My ( final) Thoughts on Elections 2016


English: Apple pie.
English: Apple pie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank the American God it’s over. What we have now is One Nation Under God. It says so, right there, see? United States. United. Capital U. How can it be anything but united? Small u.

Four years ago, I wrote an article about the US Elections. I said racism had a major part to play. I also said, that White America was caught napping the first time around. The second time, it figured that lightning wouldn’t strike twice and failed to deal with it. I posted a video from a major Republican strategist to bolster my theory. You can read that here.

Now, you’ll say, how does race come into it, this time around? It’s a woman candidate, an eminently qualified, experienced candidate, with real experience in dealing with world leaders and world problems. My birthday coincides with Women’s Equality Day and a couple of years ago, I’d wished myself Happy Birthday, and ranted a bit sarcastically about the fact that the US could not dream of electing a woman as President. You can read that post here.

So, on the one hand, you have a party that has championed a POC as it’s leader. That leader has served 8 years as President! Eight years!! A non-white leader! A non-white leader who has a Muslim father! A non-white leader whose middle name is “Hussein”! A non-white leader whose name is just one character from the most-feared, most-hated terrorist Americans know. How could Democrats do this to the people? And now, now they want a woman? White America was appalled.

Now, remember what I said about reading conspiracy theories? I’ve read many tales of the Clintons. There is one thread that talks about a trail of dead people behind them. Frankly, Benghazi was a bit of a non-issue. The email thing was a major error of judgement.

Why did she lose? Here is my considered and deeply analytical opinion. Let me tell you a story to illustrate. ( Stop groaning!! )

Once upon a time, I used to play cricket for the local club. We had some good players and me. Unfortunately, the good players were seldom all available all at the same time. Then, one fine day, we found ourselves faced with a very rag-taggy looking team. On that day, by some miracle of the sun, moon and other planetary bodies, ALL of our best stars ( and I ) were available. They had hardly any equipment, were dressed poorly and looked completely out of place on the cricket field. They batted first. Our star bowlers, all available, fit and fast, rolled the rag-tag team over for a total score of 18. Eighteen poor runs. It was all over bar the shouting. We started our innings, with smiles all around. Members low down the order settled down to chew sugar cane, smoke and lie around, secure in the knowledge that their work was over for the day.

Ten minutes later we had lost 5 out for about 8 runs. The mood didn’t change. We were relaxed. I was still in and there were 5 more to come. And 11 runs were not a challenge. We were smiled all the way as we lost all 10 men for 14 runs. I remember this game, it was on the old Behala airfield ground, behind the Calcutta Mint. I remember the barefoot batsman, getting his foot in the way of our fastest bowler. I remember the leather cap with flaps one of the others wore. Yet another played in leather dress shoes. 18 runs. We lost by 4. Our well-dressed, well-oiled style did not help.

There is a word for it. Complacency.

Bottom line as I read it: Ah.. what the hell. Wake me up in 3 years time, when this whole shitty thing starts all over again. Hopefully, the USA will wake up ( soon ) to the realization that

  1. The Two Party system is like shooting yourself in both feet with that automatic weapon you bought with your Second Amendment Rights and your Third World Mentality.
  2. A Major Overhaul may be in order for this Electoral College thing. Like, maybe distributing state electoral voles on a pro-rata basis on percentage of votes instead of winner takes all.
  3. The USA is just like every nation in the world. Racist. Bigoted. Hypocritical. You’re one of us.
  4. Elections in the US are now forever like elections everywhere else.
  5. Politicians are just that.

Welcome to the human race y’all. Watch for the pie in the face.

On the other hand if it’s apple pie, it’ll be alright, right?

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A Post About ME


I started off by writing a major told-you-so post about #Trump and #Elections2016. Wanna read what I wrote? Head over to the bottom of this post. I’ll put it there in italics. Not that it matters. We can only look ahead now. No use, as no one in my family used to say, whining because there’s only soup and cheese toast for dinner.

No let’s talk about something interesting. Me.

