Tuesday, February 28, 2006

While My Guitar Gently Weeps...

"Lynne and Petty were joined by Steve Winwood on organ and Harrison's son Dhani on guitar for the Wilburys' smash hit "Handle With Care," followed by Harrison's "White Album" staple "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Prince emerged from the side of the stage to join in on the latter about halfway through, unleashing an extended solo".

Taken from here.

Listen to this brilliant performance here

Saturday, February 25, 2006

An undergrad's lament in Poetry 430

Bukowski was right on.
Its not abt the fucking rhyme
Or the meter
[certainly, a madarchod matter]

Its about saying whats important.
Its about telling the girl who's swallowed pills
Hey—Im glad I didn't stay, it would've
Ruined your good ending.

It's about not sweating the punkchewashun:
type like
a swedish skier slaloms a slope
i.e unafraid.

White space could be my cream cheese.
Some use just a little, like in sushi




Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup
If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long
And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'
And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'
And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'
And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"
And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin' three queens
And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin' around a pinball machine
And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin'
On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'
On this curve I'm hanging
On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
In this air I'm inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
In the words that I'm thinkin'
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
"Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'
And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it's something special you're needin'
And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
"Cause you look an' you start getting the chills

"Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny
No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you
And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'
Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can't even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache�
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolin' you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty

No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race
You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'
Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'
Where do you look for this oil well gushin'
Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown

~Dylan, Bob. Copyright © 1973 Special Rider Music

Friday, February 24, 2006

You can't touch this!!!!!!!!!

Hallelujah. Hammer's got blog-time!!

I love how everyone's here. Anyone seen Elvis?

Keep it poppin', you're still my man. Wear them funkypants, tho.

Definitions at a Conference

Decadence resides in
chandeliers that glitter
with the light of chinese
cunts that taste of tommy girl
and too much $6 red wine.

Awareness is counting the sudoku squares
formed by the ceiling's wood beams,
and sinking your bare foot hurting
into warm red carpet.

Knowledge is Ron the security guard,
who walks in definite majesty
midst high and happy thighs.

wisdom is poetry
written feverish
on the back of bills and
on the arm of a drunk lover--
(the one who's number you pushed into the planter)

Truth is dancing with
joe from california
(who smells of Bud light and a 2 year old girlfriend)
then walking away to
discuss the 1974 invasion with
the delegate from Chile.

Luxury is extra cigs,
and your bare feet up on a coffee table.

Responsibility is the
erring human boyfriend,
charging the ipod
and waking up in time for committee.

Magic is the drunk slovakian playing the
piano in time to Deep Purple on your 'pod.

Courage is reading Kerouac, and still writing,
on the back of a bill--
poetry at 00:56 in the night.


First posted here

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

jugun ianfu

Thats the new phrase I learnt today. It's Japanese for "military comfort women".

This evening at Roger Williams University, Ms. Ok Sun Kim and Ms. Yong Soo Lee came to speak to an audience about the treatment of 200,000 young girls, most of them Korean, at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII. Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee were accompanied by a translator and a documentary which explained what being (Jugun Ianfu) meant to these women.

The two little old women are now in their early 80's. At the time of their enslavement, they were 15 years old.

According to Dr. Chunghee Sarah Soh, Ph.D. of the San Francisco State University, Jugun ianfu were created by the Japanese Army because their goal was to

"... enhance the morale of the military by providing amenities for recreational sex. The authorities believed such amenities would help prevent soldiers from committing random sexual violence toward women of occupied territories, which became a real concern after the infamous Nanjing Massacre in 1937. Besides its reputation, the military authorities were also concerned with the health of the troops, which prompted their close supervision of the hygienic conditions in the comfort stations in order to help keep sexually transmitted diseases under control".

It wasn't just Korean women who were targeted. According to Dr. Soh's research, 80% were Korean, but comfort women were enslaved from villages throught Japanese occupied territory-- They were taken from Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma and the Pacific islands.

From the testimonials as well as research reports, it's evident these women were subject to horrific treatment. The only reparation ever received was in 1948 when a tribunal in Batavia (today's Jakarta) convicted Japanese military officers who had forced 35 Dutch women into becoming comfort women. There was no mention made at that time of comfort women of any other race or nationality.

The victims of this practice have suffered diseases, addictions and/or a ruptured uterus. They have lived in loneliness and poverty. They have received no compensation and no apology from the Japanese government. They have been aging in silence. Until now.

