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. > 

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”

The Return of Fish


'Aqua distillata' (Distilled water) in the Rea...
‘Aqua distillata’ (Distilled water) in the Real Farmacia in Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Thursday and time for some more work with mirrors and and smoke, maybe some steam. For steam is healthy they say. You have saunas where your toxins become toxouts and steam irons where the wrinkles in your clothes become more becoming creases. Remember to Continue reading “The Return of Fish”

Insights


English: Graphic illustrating the percentages ...
English: Graphic illustrating the percentages of public opinions on the likelihood of some scientists falsifying global warming research. Based on Rasmussen polling of 1,000 American adults conducted July 29-30, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WordPress tells me that Wednesday is the best day for readers of #SloWord. 28% of the readers come to #SloWord and read what is there to be read on #SloWord on Wednesdays. It also tells me that 9% of the readers read #SloWord at 11:00pm. It would be reasonable to say then #SloWord helps some Continue reading “Insights”

#Oscars


So we had the annual, actually, the 87th Annual, dress-up-and-make-political-speeches-thank-god-my-family-the-cast-and-crew-for-an-amazing-film extravanganza. It was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and featured a confusing opening song-and-dance. Well produced it may have been, but it was confusing. To me, at least, and my opinion is all that matters to me.

Two reasons I stopped watching it:

1. Neil Patrick Harris is not funny.

2. Neil Patrick Harris referring to Oprah Winfrey as American sniper.

3. < ok, I lied! Three reasons> Neil Patrick Harris appearing in his underwear. Really? This is the point I switched the TV off and went to sleep.

Postscript: The other weird thing to stand out was Kevin Hart’s confusing tuxedo. And NPH did make a smart comment about the lady in the dress with balls. Well, ha ha hardee ha.

Women’s Equality Day


As is customary on such formal occasions the responsibility for writing a commemorative post devolves upon The Slo-Man.

English: The first manned hot-air balloon, des...
English: The first manned hot-air balloon, designed by the Montgolfier brothers, takes off from the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, on November 21, 1783. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August is a grand old month. Not only does the first whisper of cooler climes caress your cheek as you walk to work, but  August brings the first jackets, the last languorous look at lighted evenings before the days shorten faster and faster. The light changes and the first leaf falls from the tree. August is venerable, the wise old month, letting you know that it is quite alright to have some fun, but serious work lies ahead, so charge your batteries, stock up on the canned food, bring in the frozen meats and prepare, prepare for the hard days that lie just ahead. August is wise, August is getting up there in age, August is. Continue reading “Women’s Equality Day”

The Hypocratic Process


So America can now collectively pat it’s back and congratulate itself on a job well done. What a lesson for those pesky racists!

Opposition poster for the 1866 election. Geary...
Opposition poster for the 1866 election. Geary’s opponent, Hiester Clymer, ran on a white supremacy platform. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first rule of public life is – never be found out. Publicly. You can have a string of prior convictions for the same offence, but as long as the general public doesn’t know about it, it’s ok. Heck, we’ll even get the body that stands opposed to the very attitudes you’ve been convicted of to give you multiple prizes.

The NBA must be congratulated, I suppose, for banning Donald Sterling. Now they want to force him to sell his business.  As the longest running owner of an NBA franchise he must have met with many people in the NBA world, people in power. The question is – did none of them know about his racist views? Over so many years and documented convictions ( one of them the largest of it’s kind ), did no one in the NBA find it the least bit obnoxious that he continued as long as he did?

Who are we to blame here? Here are the candidates – I’ll let you decide the winner.

Sterling: Holds stupid racist views and acts on them.

The NBA: Turned a blind eye until forced to do something as a PR damage control exercise

NAACP: “We don’t question who we get the money from. Give us enough over the years and we’ll give you an award or three. Oops, sorry now that everyone knows what an asshole you are, we’ll have to cancel this new award we were going to hand out”

Sponsors: see NBA

Other charities: see NAACP

The smartphone industry: For killing off public images, allowing people to convict themselves and generally being available to document stupidity. (Hmmm, maybe they’re the good guys…)

V. Stiviano ( or whatever the hell her name is): Does a racist prune of a guy, twice her age. Is mixed race herself. Does not feel insulted enough to let go of the money. Finally rats the guy out.

Mrs Sterling: Knows about the mistress, does nothing about it except sue her (for fraud).  Is Mrs Sterling….

Me: Writing about this moron

You: (possibly) for reading this

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No Aloo? No point!


So this is it then. The end of civilization as we know it. The thin edge of the wedge. The most unkindest cut of all. Remember that song we used to play, Sam? It’s almost over. The end of the world is nigh.

