Saturday, February 26, 2011

'We are broadcasting to you from the crystal gondola in the palatial main studios of 930 CJCA in beautiful downtown Edmonton for the education, elucidation, emancipation, enlightenment and mental emolument of the hoi-polloi.'


This line was the introduction to a little radio show I used to listen to in my little youths called The Bill and Bill Show. It is only now that I am appreciating just how rad this intro is.

It's been a dramatic week. Uncle Pai passed away and as someone who really loved and continues to love old skool Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle, I haz a sad :( . Then Premananda, also known as Swami Premananda, also known as Rape Swami (although this is confusing because so many swamis are rape swami), also known as Prems, also died. Whatever, right? And then Bipasha Basu apparently hired two little girls to tie her shoelaces? And then took a picture of this? And posted it on Twitter? Or something? This is one of those things you should not read about if you haven't had any coffee because the more you read, the less sense it makes and that will end up setting the tone for the rest of your day. She probs wouldn't have got in trouble if the two little girls in question were white. Moral of the story, if you're going to take pics of kids tying your shoelaces, make sure they are white so you won't be accused of child labor.

Anyway, when I was engster, I wished that Julie Andrews was my mom. Now that I am elderly spinster, I wish RuPaul was my mom. This week's eppy was better than last week's so I'm just really happy that I don't have to kill myself over an American reality teevee show. My favorite lines from this 'sode were

I don't mean this to be offensive but do you have nail polish?
(k- halleloo, someone said something worth writing down)

She done already done had herses
(k- this is 'ghetto shit that rupaul says' although it also sounds like Gollum and it is rare for a line to reach both these levels of raditude. I can't believe I just used the word raditude. I hope I never use it again.)

I'm going to make up something, fill in the gaps bitch, with elephant shoe honey, cantaloupe and shalabalaba tuna.
k- :)

There are three pizza types in my smalltempletown. One is Pizza Katherine, which is fifty rupees. I have no idea what the topping might be. Possibly Katherine. Which is gross. Second pizza type is Pizza Diana's Choice. I believe the Diana in question is Lady Diana, because she's one of those elderly white women we like to talk about over here, along with Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. The third pizza is Pizza Saddam's Craving. I believe the Saddam in question is Saddam Hussein, because he's one of those foreign dudes we like to talk about over here, along with Kennedy and…Kennedy. Why are these pizzas named like this? What kind of toppings will they have? Why are the Diana and Saddam pizzas sixty rupees and Pizza Katherine is only fifty? Why this Pizza Katherine racism?

Now that I have tried to be witty about the smalltempletown menu and its ohsoprecious English, it behooves me to say that this menu is a good reminder to myself of how English words have different meanings in different places. It also reminds myself of how we sometimes fail to apply this important piece of wisdom in areas like the smalltempletown. Whybecausemeans one automatically tends to assume the ohsoprecious English is a mistake and that the natives have used it because ‘they don’t know any better’ and they are just sitting here, waiting and hoping for someone to come and show them how to be moar better with their English.

It saddens me to say that I speak from experience when I say that sometimes I would see these "mistakes" and turn into the Benevolent EnglishSpeaking Despot. Benevolent EnglishSpeaking Despot royally points out the mistake even though nobody asked. This is often done with a very Jesus on the cross air, like 'forgive them father, they know not that their English is all rong but don't afraid babay, I fix everything because I am awesome'. The Benevolent EnglishSpeaking Despot then writes out in nice, big letters the right way (AFTER taking picture of the ohsoprecious English to post on blog or generally show everyone because it’s so lololo and also proof that we hast been among the great unwashed and its unwashed English). Benevolent EnglishSpeaking Despot beams, hands over the “correct” English version and walks away feeling like they've educated the unwashed masses and they will be forever in our debt for correcting their English. In your head, you picture everyone crying and watching you leave with folded hands as they mutter in their native tongues, ‘May you live long and prosper’. I personally used to take this a little farther and imagine that they named their children after me also.

Clearly are only two things to be said about this whole scenario.

stolen from somewhere on

 While it’s true that some folks may be interested in “correcting” things, that number, in my limited experience, is rather small. I have found that practically speaking, many such illustrious establishments don’t give a flying fuck if you think their English is funny or wrong or whatever. As was once pointed out to me, 'you really think I'm going to call in some painters right now because you've told me one word is spelt wrong?' I have to say, I kinda thought they would and was flabbergasted that they didn't.

