This post is about (really, really) bad television, senatorial gaffes, and melanin. Mainly about melanin. For whatever reason, this Superbowl weekend (yes, yes, go Colts) a lot of people wanted to talk about race with me.
Ordinarily, that’s not really a topic I am likely to broach of my own accord. Mind you, I’m not reluctant to talk about race. If I was tongue-tied when put on the spot, it was mainly because my mental machinery takes time to warm up to the subject. This weekend, I distinctly felt that people were asking me my opinion because of my own melanin content — that is, because I’m Indian, the intrepid conversationalists assumed that (rightly or wrongly) I must have something interesting to say about the subject of race. And maybe that’s not a far-fetched assumption.
Something must be going on in the collective zeitgeist (and note that it’s also Black History Month). I got roped into two discussions on the subject, not to mention the fact that race issues featured at the Superbowl as well (e.g. see the numerous stories about the respective coaches). But here’s what happened this weekend, and here’s what motivates my current musings.
I guess the key to really experience the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is to get a pass to a bling-bling after party, thrown by a well-known company in some hard-to-get-into sort of place (ropes, bouncers, and the like). Me, I was just lowly convention hall scum, intrepidly seeking tchotchkes while asking questions of the knowledgeable exhibitors.
This year’s CES was just about the biggest massing of humans and electromagnetic radiation that I’ve ever been privy to. Taking the shuttle bus between the various exhibits was a maddening experience; I’d frequently find myself on a shuttle bus between two venues with a semi-hostile driver and confused patrons of technology in Vegas traffic jams.
But, whining and self-deprecation aside, I found a few things in Vegas to write home about.
I’m in Bangalore after two days in Paris, sipping my mother’s strong coffee and sort of gazing off into the horizon from our balcony. And OK, I’m not as impecunious as George Orwell was when he wrote the book that influences the title of this blog post. I’m just taking some artistic license.
I spent two days in Paris, traveling with Vice Vik, also on his way to Bangalore. Paris was awash in a constant drizzle, but I stayed in Le Marais in a quirky little hotel and still walked around a great deal. This whole trip has been a wonderful geographically staggered homecoming. And I’m awash in sentiment.
‘So, off to see Sir Walter Wendel Worthington?’
Everyone pauses and looks at C. I’ve just told my peer group in San Francisco that I’m off to a W3C Advisory Committee meeting and I’ve briefly explained to C and the others what the W3C is, and how it works.
He can’t resist, apparently.