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Written by sujaybedekar

April 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Social Networking?

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I’m yet to decide whether I am glad or dejected because I haven’t been tagged in any of the viral things doing the rounds on Facebook these days – Wall photos, 25 things you didn’t know about me, songs which come to my mind first when I read this and other Notes. What I am fairly certain about, though, is how highly irritating these things have turned out to be. I find myself torn between 2 extreme emotions: despair at having my notifications page being bombarded with random alerts, and an intense urge to find out who is the sluttiest person in each of my acquaintances’ friend circles.

What is most irritating, especially about all the random lists people generate, is that most of the things people include are solely meant to be cute/funny and hence end up being quite unreal. I would be very interested in knowing if, for example, someone colour-coded his underpants to work, or things which turned people on (and off). But telling me that you like taking long walks or that you do/don’t cry that often is just a criminal waste of cyberspace. As a mark of protest, here’s my list of things (in no particular order) which I find quite irritating –

1. People who talk about themselves all the time, only to pause and let you talk about them. This can be especially irritating when you want to talk about yourself.

2. People who don’t follow loo etiquette. As if it isn’t scary enough that foot tapping while getting epiphanies can have risqué implications, it can be quite pathetic when people make small talk out of plain relief (no pun intended) or just to dispel uncomfortable silences. This includes saying stuff like ‘I’m so awesome’ on making surprising discoveries. (People also have a tendency to say the most ridiculous/scandalous things in office restrooms – it’s almost like they forget that they still are in office and can very easily be overheard).

3. (Picking up from the previous point) – People who find it absolutely essential to dispel uncomfortable silences. Uncomfortable silences have a very specific purpose in life – to make people uncomfortable and shut them up at the same time. Breaking them, then, is just plain unnecessary.

4. People who ask redundant questions – ‘Ooh did that hurt?‘ after stepping on your foot. ‘I’m sorry am I blocking your view?‘ after coming late to a cinema hall and ambling along to their seats with their eyes glued to the screen. ‘What do you think?‘ after having already decided to buy something and asking for a second opinion just to give you the illusion of relevance.

5. People screwing up their grammar. I know, this might sound a bit finicky, but when someone says ‘I forgotted …‘, what is said thereafter gets, well, forgotted. Or ‘No I didn’t gone.‘ Or ‘I does not do this.’ Or ‘He catched it so well.‘ Mildly irritating.

6. People who screw up my name. I’ve had a wide range of people from Credit card call centre representatives to Rating Agency helpdesk individuals giving me advice on how to pronounce and/or spell my name. How tough is it to accept that someone can be named Sujay and not Sanjay, Sujoy, Suja or (this I swear I am NOT making up) Suagy? How in god’s name do you even pronounce the last one?

7. Pseudo-secularists, because they are full of BS. And armchair critics, because their purpose of existence is as mysterious, if not more, than slugs and bedbugs.

8. Arabic football commentators. I went through the entire 1998 Football World Cup telecast on the (then) newly-launched Ten Sports channel genuinely believing that the ‘experts’ on TV had all been infected by the same strain of strep which made them cough/clear their throats while talking. And they had a very irritating habit of yelling Goaaal GOaaal GOAaaal GOAAAAL! in an infinite loop when … obvious. Same goes for Latin American commentators who shout ‘GOLAASO’ ‘GOOLAAASO’ with a similar passion and sense of urgency.

9. Indian cricket commentators. And Pakistani ones too. ‘Nuff said.

10. The new FB interface. It is not just irritating – it is quite crappy.

11. Over-exuberance.

12. Tomato skin. I’ve talked about this before in great detail.

13. Babies who cry in cinema halls. And parents who act like their kids will shut up if they are ignored. Kids cry because they need attention. Makes you revisit the principles of Idiocracy every single time.

14. Having to explain jokes, especially those which aren’t meant to be classics and have a very, very short shelf life (i.e. bad ones). I go through this particular agony almost every day.

15. People who oppose something (a team, an idea, anything) you support just to have a stand (or to piss you off). I refuse to argue with someone who argues for the sake of arguing.

16. Honking at red lights. There might very well be some deep-rooted pyschological/Freudian explanations for this phenomenon, but there is no doubt that this can get mighty irritating.

17. Atheists who are atheists because it is cool to be one. For that matter, anyone who is something just because it makes her cooler. Although for atheists, I think most of the times they are (as a thumb rule) a little bit irritating anyway. Same goes for PETAmaniacs.

18. French footballers and Australian cricketers. I have no rational justification for this, though.

19. People who post ‘Sorry for not blogging in a long time …’ or ‘Blogging has been slow because …’. Seriously, the world has existed and will continue to exist without your contributions to cyber-literature.