There was a time when I lived in Calcutta (Kolkata, if Bengali *or* stickler for accuracy). As every city has it’s flavors, this great, bulging city has provided us with some of the most pungent, delicate, cosmopolitan and sophisticated favors.

Anglo-Indian steak, with the flavors of cloves, cinnamon and other spices, for example, is something I have not seen anywhere else.

Kathi rolls have been written about in this blog. This post is currently the post most read on this blog! These have been exported to other cities, but their flavor has never been matched.um.the yummy calcutta style pani puri.

Puchkas, that crunchy, spicy, tangy, watery treat served in the conical leaf bowl on street sides. Again, these are available elsewhere and sold as gol gappas, or water balls, or pani puris. The North Indian variety is sweeter, and the filling has practically no potatoes but composed predominantly of yellow peas. Sorry, guys! That gol gappa or pani puri is a pale imitation of the Calcutta puchka.

And then there’s biryani. Shiraz, Aminia, Arsalan, Shabbir, famous names in the biryani world in Calcutta, serving the peculiar variety of biryani found, so far in my experience, only in Kolkata. Spiced delicately, the Kolkata biryani is always served with half a large potato right in the middle. You eat the chicken and the rice around the potato, leaving it for the end. The final piece of the complex dish that is biryani.

Until now. The Calcutta Telegraph reports that the Kolkata biryani is facing extinction.

With the passing of the potato, will the puchka (or the puchkawallahs aloo dum) also die?

What a horrible thought.

If its over


The Slo-Man spent a large portion of his time trapped in hotels in the US during the course of a bruising and ultimately fatal Republican nomination battle. As his American friends and relatives would say, the Republican nomination race was a “train wreck”. And now that the big night is over and Florida, once again, has finally crawled to the finishing line, the analysts and politicians are all having their say. In fact everyone has an opinion, so the Slo-Man has decided to jump in too.

The Slo-Man has read and heard comments from ordinary people and politicians of all types and ranks on news stories online and sees some troubling trends. While a large portion of the divide stems from differing views on political economy, there is a strain of racism evident just below the surface. There are people who will yell that it is not true, that in fact it is about the economy, that Obama has failed to create jobs, that the deficit is his fault, that he is expanding government spending. And these people will fail to see the irony of a belief that is built on the concept of “job creators” and “smaller government” that lays the blame for lack of jobs on the government.

The Slo-Man’s opinion is that race, religion and ethnicity did have a large part to play in this election.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/07/dick-morris-explains-why-was-wrong-about-2012-election/

Republicans were betting on 2008 being an aberration, that non-white voters, who swept Obama into power 4 years ago would not show the same enthusiasm, that the Republicans had done a good enough job of blocking progress so they could label the President as a failure, that the novelty factor would have worn off the young voters and that they would be too distracted to vote for Obama again. The sub-text seems to be that white America was caught napping 4 years ago and allowed a black American to win and that this would not happen again.

The enduring image in the Slo-Man’s mind of Obama’s presidency has been one of polarization and hard lines. A strident portion of the people want less government intervention in their lives and more involvement of religion in government. And the over-arching sense is that the religion must be a form of Protestant Christianity. The truth seems to be that a non-white, non-Protestant or female President is still a stretch for most Americans. Romney’s Mormon faith, although Christian, is viewed with suspicion and the last (and only) Catholic President was JFK. Compare this with so-called third-world nations that have had female heads of state 40 years ago. Even an Islamic state such as Pakistan managed that decades ago.

It seems to the Slo-Man that the US needs to re-evaluate its values. A focus on religious beliefs and an insistence on merging Protestant Christian principles with economic and social issues is not very dissimilar to what Islamic Republics around the world do (except that they mix Islamic principles). The US is in danger of being marginalized even as it remains a military super power. As the rest of the world focuses on moving ahead economically, it cannot continue to focus on religion and the repeal of Roe vs Wade. It cannot on the one hand talk of being advanced yet continue to legislate how women can behave.

It is time to move on and look ahead not backwards. Time to stop focusing on “the America we knew” and consider “the America we want to be”. Time to expand thinking based on logic not personal interpretations of God’s will. Time to look at caring for the bulk of the people of the land. Time to wonder whether “let them eat cake” is a wise policy. Time to reflect on the wisdom of creating a nation of consumers rather than producers. Time to consider the effect of big business on everyday lives. Time to wonder whether impoverishing the land while focusing on shareholder value is not akin to killing the goose that laid the golden land. Time to stop thinking in terms of First World and Third World. Time to consider that the rest of the world has moved on and moved ahead in some cases.

The Slo-Man is reminded of a line in a book from Alistair Maclean – “For now is all the time there will be”.