December 13, 2011

A love letter to all my Chinese fans

So it appears that over the course of many years, through dint of diligent blogging and rigorous application of the rules of humour, I have acquired a small legion of fans. This is, of course, natural, for such a dedicated and humorous blogger as me, though the small matter of the demographic from which these fans arise did attract my attention. It appears that most of the people who comment on my blog are Chinese. At first, this was not immediately apparent to me, mainly due to the fact that, in the absence of a Chinese language pack on my browser, their names and comments appear as so many wingdings. Nevertheless, one intensely packed workday, I was curious enough to run the comments to one of my most popular posts (and doubtless, one of my finest pieces of poo) through the Google Translate. Mine eyes are now open. The entire comments thread (comprising 23 comments) is in Han Chinese. Wonderful. It occurred to me to ponder what it was that attracted my Chinese compatriots to this particular post. It must be their inordinate fondness for Avatar, or probably their insane attraction for any word with +500,000 hits on a google search (also called SEO whoredom). Nevertheless, I felt honour-bound to call out my Chinese Friends by name and to respond to their kind comments on this public post.

For ease of reference, I have categorised my biggest fans and their comments by nature of comment. There are three basic categories: Words of encouragement, wise advice I should follow and thought-provoking advice to visit the red-light district of the internet. Lets start at the top, shall we?

My first round of thanks go out to all those simple and touching notes of appreciation, which, though uninspired, were nevertheless encouraging and information-rich (at least as far as hyperlinks go. I did not know that Chinese people did those things with aardvarks. And no lubricant even!). Accordingly, a big shout-out to

'Happy yo', for saying that my post was 'wonderful',

MathewP_Thu22269 who said 'Nice post ~ 3Q' (which, I am given to understand, is some sort of Chinese 5-star rating system),

Yi Ying Yi Ying for having a name that sounds like a martial-arts chihuahua and for saying 'Hello ~ nice article' and

batesda, for saying that my post about how Avatar is really not so bad was 'Really touching article ~ ~'. I like to try.

Special Award to :

Zi Yi Zeng g Zhi Ke Yingke dgdd for having a name which caused my tongue to go numb for a few minutes and for saying: 'I am so grateful to the dynamic of the blog!'. This is truly a touching and insightful statement, which speaks to the heart of what I am trying to do with this blog.I have often searched for the dynamic of this blog,fiddling with templates late into the night, mixing secret potions and chanting invocations to the Elder Gods to grant me a great dynamic. It is gratifying to know that you are grateful for its dynamic, as you should be, as the dynamic of this blog comes to you from none other than Shoggoth himself! Weep Tears of Gratitude, Mortal and Cower before the DYNAMIC OF THIS BLOG.


Hui Ping Pei G who said 'Hello ~ welcome My world ~ '. Ever since I read that, I am not sure if I am any longer in the real world. I may have finally found my way back to the Matrix, all thanks to HPPG. Or maybe HPPG was empathising with my point of view. Either ways, HPPG, we're both in this together, alone against the universe, and alone we shall stand. To the death!!

Round 2 of thanks goes out to all those people who have provided me with sound words of advice for a smooth journey over those potholes that are the MCD renovated road of life 

Wang Jungui said ... Choose the least of two evils - I'm just going to leave that there because it says everything by itself. Confucious couldn't have put it better.

Johnath Meng Xuan said ... Li Heng Chi gentleman, villain constant determined, which may sound like babble to you, but is actually Johnath's way of updating me on his ongoing quest for deriving the equation that governs evil in the universe.

And Avril Lavigne's good sister, 'Good child ChristiLavigne11' said 'Cast not the first Stone' which is probably advice she has to follow on a daily basis with a sister like Avril Lavigne.

 And finally, the 'amazing subversion of a common proverb' trope award goes to the simply, yet intriguingly named Lulu, who said 'You can control the weather, but you can change the mood'. Full points for ignoring conventionally accepted uses of the conjunction 'but' and for blowing the minds of people who expected a 'can't' in the latter half of that sentence.

Last but not least are those who wouldst tempt me to walk the wild side of the internetz, with such alluring invitations as Hao Shan's where (s)he said ...

