Sunday, June 22, 2008

Changing Loyalties: The Rise of Meta

This is my second post on Meta in 2 months but I have to do it as the new Meta-evangelist. This post might create sharp divisions in the engineering community. If the reader is offended, I am sorry. It was meant to be divisive.

The hand that rocks the cradle of molten metal, rules the world”- Recent Chinese Proverb.

Summers are good. Not just because I get a chance to continent hop and taste the best ale ever made. Summers mean the time for Hollywood blockbusters. Somehow the best and most hyped movies always get released in the summer. And the ones which win the Oscar, in winter.

Last year's memorable summer was made overtly memorable with Ocean's 13, Die Hard 4, POTC 3, Spiderman 3 and so on. Can anyone forget John Mclain ramming his car into the helicopter at the end of the tunnel. Or Keith Richards playing Papa Sparrow. So when I saw this years line-up I was pretty impressed. Indi was coming back but without his dad. We were being asked not mess with the Zohan. The Guru of Love promised to solve all our problems. A panda was supposed to master the most complex of martial arts. Maxwell Smart showed he is in control. Hancock pissed us off with his attitude. The Joker promised to put a smile on our face. The Hulk was back. A bit greener and definitely more incredible. And of course Tony Stark asked us why we cant have both fear and respect.

But this is not a review of movies. This post is about a declaration. I have finally decided to change loyalties. Let me explain. Of all the comic book super heroes, I always accorded Batman the greatest of respect. He was the one who didn't have any special powers and yet was so cool. And he always got to fight with the best villains. Not even Clooney's disastrous rubber uniform put me off the dark knight. So when Batman Begins showed the world how superhero movies should be made, I had had a satisfied smile on my face. Needless to say the biggest thing this summer for me was the epic battle scheduled between the knight and the Joker. But then suddenly, a certain thing happened. I met Tony Stark.

Now before I go ahead about Tony, let me talk about the metallurgical aspect of the post. Its of course a well known fact that we metallurgists have been discriminated against through ages. We are like the Jews of the engineering world. In spite of having ages (Iron, bronze, etc) named after our creations, we are never accorded the same respect as say, those insignificant chemical engineers. Have any of you heard of any thing called Age of Transport Phenomenon in history? Well, I haven't. Of course we meta boys are waiting patiently for our time. Its not long before the revolution comes when we and the ship builders (Nav-Arc boys, are you listening?) will once gain take over the world. And all non-believers and heretics will head for the blast furnace. Among the Mech community, we will spare only Pota as he knows more meta than all of us combined.

So when I met Tony I realized the revolution is near. Over many decades we metallurgists have always been portrayed as screen villains. Magneto, Metal Sonic, Blacksmith, Dr Alchemy, Composite Superman, Kryptonite man, Metallo, an array of superbly crafted robots with a taste for fine alloys, the list is endless. Just like the stereotyped cunning Jew of of the eighteenth century, we metallurgists have always been shown as connivingly altering carbon concentrations and modifying microstructures and preparing for the world' destruction. So when Tony nonchalantly said,'Yes, I can fly', I realized a historic wrong had finally been corrected. The world finally got her first metallurgist Superhero. On film.

After watching Ironman, I, with a heavy heart, decided its a time for a change. I had to shift form the camp of the Dark knight and become a loyal Ironsmith. He would lead the revolution. He was The One. He had even solved the icing problem which had been bothering us for centuries. While ideally I belong to the Magneto school of thought, I feel this moment belongs to us and we metallurgists cannot be divided on the basis of ideology. So I give out a call to all my brethren. Lets unite under Tony and get back what always belonged to us. The earth for instance. Lets again have ages named after our creations. If you want this decade to be called the Age of 3016 SS, this is our chance.

And as for the rest of you, join us while you can. And those who don't, the remember the furnace is just getting warmed up.