In 1991, Kim Hak Sun (who was featured in the documentary that was shown this evening)gave the first public testimonial. Since then, more has been written and said to make sure the issue goes beyond the confines of regional politics in Japan and North & South Korea.

At present, Japanese Conservatives deny the existence of any evidence that points to the practice of coercing young girls into being the army's comfort women.

This wasn't the first time in history that women received such treatment. I have heard of this practice having occured amongst Nordic tribes, the Romans, Greeks and African tribes. U.N troops have been accused of the same crime in Kossovo. But the faces and words that I saw on that screen today made an impression like no Homeric talk of female slaves could have ever done.

I saw Ms. Ok Sun Kim outside in the hallway, as I was zipping up my jacket. A gentle graceful woman in silk and white slip-on shoes, she returned my bow with one of her own, and with a smile, went back into the hall. I stood there, mouth agape, wishing I spoke enough Korean to say "thankyou" and "sorry", though it would've sounded as stupid then as it does now.

Ms. Yong Soo Lee, the second "grandmother", as they were referred to the whole evening, had an interesting story to tell. She has told it before to a Chinese newspaper, and I quote it here:

"There was a 'comfort station' in Taiwan where I then received pilots who belonged to the kamikaze, a special suicide brigade."

One of Japanese kamikaze pilots, who repeatedly raped her in Taiwan, told Ms. Lee that she was his first love.

"That Japanese soldier gave me a Japanese nick-name, 'Toshiko'. And the kamikaze pilot taught me a song. He made up a song, because he was afraid he would die when he finally had to fly.

"It's in Japanese," Ms. Lee said, and then she softly sang the lilting tune which she never forgot.

"The song goes like this," she added, translating the Japanese into Korean, which was then rendered into English by a translator during the interview:

"The fighting planes are taking off / Taiwan is disappearing far below / Clouds appear / Nobody is saying goodbye to me / One person who can cry for me is Toshiko / We will fight in Okinawa / If I die, I will guide you to your mother / So please don't cry, because you will go back to your mother."

That shred of hope, amid their mutual doom and suffering, at least allowed Ms. Lee to believe she might survive.

"I think he is my savior. I still thank him," she said, clarifying that she felt no romance for him.

"He came to me many times. That soldier told me I was his first love."

Occasionally weeping while telling her tale, Ms. Lee said the kamikaze pilot "gave me all his soap, and other things for taking care of myself, because he said he was leaving tomorrow to die."

Ms. Lee never married.

For the whole story, click here.

Again-- this is not the first time women have been used and abused. This will not be the last time. But this is not about casting stones-- It is about recognizing history. Ms. Kim and Ms. Lee want an official apology. And they want to go back to Korea. May whichever god is listening, grant it to them.

For more on comfort women, visit:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Of Model U.N conferences, bars, smart economic sanctions, Floyd studio clips from 1970 and other sundry matters

I just got back from Harvard's model UN conference.
As the delegate from Cyprus in the UNWC-Applications, I sat with 551 other delegates in the General Assembly simulation and tried to come up with a treaty that regulated unilateral actions.

Thats the resume version. Now for the truth.

Being an ivy league-er apparently doesn't make you good at organizing. Delegates from around the world-- literally-- decried the lack of parliamentary procedure. The fact that they came from different countries and thus could decry in different languages made the entire event perfect.

I wish this happened more often-- college grads and undergrads getting together, discussing politics in the day and alcohol, music & sex at night. Its proof that woodstock will never die.

Disclaimer #1: I deslike the present structure of the UNO. It's post WWII philosophy is not in tune with the world today-- there can be no P5, or veto, in a world where Surinam and Burkina Faso [not to mention Cyprus and Brazil] introduce amendments and motions at model UNs. There is an open market, with non-state actors and people who communicate via the internet. Like Windows, the UNO needs updates too. But thats just my little rant.

Disclaimer #2: I chose to not go to this model UN for the above-stated reasons. I ended up going because my friends asked me to, as there was an opening in the 11th hour. Throwing principles and homework to the wind, I took off with zero preparation to this conference.

ok, it wasn't all alcohol, music & sex. Even from my perch as observer of the world, there were moments of brilliance throughout these past 4 days. In committee for instance, the latin american nations quickly got together, and the arab and african nations had no qualms joining them. Turkey, Greece and Cyprus sent each other notes and smiles, and vowed that if it was upto us, the 1974 dispute would be settled peaceably with a referendum, and Turkey would part of the E.U in 2007.

