14 August 2009

Welcome to Dystopia

With the headlines in India raging about the swine flu and the machinations of a certain woman in the opposition there seems to be precious little coverage about something that's going to hit India like a tonne of flaming bricks in the coming year. Apart from three to four minute sporadic snippets each day about the situation, no one is addressing the elephant in the room. Drought. No rain. No food. Dying farmers. Dying animals. Yes the PM addressed the situation in a scant outline about what needs to be done. Are the farmers buying it? Afraid not. Have they received the benefits yet? Afraid not. Is this situation getting enough indepth coverage? Afraid not.

Why? Because blackmarketing pharmacists, panic over a pandemic that's claimed less than thirty lives nation-wide and mud-slinging political antics hold juicier value for an audience. Who cares about boring old farmers and their uncoiffed, unsophisticated opinions and their ugly sagging bulls and cows, right? So who cares if I don't get rice next year. I'll eat pasta. Imported. I'll buy a burger. Imported. Seriously, it's not a big deal. We have this shitty problem with the rain every year. Heard it all before.

No one is showing the abandonment. No one is showing the pictures of women shrieking and fleeing across desert lands to find one drop of water for their dying babies. No one is showing the slow collapse and eventual death of a hardy animal like a camel. Because it's not juicy. It's not interesting and it's not happening at your doorstep.

Here are some interesting statistics:

Swine flu in India- affected cities- 12
Drought affected districts in India- 161
Expected swine flu death toll- less than 100
Certain drought death toll- over 300,000

And who gets more coverage? Paranoid people with masks.

Welcome to dystopia. And you don't even know it.

And oh yeah, Happy Independence Day. Let me know if you find something worthy to crow about.

13 August 2009

Let's face it; we like wars.

Now I know you're going to put on your pacifist poncho and hurl tomatoes at me for saying that. Well, thanks for the free fruit, people; it'll save me a penny.

But seriously, I will demonstrate that this is true. Some of us just like outright war. You know, the sort that's happening all over the world- rebel conflicts in African countries, unspeakable atrocities in Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan bearing the brunt of a few bad men, the Middle-Eastern conflict and the Indo-Pak tensions. You can hardly prove me wrong here.

But what about me, pipes up your thin reedy voice- yes you, the nature-loving, tree-hugging fruitarian, almost anorexic because you can't eat anything that can be murdered, waving your stick insect arms in protest. I'm not for war, you say. Ah but you are, you see. You're raging against non-vegetarians. You're raging against the fur coat industry. You're campaigning for the rights of spinach but you don't care about the lives of dairy farmers who lose their livelihood because nobody buys their milk anymore. So you're at war with someone in your own reedy little stick-insecty way.

And you, you purveyor of justice- the one who campaigns for clemency, for human rights, for fair treatment to prisoners, for the upholding of the Habeas Corpus writ. Now don't scowl and raise your Magna Carta at me, you thick-robed bespectacled geek. Your dash for Lady Justice is squashing my rights as a taxpayer not to hand over my money for the maintenance of unspeakable criminals who shake their babies to death, who plant bombs in my city, who swindle thousands like me of our hard-earned wages. And you're campaigning for that vermin's rights? You're warring against the ordinary citizens' rights with your clever words and your indecent spin on the law.

And what about you- you finely attired keepers of the faith? You claim you want peace, not war. You shake hands with rabbis and mullahs and bishops and pray for the serenity and wisdom of the world and yet you live in shameless luxury and determine if a raped girl should be forced to have a baby at risk to her own life, you disallow a devout woman to cover her head with a scarf if she so chooses, you call followers of other faiths kafirs and non-believing sinners, you weild your mighty money to subjugate and occupy the homes of a harrassed nation- all in the name of God. What a clever little bunch you are.

And what about you and me- we are so taken in with the everyday wars that we encounter when we spill onto the streets, in order to earn our living. We are wooed towards something and cautioned against another- phones, schools, medicines, clothes, entertainment, political views, nations, rights, duties and moralities. And we choose. We choose one over another, starting off little wars that will all come home to roost one day if they haven't already.

You're not a pacifist. You're as Machiavellian as I am. You love wars just as much as every other person on this planet. You just don't have the balls to admit you enjoy it. Comfort yourself, dear coward; neither do they.