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Martyrdom

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The best thing that could have happened to Gandhi was to get assassinated at the time when he did. Read this from a non-religious, apolitical, unbiased point of view. Don’t colour your opinion with whether you condone the killing or condemn it. Read on, and see if it makes sense.

His role was pretty much done once India got independence. Non-violence had pained the Brits out of India because it was more sensible (sensibler?) than their most sensible sensibilities. The compromises Gandhi (and the country, as a consequence) had to make in terms of partition and other demarcations were starting to have their fallouts, most of them quite ugly. Gandhi’s methods faced a real risk of becoming redundant if not obsolete. Non-violence/ civil disobedience/ non-co-operation works if you’re the underdog or the oppressed. But once you’re unshackled, what are you going to do? Protest silently until people are guilted into avoiding crime? Go on a hunger strike when prices rise? Voluntarily, that is, and not because you have to because food becomes unaffordable. Not really. He was on the verge of becoming a liability for his party. And then he was shot dead.

During the US elections in 2008, I kept feeling that it was the worst time for a person of messiahic potential like Obama to come to power because things were just too big to manage for anyone. The wheels had been set into motion before he took over and there wasn’t a lot he was going to be able to do. The Republicans and their patriotic/nationalistic jingoism would have been the appropriate (albeit a bit misguided) shot in the arm that a disillusioned, distraught and debt-ridden populace needed. But Obama showed them the real picture, gave them bare facts. They were not pretty. The situation was grim and bleak. He told them what was true but what they shouldn’t have been told so pointedly. Sarah Palin would have been such a nice distraction – her delusions and unshakeable beliefs would have been ‘just what the doctor ordered’. But she didn’t get a chance to do that, and now people hate Obama for failing to deliver. His failure – the main one – isn’t that he didn’t give people change they could believe in. It is that he didn’t manage expectations well. ‘Yes we can’ should have been more like ‘Yes we can … Eventually. Hopefully. Painfully.’

Of all the smart things the Congress Party of India has done – and that list isn’t particularly long – the smartest has been to have Dr. Singh and P. Chidambaram as the heads of the government – the titular heads, at least. Their credentials as economists or visionaries are so immaculate that they compensate for their shortcomings as political leaders. They’ve been seen as the good guys and thus have always emerged with a clean chit from most messy situations. But they have to understand that it all comes with a shelf life. Eventually, people will get tired of waiting, of hoping that they will do something. It will take something quite trivial for the public’s patience to snap. Eventually, they will too descend (in the public eye, if not in reality) to the level of the muck they currently are so entrenched in.

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”, said Harvey Dent. So true, sadly. Martyrdom ain’t easy, but living through battles takes real cajones.

Update: It might seem like I have an anti-Gandhi undercurrent here. That is neither true nor false – it is irrelevant. His death, like the other examples, are meant to indicate different stages in the ‘die a hero’ to ‘live long enough to become a villain’. He was killed in the ‘hero’ stage which perversely ensured his immortality. This post was in fact motivated by Dr Singh’s diminishing credibility due cabinet reshuffles and other oversights, and my diminishing sympathy for his plight.

Update2: Here’s a beautiful (albeit somewhat cynical) thought I came across here

The limit to martyrdom is the cruelty of the human imagination. There is a saint for every torture the pious mind can conceive.

Written by sujaybedekar

January 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Give him the cup

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A typical argument given by an country for being chosen to host a Football (Soccer) World Cup would be ‘We love Footie!’ or ‘It’s been a long time’ or ‘Tourism has been really down these days.’

Here’s Obama’s argument for USA hosting the 2018/ 2022 WC:

As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighbourhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago. Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe. That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams

An American who’s a fan of football (I refuse to call it soccer anymore) is a rarity anyway – and one who supports West Ham United, rarer than that. Given their troubles in wake of the Icelandic economic crisis, I totally sympathize with the Hammers, having had to suffer some heartburn over that particular topic myself. (The Icelandic meltdown, as obvious a pun as there can be, was what inspired this post).

As long as he doesn’t insist that all nations must only field those players who play for American clubs, I say Give Him The Cup!!

Original link via, verified here.

Written by sujaybedekar

April 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Sarah Palin OMG

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Warning: Slightly long post

Barack Hussein Obama II has so far flaunted his inexperience at governance and most other things by claiming that he plans to start afresh. He wants to bring in change. Bravo I say. He has a perfect family, a fairly uninteresting (i.e. scandal-free) wife and irrelevant children. There are rumours that he just might be the Messiah America … nay, the whole world, needs. His trip to different parts of the world a month ago was probably to do some mass healing. And I wouldn’t be too surprised if it is later revealed that he uses the pool at home to practise moonwalking on water.