Chile, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Cyprus, Antigua and Barbuda, Jordan, Uruguay and Cuba became committee buddies-- We sent notes to each other about amending articles, sending memos to the other two sub committees and going out for coffee when the unmoderated caucus was called for.

South Africa got my salutations because he spoke with a britly clipped accent, and wore his turban and beard with true Sikh pride. Namibia was quietly amused. Losotho became Cyprus's close allies in clandestine breaks and laughing down certain votes. Ireland looked different without his tie, and deserved the award he got at the end.

Zimbabwe hit on mongolia. Chile followed a delegate who is from China but refused to tell me what country she represented. At 2:30am, sitting in the lobby with my bare feet up on a coffee table and my ipod on, I saw diplomatic relations carried on like never before. And yet, there was a sense of community to all of it: that all this dancing, and talking, and drunken pulling of fire alarms was done in the spirit of global good will.

Caught between cynicism and amusement, I was witness to beauty.

Like when the norwegian delegate sat down at the lobby grand piano, midst the false fire alarms and wobbly giggling female delegates, and played till his veins stood out. He played classical music up and down the scales never stopping, for two hours.

Like when Pakistan sent a cordial note to me, asking me to explain my reference to Musharraf. Like us toasting each other with beers across a room at the delegate's dance that evening.

Like Chile and I discussing canadian politics [of which, as a native, he is privy to] till 4am.

Like Ron the security guy discussing the Patriots and Life with those who stood around, unbuzzed, midst running after underage drinkers on the 14th floor.

Like getting stuck in an elevator with 21 other people and realizing that yes, I am claustrophobic.

Like hearing a delegate's take on model UNs, and why Harvard is full of sods-- Unorganized, he said. I seconded the motion.

As he said, nothing comes out of model UNs, except funding, fun and a good resume. Hopping up and down outside the Park Plaza hotel to keep warm in the -2 degree night that surrounded us, he said that he went up to speak at his first couple of model UNs in order to get laid. Which occured, of course [NB-- You agree with everything said by a drunken graduate post 1:35am. Its a thing]. But now, he said-- this was all pomp and show.

But of course. It's Harvard. But what hurts those of us who can consume alcohol and stay intelligent, is that such conferences are living proof of why the UN never succeeds in settling political disputes.

For instance-- The treaty that the UNWC came up with finally, had no reference to smart economic sanctions, eventhough the treaty contained specs for the creation of a body that would oversee matters of unilateral action. The amendment was shot down by those who sat up front, who-- as happens in most democratic processes these days-- were a minority. The majority sat beyond the microphones, and in silent angst, sent notes and played knoughts and crosses.

This new body that was set up would have no say about unilateral economic sanctions, "smart" or otherwise.

And in today's edition of the NYTimes and Washington Post?
Israel has frozen the financial assets of the new government in Palestine, which will leave the bureaucracy hamstrung by the end of this month. They claim to have done this as they fear Hamas will now take the government in an extremist direction. They have done this despite global dialogue, Russia's stance, and Abbas publically coming out at every opportunity and saying that there would be no extremist action taken, and the peace process would carry on. They have done this inspite of Hamas having shown no proof of "extremist" decisions as a legal part of the legislative, today.

And no one will say anything about it.

And we, unofficial diplomats, tied our own hands by leaving the amendment out.

Now you know why so much booze was consumed those three nights. Or so I was told.

NB-- If drinking in a bar in Boston, make sure you tip well. Otherwise she will muck up your mojito. Ah, Experience! The cruel lessons you teach!

Also-- The biggest thrill for me in Boston this weekend? Going into the hotel's bar, opening a tab, and paying for it myself. 3 drinks, a quiet wish that they played Floyd istead of 50 Cent, and a leisurely exit into the lobby, to talk to Ron, and take a tulip from an arrangement up to the room.

Speaking of Floyd though-- Thanks to Google video, I was blessed enough to come across sections of the 1970 studio sessions that the band did in California. I also go to see a few of the Pulse videos, like High Hopes and Comfortably Numb. My cup ran over and made a priyanka puddle, only coz I also got to see the 'see emily play' video, and pigs on the wing too.

In short, I am mellower, wiser, richer in experience and good accquaintances and loaded with homework like only Sisyphus would understand. Good stuff, at the end of the day.

PS: If you go to Boston, visit 'au bon pain'-- the best sandwiches and pain au chocolat I've had in a long time.

