Saturday, November 28, 2009

Controversies, offense, liberals et all

Expanding on the previous post. Disclaimer: For whatever it is worth: I am not offended that nude pictures were drawn, not boiling over in angst or see any religion being thoroughly diminished by this one instance.

1. There seems be an equal an opposite argument to almost every argument one can come up with on this issue. And all arguments including mine seem to be equally flawed. This post probably adds more to the nonsense and is tagged under my new theory 'awareness, though is something, is not everything'. The flaws are exploited by both M.F and shiv sena so that they can do their own thing. Flaws/Loopholes serve to maintain equilibrium in the real world. M.F. had his way and shiv sena theirs.

2. I disagree with people who say that M.F. already has lot of money and so this is not about money. For all his richness, I think M.F. still needs to maintain and increase his money/fame. This is not about art or freedom of speech. Completely not. This is just like so many other 'revealing' autobiographies. The controversy is for marketing purposes. Money. So let us just treat it like that.

3. Most of the controversies surrounding religion, I have seen so far have always been about money. Some publicity is created by mocking some aspect of religion, The characterization of this controversy is someone stupidly picking an aspect of religion completely out of context. They get away by claiming some reference to old literature.

4. The people who "truly" oppose such "blasphemies" because it offends their religious beliefs are not the ram sena, shiv sena goondas. In fact the goondas care less about it than the common man. They overreact to get political mileage. For purposes of telling the common man that 'hey! I am here for you'. And violence during such instances always allow the goondas to finish off past personal vendetta.

5. So in effect the people who create the controversy and people who get offended are 'extremists' and do it for purposes other than adherence to religion.

6. The news carries only the extremist (both M.F Hussain and Shiv Sena in this case)point of view. But not the common man's view. Gives an impression that there can be only two categories - 'liberal' or 'conservative'. Just like marriage matrimonial ads where people ask for 'traditional' or 'broadminded' alliances. There is no space for 'normal' people here. When I see the words 'liberal' and 'broadminded' being used, I wonder what crap do people throw out in their everyday lives that they are desperately begging for me to be 'broadminded'. They think that's their only hope for acceptance. Normal people do not need to tolerate idiotic behavior of other people in the pretext of having the broad mind. The 'normal' mind will allow of toleration of normal behavior. I suspect the extra broadness is allow for 'abnormal' behavior on part of the extremists.

7. When prominent personalities say "hindus are offended" at some controversy. Amit Varma and other liberal types react by saying "hindus are not offended" and also say "xyz person is not representative of hindus". Thereby they commit the same logical flaw of talking on behalf of a larger cross section of people. Let me commit the same logical flaw now. Such liberals, to me, do not represent normal people ('yes' I get to define 'normal' and as mentioned this post is not without its flaws). They follow the logic of 'liberalism' or 'broadmindedness' described in # 7 above. 'Normal' Atheists don't hate god and don't passionately believe that the opposite of god exists. They just don't share the beliefs of religious people and leave it at that. Conversely - when 'normal' religious person believes in God they love God like a family member or in some cases even more. 'Normal' behavior is to get offended when someone makes nude art out of it or puts it in toilet papers. 'Normal' atheists won't get offended at such things but will certainly recognize that it is natural that an average religious person will be. If there are so called 'liberals' who are not offended and expect other to not be offended - then they do not have normal adherence to their atheism or their religion. They throw out crap because they want people to be broadminded and take in that crap. So regular people who don't feel the urge to eat crap need not be expected to tow the line of such liberals.

8. Saying one instance of controversy does not break a great religion is also, according to me, very stupid. "siru thuli peru vellam". Small drops create an ocean. The sum of the parts of all these small controversies is larger than any one instance. It is the growing trend or aggregation that is distinctly and deliberately favoring the anti-religion point of view that concerns any average religious person. Normal people are intelligent enough to know the value of "one instance" they don't need liberals to point it out for them. When someone slaps me in school today. The one instance will not kill me. But if he does it from LKG to 12th standard every other day then it definitely is a big thing. Being asked to not react to it for the sake of being "liberal" and for the logic of "will this one slap kill you" is just plain idiotic. Which is what I find liberals saying today.

9. Lastly, many good things can be destroyed. A 'good thing' cannot be defined by its 'invulnerability' or 'permanence'. In fact it can be the opposite. I would expect good things to be 'vulnerable' and 'hard to hold on to'. People are wrong when they say that "if you beieve hinduism is a great thing then it should not crumble because of a single criticism". Most good things like good habits in profession, academic, science, research are difficult to adopt and are extremely fragile. If you are not disciplined enough it will slip away in notime at all. And most good things need not make 100% sense in today's context. They will have things you don't understand and things that can be taken out of context. Let us assume that in some corner of religious literature available there is a passing reference to 'lakshmi' or 'saraswathi' as nude. It is not wholly representative of the entire religion. The person who did that may or may not have the same intention as Hussain. Picking that out, singling it and saying that is representative of religion because people have done it before makes me suspect that your intention is not about representing religion truly (M.F. Hussain is not so devout a hindu that he felt great sorrow and angst that a part of hinduism was fading away into obscurity. He did not pick out this nude art to fill a gap or some crap like that). To give an analogy - Its beyond posting photos of great leaders going to the toilet or posting photos of them having sex, in their biography books, just to ensure that a 'full picture' of their lives get represented. It is posting such photos in a newspaper without any other context and claiming "why not? leaders do have sex, they do go to the toilet. Why shouldn't I post photos to truly represent them". Yeah right! I know why you do it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

M.F. Hussain

Since, every 10 paisa artist in Italy does nude pictures of females, his claim that people don't understand his 'art' is misplaced. Typically in things surrounding nudist and modern art - there is nothing much to understand. However, people do not want to state the obvious and be regarded as a fool. So they spin their own stories that praise his art. Such praise is based on loose interpretations of fancy crayon work and is doled out by those who want to be regarded as a connoisseur. Add a few 'social activist' sleveless salwar + jeans chics from Metros into this mix and the legend grows on.

