Friday, November 17, 2006

The great gig (in the sky)

One of the reasons I started this blog on a whim was to provide a window to Finland, especially to those who have tacitly suggested that I have been reporting about largely trivial matters on orkut or otherwise. Yes, I can feel the vibes. So, in keeping with tradition, I will dutifully brush aside those vibes and NOT post anything about Scandinavian myths today. If the title of the post misled any (hypothetical, for I am not yet widely read) reader to believe that I chanced upon a dazzling streak of the Aurora Borealis during some overrated H.I.M. concert, then, well, it is a misleading title.

Just to quell all expectations of a concert review right away, I am not posting about the great Maiden gigs which took place on the 14th and 15th, back to back at the Hartwell Arena, Helsinki either. Hell no, fuck that! I am not your nitwit Eastender like Nicko McBrain! McBrain it seems! I half heartedly tried all avenues to get passes or tickets to a sold out gig without avail. But I digress.

And now for something, completely different. Before systems can be broken down to their constituents, buildings demolished, knowledge unlearned or for that matter zaniness deconstructed, they have to be evoked and sustained and spun, thus pervading the far reaches of their respective hyperspaces. What I mean by that for example, is that the wind cannot whisk away an air castle unless the air castle is conjured up in the first place. Hence, this post is about the nature of zaniness itself. I will aim to deconstruct it another time. ``Build, demolish, build'', says the Holy Trinity, ``with eternal recurrence''. ``Demolish, build, demolish''.

Just as a horse has to be led to the waterhole: for it is better than defining water to a horse with a chalk, a blackboard, lone pairs and pi-bonds, so let me try to define zaniness by evoking it. Zaniness (a noun form of zany) is a peculiar type of madness, other-worldliness or fringe-rationality personified by those rare geniuses capable of genuine wit and empathy, whose refinement shines through their childlike earthiness, who simultaneously exhibit a lust and apathy for life. They are those who have downed one too many from the shot-glass of reason, been drunk with it, immortalized in their own right by that transitory high, slept on the pavements of the real (rational?) world, experienced a nauseating hangover and subsequently puked it out of their system. With the fire of reason thus doused, what they are left with is their instincts and their guts (both visceral organs and balls (which are also visceral organs in a socially (un?)sanitized sense. Go figure!)). This purity of living by instinct sooner or later distills into a sweet irrationality, a stream-of-consciousness that knows not and judges not. According to me, this irrationality is in some sense elevated above logical reasoning and Descartes' school of 'thought'. For completeness, I must make some pop culture references. I refer to the likes of Yossarian, Salvador Dali, Monty Python, that protagonist from Notes from Underground (just kidding about this chap, he is a drama queen) and on occassions, an ambivalent loony by name Arjun (bracket inside (or outside) bracket) Krishnan (an inside reference).

However, zaniness is not only about zany people, who's personalities borrow from the adjective just as much as the adjective borrows from their personalities. It can also describe quite well, a time sequence of the subconscious. Dream-like sequences, oft rejected flashes of insight, or zany writings (unlike this piece) or drawings are instances when this element of subconsciousness breaks free to the fore. There are two universal types of irrationalities (independent of culture and other biases) and to use a simple parallel, they could be best described as childlike and childish. To use a bad metaphor however, anybody who has worked with stereograms will recognize that there are the spaced-out and the cross-eyed methods of viewing it, and that the figure leaps out from the ground in the former case, while it sinks below in the latter. If the ground represents a ground state rationality and the figure, a type of irrationality, then you have a neat visual metaphor for the two types of irrationality. (I suggest you view this one spaced-out, it will leap out at you!).

I hope it is apparent to some that I have woven a tight web (with many loose ends) of interleaved contradictions, emergent self parody and meta-emergent insight. There are a number of word tricks too, if you have an eye for detail. For those saner among my honoured readers, with a lower ZQ (Zaniness Quotient), well, I am not in Rome Doug, I am in rush!

Footnote: The great gig in the sky is the brightest side of The Dark Side of the Moon, which got me started on this piece.


tranquility said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tranquility said...

headnote: ' * ' implies a reference -->not necessarily at the bottom of the page!

Disclaimer -- you dont understand me..blame snatch.

and now the Review..
(who grants me the rights? that what u think..well then..fuk u..)

let me be honest.

For all its glory and wont hurt for the blog to be, a little more digestible. How could you forget about the piggy's digestion..Now, do not get derogatory and tell me that the blog aint for a piggy. That me can'st digest it all, hurts me ...etal..(emotions of a piggy).

