Saturday, June 13, 2015

Even the West is going mad. Here are n number of reasons why !

The first para in the Wikipedea page for  Political correctness is as below:
Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct, commonly abbreviated to PC) is a pejorative term used to condemn language, actions, or policies seen as being excessively calculated to not offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society. The term had only scattered usage prior to the 1990s, usually as an ironic self-description, but entered mainstream usage in the United States when conservative author Dinesh D'Souza used it to condemn what he saw as left-wing efforts to advance multiculturalism through language, affirmative action, opposition to hate speech, and changes to the content of school curriculums. The term came to be commonly used in the United Kingdom around the same period, especially in periodicals such as the Daily Mail, a conservative tabloid that became known for the trope "political correctness gone mad."

I don't know about you, but growing up here in India - political correctness never felt like a pejorative term to me. It was actually seen as the right thing to do most of the time, being politically correct and being diplomatic was all right.

Whatever be the connotation, over time a strange thing has been happening. The demands for political correctness from the left have started increasing day by day that now, even self proclaimed "liberals" are terrified of just speaking. Consider this incredible story in The Vox : I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me. Read it and get terrified of what is happening on campuses in US. And as I keep wondering - how many years before this hits the Indian scene - I give it a max 10 years.

The previous article linked talked about the story of Laura Kipnis and this link here describes the shocking story in detail: The SJW Crusade Against Laura Kipnis . The new super cool left - Social Justice Warriors are running amok and in this instance - their victim was yes - a prominent LEFT Wing Scholar.
It is stunning, and scary as hell, to see how much power aggrieved students have to ruin a professor’s life and career by using federal law to wage culture war against their professors for being insufficiently kowtowing to the sensibilities of these Little Empresses.
And this sort of thing is of course championed and encouraged by the "liberal" bastions of the media. Take this article in that great newspaper The Guardian" What do the politically correct brain police have against venerable man comedians like Jerry Seinfeld? which takes a dig at Seinfeld for his complains about too much PC. Here's a piece in The Spectator on the same issue: If comedians can’t take a politically incorrect joke, who can?. This line from Seinfeld is hilarious:
‘I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, “Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC”’ he said, before launching into a story about the time his 14-year-old daughter accused his wife of being ‘sexist’ for suggesting that she may soon want to start seeing boys. ‘They just want to use these words. That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice. They don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.’
Every day, you get some hilarious twister story. Here's a latest one : A civil rights activist who claimed herself to be black was not a black person at all. And now she says she doesn’t give “two s***s” about her parents' remarks which disclosed that she is black. Some money quotes:
"I actually don't like the term African-American. I prefer black”. (Well if you are of Czech origin and pretending to be black - you couldn't say you were African-American could you ? )
“I would say that if I was asked I would definitely say that yes I do consider myself to be black.”
She felt it was more important to “clarify” herself to the “black community,” rather than one that “quite frankly I don’t think really understands the definitions of race and ethnicity.”
As I said before, just a few years before you will lose complete sanity here in India. This was just a preview of the "new age" cool of victim playing that is coming. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Some reactions to the British Elections 2015

Last month's "surprising" victory of David Cameron and his Conservative Party in last month's elections in the UK was not only presently surprising for me, but I also came across some really "fun" reaction and analysis in the media.

1) There was an absolute shocking meltdown from the Labour supporting Libtards, Lefties and SJWs with protests on the street which included - yes vandalism. From a distance here - terribly assuming as well as prescient of a sign of things to come in India for the future.
#LondonProtest – anti Tory demonstrations held outside Downing Street

2) The Telegraph had a strong piece on this reaction from the British Left.
Stop your whingeing: why the Left are such bad losers

3) Nick Cohen, yes in The Guardian, had this incredibly piece wherein he talks about all that is wrong with Labour - their hypocisy and their self hatred.
Labour would do better if it learned to like the English

4) Another piece in The Telegraph - a stinging criticism of Red Ed.
No tears for Ed Miliband, please. He was the reason Labour lost

5) In the New York Times - an analysis by a former Labour Party cabinet minister
Peter Mandelson: Why Labour Lost the Election

6) Why the Tories crushed Miliband

7) In Breitbart: Milo Yiannopolus being brutal: ED’S DEAD: WHERE THE BRITISH LEFT WENT SO HORRIBLY WRONG

8) Another piece in the New York Times talking about recent wins by Center- Right parties: The Center-Right Moment

9) And on similar lines, in The Atlantic, What Republicans Can Learn From British Conservatives.

