Thursday, February 16, 2006
This is a very quick and quarky read; a bit contrived, albeit humorous. The book follows Antoine, a 25 year old intellectual Parisian, in his search for infinite bliss through attempts at dumbing down his brain. In the beginning of the book, I laughed aloud at some of his feeble attempts to stupify. By the middle of the book, How I Became Stupid turns into a brutal social commentary on the definition of happiness, and how people go about achieving that goal. I would not say this is the funniest thing I have read, nor would I call it a masterpiece (it has the potential of Confederacy of Dunces , yet falls way short of the mark), yet I did find some sort of comic relief. I'm just not quite sure at whose expense I was laughing. People who like Catcher In The Rye (which I do consider a classic) will most likely be amused.
Bhajananandi is one of my favorite new musical finds. The vocals, provided by Arjun of Arjun and Guardians (see below), are as haunting as they are beautiful and sincere. Bhajananandi's music is devotional chanting at it's very bare-bones/grass roots best, with vocals, harmonium, tablas, and the occasional acoustic guitar producing a mix of heavenly melodic bhajans. I would recommend Bhajananandi's Vol 2&3 CD to anyone who loves music, devotional or otherwise. People who like Krishna Das and Jai Uttal will appreciate Bhajananandi.
(Click on the above link for a terrific bio on Arjun and Guardians.)