"Nude photobeautiful nude pictureporn messageyellow pictureself-timer naked picturesexnaked picturesof 18 restricted85cc a pieceof Taiwan porn sitesfree porn plana night of passion chaterotic chat roomratedburst milk Actressfor loveBig Collegesex eroticlabiaone-night standlower bodylove chat netsaltyself-timer sexadult galleryadult Studiossexvideo loversex video watchnudepornographic U.S. adult forumav PortraitSelf-Timer Nude mappingav mapmap sex eroticadult VCDsexybabes video chatsex videowhoreerotic Taiwan ForumG-string mappingfree of charge a piece videoslewd womanlive showsex between men and womenhot younger sisterpassionate love chat networkbeautiful women nudefree porn sites".


July 19, 2010

That Salty Air - A Review

So I had a chance to catch up on my graphic novel reading recently (I also discovered why so many people around me are starting sentences with 'so' nowadays). One thing I will truly miss about New York is being able to buy amazing comics from Top Shelf for dirt cheap+shipping. Unlike my usual book purchases, which are at least moderately researched (by which I mean at least 1 referring article+a bunch of amazon reviews deep) I essentially jump off the cliff with Top Shelf, doing no more than reading the blurb, checking out the price and then jumping into the sale. This is mainly because these people believe that comics dont have to be about underwearsofacushion people, pseudo-surreal absurdism (though that's mostly pretty ok with me) or slapstick humour to be an art form. Top Shelf publishes comics written by people who want to tell stories. Timeless stories about aspects of the human condition which ring true (which I miss reading because so many people are writing Human-Condition Porn for Booker Prize lists and other such junk that its so hard to sort through the dross).

So one such story was That Salty Air (If my opinion means anything to you, I would seriously encourage you to buy this book. If you're in the US, please buy direct from TopShelf. You'd be helping a wonderful publisher to grow. If you're in India, Flipkart amazingly has it. I love you Flipkart).

I dont know how many themes this story covers for me. Its a story about loss, irrationality, anthromorphism and the sea. Anyway, I was pretty moved by it, and I should issue a disclaimer at the outset: This is probably because I love the sea and most of my internal metaphors work water or the sea in somewhere. That said, I did have some thoughts on this story. They're pretty raw, as I typed them out on my qwertyphone while I was killing time waiting for something specific to happen, but I think they pretty accurately reflect what I think about the story, so here they are:

What is 'That Salty Air' about?

Its a modern day, magic-realist parable about the capacity of a man's hatred, and of the acceptance of change. its also a revenge story about a man who tries to rape/murder/defile the sea (the verb that actually flashed through my mind while I was reading it was 'to fuck' though not in the sexual sense rather than in the sense of defiling). The protoganist, Hugh, is a fisherman in love with the sea. The book tracks the souring of that relationship, its zenith and subsequent redemption.

Why was That Salty Air a beautiful work?

It immersed me emotionally. Granted, a kinship with the sea may be required to feel the same level of immersion, or, alternatively, some equivalent feeling of connection with your surroundings (I think the city lends itself to anthropomorphism as well as the sea).

Despite asking this premise of you, however, I still feel that the pace and story are beautifully proportioned and calculated to immerse you in its reality. Each portion of the book featuring Hugh and the sea strikes the exact note it seeks, and in doing so, adds to the poignancy of the others. For example, the simple love and reverence he shows to the ocean serves to enhance the horror and revulsion evoked by his subsequent hatred.

GYAAN ALERT - Was there a message?

At least, I thought there was. Besides the moderately obvious ones concerning loss and our relationship with the Fates, there was something in there about our relationship with our world which made me think. Watching Hughe's carnage, in the midst of the horror and revulsion, I couldn't help but think - man is the only creature capable of such wholesale destruction and brutality. All animals are capable of brutality, but only man can convert this into the urge to destroy his world. Our current attitude towards nature arises from our seeing it as an adversary; a jungle to be tamed, an ocean to be overcome; a river to be harnessed - one of the reasons we never think about our present relationship with Nature in this manner is because of our veils of perception, refusing to believe in that which does not conform to the established dogma and canon of reality. To that extent, this book is clearly a work of surrealism and magic realism, intertwining simple, mundane situations with the fantastic so that, in the midst of your emotional connection with the story, the veils are, for a time, drawn. And when they are drawn, I saw in Hugh a reflection of the present state of modern humankind, an adversarial, pugnacious creature, embittered by his dance with his environment, and seeking no more than to subjugate it entirely, to exact blind revenge for past wrongs. Hugh embittered is man at his ugliest.

