Friday, February 25, 2005

Stock Taste

No. This is not a treatise on how to invest wisely and make a killing in the stock market. I can see your shoulders droop and the expectant smile you were sporting only moments ago disappear faster than... er... something that disappears very fast. But trust me, this is a good thing for a couple of reasons:
  • I know as much about the stock market as I do about the tribal rituals of the indigenous people of the Niger delta... which is a fairly roundabout way of saying that I know absolutely nothing about the stock market. So if I were to share my obviously limited wisdom on the topic and provide helpful pointers on how you could make a lot of moolah in the market and if you, in your obviously limited wisdom, were to take my ramblings at face value and decide to put them into practice, it's very likely that you would very soon be sitting on a huge pile of nothing. And then you would be mad as hell and look furiously for someone to blame for your stupidity and that someone would obviously be me. So you would sue me for like a billion bucks and I'd have to change my name to Pablo and flee to Mexico. And then one day, when I have settled into my new life as Persevering Pablo, bull-fighter extraordinaire and happen to be at the neighborhood fast-food shack enjoying a taco with extra mayo and hot sauce, reflecting on how good life turned out to be, masked men with guns would suddenly burst in through the door, windows and the roof and someone would yell,"Freeze sucker, this is the FBI..." .. well, that's one good reason for me not to venture into giving any advice on how to invest in the stock market.
  • The second reason is fairly straightforward. "Investing wisely in the stock market" is a load of bull. There's absolutely no wisdom in investing in the stock market. It's a communist conspiracy to take over the world. This is how the scheme was designed to work: The majority of investors in the market would be small investors who foolishly thought they could make a pile of moolah with a fistful of pennies. They would pour all their loose change into stocks that looked fabulous in the ads but in reality had absolutely no chance of moving anywhere but south. And when all the small investors had invested all their money into stocks, the market would crash and they would be left sitting on a huge pile of nothing. And they would be mad as hell and look furiously for someone to blame for their stupidity and that someone would obviously be the Government. (It can't be me because I'd already have been arrested by DUH EFF-BEE-AYH and incarcerated at a maximum security correctional facility for dangerous felons like myself, serving 10 consecutive life-terms...) .. so the mob of angry and foolish small investors would sue the government for like a billion bucks and everyone in the government would have to change their name to Pablo and flee to Mexico. Then there'd be a new government and the same thing would happen again... and when everyone capable of being in the government have changed their name to Pablo and fled to Mexico, the communists would move in and take over.... like I said before, the stock market is a giant communist plot to take over the world...
So, there you have it.. two good reasons why I don't want to pontificate on how the small people can make a pile of the good stuff by dabbling in public issues. Wow, I guess I've spoken a whole lot without actually even getting to what the stock in "Stock Taste" stood for. I guess I can do that before I conclude... the usage of "stock" in the title was as an adjective to mean "without any thought or originality"... and this post was supposed to be about my stock taste in movies that my friends accuse me of and my spirited defense of my taste. And it ended up being a tirade against the communists and the stock market... huh.. I wonder how I got there... anyways, you now know what my next post is going to be about and I bet you can't wait to get your hands on it.. 8-) .. until later.. cheers...

Monday, February 14, 2005

What do you think?

Here's how Webster's defines a blog:

Main Entry: blog
Function: noun
Definition: an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page; also called Weblog, Web log
Example: Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author.
Etymology: shortened form of Weblog
Usage: blog, blogged, blogging v, blogger n

Source: Webster's New Millenniumâ„¢ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.5)
Copyright © 2003, 2004 Lexico Publishing Group, LLC

Going by that definition my blog is not a blog at all. None of my posts to date really chronicle my thoughts on issues of any significance. My blog's really a random assortment of light-hearted commentaries. I guess it's easier to be frivolous than it is to be introspective. This post is an attempt to present my views on some subjects that all of us have opinions on...

The US presidential elections captured the imagination of the entire world for a variety of reasons. A very polarized electorate voted in these elections and surprisingly the issues at the heart of the polarization were not the Iraq war, the state of the US economy or global terrorism as one would have expected. The issues that literally split the country into two: The liberal West coast and North East Vs the conservative heartland states had more to do with religious and moral views than global or financial concerns. The issues: abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. And this was where Bush won the elections and Kerry lost. The significance of these issues led me to explore where I stood on them and here's what I found:

