Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Navratri and why I need new friends

editor's note: the following is another random ethnic rambling, if you want to be properly entertained please skip down to my next posting

I think I need new friends. I've come to this conclusion after I suggested to some of them (Indian ones) that I really wanna go for Navratri this year and no one else did. Navratri is a Hindu holiday which basically celebrates three goddesses. Aside from the religious aspect, it basically is a time of a lot of dancing and whatnot. The particular forms of dance are garba (women basically dancing in a circle with a little bit of flair) and dandiya (sticks) where people use smack little short sticks with rotating partners. All in all it's good clean fun. So to wrap up this quick Hindu 101, this festival happens around the end of September/ early October each year.

If you're in a place with a decent sized Indian community like home in LA, Chicago, or Jersey (aka Little Gujarat) there will be massive dances held for 2 or 3 weekends at this time in high school gyms or some hall. On a side note the Jersey ones are nutso from my personal experience. The one time I went felt like it was a scene out of the Playaz Club from the Chapelle Show. While my friends and I dressed up a little ethnic for the occasion, we basically walked into the Timberland showroom. Every thugged out desi from here to Pennsylvania was in the hizzo.

The whole thing was a bit surreal actually because I couldn't help but feel that all these kids had lost their roots. I mean what happened to these kids. I'm sure they were sweet little kids wearing Payless shoes like I was (Indian parents, much like the Fresh Prince's mom, live by the line "you're only 16 you don't have a rep yet") and now they're like hoodlums. What the hell is going on?

But this is the funny thing, at the end of the day, these kids are still attending a garba. So it's like despite the facade they're the fact that they're there is all that counts. And if you want to discount the fact that maybe most of the guys were there to see girls....well you can't really blame them, they're not so different from me.

As a little kid garbas in general were pretty cool because these were literally the first dances I ever attended. I know this is going to come to a shock to a lot of you, but I really wasn't as "cool" or "hip" as you would think I was. As I got older I sorta lost touch with it the garba scene a bit when I went to high school and college. But now I wanna go more than ever and no one wants to go with me. It is for this reason that I think I need new friends. Alas when I just want to express myself through the art of dance, I am sadly lacking in a company. Can't a man dance when he wants to dance? Is that too much to ask? Upon being painfully rejected, I told several of my friends that I need new ones.

I was hoping that they would take the criticism constructively and try to work at being better people, not just towards me but for all of humanity. Moreover I was hoping that at least one of them would realize that the quick way to appease me would be to just go for Navratri. Sadly no one got the hint. On the contrary, along with a few of them practicing desi nomenclature by calling me a tatti, they were quick to offer up possible locations to find new friends. Furthermore several of them asked if they would be relieved of friendship duties if I were to find new friends

The problem is that no matter how old you get, there is a sacred rule that can never be violated: You can't go to a dance alone. That's just a faux pas of the highest order.

So if you wanna dance, please to be telling me. Horn ok please. Dance partners wanted.

Monday, September 25, 2006

honk dammit

Sunday, September 24, 2006

in-store appearance: Today!

I will be appearing at the Astor Place Starbucks today from roughly 1-1:30pm. I will be available to sign autographs and make general conversation.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

my jealous barber

I think my barber is jealous of me. The barber dude at the haircut place in the mall that I always go to definitely is losing lots of hair. To say that he is highly lacking would be an understatement. He's definitely in hair denial. However being that he is in the hair grooming industry he of course had his remaining hair immaculately groomed.

Enter Hero (me) stage right.

The problem with me is that I'm personally a little concerned about my hair-Achilles-heal. My hair-Achilles-heal is the spot on my head that I'm a little concerned about because it may be thinning. I'm not sure if it's become more or less thin in the last 5 years but I've at least become more paranoid about it.

Unlike most people I really have two hair cut styles that I switch between my super short one and the tad longer one. The short cut is a good summer look. It's looks nice and clean, and is rather aerodynamic. The longer one is a good winter look and I recommend people really give it a shot. Well, if I'm in my winter mode look I don't really like the back end of the top of my head cut. Well not too much anyways.