PS: Best thing about the UK Elections: This hilarious Hindi song video as a promotion for the Tories during the campaign. Enjoy :)

Two videos which give great insight about the Pakistani Army & ISI




Monday, June 1, 2015

Arsenal's 12th FA Cup Win

Last season, Arsenal won their 11th FA Cup. I had compiled the videos of the highlights of the finals of each of the Cup wins. Well, it is a delight to say that by winning the FA Cup in 2015, I am getting the opportunity to update that list - reproduced below. Arsenal now have won the FA Cup, a record 12 times, going ahead of Manchester United - with whom they shared the record jointly of 11 wins in the last year. This was also Arsene Wenger's 6th FA Cup win as a manager, and he now shares the record jointly with George Ramsey of Aston Villa from pre WW 1 years.

A 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa at Wembley with Alexis Sanchez's stunning strike for Goal #2 meant that this year's final was nothing like the nerve-wracking contest from last year. So here we go - the list updated with FA Cup 2015 !

1) 1930 FA Cup: Arsenal beat Huddersfield Town 2-0.

 

1936 Final: Arsenal beat Sheffield United 1-0.

 

1950 Final: Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0.

 

1971 Final: Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1



1979 Final: Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-2.



1993 Final: Replay: Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in  a replay. Original match: 1-1.



1998 Final: Arsenal beat Newcastle United 2-0.



2002 Final: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0.



2003 Final: Arsenal beat Southampton 1-0.



2005 Final (Penalties): Arsenal beat Manchester United 5-4 on penalties. Match ended 0-0.



2014 Final: Arsenal beat Hull City 3-2.


PS: Arsenal celebrated this latest win with an open top bus parade etc today and videos and telecast of that are available all over the place. Here's how they celebrated in 1936 and it is interesting to watch.

2015 Final: Arsenal beat Aston Villa 4-0





Sunday, May 17, 2015

Land of Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal - A small tribute

I was never really a history buff during school. In fact, one of my favourite lines to dismiss the subject used to be : the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. When it came to viewing the past, I used to prefer reading and re-reading mythology, if nothing else, it was certainly more interesting.

I had seen Sanjeev Sanyal over the years a few times on business channels, speaking with his economist hat on. However, it was only recently that I learnt about the fact that he is also a writer. It was through one of those serendipitous journeys on the internet that I came across this video of him speaking with Amish Tripathi - that I got to know about his writings and specifically this book : Land of Seven Rivers.

This is not a review of the book: Land of Seven Rivers: History of India's Geography, I am no book reviewer or critic. But here are just a few points about the book :


  1. This is not a pure history book per se, but an attempt by the author to give a history of India's geography - about India's changing natural and human landscape, cities and kingdoms, trade routes and rivers and so on. 
  2. As the author himself points out in the introduction, the book also is a little bit about the geography of India's history & civilization - as he tells us about the Saraswati river for example.
  3. The three key takeaways for me from this book personally were:
    • That history books can be written in a way, it is interesting and stimulating to read; I so wish that in the near future, books such as this become more widely read, especially by our young people;
    • That as an Indian, it is a good idea to be more aware, more cognizant about this nation's past, that we are part of a continuum of an ancient civilization with an incredible history and that we can carry forward this unique legacy, not as a burden, but as a gift with all its wonders;
    • That - it is always good to remember that India and Indians prospered during the times when this country and its people were an open culture which was willing to engage with the rest of the world, through trading and cultural interactions. Somewhere down the line, this quality was lost, but thankfully - that quality is back to the forefront now and this can only be a good thing.
Finally, this particular point made - right at the end of the book (which is part of the video link mentioned earlier) is my favourite part from the book. It makes a point about our identity that is worth pondering and reflecting upon. 



I recommend this book as a must read and I look forward to reading other works of Sanjeev Sanyal. Thanks for writing this Sir.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Paraphrasing Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen wrote this remarkable piece in the Guardian yesterrday : Labour would do better if it learned to like the English. It is a great analysis about the Labour party and its failings.