I think this whole idea of benevolently swooping down and ‘correcting’ the ‘bad’ English of the third world country signages may be another one of those romantic, othering notions we have about the nonEnglishSpeaking native, that they are desperate for us to teach them and make them moar better. Because that’s a nicer thing to believe instead of the rather unnerving idea that maybe they use English differently (*GASP!!!!*) and they don’t really care if you get it or not and your English doesn’t really have any place there. I guess this sort of applies to nonNatives making mistakes with Native words insofar as they don’t really care if they are doing it rong either. But also, it’s very different. Of course you may not consider it different if you believe in awesome concepts like reverse sexism and reverse racism.

Why would a little vegetarian meals hotel that has been doing brisk business for the last thirty years in a cosy little pocket of the world promptly redo all their signs AND menus just because you happened to drop by and be the friendly neighborhood English spellcheck? What made you think a spellcheck was even necessary? People already knew what the brother was saying. And if they know what a brother is saying, then it has some meaning, no? And rather than automatically assume the meaning is 'wrong', why not consider that maybe you just don't get the local meaning?

'pizza', 'saddam', 'diana' and 'katherine' all have some meanings in this smalltempletown that I haven’t really understood yet. They are different from my meanings. This is sometimes hard to understand and accept. But I've discovered that when I decide to assign my own meanings to these words instead of accepting that I just don’t understand them, I learn important life lessons. I learned one such important life lesson when I was looking at another menu in another small place and I saw the words 'Vegetarian Steak'. And I went HAHAHAHA! And a wise native companion rolled their eyes because that whole laffing at the menu thing gets old after looking at many menus. And I said Imma have vegetarian steak, bitches. And the wise native said 'don't be ordering that weird shit, have meals only'. And I was like pfft, nowai gais, imma have vegetarian steak! You can take your local meals and put it on your mouth! And the wise native said, 'I really think you should just have meals' and I was like Nowai! Vegetarian steak, bitches! I think even the waiter suggested I have meals but I was like vegetarian steak!! For the Shire!

Said vegetarian steak arrived and all I can say is that ‘vegetarian steak’ clearly meant something different to me and something different to the illustrious owners of said eating establishment. And the wise native said unto me 'I TOLD you to order meals! Why don't you listen to me! You never listen to me!' This golden moment has actually been preserved in time because everyone else had a really fab time because the meals were apparently very good. A napkin was procured from said establishment and everyone wrote on it and said they had the best meals evar and they would never ever forget this day because everything was just the best evar, especially the meals. I wrote the words 'big vegetable cutlet' on this napkin because that's all I could say. And for the rest of that trip, the wise native encouraged me to order vegetarian steaks from every little pottikadai that we stopped at. Important life lesson learned- if you don’t understand what vegetarian steak means in certain localities, just have the meals.

And now, I end with a song that when I first heard it, I thought oh my God, this song is all about my life! But I think maybe manymany people felt the same way also. This is These Days by Nico with the Velvet Underground. This song also appeared in The Royal Tenenbaums which had a little old Indian servant dude called Pagoda which isn’t that strange when you consider that I have a little old American servant dude called Skyscraper. He ties my shoelaces for me.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

‘Subscribe to our noble society for providing the infant negroes in the West Indies with flannel waistcoats and moral pocket-handkerchiefs’

This blog post title is a portion of dialogue taken from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens and it is rad like I cannot even say. I am going to start a similar society to provide infant browntots in the East Indies with flannel waistcoats and moral pocket-handkerchiefs. I feel like I've started many funds and societies like this already but whatever.

This week, I received a handsome book called Kavi Kala created by Madness Mandali, which I have spoken of before on this illustrious blog. Since that before time, the book has worked its way into existence and was mentioned in newspapers and went to Kala Ghoda and illustrious people like Sarnath Banerjee bought a copy. So myself and the onenumber angle given below are giving kaithattals for this kaithattal-worthy endeavor and saying well done all illustrious engsters, we are appreciating like anything.

stolen from here
You want to buy means you can go here and type in 'Kavi Kala' and buy.

You want to enter flash fiction contest and possibly be published in Chapati Mystery and possibly win a copy of Zero Degree by Charu Nivedita? Of course you do! That's why you are clicking this link right now! Yay flash fiction contest! I am judging this contest so if you'd like to send me money or shirtless dancing dudes in order to secure your win, please feel free to do so although whether that will actually improve your chances of winning, I cannot say. It probably won't. It might. I don't know.

This week, I also watched a flabbergastingly boring episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. Of course this is only the fifth eppy of this season so there's a good chance it might get even more boring in future, in which case I may have to kill myself because I don't know what it means if an American reality show about drag queens starts to get boring. Anyway, fave lines from this 'sode. I can't even say these are fave lines. These are lines which were less boring than the other lines.

