Thursday, December 22, 2005

Being one step behind the Rude One

Today I was gonna write a superb post, the mother of all posts. A post so glittering with humor, so replete with graphic references to various sexual acts of both a depraved as well as not-so-depraved nature that I just couldn't wait to write it and click on the Post button.

The crux of the post was going to be the ridicule of Bill Kristol's comical article in the WaPo defending the president's illegal wiretappings, where he narrates a hypothetical scenario wherein the president would have obtained the cellphone numbers of potential terrorists in the US from people apprehended in Pakistan. And then, because time would be of the essence, in the period it would take him to get due "warrants" from "courts" to wiretap these numbers, tens of thousands of bombs would blow up in the US, obliterating the entire East coast. And hell, he might not even get a warrant because some judge might look at the evidence presented and deem the wiretapping unnecessary.

I was going to point out that the reason a judge is given this power to decide on whether wiretaps are warranted or not is because there's a law which specifically rquires it, and who better to enforce the law than a judge. I was going to point out that the president believing that he would be in a better position to adjudicate whether enforcement of this law is necessary or not is so ridiculous, not only because it breaks down the concept of an independent executive and judiciary, but also because it requires the public to place enough credibility in the president's judgement, specifically this president's, who has time and time again demonstrated that his canniness in that field is well, to say the least, of a questionable nature.

I was also going to conjure up a hypothetical scenario of my own wherein President Clinton would unilaterally decide that the US would be better protected from terrorist attacks if he were to become the recipient of a blow job from a White House intern and lie to the public about it. And what would happen if, after being found out by the New York Times, he were to go on air and reproach the New York Times for being a traitor to the country for revealing this information, and that regardless, he would still continue to receive blow jobs on the sly because in his opinion, not doing so would be a failure on his part to protect the country.

So, I was going to make all these points and it was promising to be a good post. And then, as is in my daily schedule, I happened to visit the Rude Pundit's blog during lunch and I found out that he was one step ahead of me, already having written on the topic and having done a much better job than I could ever have hoped to. Although the target of his wrath was David Brooks, the NY Times columnist who actually is quite similar to Bill Kristol in his Bush worshipping attitude.

So, fuck it, I said, crumpling up my post and throwing it into the trash bin, I guess today I'll just point to the Rude One's post. So here it is. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Robert Novak leaves CNN for Fox News, citing aversion to light

In a move that should surprise no one in the mainstream media, Robert Novak, a conservative CNN commentator, has decided to leave CNN and join it's rival Fox News Network. Novak, who has had several honorary titles conferred upon him during his long illustrious career in the media, such as "The Prince of Darkness" and "The Douchebag of Liberty", the latter by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, has cited aversion to light as being one of the reasons he is leaving CNN.

"Light is bad for my complexion", said Mr Novak, in an interview. "It causes my skin to boil and vaporize. Sunlight can even cause my head to burst open." In addition to CNN's well-lighted studios, Mr Novak has reportedly also been uneasy with his "Crossfire" co-anchor, Paul Begala's amulet which contains a dangling Christian cross. In addition, Mr Novak has expressed his displeasure with CNN's cafetaria which, on numerous occasions, has refused to serve him raw beef, citing health concerns.

However, not all of his complaints with CNN were related to his work environment. "My career in CNN wasn't really allowing me to spread my wings, so to speak", remarked Mr Novak. "Professionally, it felt like I was being confined inside a coffin, figuratively speaking."

Mr Novak has been welcomed into the Fox News family by veterans like Bill O' Reilly, Sean Hannity and Brit Hume. In a press conference conducted in near total darkness and illuminated only by the bloodshot eyes of the triumvirate, the three Fox News anchors hissed their welcomes, saying that Mr Novak would be sure to fit into their community as perfectly as a fang inside a neck wound and expressed the hope that he would have a bloody good time during his sojourn within that establishment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Pennsylvanian's guide to staying alive for the foreseeable future

I live in Pennsylvania. I am a resident of the state that today banished God and everything that is lovely and good and decent out of the lives of it's citizens. I am a resident of the state that said NO to Intelligent Design.

We all know what is going to happen in the next few days. And the mere thought of it makes me quake in my shoes. Have you seen "The Day after Tomorrow"? Did you like it? Yeah me too, the special effects were pretty good, especially when the wave ... but fuck it, I'm not here to talk about the day after tomorrow. Well, yeah, I am, but not the movie. This is what's gonna happen the day after tomorrow.

The sky will gradually turn a darker shade of winter. The laughing maw of Satan will appear within the menacing folds of cloud cover sagging over your doomed town like a tired old crack whore's wizened teats. The clouds will open up releasing a million demonic bats that will fly through your home devouring all your Chinese food leftovers and raping your cat. The laughing face will then begin to resemble Pat Robertson's visage. He will weep for your sins, his tears falling down on earth in the form of destitute Hurricane Katrina victims who will clutch at your shirt sleeves while drowning in a pool of their own blood, all the while berating you for following a homosexual lifestyle.

Cars will crash into each other. New York transit employees will go on strike. The entire cast of "Friends" will descend on your town and run amok drinking coffee and whining about failed love affairs. Your faucets will drip, your television picture will blur, you will suffer from a violent attack of diarrhea and run out of toilet paper. Your clothes won't fit you right, your food will taste like semen and you will enjoy how it tastes. Circumcisions will go horribly awry. A million mothers will give birth to two million ugly twins. Penis envy will replace anorexia as the dominant female mental dysfunction and the streets will run red with the blood of innumerable male genitalia hacked down in their prime by machette wielding demi-goddesses.

Soon, you will die a horrible agonizing death and as you gaze up from your deathbed, you will see psychedelic visions of Pat Robertson madly sodomizing Charles Darwin's inert corpse. Your final tortured gasp of life will coincide with Robertson letting loose a wild orgasmic shriek as he comes and comes again inside that heretic pseudo-scientist's torn sphincter.

There is only one way to avoid this fate. Flee, fool. Flee to Kansas where the air is still pure and where the word of God remains all-powerful.

Or you could flee to India, as I will be doing this weekend. Cheers.

Iraqi democratic experiment successful with emergence of Islamic fundamentalist party

President Bush's initiative to bestow democracy on Iraq appeared to be on the verge of being an unmitigated success with the relatively smooth implementation of the election process, resulting in the Shia fundamentalist party "United Iraqi Alliance" capturing about 58% of votes with 89% of votes having been counted uptil now.

The United Iraqi Alliance, which is a coalition of parties such as The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, The Islamic Dawa Party, The al-Fadhila Islamic Party and the Islamo-Islamic party of Islamian Islam, is expected to create an Islamic government at the center, more reminiscent of the one currently in power in Iran.

President Bush is getting ready to congratulate the winners of the December 15 election and welcome to the world the first fundamentalist Islamic government in Iraq, Iraq till now having been ruled by a secular dictator. Americans have expressed elation at the fact that even if Islamic terrorists henceforth begin to receive sanctuary in Iraq, their anti-US religious worldview now being shared by the government which comprises of numerous insurgent leaders who uptil now were engaged in hand-to-hand combat operations against coalition troops on Iraqi streets, they will at least be enjoying the hospitality of a government that was democratically elected by the Iraqi people.

Iyad Allawi, the pro-US Iraqi political activist who was appointed as interim Prime Minister by coalition forces, is well on his way to suffering an ignominous defeat by coming in third overall in the elections. His defeat serves as yet another reminder to all US-backed sock-puppet leaders currently in power throughout the world not to order that comfortable leather upholstered executive chair for your office yet.

Meanwhile, Iran, which recently elected an ultra conservative hardline fundamentalist president who has pledged to wipe Israel off the map, continue Iran's nuclear program and more significantly, banish the music of George Michael from Iranian radio stations, is reportedly ecstatic with the emergence of the United Iraqi Alliance, there being reports of close ties existing between the two. Although the electoral results in Iraq prove that the previously non-existing third pillar in the notorious Axis of Evil has a greater potential to now become a reality due to US intervention, December 15 will resonate throughout the world as a great day for democracy when naive, uninformed idealism scored a victory over hard, educated realism.

Meanwhile, conservative Americans, blissfully oblivious to events unfolding in the world that could in many ways be responsible for the next set of terror attacks to befall the nation, are celebrating Christmas by directing acrimony towards those who do not celebrate it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

VHP calls for a bandh to prevent future violence in Gujarat

The VHP today called for a bandh in Karjan town in Gujarat, India to protest the marriage of a Hindu girl with a Muslim youth. Authorities in Gujarat are applauding this move by the VHP, which they say, is a step in the right direction towards curbing communal violence in a state that has witnessed more than its share of Hindu-Muslim clashes in recent years.

