or Pope John Paul II. It changes according to events.” – Boutros Boutros-Ghali

“If we think others run our world – for example the US because it is a superpower, or a certain German philosopher because he predicted the future – then we do nothing to shape our own world. The future is in our own hands.” – Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian Nobel peace prize winner.

senegal and gambia’s egg troubles

Senegal may tunnel under Gambia
“Senegal’s president has suggested building a tunnel under Gambia to link the country’s north and south.
Gambia – which is a long thin sliver of land surrounded by Senegal – has a stranglehold on the best routes between one part of Senegal and the other. “

I don’t claim to know the geo-political situation out there. But this reminds me of the egg troubles the Lilliputians had, which side of hard-boiled eggs should be broken first.

Living together, getting along seems to be a really hard concept to grasp these days. Whatever we’ve learned in our 5000 or so years of recorded human history, we seem to be losing really fast.

bubble stickers

This guy went around collecting pictures of stuff that people had written on bubble stickers that he stuck to posters in and around New York City. Some of the posts are hilarious.

If there was a way to track when people write stuff on what posters, it might even be used to keep track of live memes.. as in what are a lot of people thinking at any particular instant.