Unfortunately I have the jealous barber. Now to be clear I think you all can see where this whole story is going. When you see a partially visible shark fin surrounding a screaming man in the sea you don't have to see the man chewed to get the punch line. When you see an evil man walking directly underneath a crane holding a container full of molten lava you don't need to see the dude melted on the screen in an oozy mess to get the gist of that story. When you see a peaceful clown walking by a group of children you don't need to see the clown get shot in the face and then have a swam of rabid bees chase him down the street until he get tripped up by a series of tennis balls that happened to be rolling down the street. That being said I'm still gonna tell the story

The question that you all have that I'm going to answer first is "Clearly this whole nonsensical story is not going to end super pleasantly or at least you'll make some sorta weird point at the end to keep this whole posting sorta funny yet mildly poignant tale, BUT why do you go to this supposed jealous barber anyways?" And this is my answer: I don't. I go to the same mall barbershop and I get assigned to a barber based on who's available. I could make an appointment but that would require effort. Moreover I like the concept of being the "regular" at my barbershop. As a kid growing up I used to really wish I could have a regular store/restaurant/place of commerce like on "Cheers" where everyone knows me by my first name. I thought I had potential with the pancake place down the street but that requires a lot of pancake consumption. So instead I went with the barbershop, so there. Are you happy now? So basically I rotate between three or four barbers. Occasionally there's a new person, but they don't usually last too long because they either can't handle the heat or they develop careers.

Okay, back to my story. Well seeing that winter is coming I went with the long haircut style. I specifically told the barber to just cut the front a little bit, taper back the end, clean up my sideburns, and then to disappear into the night. I specifically told him "don't cut the back top, it's fine." As if on cue, after making a few opening moves on the front of my hair, characterized by a lot of snipping noises, he proceeds to cut the back of the top of my head....which if you're keeping track is exactly what I did not want him to do. On a side note I think a lot of the work with the traditional scissors (i.e. not the electro razor) is done merely for the show. I don't think he really cuts my hair most of the time. But either way, I like the noise. It's a good warm-up for the real meat and potatoes of the event, trimming your hair with the electro razor. Although one thing I truly hate is when they ask you technical questions, like "How close of a cut do you want it, level 1, 2,3?" Um, I dunno, you're the barber here, you tell me.

Anyhoo, but I digress again. The guy starts to cut my hair-Achilles-heal almost right away and I saw him smirk. Well I'm not sure if he smirked but he seemed pleased at his actions. This I know. This I will vouch for in a court of law. Meanwhile I'm thinking "that SOB just cut my hair" and since unlike my mom I don't have eyes on the back of my head, I can't see how big or little it is. All of this of course culminates to the end when they spin you around in their little magical chair, show place a hand mirror at all sorta of weird angles so that you view it portions of you head you didn't even know you possessed through the reflection of your vision from the main mirror via the hand mirror, and ask "so how is it?" and like an idiot I always say "it's great!" The fact is that even if I didn't like it, there's very little the barber can do. More often than not a mistake comes from cutting too much hair versus too little. I've never heard of anyone complaining too much over having too much hair. When you get too much hair cut there's little anyone can do. It's sorta like watching a can of Coke that was accidentally placed in the freezer too long in order to cool it and instead explodes. There's simply nothing you can do.

All of this leads me to believe my barber is jealous of my hair, because my hair situation is better than his. I'm not saying I have good hair. C'mon, I'm not that vain. I don't live in Chelsea. I'm just saying that I have more of it than he does.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

subway jerks

One bizarro thing that's happened to me as I've gotten older and worked more and more is that I find myself pleasantly tolerant of big problems and hopelessly annoyed at small things. As such the NY subway gives ample opportunities to be pissed off at many things. In a city where the concept of personal space is a pipedream, the trains take it to the illogical extreme. I've already waxed poetic enough about trains before ("on the #4 train," August 1, 2006) so I'll keep today's list of annoyances short. Sure I've been ticked off about people who try to get on the train before I can get off, or random Indian people who like to unapologetically stare at me, but what I'm about to say takes the cake.

More often than not, a train ride means that you're gonna be standing up for some duration of your journey and more often than not you're holding on to a pole or handle in front of someone who's sitting down. This in a vacuum is rather funny if you think about it because you're basically standing with your pelvis in complete strangers face for several stops. This may be enjoyable for some readers out there. In fact for some of you out there this may be a normal weekend occurrence, but not I said the fly. But I digress. It seems to me that as a person who is paying the same amount as a sitting passenger, I'm getting the short end of the stick. But do not fret, I'm not one to complain, after all first come first serve. Besides, we Standers are a proud and noble motley crew. Just because we started our train journey in the middle of a line's route and cannot get a seat doesn't mean we abandon public transportation altogether. Au contraire bonjour we relish our time to stand. I would rather be a Stander over a Sitter any day. Unless of course there is a seat available that is not next to a smelly man.

