Thursday, July 17, 2014

The stinky, black and fetid pool that Narcissus looked into

I can't get over the fact that the world is literally unravelling (by specific design in the Ukraine and most of the Middle-East, and as a by-product of myopic consumerism all over the rest of the world) exactly while I am at my most tired, strung-out, anarchic, riven by compulsions of violence towards my fellow-man and yes, depressed that I have probably ever been with the possible exception of those few moments of sobriety while surviving my late teens and early twenties.

Money is an all-pervasive driver to these markers of despondency, but so is a futility at striving after the signposts of a successful existence. It is as if I have decided that I will have a life of pseudo/bashful/unjustifiable/pitiable materialism while compulsively exploring the pseudo-ism, bashfulness, unjustifiable-ness and pity of that desire through every waking moment.

Being a father definitely has something to do with everything I feel, but there again the escape-clause inherent in that admission is almost an invitation to forsake blame for a very real state of dangerous personal turmoil while not redirecting that blame to another on account of her inability to accept responsibility for the condition because of her current dependency. In other words, a cop out.
The job I have these days is a natural agitant, of course - menial, repetitive, devoid of meaningful social interaction and devoted to and sustained by the very consumerist ideal that I naturally recoil from, at least during those times when I do have a choice about it. But it pays the rent, and in doing so sustains a chance at fulfilling that ultimate goal of creature comfort and bragging rights encapsulated by a future photograph of a happy teenager wearing a mortarboard and graduate gown while posing next to a late-middle-aged grey and/or balding man in board shorts and unmarked white t-shirt who is, in turn, posing next to a red Ducati Monster in bright sunshine, smug grins all around.

Life is short, they say. Four Palestinian boys on Gaza Beach yesterday probably hadn't heard that from them.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Modi-mania & the general expectations of the Indian public post-election


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Where the Mind is Forever Fearful

The cold winds blow,
Fast and strong from the West,
to where I am,
And from the East,
to where they will be felt.

An idea is about to be upended,
An idea come upon in darkness, debauchery and deliberation.
About a hundred years of them,
Each one colder than the last.

But now the cold winds do blow,
down the edifice,
the structure, the frame,
of a dream - many men's and women's,
and of those long dead and of those yet to come.

Did the dream ever really come to pass?
In some little corner,
In one or more many little countries?
I wish I knew, and I wish I could tell you,
Who I really am.

But now, perhaps,
I will forever forget.
Like the ancient leaf scrolls,
Of wisdom inherited,
And then turned to dust.

Monday, April 7, 2014

In Search of Authenticity

It is as if we are being condemned to live in a world of fakery (sic): Our leaders' doublespeak on every possible issue depending on which lobby is currently their most generous sponsor, the products we consume that loudly proclaim the most irrelevant things they are made up of on their labels and in their branding, leaving the most crucial details of their constitution(s) up to the imagination, the services we subscribe to - in the way that there are always a few stock sentences that are used irrespective of context and subjective experience that incredibly manage to exasperate and bemuse us at the same time... and most devastatingly, our own sentiment - that is being cynically manipulated to expect and be driven by the unnatural ideal of a world full of beauty and passion and adventure and heroism, when in fact none of those things exist to the extent that they are even recognisable to a sensitive and compassionate reading of the true world.

What is authenticity, after all, that it can be separated from truth? That which springs forth from a consciousness that is free of economic and spiritual persuasion, that which remains loyal to the implicit tenets in its own raison d'ĂȘtre, that which is in essence severed from the bonds which tie it to its creator, to roam free in the world taking on uses and forms beyond the wildest fantasies of its deliverer... that is the purest form of truth in the modern world, whichever avatar this product/service/sentiment/art form takes, isn't it?
One of my earliest guides to the dishonest duality inherent in living a modern life came in the form of a reading of one of Murphy's Laws, heavily titled, 'Freeman's Commentary on Ginsberg's Theorem', which states, "Every major philosophy that attempts to make life more meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg's Theorem:
- Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win
- Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even
- Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game".
A bit of pop culture discourse right there for those of us who don't get enough of it on our news, in our music, literature and art. But what about the diametric opposite - An embrace of the meaninglessness in modern life? Bringing attention to the gimmickry, the falsehoods about ultimate importance, the irrelevance of our lives in the larger picture of the earth's slow debasement from the continuous assaults of humanity on its person, the sheer distance between the First and Third Worlds and the often dangerous ground that one must travel, ideologically, to even attempt to traverse it... can only do so much. Can we not give up fighting the realities of modern life and the inconsistencies and horrors that occasionally bubble up beyond the surface of this anaesthetized, unethical and debaucherous lie that we are fed (and which we feed ourselves), and resurrect our collective consciousness to its once au naturel state that once gave rise to the theory of human rights, charity and apolitical transnational aid, worldwide travel and the machines that abet it, and the internet?
Am I condemned to lurk in the shadows seeking authenticity in the smile of a stranger, a breath of fresh air, the sight of an untouched vista, a random comment on an article I enjoyed reading... for the rest of my life?