I mean what could be more interesting to me, other than Me? I. Me. Mine. Yep. That’s all I want, I need, I wish to talk about. Me, moi and myself alone. And if you don’t want to talk about it with me, that’s fine too. I’m quite happy talking to myself. This is going to be one of those useless posts. You should be familiar with them by now. They do try to say something. However, as you know, by now, I say it in such a roundabout way that you get bored and turn to watch cute cat videos. Mind you, I wouldn’t watch a cat video. Cats are not cute. No. Never.

So let me be direct. I can’t write.

There! I said it. I can’t. I haven’t. I finished the play and it is just sitting there, unused, unwanted, unpromoted. I’ve been told I’m too shy to shop it around. I’m not marketing it well. I think I’m not marketing it at all. I got to the point of setting up a Kindle Direct account. I tried various draft book covers and rejected them all. A friend offered to help. She did and did a pretty good job of it. I asked for some changes. I’m supposed to send stuff to her. I haven’t.

The truth is. I’m scared. What if it is a total piece of crap? The 3 people who have read it seem not to think it is utter crap. Which means it may be a little crappy, but not totally crappy. I’m really, really wondering about what I should do. In this situation all I can do is sit around, worrying. I’ve done precisely that. It hasn’t helped. What it has done is turn off the Tap of Words completely. The Well is dry. No words come welling up. Barren. Arid. The written word eludes me. I think I may have been deluded into thinking I should write. I used to have so much fun here. Now even this blog has become a chore.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, from what I can tell, I don’t seem to have any promoters. Thus my NPS ( Net Promoter Score ) is = zero. Now, NPS is the latest, greatest thing to hit the market when you are trying to market something into your intended market. The fact that my NPS = 0 is trying. I’m trying to explain how trying it is. It’s a trial. I’m a trial… so my Beloved Bangalan says. On the happier side of this trial by promoter, the NPS runs in a range from -100 to +100. Zero really means I have no detractors. No promoters, either, as we’ve already established. Apathy runs deep here at SloWord. I mean, my readership is apathetic, not me. I’m not at all apathetic. Pathetic, maybe, but not Apathetic. I’m told I’m also not empathetic or even sympathetic.

What it means is this. I’m perfectly balanced. I suppose I should feel proud of being so well-balanced.

But I’m not. Therefore, here are some cute puppies. ( No. Cats not allowed! ).

A Maltese puppy.
A Maltese puppy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

English: Golden retriever puppy, three months ...
English: Golden retriever puppy, three months old. (Daisy Parker) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to be happy – like that cute Golden Retriever! Make me happy! Say nice things! Tell your friends ( or enemies ) to come over and say stuff at me! Tell me it’s ok! The world hasn’t gone completely bonkers! Reassure me!

Remember, though: it’s “there, there, there”. Not: “They’re, their, there”. ( Ever a grammar nut.. )

Would you like to read an excerpt from Ye Famouse Playe? To kinda help you make up your mind? Do let me know.

Please.

Thank you.

< I said I would post the election post here. Post the writing of this post, I’ve decided not to post it here. Instead, I shall post it as it’s own post. Post my posting it as it’s own post, feel free to read it. And post your comments on the post. > 

The Second Annual Birthmonth Festival


As you may remember, most of you very carefully and diligently ignored the First Annual Birthmonth Festival. Now here is your chance to do so again. Yes, there is a difference. The last time around your indifference lasted a whole month. This time around, given that the world’s collective attention span is shorter than Trump’s fingers, I’ve decided that you get a week ( or 3 – well, maybe 4 ) to celebrate this August moment.

August, the month of hot summer days and cooling summer nights. August, the month of early leaves on the ground. August, the month of the last few school-free days. August, the month that should have been October ( don’t get it? Send me an email. See Contact Page for email form.) August, the month of Mother Teresa, who I met a couple of times. August, the month of days on the deck. August, the month of waiting for the advent of cool autumn. August, the start of the month of the Virgin. August, the end of the month of the Lion. August, the month in which I was born straddling The Lion and The Virgin. I’m told the earth itself shuddered the day after I was born. Possibly, the shock of it all was too much for Ma Earth.

I don't think it was my birthday... but what the hell, I thought
I don’t think it was my birthday… but what the hell, I thought

26th, next Friday is the day when a few decades earlier a child was born to a family meek and mild. Wait! No! I mean, yes a child was born, but not into a meek and mild family. We saw it in action during the recent wedding. Not mild. Not meek. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose family is the friends we didn’t choose.

