Babble Without a Pause

December 8, 2015

Perspectives On Being Fleeced (and other stories)

paul-noth-then-we-carefully-disguise-the-bribes-as-legal-fees-by-changing-the-word-new-yorker-cartoon

INDIA (2005)

  1. Passport office. 10am. Stand in line 4-5 hours to get your passport renewed. Wait for hours. Get told to come back the next day.
  2. You decide it’s not worth your time.
  3. You pay some Rupeeses to expedite your application processing.
  4. Case AUTO-MAGICALLY gets processed the next day and you have your passport.

    BRIBE, they call it.

    “Third world country. What did you expect?” I overhear.

    200_s

 

U.S.A (2015)

  1. Submit application to have your work visa renewed. Wait 4 months for  a process that typically takes a month or two (AT MOST). Get informed by friendly neighborhood attorneys that it could take up to 6 months more, BUT nice guy that you are, you could technically continue working while waiting for approval, but you are virtually under house arrest and literally cannot leave the country for vacation, emergency, or even if Jesus returns (because History lesson, Jesus was from the Middle East, not Amurica).
  2. You decide to not have to be stuck for another 4 months due to government inefficiencies and red tape.
  3. You pay some Dollarses in fees to expedite your visa processing.
  4. Case AUTO-MAGICALLY gets approved in two weeks and you have your visa.

    PREMIUM PROCESSING, they call it.

    “First world country. Things get done quick.” I overhear.

    200_s

#JustSaying

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September 21, 2012

Meanwhile, at Apple HQ

__________________________________________________
From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 1:21 AM
To: Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

Timmy,

You were saying …..?

__________________________________________________

From: Tim Cook [mailto:stevewasbetter@apple.com] 
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 4:12 PM
To: Steve Jobs
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Over his dead bo….. Oh.
Sent from my Blackberry
__________________________________________________

From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:45 AM
To: Steve Jobs
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Hey Steve,
What’s up, my man. No longer at Apple, I see. They kick you out again?
PS – When are you coming on board with us. You know we always have a job for you, here at Samsung.

 
Regards,
Choi

 


__________________________________________________

From: Steve Jobs [mailto:noreply@apple.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 8:20 AM
To: Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung-Worldwide
Subject: [Out of Office] RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..
I am out of office with restricted access to email, dependent on the 3G connectivity at the place where I must, like all others, go.

 
__________________________________________________

From: Kwon Oh-hyun [mailto:ceomail@samsung.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 8:15 AM
To: Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
Cc: Samsung-Worldwide
Subject: RE: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..

 
Dear Apple,

 

Hows about you use some of that $1 billion we loaned you, to make your maps not suck. And while you’re at it, perhaps you could use leftover funds toward hiring an actual adult artist to make your 3D maps not look like something a 4-year old drew while high on ingested crayons and inhaled glue.

 
Best,
Samsung

 

__________________________________________________
From: Larry Page [mailto:callmelarry@google.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:00 PM
To: Sergei
Cc: Samsung, HTC, Motorola
Subject: Hahahahaaaaaaa …..
Hey fellas,

 
Look what I just found. Some Friday lulz for everyone. Tee hee hee.
http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com

 
TGIF!
Larry

 

 

July 30, 2012

If you can’t beat them …..

……. who are we kidding. Of course we can. Apart from molesting them, slapping them, degrading them, infantilizing them, groping them, sexually assaulting them, and possibly raping them. All in broad daylight. If there were a sport called find-women-having-a-reasonably-good-time-and-beat-the-living-shit-out-of-them, us Indians (or atleast the self-appointed-goons among us) would win the gold, silver and bronze hands down, every four years. Hell, we’d get a walkover at all future Olympics. Two incidents in the last two months have helped India wake up to this epiphany. Which is why, even as we speak, Suresh ‘pocketed-most-of-the-CWG-funds-toward-much-needed-ethics-transplant-surgery’ Kalmadi is vociferously lobbying the halls of Parliament, trying desperately to get our elected netas to, in turn, lobby the IOC to recognize FWHARGTABTLSOOT as an official sport of the 2016 Olympics.

 

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Olympic(k on women) games have been going on for a while in India now. Of note, the latest variant, in which journalists desperately trying to up the ante (no, not Nita Ambani; e………asy Bhajji, down boy) on their TRPs, actually incite mobs to gather around women, assault them, drag them by their hair along the street and do as they please, and proceed to capture aforementioned beizzati on film, for subsequent ultra slow-mo replay and (literal) blow-by-blow analysis on struggling television channel.