John Sidney McCain was the old guy, the too experienced fella who just wouldn’t change. He’s the dude who got yoinked in Vietnam or whichever slang you prefer for the unmentionable places. Sample: I’ll kick your Vietnam all the way to Ho-Chi-Minh you modaf****). Things were going along just so perfectly for the Dems …

… until this happened. Obama went and got himself a fairly old guy as a VP. Joseph Robinette(!) Biden doesn’t just look old – all those jokes about ‘ancient history being current affairs’, ‘diaper changes‘ and ‘foreign secretary to Queen Elizabeth I’ which were made about McCain are now applicable to Biden too. He talks in a fairly senile manner also. Now, replace the ‘s’ by ‘p’, and you have a word which is eternally associated with dysfunction. So basically Biden is just one alphabet away from being unable to stand tall in times of deep crisis and turn on … sorry, turmoil. WHOA!

McCain decided to fight inexperience with inexperience (never believed I would ever make such a statement). He wanted someone who would shove Obama’s rhetoric/message (depends which way you look at it) up his Vietnam. So he ventured where no one had ever gone i.e. Wasilla, Alaska and got himself Sarah Louise Heath Palin! OMG! O.M.G.! First of all – what a cute name!

Here’s what I think will now happen.

1. The average age of the Democrat P-VP candidate combo: (47+65)/2 = 56. The average age of the Republican P-VP candidate combo: (72+44)/2 = 58. Age gap? What age gap?

2. He’s tangling an awesome carrot in front of all Americans – There are quite a few disheartened folks (mainly ladies) who wanted Hillary to be the first woman Prez. Everyone is convinced that if McCain does get elected, he’ll pop off while in office. Well, if that does happen, ta-dah! Guess who’ll be the President of USandA! Sen. Palin! OMG! O.M.G.!

3. Every American secretly wants to have hot people in the White House. Hollywood is to be blamed for this mostly (Please refer to this previous post about a much better way for selecting the US Prez). That’s why they loved Reagan and Kennedy (esp. Jackie) and Bill Clinton (apparently). McCain adds to this list his fourth (fifth?) wife Cindy McCain, although some people might think she looks like an android. Everyone will nod in vehement agreement, though, when I say that Palin is the hottest thing (person) ever to have a realistic (albeit indirect) chance of becoming the President. <Pause to digest this info>. She was a Miss USA ’84 runner-up or something (the year I was born. We have a connection already. Sigh). She also was Miss Congeniality in the same competition. Is it just me or does this sound exactly like the Sandra Bullock movie with the same name! She is like one of those characters you occasionally see who is all uptight and snooty with scholarly glasses and prim dresses but who is secretly smoldering underneath with passion and desire and what not … phew. Very sweaty in here.

Ed: Just realized this – Given her pageant antics, obviously the one thing she’ll be ‘gunning’ for is – World Peace. That, and resurrecting Mother Teresa. Amen to that.

4. She is mom to an infant and also set to be a granny with a 17-year old unmarried pregnant daughter – and she preaches abstinence to one and all. She is from Alaska and shoots animals for fun. Wiki says – “Palin, a self- described “hockey mom”, is a mother of five. She enjoys hunting, ice fishing and riding snowmobiles. She has also completed a marathon in just under 4 hours.” She is like Jack Bauer without the torture. Who would NOT want to have such an awesome President-in-waiting? (I guess the PETA folks would object to her trigger-happy ways. But we all know that most people there sign up thinking that they’ll be officially allowed to have pics of Pam Anderson’s Cambodias covered with veggies as their office desktop wallpapers. Yeah right …**)

5. Sen. McCain antagonized Britney Spears and Paris Hilton by equating Obama to them (lol!). Paris Hilton then responded with a video of her own, suggesting why SHE should run for the presidency. He thus made Americans open to the idea that one day hotness and dumbness might just grace the floors of the White House in official positions. Then he gives them Palin, who is like the tape-less, brunette and much more intelligent version of Ms. Hilton. How cool is that?

As news filters in that McCain now leads Obama in opinion polls, I have to say – Well played Sen. McCain and all you Republicans. I honestly didn’t think you had it in you, but clearly I was wrong. You know the American psyche better than anyone else.

** If this fact which I scoffed is in fact actually true – and if there are more perks of a similar kind – could someone please let the PETA folks know that after humanitarianism, vegitarianism is what I love the most. Srsly. kthxbye.

Written by sujaybedekar

September 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Posted in news, politics, US

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