Button’s Mechanics and Schumi rants

Guest Blog – Prabhu Krishnamurthy

The year 2004 has seen Michael Schumacher notch up 11 victories out of 12 races. It is thrilling and wonderful for a schumi fan, but at same time it shows how Ferrari as a team work. In the words of STAR-Sports commentator Dont get bored by this season. You are watching a phenomenon, which you can cherish some years later. That sums it all. I will write separately on Schumi sometime later.

Behind Schumi its all happening. First came the news of Ralf joining Toyota, then Webber joining Williams, Fisichella joining Renault and now the startiling move of Jenson Button to BMW. No clue about what DC and Trulli are upto.

Next years possible line ups –

MS & Rubens– Ferrari
Webber & Button(hopefully no legal action)- BMW Williams
Kimi & Montoya – McLaren
Ralf & Trulli (thats what the rumor mill says)-Toyota
Sato (Thanks to Honda) & DC or Anothony Davidson or even Mika Hakkinen – BAR Honda.
Alonso & Fisichella – Renault.

If Williams and Mclaren up their pace, then next season will be one of the best ones in F1. And new regulations will be in place as well. Though I disagree on that. What F1 needs is more tracks where overtaking is possible.

If you leave Michael apart, the other places are very closely raced. Rubens, Button, Alonso, Trulli have been competing with each other and it is a thrill to watch. FIA should accept that the other drivers are not in the league of Michael before changing the rules. If Michael had retired at the end of 2002, the season we are watching right now would have been the best. Initially only McLaren and Williams were competing with Ferrari. Now it is a pleasant sight to watch Renault and BAR-Honda upping their pace. And by changing the rules, they are playing into the hands of Ferrari and Michael. Now they are saying 1 engine for 2 races. No prizes for guessing which team has the most reliable engine 🙂

Last, I always thought Button as the gentleman of Formula 1. He shows his aggression and competiveness only on racing track. The way he moved to BMW ditching BAR would definitely alienate many fans from him. 2 years back when Renault dumped Button it was Dave Richards and BAR-Honda who lend him a helping hand. If Button is what he is today, it is mainly because of Dave Richards and BAR-Honda. Things could have been done in a better way.

I fail to understand how Button’s mechanics and Button himself would be motivated for the rest of the season!!!

A tale of two Flip-flops

Guest Blog #27 – Anand C

flipflop.jpg
OK, we’ve all heard this one. John Kerry is a flip-flopper

Hardly!

Here’s the “glass is half-full” view – This is not the first war he has flip-flopped on. He fought the Vietnam war and then fought against it (by testifying in front of the Senate). As independents say, he passed with flying colors the two biggest character tests for any American in his generation!

The “glass is half-empty” view – Whatever the war is, he has reserved the right to change his opinion based on the facts. He’s consistent about that. That’s better than what has now become a joke on late night TV – unchanged stands on WMDs, “Mission Accomplished”, and the connection between Sept 11 and Saddam.

Either way, the Republicans are left with a “There is no gold in the wall!” argument (a la the old joke), one that could be toppled in terms of “Aha!” value only by their ability to convince Americans with it!

Glass-bangles Vinayaka (OR) Beauty is skin deep?

Guest Blog #26 – Anand C

Two films that make the cut as ones I recommend to friends who want to watch “good” tamil movies (apart from the usual suspects) are Pudhiya Padhai and HouseFull. To me, both are fresh even today. However, not many people appreciate the recommendations. Their main peeve: could not tolerate the hero’s (R Parthiban) face!

Parthiban is definitely not the only actor to receive this treatment… this piece from a recent interview with him (mainly discussing Kudaikkul Mazhai) caught my eye:

I was once invited to the first birthday party of my friend’s baby. I had only a 50-paise coin with me. How does one buy a gift with 50-paise?

An idea dawned on me. I bought four glass bangles and broke them into pieces. With the carved broken pieces, I created a Vinayaka. Then, I wrapped the gift beautifully and presented it in style. When I visited them next, I saw my Vinayaka prominently displayed in the front room.

My eyes turned moist with joy. When you put your heart and soul into any creation, it will surely bring joy to all. I apply the same logic in my movies too.

The sincerity of his conviction to be different definitely hit home…

Acceptance of Nana Patekar and the recent recognition of Om Puri (with an OBE) notwithstanding, one wonders if we still live in a world where beauty is skin deep, and those who aren’t fortunate enough to be fair-skinned get step-child treatment…

Joy of getting something unexpected…

It’s awesome to get little surprises when you least expect them…listening to an NPR interview with Matt Damon, and watching Catch-22 with the Director’s commentary qualify as two of that kind.

A large part of Matt Damon’s interview focussed on the little things behind the Good Will Hunting screenplay (and how he got one of his few ‘A’s at Harvard writing a play which led to GWH…). Piece of trivia – the one scene which stayed in the film (when it was adapted from the play) was the one in which Hunting describes the impressionist, color-by-numbers painting in his psychologist’s office.

Catch-22’s director commentary features Steven Soderbergh. What’s funny is that he has nothing to do with the film, but makes up for the technical stupidity of the director, Mike Nichols. Classic moment – Mike forgets the technical name for the introductory shot in the film, one worth watching… (and Steven Sob reminds him – a “time-lapse” shot).

Steven’s days are being counted too – Ocean’s 11, 12…13 (now that Bruce Willis has signed up)… and still counting!