The VHP, which is a right wing fundamentalist Hindu organization, pragmatically discerning that the consensual elopement of an inter-faith couple might lead to future religious riots in the state, has extended a helping hand to the parties involved by threatening them with dire consequences.

"We would like to mantain peace and amity in Gujarat", said VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia. "So, we oppose any actions on the part of our citizens that could jeopardize it, such as inter-faith marriages. The only thing more detrimental to our culture than Hindus and Muslims slaughtering each other is Hindus and Muslims living together in a state of conjugal bliss. You are welcome", he added, graciously accepting thanks from a grateful community.

In order to prevent future communal clashes, the VHP has called for a bandh in the town, which will be followed by a ritualistic stripping and parading of the felonious couple in the town square, and the evening will finally culminate with their families threatened with murder, rape and house-burning. All this, the VHP says, will prevent the occurrence of any more such anti-culture marriages that could snip away at the delicate fabric of bottled up communal hatred in the town and cause it to erupt in a riot of demented bloodshed.

The unfortunate couple, when asked for a comment replied, "We understand what we did was wrong and against our way of life. Henceforth, we shall restrict our interaction to merely hurling religious insults at each other in passing. This will be best for the community."

Bill passed to prevent entry of lazy, overoptimistic terrorists into the US

The US House of Representatives today passed a bill that would do away with the diversity visa lottery that distributes about 50,000 green cards every year to randomly chosen applicants. The reason given for eliminating this green card category was to prevent its misuse by miscreants who might infiltrate the US in an attempt to launch terrorist attacks.

This bill will finally address the long-standing issue pertaining to the influx of extremely lazy terrorists who just weren't bothered enough to devise a more practical way of making their way into the country than by applying for this lottery. It will also be a decent solution to the ever increasing problem of overly optimistic terrorists who were so supremely confident in their ability to win the lottery out of a pool of millions of potential applicants that they did not have a backup plan in case they failed to make the selection.

In other news, Congress is proposing to contaminate the Rio Grande river, which forms a major part of the US-Mexico border, with barrels of whole milk in order to prevent the entry of potentially lactose intolerant terrorists.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Patriot Act extension blocked amidst giggles

A group of senators today successfully blocked the renewal of the Patriot Act in the US Senate. The Patriot Act was first passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks to expand the authority of the federal government in obtaining private records and conducting secret searches and wiretaps in its effort to track down suspected terrorists. The Patriot Act has since then come under fire for being abused by the government to indulge in various civil rights violations such as imprisoning American citizens for indefinite periods of time without allowing them access to legal help, as well as rifling through private records such as library book checkout lists.

This blockage however elicited titters of amusement amongst the remaining members of the Republican dominated Senate who winked at each other while trying their best to stifle their giggles. "Ooh without the Patriot Act we are really screwed.....ooh I'm so scared", whispered Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison while nudging her benchmate Sen John Cornyn of Texas in the ribs, while Mr Cornyn buried his face inside his Bible in an attempt to hide his mirth at this statement of hers.

"The renewal of the Patriot Act is essential to bestowing legality on the prolonged confinement of people who might or might not be a threat to this country", said Sen. Lindsey Graham R-SC, pretending to act serious. "Yes, if the Patriot Act isn't renewed, it will be impossible to legally hold anyone in captivity ..... tee hee hee", he added.

President Bush in a press statement said with jocular gravity, "I call upon those senators who are blocking the Patriot Act to rethink their decision. And I also urge the UN to revise its vote on refusing to give me the authority to invade Iraq", he added chuckling to himself at his joke, accompanied by a drum roll while the Rose Garden audience cheered his comic routine.

On being found out

The NY Times revealed that Bush has been spying on US residents without warrants since 2002 through the National Security Agency.

December 16 :
President Bush : I can't speak about this matter because it is a matter of national security and revealing any details about this operation would help the terrorists and allow them to plant neutron bombs in your basement. And also since I'm not really sure how much of my activities you people already know about, I've got to find out how much of the remainder I can try and cover up. So it's better I keep my mouth shut at this point. Thank you.

December 17 :
President Bush : Ok now that I know everything is already in the open, I can safely give you all the details about the operation, because, hell, my staying out of prison is definitely more important than the safety of the nation. So shut the fuck up about laws n crap because I did it for you. Oh and also, in case you forgot, September 11. Terrorism. Destroying our way of life. Thank you.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cheating spouses relieved to know it was just the government monitoring them

Thousands of philandering spouses and lovers who were indulging in illicit affairs heaved a collective sigh of relief today on news that the entity monitoring their cellphone conversations and emails was not their husband or wife, but the US government. The New York Times today revealed that the National Security Agency, or as it is more commonly known, "The ***", was ordered by President Bush in 2002 to eavesdrop without warrants on people residing in the United States.

While this news resulted in a bitter backlash amongst much of the citizenry, which didn't take too kindly to the president illegally authorizing a government agency to surreptitiously tune into their private conversations, it was a cause of much celebration within the community of marital infidels. One such community member who gave his name as Mr John Doe said, "All those strange clicks and occasional buzzings in my cellphone were giving me nightmares. I was afraid it might be my wife spying on me. But it's great to know that it was just a top-secret government agency violating my civil rights. Hoo boy, it's a huge freakin' weight off my mind."

Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher defended Bush's order, which has reportedly broken new ground in presidential malfeasance. "After conducting an informal White House poll, we came to a conclusion that after 9/11, wiretapping our fellow citizens would definitely be more voter-friendly than herding them all into internment camps", said Mr Rohrabacher. "I really do not know what the big deal is", he added, before letting the reporter interviewing him put his clothes back on, which he had been ordered to remove in order to check for secretly placed recording devices.

The president, when asked for a comment, explained that his seemingly illegal authorization of civilian wiretaps wasn't really illegal due to the fact that he had beforehand signed into law, without going through Congressional red tape, a bill that would allow him to do so.

In related news, a side effect of these revelations has been a sudden spurt in the president's approval ratings among lyin' cheatin' bastards who thanked the dear Lord God and continued to lie, cheat and be bastards.

The meaning of a free market economy

There is an interesting discussion currently underway in the Indian blogosphere over the liberalization of the Indian economy. The debate is being phrased as "pro-regulation or pro-free market". I, however, feel this nomenclature mischaracterizes the issue.

It all comes down to what exactly the term "free market" means. Wikipedia defines it as "A free market is a market where all exchanges are made without coercion; all trades are voluntary." I had to go look at the Wiki because my knowledge of economics is limited to the law of supply and demand. So basically, a free market is one where production and distribution of goods and services is not affected by forces external to the market itself.

There can be two kinds of forces exerted. One is by the government in the form of regulations, the other in the form of leverage and monopoly by corporations. As I see it, ultimately, the difference of opinion on the issue occurs due to varying perceptions of a threat to the free market. What Vulturo calls "pro-regulation" supporters, are actually supporters of a free market who believe it is under threat from corporations, while what he calls "pro-free market" supporters are people who believe it is under a greater threat from the government.

Again, regulations are of two kinds. The first kind is detrimental to free markets where corporations have to go through a lot of red tape to enter the market or to bring a product to the market. I feel these are redundant and need to be scrapped. The second kind are regulations that make sure the corporation plays fair once it is in the market and thus, are actually, conducive to the free market. For example, anti-trust regulations that disallow a corporation from creating a monopoly based purely on brute force. So it isn't really a pro-regulation / pro-free market debate.

The problem with the free market debate is that it is getting muddied due to a focus on ideology, instead of the ultimate goal. I feel the ultimate goal of both sides of this argument is the same, to reduce poverty in India and improve the standard of living of it's population. But this goal is now being bogged down by rigid adherence to ideology. Clearly, quite a few people are equating the free market with giving corporations a free pass to do whatever they want. But this is actually contradictory to their goals, because corporations are quite as capable of exerting undue influence on a market, just like the government, and encroaching on its freeness.

In order to correctly tackle this debate, it is first necessary to know what it is that we are arguing about as well as find out what the other side is arguing about. And then, more importantly, it is also necessary to keep ideology aside for a while and concentrate on the actual goal of the debate itself.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Purple finger routine getting old, Bobby Jindal told

Bobby Jindal, the Republican congressman from Louisiana was today advised by party members that his purple finger routine was getting old and that he needed to come up with some new material.

Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, who is of Indian origin, attained star status in the Republican party during the State of the Union address last February, when his idea for congressional non-combatants to smear their fingers with purple ink in order to symbolically celebrate the Iraqi transitional assembly elections was taken up enthusiastically by top party brass (via Dark Days Ahead). Although the elections later resulted in the ousting of pro-US interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and led to the rise of fundamentalist Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali-Sistani, who reportedly had ties to Iran, the purple-finger idea was deemed a tremendous success, leading many people to believe in Jindal being the next up-and-coming GOP poster child. After the address, Jindal was observed proudly holding up his purple finger for many months long after the culmination of the event right up to the summer of this year, when hurricane Katrina diverted everybody's focus from the war in Iraq to the tragedy in New Orleans, thereby taking his purple finger out of the limelight.

Mr Jindal was understandably upset with the change of fortune of his finger, which then went into hiding for a while but then appeared to have obtained a new lease of life with yesterday's elections in Iraq. Mr Jindal immediately circulated an email to party colleagues, requesting a re-purplification of their fingers, but was disappointed by refusals from members of Congress who believed that the idea had outlived it's shelf life.

"It's getting old", said Tom DeLay (R-Texas) , former house whip and future criminal. "People want something new to be unreasonably jingoistic about. Purple fingers don't do it anymore". "He should get that finger looked at", said Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), current Senate majority leader and future Tom Delay cellmate. "It might be purple due to a lack of blood circulation. In fact, based on the video footage I've seen of his finger, I believe it needs to be chopped off."

With his finger's star fading into oblivion, Mr Jindal reportedly is planning to return back to his Indian roots and reconvert to Hinduism or Sikhism, whichever would be better conducive to a successful career in Indian politics.

Update : Jindal passes his torch to a Montana 10 year old. Montana. Who would have guessed?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My ode to the President

With Pakistani schools imposing the worship of President George W. Bush on their children in the form of a poem, I thought it would be nice to impose his loathing in Indian schools with our own poem. So towards that purpose, I have penned an ode to our dear leader.

Petulant and bossy with all he must be,
Ready from every challenge to flee,
Erring in judgement, lacking common sense,
Staying hidden so as not to spew nonsense.
Isn’t afraid to fall over his own feet,
Doesn't think twice to lie and to cheat,
Eyes lacking ability to judge the scope of tasks,
Never backs down doesn't care how many casks,
Tells it all straight, as straight as a crook can be.

Going forward believing in his God,
Everyone who doubts meets the firing squad,
Over and over he muddies the water
Reaching out only to those who flatter.
Growing hatred against Americans,
"Eh what", he says, "I thought we're the loved ones".

Wanting the world to join his stroking hand,

Bracing for his climax, he will rudely be interrupted,
Ugly and vile, his administration corrupted,
So now it will be time for his trial to impend,
Here and now will his crimes end.

Oh by the way, for people who weren't aware, the first letters of each verse form "President George W Bush". That's how the authorities in Pakistan got to know about it.

Democracy for Iraq...but hold the free press

Came across this deliciously paradoxical post in the Indian blogosphere lamenting the inordinate amount of lamenting taking place with regard to the US paying Iraqi media outlets to report pro-US news. The paradox wasn't in the post as such, although the presence of a "Support Democracy in Iraq" flashy gif thing on the blog page didn't help matters. Great to see conflicting arguments of an issue placed side by side in apparent harmony.

Here is what the US government has to say about the role of a free press in a democracy. A free press being, of course, a press that doesn't whore itself out to play nice cuddly stories on the bidding of the government. And Jesus Christ, it's number 6 in a list of 21 features of a democratic society. In fact, it appears even before "The rule of Law" and "Independent Judiciary". That's how much importance the US places on the role of a free press in a democracy.

But hold on, maybe I'm just being unduly negative about all this. Maybe this is just a sign of the free market taking hold in Iraq. A free market where news, just like any other commodity can be bought and sold based on a price determined by demand and supply. And since there is a pretty sizeable demand for good news and an acute shortage of it's supply, attaching a price tag to it is but natural in the scheme of things.

So it's all good I guess, I was worrying myself over nothing. There, now I feel much better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Act of God

A very close friend directed me to the "limited" warranty he received with his Sony Playstation console. The word "limited" in any warranty never fails to send shivers up my spine and a sharp pain through my prostate. But anyways, this limited warranty of Sony reads as follows:

I think that's pure legal brilliance right there. They will not cover anything that was damaged by an act of God. Who is to say what an act of God is and what is not? Except God himself, that is. And since He will not allow us a glimpse into His daily schedule of activities, it is up to Sony to act as His messenger and deliver to us the word of God as to what was caused by him and what was not. In fact, Sony could potentially label any problem with the Playstation to be an act of God. You know what, the addition of this small line into any warranty could quite possibly eliminate the need for a legal system even. Bravo, Sony. Bravo.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bangalore to change name to reflect state of its infrastructure

Chief Minister Dharam Singh of the state of Karnatak in India has announced that soon, its capital city Bangalore would be reverting back to its pre-colonial name "Bengaluru". This name change is designed to make Bangalore residents aware of and take pride in that period of the city's history during which the state of its infrastructure closely resembled current conditions of squalidity.

In a press statement, the Chief Minister mentioned that the name "Bangalore" was too Westernized and would give potential foreign visitors a disproportionately optimistic expectation from the city's civic amenities such as roads, electric supply and air quality. Hence, in order to suitably lower visitors' expectations and prepare them for Bangalore's pothole-ridden roads, untreated sewage and horrendous traffic snarls, it would henceforth be known by it's ancient 16th century name to reflect city conditions commensurate with those that existed during that period of its history.

Bangalore will now join other major Indian metropolitan areas like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, previously known as Bombay, Madras and Calcutta respectively, before each of these city's names was set back a few hundred years in order to properly calibrate it with the city's developmental status.

Some government insiders claim that this name change would accomplish a dual objective. Many software companies based in Bangalore have frequently complained about the city's crumbling infrastructure. Now, with Bangalore being wiped off the map, this would permanently take care of that complaint. If there were no "Bangalore" in existence as such, there would be no "Bangalore infrastructure" to be taken care of.

Controversy still remains about whether the new name should be spelt "Bengaluru" or "Bengalooru". Polls suggest that Bangaloreans are evenly divided, about as evenly as they are on either not giving a "flying fuck" or not giving a "rat's ass" about the issue.

What it means to lose moral high ground

When a chronic human rights abuser like China can spit in the face of America, point to it's torture policy and tell it to practice what it preaches.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Banning of Kite-flying banned in Pakistan

A law banning the passing of any law banning kite flying was passed today by the Pakistani Supreme Court. The passage of this law follows closely on the heels of a law banning kite-flying which was passed earlier this week.

According to government sources, the Pakistani High Court in Lahore banned the popular activity of kite-flying because several people have been killed in the past by the kite's thin string. However, this sparked off massive demonstrations outside the High Court building by protesters who claimed that kite-flying was an intrinsic part of Pakistani culture. In the resulting riots, a number of people were hurt by the police baton charge.

This incident led the Pakistani Supreme Court to pass a law banning any High Court from banning kite-flying in the future. "Banning kite flying has been proven to cause a greater number of casualties than the actual act of flying a kite itself", said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, justifying the ban on the ban. "Although banning a ban might be considered to be a double negative, it is still a positive development in the legal landscape of the country."

In other news, in a major flip-flop, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has backtracked on his demand for Israel to be deleted from the world map, now requesting for it to be cut pasted into Europe instead.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The root of all religious evil

Granted, almost all aspects of religion are equally irrational and divisive, creating huge rifts within mankind and society, but there is one aspect which I believe is responsible for most of the bloodshed and violence we see being carried out in it's name. And that aspect is the concept of an afterlife.

Most religions believe in the afterlife. Christians believe that only by selling your soul to Jesus and staying pure by doing fluffy adorable things in this life, such as not having sex and not paying $9.99 to watch other people have sex, will allow you to spend your afterlife ensconced in the velvety comfort of heaven. Otherwise, come deathbed, you will be banished to the hot frothy lava covered desolation of hell; or as non-Christians know it, Camden, New Jersey.

Muslims believe in an afterlife as well. Their belief is similar to that of Christians, except in their case, they feel they are better suited to go to heaven than Christians, by virtue of not being Christian.

Hindus are kind of confused about this issue. Their confusion arises from the fact that they are not really sure if afterlife consists of life in heaven, or returning back to earth as a different species. I think after realizing that there are about one billion Hindus on earth, many of whom would be heaven bound after their demise, in addition to the ten billion Gods and Goddesses already residing in heaven, they came to the conclusion that life in heaven might not be so great if, for every step you took there, you would be falling over a God's foot here and a swami's naked torso there.

