Friday, October 31, 2008

Why Obama Has A Chance

This is a watershed moment in American politics: we have a realistic chance of seeing our first black president. Possible because Obama transcends race, class and, even at times, ideology.

Why is Obama so appealing, even among white Americans? Americans have given the presidency to white, Anglo-Saxon males (with the exception of John F. Kennedy, America's first Catholic president) since the founding of the republic. It took the imbecility of George H. W. Bush to shatter this myth. Never mind that Bush was rich, educated at both Yale and Harvard, and comes from an aristocratic political family - all the ingredients necessary to be a leader - he proved to be incompetent.

Can Obama do any worse?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Better Team Won

The Red Sox season is over, beaten in the ALCS by an obviously superior team, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are superior in that they had better pitching and batting then the Red Sox, both of which were lacking, especially during games three and four in Boston.

Could things have been better? I believe game two was winnable if Francona didn't leave Beckett in as long as he did, but Red Sox's woes can hardly be reduced to one game. The offense, at times, was anemic, and the pitching was simply awful; yet the Red Sox took the series to seven games, a testament to their toughness and experience. They just didn't have enough to win it all, making this series quite disappointing if not exciting.

But if we are to give praise at all, it should be given to the Rays, who many doubted would survive the season let alone make it to the World Series. But they have prospered. And given the Rays are a young team, and regardless what happens in the World Series, they will be around for some time to come. I take my hat off to them for a great season and a dramatic ALCS.

Finally, I'll be rooting for them in the World Series (sorry, Phillies).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interesting Aviation Video

This is what an airplane landing on a windy day looks like:

Demand Media Video -- powered by

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is India In A Malaise?

What ails India? In the space of several weeks, we have witnessed bombings, natural disasters, communal violence, temple stampedes, etc. Can anyone explain why? Because I'm at a loss for words.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Review: Dexter, Season One

Just finished watching Dexter: Season One on DVD. I never saw a series where a serial killer, of all people, and the main character to boot, can be so likable and charming. Dexter is essentially about Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter expert who works for the Miami police. Dexter also moonlights as a serial killer. The thing is Dexter is not your ordinary serial killer, but someone who has a conscious, of sorts. He follows a code: he doesn’t harm the innocent, only the wicked, who are walking freed, often unpunished: rapists, child molesters, murderers are all high on Dexter’s list.

There series is more a mini-series than episodic television. The story arc’s is spread over 12 tightly-knit episodes, and you really have to watch from the beginning to follow the rather twisted storyline. Not surprisingly, Dexter is based on a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay. Trust me, it’s well worth it. It’s a well-written show and contains some fine performances. Michael C. Hall, who plays Dexter, has – no offence - the face of a serial killer: the vacant, serene eyes, the serious demeanor.

No one knows Dexter is a serial killer, but Dexter emits a vibe,which is readily picked up by Sgt. Drakes, a tough detective. Doakes doesn’t like Dexter, and thinks there is something creepy about Dexter and the way he carries himself. Doakes doesn’t know how right he is. Doakes suspicions are piqued with the arrival of the Ice Truck Killer, a serial killer who dismembers prostitutes and uses their body parts to create morbid sculptures. The Ice Truck Killer is doing this for a reason: he wants to impress Dexter, who the Ice Truck Killer knows is someone like him. A natural born killer. The Ice Truck killer is doing it all for him. And suffice it to say, Dexter is quite impressed by the Ice Truck Killer’s intricate handiwork, a type of envy seen only in fellow professionals. The answer why is revealed later in the series. You’ll all just have to watch it to find out.

Though Dexter is a crime series, its central theme lies in the relationship of its characters. And relationship is dangerous ground for Dexter who cannot feel sadness, love, and sympathy. Dexter, as he admits, is an empty shell. Yet Dexter pursues them by pretending, knowing full well that they keep his homicidal tendencies in check. Dexter comes from a loving home, where his father, who realized his adoptive son’s true nature, taught Dexter how to deal with his nature by teaching him a code; it’s the only way Dexter feels human. Because of his aloofness, Dexter has a rocky relationship with his sister and his girlfriend. The reason for Dexter’s trouble is simple: he just doesn’t open up to them. They don’t realize is that Dexter can’t open up to them because Dexter is afraid they will find nothing there, and if they do fine something, they won’t like what they see. Dexter walks an emotional tightrope, but he has to lest he wants to survive. As Dexter reminds us, almost all serial killers get caught.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008