Wait, isn't this a comic - why haven't you discussed the drawing yet?

For a number of reasons. Mainly, because I think that this is one of the rare stories where the story tells itself through the art. There's no need for evocative metaphors and photo-realistic adjectives because the artwork takes care of that, in spades. In that way, this is probably a bit like a Cormac McCarthy story in terms of its sparseness of dialogue, except without the need for abovementioned verbal cues. To put it another way, my entire rant so far has been about the artwork, because the artwork is the story. If you have to know about the artwork independent from the story, I think it covers some incredibly inked panels, with incredibly beautiful and surreal seascapes.

So should you buy this?

If you're reading this, you just managed to trudge through about 800 words of me gushing all over it, with an introduction encouraging you to buy it. You're probably at least moderately curious. If you like stories about the human condition, and you aren't averse to moderate quantities of magic realism, and are not automatically biased against comics because they are 'for kids', please buy this book (in fact, please buy it even if you're in the last of these categories, because you need to understand now).

February 28, 2010

on intellectual guilt over watching Avatar

So I was reading through this article recently, with a mixture of cynical agreement and guilt. The sort of person this Avatar-heretic was talking to was probably the sort of person I am. The sort of person who sniffs at movies built entirely out of CG cotton candy and tough talk. The sort of person who tries to grasp the nuances and symbology behind characters and dialogue. The sort of person who believes they can spot an artist of quality when they see an obscure, once-unknown movie. And still, this sort of person bought tickets to Avatar, saw it, enjoyed themselves shamelessly and saved the intellectual guilt for after the entire experience was over. Well, I'm still saving that intellectual guilt for something to feel truly ashamed over. I'm not guilty about Avatar.

It can't be denied that this piece is a nice way to put all the hype about Avatar in perspective. I saw it, and I couldn't say I didn't enjoy it. It was an awesome visual spectacle with little in the way of story to recommend it. I can see how this can be a problem for people who believe movies are 95% about dialogue, characterization, acting, message and narrative. Unfortunately, the box-office reality is that different movies pull different viewers in for different things. Die Hard was not about symbology or complex narrative. The Incredibles was not about meaningful dialogue and questions that explored existential dilemmas (at least, not on its face). Similarly, Moon, which was one of the best-acted movies I've seen recently, was not about visual spectacle. The movie-snob tend to forgive such movies because they usually mix in some scraps from each of these factors to combine visual spectacle with some of the more refined ingredients we've come to expect most movies to contain today. The movie-snob would find it much,  much harder to forgive something like Avatar for a simple reason. Avatar was little more than a glorified rollercoaster ride. But what a ride. It was massive fun, on a purely visual level. It managed to achieve one of the primary objectives of the commercial movie (wish-fulfillment) entirely through the visual spectrum. James Cameron achieved what he promised to achieve. He created a visually incredible world and then placed the viewer within that world through the magic of his revolutionary use of 3D. From a technical perspective, that was an amazing achievement. Story, dialogue, complex characterization be damned. This movie was not made as a showcase for any of these things. James Cameron wanted to be the Lumiere Bros of 3D. And if he gets recognition, he should get recognition for little more than this (nevertheless pretty amazing) achievement.*

I suppose the reaction that most moviegoers have to Avatar is the sort of reaction people must have had on watching a Lumiere brothers production in the 1900s. There would have been tons of open-mouthed fascination over... what exacly? People leaving a factory, gardening, babies eating food, a sea bath. There was no reason to feel intellectual guilt on the enjoyment of such things at the time because there was no such thing as a tradition of storytelling through cinema. It was, at the time, a purely technical achievement. The ideas of using characters as visual symbols, adding nuance to dialogue and acting, hell, even creating a story for the purely visual experience to roll on were slowly perfected over the next century and a half, and have now become de rigeur in even the most blatant market-pandering movie that thrown out of modern cinema factories. This may explain why, when a movie is released as nothing more than a showcase of technical talent and such a movie receives massive critical and popular acclaim and gigantic box-office takings , so much intellectual guilt is thrown into its enjoyment. It really shouldn't happen though. And I'm not wasting mine for what I knew, from the start, would be pure visual spectacle. Hell, that's the only reason I watch a movie in the theatre anymore. If I want to appreciate a movie for its storytelling, dialogue, acting or symbology, I'd have better luck pulling it off the net and watching it in the peace and comfort of my home.