20. People who add unnecessary points to lists just to have a ‘nice’ number of entries.

(This list is not exhaustive and is likely to swell with the passage of time. The round number of entries right now is purely coincidental, and doesn’t contradict point # 20. )

Written by sujaybedekar

March 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Why this whole thing is just so wrong

with one comment

These terrorists put in so much of effort, time and money into planning something so elaborate – all so that they could go and kill people. Not people of a particular group or ideology or country, but just so that they could go and kill people. It was like they weren’t satisfied with your typical FPS games and needed something more exciting to calm their whacked-out systems.

They killed innocent people. With glee. At CST, they killed a female who was shreiking as she ran towards the door. Then they killed a small child which was presumably disturbing them with its crying. They shot at people who were running because they were running, and then at people who weren’t running because they weren’t. They killed 57 people in this manner.

They then got into cars and went on a killing spree, specifically targeting policemen. They said (those who got captured later, that is) that they were ‘trying to avoid’ people who seemed Muslim. Clearly, they succeeded spectacularly at the former, and failed miserably at the latter.

There was one T actually hiding with a group of hostages until they were calm, and then opened fire and killed them all. And felt pretty proud doing this, I’m sure.

There were these 2 people who were holed up in the storage section of the Taj, and one of them was unfortunate enough to have his phone ring just as he was peeking out to check whether it was ok to run. He never answered that call as  a bullet shattered his skull. His friend stayed hidden with his corpse for hours after that.

I had to subject myself to torture of the highest degree thanks to the craziness going in South Mumbai and the constant stream of ridiculousness and absurdity being beamed into my living room by the ‘exclusive’ reports. The only sane channel was DD News, and that was only because all they were doing was counting off the number of countries who had sent in their condolences. I’ve had a long standing disrespect for the media, especially the Indian guys, and this catastrophe has strengthened my disdain for them.

I was moved when Mr. R. R. Patil, the Dy. CM of Maharashtra, showed emotion and a genuine resolve while talking to reporters. This was of course on a lesser watched Marathi channel because he was not a savvy or sweet-talking ass like most of the people who were hogging MY TIME on the top news channels. On being asked about the nationalities of the terrorists, he just couldn’t continue with the facade of diplomacy and political correctness, and yelled out – “They were Pakistanis. This is a conspiracy of the worst kind, and I will personally do something about this. I promise. They will pay.” This was followed by a vehement “Mera Bharat Mahan” addressed to a particularly loud section of the crowd there. It was at that moment I realized how much we underestimate the power of politics- no matter how horrible these folks might be, they have the responsibility (and quite often the ability) to rally a huge mass of people …

… and then came on our Home Minister Shivraj Patil followed by our Prime Minister Dr. Singh, who assured us that they were very ‘distressed’ and ‘appalled’. They conveyed defeat, confusion and helplessness so effectively, that in one stroke they managed to crush all my hope and optimism. I was led me back to the well-trodden path of cynicism and disgust. Gah.

– I was astonished to find people complaining about the long time it was taking for the rescue operations to complete. As if they couldn’t had been greater asses, these people then went on to crib about how they still couldn’t see security elsewhere in Mumbai. OMFG. I would had lost it then and there itself, but my sis told me about the story of some hostages who were rescued by an NSG soldier. His assurance made me forget the braying going on on TV – “Don’t panic. Don’t fear. I’m here to protect you. The first bullet will have to pass through me before you are harmed. I WILL get you out.” And it was all ok.

– I have always had a fondness for those trivial, insignificant things which make everyday an interesting day worth living and which distract you at least for some time from the humungous problems currently besieging us. These attacks made me guilty about being interested in trivial things. It made me feel immensely dissatisfied with all that I have done so far, am doing currently and I will be doing in the short-term future. I felt like the the stray dog below (from the Big Picture, #28), who suddenly realizes that he’s in unfamiliar territory – it looks and smells like the same place he’s frequented all his life, but something has changed irrevocably. And that pisses him off as well.

Because nobody except us has the right to change anything in our country. Nobody.

Written by sujaybedekar

November 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Posted in india, Mumbai, news, politics

Tagged with , , , , ,

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

Tagged with , , , , ,

All in favour – Say ‘Neigh’

with one comment

So today is the day the Indian government goes in to parliament to face  a no-confidence motion. Things have changed so dramatically over the past few weeks – days, in fact – that it is quite difficult to identify each politician with the party he currently belongs to AND the side he will support, the two not necessarily being same. Ideologies have gone for a toss, as have agendas and promises. One has witnessed horse-trading of the worst kind, with people almost going on record about the going price of most politicians. The Congress Party believes to have found new confidence. Our PM Dr. Manmohan Singh seems to have found a new voice – maybe his weaning away process from ‘Madam’ has been completed finally. The Left seems to have had an all-too-familiar bout of rhetoric infused conscience and is protesting on the basis of the Nuclear Deal which India recently signed with the US.

