Eddie Izzard on Language

Time for a comic relief from all the seriousness this place has descended to. The typewriter monkeys have been complaining. A bit of levity would do them good. So here’s a bit of humor and silliness. It’s one of my favorite stand-up comics, the incomparable Eddie Izzard. Since I mentioned typewriter monkeys, this excerpt from one of his shows is appropriate. To fully appreciate it, it is good to know a bit of French. I understand only a bit — un peu — of French. Mostly safe for work but he does use the occasional 4-letter word.

Contributing for a public good

A driver was stuck in a traffic jam on the road near the Parliament building in N Delhi. Nothing was moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down the window and asks, “What’s going on?”

“Terrorists have kidnapped the politicians. They’re asking for a Rs 1,000 crores ransom. Otherwise, they’re going to douse them all in petrol and set them on fire. We’re going from car to car collecting donations . . .”

“How much is everyone giving, on average?” the driver asks. The man replies, “Roughly two liters.”

Does your brain work differently?

Apparently according to this test, my brain works quite like that of the vast majority of humans. Take this quick test to check your thought pattern. Do tell what happened in a comment but please don’t spoil the test for others by revealing your answer. Just say whether you are with the majority or not. It would be interesting to see how the numbers stack up. Thanks much. (Caution: Don’t read the comments if you want to do the test and not prejudice yourself.)
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Solutions worse than the problems

government_solutions

[Hat tip: Jayant]

It’s true, isn’t it, that we need less government solutions to government created problems. If only, lord if only, the government would get out of interfering in society.

On a lighter but related note, I am reminded that sometimes the explanation for an error makes the action less excusable. The story goes that the court jester was in a playful mood. Seeing the king bending over, he runs up and places a swift kick in the royal derriere. Livid with anger, the king demands, “What the hell do you think you are doing, you fool?” The jester says, “Oh pardon me, your royal highness. I thought it was the queen.”

Standup Comic Dan Nainan

Source.

[Thanks to Jayant for the link.]

I find the bit about “grazed” donuts really funny because I have known a lot of Japanese people. Too bad he “exprained” it. Also the bit about getting a couple of immigrants to do the dirty work — shows that his father does have a sense of humor. Have fun.

Post script: Thanks to Amit for pointing out the typo in the name. It is “Nainan” and not “Nianan” as originally posted.

Two consonent views on the 123 Agreement

The American administration sent a letter to the Congress clarifying what the 123 Agreement with India entails for the US. The letter was leaked recently. There’s nothing in the letter which should come as a surprise because its contents are consistent with what the Americans have been saying all along. What the letter strongly suggests is that either that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is lying or it is clearly delusional.

Here’s the view of a former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, PK Iyengar, expressed in an article in The Pioneer. He says that India’s freedom to test will be curtailed. This is, in his opinion, undesirable as testing is essential for India to maintain a credible nuclear deterrence.

Arun Shourie makes the case that the Americans are bound by their Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the Hyde Act, and that the 123 Agreement does not in any way invalidate them. (I don’t have a link to Shourie’s article, and so I will post his article below the fold until such time that I have a link.)

My view is that India should not sign the agreement. I find the arguments by Iyengar and Shourie persuasive. Just for argument’s sake, let’s assume that it is a bad agreement and India pays dearly for it down the line. What is the penalty that those who pushed India into such a bad deal face? None at all. Mr Singh and boss will never have the pay for the follies, just as their predecessors whose gross stupidity has caused untold misery on hundreds of millions of Indians got away with no penalty (and indeed they are celebrated as great visionaries and leaders.)

I think that the prime minister is not a deluded fool and knows fully well what the 123 Agreement will do to India. That forces me to conclude that he is dishonest in his insistence that it is good for India. But then it is not the least surprising to find dishonest politicians in India. That’s Indian democracy for you — and therein lies the only consolation for me: the people choose unwisely and it is they who will suffer the consequences of their choices.

It’s all karma, neh?
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