What I cannot stand is that when the train starts approaching a Sitter's stop, they feel the need to stand up and try to move to the door while I'm still standing there. It's as if somehow they have a right to take your spot. The worst part is that if you don't move they sorta get pissed as if you're depriving them of them exalted Sitter's Status. Well fuck you I say. Little do most of them seem to realize also that I can't easily move aside because (a) there is no place for me to go, and (b) I'm trying to hold onto a pole or handle so I don't fall down in the train...because unlike them I have to keep my balance instead of just sitting on my ass like they are. By virtue of the fact that I'm standing in line, I'm ahead of them and they should wait to get out behind me. If I don't get off well it makes it easier for everyone if they just waited for the train to stop.

If all of this sounds like I'm terribly worked up over the lack of a simple common courtesy then it's true. Little things annoy me. I can live with the fact that my microwave I had bought from Sears had a small crack in it potentially spewing radiation into my kitchen on a daily basis, but making me prematurely move aside on a train is going too far.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

leave your favorite movie at the beep

Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a pretty swell guy. Smashingly handsome too and nice to hang out with in general. But that's neither here nor there. In any case for whatever reason on my cellphone voicemail I've always wondered why people still say "Hi, this is so-and-so, please leave your name and messange after the beep and I'll call you back. Thank you" No offense but this is 2006. If you don't understand the concept of voicemail or even an answering machine by now, there is a pretty good chance that you don't know how to make a phone call to begin with.

I mean honestly, is there really someone who listens to the message and thinks "My God, there's this voice that is talking that sounds like my friend, but it's just a recording! What should I do?!!? oh wait he/she/it has been kind enough to instruct me during this moment of crisis, phew."

It is with that thought process that I sorta have a goofy voicemail. For whatever reason over the last 3 months I've kept the same one, where I simply ask callers to "Leave your favorite movie name after the beep." Along with hearing the responses of people I know, the best part is when random people call up and answer the question. At least they do listen to the message. It's pretty bizarro to hear the range of selections. Thus it is through this highly scientific sampling that I present to you the favorite movies of random people:

1. Tow Truck Guy who dragged my car out of a ditch and was calling to see where I was - "Tombstone"

2. Dad - "
The Party"

3. Tina, the Acura Service Lady - "The Sound of Music"

4. "Shawn," the Citibank call-center dude from Bangalore - "

5. Dad - "
Padosan" (how dad can state two different favorite movies is beyond me, maybe he just changed his mind but it's symbolic of the many mixed messages I received as a child growing up)

6. Tara, the wrong number lady - "

7. Katy - "Braveheart" (how many girls will name this as their favorite movie?")

8. Guy from the restaurant
Turkish Kitchen confirming my dinner reservation - "Die Hard"

9. "Rebecca," the Citibank call-center girl from Bangalore - "
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai"

10. A-1 Taxi, calling to confirm that my car is downstairs - "Scarface"

11. Girl from Sears calling me back about my picture appointment (for my passport photo) - "Purple Rain"

DJ Shakes_2006-09-19 (west coast represent)

theme: west coast represent

Okay with my 10 year high school reunion around the corner I'm getting back to my music roots and mixing west coast hippity hop. Music sounds the best in a car and I think you can't go wrong with this mix. Alright enough of me giving props to myself. Interesting sidenotes, while the Digital Underground song is goofy, most people don't know that Tupac actually got his break by beign a roadie and dancer in the group. If you ever get a chance to watch the video, you can see a young Tupac making his video debut....