I must have chosen my mother wisely, for she was born the same day I was. This does not mean that she and I were born on the exact same day. I mean, we were born on the same annual day but were separated by 39 years. By which I mean she was born 39 years before I was. I was born on her birthday as a birthday present, I suppose. In fact, my first first words on appearing out into the world were “Happy birthday, mum!”. I remember, cake was served too, with a dollop of Haywards Gripe Water for me in addition.

It was many years ago, so my famed memory may be failing me. So maybe, it didn’t quite happen that way. In any case, the fact of the matter is, I was born. You knew that already, because you are reading this. I must have written this, so I am alive. To be alive now, I must have been born then. At least, that part is clear.

So here we are then. I’m here. You are there. I know I am here. Do I know you are there? Possibly, you are. You can prove it to me. Right in! I mean, write in! This is the part where the rite of writing can be performed even as you exercise your right of writing. Tell me about you, tell me stories, made up or real, about me. About me and you. About you.

Go ahead. Get ahead of the crowds. Apply early. Get your stories in. The first 500 stories will win spots number 1-500! Don’t wait! Do it now.

Contest open while blog lasts. See blog for details. There are no details. May cause nausea, fatigue, drowsiness. Especially, drowsiness. Also, headaches, bloating and excessive uncontrollable yawning. Do not forget to wish The SloMan, the PeevedPunjabi and LeggieLefty too. Unclejee too, though, we fear Unclejee is in a coma and not expected to recover.

Shameless Flamboyance!


I didn’t see it coming. It was all coming along so well. It came as a bit of shock actually. But let me back track a bit and provide some backing track to the song of my life over the  past few months.

Not quite sure what this represents, but it's made of glass....
Not quite sure what this represents, but it’s made of glass….

I used to write this blog fairly regularly. When I first started it was with the belief that I’d soon get the hang of it. As you know, I tried different styles. I had the ponderous, third person of the SloMan pondering the pond we call life. He observed the specimens in the pond and pondered on the meaning of it all. He was the first.

Then I came along as myself, writing some rather nostalgic pieces. I even inflicted poetry on the unsuspecting public. Often, I fooled them into visiting by attaching a cute kitten to the piece. Once enticed, they read the poems. Some poems actually were commended. A couple were shared on social media. A fellow blogger actually reblogged one of them on his blog. Such exciting stuff! And all that from poetry! Can you imagine the ferrous quality of the situation? ( Irony.., Iron, Fe, Ferrous .. if not chemically inclined). That was a high point. Also a low point, because I’d rather someone ( could be anyone, really, anyone at all, would you please? ) shared some of my scintillating pieces of prose. Some of them are prosaic, some are inclined to talk about my proboscis, my professional life ( or lack thereof ), none were profane, but some did talk of programming, some about my productivity struggles, some simply prolonged the post for no reason at all. Some probed the profound truths and one talked about probiotics. I’ve talked about the progress I’ve made in my goals ( none, whatsoever, thank you for your concern.) Hell, LeggieLefty has also talked about the Proteas. Quite simply, then, I have been proactive in procuring for you the best prose that my head can provide. As you can see, I have a certain proclivity or propensity towards proudly proceeding to provoke a prolonged probe into the problems facing us.

By “us”, I mean “me”. I just attended a seminar where I was told that the most important person is the room was “you”, but he pointed his finger at me. Now, before you protest ( no, I’m starting that thing again.. we’re done! I am, seriously done with that – what’s that? you prohibit me? ) Ok, well, here is the thing then, I found that I was too poetic and too ah – I don’t know, “sensitive”, maybe, in my writing? Well, we can’t have that! I can’t be seen to be “sensitive”. I’m a middle-aged, red-blooded, Punjabi male, for god’s sake! It would not be right for my idiom! Besides, there were so many things that bugged me and I needed a rant or two to every once in a while. Thus, the PeevedPunjabi, was procreated ( oops ! soooorry ..).

