Sunday, February 27, 2011

When dreams became entertainment

Dreams were always revered and dreamers were the few. Dreams had a certain elevated value. They came with a certain price. You'd see a man who desperately scrambled a few, a few that only seemed worth his worth, and then become the start of a great dream that realised. That, in a generation when dreams weren't taught and to dream was not really in. When you either were up there or way down here and there were no tools to deal with it, except that you could try and make it and you would either make it, not make it, reach, at best, somewhere in between, or fall far behind.

Well, welcome to new generation. Here we teach our young 'uns to dream. If they don't have a dream, we give them one that is better, cooler, crazier and bigger than the last one. If we can't afford any of those, we just give them one that ends up paying the bills.

Here is the catch. Right from school, lofty ideas of things to be and people to be like are driven in to the head. To reach for only the stars and higher. Perhaps, when we say that, we leave them in a state of limbo. We can never really reach for the stars and we will die trying to do that. It is not exactly the case, if you look at the repercussions in Gen X, that they have understood it to be AT BEST a idiom. Whatever they understand it as a metaphor to be, whether it means outdo the guy next to you or your best is never enough, there is now a problem.

The problem is this. We have been putting stuff in their heads before they could even think. So, beyond a point when stuff is not their heads, it is a state of confusion. And if whatever was there goes, there has to be a replacement. And that replacement has to come fast because then there will be a state of greater confusion because that replacement is not coming fast enough.

Might I suggest that we'd rather not plant stuff in their heads, especially when they have not decided what they are actually made up of? Or are we to decide what they are made up of? Perhaps school shouldn't be called school. I think we take the name way too seriously and end up exactly schooling them. What if we let them figure themselves out, whether they are worth the dream or not? Whether they are indeed worth the plant that we'd like to plan inside them? After all, they will be the ones who will follow through.

Better, let us let them choose what they want to plant in their heads. Let them desire, whether it will the stars they aim for, or if the glory of that particular challenge is or is not really up their alley. Do we let them discover their alleys enough for them to figure out what they are made up of in the first place? Given the trend, the corporate world that awaits them laps them up with excitement, one that is reciprocated almost immediately. They are happy that we start manufacturing their brood well in advance.

What, now, is the big deal about a big dream? What are dreams worth? Is the dream only worth the dream being realised? Or is the dream worth the dreamer? Are we to die for the dream? Or is the dream a result of being such a dreamer? Without the dreamer, there would be no dream. With no dream, we all would just die so we just have to have one. And we can't settle for anything less than the best, even if it's a long way off. Just for the sake of it. It serves the entertainment of the mentality that we have been taught that we shouldn't be goalless, directionless and such. Oh no! That shouldn't ever happen.

And who's to say what a dream is and what is not? Maybe if Shakespeare wrote a play on it and it would have become a line which encourages this very aberration subjectively and puts it aside letting the Great Games of Dreaming go on.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The "BE the change" myth

Getting straight to the point - BE the change. A very often used phrase, one that is supposed to be of the tone that makes your point worthwhile. Let me make two small points about it about why it really shouldn't even be a phrase used as seriously.

1) The actual line is WALK THE TALK. The essential difference between the two is that when you walk the talk are simply are living up to your words, something you should be doing anyway. When you say BE THE CHANGE, you are acting in a self righteous mode and trying to push down a point of view down someone's throat insidiously. The problem is the attitude that BE THE CHANGE comes from when it should simply be WALK THE TALK. The idea should be to simply BE.

Biblically, we are not asked to be the change or the difference for the sake of it. We are to simply BE people whose actions match their words in every respect. If and when people dig it, when it is worth them, they will see it. It is not a foreign thing to everybody else for it not to be noticed. It is a universal truth to everyone.