* - Of course, there's the Oscar problem, which asks a completely different question. If I had time to waste on this, I would, but I don't, so I wont, except to say that the Oscars have been bullshit for a long, long time and I cannot fathom how a movie which is such blatant visual eye-candy (albeit tasty eye candy) can be nominated for best picture or best direction. With the other categories I have no beef. Film-editing, Art Direction and Cinematography have always been categories which fall somewhere between technical and artistic excellence, and a nomination in those areas is hardly a surprise. Sound-editing, mixing and visual-effects are not (though music is) and I wish Avatar all the luck in the world for a win in those categories.

February 13, 2010

New Net Addiction: Aardvark

Oh man, I have problems now. If you've seen my earlier posts, you may have noticed that I'm a bit interested in the internet. Now I'm getting addicted to Aardvark (recently acquired by Google, by the way). However, this is quite a different addiction from any of my earlier internet opiates (like, the google reader, wikipedia or achewood). This is the first of my addictions where I'm actually required to play an active role in information production/exchange.

Ok, so, some background on that. In my opinion, one of the primary problems of the creative mind is something I call consumption dependency. Most people love consuming movies, books, art, music and random internet humour. In theory, this is supposed to be a good thing because all the amazing stuff we consume is supposed to feed into the amazing stuff we produce. Unfortunately, the problem with the net is that it presents us with a neverending ocean of consumable information. Faced with such a bounty of cool stuff, the mind is numbed into repetitious consumption and no production whatsoever. This is what I call consumption dependency. Aardvark also thrives on consumption dependency to some extent, allowing users to post random queries into its search box like any other search engine. However, the difference is that Aardvark also creates some sort of production outlet, transferring those same questions to other users who have professed (some) knowledge of the field relevant to that question. So if someone were to ask the cold, uncaring internet for their opinion on a Kurt Vonnegut book, they could actually get a reply back from someone who knows something about Kurt Vonnegut (or at least books in general). This actually makes me feel productive while doing nothing more than answering trivia questions. Wonderful! I should quit my job!

Ok, so the other reason Aardvark seems like fun is that it allows you to feel just a little bit like a know-it-all. Need answers on efficient labelling in gmail? Which post-cyberpunk SF novel to read next? Where to get decent dimsums in Chennai? I'm the goddamn Oracle!

So, in conclusion. Illusions of productivity + Delusions of Grandeur = Oh no not another deadly but irresistable waste of internet time. In the context of the evolution of the net, however, this could just be the next big thing.

February 04, 2010

Celebrating the return of the Precipice and musing on MBs

One of my favourite blogs is back again, with fascinating takes on life, literature and much randomness. I made the mistake of leaning over the Precipice into one of the places recommended here, and promptly lost an afternoon in hitherto-undiscovered poetry.
I also end up wasting way too much time commenting on the posts at the Precipice.

So I saw this post today on Indian MBs, the Kama Kahani series, apparently, and as usual, I couldn't help but respond. Before I realised it, what should have been a simple 3-line comment ballooned out of shape into a diatribe, an apt reflection on the distances I must travel before I consider myself an adequate writer. At any rate, I decided to pick up the scraps of my comments and post them over here (another apt reflection on my drive as a writer, the literary equivalent of serving leftovers instead of cooking a fresh meal).

I suppose I should provide you with some context. I'm specifically addressing the last paragraph of the post, which asks if we're making altogether too big a deal about the sexist cliches in MBs when all of television advertising is nothing more than a gigantic universe where scantily clad women lean at awkward angles over compression pumps and stare lustily at camera lenses. I can't help but agree more regarding TV advertising. However, I still think there is a massive difference over being exposed to stereotypes in books and on TV. The primary difference is that TV is a passive choice, where a person is bombarded in the middle of their favourite tv show with jokerfaced smiling Mas doling out kurkure. All this has to be endured by the viewer irrespective of their choice of show, or of its redeeming qualities, if any. A decision to purchase a book, on the other hand, is an active choice, where a person is choosing to put down money (or utilise human capital by loaning a book from a friend). When such books are MBs, however, this decision translates into an active choice to use money (or human capital) towards the ends of consuming formulaic writing about gender stereotypes in luuuurve.* This active decision-making usually implies a greater deal of openness to the ideas within the book, as opposed to the ideas presented on TV ads.** Of course, in the end, there's no denying that an MB is pulp, as is the whole 'Conan the Barbarian' series or the entire genre of noir fiction. But there's also no denying the impact of pulp fiction on our thought processes and our attitudes towards the world and its inhabitants. I could get into a whole other diatribe about this, but I should probably sum up because I'm beginning to lose your attention. Basically, it worries me that smart, progressive women who would rarely (if ever) snivel and give way to simple brute force (whether applied to the body or the mind) are choosing to read about smart progressive women who snivel and give way to charismatic, primal male stereotypes. It almost feels as if this is some sort of dark, repressed fantasy.