PPS: Jeff Buckley was born the angel he now literally is. If you have not heard his cover of Cohen's 'Hallelujah', and if you have a gmail account, then let me know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Look, ma-- I'm flyin'!

disclaimer: the blogger would like her readers to remember she just recently turned 21, and for all her maturity can't resist such an opportunity to yell out


ahem. So Im a tad kicked. One of my poems were selected to be read out at the Kala Ghoda arts festival in Mumbai on the 12th of this month.

Here's the official report of the same-- Apparently someone played the violin in an effort to interpret the poem, which btw, can be found here.

I'm curious why the violinist tried to find a "calmness" in what he felt was the "disturbed" atmosphere of the thing.

[Do note my barefaced pomposity: I'm actually dissecting this damn thing, on my own blog, under my own name, the very moment I hear about it. Damn kids these days]

I'm also curious to know what the faces of those listening looked like.

But mostly, I am grateful.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The 6th of this month

What a day. It took 4 days of reflection [and threatening imran with death by drowning in a small innocuous pool of anorexic bat's blood if he didn't send me the pictures, with much thanks to anshu for the image] to finally type this out.

It was magnificent. Mum and dad decided to wish me when it was my birthday in India. As did the duck. My brother did the same-- all these happy people in India & Australia are officially declared by me to be living in the wrong hemisphere. Hmph. No, but it was a good feeling. Much wuv. Much sleepy thanks and falling asleep midst wishes. Beautiful.

Kevin and gina got me a cake. Ned was there to sing along. Hell, everyone should have ned to sing at their birthday cake-cutting. And gina put on 21 candles.

Gul wished me. My onion called. Lamya and imran sent cards. BENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN you doll, you did try, am sorry. Far away, along a starlit coast in Pondi, a drink was had at 7:31 as a "plesent". Got a whole bunch of wishes on ryze and facebook-- Hena was there thrice, with that damn red nose of hers. Baldy came by too :) My maya got me my first lip-liner: neutral, and tasting of caramel. The guys took me out for dinner to jackie's galaxy. We had much food and fun.

How cycles change.
The people who were the most important to me, about this time last year, were no where in sight.
And I don't hold this against 'em, at all.
But such is beautiful, all this journeying. To truly know, without any discussion, that everything and every person is on its way to someplace.

Am at peace.

Has anyone btw, tried salvia? Do tell.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Today is the greatest day I ’ve ever known"...

... As the Smashing Pumpkins once said. And of course, you will let me tell you why.

My roomie is now my ex-roomie-- Not only does this mean that I can
1.sleep in my birthday suit AC/DC as loud as I like it , and
3.yell vernacular profanities & words of affection over the phone long distance,
but it also means that I have a sweet pad all to myself. Abdel & imran are coming over on Friday to help me set up, and the rest of the crew will show up and we will celebrate my new found "space" with chinese take out, arabic music and much yelling.

My birthday was beautiful, and made perfect by people from around the world. How often can a body claim such to happen in a lifetime? I am happy. More on that when imran sends me pictures to go with the copy.

Got to read Amit's brilliant blog-- Kept me enthralled for an hour. Stopped only because msn called. Wonderful stuff.

Also-- The scholarship gods have agreed to our collective idea to go down to n'orleans and help out during spring break. That's right-- no body shots in cancun, we're here to be responsible. Ahem.

This evening, I was lucky enough to meet the current president of Brown-- Dr. Ruth Simmons is an inspiration. Erudite she is. Dressed in pink, smiling chocolate. Calm, her voice like aged honey and summer in a school that rarely hears such. I will one day accept a degree from her on a stage. This is a promise... to my quackles.

Lit mag is a great class-- Im actually learning how to put together a magazine in there, the absolute nit-grits of editing, proofing, querying, typesetting, you name it Im in it. This is all good.

There's a summer internship in washington d.c with amnesty international. There is a global water class where I get to present papers.

goals to be fulfilled before dec 2006:

1) visit the gym more than just a fly-by on the way to the mail room.
2) make lots of money, legally.
3) finish writing my book.
4) develop a strategy to provide clean water to... ok, will stop.

Top of the day to ye.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


More people hearing abt flipsyde thanks to the Winter games commercial. They have other songs that are more brilliant lyric-wise, but this has a certain... thinggy... to it.

"Dance fools, dance"

It was a great movie, one that launched Clark Gable's career and that made me stay up till 2:30am one night in madras, when I was in the 8th.

Joan Crawford will always be brilliant.

Anyway, the title seemed to make sense as a title for this blog, considering all the noise thats been happening. Don't get me wrong-- Im all for serious dicussion. When things get out of hand though--

I dance.