That's why Hindus played it safe and announced that consequent to death, their tribe would be coming back to earth as a different organism, the type of which would be predicated by the amount of good the Hindu had done during his lifetime. For example, if you tossed a coin having heads on both sides and called tails just so that you could sacrifice your life and save your best friend from being killed by a dacoit, you would come back to earth as a human, and quite possibly, a well-endowed woman in the supermodelling business. However, on the other hand, if you spent all of your life drinking till you were 40, then suddenly woke up and decided that you wanted to spend the rest of your life bombing countries into oblivion, you would probably come back as an arthritic cockroach with kidney stones.

So as explained above, afterlife is a major belief in all religions. But why did it even come to be a belief and an integral part of religion? Well, long long ago when people were not as educated as we are today, when the accepted method of explaining any phenomenon was to say that it was a manifestation of God's presence, when people lived in communities ruled by, in most cases, a tyrannical leader, they started questioning the meaning of life. They already knew, that there was a God, but the question was, why was he being so nasty to them when they hadn't done anything bad or evil. And from that question came the obvious answer. That this wasn't the only life you were going to live. There would be a series of lives you would go through, so as long as you stayed strong and lived out this miserable life, you could be sure that another, much better life would be along soon.

But then that led to another question; If the poor, unhappy citizenry was going to get another shot at life, wasn't it unfair that the satanic king, who was the cause of all their sorrow would also be getting it? Hey, no worries, said the bright guy who came up with the answer. The king would have an afterlife too, but his afterlife would be spent trying to swat away demonic creatures with pitchforks who would torment him for all eternity. Aha, said the satisfied populace. That sure makes a lot of sense. Serves him right, the bastard. Thus, afterlife came to be a big part of religion.

This is the age of religious fundamentalism. Seemingly insane people willing to risk their own lives and limbs in the sole objective of annihilating others of a different faith. A thinking man would ask, why would someone spend their entire life indulging in murder and mayhem in the name of religion? What do they hope to accomplish, and wouldn't they be better off spending their short lives doing something more pleasurable like, say, plucking little yellow flowers in a grassy meadow in Vermont, or drinking till they puke? The answer, dear thinker is quite simple. They do not care about this life because they know that they are entitled to an afterlife of a better quality once they are dead. That is why they are so eager to let go of this life and move on to the next one. And that's why the concept of an afterlife is so dangerous, in fact, it is that aspect of religion that converts a harmless irrational fool into a deadly guided missile.

Secondly, the concept of an afterlife gives religion it's highly exclusionary nature. You look at your motherfucker of a neighbour who keeps banging on your walls when you raise the volume of your tv even a little bit, and yet doesn't have any qualms about playing loud rap music all weekend long on high bass. Damn, you think, I sure hope that guy's not gonna be my neighbour in heaven. In fact, you realize, just because he's being such a pain in the ass right now, he's gonna go to hell when he dies. Yeah, that's right buddy, lets see how your South Central attitude works in Lucifer's frying pan. And so, you mentally convert your neighbour into a lesser being, bestow upon him God's wrath, basically dehumanize him. Once that's done, you are just a Walmart away from buying a gun and cleaning his clock.

So you see, no matter how much one believes in God, no matter how devoutly you follow your religious rituals, or read your holy books, no matter how many virgins you sacrifice under the light of a full moon while dancing naked around a fire, that's quite alright. Because as long as you do not believe in an afterlife and realize that this is the only one you have and ever will, you will value it more, as well as the lives of everybody around you. And when you value life, murdering others or your own self ceases to make any sense. You might be superstitious, but you will not be a bloodthirsty fundamentalist.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bush gives nation three guesses on how he plans to win Iraq war

President Bush today reiterated his position that of course, he knew how to win the war in Iraq and that he knew we would win it, and that he would give America three guesses on how he planned to achieve it.

In a press conference, the President, in a playful mood, just having talked to Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi on the phone and narrated that joke about the three geishas and the cowboy from Crawford which had elicited a lot of uncontrolled laughter at the other end, said "Once again America, this is the last freakin time I'm telling you, I know how to win this war. The question is do you? I'll give you three guesses. Please send me your answers."

This strange game was then given air-time later in the day by right wing radio and the Fox News Network. Sean Hannity, of the "Hannity and Some Other Guy show", asked Americans to write down their three guesses as to the American strategy for victory in Iraq and send it by expedited mail to the White House. Correct answers would receive an all-inclusive vacation in one of the few hotels still left standing in the Baghdad Green Zone, where the winner would be able to see with his or her own eyes how their strategy was succeeding (or failing).

Democrats after having inquired whether they are eligible to participate in the contest as well, have been informed that sure, they are, as long as "pulling out of Iraq entirely", "reduction of troop levels" or "replacing President Bush with someone more capable" isn't one of their guesses.

In other news, Saddam Hussain's trial resumed today with the notorious dictator not attending it, instead preferring to watch its live broadcast on Court TV in his prison cell.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Failed Bush assassin to "stay the course"

After polls showed falling courtroom support for his failed attempt to assassinate President George W. Bush, Georgian lunatic Vladimir Arutyunian tried to rally his supporters by announcing that he would "stay the course" and continue the Global War against the President of the United States until success was achieved.

In a passionate speech at his criminal trial, Arutyunian announced to the terrorist world that failure is not an option and that prematurely withdrawing efforts from their objective of destroying the president would only empower him and send the signal that he had succeeded in destroying their way of life. He also accused the judge presiding over the courtroom of undermining the war on the President by openly questioning his murderous motives and keeping him in a state of captivity.

Critics of Arutyunian disagree with what they call his stubbornness in not admitting his errors and changing the plan of action. "The very fact that Mr Arutyunian stands shackled to the courtroom door shows that his plan to assassinate the president is not working. And even if Mr. Arutyunian were to succeed in his mission, it is obvious that he has no idea of how to deal with it's aftermath", said a critic. "Unless a detailed plan is drawn up that explains the steps to be taken to prevent looting and arson in the United States following the assassination, we cannot support him in his endeavour."

However, supporters of Arutyunian say that he has drawn up a three point "Strategy for Victory in the War against George W. Bush" (assassinate, evade, buy Christmas gifts for 72 virgins), which should quell any doubts critics might have about the success of the undertaking.

In unrelated news, Sen. Hillary Clinton has announced her support for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as stated in the Kyoto protocol, by introducing a bill in Congress that would criminalize the burning of the American flag (via Raw Story).

Democrat plan to take over the White House foiled

A bid for wresting control of the Republican White House and transferring it into Democratic hands was foiled today when Secret Service agents arrested an Arkansas resident who was trying to climb over the White House fence. The Arkansan, later identified as Senator Hillary Clinton, later admitted under threat of torture that the fence-climbing was the first step in a series of events designed to culminate in the Democratic control of the White House.

The Democrats, who have lately been shut out from practically every branch of American government, had been expected to carry out such an act of extremism since they have traditionally been pretty inept at converting a coherent economic, social and foreign policy into electoral victories. Thus, it was natural that at some point in time, frustrated with their inability to succeed in the traditional way of being elected into office, the Democratic Party would attempt a more direct approach, namely, breaking into and entering the WhiteHouse.

Sen. Clinton, who is rumored to be harboring presidential ambitions, has admitted that after instituting herself in the Oval office, she was planning to appoint herself as the President, the Vice President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court simultaneously, after which, the first item on her list of priorities was to impeach her philandering husband, former President Bill Clinton for perjury, which was something that had been on her agenda for a while now as an unfinished Congressional matter. This would then be followed by other miscellaneous appointments like George W.Bush as Private First Class (PFC), to be stationed on the Iraqi battlefront with Paul Wolfovitz, the deputy Secretary of Defense, as his good looking sidekick who would be killed in battle. Vice President Dick Cheney's body, which reportedly contains the second largest deposits of fossil fuel after Saudi Arabia, would be preserved as part of the strategic American crude oil reserve, to be melted down and utilized during the next fuel emergency.

White House advisor Karl Rove has condemned the attempted incursion, saying "If the Democrats want to play dirty, they should just follow the Republican way of rigging presidential elections. Breaking into the White House is uncalled for."

In other news, Saddam Hussain's defence team walked out of the courtroom in protest after accusing the judge of not hearing their complaints. Soon after, Saddam Hussain named himself his own defence counsel and expressed his intention to walk out as well.