2) The golden rule: You don't BE THE CHANGE to try and change someone aligned to the same polarity. It will only work with someone aligned to another polarity. When you have people who follow the same verses, draw the same inferences and then do extremely opposite things, there is no change you can be to even affect any change. If you be the change, they will predict the exact change that you will be and the exercise will be to no avail. It wasn't really supposed to be of any avail at all. If you were solely trying to be the silent change, you will are underestimating your fellow believers of the same polarity to be idiots, which is not the case. What they profess is alright. It's just their actions that don't match. They are just not using their heads.

A man going on a cross country cycling tour for poverty alleviation doesn't simply ride around the country smiling at people. He probably has messages all over his cycle, newspapers writing about him and talked to people about his cause whenever he stopped for a break. He did very much talk about it.

Mother Teresa, when she saw poverty and did all that she did, did not do it for others to be the change she was being. She did it simply because it was worth her calling and profession. Yes, she did not go out on the town and talk about her actions but her actions were seen. Neither did she ask that alternate Missionaries of Charity-like organisations be founded like she did hers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The politics of preservation/Oh! The sweet taste of freedom

In light of the recent assertion of opinion worldwide, there is a string of commonality that can be seen. In both the opposition to opinion and the assertion of it, we see that either/all parties trying very hard to protect something. You have the pro-present ruler parties fighting for the present ruler as their protector, even giving their lives for him/it. You have the pro-change parties who are willing to give their lives for change – change that they want to be a part of.

You had pro-Mubarak supporters shed the blood of anti-Mubarak supporters literally on sword and horse. So, Hosni Mubarak is the man and killing all people anti-Mubarak must die? If he was indeed the man, he wouldn’t have to run away from power, being forced out of power. You have Muammer Gaddafi saying that if he chooses to, he will rain terror on the nation and people will die. His supporters are going house to house to “kill his supporters”. Who is the scarier lot, would one say? The 10,000 odd supporters or the many more Libyan citizens who really want to get out of the daily hang noose that Libya is now. It seems that in the end it will be a numbers game. The best numbers will win, whenever victory is achieved.

The pro-side seems to attempt the preservation of what they think will sustain them. That’s on the assumption that Gaddafi will be their great sustainer. Whether a great track record or a fear they’d rather not consider, is it not them who would sustain him in the end? The anti-side wants to preserve freedom and democracy among other things. A far better thing to preserve. At least, they are taking interest in preserving their own fate. This substitutes a bloody revolution, like this, for an any-old-day election, that’s not rigged hopefully.

What good is giving your life when you could be dead when it actually happens? It is you believing in it so much that you jump in with your everything and then die that makes you a martyr. It is not a proclamation that you will do it that makes you one. When one makes such a proclamation it is usually when he has the comfort of doing so, like in literal cases of Muammer Gaddafi when he said he will die one. Other leaders under pressure aren’t as outright but seem to show a turgid exuberation that amounts the same tone.

True martyrs don’t have the option, either because it kills them to not stand for what they believe in the opposition of whatever or because they are made martyrs by the people, in the face of whom their martyrdom ends up being rubbed in – if one is wise enough to take note. Moreover, martyrdom, which takes care of itself, is hardly the issue unless you really want to be one and you are willing to do anything for it. Yes, absolutely bluntly, becoming a martyr for the sake of becoming a martyr. If one was indeed worth the glorification, they’d make better use of it while they were privileged to be alive. If the glory attained would, then, still be an issue, they should be a benevolent to the people who will actually give them that glory. It all adds up to same thing in the end. Further, it is inexplicable what good that will do for them once they are dead and gone. It’s all a very fuzzy concept indeed.

If it’s change and non-oppression that is being asked for, then martyrdom may just be a by-product/consequence. It cannot be the end goal and must have its place towards the furtherance of times towards better times.

