Friday, August 12, 2005

So what is with this blog?

It's now been about two months since I started blogging. The primary reason why I started this project was curiosity. I was curious to know if I would be able to put down my thoughts on paper coherently and if people would be interesting in reading them. It wasn't that I believed I would have something particularly interesting or enlightening to say, it's just that I was wondering well, if someone gave me a microphone and a podium, what in God's name would I even have to say? Well, I don't know about the former but from my site meter and comments box, I can clearly see that the latter might be somewhat true. And for that, I thank you dear reader, and I appreciate your business. Really. There is no bigger ego boost to a man than to know that someone finds his bullshit worth listening to.

When I started, most of the material I had was related to George W Bush. It was literally pouring out of my ears. Even today, about 60% of my posts either have something to do with the fearless leader's daily antics or just gratuitous fun at his expense. I know, it is kind of like putting all my eggs in one basket. Who knows tomorrow he might actually come out of his coma or whatever it is that has zombified his brain, and start behaving like a normal human being again, and then where would I be? I would probably have to resort to writing about brushing teeth and doing my laundry and so on, and even though I am pretty positive that my laundry has more entertainment value than many people's, I doubt it would be enough for me to maintain my readership.

So, then I also write about issues that concern me. Environmental issues. Global warming. Fossil fuels. Bigotry. Tom Cruise. Superstition. Sexual liberation. Women's rights. Trains. Conservative politics. Liberal politics. Religion. Now there's a juicy topic. I am profoundly affected by how seemingly rational people can turn into blathering idiots when they talk about religion. My goal is to attempt to dissect religion and try to find out what makes this seemingly archaic institution still tick in these supposedly modern enlightened times.

Sometimes, one might get the impression that I am biased and that I am too hard on Christianity than I am on Hinduism or Islam. Well, you can put your minds to rest, people. I believe in equal opportunity disparagement. I dislike and mistrust every religion equally. Yes, even Buddhism. Who the hell sits under a tree and suddenly gets bestowed with the Universal Fountainhead of Knowledge? Ok Sir Isaac Newton did, but that's just because he got beaned with an apple. Otherwise I don't see how it could happen. There are three reasons why I take on Christianity more than I would Hinduism or Islam. It has nothing to do with my cultural roots. The simple and selfish explanation is that I live in America, a Christian nation, and currently, my life is more affected by people practicing Christianity. If tomorrow, I relocate back to India, I would probably talk more about Hinduism and Islam, since those would be the religions more affecting my life then.

The second reason is that, even though I do not condone practicing religion, I can kind of understand why it would play a more significant role in life in lesser developed countries, where people, due to poverty, have frequently lost hope and faith, and religion would be the only thing that keeps them going mentally. But when a developed country like America, where the standard of living is high and people have a life bereft of much of the problems facing the third world, turns fundamentalist Christian, it is an interesting and curious situation and merits careful investigation. Thirdly, in my heart, call me naive, but I believe that the Hindu concept of religion along with all the myths and stories of a million Gods and things like that is so ridiculously absurd, no Hindu can really believe half the things Hinduism claims. In fact, I believe most Hindus are really practicing atheists and the mythology part of the religion is just something to kill time during an idle evening. Not the goons of the Shiv Sena, though. They are just political hacks.

So that is that with respect to religion. Moving along, apart from religious dogma, I also write about things that interest me in the news, stuff that is so freaking ridiculous or just bizarre, that it merits a comment. And I don't know if anyone has noticed, but frequently, I make stuff up. Like when I say President Bush said this, or he did that, there is a strong possibility that he didn't actually say it or do it. It might just be hot air coming out of my fingertips. So, before you link to something on this blog, think twice. It might not be true. Don't be the Chinese reporter who wrote "Congress was behaving like a petulant baseball team and threatening to bolt Washington, D.C., unless it got a new, modern Capitol building, complete with retractable roof", and claimed his source was The Onion, thinking it was a legitimate news source. Or even Deborah Norville of MSNBC, who claimed on air that "more than half of all exercise done in the United States happens in TV infomercials for workout machines", based on a "report" in The Onion.