I’m not going to talk about LeggieLefty. LeggieLefty moons about thinking and dreaming about cricket, but his writing style is a good mix of styles. That’s me, I said. Of course, I needed proof so I looked in the mirror and I confirmed that it was indeed me. LeggieLefty looks so much like me, it’s uncanny! I checked with the PeevedPunjabi and the SloMan and would you believe it! They all could pass for me, without the benefit of dark glasses, fake Assyrian moustaches or a hair makeover! How weird is that? Identical quads, with the same glasses and identical moles, facial hair and eyebrows!

Now, the sad bits. The last few months haven’t been good to me. Business has been quite bad. All the prospective clients have proceeded to turn to dust. I haven’t been able to get any signatures on the dotted line. Things are bleak. I came close once or twice, real close, but no cigar. In protest, I proceeded to work on my writing with results that I have reported elsewhere. As they Bongs say “Jahgey! Boi ta to lekha holo!” Shall I translate? Jahgey is an exclamation that loosely means “whatever”. Boi is a book. In a singular lack of qualification, boi also means movie. Lekha is written. You get the picture…. ( At least the book got written, if still befuddled. ) Now, on the Bong need to qualify. Bongs qualify most nouns. You’re not just going to the “beach”, you’re going to the “sea beach”. A longer discussion of this phenomenon will be held over until a later post. Don’t whine! I gotta have something in reserve!

To make matters worse, the coffee machine has gone away for servicing. It’s going to be away for two whole weeks! I have to either use the Italian percolator or the French Press, which is more work than lazy ass me is usually inclined to do. When feeling really lazy, like today, and down in the dumps, I’ve even resorted to instant. Now if that isn’t plumbing the depths of coffee-snob hell I don’t know what is.

Then a certain Facebook friend, rashly promised to read the blog AND write some comments. After a delay of a day or two, during which I naturally had to prod her a few times, she read a couple of the articles here. Her prognosis?

First impressions: Funny. Interesting. Runs the gamut from self deprecating humor to shameless flamboyance. Anything but dull….makes for great reading on the long commute to and from work

Shameless flamboyance! She also labelled me a “drama queen”. But wait, there’s more!

Today, while brushing my teeth I saw it….

A tiny strand, a single tendril of hair tending towards the left of my face. On the slope of my nose.

Death, where is thy sting!

Why I talk to myself


Light in the darkness (c) Ajesh Sharma
Light in the darkness (c) Ajesh Sharma

I updated my blog recently. I don’t know that you noticed, so I am taking the logical way out and announcing it. So you know. Which you won’t if you don’t read my blog. But you are, because you’re here.

You are here, right? I’m not just talking to myself? I do that a lot, I’m told, talk to myself, I mean. I have the best conversations with myself. It’s so nice to talk to oneself and know with perfect precision exactly what you mean when you say things to yourself. No one understands me better than I do myself.

Except, of course, I don’t understand myself very well. Is it really possible to know one self – completely, deeply? Do we hide our deepest secrets from ourselves? Facing up to what you actually are, how you really feel, why you react the way you do is hard. Most people don’t even attempt it or know that they should. Some don’t believe it is necessary or productive at all.

Yet, there are plenty of tests that try to map your personality and predict your reaction to situations. They describe it under normal situations and under stress. I went through some of those issues in a previous post and you can read it if you wish to get a sense of how I scored on many of those tests. They fascinate me. I’ve been fascinated with them from the time that HJ Eyesenck IQ book came into my life as a teenager. I have done those IQ tests multiple times and have consistently scored in the 120-130 range. Which means one of two things: Either I do those tests well or I’m quite bright in the brains department. Clearly these tests are bogus. I’m ( empirically proven ) terrible at tests and not particularly bright. I can string a sentence together okay and I can stand and give presentations, but does that mean I’m bright? I’m not sure it does.

