Sunday, February 25, 2007


Titan! who wilfully did bear
A burden so heavy upon his chest
Not even the almighty Atlas would carry
Nor Ethon rend from the flesh;
What price your compassion?
The sad, lonely gaze of the blessed beast,
Or the slander of pitiless fools
Who slight your sacrifice, but not your sin.

Titan! to whom was given the strife
The sorrow, the pain and shame;
For what? to earn us the gift of hope
When you kept none for yourself but despair;
Tricked by the knave, betrayed by your kin,
And plagued for your silent sufferance,
With the bane of eternal hindsight.

Epimetheus, the son of Iapteus and twin brother of Prometheus, is an often derided character in Greek mythology. While his brothers Prometheus and Atlas are often portrayed as heroes and have had many a paean written for them, Epimetheus is typically depicted as a dim-witted fool. Many scholars, however, believe that Epimetheus has been treated unjustly, and deserves his place in the pantheon for his sacrifice and gift to the human race.

This poem is an ode to Epimetheus, the silent benevolent titan. It's loosely inspired by Lord Byron's (admittedly far superior) poem Prometheus.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Awesome Super Exciting Man Silences Critic

It's always nice chatting with old friends. More so if you haven't spoken for some time. And so it was when I spoke with Curly[1] the other night. Amid exchanging pleasantries, reminiscing of the good ol' days, and discussing the ethics of sophistry, I decided to take a potshot at his newly acquired corpulence.

"You, old chum, are fat ", I told him.
"Oh, that's all right", he replied. "For you, mate, are boring".

This riposte, as you might very well expect, took me by surprise. I gasped. I reeled. I shook a fist in the general direction of Connecticut. Finally, I got a hold of myself, cleared my throat and registered my protest.

"What! Me, boring? How could you even insinuate such canard. Even the mere thought is preposterous. Me -- the sheer epitome of brinksmanship, the man who once single-handedly recounted the seventeen different types of grain in his diet -- boring? To claim that I am boring is like saying a quadrilateral is non-Euclidean. Like saying that a quasar is a dwarf planet. Like, ummm... who was that guy with the pot... pay-meth-something, Epimetheus, yes. It's like saying that Epimetheus was a genius. It is, in fact, the very opposite of a tautology. It is a fallacy. Yes, that's what it is. A fallacy."

Curly sounded unapologetic. "I'm sorry. You were saying something? I must have nodded off."

People can be so insensitive at times. Especially fat people.

[1] Name changed to protect Vinod’s identity.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ugliest Dog in the World Contest

Surfing through the telly last night, I came across a show titled "The Ugliest Dog in the World". No, I'm not making this up. Honest. Every year pet owners flock to Sonoma-Marin, California to proudly parade their specimen freaks of nature. Mutts from all over the US and Canada come together to pit their ugly mugs against each other (hence the title - Ugliest dog in the World).

When I first heard of the contest, I'd dismissed it as a colossal waste of time. How ugly can a dog really be, I reckoned. I tuned in to find out. And boy, was I surprised. I was more than surprised. I'd go as far as to say that I was shocked.

Now I've seen my fair share of surly pooches in my lifetime, but nothing could have prepared me for this. This was not your everyday Peter Crouch kind of ugly. These pooches were a sheer affront to nature. Some of the dogs on the show were so ugly, in fact, they almost make one believe in a higher power. Surely only a spiteful, sadomasochistic God could be responsible for such abominations. That, or years of selective inbreeding.

Oh, and just in case you have to know, here is a picture of last year's winner, Sam. Click at your own risk.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Things That Make You Go Eh

I received a message from the Secretary of Health the other day, urging me to wear red on February 2nd. February 2nd, as I am already aware I was told, is the National Wear Red Day. Everyone is advised and encouraged to wear red on the day, to show support for women's heart disease awareness. By wearing red, it claimed, whether it is a dress, shirt, tie, or Red Dress pin - you will be sending a lifesaving message "Heart Disease doesn't care what you wear - It is the #1 Killer of Women."

Something about the missive struck me as a bit out-of-line. First of all, how does wearing red, or any other colour for that matter, lend support to the fight against heart disease in any way? Secondly, if heart disease doesn't care what you wear, then the best way to prevent it would be to not wear anything at all, wouldn't it?

I was more than a little bemused. I was outraged. "This is outrageous", I announced to express my outrage. Who is the Secretary of Health to decide what I wear on February 2nd. As a mark of protest, I decided to boycott the National Wear Red Day altogether. "Not only shall I not wear red, but I shall wear the opposite of red," I resolved.

This resolution of mine posed a bit of a problem, however. The opposite of red, as you'll readily agree, is cyan, and I, like any self-respecting conservative dresser, do not possess an array of garments bearing a cyan hue. I decided therefore, to improvise. And so it was that on Friday, February 2nd 2007, I showed up at work sporting a pair of blue socks with horizontal green stripes. That ought to have showed them.

National Wear Red Day. Bah, humbug!