And finally, when I really have nothing much to say, I just write about personal experiences, things that happen to me during my day to day life which I find intriguing. And funny. But that is the worst case scenario. Only when I am entirely devoid of ideas will this happen. So, when you find an article on this blog that involves a story with me reciting it in the first person, it either means it is a slow news day or that I am feeling lazy or intellectually drained and am probably wandering around like a zombie, mumbling to myself in a low undertone.

So that was just a brief explanation of why you see things on this blog that might seem strange and out of place. And that is why I write about things that I write about.

Now, we take you back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Ash said...

You're right dude, we sure enjoy your bullshit !

Blog on.

Anonymous said...

you rock ! - MINOTAUR
(i love the way i have circumvented the need to register and login to become non-anonymous)

AspiringBlogger said...

gawker - A question to u sir - how do you react to criticism ?

Mr. Minotaur - u could possibly Choose the option "Other" and put MINOTAUR as the Name . Yo don;t have to login or register and still have your name .

Anand said...

Your blog is doing very well. I think I got to know about this one from your comments @ indianwriting. Of course later we chatted over my blog too. I really like the way you write. And I think we agree on many things!

gawker said...

Thank you Ash, I will continue the production then.

Thank you mino sir.

aspiringblogger i will let you know once I get some. Feel free to dish out, thank you please.

gawker said...

Anand coming from you that is a huge compliment for me. Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Yes, I think we have a lot of common views too.

Veena said...

CG, What brought on this 'Why I blog' post? Is it because you had nothing to write abt today? :)

Dude, I will read your stuff as long as you keep maligning religion and our fearless leader - never fear!

gawker said...

Veena if nothing else, at least this post brought out my closet readers, people who had been reading my stuff without posting any comments, so lets call this the reason for this post heh.

Patrix said...

Congrats, dude. You don't seem like a newbie blogger at all and all your writing fits right in.

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Gawker
You and Greatbong are the best funny blogs around.

Sunil said...

I don't really care about why you blog, but as long as i have my daily dose of Borowitz reports, and a few laughs at your blog.......i'm less grumpy

unpapier said...

I wish I have the readership you have for my blog. See my article on Blogging for its own sake , I am writing a series of some what serious, researched articles.

Charu said...

yes gawker, I would be worried if Mr Bush actually said some of things he says on your blog :)
keep the good ones coming. oops,no reference to your next coitus interuptus post.

Sri said...

Ok, since someone asked you how you handle criticism, here's the bait :)

The myths and absurdities of Hinduism notwithstanding, I think there are some aspects of Vedanta--which, from my rather limited reading, I understand is the core of Hindu religious philosophy--that warrant some open-minded and unbigoted reading and analysis. Vivekananda's lectures are particularly insightful. (His lecture titled "Reason and religion" comes to mind.) I'm no expert in the Vedanta, but I can say this much: contrary to all expectations, it is grounded in rationalism, and almost begs you to be a skeptic and not accept anything blindly. If nothing else, it atleast serves as a demonstration that it is premature to assume that reason and spiritual/religious thought are mutually exclusive.

So while I ridicule the absurdities that seem to somehow come 'packaged' with every religion, I think it is equally absurd to blindly reject religious philosophy and spiritual thought in the name of rejecting religion, like atheism (very different from skepticism) seems to do.

Sujatha said...

My prayer: give me this day my daily dose of gawker.:)

gawker said...

patrix, michael : thank you very much. my ego just landed on Mars.

sunil : you remind me so much of my room mate at UMass man .. he was a PhD guy too .. and extremely sweet natured. There, I gave you a compliment in return.

charu : aren't you worried already? no? well, you should be.

sri : i will reply to you when I am less drunk.

gawker said...

suj : I don't see your doctor's signature on the prescription. sorry, it's a no no