Thursday, December 27, 2012


I've been a tropical person all my life; never more than 15 minutes away from the beach until I moved to Florida - you get the picture. Naturally my first real temperate winter here in Indiana brought some gloom in tow. But over the last week I have "warmed up" to it. I guess I have a new addition to the like list.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rapes and Grapes

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am a feminist. I do not have statistics to quote, I do not need to. Pick an Indian newspaper of your choice and pick a rape article of your choice; there are several for you every day. There should not be much to make of the morality of it but it is shameful and insane that every able-minded person has a unique take on it. Here is all we ask you for, focus on what recovery and rehabilitation can be made for the victim, severely punish the demon that did it and protect all citizens as equals irrespective of their sex, age, clothing or background. 
Yes you focused on the victim alright. By sensationalizing her for the worst moment of her life. By plastering all over the news, what she was up to, who she is and what she should have to say for her predicament. By treating her as a sex object. You punish the demon alright, by treating his human rights violation like a civil crime. By making him no more than a statistic. By keeping him an anonymous one of four arrested. By giving him a second chance after your so-called treatment. As for protection, the wonderful policemen that rape and molest victims a second time, the empathetic media that has a page worth of information about the victim for the viewer but no more than a line about the disgusting criminal and all the grand old folks who discuss the social circumstances leading to the incident will answer. Gladly.
I have a question to ask of everyone. When a human rights violation of this nature has occurred, what purpose does knowing or debating the motive of the crime serve? Shame on you sir if you want to think about what the victim did to deserve it. You have automatically become part criminal by saying a victim does not deserve to be treated like a fair human because of their sex or their attitude. If I paraded the streets naked, you can arrest me for being a public nuisance but you do not deserve to violate me in any other way. Even if I give some space to your disgusting logic, how do you plan to face and answer to the eight year old girl on the Mumbai local, or the Indore housewife that never left her kitchen and the countless others that have no fault other than being a woman or a child? If you still invoke fate and ways of the world, shame on you again sir; consider a lobotomy and sign up for Martian Nuremberg experiments.
By committing a crime of this nature, the lowly creatures that did it have automatically signed away their right to be treated as human. They no longer deserve to live in a community of sane people. Keep them in a dark cell and let them rot. They no longer deserve procreative privileges. Castrate them and save the world from their weapons of mass destruction. Heck, they don't deserve a second chance. Let them feel the pain and misery that they have caused and keep it through what is left of their evil insufferable lives. Brand them with tattoos that show them for what they are. Lobotomize them. They do not need brains; their thinking apparatus is obviously elsewhere. Publicize them as offenders instead of the victim who does not need publicity, so no one would let them near again.
And you, the judge on what the victim should wear and bear, I call you the worst one of them all. You, with suggestions on their profession, timing, clothing, appearance, sex, voice and location. You are the one that has stroked and reared this madness. I recognize your air of lazy arrogance. Your agenda of indifference and self-importance and your far-removedness from the reality of the situation. I know your traditional values are what they are because they keep you in a position of power; you do not even have to think about what it feels to be a victim. I know your are homophobic because there is only one way you can be made to feel the same fear. 
My friends that dismiss my feminism as my naivety and suggest that an egalitarian attitude is what I should adopt, come closer. Screw you. I am afraid to be a woman and ashamed of being a man. Give me an equal society. Give me a place where people are not victimized for what they can do nothing about. Give me a place where people are truly discrimination free. Give me a place where genders are not a concern. Do not tell me that it is better than the fifties; it bloody well is not. The reality of today is an unbalanced society and the persecuted section needs all the help to can get to become what you speak of. Until then I am a feminist with good reason. Wake up.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Swag rag

I absolutely detest douchebag fans. Every last one of them. The ones that will wear a Michigan jersey to a Florida-Florida state game just because. 

I recently met one at an IU-Michigan State football game.

It was a freezing but bright fall Saturday morning. I trekked up College Ave. to the tailgating grounds to meet Lisa and company. The new rotation student Drew had a spot for us with hot breakfast and cold beer. I was a bit surprised by the large turnout all the way up College Ave. and at the tailgating grounds. IU fans had pride; it would take some effort for me to do this chilly outing even in Gainesville, FL. I found my bunch at the tailgate spot and met some new people. Within five minutes I struck up an intense conversation with David, another first year grad student. David was stroking the coals in the bbq rack and seemed to enjoy talking about recruiting classes and 3-3-5 defenses as much as I did, and a mutual respect was quickly seeded and growing. We were talking about pass-catching half backs when we were rudely distracted by a drunk Michigan State contingent in their merry green. We both rolled our eyes and I told David about my thoughts on douchebag fans.

"I saw a Michigan fan like that once. I hate Michigan fans."

"Really?" said David and pulled off his black sweatshirt to reveal an eye-blinding maize T-shirt with blue writing on it - 'Wolverines'.