The Indian Express indulges in sensationalism

An Indian Express headline proclaims "Curious stares at wife provoked Osama to jihad", in quotes. It points to an article in the New Yorker about Bin Laden's life and his embrace of radical Islam. The article quotes Khaled Batarfi, a friend of Bin Laden, recounting Bin Laden's trip to the US with his wife and kid, when his wife, who was dressed in the traditional Muslim Hijab, was subjected to some gawking and photography because of her outfit. And from that episode, the Indian Express concludes that it was this event that led Bin Laden to hate the US and engage in Jihad against the West.

I am confused. Is this a serious news report? Or just a joke? Because if it's serious, then the IE should also have reported the fact that "By Batarfi’s account, bin Laden was not particularly bitter about all the stares and the photographs; rather, “he was joking about it.”"

So this means that Bin Laden was not really pissed off at the US because of all the staring. Thus, it follows that the Express was just trying to sensationalize a non issue. Secondly, when something is in quotes, for example, 'Curious stares at wife provoked Osama to jihad', it usually means that someone actually said it. Although, in this case, as is to be expected, no one really did. So apart from deliberately misrepresenting something, the Express also indulged in borderline fakery.

From a cursory glance at the article, it appears to have been written by someone under the influence of alcohol. Because when one is under the influence of alcohol, frequently, any dumb idea that occurs to one appears to contain an inordinate amount of hilarity in it. This was one such idea. It was dumb, and it might have been hilarious if not for the fact that it was printed in a major media outlet as news.

The Indian Express has some growing up to do.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Houses of straw slowly coming down

The Catholic Church is now announcing that the concept of "Limbo", a mystical, mythical land where souls of unbaptized and aborted infants go to, will henceforth be abolished from Christian doctrine. This comes close on the heels of the Church recently rejecting several obviously fictional claims in the bible, most prominently the concept that all of humanity is the offspring of one couple, Adam and Eve.

Ok, first of all, what the fuck? Just because the Church says so, Limbo suddenly ceases to exist? Isn't that like taking control of things from the Big Guy Himself? Suddenly, Christians, in a sudden attack of compassion and what's it called ... yeah common sense, felt bad about all the baby souls who had to exist in this vague dreary land for all eternity through no fault of their own, so the Church through popular consensus decided to unilaterally demolish it without asking God's permission? That is just bizarre and presumptious too, I might add. What if God hates babies in general and deliberately created Limbo for a purpose, that purpose being to punish 'em for all the stinky diapers they leave behind, not to mention parents bankrupted by the college expenses of their offspring?

But getting back to the crux of the matter, what this development points to is that slowly and surely, the most popular organized religion in the world is being dismantled from within as it's followers begin to question it's very fundamentals, an issue I raised earlier in this post regarding the questionable origin of most orthodox Hindu rituals and superstitions.

My vision of the future is of all the major religions of the world (which I basically consider to be seemingly impregnable houses of faith, actually being constructed from fragile straws of ignorant beliefs and myths), slowly but surely coming to an end. As all the myths that comprise religious belief structures come toppling down one by one, there will be nothing left standing except the fools inside, who had all this time been naively believing in the infallibility of their own religion. How one's heart yearns to see that day arrive soon.

But what this also means is that atheists and skeptics are actually futurists, people who have already dismantled religion in their minds and seen it for what it is, pure hogwash. They are people ahead of our times, standing right next to the sign that says "No bullshit allowed beyond this point". And when the rest of the world, comprising of the theists, cultists and religion junkies, get to that point after having tried to kill each other off, they will be greeted with a bit of understandable condescension, and asked "What the fuck took you so long"?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

US wages war on Al-Jazeera by implanting fake news reports

Coalition troops in Iraq have formulated a new strategy to counter the hideously disagreeable truth-telling by the Arab news network Al-Jazeera by planting fake pro-US news reports in it's telecasts.

While previously, the official policy of the US government to counter the awareness of ground realities in Iraq among Arabs was to bomb Al-Jazeera headquarters, it has now been discarded in favor of the much less controversial policy of merely discrediting the news agency. "The Pentagon has been engaging in surreptitious placement of news reports in Al-Jazeera programs, that have actually been penned by Fox News anchors.", admitted a senior Pentagon official. "These reports mostly display the US occupation in a favorable light by recounting the numerous interactions coalition troops have had with Iraqis that didn't culminate in bombs being set off.

The point of planting pro-American news reports is to disillusion Arabs with the network to such an extent that they begin to distrust every other news issuing from it as well, thus leading to an erosion of it's power as an influential media outlet amongst the Arab community.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter, who had volunteered to deliver these newscasts for Al-Jazeera ultimately rescinded her offer after being informed that she would have to wear the traditional Muslim veil during the broadcast, which would interfere with her practice of putting her foot in her mouth.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bruce Willis to aid troops in making Iraqi battle scenes more spectacular

Close on the heels of President Bush announcing the existence of an actual strategy for winning the war on Iraq, which, gauging from poll results, most Americans appeared to be unimpressed with, the military establishment is now trying out other methods to make the Iraq war more palatable to the public. In this regard, prominent Hollywood actor, stuntman and pro-war activist Bruce Willis has been recruited as a consultant by coalition troops.

Mr. Willis, who is a veteran of numerous insurgent wars fought on Hollywood film-sets has been entrusted with the job of making coalition troops' battles with Iraqi insurgents more television friendly by increasing their spectacularity and razzle-dazzle. "You want to know why the 1991 Gulf War was so popular in America? I'll tell you why", remarked Mr. Willis on being questioned about his strategy. "It's because it was made for television. All those bombs and things falling on Iraqi homes along with explosions and stuff blowing up. The American public could relate to all that. That's the secret to a successful war."

Willis's mission will consist of trying to rectify the glaring discrepencies between the exciting reality in his films that deal with terrorism and the murderously boring reality that exists on Iraqi battlefronts today. He already had some recommendations for troops engaged in battles with insurgents. "See, here's the thing. When a terrorist gets killed, he should die in a blaze of exploding body parts, not unlike those German guys I killed in Die Hard II. For example, when you shoot someone squatting in front of a building, it would multiply the dramatic value of the scene tenfold if, after getting shot, he were to be thrown back into the window, preferably in a double somersault, shattering its glass, and causing an explosion in the interior of the building where he lands. Images of explosions not caused by our enemies in Iraq might help in raising American spirits."

On being reminded that there were very few buildings left in Iraq that boasted unbroken glass windows, Willis said, "Well, we are here to reconstruct this country are we not? So let's rebuild those windows so we can throw some insurgent ass through them."

Mr. Willis pointed out the photographic potential inherent in evil-doers falling off tall buildings in a delightful ball of flailing arms and legs. "Are there any tall buildings here in Baghdad we could throw terrorists off", he inquired. "Unrestrained gravitational plummeting is extremely camera-friendly", he added.

Willis also diagnosed a fatal flaw in the Iraq war storyline. "If a movie has to have any chance of making it to the box office, the bad guys should be killed more often than the good guys. Wars pretty much work on the same principle. You guys need to work on that", he advised the troops.

In unrelated news, former Washington Post reporter and current government shill, Bob Woodward reports that President Bush is unconcerned with how history will judge his legacy, saying, "History is stuff that has already happened, so I wasn't gonna make it into History anyways."

Bush finds missing "Strategy for War" document

President Bush today announced that the document that outlines the strategy for winning the war in Iraq has finally been found on his ranch in Crawford after mysteriously going AWOL three years ago. The document, that had been missing ever since the beginning of the Iraq war, specifies American objectives in Iraq and contains detailed instructions on how to defeat the insurgency, strengthen Iraq's economy and mobilize international support for the war.

White House sources reveal that the document had been drafted at the beginning of the Iraq war, but had disappeared shortly thereafter, never to be seen again till now. Suspicions abound over what exactly happened to this extremely important piece of paper, without which, US forces in Iraq had to resort to muddling their way through the war in the absence of any orders being delivered by the military command.

Some White House insiders claim that the document was used in a treasure hunt at the Crawford Ranch by the First Family and then drifted into oblivion after no one claimed to have found it. Others assert that it was used as a scrawling pad to request a bathroom break by the President at a United Nations meeting, who then crumpled it up and used it as a projectile to assault Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a fit of peevishness after his request was denied by Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

To commemorate this momentous occasion, the President flew onto the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on a fighter jet in full military attire. "Today will go down in history as the day when America finally rediscovered her plan on how to accomplish victory in Iraq", announced the President to a crowd of applauding homesick servicemen. "Mission accomplished. Seriously people, this time I'm not making things up."