So, the bravado really doesn’t achieve much, and the true heartfelt bravery comes from people who are really looking for that change. But not all these people really want change, it seems. In some cases, they just seem to want a wisp of the sweet air of freedom. It’s not that in all cases there was true non-governance and tyranny. In some cases, life went on and politics was just played on high grounds where three (or four) square meals a day, just enough water and roof over the head was not as important as power and ego in its absolute extreme context. If it is all just for the wisp of freedom, the bloodshed is surely not worth it.
The true heartfelt bravery does not come out indeed because these people need their time to make ends meet first. When it does, then (ending up) giving your life is almost inevitable because a man can only take so much before giving in to the psychosis of the desperation for better times. You can’t blame a man for that. You can only blame the man who puts him under those conditions, especially if it is the consequence of idealistic well meant policy that went bad or that would have never worked. From an article I read recently talking about the rule in North Korea, it’s not about achievement of equal result but the availability of equal opportunity that makes the prefect crossroads that don’t get nations into a series of revolts, one after the other.

As long as we know what we are asking for in a better government, and not just asking for a better government. As long as we know what we are asking for in change, but not just asking for change. As long as it’s not that wisp of freedom that will be refreshing but that real on-the-ground freedom that will not drive you into a psychosis of desperation that will spiral into a series of events as the world has witnessed in the past some months.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

@AllTheGuys: Ridiculous Female Chauvinism in the name of Breast Cancer

All the guys out there,

I come fresh from a new discussion concerning a new trend of Facebook statuses that ladies have been catching on, the latest being a series of drinks. Apparently, it is a means to confuse the men as to what they mean. It is passed around among the ladies with specific instruction to only let the confusion grow by not telling the men and having them break their heads over it, not having to figure it out it in the end. The drinks trend is as below:

Tequila: I'm a single woman
Rum: I'm a touch and go woman
Champagne: I'm an engaged woman
Redbull: I'm a woman in a relationship
Beer: I'm a married woman
Vodka: I'm the "other one"
Sprite: I'm a woman that can't find the right man
Whiskey: I'm a single woman but with friends that won't stop partying
Liquor: I'm a woman that wishes she was single.
Gin: I'm a woman that wants to get married

So, if you are on Facebook, you should find some of the women on your friends list use these statuses and having a ball after they confuse the men over their meaning. Thus, I have cracked the code for you. Being a sufferer of the nonsense, and after realising it is not even worth the effort to scratching your head over it, I am compelled to get this out to as many men as I can. You women and men who side with them on the issue, I apologise for any disloyalty of any kind to your race or my own race. I am personally not in favour of the female chauvinism it causes. If by any means, this blogpost spoils your party - I apologise as well - with much glee :D

Interestingly, the trend was really not the case. The trend of mysterious statuses was started in honour of the Breast Cancer month which is October. It was intended to raise awareness for the cause, one of the more famous ones being the "I like it on the" followed by things like couch, chair, bed, table etc. This refers to where the woman likes her bag being kept. Things like shoe sizes and such have also been used in the past.

I appreciate the cause, but I wonder what the heck what it has become now got to do with Breast Cancer. I am still figuring out where the mystery actually causes Breast Cancer Awareness. It's become some really weird excuse to confuse and stake a claim to a very confusing legitimate female chauvinism of some sort . I appreciate the whole phenomenon and it's humour as long as it does not go to the head. Unfortunately, it seems to have gone to head and us clueless men scratch our heads while they laugh away at our plight.

The worst bit, which inspires this blog post, is that even if you find out what it means the "joke" is supposed to have turned right back at you only better - only God knows why. Maybe time will indeed tell, as they say. Post this blogpost, if you do come across any such new trends, it just may be an upgraded version of this trend - whatever it actually achieves in the end regardless.

Now, I hate to be a bummer but I expect them to say that I fell right in to their trap, which I very well expect but I am glad this out and that it's on my blog for people to see.

P.S.:- This post contains no intention of malice, hatred, dislike or such like intentions. It is intended to be informative and humourous at the same time. It comes from no personal dislike of anyone from me, its writer. If one is to feel any negative emotion as a result, you are welcome to comment on it or email me. I am always a man of reason. If I have won you at your game (that's if you're playing it), you may admit that I have or you may say that it's turned right back on me. As always, reason and logic rule , as much does common sense. That does not mean the emotional kind are not as welcome to get back to me on this :)