  • Abortion: Both Christianity and Hinduism regard the fetus as a human and unequivocally denounce abortion as a sin akin murder. And I firmly believe religion provides man a set of guidelines to live by. Having said that, I also believe that having been gifted with the ability to do so, man should exercise his own judgment on what he chooses to believe in.. his personal belief in what's right and wrong. He should not need a set of rules to define every facet of his life, personality and behavior. And finally we must remember, religion may be God's word (if you choose to look at it that way), but it is God's word as interpreted by man. My views on all the three issues stem from my personal beliefs and convictions. I'm no advocate for abortion, but I feel it is a better option than bringing a child into the world knowing fully well you cant provide for it. I believe every child deserves the right to a happy and carefree childhood, cared for by loving parents. I believe no child deserves to have to scavenge for food worrying where its next meal is going to come from or to be born into a foster home, uncared and unloved. A child shouldn't have to pay for it's parents' stupidity or callousness. And much as I detest the idea of abortion, I hate the prospect of injustice being inflicted upon a helpless soul even more...
  • Stem cell research: Or more specifically embryonic stem cell research. Stem cells can be gathered from a whole host of sources like the umbilical cord and the uterus, but scientists have discovered that stem cells gathered from the human embryos hold the greatest potential. The basic premise on which stem cell research is based is quite simple: stem cells have the potential to develop into other specialized cells that make us what we are and they have the ability to multiply almost limitlessly serving as a sort of repair mechanism for the human body. Stem cell research holds the potential to assist in the treatment in a myriad of diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal cord injury, types of cancers etc. My support for stem cell research stems directly from my guarded support of abortion. The pluripotent stem cells, which hold the greatest potential come from the human embryo and the fetus in early stages of its development. The embryo is much like a seed, that when provided the nourishment it requires, grows into a plant. Analogously, an aborted embryo or fetus is like a seed that will never grow to be a plant. As of now, most of the aborted fetuses are just destroyed when they could have played a significant part in research that has the potential to help millions suffering from debilitating and terminal ailments... diseases which traditional medicine has no cure for.
  • Homosexuality and same-sex marriages: It has always been human nature to fear what they don't understand. Most of us can't understand or even being to imagine how one person could be physically attracted to another person of the same sex. Christianity clearly says that homosexuality is a sin. I don't know where Hinduism stands on this, but my guess is that it's views are not very different. It's a well established fact that about 5% of the human population is homosexual. And being in a substantial minority, homosexuals have been feared and persecuted since the early days of humanity. I believe a person can choose his/her sexual orientation as much as he/she can choose their sex. And even if a person should choose to be a homosexual, it's a personal choice that the society ought to accept and respect. Why should homosexuals be denied the basic rights we afford ourselves, the right to society, spouse and family? Are they not human beings and are they that different from us? Do we condemn our brothers and sisters based on what a couple of books thousands of years old and probably meant for a different time and age say? I believe fear and detestation of homosexuals is not very different from xenophobia. We may not understand or approve of homosexuality, but as human beings capable of independent thought and reasoning, we owe it to ourselves to rise above our bias and prejudices and accommodate those whose views differ from our own. If we can't do that, we haven't progressed much since the days when man lived in caves and was busy trying to figure out how to make fire.
Well, the views presented above were just that... my views. Each one of us is bound to have our own distinct views on each of the three issues and that's what makes us human... the ability of each of us to see the same thing differently from the rest... What do you think? until later.. cheers..

Friday, February 04, 2005


Man's best friend or idiot creature that ought to have become extinct a long time back? I guess the answer to that rhetorical question depends on who you ask. My astute observation of humankind on that very question has led me to conclude that the world is divided into two camps with almost equal membership, one that thinks the dog is God's greatest gift to man and the other that firmly belives that the planet would be a much better place if all the canines on the planet were packed into a spaceship and sent to pluto or wherever else it is that dogs like to go. And for those of you that havent already guessed which camp I belong to, here's a clue: I have almost had sharp canine teeth sunk into my behind on no less than six occasions and in all but one of the cases, for no apparent reason. And even in the one isolated incident where the dog in question might have been justified in feeling aggrieved, the reasons were flimsy at best. I'll present the facts of the case and let you be the judge: As a kid, and a rather fat and dumb one at that, I once hurled a tiny pebble in the general direction of a dog that appeared to be enjoying its afternoon siesta after a good lunch. The pebble missed the dog by a mile, but apparently he didn't want to concern himself with that fact for shortly thereafter, I found him charging towards me with extraordinary eagerness. Now this development I had not anticipated, but despite being fat and dumb I apparently had the presence of mind to know that something was very wrong and with speed that belied my age and general physical well being, I rushed towards the relative safety of a nearby fence and only just beat the pursuing canine to it. Now that the facts are in front of you, I think you will agree with my assessment that the attack on me was without sound reason. What's the world coming to if a man can't even hurl pebbles around without the fear of violent retribution by vengeful canines. After this near-dogbite experience I realized the absolute truth in the saying,"Let sleeping dogs lie." but as I have discovered since, sleeping dogs don't always continue in their state of rest even when not acted upon by an external force. i.e dogs are not aware of Newton's third law. How much stupider can they get. They say an asteroid wiped out dinosaurs from the face of the planet. If only that stupid asteroid had made dogs extinct instead of dinosaurs the world would be so much better. There'd be no dogs and it would be Jurassic Park for real... How cool would that be.. :) .. until later... cheers...

a) The views presented above are based on facts and do not reflect the personal beliefs of the author, who by the way is a very balanced and fair-minded individual totally incapable of harboring a grudge.
b) No dogs were harmed in the writing of this article, though I wish that were not the case... stupid dogs...