The discovery of this document is sure to satisfy critics of the war in that the dismal failure of the Iraqi invasion was caused not by the lack of a plan, but by it's misplacement. It also explains the ever-too-frequent vacationing of the President at his ranch, ostensibly to clear brush, but which in reality, as we now know, was a major undercover operation to locate the missing document.

With coalition troops now back in possession of this document, the Sunnis, Shias and Kurds are expected to resolve their centuries old disagreements in a matter of days, quickly rebuild the dismantled Iraqi army and install a working democratic government by consensus, thus making it possible for coalition troops to pull out of the volatile region.

In unrelated news, identification of the bodies of Katrina victims has hit a hurdle with authorities admitting, "they all look alike".

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why religious preachers need to be paid more

Among all the career professions in this world, I think the God people of Christianity have it the worst. When I say God people, I mean everyone who preaches Christianity, the neighbourhood pastor, the televangelists, even the Jehovah's witnesses who knock on your door when you are in the bathroom and refuse to accept that reason as an excuse to leave.

Why difficult, you ask? Because the fundamental basis of their careers is selling God to the masses. When you look at these people on television and in your neighbourhood churches, most of the time they are either trying to convince ordinary citizens that God loves them, or trying to convince those citizens to love God. These two activities form the crux of their professional life. But my point here is, how fucking difficult would a salesman's job be when he posseses no demonstrable evidence that the product he is selling even exists at all?

Imagine any other profession, say a car salesman, trying to sell you a car you can't see. Try to gauge the degree of difficulty he would have in carrying out his job. "This is an awesome vehicle, gives awesome mileage and will get you awesome ass in your backseat", the guy tells you. "The only problem is, I can't show it to you, and when you use it, you won't really know that you are using it. You've just got to trust me on this one, folks. Now how about showing me that check?" How much of an idiot would you have to be to buy a car from this guy? And how hard is it going to be for this guy to make ends meet? Yeah, he's got a pretty shitty deal.

Or consider job security. These people have dedicated their entire lives to a career that's based on the single premise that there exists a God. Not an abtract, semantic version of a Supreme being, but a God who actually exists as an entity with Jesus Christ as his messenger. Do they lie awake in bed at night having second thoughts about their career move? Do they often mumble to themselves, shit I really should have accepted that rocket scientist job offer, who knows if there even is a God? And how devastating would it be to these people when it is ultimately proven that God, as they've known Him for a while now, does not even exist?

Because, it's just a matter of time, you know. At some point in the near future, an MIT PhD candidate is going to wake up on saturday morning with a tremendous hangover and come up with a theory which conclusively debunks the entire concept of a God. So when this happens, would these people consider their lives to have been a huge fucking waste of time? Would they die with the knowledge that everything they've been doing till now has had no purpose, no real relevance whatsoever? It's a tough deal, man, it really is.

So what I'm saying is, give these people their due for choosing a profession that ultimately goes against any kind of business sense and sticking with it, no matter what. Because, even if these people are jackasses, they are jackasses with the hardest jobs in the world. Give them some compassion and that salary hike they so richly deserve.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Supreme Court of India vilifies rape victims - II

In an earlier post, I had expressed my horror at the Indian Supreme Court's bizarre statement for the justification of a life sentence upon a father who was convicted of having raped his daughter. The bizarreness of the statement stemmed from the blatantly dehumanizing attitude of the Supreme Court towards rape victims. As I said in my post, the ruling clarifies the Supreme Court's view towards rape victims as being the following :

1.> Rape destroys the soul of a woman.
2.> Rape jeopardizes a woman's chances of marriage.
3.> Rape carries with it an "indelible" social stigma and "deathless" shame upon the victim.
4.> Rape turns a woman into damaged goods.
Pretty strangely worded material for something that issued out of the highest court in the country. And now, it turns out that the convicted man had been falsely accused of rape by his daughter, who had been bullied into it by her mother, whose relationship with the man had been somewhat strained, to say the least. This adds an entirely new perspective to the case. If you scrutinize the Supreme Court's statement some more, this is what you'll notice:

The court said, “no girl of self respect and dignity who is conscious of her chastity and having expectations of married life and livelihood would accuse falsely against any person of rape, much less against her father, sacrificing thereby her chastity and also expose the entire family to shame and at risk of condemnation and ostracisation by the society”.
Before, the Supreme Court's statement merely showcased the amazingly quaint and backward attitude it held towards rape victims. Now, with this new evidence that has seen the light of day, it appears that this attitude of the court might even threaten to jeopardize the objectivity of its judgement while administering justice. Note the basis of the Court's supreme confidence in the father's guilt. It was persuaded not by any additional evidence that proved that the rape had been committed, but by the Court's blighted mentality wherein it believed that the daughter would not have made a false accusation because of the detrimental effect her accusation would have on her own life.

In other words, the Supreme Court ruled with it's heart and not with it's head. Its treatment of rape as a life-ending occurrence clouded it's judgement and caused an innocent person to be convicted of a serious charge.

This is a matter of amazing gravity, much more serious than merely being the issue of the highest court in the land having a chauvinistic attitude towards rape. It brings into question the mental stability of Supreme court judges and their ability to sift through available evidence objectively and make an educated decision without falling a prey to their own prehistoric belief structure.

It raises fundamental questions about the selection of Supreme Court judges, their backgrounds and qualifications and the lack of interest in the process in India, as compared to the US, where it is considered to be a matter of paramount significance and of vital public interest.

CNN's Anderson Cooper to be replaced by dancing monkeys

Disappointed with the mediocre viewership garnered by Anderson Cooper's show, "360°" currently running on the 10:00 p.m primetime slot, CNN has cancelled it effective immediately, intending it to be replaced by monkeys doing the tango (via Atrios).

Beginning in November, Anderson Cooper had replaced Aaron Brown, who, even though being one of mainstream media's more sober, thoughtful, fact-oriented and unbiased news anchors, was hampered by his uncompromising refusal to engage in audience-grabbing histrionics during his show. CNN therefore, was forced to cancel Aaron Brown's Newsnight, opting to replace it with Anderson Cooper, who had done such an incredible job of covering Hurricane Katrina's aftermath that audiences watching his live reporting of the tragedy were sure to be moved to tears, regardless of whether they knew who or what Katrina was.

However, with Cooper's
360° starting off on a dismal note, capturing only 73% of Newsnight's viewership, CNN is now rethinking it's strategy for the 10:00 p.m spot, after reaching the obvious conclusion that Anderson Cooper, even with his unauthenticated mane of white hair, boyish good looks and flamboyant personality was not enough to capture the attention of American audiences, most of whom have an attention span equivalent to that of a worker ant on PMS.

CNN initially came up with the idea of filling the post-Cooper primetime spot with a show featuring Fox News highlights of Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter giving Alan Colmes a wedgie on its show Hannity & Colmes, but this plan was scrapped after it was revealed that Fox News was coming up with its own show based on the same premise. Shortly thereafter, CNN announced that the 10:00 spot would be taken over by a news program involving a troupe of dancing monkeys with a news ticker in the background.

"Viewer polls have consistently revealed that there is a growing market for a news program that could potentially combine the sheer entertainment value of a dancing simian with coverage of current affairs", said CNN president Jonathan Klein. "We are glad to report that we have beaten Fox News in the race for such a show."

The Fox News Channel, in reply to CNN's newest addition to their primetime lineup, has announced that the O'Reilly Factor will now feature Bill O'Reilly in a no-holds-barred immigrant hunt in the Arizona desert, which will then be followed by hard-hitting coverage of O'Reilly skinning and roasting his human prey over an open fire while he pleasures himself lovingly to a picture of the American flag.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Calcutta rickshaws to be replaced by energy efficient taxis

Calcutta today decreed a law stating that human powered rickshaws were henceforth forbidden from operating within city limits due to moral issues involved in a human being transporting another human being on the strength of his own muscles. (via Amit)

Following the issuance of this ordinance, the mayor of Calcutta ordered all rickshaws to be taken off the roads immediately, to be replaced by energy efficient taxicabs, which would be provided to all rickshaw operators deprived of their livelihood due to the implementation of this new law. These new taxis are reportedly state of the art transportation machines, able to operate on a miniscule energy requirement, pollution free and bereft of any additional operating costs.

The Energy Efficient Taxi, or as it is called, the EET, is remarkably easy to operate. For the EET to embark on it's voyage, the operator needs to depress the ON button, also known colloquially as a "pedal", which operates certain levers within the cavernous interior of the cab and propels it forward. In case the terrain to be navigated is not level or does not consist of a downslope, the "pedal" might be required to be depressed a number of times in quick succession. The vehicle may be conveniently halted in its progress by reducing the pressure on the "pedal" and simultaneously applying brakes, which can be found on the handlebars of the taxicab.