Of course, in the end, everyone has their guilty pleasures. Mine is probably reading comic books about anarchist revolutionaries who challenge the status quo.*** In the end, such literature allows the reader the illusion of revolt and non-conformism without all the fuss and muss of actually going out there and changing anything. I still love it though, and I cannot deny myself such escapist pleasures, guilty as they may be.

* - A side rant - I personally find the male stereotypes in the few MBs I have read about as offensive as the female ones. The totemization of physically and mentally aggressive men who believe in and practice force (whether physical or mental) as a means of achieving their ends is a problem that is not merely limited to MBs. In some ways, I believe that it lies at the root of the charisma that surrounds violent people throughout history.

** - A side note - I suppose this wouldn't apply to those people who decide to try out an MB for simple experimentation, or those who have one foisted upon them by a well-meaning friend. That may go without saying, but it was worth clearing up.

*** - More sidey-sidey - Consider V for Vendetta or Grant Morrisson's 'The Invisibles' series. In fact, it was the latter, in a brilliant twist of meta-commentary, which alerted me to this harsh reality, in Vol 2 Issue 13.

January 18, 2010

An Open Letter to DM Theatrics Regarding Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: Please Youtube This!

This is a letter to DM Theatrics, who are planning to put up a production of 2 Gentlemen of Lebowski sometime soon.

from: ViralFish
subject: An Open Letter to DM Theatrics Regarding Two Gentlemen of Lebowski: Please Youtube This!

Ok, this is clearly not a press request. However, its the only contact email I had for the fine gentlepeople who were magnanimous enough to stage a production of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski. Therefore, if you are one of these gentlepeople who are capable of making decisions about this, please consider my proposal. If you are not, and know one of these gentlepeople (whew, political correctness takes more effort to type), please forward this to them. Thank you.


As a follower of the Dude and as an unabashed supporter of the Bard and all Bardly performances, I would so have loved to attend this event. My chagrin at being unable to attend is aggravated by the fact that I was in New York until a few months ago, and have returned recently to my native India. It is in this spirit that I present to you a modest proposal:


You may think there are a thousand reasons why you shouldn't do this but I have presented a brief analysis of those that I can fathom:

1. It will kill demand for seats in the actual theatre

No it wont. Under no circumstances will it do so. Nuh uh. Not a chance.

The Big Lebowski is a movie that has attained cult status (No, I'm not kidding at all, look it up on wikipedia). This means that its fanbase may not encompass the bloated ranks of your average 'Twilight' movie. In fact, to all appearances, its fans may not appear even half as fanatical as your average neo-vampire pseudogoth who applies fake blood on her wrists 'for Edward' every day. However, that is because the followers of the Dude are not fans. They are disciples. They have internalised the Dude in body and spirit.

For every moron who looks at a q-tip and says 'What is this?' there is a Dude waiting to say 'obviously you are not a golfer'.
For every tool who screams out at us: 'The bums lost! The bums will always lose!", there is a Dude who is willing to put his hands up, say 'fuck it' and saunter out with his pick of any rug in the house.
For every bigot, chauvinist, fanatic and fundamentalist, there is a Dude who will stand up to them and say 'That's just, like, your opinion man.'

These people will come. They will prefer to come because, for a follower of the Dude, watching an enactment of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is the same experience as Christmas mass is to a practicing Catholic: You can try to watch it on tv, but thats just not the same as mouthing the lines together, enjoying a feeling of communal brotherhood with your fellow follower or enjoying tasty snacks mid-performance (ok that last one was in bad taste).

