Monday, March 8, 2010

I am usually over here these days.


P.S. (for those leaving pointless ads in my comments) :

No, I do not want to know about Katrina Kaif's love life nor do I care for your wallpapers or your life-saving softwares or any of the other things you very solicitously point me towards in your comments. Please don't bother. While all I have to do is press 'reject' it is getting increasingly annoying and tiresome. I get about one visitor per week to this page if I am lucky; same story with my old blog. So I assure you this will not bring you any publicity. Please do not employ your incredible powers of persuasion; they'll go to waste over here.

I am sorry if it hurts you.

(God, I really was bored.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

An excerpt from a chapter in Brave New World Revisited:

“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of uni­versal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democra­cies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”

“In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distrac­tions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were “solemn and rare,” there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the per­formances, though frequent, were somewhat monoto­nous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertain­ment — from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from con­certs to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop dis­traction now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In Brave New World non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature (the feelies, orgy-porgy, centrifugal bumble-puppy) are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and polit­ical situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resem­ble one another in being most decidedly “not of this world.” Both are distractions and, if lived in too con­tinuously, both can become, in Marx’s phrase, “the opium of the people” and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by demo­cratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but some­where else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.

In their propaganda today's dictators rely for the most part on repetition, supression and rationalization - the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the supression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn to combine these techniques with the non-stop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea of irrelevance the rational propaganda essential to the maintenance of individual liberty and the survival of democratic institutions. "

~ Aldous Huxley, Propaganda in a Democratic Society.

Pretty prescient.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Well, happy belated independence day everyone. Just gonna leave you with this amazing song.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

God, wish I could see it live some day. Deeply, deeply moving.

Monday, March 23, 2009

IDF ceased long ago being 'the most moral army in the world'
by Gideon Levy.

From the article:

The testimonies from the graduates of the Oranim pre-military course were a bolt from the blue - accounts of soldiers butchering a woman and two of her children, shooting and killing an elderly Palestinian woman, how they felt when they murdered in cold blood, how they destroyed property and how there was not even fighting in this war that was not a war.

But this is neither a bolt nor blue skies. Everything has long been known by those who wanted to know, those who, for example, read Amira Hass's dispatches from Gaza in this paper. Everything started long before the assault on Gaza.

The soldiers' transgressions are an inevitable result of the orders given during this brutal operation, and they are the natural continuation of the last nine years, when soldiers killed nearly 5,000 Palestinians, at least half of them innocent civilians, nearly 1,000 of them children and teenagers.

Everything the soldiers described from Gaza, everything, occurred during these blood-soaked years as if they were routine events. It was the context, not the principle, that was different. An army whose armored corps has yet to encounter an enemy tank and whose pilots have yet to face an enemy combat jet in 36 years has been trained to think that the only function of a tank is to crush civilian cars and that a pilot's job is to bomb residential neighborhoods.

To do this without any unnecessary moral qualms we have trained our soldiers to think that the lives and property of Palestinians have no value whatsoever. It is part of a process of dehumanization that has endured for dozens of years, the fruits of the occupation.

Read the entire article over here.

Testimonies of Israeli soldiers reveal (or rather confirm) IDF's barbarities in Gaza.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Interesting article on how Zardari might have duped us once again:

There is much talk of an embattled and defeated man in the Presidency. The chief justice has been restored. The Zardari government has surrendered, it is claimed. So why has Zardari's smile gotten wider?

As night fell on March 15, the long march was making history. The people of Pakistan refused to be cowed by lathis or unending tear gas. Senior police officials refused to obey orders from Salmaan Taseer's government to use deadly force against unarmed citizens. Every hurdle on the road to Islamabad was simply melting away in face of the Black Coats' revolution.

However, on announcement of the restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry as chief justice, the revolution has retreated. The Long March and dharna have been called off by lawyers and politicians. President Zardari's government is taking credit for fulfilling the promise of Benazir Bhutto.

Prime Minister Gillani's announced on state television that Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry will be restored as chief justice on March 21, only after the retirement of the incumbent chief justice, Abdul Hameed Dogar. He reiterated that Mr Zardari had been unable to fulfil the promise of restoration because Abdul Hameed Dogar was already chief justice and that there could not be two chief justices. Prime Minister Gillani also committed that all other deposed judges will stand restored, but notably there was no mention of restoring the Nov 2, 2007, judiciary. In fact, Gillani clearly stated that the restoration of Iftikhar Chaudhry was fulfilment of President Zardari's pledge that the term of any existing judge will not be disturbed.

Read more.

Monday, March 16, 2009

CJ restored

Chief Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar is to be restored. While only time will tell if there are any loopholes in this decision or not, its a brilliant victory for all the lawyers, civil rights workers and all those who bore the brunt of the government's ruthlessness in this. It wouldn't have happened if it weren't for these brave souls. Lets just hope that this is a sign that perhaps democratic forces might still take root in this battered country.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I don't want to be cynical about the Long March, but I just read this post on Teeth Maestro, how there might be a Deal going on underneath all of this. Worth reading I suppose.