 

The latest incident in Mangalore brings to memory a similar fiasco in the same city a little over three years ago. Lest we forget, the  attacks on a group of party-hopping youngsters at a pub back on Jan 24th 2009 were perpetrated by a rabid bunch of Hindu moralists. You know, the kind that beat their wife to a pulp back home, but are against Sherlyn Chopra posing for Playboy because (and I paraphrase): “It is an affront to our motherland’s glorious cultural and moral heritage”. This time around, a group of youngsters allegedly celebrating their friend’s birthday were accused of hosting a ‘rave’ party. Enter the Smug Saffron Scoundrels, ready to dole out a well-deserved dose of beating, slapping and thrashing.

 

Most of you will cry foul at this next bit. I get that as we speak, well-meaning organizations like India Against Corruption are fighting a lone war to clean the scam (and urine-stained) halls of government. I get that  they have a clear objective vis-a-vis elimination of corruption in beloved Hindustan. I also get, and respect the personal sacrifice most of the activists make, risking family and self to stand out in the sun, forgoing food and/or water, while lazier software-employed, air-conditioned-office-sitting armchair activists (yours truly included)  ‘share’ or ‘like’ a picture of a corruption fighting octagenarian on their favourite social network.

 

That said, how about we put aside corruption for, oh I don’t know, the better part of next century, and focus instead on elimination of rape on our streets. Because I sure as hell would prefer to live with paying the paan-chewing pear-shaped government babu Rs. 5000 to get the electricity meter installed in my home, than see someone’s daughter/sister/wife/girlfriend dragged along the streets because she had a drink (or two). This charade of moral/religious policing has to stop. To be clear, it isn’t just the beard-sporting, gun-wielding Pakistani who qualifies to be a terrorist. We have far too many homegrown terrorism within our borders to be pointing to Pakistan (or other Islamic countries) as sources of terrorism. Anytime another of these reprehensible bastards step out of their house to protect their religion, the life of another woman is at stake. Today it might just be a statistic. [X] girls assaulted in bar in Mangalore. Tomorrow, it could be your daughter.

 

The last time this happened, the leader of Shri Rama Sena was sent pink chaddis by the handful. Apparently feeling overlooked, the Hindu Janagarana Vedike stepped up this time, and is possibly anticipating a huge booty (honestly, no pun intended) of colorful lingerie. As a friend so eloquently put it though, “…. the time for sending pink chaddis is over”. It is time for us to collectively take responsibility for this shambolic state of affairs in this country. Everytime a principal is found guilty of calling in his own young wards into his office to satisfy some depraved urge. Everytime a news reporter is found inciting all-too-ready roadside goons to carry out their thuggery on women and men doing nothing more than having a good time. Everytime a Hindu/Muslim/Christian/Other vigilante rushes into a pub/bar/restaurant claiming to be upholding Indian morals, whilst simultaneously slapping a girl across the face. Everytime one or more such incidents happen in plain sight, rather than whip out our iPhones to capture the video for later upload to prominent social network for shares/likes/comment gathering, keep that god awful phone in your pocket. Step up, and hold these pond scum accountable.

 

A prominent public transport anti-terrorism awareness program in New York carries the slogan ‘If you see something, say something’. How about we adopt that to our current situation. ‘If you see something, DO something’. Like catch these greasy monkeys. Shoot the bastards where the sun don’t shine. Then hang them from the 10th floor of the nearest multiplex. Let’s teach these sonsofbitches a lesson. Perhaps it’s time for some good ol’ Saudi Arabian justice. You know, ‘an eye for an eye’. ‘A tooth for a tooth’. ‘A penilectomy for a sexual assault’.

 


POST-SCRIPT

As reported by Mangalore Today, the HJV has reacted strongly to the accusations flying thick and fast. I leave to you, the reader, the task of draw conclusions pertaining to the level of intellect posessed by these buffoons. Presenting to you, exhibit A. And B.

Milord, I rest my case.

 

 

 

January 21, 2012

Facebook and the Age of Virtual Activism

Time was when activism meant picketing on the streets, getting your voice heard. Or sitting in a cramped prison cell in silent protest, against a despicable racial segregation movement eating your country. Time was when protests were something you DID, for something you believed in wholeheartedly. Time was also when if you thought something was f*cked up, you’d do whatever it took to fight back. Like parking yourself in front of a military tank about to crush you down like a flea, and take a stand.

 

 

_____________________________________________

 

NOW, is obviously NOT that time

 

 

 

October 30, 2011

Trash Metal and the Indian Grand Pricks

Delhi. That land of political scams, that Indian-Italian lady, and anti-corruption protestors with varied names like Ramesh, James, Iqbal, Mona, Donna, Shoewalla, Rocketwalla and Jain, wearing placards and all holding banners saying “I am Anna”.  Identity crisis? Me thinks so. Their parents would be so sad. Yes, the same Delhi that last year played a clueless, ill-prepared host to the world’s athletes (and some local stray canine friends) at the Commonwealth Games, and came out with its head held high, by some stroke of blind luck.  Yes, that very Delhi was in the news for all the wrong reasons (shocker!) yesterday.