The paragraph 4th from last is this:

The universities, left press, and the arts characterise the English middle-class as Mail-reading misers, who are sexist, racist and homophobic to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the white working class as lardy Sun-reading slobs, who are, since you asked, also sexist, racist and homophobic. The national history is reduced to one long imperial crime, and the notion that the English are not such a bad bunch with many strong radical traditions worth preserving is rejected as risibly complacent. So tainted and untrustworthy are they that they must be told what they can say and how they should behave.

I found this interesting. In fact, by changing a few words as done below, I thought it paints a rather interesting picture about India.

The intellectuals, liberal press, and the TV media characterise the Hindu upper-class as corrupt, inadequately educated misers, who are sexist, communal and casteist to boot. Meanwhile, they characterise the Hindu middle class as filthy, sometimes loony, who are, since you asked, also sexist, communal and casteist. The history of Hinduism is reduced to one long crime of discrimination based on caste and gender, and the notion that the Hindus are not such a bad bunch with many diverse, unique traditions worth preserving is rejected as risibly complacent. So tainted and untrustworthy are they that they must be told what they can say and how they should behave.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A couple of John Stewart interviews

Well we are going through a phase here, in India's social media life, where it is now a very, bitter war between the left and the right wing - with most of the main stream on the left taking a lot of hits. I think this is a rather interesting phase, which will probably blow away. Or perhaps it will not - and become a permanent long running battle like in the west.
In light of this, I think these two interviews of John Stewart - one with Fox News and one with MSNBC make for interesting viewing. It's worth thinking which media outlet is biased based on its ideological agenda or it is partisan or whether they are simply lazy and TRP driven.




Monday, March 16, 2015

AB de Villiers and the time to walk the path

As per the ICC rankings, AB de Villiers is the best batsman in the world right now in ODIs. He is the alpha male of ODI batting right now. Not only is he the best batsman overall, he is also the most dominant. He is slightly ahead of Amla, Sangakarra and Kohli overall I think, but quite a bit ahead of them in terms of the sheer fear factor that he brings to the opposition.

I have not seen a batsman who has made batting look more easy in the one day game than how AB de Villiers has been batting of late. With the new rules in play, AB de Villiers pretty much decides which are the 3 or 4 places that the ball can go and then chooses one of them and does that. Sometimes - he chooses just one place and goes through with the shot anyway. But this is not some new age hitter - like a Keiron Pollard or the new kid on the block - who is conquering all in front of him with his power hitting - Glenn Maxwell. AB de Villiers is a world class batsman capable of playing perfectly normal or what we call orthodox cricket, but often chooses the extraordinary option and makes it look ordinary while executing it.

With Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla - two other all time greats as well in his side, AB de Villiers really should be leading his side to World Cup glory. But the group stages have showed that they struggle chasing, in case Amla gets out early; as AB de Villiers is not getting enough support from the rest of the order under pressure. But here's the thing, unless some incredibly good delivery comes up, AB hasn't looked like getting out to a bowler at least. He seems to have so much time to play the ball, it looks like he is sometimes hitting boundaries as an afterthought. In terms of the physical and technical part of the game, AB is right now - as good as anybody I have ever seen hold the cricket bat.

If there is a weakness, if there is a question mark - it is about his decision making. For someone who has such a range of strokes and so much time to play his strokes - he faces a problem of the plenty - when deciding which shot to play. Or if it comes to a run chase - he has to make decisions like - whether to attack and take out a bowler and quickly finish off the game or sometimes play the waiting game. Or it could be a question of farming the strike with lower order batsmen at the crease. The risk-reward questions is what AB has to settle correctly and there perhaps a look at someone like Dhoni's approach might give AB an easier approach to win games.

The World Cup hangs by a thread - that of AB de Villiers' bat. It hasn't been like this - since Sachin Tendulkar in 1996, but an accident of a run out cut short that dream back then. Accidents can happen again, or so can mistakes. The margins of error, are very, very thin right now. But the fact of the matter is very simple - if AB de Villiers plays a big knock -(i)  batting first it will mean he has probably out batted the opposition or (ii) stays not out till the end - South Africa are going to win their matches and consequently the World Cup. It's like Messi and 2014 all over again - the greatest player of a generation at the peak of his powers, seeking World Cup glory. Can he take his country, who are yet to win a knock-out game ever in their World Cup history - through 3 games and to the Cup is the question.

To bring in a Matrix phrase: - AB by now, knows the path. It is time he walks it. 
The World Cup hangs on that bat
PS: Bonus Reading: How AB turned around his career a few years ago.

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