19 December 2007

Happy Holidays - Part Trois

This super-mini faux tree stands on the coffee table.

18 December 2007

Your move -

Ever since Al Gore 's movie " An inconvenent truth " has hit the the theatres, climate change and global warming is a hot topic for everybody. Financial analysts reports show that a " green industry" has been taking shape in the last few years and the projections have shot up only higher. Green Century Funds, and other industries are beefing up their social responsible activities through some environmental intitiatives to increase their ticker value at the stock exchange. The Food and Drug Administration have relaxed their definitions for "organic". Coco cola has asked a jewellery maker to make ear rings using old coke cans which they can list on their corporate social responsibility report. But many serious scientific minds know that only this time the " Green industry " will become black if serious conscious attempts are not taken, which scientists are keeping silent, lest the people get panicked !

A veneer of green is attached to any products that you buy these days. What fails me to understand is, one still finds shelves stocked with eco-friendly green products such as
seventh generation. It is paper being used again. Umpteen number of 'Green" cleaning products are in the market when vinegar and baking soda will do the job. The number of products and attractive packaging have only been increasing all in the name of green ! I fail to see the green aspect when people are having each TV in every room and putting up a solar energy on there roof tops. Every children's toy has a battery and each kid is profusely playing with it instead no encouraging or coaxing is done to the kids to play in the park or in the backyard. ( I did not know how to react when a six year old girl told me that she is fat and that her mother has asked her to hit the gym) Retail stores give discounts and ring up sales when products green and not green is flying out the door. The heater is set high that an egg will start to cook! An extra layer of clothing at home and insulating the windows will save some energy. Such inertia is yet to be found in many households and retail chains. Our so called politicians-cum leaders who are using climate change as an election gimmick are only using more number of green alternatives - when the number of things used are not decreased. My imagination says the green shall soon deplete.

Al Gore is smart enough to have established his legacy having won a Nobel prize, but that does not solve the pollution of soot. Oprah, the cultural icon for many North Americans is touting
" favorite gifts". Consumerism galore is definitely not green. Only a change in attitude about what earth means to each of us will bring about change. When children grow up in urban jungles with very few trees or no trees around, they do not develop a love for the earth that they live in, because what they know is the superficial, electronically sophisticated electricated jungle. Learning through imitation is the fundamental nature of mental development. And more so as a human species because children learn as they watch what adults do. So when as adults we do not observe actions that inculcate a love for the earth that we live in, children will fall behind, which has happened in the last few generations. When adults doused their own agricultural land consumed with greed went in rigging for oil destroying the forests, the earth turned backed and lashed on us, let it not happen again. There is no room for mistakes anymore

17 December 2007

What Globalisation means to me?

if my reading is correct, globalisation is a word baptized for North America by Thomas Friedman in the book The Lexus and The olive tree and further propogated the word and its phenomenon in his next book The world is flat. If I may borrow Martha stewarts's catchphrase, according to friedman, globalization is a good thing which I would take only with a pinch of salt. Further, though the world has only seen the phenomenon actively in the last few years and fears the consequences of it, General Electric has been actively globalizing its company since a couple of decades, which is why it has been able to keep its shareholder value at a price while continuing to diversify in as much and as many as possible. It is not just General Electric but even people who have been able to sucessfully work and cross culturally beyond their boundaries and have been able to have a larger vision rather than their counterparts which are homespun.

What does gloabalisation mean to me - The world will become a homogenous society. Languages will be erased and English will continue to domineer its power. So much will be lost in translation. Culture, Ethnic communites, Traditions, Heritage will slowly disintegrage and the world will disintegrate, just like how assimilation has created a faceless america with absolutely no culture of its own but loosely tied tidbits with commercial strands. Essentially the economically strong will always rule and may be even cast something like the world government. International organizations like the UN and the others will slowly diffuse and a world parliament will be formed. Basically there will be one world body governing the surfaces of the land. In terms for those looking out for jobs, the forest will become larger, but this time denser - because a few of them will decide and plan while the others will have to do just what they are told to do. Slowly a dark dictatorial government will take shape. Soon there will be uprisings and protests, revolution and wars - the world will run a full circle and may be wars will reach a point where so many and so much will be destroyed and man will return to the stone age, only this time the temperature of the earth will reach boiling point. It will be like times square - glitch and kitsch. When the electric lights are off and the crowds are gone, there is nothing in that square -

15 December 2007

An overdose?

On a visit to a friend's house , the exciting to-be parents took us to their yet to be born child's nursery, which was already up and waiting for the kid (6 months in advance) I was thunderstruck at the book shelf - around 30 books in all - of many sizes, colorful, some with music, great pictures etc etc.. and in different languages !!! The kid not yet born and the parents had already decided what should be read to. Sterotypical of urban parents -overstressed, overambitious parents who have already decided what their child should be.To-Do lists for the kids also included that their child should learn at least three languages by the time she finishes pre-k. My idle mind went on a spin ..