In a very logical world this religious fundamentalist would be in jail for deliberately slandering identities of another faith and wilfully disturbing the pretense of communal harmony. But we have idiots in this country who define "tolerance" as the "ability to absorb insults in perpetuity". Since these idiots have labelled themselves as 'liberals', the normal people who oppose their idiocy will get slotted as their opposites - namely 'conservative'. As one listens to their gibberish of why M.F. Hussain's pornography is a great thing for 'democracy', one feels for the lost advantages for monarchy where the right thing can be simply done without pandering to the lowest common denominator of the country's intellectual pool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tendulkar Critics

There are two categories of Tendulkar critics. Category 1 are those who say (a) "when Sachin hits we don't win games" (b) "Sachin is overpaid" and (c) "sachin plays for himself and is interested in records". Category 2 are those who indulge in every other type of criticism of Tendulkar.
One can safely say that category 1 people do not have the requisite level of logical skills to follow and appreciate a game. If you are looking to have a good cricket conversation/argument you will quickly find out that they know very little beyond the quotes mentioned above. This inference can be deduced independently based on non-tendulkar conversations as well. Just that this particular conversation a high-confidence indicator.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kalyanam Notes

1. Nobody watches the wedding videos, except the married couple. The couple who get married watch it maybe once (probably lose interest after 30 minutes or so). But close to 30,000 rupees is spent on it.

2. In the 80s and 90s video and camera were a big thing. So they cameraman was given more respect than the brihaspathi. Now since we have camera fitted into everything from key chains to condoms, the fancy'ness is wearing off.

3. The camera men form a wall between the audience and the to-be-wed couple. The couple (and parents) cannot see who has come. The audience cannot see who is getting married. Given that the audience, the couple's parents and the couple themselves won't ever see the marriage live or recorded in video, we can safely conclude that the only people who witness the marriage are the 4 or 5 video camera crew members. Not Agni Sakshi but Camera Man sakshi.

4. Given all this people complain that the vadhyaar sambaavanai is too much nowadays, when it is still less than the camera man's. Apparently the rising 'velai vaasi' should not apply to vadhyaars. From a religious function with some odd distractions, marriage has morphed into a "see my velli paathram and saaftwear engineer mappillai" showcase ceremony rudely interrupted by unimportant mantrams.

5. There is always someone who cracks the 'azhukku joke' about akshadhai not falling on the couple but the front seat people. Then 2 very very old people suggest some "funny" ways to deposit the akshadhai on the couple. Pretty much the same joke they 'cracked' a few hundred years ago when they were 60.

6. There is someone who accosts you and asks "do you remember who I am". I usually don't. If I did, the blank stare wouldn't be on my face. So asking the question the second time is useless.

7. 50% or more items that are bought for the purposes of wedding is a waste. A wedding budget of 10 lacs can be reduced to 5 lacs with nobody noticing the effect. The sherwani for reception, coat & suit for jaanvaasam, and pattu podavai for every small sub-function are areas where budget can be cut ruthlessly. There is a huge market for "clothes for hire". The camera man can be replaced by hiring a friend's camcorder and having a hapless cousin cover what he feels like covering. Nobody would know its not professional work. The huge ass adhirsams can be retired. The 7 side dishes can be reduced to 2. On second thoughts this gets a separate post.

8. The 'hand wash' area is anything but. People gargle, pour a bucket of water into their mouth and make all sorts of strange and rude noises. If you didn't know better you'd think somebody was getting murdered in there.

9. Just before the Muhurtham, in the 'oonjal' phase the bride joins all her fingers like a flower bud and points the fingers upwards. The brihaspathi then asks the the groom to wrap his hand around the bride's fingers saying that "until the jalaba homam is done after the sapthapathi, the person I am touching will be my life partner with whom I will share happiness.. children... etc etc". "Avar" honored guests have no clue that this was said. All they know is that they have to wait for "mangalyam Thanthunaane", handover the Rs 101 envelope and rush to the dining hall before office time. Like a herd of elephants they run over the brihaspathi thrust their hands out to the groom become his wife, eat and go on to live an adulterous life. 200 years of British rule has killed 2000 years of saying namaskaram.

10. Marriages are serial eat-athons. If you are not a peripheral guest and not the main guy but somewhere in-between - marriages resolves to eating 8 times in 1.5 days and alternating that with sitting and watching the bums of cameramen, listening to akshadhai jokes, and getting asked "who am I" by octogenarians who are living past their sell-by date.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Real Estate

Real Estate prices in W. Mambalam seem to be more expensive than California. Based on random anecdotal evidence, Madras prices seem to have not dropped as steeply as bangalore. People are buying a 1700 Sq Ft house in arbit places in bendhakilathoor because they wouldn't get even a 1000 St Ft house in Mambalam for that budget.