He was a Michigan fan? But he was cool to talk to! One hasty switch of topics later, I caught Lisa's eye and signaled to her that I wanted to go scalp tickets. We left immediately and I poured to her on the way what I thought about douchebag fans and she sniggered politely.

The tickets were scalped and we were surveying the tailgating scene as we made our way back to Drew's truck. I was really very impressed with the number of people in Indiana Crimson all around. IU has always had an awful football team and these fans really had to either be clueless or just plain stupid to brave this weather to watch them lose to a mediocre Michigan State team. And tailgating before that? Man are they nuts!

We almost reached the truck when I saw him. He was walking up past the intersection of College Ave. and Madison, a stocky guy with short hair, a beer belly and a Nike Pro combat orange and blue jersey from the the 2009 Florida-Florida state game. A Florida fan!! I yelled out to him "Go Gators baby!!!" (scaring Lisa to an inch of her life in the process) and unzipped my faux-leather jacket to reveal a bright orange T-shirt with blue streaks and a roaring alligator logo. I ran over to him as he noticed what was happening and we screamed as we did a chest bump followed by several gator chomps at everyone staring at our war dance.

Yeah I met a douchebag fan that day. That douchebag fan was me.


My thoughts go out to anyone that has ever been hurt by arms. I am not smart or motivated enough to drone on about gun control and therapy for criminals but somewhere in the reactions and the political debate, the value for a life lost is shamefully neglected. Let us not sensationalize, politicize or commercialize sadness. The human condition has a responsibility to be better than that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The devil in the details

Yes, we are all very different-ish. By being similar to the one you consider different. And thank you to the interwebs for giving us a podium to display our different profiles for the world to worship. As for the rest of the profiles out there, we will mock, detest and met out our capital punishments. For being imperfect. For not matching up. For not fitting the color scheme we want to paint the world in. Who decided what is allowed, and more importantly, disallowed in the name of internet etiquette? We wanted to be different, why is the different one not admitted?

In my prime, I used to be one of the worst offenders. I had a permanent place in my improvised mockumentaries for the raw and uninitiated. Friends, family, the income tax bureaucrats, not a soul was spared from the cold iron taser that was my justice (Damn right I'll tase you bro). Look at those awful photos! What is it with all the open louvs! Crazy fellow with drunk tweets! She listens to Nickelback?! Until one day, I decided to do some self-analysis and went through some of my chat, facebook and blog archives. What was I thinking in 2005, let me find out. A quick scan later my reaction was exactly that. What was I thinking in 2005?!! How could I sound so ill-advised? How could I feel that this thought was worthy of being shared? How could I express this part of me so stupidly for the world to see? I was, in essence, everything that I currently held in glorious contempt. How could I use cud instead of could? (and cum instead of come? Yeah, I know. I wish it had come more deliberately. See what I did right there?)    

It is mildly horrifying, how easily irritation is rationalized and blamed on something as harmless as someone making a few grammatical misses. There definitely are a number of things that are on absolute TMI lists everywhere but outside of them, there has to be a little more patience with differences in people's communication capabilities on the internet and otherwise. The same thought that makes us ridicule a "less intellectual" idea made public, goes into racism, sexism and fundamental impatience for unchangeable traits in people.

Impatience and disgust for emotions and ideas shared on an internet-based forum may sound like a harmless matter, making this post a rant of sorts against a molehill of non-issues. But the mental agenda behind it can creep into the way we handle people in real life. It is also the disdain for Starbucks employees that misname your cups. It is also the outrage over a physically handicapped person boarding the bus ahead of you. It is also the road rage over the mid-sized sedan that follows speed limits "holding up" the lane ahead of you. (As a side note, I do think that publicizing one's anger over slower moving traffic is a high quality reason to suspend one's driving privileges).

If left unchecked, these small-minded thoughts evolve to grander fantasies of unbridled rage-fuelled stupidities. A friend of mine told me once that my use of a cheap dysfunctional android phone was some form of karma for switching to a macbook some years ago. True story. A more believable rage-stupid event is the recent mockfest over the lack of picture quality in the apple maps app. While the criticism will be useful to apple for coming up with a 2.0 version on the app, much of the crap-slinging happens between individuals who have no real reason to be concerned with any of it. The ego only serves to fuel itself and hurt you when well-sized. We are all observed at various snapshots of what we chose to show of our tangibles and intangibles and these snapshots speak only a fraction of our amazing stories. Instant comparisons are a guaranteed waste of time and often dangerous. 

Of course, it is a hard thing to correct, but it is important! Until such time that we chill out and let people express themselves in their style, however imperfect it may seem, it may be a wise idea to take a break from it all. Are they racking your brains with their obsession over Mothers' day and the new Batman movie release? Switch off and tune out until you can come back when you can be a bigger person. Meet people when you feel pleasant. Don't drive angry. After all, the true reason for why we judge the world harshly, is that we fear being judged ourselves.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Test

The blogger requests all faithful and wonderful google friend connect followers to continue doing the same using google+ so he can keep looking super legit.