Monday, April 11, 2011

Glitches galore

It is always tempting to subscribe to the 'glitch' premise from the movie, 'The Matrix' (1999), that states that: every moment you feel your influence undermined, your moral bearing beaten down, your various philosophies of life shot through, your very being overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control... blame the machines that control you.

(In the screenwriter's defence, I seem to have comfortably misappropriated a phrase that was originally meant to apply to the experience of 'deja vu', but if you do subscribe to the movie's underlying premise you can see that my poetic license is earned.)

But life really isn't that easy, is it? There are the choices we make, the logical conclusions of which are painfully revealed in the future, that we can't really blame anyone else for. But then again there is 'happenstance', attempts at explanation for which whole religions have been spawned by particularly intelligent theorizers. And in the search for answers to this wretched reality of 'happenstance', dedicated meditation on the 'Middle Path' and/or the 'Book of Job' does not really cut it, especially when the pain of the wound is particularly raw commensurate to the intensity of the impact of the episode of happenstance in question. And then again, all this misery is sometimes turned on its head. Years of study do bring us a modicum of comfort and the promise of a better future. And a careless hand that suddenly brushes up against a side sometimes really does alter life for the better (to inappropriately paraphrase something from Graham Greene's 'The Third Man').

The incredible year we've been having thus far has brought the cynics amongst us out of the WCs, the cranks out of the adult video stores, the simple out of their bunk beds and the cruel out of their palaces of indulgence.
So much suffering visited on a people who have decidedly already paid reparation sixty years ago for the many sins their forefathers may have visited on others... The meek acquiescence of a people over those same sixty years metamorphosing, in a few weeks, into unrestrained rage and marked impatience to gain the supposedly alien air of freedom... And the image of a short slight man from western India's hinterlands leading a grand march on the nation's capital in the pursuit of what is a fundamental right guaranteed to every citizen of what seems more and more like a sixty-year old fledgling nation.

And the cynics have fought the good fight over each and every one of these glitches:
"The Japs? Don't worry about them - they're a disciplined race. See, they aren't even looting the stores."
"The Arabs? What? That's not the way to pronounce them?"
'Hazare? Are you mad? This is an orchestrated middle-class masturbatory spectacle that is totally undemocratic and being given credence to by those damn T.V channels trying desperately to find something to put on the news..."
The cranks, the simple and the cruel have been more unrestrained, surely...

But the way the year 2011 has played out so far sure does make you wish upon a star, doesn't it?

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