Here is a very interesting tidbit I found on the internet. Yes, on the internet, so it’s completely trustworthy. ( http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/intelligence.html )

Q group……. less than 75 75 to 90 90 to 110 110 to 125 125 and higher
% of total population 5% 20% 50% 20% 5%
% of group out of labor force more than one month out of the year 22% 19% 15% 14% 10%
% of group unemployed more than one month out of the year (men) 12% 10% 7% 7% 2%
% of group divorced within five years 21% 22% 23% 15% 9%
% of group that had illegitimate children (women) 32% 17% 8% 4% 2%
% of group that lives in poverty 30% 16% 6% 3% 2%
% of group ever incarcerated (men) 7% 7% 3% 1% 0%
% of group that are chronic welfare recipients (mothers) 31% 17% 8% 2% 0%
% of group that drop out of high school 55% 35% 6% 0.4% 0%

I see there is a 6% chance that I have some illegitimate children somewhere out there. It’s been more than 5 years since I’ve been married, so I guess I’m not in the 24% who get divorced within 5 years of marriage.

Here is a shout out to any possible illegitimate children – call me! Use the Contact me page here and send me an email. I’d love to see what I ( possibly ) created or helped to create.

By now, you’re wondering: why does he talk to himself? I don’t really have an answer to that. What? You expected an well-reasoned response to that question? Google says, universally, that people who talk to themselves are geniuses. Which is really, really funny, because I’ve been called many things in my life, but never a genius! But, like I said, it’s on the internet, so it’s gotta be true!

The other question you had, probably, was: “Update? What update?”

That’s easy to answer. I added a new menu item that links to an Awards page.

Now you have had ALL your questions answered. Or all the questions I thought you had. Which is almost the same thing, except that it’s not. It could be. But most probably not. You could still be wondering why the chicken crossed the road. Well, the answer is very simple.

To get there first, before the egg.

Rushin’ Retirement


Proppeller-fan
Proppeller-fan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NOT THAT KIND OF FAN!

I met this lady online who reads this blog. From all accounts, she loves the posts. With her birthday coming up, she requested that I write a post and dedicate it to her. For her birthday. Which is today. March 7th.

Well, who am I to refuse a request for an article from a female fan? Actually, who am I refuse a request for an article? No one else has ever asked me to write and dedicate anything to them. People have made suggestions, yes, some articles, such as the Mishti Doi propaganda piece, came from suggestions by friends. I even, once, wrote a pome on request! I mean how low could I possibly sink, how desperate could I be when it comes to finding a suitable topic? The correct answer is, “pretty low, quite desperate.”.

Now this request is not Continue reading “Rushin’ Retirement”

Daniels come to judgement!


We’re a judgemental lot, we are. I’m no sociologist, and far too lazy to research it, but it may be that making judgements is at the root of homo sapien’s instinct for survival. In the modern era, with the interweb weaving it’s magical tendrils all around us and enabling snappy judgements, we are more enmeshed than ever before. I’ve seen some bloggers and other writers talking about their friends, enemies and the world and I’m on Facebook too. So, of course, I wanted to weigh in on it. As I see it, judgement is everywhere; here, there and everywhere, if I may steal a song title from The Beatles. Continue reading “Daniels come to judgement!”

My experience with Social Media in 2015


dsc_0956.jpg2015 was the year I invested in a “social presence”. Here is my honest review and my responses to the current state.

Facebook provides the bulk of my traffic, followed by WordPress. Facebook has destroyed the concept of Friend and totally diminished and warped the meaning of the word “like”. Continue reading “My experience with Social Media in 2015”

Midnight cooking


English: (2nd Hooghly Bridge), Kolkata, West B...
English: (2nd Hooghly Bridge), Kolkata, West Bengal. 457.2m, built in 1992. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We spent a brief year in the little flat in Lake Gardens. You have met this flat ( apartment, if American ) before. This is the same flat that saw us beat off the Cantankerous Cat. You know also, by now, that we had to contend with Peeping Toms. And, of course there were neighbour. Some were Nosy Neighbours. Other neighbours, though, were quite confused.

Just like we were. We’d moved in with Continue reading “Midnight cooking”

Why I don’t shop at the GAP anymore


English: GAP's new corporate logo
English: GAP’s new corporate logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The header says it. I won’t. I don’t. Not anymore.

My first ever pair of blue jeans were from GAP. In the late 70’s these were flared jeans of the requisite blue denim. As a penniless ( or paisaless ) teenager I’ve had my fashion challenges. Some of these have been documented, notably in the story Continue reading “Why I don’t shop at the GAP anymore”