They may not try to pay, because, come on man, the Dude didn't teach us to pay (except in the form of dubious checks for sixty nine cents). You may find a few more followers trying to sneak in through backstage than through the front of the theater. You may even find a few people disguised as security men who suddenly attempt to sidle into an extra seat. However, you will fill your seats. And with a few intelligent ushers, I'm sure almost all of them will be paid for. So thats not something you have to worry about.

3. It will be a pain in the ass to do.

Oh come on man, it will not. Now you're just being plain lazy. Which is cool, and very understandable. But if you guys dont have the time and energy to do it, just ask around man. I will bet you that someone will do it, probably for a pretty nominal fee, possibly for free. And it will be worth it, for reasons that I am outlining below.

3. It will kill demand for a video
You may already have plans to record this show and sell it. If you do, I'm sure you'll make some cash. But lets look at this realistically. There's 2 reasons why you may not get to make much cash out of this if youre only going to put out a paid performance.

a. Your audience comprises followers of the Dude. Their preferred means of access to anything is 'free', after which comes 'cheap'. And if there's one other thing a follower of the Dude likes, its sticking it to the man, low risk style. Put these two factors together and for every 1 dvd you sell, there will be 10 Dudes watching a pixellated low-res bootleg video of your show. As a guy who is interested in intellectual property, I can tell you that that's actually not such a bad thing. In this day and age, for every 1 copy of a blockbusterr dvd sold, there's 1 copy being pirated. But pirated copies tend to build demand for the original, and in the long run, can actually feed sales for the original work. (I should probably link to something here but I'm on a roll. Just take my word for it.)

b. However, this model applies well to blockbusters and big-studio productions because they have the cash to publicise this stuff endlessly, so even if 1 million guys pirate their movies, another 1 million have heard enough about them to go buy the original on dvd. However, you guys do not have that luxury. You do not have big budgets and you do not have enough clout to publicise something like this by conventional means.
What you do have is the power of the followers.
The Dude is very much an internet icon, being the sort of person who appeals to people who spend a lot of time giggling-high on something in front of a computer. Put out a youtube clip of 2 Gentlemen, and these people will transmit that information online faster than 2 girls and 1 keyboard cat. After that, you've got eyeballs, which is the biggest currency in the world today, more so, I imagine, for a group of people whose revenues are dependent on people seeing and hearing them perform. Let your imagination run wild.

c. And you can be sure some of these guys will be youtubing this stuff anyway. Sure, you can try as hard as you can to make sure no one takes grainy, horrible, low-res cellphone videos of the show, but in the end, someones going to put that shit on youtube. And I am going to watch it. And feel terrible about the fact that I missed this wonderful performance and all I get is a minute and a half of some nutjob who decided to record the show in the middle of an epileptic fit.

On the other hand, if you put that stuff on youtube yourself, you will have instantaneous coverage. The Dude is beloved all over the world, and if you combine the love of the Dude with the love of the Bard, you have a recipe for viral success! People will watch, and while watching, they may actually love it enough to want to get a DVD of your performance.

Also, a theatrical performance is, by its nature, ephemeral. A moment of beauty, then gone forever, save in the minds of those fortunate enough to witness it. A youtube video is not usually considered beautiful. But it is a record, one that hopefully may be perused by generations after ours, in an effort to understand the creature that was early 21st century man. Please man, leave them with something better to see than '2 Girls 1 Cup'.

You may have reasons other than this, but I just ran out of energy. Let me just end this appeal to your higher (and lower) conscience by imploring you,

in the name of the Dude and the Bard,

to consider and act upon the reasons I have offered.


P.S. I call this an open request because I may post in on my blog, ViralFish. If you are concerned about this, worry not, as the 6 people who follow my blog will agree with me wholeheartedly, while at the same time supporting your noble endeavour 100%.

December 03, 2009


I'm not usually into quotable quotes or suchlike, but this line is probably the one that best expresses my ideas concerning the past decade. Also not sure what the word 'profound' encompasse, but if profundity involves resonating with something at the core of your beliefs, then I guess this statement is pretty profound.

in reference to:

"Terrorism is about magnifying one mediagenic act of violence into one hundred billion acts of terrorized authoritarian idiocy"
- BBC photographer prevented from shooting St Paul's because he might be "al Qaeda operative" Boing Boing (view on Google Sidewiki)