Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Expose Moi

Lust-er , notice the little caption in the pic before we continue.

Am I brand whore? I guess so.

When shopping for DVDs , I look at the cast (De Niro is good but beware of Adam Sandler ) or if its an international film look for a film festival award and review excerpt. When buying books I look for the assuring opinions of The Economist or The New Yorker on the jacket.

But then there's some such thing called over-exposure. So , books like the Tipping Point and Freakonomics stayed off my reading list for a long while. Maybe I am too cool to fall for what everybody else is falling for. The Maverick Delusion? (but we'll come to that shortly)

Recently I picked up Sam Harris 'The End Faith' based on 'em opinions and a decent sounding premise.

Harris has studied Eastern and Western religion for two decades and his premise in this book is

1> Religion as we know it today is a product tribalism
2> It has remained so because debate about religion is pretty much banned
3> Religious 'moderates' aid the fundamentalists because in a bid to be politically correct they disallow serious debate and thus the evolution of thought.
4> Religion can reach the certainties of science if such debate is allowed
5> Its too easy today for a fundamentalist to get his hands on catastrophic bombs , so the status quo cannot continue
6> For a start , each one of us should start condemning those who believe in things without a proof and those who stop us from questioning them.

Its an engaging,well written book. To get a taste of his thinking check out this debate in the Newsweek between him and the pastor/bestselling author of the 'Purpose driven life'.

The post 9/11 world has required that certain types of books be published and one genre thats taken off is the 'religion today' genre. Richard Dawkins was probably the king of this territory but now we have Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett

So , to go back to the point of over-exposure , you must have been living under a rock with your lights turned off if you haven't seen/heard about the 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins. and as becomes a person of my standing , I stayed away from that book...but I did check out some YouTube video to know what the chap was on about. Now , theres a really kickass spoof video 'The Dawkins Delusion'.

Watch the real one first if you haven't heard Dawkins before

The God Delusion

The Dawkins Delusion

...and if you read the Newsweek debate ...Amit Verma on India Uncut has echoed my 'outrage' when he wrote this.

...and since my delusions have been broken , and if our honorable commerce minister Kamal Nath finds the time to got sit in the Mint-HT luxury conference , then who am I to not be reading The Cult of the Luxury Brand , a book that traces the status of luxury brands in Asia. (Quick review: Insightful, good peep into Asian society and the history of 'new money' in Asia , tendency to use complex sentences slight pain) . Samplers of cult status : Not uncommon for Japanese school-girls to sleep with middle-aged men to be able to buy a Louis Vuitton bag (94 % of Tokyo women in their 20s own one), South-Korean women buy bags on installment plans , girls buy a bag and subsist on cup-o-noodles for a while to make ends meet.

Excerpt from the book:

The Tai Tai Prayer
(Tai Tai = Hong Kong kitty party lady)

Armani, which art in Landmark, Hallowed be thy shoes
Thy Prada come , thy shopping done , in Central as it is in Paris
Give us this day our husband's Visa gold card and have him forgive us our
balance, as we forgive those who charge interest against us
Lead us not into Mistukoshi and deliver us from Wing On
For thine is the Chanel , the Gaultier and the Versace.
For Dolce & Gabbana

To close, on a recent trip to Bangkok Mr.D and I noticed a piece of taxi-art similar to the pic at the top of this post. The difference being that the lady had her piece of clothing thus : One foot on it and the other foot in it. My guess was that she was taking it off(filling the moment with possibilities) . Mr D averred that she was putting it on (filled with the weight of the morning after). Anyway will post a pic when get one and make a minor poll out of it.

Meanwhile pics from the trip are here 1 , 2