T R A C K L I S T I N G (approx 69min)
[0:00] Intro - Me
[0:53] Tupac - Keep Ya Head Up
[4:08] Snoop Dogg - Gin & Juice
[7:39] Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
[11:22] Warren G - I Want It All
[14:40] Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
[16:01] Dr. Dre - Forget About Dre
[17:09] Paul Van Dyk vs Dr. Dre - Forget About An Angel
[19:45] Too Short - Playaz Holiday (feat. Mac Mall & Ant Banks)
[24:40] NWA - Always Something
[28:07] Geto Boys - My Mind Playin' Tricks On Me
[32:44] Dr. Dre - Keep Their Heads Ringing
[36:58] Nate Dogg & Warren G - Regulate
[39:40] Tupac - How Do You Want It?
[43:47] Pharcyde - Passing Me By
[46:15] Jurassic 5 - Jayou
[48:52] Xzibit - Bitch Please (feat. Snoop)
[52:45] Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - The Crossroads
[56:16] The Game - Westside Story
[59:57] N2Deep - Back To The Hotel
[64:33] Notorious BIG - Goin' Back To Cali

Okay so the Biggie song at the end isn't really by someone from the west coast, but it's about caliente Cali, and that's all that counts...

DIRECTIONS: Right mouse click on the tracklisting above to save the entire mix (mp3) directly or Podcast Me! Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the top left of this page into your iTunes. Or:
  1. goto iTunes
  2. click on Advanced
  3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
  4. paste this URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/EngineEngine9

Sunday, September 17, 2006

meeting people is not easy/ caste no bar/ growing up Indian

Radiohead was wrong. Meeting people is not easy.

Being Indian can be hard, especially if you're growing up in America. You sorta feel burdened with maintaining expectations that the rest of your family doesn't have to worry about because by virtue of not living in India you have to preserve your culture in every way possible. This manifests itself strongest when it comes to meeting people...and no I'm not just talking about dating here.

As a kid growing you start understanding that contary to popular belief by non-Indians, the concept of arranged marriage is really antiqueted and invariably what you're really going to be brought through is a system of arranged meetings. Now I personally have no problem with this because frankly any help that I can get in meeting people is only a plus.

Having a job means that basically I have no means of meeting someone from Monday through Friday. Also, by virture of being me, I usually am a loner on one day of the weekend (Sunday) and Fridays nights are usually reserved for dinners and a movie or something. So basically it boils down to me having about 12 hours, from Saturday afternoon to Saturday night. Every hour that I decide to stay at home instead of going out cuts into my weekly meeting-people-time by 8.3%.

Thus help is good, in theory.

The problem that I'm realizing is that in practice the whole thing can seem rather suffocating...and I'm just a guy, it's definitely worse for girls. Getting told by your parents that somebody else's parents want to see you is a bit odd. To be fair the whole thing must be odd on my parents too. The odder thing is actually speaking to people. It's like trying to ask someone what the weather is like in the middle of a thunderstorm. While you're supposed to go through pleasantries to get to know the person, everyone is painfully aware of the serious backdrop under which this conversation is taking place to begin with. The goal isn't to just make friends.

While sorting shit out with someone is stressful, to say the least, I think the tipping point is having your parents ask "so how is it going? do you like the person? what did you talk about?" The endless questions are enough to make you wanna lash out or vomit. Whichever comes first. It's like I never asked to be put in this situation and now I have to deal with the pressure of providing play-by-play. If you're a bit of an introvert about your personal life to begin with, it's a little hard to say the least.

Having said that, allow me to back up. Being Indian means that you have been conditioned to grow up in a world of contradictions.

On one hand you're always told by your parents to branch out and being active, yet on the otherhand you're scolded for not spending enough time with your family. On one hand your parents brag up about our rich musical & artistic culture, and yet on the otherhand most kids are pressured to dismiss left-brained aspirations and pursue the academic. On one hand our parents will talk about how American families are not as strong and close as Indian ones, and yet on the other hand I've seen more than my share of jacked up Indian families.

I mention this digression for a reason. If I were to date an Indian person and bring them home, I think my parents would be happy enough that they were Indian and the rest of their approval or disapproval would mainly fall on their personal merits. But in the arranged meeting system, I feel like candidates are screened based on what part of Indian they're from (North? East?), if their family seems good, horoscopes, etc etc etc. But why should a person have to meet a completely different set of criteria solely because of where they were found? All of this is very nauseating because while it is entirely probably that their filtration system and mine may yield the same final person, I simply don't have the same order of priority as they do. It's almost as if the arranged meeting system fails to consider the most important question first: is the person a nice person? If they are, then you can move on and answer the rest of the questions.

