November 11, 2008

'The Stone Gods': In search of a blue planet

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The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson is well-crafted like a mosaic built of different pieces made to form the larger picture. The essence of the book is the inherent nature of human beings to destroy their dwelling place and thus inflict pain of themselves.

The book is divided into three parts which seem like completely different stories except for names of the two main characters. The first two may be real or imagined, as they seem so remote from reality that it's hard to tell. It's only the third part that brings things into focus, though you as a reader still have to string together some thoughts.

In the story of the futuristic world on a planet called Orbus, the author describes a society which is completely artificial, right from the weather to people's appearances. Nothing is at it seems, and people have gone to the extremes to fulfill their shallow desires, the planet can go to hell. Billie is a woman who still thinks 'traditionally' and lives on a farm, eyed with suspicion by all. Spike here is a beautiful robo sapiens who is what the future's future is about...an evolving robot.

The second part takes us to a primitive island where nothing is remotely futuristic, but the theme is the same...man destroys nature, thus destroying himself. Billie (a man) is an explorer who meets the local Spike and sees the fallacies of an island where wood has become a precious commodity.

It's the third part which is chillingly real, and offers a more realistic alternative to what happened in the first part.

The events may appear detached at first, even up to the last few pages and I guess that is what keeps the reader glued on, but there is an end where the past and future are one and there is only today to think about.

Winterson uses language which is philosophical and (unnecessarily) long-winding but the message is worthwhile. This book is not a literary masterpiece but a peek into a future which may not be so hard to fathom.

November 5, 2008

And history is made...

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The victory of Barack Hussein Obama is a proud moment for all of us, not only because he is bi-racial (he's only half Afro-American), because this gives minorities a hope in the country which has truly become diversified. The New York Times reports, ironically, that just 143 years ago, Obama could have been bought as a slave...Blacks have have been traumatised and exploited more than any other race in America and Europe and this is indeed a dream come true for them.

Obama's key voice during the Presidential campaign was to call for change and now he has become a symbol of exactly that...the fact that Americans voted for him shows that they are desperate for change from the mess created largely by the Bush administration.

It's interesting how this US election has had everyone around the world glued to their seats...and a poll conducted by Economist .com shows that Obama is the favourite the world over...because this is not the victory of one popular candidate over the other, but the victory of one oppressed race which now is the voice of the most powerful country in the world.

Congratulations to Americans for opening their minds!

Below is the acceptance speech by Obama: