Monday, December 28, 2015

We have no rights (The Consumer Rights Extension)

Coming from We have no rights...

In this age of rising consumerism, there is a strange sense of what's due to usin the services these Pvt. Ltds. provide, from their very stated purpose and motive to exist and thrive to the freedoms and sops that are freely expected so that a favourable economic system is available for their growth (of course, not forgetting our benefit as well *sly wink*).

A capitalistic society considers the rise of industry the foundation of its prosperity, but a more objective look will show you that we are creating a monster that we are breeding our complete dependence on. It will become its own and will control us. It's like a stilt house on a river that's poorly built but which we yet insist on additionally supporting because of the convenient, mostly blind short-term attention span that we exercise with things like success, aspiration, achievement and glory.

Most obsessions over these concepts are by people who haven't been imbibed with better, primary inner-soul filling obsessions when they were growing up. They didn't have enough self-interests to follow so the empty space was sold to the next thing that would make them bakrasand who wouldn't want to make shitloads of cash and maybe become a billionaire. Counting the cost can go to hell. Who wastes time with things like that anyway? All that you burn and the bridges you destroy will never match upto the grandeur you create. What's this life for anyway? Certainly not to keep memories intact, however beautiful they may be. We have to advance on in victory. If we don't destroy and kill, we will never recreate and cross barriers. 

While such romanticism can engage a bored mind that any high-ended education system leaves you with, it will go nowhere. We'll be right back to where we started, maybe even at a point before tyhat point. We'd realise that the only reason we champion this gaint capitalistic effort: because we know no better because we've been taught to know no better by people who have been taught to know no better. I wonder when greed will surface with a face eventually. It gives a sense of entitlement of what is "expected", because you gotta keep with the flow, bro, or lose out big time—lose the attention of people who had no attention in the first place and have it (the attention of ones who you are in "threat" of losing) on sale for the next slimy offer.

This brings up the question of why this is such an important thing in the first place. A captalist culture is one-sided (sorry, competitive). You're forced to change to the best player(s) side, or die, just that you can't die and you're forced to change. What it does is take the pre-sanctity of a life which we're supposed to ensure without a price on it and jack up that price to make it cost a million lifetimes at least. Happy times, a daily meal, a roof on your head, daily humanity, compassion and such are things that we never had a price (even a hidden one) for us to put a price on them in the first place. The competition we're forced to live in compels us to make the easier, more expensive gamble to offer them up to the market so that they remain accessible at a more expensive price than when they had no price on it! Like how fresh extracted juice with no additives costs more than fruit juice with additives. Or organic food is more expensive that inorganic food.

Apparently, we need the competition because it helps us do better. But when did games become real life and real life games? At school when we had sports days, we competed our hearts out. When all the fun was over, all the children (champions, cheerers and non-winners) were equal in front of the teacher for something as inconspicuous as marks.The latter is the important goal; the former is an add-on perk. We need to be running after development with profit as a mode of operation, not the opposite. Any development we need that badly will easily be on the upcoming horizon, and pretty much a regular, normal thing—not something we have to out-of-the-box strategise about like how we play games. Any extra responses to growth that is by any means slow (once you define what external factors you need to "keep up" with) will be something that we respond to because we still remain people who use our brains, hands, legs and feet on the go (because we didn't sell their use away as well for the comfortable lifestyle we're not offered a choice out of).  

What's left to be seen is how the people who swear by above described logic design their life when they have all the money but no more resources, cultural beliefs or people's lives to squeeze. All hail (crony) capitalism!  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Activism Crunch

Honest confession: I'm a green-lover and a poacher/hunter hater. What does that have to do with anything? Everything, given how these things have come to a common point these days. If many critics have their way, the clearer answer to that is slacktivism, or arm chair activism. A bunch of people who don't share these views and some who don't care for energy being spent on them who think we should spend our time "actually doing 'something' about them".

There's so much irony and ignorance in that statement that if it was packed in a grenade and placed at the centre of the earth, the planet would explode with pieces going to the far expanses of a galaxy beyond, and we'd learn so much more than just poking from light years away at them with telescopes, satellites and what not. Hopefully this post will explain why.

News recently has been inundated with outrage over Cecil the lion. Prior to this, for a considerable amount of time, I was subjected to questions that asked me what I was "doing" about the green myself instead of just making a noise about it going away. See. Here's the thing. I wouldn't have to scream and shout and wave my activism all about if the people who I was raising my voice against the actions of didn't do them in the first place.

I'm reminded of a conversation another person of similar mind. Whether it's the forests of Mahan, my own church campus which was wantonly destroyed end-to-end, Lavasa or Cecil (the list is long), the people who wreck the destruction are the people to whom the beauty didn't belong in the first place. As much as a multi-billion corporate honcho wants to take away someone else's forest land for development, he wouldn't dare give up his own for any cause that he'd tag with equal nobility. If his home (and his own) is as precious as a home should be, he would fight for it tooth and nail. He wouldn't need to either with his billions and the pull that they cause. God forbid he stops churning it lest all us poor people lose out on their trickle down effect and wreck us all. He is God and when God speaks we all shut up.

All these homely values go down the drain the moment he has destroy forest land or convert well, balanced urban space into "development" fodder. What he has is the Itchy Hands Effect.It's when you have nothing to and your hands itch and you just gotta, you know? It is caused by the Empty Brain Phenomena. That's when stuff is heaped into our brain that as useless and leaving it empty. Heave a whole bunch of thanks of our inane education system and societal values. Combine that with itchy hands and you've got a recipe for destruction. You may as well hold a grenade in your hands and play with the pin, or carve it for fun, because you're such a dimwit about how grenades work. Basically, wrong person, wrong hands, wrong timing... wrong everything. As Bob Dylan would put it, "there ought to be a law against you coming around."

But, sadly, these mismatches of hands, people and resources  happen way, way, way, way, way too often for any activism to be overrated or underplayed. In fact, that's why we need activism in all kinds—armchair, placard, online, tailing... you name it. The wrong people keep on handling the wrong things oblivious of the Itchy Hands Effect and they ask the right people what they've "done about it" apart from preaching their values down other people's throat. Why would over-dependent industries (and hunting maniacs) cripple entire ecosystems and then say that activism is "lazy". It wouldn't need to exist in the first place without their dimwittedness and their perceived right to touch and "transform" everything they see. They need to go and get their Itchy Hands Effect checked and corrected. Once done, their hands won't be itchy and they won't spurn anything that deserves activism. But, the problem lies deeper. It's a mind problem. Remember the Empty Brain Phenomena? Because of it, they will never, ever get around to understanding this because, well, their brains are empty and they have been fed with too much ego to admit that and quit. They justify it with even more mismatching and mandhandling with empty brain logic so that the precious little nothing in their heads stand is not off-balanced.  
The right people, in these cases, are arguing the opposite—just leave it alone. There's nothing anyone needs to "do" about anything. Corporates, activists, everyone. Even if the activists do whatever it is they're supposed to do about it, that's what they'd do—leave it alone!