And this is a great one to do that to.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Post Scriptum

There's an article on the danish caricature issue on

The article states that both the administration in washington and the Danish ministry said that the drawings were offensive.

The article also says that "Dutch-language newspapers in Belgium and two Italian right-wing papers reprinted the drawings on Friday. The Italian papers also ran editorials criticizing European media for giving in to pressure over the drawings"

There is an online poll available on this same article, asking if the "anti-denmark protests are justified"?

Yes 15%

No 82%

Undecided 4%

I put this here as a juxtaposition to my previous blogpost, the reactions of those who read that, and abhinav's comments on it.

Because what's beautiful about democracy is its relativity-- a minority on this tiny little space in blogdom is in "reality"-- at least on an american-based and american-sponsored website-- a majority.

I put this here to show that Abhinav is not alone in his reaction to the issue.

I put this here to show how "freedom of press" can be extended to include any amount of libel or disrespect, the same way that the "necessary and proper" clause in the american constitution can be extended to include illegal surveillance and warantless imprisonment.

I put this here to showcase certain quotes out of this article:

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in a meeting with Egypt’s ambassador, reiterated his stance that the government cannot interfere with issues concerning the press. On Monday, he said his government could not apologize on behalf of a newspaper, but that he personally “never would have depicted Muhammad, Jesus or any other religious character in a way that could offend other people.”

While recognizing the importance of freedom of the press and expression, U.S. State Department press officer Janelle Hironimus said these rights must be coupled with press responsibility.

“Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable,” Hironimus said. “We call for tolerance and respect for all communities and for their religious beliefs and practices.”

And another quote:

"“If they want a war of religions, we are ready,” Hassan Sharaf, an imam in Nablus, said in his sermon"

And then:

"The Jyllands-Posten said it had asked cartoonists to draw images of the prophet “to examine whether people would succumb to self-censorship, as we have seen in other cases when it comes to Muslim issues.”

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying the caricatures are an attack on “our spiritual values,” adding they had damaged efforts to establish an alliance between the Muslim world and Europe"


"In Europe, senior British, French and Italian officials criticized the drawings. Austria, which holds the European Union presidency, expressed concern over the escalating crisis.

“I believe that the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong,” British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said"

To clarify then, once and for all--

Abhinav, and all those who hold the same view as you do on this matter--

I am not pro censorship. I am pro sensitivity. The newspaper's claim that it was all an "exercise" is ludicrous, only because it is dangerous to publically play with people's emotions. And when I say it is dangerous, it is not to imply that the world should now centre its media and culture on being sympathetic to islam. I say it is dangerous because we do not live in isolation today. Such acts affects entire countries and economies. Such acts cause an increase in hatred when communication between nations is already in a fragile state.

I say it once again-- cartoons of the pope raping a choirboy will raise global rhetoric. But it will not send the catholic nation to war with the country whose paper published it. For two reasons-- One, that there is no catholic nation, at least not comparable to the extent that there is a muslim ummah. Secondly-- For the western christian world, catholism is but a sect, and economic and cultural matters take precedence over religious matters.

Islam is unlike any world religion because of that matter. As Haqqani points out in his 'Pakistan" between mosque and military', this monotheistic religion ties in with every aspect of a beliver's life-- whether it is at the family, business or governmental level. That is a difference. And misunderstanding that difference, or trying to test its limits is sheer blindness and folly.

Do not kill the danish cartoonists. Make them see reason.
Do not carry out "experiments" in social theory using caricatures in newspapers to test how far you can push people. This can and will be equated to acts of torture in abu ghraib. And why not? There too, all the soldiers were trying to do is to test how far they could push people.

Do not force people to defend their religion. Do not use freedom as a mask while inciting hatred.

And to think some jewish scribe ages back thought that writing about 10 commandments would be enough to keep an entire group of people safe and free from strife.

Pitiful, we humans are. I am still sad.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

3 old men, a fishbowl and a song

At the Live 8 concert in London, what remains of Pink Floyd came together for charity.

When the opening notes are plucked, Waters [I think its Waters, doesn't sound like Gilmour] says this:

"its actually quite emotional, standing up here with these three guys after all these years. Standing to be counted with the rest of you.. Anyway, we're doing this for everyone who's not here, but particularly of course, for Syd"

'we're just two lost souls
swimming in a fishbowl, year after year.
running over the same old ground. What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here'.

Listen to it here. And hold my hand, I don't care about being a baby just this once.