Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Brother on Boston

"Boston is an awful place. Full of the two people I hate the most: White racists and self-righteous college kids."

-Ashok

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hari's Awful Promo Photos #1

Here's a new feature for this journal. I will post awful headshots and promotional photos I have taken over the years and, for the most part, wisely decided not to use. They will not be in chronological order or in the order of their awfulness. They will usually be the one that makes me cringe the most on that particular day.

Let's begin:

"Do you need an accident attorney?"

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some Bits and Pieces

Here are some bits and pieces from my recent notepads. Will they become full bits? We don't know...but it's unlikely:

NEW YEAR’S
-New Year’s Day is a holiday that I can completely enjoy celebrating since no one died for it.

Though not officially acknowledged, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the genocide of the indigenous people of North America.

Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ whose martyrdom through violent death on a wooden cross is a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith.

Halloween clearly has elements that celebrate gore and death. (Ghosts, Zombies…etc.)

New Year’s is simply a celebration of the passing of time… and not people.

ENGLAND
- Hey England, does all your native food have to be so goddamn bland? You can't handle the spice, huh? Then what was all that exploring for then? This food should be so spicy that it is borderline inedible to even be close to justifying the number of people who died as the result of British imperial aggression (In my notepad, I originally phrased this: "A lot of people died for this shit.") And why isn't everyone wearing clothes made out of silk?

IRAQ
-When I see airplanes above me (which happens frequently enough in Queens, NY where there are two major airports), I still feel a bit uneasy. When I realize this, I get angry at myself. What a privilege to be “traumatized from a distance” though repeatedly watching 9/11 footage when so many kids in Iraq, for example, will never be able to enjoy fireworks again after 5 years of war.

U.S. Soldier: Please children, stop crying!! It’s Independence Day for Iraq! You are free now! You are free! You don’t need to hide!

-I wonder how many more years until Disney makes a movie about the first Iraqi Baseball League and we forget about all the things that happened and all the people that died in this war.

LOVE
-What kind of present does one buy for a wedding that was the result of adultery?

A stolen toaster?

COMEDY
-Maybe if Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia said they were doing "covers" instead of blatantly ripping off material, it would be less offensive to me.

(Here is a clever Stewart Lee bit about mainstream comedians stealing material from other working comedians: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YE9Kthyaco)

-Comedians are not normal. I have heard friends say that their favorite comedians are the ones who perform so naturally that they make you feel as though you were just hanging out with a friend.

However, there is something sick about somebody who feels the need to speak without interruption for 45 minutes and honestly feels they can fill that time with interesting observations.

Who wants to have a conversation with a friend like that where every conversation is really a monologue.

NOTE: I am very grateful to my friends for putting up with me. The deeper I have gotten into comedy, the more my listening skills have deteriorated. I worry I’m taking in less than 3/4 of what I am regularly told at this point.

OLD AGE
-I now like Dark Chocolate, The News, Spinach and Wool Socks. What the fuck happened to me? (Yes, I capitalized all these items to show you all how much I like them.)

IN AMERICA, WE HAVE MANY IDIOTS… AND AWARD SHOWS
-I saw some of the People’s Choice Awards recently. Ellen DeGeneres was giving an acceptance speech and “the People” in the audience just screamed through it. Why? Why?? So later you can say to your friends:

“Hear that scream that interrupted Ellen’s speech…no, not that one…the one that interrupted her punchline…yeah, that was mine!”

-After Heath Ledger won a Golden Globe for his performance as The Joker in Dark Knight, my first thought was “Wow, the Palestinian children in Gaza who are being bombarded right now are probably thinking ‘Shit, we just lost the front cover of the New York Times to someone who’s already dead.”

CANNIBALISM
-If cannibalism was not a crime, it would allow for such complex descriptions of people as being both "full of shit" and "delicious."

Yep, I’m going to end on that one.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just Wishful Thinking, I Guess

How ironic that an airplane crash in New York City would overshadow George W. Bush's final speech as President of the United States of America later that evening.

Sometime Yesterday Evening in the Oval Office


(White House Aide enters. President GW Bush is staring blankly at a wall.)

White House Aide: Sir, US Airways Flight 1549 from New York City to Charlotte has crashed into the Hudson River

President GW Bush: Oh God, really?

White House Aide: Yes, sir.

President GW Bush: Well... alright! This is the best news I've gotten in 7 years! We finally might be able to turn this thing around. Thank you again, Osama! Let's see if we can get another term out of this, FDR style. First, get the flags out for the press conference and...wait, I'm being insensitive here. How many Americans did we lose on this flight?

White House Aide: Actually sir, everyone survived.

President GW Bush: Wow. I knew we were weakening Al-Qaeda. Not a single casualty this time.