As such when I get intros from my folks about people and I hear their analysis ("They're from a state far away from ours in India...those people are not fun....and these people are cheats") I find myself awkwardly in the position of defending people I don't even know from random stereotypes. The whole thing is a bit confusing especially when you have arguments with your parents about strangers you're not even interested in. I don't really see what the big deal is in getting excited over these things if you discover you don't really wanna be with the person anyways? Can't all the parents just give some breathing space? It would be easiest to just shut up and not be vocal about asserting the freedom of my own volition in the whole process. Or put more bluntly, you gotta pick your battles with the 'Rents. But that's not the point I think. If you aren't vocal about it at each and every turn you're just delaying a bigger blowup later on.

At the end of the day no person is going to be pressured upon me. But at some point amidst the growing pressure of going through all this bakwas I find myself thinking things I haven't really thought since high school. I wish I could just be like all the other kids. If you're a kid growing up in India, you encounter a prospective candidate pool from the moment you leave your front door in the morning until the moment you fall asleep. You don't have to really work at meeting people. If you're like me, growing up here, virtually 99% of the people you meet would not be acceptable. Also let me remind you, I know this is hard to believe, but it wasn't exactly cool to be an Indian kid either.

Some people read my writings and are left thinking "here he goes again, bashing the idea of being Indian, what a bakri chod." But I'm not bashing (or a bakri chod), I couldn't be prouder. It's the fact that you're willing to carry the extra burden of living up to expectations which should prove it. I don't have the luxury of simply waking up in the morning to be Indian, as people in the motherland have, by virtue of living here I have to be proactive in being Indian.

That shit is hard.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

high five!

Everyday I try to write something witty and/or insightful for you the reader to observe and more often than not it changes your world. This is my opinion and a fact. As such it is in my humble opinion that the new Ali G movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" is going to be the greatest film in the history of motion picture. Um, next to Back to the Future II.

While the movie isn't out yet (it's been pre-screened to great reviews) the pure brilliant basis for this grandiose statement is that the current publicity campaign is fantastic. For example, this is an except of a description of Sasha Cohen's arrival, in character, at the Toronto Film Festival, "Borat arrived at the screening in a mule cart dragged by four peasant women." Can you imagine this scene at the Oscars? There, I said it. Imagine it. Go on now, it's not hard. Imagining is free.

Canada.com reports that with the impending mainstream release of the film, the government of Kazakhstan is considering buying ad time in the U.S. to educate Americans about the "real Kazakhstan." Borat's response, he says he "fully supports my government's decision to sue this Jew." Which is bizarrely funny since Sasha Cohen himself was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family.

If all of this sounds too funny, then it is. The funny thing is that being brown I think I should be having a bit more sensitivity to the whole thing. Being Kazakhstani and having people think you're weirdly backwards sucks. It is akin to growing up listening to messed up portrayals of Indians on TV and in movies. How many times were you asked by kids at school whether Indians really eat monkey brains after seeing Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom?

...and yet....

How can you not laugh to a guy who defends Kazakhstan as being modern by stating "Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world. Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats and age of consent has been raised to eight years old." This my friends, is comedic genious.

The movie opens on November 3rd...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

fer shizzle my nizzle, work it out on the floor

People often stop me on the street and say "Hey, you, you're a nice person. I like your blog. It's good. It's got the soul of the street yet sophisticated and refined like fine wine. But I want to see more robots. Robots that dance."

Well thank you, I appreciate it. But if robots you want, then it's robots you need. Bitches.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friday, September 8, 2006

elevators & how people are like dogs

Why is it that everytime you're waiting for an elevator people feel the need to press the elevator button even if it's already pressed? It's sorta like dogs marking their territory, and pressing the button is akin to peeing. People feel like somehow by pressing the button they are announcing their arrival into the elevator lobby and are showing that they too need to change floors. This current floor that we're all standing on is beat, let's blow this joint and find a new floor. For some reason if I'm the only person standing there and they still feel the need to press the button I feel weirdly insulted. What's the matter, is my act of pressing not good enough? Bakri chods.

Some people will really act like jerks because they'll do the quick double button press. You know, similiar to crosswalks, it's not like the elevators are responsive to frantic pressings. You're not going to be changing floors any quicker by pressing it like a spastic.