So what was there when there were no books or when books were less in circulation ? In most cases it was a lullaby or parents spun a story on the spot before they tucked the kids to bed. Folks, Folklores which formed communities and celebrated milestones in people's life, still exists in many parts of the world taught the infant many a thing. Wasn't reading and learning the privelege of a chosen few or the royalties? With the advent of the printing press - the bible was the first book to be printed and in circulation. Before paper - leaves, stone tablets, cave walls were the medium of writing - in the form of images. Sculpture - was the medium to express style, design, ambience than a bunch of words which dictates the world of journalism today. Today the rule of the word has become the medium of expression, where once images, dance, songs, music took center stage.

Of course, these days there are many mediums to coagulate these expressions or seperate them individually, thus each of them receiving their due credit. That's definitely good. Something for everyone. But over loading of data, from many sources has made the benefactor of information to wonder about its credibility. And so how does one determine what one reads is correct, or is it only a radical or lopsided persepective ? Who has written it and What kind of affiliations does the author have, with which we come to the most important question - why should we trust the writer for the information to be correct. Fox News or Faux News ? And correct for whom - Questions and more questions - answers are few - skeptical or dissatisfying - Is that why we have incredible amount of information floating everywhere, trying to make its place? However, creative and enterprising minds who has a stomach for risk will analyze such information and become entrepreneurs.

10 December 2007

seeing a prop stylist at work

Art and Design are worlds quite unknown to me. But I know for sure what pleases my eye. Long time ago I told a friend who wants to have a food cooking show to become a food stylist little knowing that a profession such as a stylist exists. Yesterday for the first time I saw a prop stylist at work. We didn't have a chance to talk much, but gathered that she does not have a degree in art and design, but styling is her day job. Her task was to set up shop for the weekend which is an illustrators office during the week. While the tables, the bookshelves and two computers remained in position, the rest of the office items were packed and boxed before the stylist, Philippa Brathwaite began work. Other volunteers and two other stylists, one of whom worked for the Martha stewart Living Omnimedia were also in action. It was a delightful experience to watch the stylists who were brainstorming ideas and tweeking little every day objects that would make the objects look fancier. The items for sale - christmas ornaments, scrolls, bags and purses, small wooden, bamboo and soapstone stable ornaments made in different parts across the globe were displayed such that it was visually pleasing and enticing to the onlooker, just like how we are reeled in at window dressings at crate and barrel or pottery barn.

On instructions from the stylist, volunteers filled huge glass cylinders with water and placed branches of trees where the christmas ornaments went up - blue glass with orange and green art work with golden outline, a glass organment with golden artwork, croched ornaments and bead ornaments. Next strings were stapled across the wall so that the rest of handicrafted items from india, peru, iraq and jordan were placed. Colorful beaded jewellery adorned the center table that would beacon any wandering eye. The handcrafted purselets hung across the wall near mirrors and huge lights would become conversation pieces at a christmas party. The coffee station looked like it was a coffee bar at an upscale restaurant. it was looking good...like christmas wonderland. None would say it was an office space. I really wish I had some pictures as a testimony but pieces of the lead stylist philippa's work can be seen at http://www.michelekarpe.com/artists/philippa_brathwaite.html

Image from the above mentioned website.

09 December 2007

Holidays 2007

For the remaining of the day,when the dusk falls as early as 4 in the early afternoons the candle light brings warmth.

picture: a corner of the living room

08 December 2007

Eye contact with history.

Like many of you I am in the midst of reading several books at a time. I was reading the book Confessions of an economic hit man by John Perkins and am left with last few pages. In some ways it helps you to see the world in a different light. How a few people blinded by corruption and power are looting countries and reducing them to poor desert lands at the same time filling their own coffers. Their sole aim is to rule the world while they enjoy. How the world " progress and prosperity " is lopsided, conceited and deceptive . If they cannot capture other countries through its strategy, they do not hesitate to trodden the land with guns and barrels and leave it barren. They loot and plunder and throw dust in the eyes of the world and many think they are sheep when they are a pack of wolves in reality. They plunder rich agricultural lands and entice the country leaders to fill the pockets while reducing the people of the land to a bunch of stray dogs. They rule the media and if we are not a part of this mafia gang they erase us with no trace.
I am also in the middle of another book A people's history of the United states by Howard zinn, a book written through the eyes of the natives of america to whom this land truly belongs. I must admit that in the last few days my eyes have opened to so many things in the history of this world that I suspected and was puzzled but could not put the pieces together. Which makes me to come to the point that I have so much more to understand about world history.

So would you recommend me a book, about the history of your land - which tells me the history of your country or your adopted country through the eyes of its masses. Please leave your comment.

Thank You
Yours truly

You can hear the author John Perkins on You tube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTbdnNgqfs8. More on the website -http://www.johnperkins.org/

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