Needless to say, the blog enters the category of a classic either-or which converts to neither-nor (copyright @varun, unless he stole them, ofcourse he stole them, its just an 'n-prefix' ! ) and for this mystery, I shall treasure it.

Flipside: When you dont get it, you curse it too.
So apart from the classy footnote for a completely different reason,
"I must makes", 3rd para from da bottom, above the zany word, 'Yossarian' a grammatical error.

Noooo....[A 'nooo' in Finland means - thinking about ur reply in reference to an ongoing verbal conversation, but you also exhibit u're thinking.. by saying 'nooooo' an effort at keeping others quite until you have fo those communication tactics between body language and legitimate speaking, (you probably know about it..and use it..even if u dont understand the explanation)]* prescribe a test for the blog..just to separate the piggy's and them be responsible for their actions : reading this blog.

Let me suggest a name; Zensa (root word - mensa (root word a proper noun?..ofcourse, dont u get it-- root of the root..somewhere down the line has to be a non sensical word, a proper noun!))*

*notice the use of double brackets

Now, what do I know about diamonds?
(its a rhetorical question)

Oh! and if you were reading me...sorry for wasting ur time..smarty pants....
but isnt that what blogs are supposed to do..
' fuk u '.. is that what ur thinking....well then... love u too..
coz u know wat..u dont wanna get fukd by me!

Pavan said...

Hehehe, nice retort Amit! Thanks! I will fix the typo. I will not be derogatory at all. After all, piggies can go through bone like butter...

Yossarian was a fictional character from Catch-22 who captured my imagination as one of the maddest guys I have read about.

Nice observation that 'noooo' falls in between verbal and non verbal communication. Zensa is also a very zany suggestion - but the type of intelligence I associate with Mensa is too proverbial and worldly to qualify as zany or madcap!

As for the test, maybe I will make another post about 'How not to read this blog'!

tranquility said...

i really believe that i dint read ur post in the best of moods..
its beyond the normal me..
I do think there is a distinctive style to ur writing and it was so nice for a neuveu blogger that the only error was a typo..all d zenized..

dor said...

keewl man.. n i concur..
make it more digestible..
n do put in some masala as well.. de indian scandinavian hottie etc..lolz

Lkozma said...

If zaniness refers also to understanding the workings of the whole without bothering to deconstruct it into pieces, a flash of clairvoyance, in which all things reveal their hidden side, one part rational thinking, two parts mysticism, then the ultimate zany is Ramanujan

LKozma said...

"This purity of living by instinct sooner or later distills into a sweet irrationality, a stream-of-consciousness that knows not and judges not."

Is Zaniness = Lightness ?

I'd like to use this opportunity to recommend Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, as one of the most philosophical and entertaining (erotic) books ever :) it also explains Kitsch...

Pavan said...


I think you are very close to understanding what I wished to express. To put it simply, zaniness is any sort of deviance from mechanistic logical reasoning that can expose it's limitations, thus rising above it. (This is one type of deviance. The other type of deviance would be childishness, one which fails to exploit the advantages of rationality!) Ramanujan certainly fits the bill, though I suspect there is more than requisite mysticism attributed to him by virtue of his Indianness :)

Pavan said...


Again, spot on! By being rational, one is bound by a set of rules of logic, so to speak, and this weighs one down with responsibility. By contrast, zaniness emancipates you from this structure of thought, thus in a way equating to Kundera's lightness (courtesy of the wiki page).

Btw, I started reading this book once last year, but it was at a point when I had just read a book each of Sartre, Camus, Kafka and Hesse! So, I decided to space out my 'weighty' readings about 'lightness' and returned it :)

Pavan said...

Ikozma, 2 more things!

1. It just struck me that I can coin two neologisms for the two types of irrationalities I have suggested - sub-rational and super-rational. Kind of like sub and super Gaussian (which is thought to be an ultimate distribution that can achieve a lot of cool things)in statistics!

2. I wonder why the idea of eternal recurrence is attributed to Nietzsche. See this:

Akasuna no Sasori said...

Put something abt finland for god's sake. You keep leading to something descriptove and jerk away at the last minute

Mayur said...

Touche Bro...I concur...The Experience Machine Types....or Jimi Hendrix- The Experience :D....Good for a quasi-definition, so to speak

Nidhi Rao said...

HIM not H.I.M. AND they're not underrated, little left out because of the PMMPs and all but still.

More to the point, I found close to a billion bracket errors but maybe it's essential to zany nirvana (?)