First, certain hardcore music fans took the term ‘Trash Metal’ a trifle too seriously. Word on the street is that some half-wit Delhi loons, upon hearing that Metallica and co. had expressed reservations about the security arrangements, took it upon themselves to express umbrage the way only Delhi waaley know how. By storming the stage for a theatrical re-enactment of St. Anger, followed by the customary mother/daughter/sister slogans, and general destruction. Metallica, you only have yourself to blame. The people of Delhi when asked, chanted in unison that you are hereby Unforgiven. To them it’s all about the music, and Nothing Else Matters.

The violence on Friday was a perfect advertisement for the Formula One race coming up on Sunday, where a dog almost ran onto the track during practice on Friday, almost causing an accident that would’ve added to the list of unfortunate casualties in auto racing in the past week around the world.

Speaking of unfortunate accidents, Lady Gaga is scheduled to perform at an exclusive after-party at some yuppie upscale watering hole in some ramshackle downscale suburb of Old Delhi. An after-party hosted by Arjun Rampal, a man I thought was possessed of some semblance of dignity and common sense. That is, until, when asked about the ₹40,000 price tag for a seat at the concert,  he opened his mouth to say : “One has to understand that the costs are very high. Maybe if we had a bigger venue with capacity for more people, we could have gone easy on the price. But with less people, it becomes difficult to lower the price. After all it’s business, and we have to break even.” Indeed, break even he has to, for he is a struggling businessman with no other source of income but to fleece India’s teenage monsters. The local media have been going gaga (I’m sorry, it really was too easy, I can’t believe I held that one in so long) with reports of the exclusive after-party and Rampal’s scarcely contained glee, as he giggled and blushed like a little 10-year-old girl waiting with bated breath for Miss Gaga to perform at his exclusive event.

Out on the streets, Delhi’s sex workers were heard expressing anguish and outrage that Miss Gaga was able to rake in upwards of ₹40,000 for crooning lyrics as profound and soulful as:

Let’s have some fun, this beat is sick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick
Don’t think too much, just bust that kick
I wanna take a ride on your disco stick

while they are barely able to command ₹500 for offering the same (in roughly similar sounding words) to commuters and passers-by at red light areas.

Back to the Formula One race itself. A long-cherished dream of every Indian. Almost as cherished a dream as becoming an engineer, once upon a time. Cue an incessant stream of Facebook news feed updates with posts titled anything from “I’m so proud of India”, to “Vande Mataram”, to “Vijay Mallya for president”. Call me silly, but I’m willing to wager a not-too-small sum of money, that AR Rahman been booked well in advance, to be up on the starting line singing the National Anthem prior to, after and during the race. Why you ask? Because it is a matter of national pride, to host a global event of such delusions of grandeur and prestige. Remind me again, why Indians are not up in arms against this race, like we all were when the La Tomatina festival reared its rotten head in Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and other cities around the country a month ago. Back then the outrage was borne out of depriving farmers of their hard-earned living, paying them a pittance, and we all were suitably outraged, venting on MyFace, YourSpace, Tumblr, Grumblr and a million other social networks out there.

To be clear, I’m not against the sport itself. But let’s try and get this straight shall we, it’s JUST a race. And like any other race, it is a sporting spectacle, run as always, by politicians who got their cut of the government money that went into financing this exercise in phallus size comparison. It is no reflection of the power of a country, it is no statement of prowess or ambition. All the pundits will tell you it is GOLD to host an international event. It brings in tourism, it boosts revenues, and gives our economy a massive erection. But maybe we can put off the jhanda waving and the tricolour hats until we don’t have as many underage children getting sold as sex slaves in the capital. Until our bhai log in the capital can keep themselves civilized at public events, instead of  going apeshit crazy at the drop of a hat. Until, perhaps, the leader of our country grows a pair, and does something significant towards bringing to justice a hardened remorseless terrorist after 3 years of dawdling. Scratch that last one, it ain’t gonna happen.

Till then, perhaps we can put hosting global events on the back burner, focus on things that need focus, and go back to paying ₹1000 to watch Shahrukh Khan whoring himself out on any number of commercial ventures *cough* movies, and give our film fraternity a well-earned pat on the back for their achievements in the field of scarcely-credible-cinema-making.

March 17, 2011

App-lied Religion

Early last week, the Catholic church announced with breathless excitement, the news everyone had been waiting to hear for decades now. No, the priests who sodomized children for decades weren’t finally found guilty and sentenced to life behind bars. The pope – who earlier the same week had urged his hordes of faithful minions priests worldwide, to “help people see the face of Christ on the Web, through blogs, Web sites and videos” –  announced the worldwide release of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App”, the 1st iPhone app officially sanctioned by the Catholic church (and now available through iTunes for only $1.99, YAY!), at a packed papal enclave at dawn.