In addition to being eco friendly, this new breed of taxicabs threatens to overwhelm conventional methods of transport like buses and trains by it's sheer wallet-friendliness. Travelers in Calcutta expressed their support for these new taxicabs, adding the opinion that previously, with the human powered rickshaws, they had been experiencing moral conflicts caused by being transported by a fellow human being, which were now solved by the elimination of the human factor due to the introduction of this revolutionary new pedal technology.

In other news, with August 27 being declared as an auspicious day for women to go into labor, New Delhi is preparing to deal with monster jams and traffic on that day, consisting of people traveling to area hospitals in order to deliver their babies.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

First Family swamped with thousands of Thanksgiving uninvites

On the eve of Thanksgiving, President Bush and the First Family have been bombarded with thousands of fictional letters refusing admission to Thanksgiving dinners throughout the country. These numerous uninvites, from members of the electorate who voted him into office in 2004, all seek to inform the President that the imaginary invitation to their Thanksgiving dinners this thursday has been withdrawn.

During the 2004 election, a number of Republican voters who had expressed their dog-like devotion and support for the president because of his "regular guy" persona, had, in their minds, conjured up figmental scenarios where they would be inviting the president into their homes once he was elected, on the occasion of Thanksgiving. However, after the disastrous performance of his presidency, along with growing public mistrust of the President himself, most of these people have since changed their minds about hob-nobbing with the leader of the free world.

"Georgie sure seemed a decent un' to break bread with, and afterwards, share a cold beer with, while sitting on the porch watching the sun set", commented one Russ Miller of South Bend, Indiana. "Now I wouldn't invite the goshdarned lyin' son of a gun into my town, leave alone my home. No Thanksgiving turkey for you, Mr. President", raged the disapproving gentleman.

Analysts say that if this trend of anti-Bush sentiment continues through winter, the president can look forward to being uninvited from numerous imaginary summer barbeques as well. Although data is inconclusive, it also seems fairly certain that Americans would much rather not flip burgers with Mr Bush anymore or allow him free access to their businesses and bank accounts.

In unrelated news, the ACLU has stepped up to fight on the behalf of practising members of the Ungrateful Community who claim to be discriminated against by being forced to celebrate Thanksgiving every year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

African nations hold concert to fight against infant mortality in the US

A consortium of African nations, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are joining hands in expressing support for a world-wide effort to fight infant mortality in the US by holding a concert for the cause. This concert is an attempt to harness public opinion in the fight against tiny toys, which are reportedly the leading cause of mortality in American toddlers.

The concert, tentatively named as "Toys R'nt Us", will be held in Darfur, Sudan, where thousands of African children have also died, although of relatively minor causes like genocide and malnutrition. The concert will be telecast live throughout the world, except in the US, where television networks have been explicitly ordered to keep any references to Sudan and the mass murder of it's citizens off the air in order to shield Americans from the senseless violence raging outside the boundaries of their own country.

President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of Somalia will personally inaugurate the concert, which will feature such acclaimed African acts like "The Dancing WitchDoctors of Addis Ababa" and "Jennifer Lopez and the Starvin' Marvins".

"The children of America are dying in tens, if not the twenties, every year due to strangulation, choking and other first-worldly reasons caused by dangerous toys", warned a misty-eyed Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. "Unless something is done soon, that country's population will soon disappear off the face of Iraq."

The proceeds of the concert, mostly in earthen utensil form, will be donated to various charities such as World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H, which has already issued a list of ten toys that will cause the most toddler deaths in the US this holiday season.

President Bush has expressed his gratitude at this African initiative. "We appreciate the concern shown by the good skinny residents of Africa towards the welfare of our children. Unless Africa helps us today to save our children from these killer toys, they might not grow up to be adults who attack oil-bearing nations while turning a blind eye to genocidal dictatorships in Africa."

In unrelated news, in wake of the Catholic Church's decision to brand the theory of Intelligent Design as pseudo-science, the Rev. Pat Robertson has called for the assassination of the Pope.

Growing anti-war feeling leads to hopes of Zarqawi capture

Rapidly falling Presidential approval ratings, as well as a growing anti-war movement in the US has led to a corresponding hope that the notorious terrorist Al-Zarqawi might have been killed in a terror raid carried out by coalition troops in Iraq.

This seemingly unrelated hopefulness pervading the country would not seem so irrational if one were to look at previous instances when the President seemed to have lost the support of the American public. Ever since the beginning of the Iraq war, everytime Americans have raised a ruckus regarding the mishandling of the war, coalition troops have miraculously appeared to have succeeded in capturing numerous high level Al Qaida operatives.

This highly predictable trend between dips in the president's approval ratings and subsequent captures of high level terrorists has people bearing high hopes that the latest terror raid might have resulted in the capture of Al Zarqawi himself. The logic behind it being that with the president currently being subjected to the greatest amount of hatred and mistrust from the American people ever since he was elected, the terrorist being captured would have to be among the top echelons of Al Qaida's hierarchy, most probably, Zarqawi, who is reportedly the Al Qaida leader in Iraq.

When asked to comment, Presidential man-whore Scott McClellan replied, "Usually, when faced with a disaffected electorate, our official strategy has been to raise terror alert levels in order to get people back in line. But lately, when we've been doing that, the president has begun to have nightmares, so we stopped that practice."

In other news, realizing the potential of "doors" in preventing an exodus of people from rooms, President Bush has initiated the construction of numerous such "doors" on the Iraq-Syria border in order to deter insurgents from exiting Syria and entering Iraq.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Supreme Court of India vilifies rape victims

MumbaiGirl points us towards this bit of news in the Indian Express about a father who was convicted of raping his daughter and got a life sentence in the process. This is what the Supreme Court of India, which adjudicated the matter, says, while justifying it's decision to award a life sentence to the accused :

Observing that even in ordinary criminal terminology a rape is a crime more heinous than murder as it destroys the very soul of the hapless woman, Justice Sema writing the judgement for the Bench, said, “this is more so when the perpetrator of the grave crime is the father of the victim”.
“Father is the fortress, refuge and trustee of his daughter. By betraying the trust and taking undue advantage of the trust reposed in him by the daughter. He ravished the chastity of his daughter, jeopardised her future prospect of getting married, enjoying marital and conjugal life, has been totally devastated,” the Bench observed.
Not only that, she carries an indelible social stigma on her head and deathless shame as long as she lives,” it added.
So, this is what the Supreme Court thinks about rape. These are the views with regard to rape of the highest judicial body in the country, entrusted with the task of protecting women from sexual discrimination, and which, under normal circumstances, should be a pioneer in the propagation of progressive values.

1.> Rape destroys the soul of a woman.
2.> Rape jeopardizes a woman's chances of marriage.
3.> Rape carries with it an "indelible" social stigma and "deathless" shame upon the victim.
4.> Rape turns a woman into damaged goods.

Is this fucking for real? Why would the Supreme Court insert these statements into it's ruling? Why would it try to reinforce the social stigma attached to rape, which, even though is in no way the woman's fault, is already a burden the woman has to carry in life just because society presses her into doing so?

In issuing this statement, the Supreme Court of India sounds more like the prejudiced prospective groom of the blighted woman, who is refusing her hand in marriage when informed of her status as a former rape victim, rather than the hallowed administrator of justice it actually is supposed to be.

We are not ostriches with our heads in the sand. We know that there are some realities in Indian society which cannot be erased by merely staying quiet, and not putting them into words. But what the Supreme Court has accomplished with this extremely bizarre statement is, that it has made discrimination against rape victims official. It has put the government stamp of approval on society looking down upon the victims of this heinous crime. It has officially condemned rape victims to live the rest of their lives as lesser human beings. This is an extremely reprehensible act on the part of the Supreme Court.

Rape, by itself, even without the social stigma and diminished marital prospects of the victim, is a horrible crime in itself. It is a crime of violence and coercion. The Supreme Court could have highlighted just those aspects of the crime, while ommitting any mention of all the quaint societal prejudices that come along with it.

In my opinion, the Supreme Court, in it's infinite wisdom, has just set back the women's rights movement in India by about 500 years. If Indians cannot look up to the Supreme Court as a beacon of hope towards a progressive society, who should they look up to?

Update : The situation becomes even more bizarre.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Celebrity Blogs revolutionize the showcasing of fan apathy

The relatively new craze of blogs written by Indian film celebrities has revolutionized the communication of fan apathy to these same celebrities by breaking down the barriers in fan-celebrity interaction.