Elevators in general make me think of two stories in my life. However for the sake of brevity I shall only tell one of you today. I know this will keep you in suspense as you can only imagine what the other story might be. Well in any case come along with me while we explore my wild and crazy life, together:
One of the boringest jobs in the world must be the role of the elevator man. In India where every job can use the extra help of two more people (try going to any store and you'll see what I mean) most office buildings have an elevator dude. A couple of years ago in Bombay a bunch of the guys were protesting the fact that they weren't getting paid enough or something...so they threatened to boycott their posts inside the elevator. Lo and behold push finally came to shove and they didn't show up to work. This may have been the most ill conceived walkout in worker history because no one really noticed. In fact it was a lot better having one less person in the elevator.
Space is good. Remember that children.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

everywhere I look....

... I see Chipotle.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

A.D.D. & music fit enough for your ears

My cousin was talking the other about Attention Deficit Disorder and my first reaction was "wait, doesn't everybody have A.D.D. ?" I mean I was listening to my iPod the other day and it struck me that I rarely listen to more than 45 seconds of a song anymore. It's sorta like I listen to a song until it hits the big chorus or so and blammo, I want to hear the next song. It's like wanting to get a music high and you want to cut out all the boring parts.

This phenomena isn't new with music at all. In fact the idea of having short songs that are to-the-point is sorta the roots from which pop music was born in the late 50s and 60s. Make a short song sub-3-minute song that is suited for radio play (because you are able to play it frequently per hour) and you've got the technical specifications for making a hit. The advent of the CD is sorta what screwed quality music up because people had a lot more time to play with than the usual double side vinyl and as such albums and songs got longer. Hip hop takes it to a bit of an extreme by often times adding skits and whatnot which with rare exception (De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising") just dilutes the whole album. On a different note hip hop as of late is sorta becoming overly disposeable. You take a single, listen to it excessively for 3-4 weeks, and throw it out. Shit don't sound timeless no more.

Furthermore it seems like there just aren't very many albums that you can listen from beginning to end without any compulsion to skip forward or change the album. It is on that note that two recent albums standout as being absolute gems from front to back, one folk, one hip-hop:

Ray LaMontagne, "Til The Sun Turns Black."
It's funny that often times I listen to the oldies radio station (which for some reason always seems to be between 100.1 to 101.9 FM in like every city) and think that it stinks there just aren't simple songs like there used to be. The fact of the matter is that that is abolutely wrong. This is the sorta album that you can just put on in your living room and listen to the whole thing. Moreover at just over 45 minutes it's in a digestible size.

The Roots, "Game Theory." This may be the best album hip hop album of the year so far. One of my top 3 to 4 hip-hop groups/artists (Common, Mos Def, are on the shortlist) this is CD is not so much a collection of songs but rather one music piece. The sound is darker and a bit more sinister than their previous albums but it works. At the risk of restating the same concept over and over ad nauseum, while there are defintitely standout tracks the sum of the parts is greater than the songs standing alone.

Around the corner in a few weeks is a new Mos Def album and I think Common too...

Monday, September 4, 2006

If you were your own Roger Hargreaves character....

In the past I've mentioned that using stereotypes is a useful way of getting to know someone in a quick period of time. Furthermore more often than not, it's perfectly correct.

However people often say to me "Hey Shakes, I like you. You're a good, honest, decent young man. What are some other good ways of quickly formulating character sketches?" Well I'm glad you asked. I have two words for you: Roger Hargreaves.

For those of you who may have forgotten, Roger Hargreaves is the guy who made the timeless children's books series with all the one-dimensional characters. Mr. Bump. Mr. Lazy. Little Miss Naughty, Mr. Tatti, etc. etc.

Basically unlike other good children's books that try to teach you that everyone is special in many ways and that we can all find something to like about another person, Hargreaves taught us that all people are shallow and mono-faceted. Therefore they books are the fundamental starting points for all stereotypes and judgements.

It is this thinking that would end up affecting how all people in California would be like. That being said I think you can characterize all people as being someone from one of these books. Also in many ways i think it promotes racism. I mean the books have all these words but i just see colors: a purple man, a blue man, and so on and so forth.

All of this brings me to my question, what character would you be if you had to label yourself with only one trait. Would it be your hair or your (Mr. Fuzzy Hair) or your desire to kill leprechauns (Mr. Irish Assasin)? Would your fear of water (Miss Hydrophobic) outweigh you love of pandas (Mr. Pandaphile)? Such are the questions that only you know.