Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson dead

He will thrill his fans no more
One of the most successful entertainer of American pop cultureshot to fame in the early 1980s with his album Thriller. More than his music it was his famous moonwalk that got him a fan following in India. Every kid in the metros of the country got hooked on to 'Just Beat it' and 'It was a thriller night', songs from his album, Thriller.
His dance performance led to the start of group dance to the step of drum beats so popular in Indian movies now.
Five of Michael Jackson's solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and History (1995).
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and the sales of over 750 million albums worldwide. Cited as one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An elephantine problem

With just around 25,000 elephants left in the world, the protection of this gentle creature has become all the more important.
However, the animal continues to be trapped and killed for statisfying man's unending demand for ivory and even ritualistic purpose.
Even as he loves the animal, elephants continue to die all across the state either from ill treatment by the mahouts or as happened in the case of Kottarakkara Krishnankutty, which died on Sunday, because of neglect by the owners, in this case the Travancore Dewsom Board.
During the festival season in Kerala, all temples take out processions of elephants with the main diety throught the length of the land they are situated in. And it also happens to the season when most of the male elephants are in mustch.
On one occassion while travelling from Thrissur to Guruvayoor, this writer counted 14 elephants being marched to various temples on one sunny day four years ago. Much recently, there have been at least 12 cases of elephants running out control and causing extensive damages before they were shot and later died.
Elephants are not supposed to be taken from one place to another by walk through the hot tarred roads. They have to be transported in lorries with adequate barricades. But these regulations are observered more in the breach. There have been cases of elephants falling off such lorries and hurting themslves. In one recent case a vehicle rammed into an elephant while it was being taken to the owners house. The accident turned fatal with the animal dying a week later despite best efforts by doctors. It's hind legs were damaged and could not stand up. Later a crane was used to help it stand but the efforts failed.
Even as I acknowledge that the Thrissur Pooram would be incomplete with the customary 30 elephants, do you think that elephant god Ganesha would be happy with such wanton ill-treatment of this beautiful creature?
As much as I am for contining with the customs and rituals that are unique to God's Own Country (because I love the colour and splendour of all those festivals even though many may think it is very feudal) I hate this ill-treatment meted out to this magnificient creature.
Even though selling and buying of this animal is banned under law this continues unhindered. The elephant lovers of this land should voice their protest against this continuing apathy towards this animal. All wild animals belong to the wilderness and we have no right to capture it and domesticate it.
Where are those people for ethical treatment of animals? Are they only against the use of leather and fur?
Despite warnings by elephants lovers and enacting of numerous acts for the protection of wild life, elephants continue to be ill-treated.