For those not in the know, let me break it down for you. Catholic confession is an entirely futile exercise wherein non-ten-commandment-abiding sinners christians voluntarily enter a church-stationed wooden cubicle roughly twice a week, reveal saucy details of the wickedness and transgressions of their morally corrupt lives to a bishop, priest or cardinal on the other side of aforementioned box (separated by a veil), in hopes of absolution from the same clergyman who has lesser morals than an Aesop’s fable.

Retweeting the papal ordnance, a grumpy looking archbishop of Canterbury (better known by his twitter handle, @daddyneverlovedme) was heard incoherently grumbling something about how his church-sponsored iPhone was meant for snapping suggestive pictures of young altar boys, not for confession, of all things.

Aside from my barely-disguised animosity toward a catholic church besieged by scandal, and onto the star of this show, the app itself.  The login page of the app reads (and I am NOT kidding) : “Please touch a user below to continue”. Pardon my naivety, is this an app for confession or a how-to for repressed priests? Because, those guys have demonstrated quite conclusively that they don’t really need an invitation. It also purports to be the “Age, vocation and gender specific examination of conscience”. By that criterion, it baffles the mind how “Are you a middle aged, repressed lonely priest” is not the first question on this app. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit. I hear that’s scheduled for release in Confession 2.0.

The home page on iTunes goes on to promote the serious utility of such a handy app, citing it as “the iPhone app for making confession easier”. Gee, I wonder why Jesus didn’t think of that. Instead of travelling light years from his home in the sky, to offer himself for your sins, all he had to do was look up the great cosmic iTunes store, download the salvation app, answer a few trivial (for him) questions; and VOILA  redemption guaranteed for generations of unborn sinners. Or Moses. Silly ol’ Moses. Rather than sitting on Mt. Sinai for 40 days painstakingly carving 10 comandments in stone, he simply needed to connect to HeavenWireless, and download the pdf onto his tablet. Perhaps the prophet Mohammed should have asked the angel Gabriel to download the iKoran app to his phone, turn on bluetooth and sync it to his notebook atop Mount Hira. I mean, Gautama Buddha sounds like he was genuinely off his rocker, taking all his clothes off and sitting under a tree, when enlightenment was just a download away. Were he alive today, he’d only have to plug in his 13.1″ laptop to his BSNL 56k dial-up modem, and lookup Kurt Cobain on Google, to find nirvana.

The three god-fearing, born-again, young Catholic men from South Bend, Indiana, crafters of this supreme innovation seem to be not-too-quietly patting themselves on the back at their newly earned all access pass to the pearly gates. “We tried to make it as secure as possible,” says Patrick Leinen, a 31-year-old Internet programmer who built the app with his brother, Chip, a hospital systems administrator, and Ryan Kreager, a Notre Dame doctoral candidate. Yes, you got that right. “As secure as possible”. An app, developed by 3 out of work computer nerdlings, ostensibly overseen and inspired by clergymen. Definitely nothing that could go wrong there. Surely no backdoor (pun MOST CERTAINLY intended) to relay the contents of your daily electronic confession to the waiting eyes, ears (and hands?) of a thousand bishops in underground Vatican sweatshops, poring over details of your everyday life. If the app takes off in popularity like it’s developers expect it to, you honestly shouldn’t be surprised if father TouchMeLot approaches you after sunday service to let you know that he knows who you poked this week (on Facebook or otherwise), and whether or not you were using protection at the time of said poking (Note to non-technical readers: no matter how much the pope Benedict tries to convince you that using protection is sinful, it is good to protect yourself from nasty viruses transmitted by poking strangers wirelessly in public. Don’t believe me? Look here). Cardinal Angelo Sexophile now has up-to-the-minute stats on  all your transgressions which in turn allows him, at the proverbial click of a button, to shame you for the stunningly accurate count of times you yelled ‘Bloody Mary’ at that loud annoying girl Mary from work, slouched in the corner of the pub, while swigging your 10th bloody mary on a sad, lonely Friday night.

Confession has long been promoted by the church as a way to get closer to God, the path to redemption for the sinful (read, all non-Christian gentiles) to ease the burdens of their pagan lifestyle, and touted as the way to a lighter conscience. And now, it appears, a lighter wallet as well. A small request to future developers of the iSalvation, iPray, iBhajan, iNamaaz, iZen and other copycat apps; please don’t make me have to touch this Patrick guy, whoever he is, just to login to my e-confession. Please. I’d rather not.

 

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