Before the advent of celebrity blogs, the only way Indians could express their lack of interest in Bollywood films and actors was to broach the topic with members of their intimate circle of family and friends. Now, with celebrity blogging rising to prominence as the best way to publicize a Bollywood film, it's beneficial effects have trickled down to the Bollywood fan population, which now has an outlet to vent it's indifference, apathy, and even revulsion in the comments sections of these blogs.

Bipasha Basu, one of the few Indian film celebrities who started a blog to publicize her new film, has been one of the first to be fortunate enough to get fan feedback regarding her films, her acting, her writing, her ravishing body and the numerous ways it's supple elements could be used to satisfy the carnal cravings of a devoutly lustful fan base.

A commenter on the blog elaborated on the lack of effect the blog has had on her lack of interest in watching Basu's films. "im not watching this damn movie just because i saw this stupid blog :P go and get some creative ideas!! people suck", ranted the irate commenter, curiously extending the suckiness of the actress to include all of humanity.

Another commenter advised the actress to utilize her blog to showcase herself as a person instead of merely using it as a tool to pimp her new movie. Yet another fan expressed the opinion, albeit with no proof, that this blog might not be a product of the literary prowess of the actress herself, but that of her PR agent.

However, there were many fans who took the opportunity to express their support for the actress. One fan was happy that women such as she existed in India, who were willing to follow their own path in life regardless of a conservative societal attitude. "And please to tell me how tall you are", the metrologically obsessed fan added.

The blog has also inspired a number of fans to set up their own websites deprecating the Indian film industry. "Help in my with me abt stupid bollywood things", commented one Bollywood fan.

In other news, the new Harry Potter movie will be released in theaters this weekend, which, hopefully, will finally answer the question left unaddressed in the previous sequel, namely, will Hermione Granger finally attain the hotchickhood she has consistently shown the promise of achieving in previous films?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Iraqi torture facilities still sub-par, US troops to stay on

The Republican controlled Senate voted against a bill proposed by Democrats to demand that President Bush set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, citing the reason that torture facilities in Iraq were still below pre-invasion standards of atrocious cruelty.

Speaking at a press briefing, President Bush praised the Senate's vote. "If we pull out of Iraq today, thousands of worthy Iraqi citizens will go untortured or be exposed to dismal standards of torture", said the President. "For Iraqi life to return back to normal, it is necessary for facilities to be rebuilt that would maintain the same terrible level of human rights violations that used to be the norm during Saddam Hussain's regime."

Bayan Jabr, the Iraqi interior minister agreed with President Bush's assessment of the pathetic state of sub-brutal authoritarianism of the government currently existing in the fledgeling nation. "Nobody has been beheaded or killed yet during torture," lamented the glum interior minister during a news conference on thursday, adding that only seven of 170 detainees showed any marks of torture at all. "And we haven't yet mastered the American art of delicately arranging naked prisoners in complex three dimensional geometric layouts. However, with rigorous training in modern techniques of savagery currently being imparted to our militiamen by the coalition forces, we hope to get up to speed pretty soon", he concluded hopefully.

To aid coalition forces in their monumental task, President Bush has promised to dispatch the Vice President Dick Cheney to Iraq, where he will hold hands-on training sessions to instruct budding monsters on how to disembowel recalcitrant prisoners, using nothing but nails and fangs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Female apartheid or guys playing fort?

I came across this post by MumbaiGirl (via DesiPundit) wherein she bemoans the banishment of menstruating women from Hindu religious activities like poojas. I can understand why she would tend to look at it as if it were a form of sexism, discrimination against women, or as she calls it, a case of female apartheid. She makes a convincing case for discriminating against everyone suffering from any kind of bodily functions involving fluid ejection, from all religious festivities. Yes, I can see her point.

The reason why menstruating women are not allowed into temples supposedly has something to do with women being considered to be impure during that time. This, of course, is pure hogwash and a product of superstitious minds. What could be more ridiculous than considering a woman to be impure when she passes through a phase critical to the "holy" act of birthgiving? It is indefensible and a load of crap. But here is my view on this, which I am sure many of you might not agree with.

I do not consider the expulsion of menstruating women from religious rituals any more superstitious than the actual religious ritual itself.

Think about the origins of both these things : The pooja and the menstrual stigma. Long long ago some Hindu from a higher stratum of society, most definitely male, stood on the roof of his house with a microphone and said that everybody, from now on, would be obligated to worship this stone that he had just brought into his house. Otherwise bad things would befall them. And that beginning today, he would be known as a "Pujari", his house a "Mandir" and that he would be accepting "Bhiksha" from all you "Gullible Fools" for the privilege of worshipping this newly deified stone, which, from now on, would be known as The Stone, with a capital S.

And then along came a maiden who happened to be menstruating heavily, her sari stained with the byproducts of her abstinence, and asked to be led to The Stone in order to receive her day's worth of blessing. The pujari, who happened to be a squeamish fellow, having led a sheltered kind of life owing to a privileged upbringing, yelled at her, "Jesus Christ in heaven, woman! Are you hurt or something? What makes you bleed in this bizarre fashion?" The startled maiden shrank from his accusing gaze and replied, "Pujari ji, this happens once every month no, what to do, hurts like hell too, especially in the morning."

The pujari, not having been educated by his mother on these matters, promptly assumed that it was a curse that had come upon the maiden, and refused to let her into the inner sanctorium of the mandir, commanding her to come back after the curse had been lifted. Because allowing a bleeding, cursed woman into the presence of The Holy Stone, hell who knew what Pandora's box that might open?

And then when this first ever Hindu pujari lay on his deathbed, and his son, the next generation pujari asked him if he had any final words of wisdom to impart before he departed for the eternal afterlife, the old guy whispered, "Son, remember these words because they are extremely important. Never, I mean, never ever let a bleeding woman into the mandir. Oh, and also, remember to water the banana tree at least twice a day." And then, he died, passing on this foolish legacy on to the next generation, who, in it's turn, passed it on to the next one, creating a chain of superstition that had been started by one man's squeamishness for blood.

And so, it came to be that this requirement of a menstruating woman to be shunned by society during any kind of religious activity took root and was propagated through blind obedience and faith. But now my question to all women is, do you really want to be a part of these religious activities that essentially are just a reminder of how organized religion has always tried to put your kind down? Look at all the three major religions of the world and how they treat their women.

Religion, after all, has been a big game of pretense and exclusion, invented by men to exclude other men and women from their community, a circle of elitism, so to speak. And one of the intrinsic rules of this game happens to be to stigmatize women on their period. Think about small boys playing a game of fort with all kinds of pillow cushions having been arranged to form a fortified enclosure, with all the boys sitting inside their pretend fort, awaiting a pretend enemy attack. But one of the boys, who happens to be a newcomer not armed with a working knowledge of the rules of the game, tries to enter the fort, not through the door, which is a gap left conveniently open between two cushions, but by climbing over the cushion itself. The other boys say "Hey, you can't do that, you've got to enter through the door here." The newcomer, perplexed, inquires, "Why the heck not", and the others look at him as if he were some kind of a retard, and tell him "'Cause that's the rules, stupid. This is the door, you've got to enter through here. And you cannot enter this fort if you are bleeding from any orifice. That's another rule. You have to obey these rules, otherwise, you are out of the game." And the newcomer blindly obeys.

Then, another of their rules is that no girls are allowed in this game of fort. But when confronted with this rule, do girls demand to be included in their silly game? No, they just go get comfortable with their own coterie and play their own game of .. hell, whatever it is that they play. I was never privy to that stuff.

So what can women do about being excluded from religious rituals? Change the rules, you say? But if you change this rule, aren't you really striking at the foundation of religion? Because if you say this rule is invalid, always has been invalid, then what's to prevent me from questioning the validity of every other rule and precept of the religion? What makes religion as a whole, valid at all?

If you were to question the legitimacy of the rule that jumping over a cushion was not allowed, and that you had to enter the fort through the labelled "door", wouldn't it challenge the very existence of the fort, which, since it's just a game, wouldn't stand up to it?

Which is why religions as organized entities, are resistant to change and maintain a fanatical status quo on many of their core beliefs, no matter how ignorant or irrational.

So, basically, what I am saying is this. If the game of religion has rules that do not allow you to do certain things, hell, invent your own religion with it's own eccentric symbolisms. Timothy McVeigh did that, didn't he, after he was shunned by society? Although to be fair, the only precept of his religion seemed to be bombing the FBI building in Oklahoma City. But you could come up with some better ideas than he did. And disallow men from participating. Those bastards need to be taught a lesson, yeah?