White House Aide: Actually, we suspect it was birds, sir.

President GW Bush: Birds? The terrorists are using birds somehow to crash planes?

White House Aide: No, Mr. President. A flock of geese got caught in the engines of the plane and caused the plane to crash. The pilot was able to skillfully land it in the Hudson River and all the passengers were rescued quickly by the Coast Guard.

President: (Sighs)

White House Aide: Are you ok, Mr. President?

President GW Bush: Yes, yes. Just wishful thinking, I guess.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Baseball Player Embarrassing Himself

When professional athletes retire, they generally have a stock line about wanting to spend more time with their families. Then sometimes, shortly after their retirements, they decide to come back to the game, which allows one to assume that they quickly got sick of their families and would rather see them regularly during the off-season.

In this video from 1989, Mike Schmidt's reaction to his sudden retirement from baseball has me believing that he was a man who had ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in ever seeing his family again. Enjoy.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Some Real and Imaginary Conversations

A conversation about voting I had with my mother:

Hari: It’s funny, Mom. Even though there was record turnout in this year’s election, it was still only about 60% of potential voters who actually voted. Why isn’t Election Day a national holiday in this country? Is it a national holiday in India?

Mom: I’m not sure if it is.

Hari: But the turnouts in India are about the same and there’s a larger percentage of the population in dire poverty, right?

Mom: Yes.

Hari: Were the turnouts in India always this good?

Mom: Yes, it was when I grew up there.

Hari: Why?

Mom: There was no entertainment in India. Entertainment was voting and childbirth…you know…simple pleasures.


A conversation I imagined occurring during Obama's victory speech anywhere where hipsters are found:


Hipster 1: Yeah, ok. “Hope.” That's really going to...

Hipster 2: Shut up! You shut the fuck up!! I’ve never believed in anything before.


An IM conversation I had days before the election with a high school classmate I haven’t spoken to in years:


Hari: So great to hear from you. Pretty exciting election, eh? You getting nervous?

Former Classmate: Umm…a bit confused.

Hari: Confused? Why?

Former Classmate: I don’t know who to vote for.

(I did know how to respond immediately at this point because I had not met a McCain voter nor an openly undecided voter in this election. I had been living in London and Seattle this past year. If you could vote, you obviously voted for Obama. It was a choice between drinking mud or water.)

Hari: Oh…wow…but they are such different candidates.

Former Classmate: I know. I agree with most of what Obama has to say, but there’s just something about him I just don’t trust.

(I don’t remember where the conversation went at this point, but it was awkward and eventually someone had to leave.)

Something about him you just don’t trust? Something? You just can’t put your finger on it, huh? I wonder what that something is? Hmm…I wonder...


My former classmate’s probable response after Denzel Washington wins the first Academy Award an African-American has won for Leading Male in almost 4 decades:

“I really liked Training Day, but there’s just something about Denzel Washington I just don’t like. Also, I thought Ethan Hawke was a lot better in it.”


If she lived in Brooklyn in 1955, her thoughts after the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first and only World Series title after decades of futility and heartbreaking losses to the rival Giants and Yankees:


“I’m so happy our Dodgers finally won, but I must say I do miss those losing teams. There was something about them I just loved. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Every one of those Dodger teams had a certain undefinable quality about them that seemed to disappear in 1947 and every year after.”

“Former classmate, didn’t Jackie Robinson join the Dodgers in 1947 and in so doing, break the color barrier in Major League Baseball?”

“Umm…that’s quite possible.”

Her probable remarks shortly after crucifixtion of Jesus Christ by the Romans almost 2000 years ago:

“I really did like a lot of his philosophies and I thought his death was a really unfair break, but there’s something about him I just don’t like.”

And this last sentiment sums up why Jesus went from this:



To this:



Have I mentioned this as something that annoys me?

Here, here, and here.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Coffee and Snow Covered Roads

When I lived in Seattle, a "snow storm" was an inch of snow. The city would immediately shut down with only the coffee shops left open. However, according to news reports, this one was legit and even forced my friends Blue Scholars to cancel their shows in town.

With this newly found free time Geologic (MC) and Sabzi (DJ) made a song called "Coffee and Snow," and then a music video for it using the freshly blanketed Seattle as a backdrop. The video was made in a day on a zero-dollar budget by friend and MANOJ director, Zia Mohajerjasbi.

Here it is:


A week later, after the snow started to melt, Ra Scion (MC, Common Market) made a song, with the same Sabzi-beat used in the aforementioned Blue Scholars song, called "Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads." (A play on the Scholars track and the name of the recently released, critically acclaimed Common Market record Tobacco Road.)

This video, again directed by Zia, is shot on the now melting Seattle streets with tongues firmly in respective cheeks:


My friends are talented.

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