Now here’s where one must pause. The whole ruckus is about the N-Deal. Not about inflation, not about farmers, not about reservations – it’s the N-Deal, which is where the real irony lies. No one is quite sure what the N-Deal is, and everyone is doubly unsure about the ramifications of it. As a result, the uncertainty and ignorance have only strengthened people’s opinions and misconceptions. Some people are now fairly confident of the deal being anti-Muslim, while others argue that it is equally anti- and pro- all communities (which is good I guess). Some think it is subservience to the USA of the worst kind, while others think we’re not being subservient enough. Some believe it will make India a Nuclear Dumping ground, others say ‘What Crap’.

The BJP – the biggest party in the opposition, the party with individual or coalition governments in more than half the states in India- is being declared as a fading party. It’s a party which probably needs a good dose of rehab, some say. Fair enough, as that is a comment on the ‘top light – bottom heavy’ party structure they currently have and because A B Vajpayee was always going to be a hard example to match up to. Now the BJP is being accused of siding with the Left parties just to bring the government down. They are being accused of being two-faced since the N-Deal is something they actually support but are opposing right now just for the heck of it. I must confess, this has me completely stumped because I still remember reading this article by Arun Shourie in the Indian Express a long time back which kind of made it pretty clear why the BJP would oppose the deal, and why it is a fairly illogical deal to moot. (I remember the day the N-Deal was announced. I was at the barber’s when I saw two rival newspapers simultaneously screaming out how good and how bad the deal was. The barber remarked that the deal would finally allow us to bomb Pakistan. I was in total agreement, mainly because he had a pair of sharp scissors very close to my neck). Of course, the thing about opinions is that one can easily question their veracity and dismiss them at the soonest. So sue me if I naively respect Mr. Shourie, but read the article nevertheless.

So why isn’t the BJP stressing on it’s Nuclear intentions and make its stand clearer? The thing which most surprises me is that the BJP is quite laidback about the whole no-confidence motion business. There are talks of a few BJP MPs abstaining from the vote against the UPA government. The alternative to the current government is one which is headed by Mayawati, the bahin from UP with balls bigger than most people in India and greed much more insatiable than that. Maybe the BJP realizes that getting rid of the government right now will give them (the UPA) quite a bit of totally undeserved moral high ground. There are after all only a few months left before the polls are scheduled to happen anyway. Maybe a defeat in the vote is just the perfect thing the BJP needs to sideline the Left, the BSP and all those ‘nuisances’ which keep popping up all the time all over the political landscape. The way the numbers have added up, it is going to be next to impossible for the Congress led coalition to govern for the remainder of the term anyway. OR, maybe this is just another of my conspiracy theories 🙂

Dr. Singh says that the N-Deal is worth losing a government over. Pity he didn’t think it necessary to educate people about it in the first place. Maybe that’s the whole idea – to get out of the shoddy mess with heads held high. I sincerely hope that the no-confidence motion fails so that the ridiculousness and absurdity of the (prospective) coalition becomes apparent to one and all. Fingers crossed! All in favour – say ‘Nay’

Written by sujaybedekar

July 22, 2008 at 9:49 am

OMFG!

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Stupid wordpress doesn’t allow embedding random videos (at least I don’t know how to do it …)

But seriously! O.M.F.G. What will the US candidates do next? It’s like waaaay past a guessing game now 🙂

Link

Written by sujaybedekar

April 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Posted in politics, US

Tagged with ,

Experience?

with 3 comments

Heard on the daily show

Madeleine Albright: I endorse Hillary Clinton because she has experience.

Jon Stewart: Isn’t that like saying my wife will make a great comedian if I put her on this show?

(Entire interview here)

Heh. Another example of humour as the ultimate end to an argument. But then Mrs. Hillary is up against a person who says he has Foreign Affairs experience because he spent 5 yrs in Indonesia … the first five years of his life. Tough choice. People can’t go all out in criticizing each other- you risk been called either a racist or an anti-feminist. Plus you don’t want to hurt the Democratic party in the long run. Very interesting stuff. I’m sure the sole Republican presidential candidate Mr. McCain is enjoying this the most 🙂

Written by sujaybedekar

March 12, 2008 at 5:18 pm