When you weren't pronouncing your ls and your rs I thought it was a terrible decision. But you know what? That never hurt Barbara Walters.

I can't do that, I'm way too rock and roll.
(k- At the beginning, I liked Raja a lot but now she's coming off like such a douche and this is probs one of the douchiest things she's ever said. At the same time, I think it would be neat to appropriate this to various areas of everyday life. Like someone goes 'Didn't you say you had to go to the bathroom?' and you’re like 'I can't do that, I'm way too rock and roll.')

It’s like that Beyonce feel. Where everywhere you go, you've got wind.
(k- Shangela meant like breeze blowing your hair and fabulous gown when you're being fierce on the runway but this line is way neater if you think she's talking about flatulence)

You know what VIDA is? It is apparently not that girl group that Channel V made once upon a time because that was VIVA and that apparently is different. VIDA released a study that showed men are published more than women in certain major publications. SHAWKING! Studies like this are neat to me for three reasons. One, it has pie charts and pie charts are rad because you get to see just how bad things are in terms of pie and this is just easier on people like me who can only understand things in terms of pie. Two, it seems to be predominantly American which means this study does not apply to me and that is rad also. Three, these studies lead to awesome comments which are delivered both by males and females, thus proving that at least in the realm of awesome commentary, the gender disparity is not as prevalent and we can take some comfort in that and be happy. Here are some of my personal favorites.

1. Gender doesn't exist in true writing 
I have to admit, I don't know what 'true' writing is. I think it might be the opposite of liesandpropaganda writing but I'm not really sure. Anyway, this comment is the cousinbrother of another toteshaut thing people sometimes say that goes 'race doesn't exist'. Really. People actually type that out and it appears on the internet for other people to laugh at. Sometimes people also say, 'when I see a person, I don't see their color' and I'm like really? What do you see? Just an outline? Don't they all look the same if they are all just outlines? Is it racist for me to say that? Probably. Anyway, just so you know, "Art", like REAL ART, transcends things like sexuality and gender and race and all that inconsequential stuff and sort of just floats above everything like some large, androgynous art amoeba. If it strikes you that this large, androgynous art amoeba consists of a lot of man's writing (as opposed to women's writing), you are not pure enough to appreciate the large, androgynous art amoeba and you should go kill yourself in the face.

2. ‘I think it’s pretty obvious that you just need to be young and a woman to get published nowadays. If you’re a young, nonwhite woman, it’s even easier.’

Also seen as

'We need to buy more books written by women so people will stop making women feel bad by making pie charts like this because we need to be nice to women and not make pie charts that make them feel bad’

Whenever I hear someone say 'nowadays', I feel like they are about to burst into song. I also think it's one of the raddest things ever to be told that your writing only gets published not because of the writing but because you have a uterus and because you are colored and exotic and stuff like that. It's also way rad to know there are people out there who support writing by women because it's women and women are just so women because they are women. Interestingly enough, many of these illustrious individuals don't actually like to read 'women's writing', they just like supporting it. I think it's kinda like how you say 'oh my god, look at the poor little chickens in cages in Bismi Biriyani Center' and then enter the Bismi Biriyani Center to eat the Bismi Chicken Biriyani Special. It's actually not like that but whatever.

3. 'Someone should do a study on how trannies aren't published enough'

This is supposed to be funny. So first, HAHAHAHAHA! You know why this is funny? Because it has 'trannies' in it and trannies is funny! Why? I'm not really sure! I think it's like when you're four and 'peepee' is funny! Now, once we're finished laughing at that whole 'trannies' thing, which is just so awfully clever, we will seriously contemplate how the entire world is counting on the onenumber Awesome Magazine to accommodate all minorities, thus putting said Awesome Magazine in danger of becoming a large affirmative action NGO dedicated to publishing the voices of the oppressed, downtrodden and overall very sad people. Heavens to Betsy! What shall we do?

I think it's interesting when certain magazines talk of publishing minorities like they are benevolent despots taking in refugees from some massive global disaster. I think it's also interesting that if a publication seems to be low on writing from any currently fashionable haut minority, this is somehow the currently fashionable haut minority's fault. And if the currently fashionable haut minority aren't appearing in certain publications, we're supposed to assume this means they're voiceless and sort of floating around like orphans in this vast, dark sea waiting to be rescued. Really.

I think it would be far more prudent and wise to make a sizable donation to my noble society to provide infant browntots in the East Indies with flannel waistcoats and moral pocket-handkerchiefs. Because later on, you can take pictures of the infant browntots in their flannel waistcoats and moral pocket-handkerchiefs and publish those in the Awesome Magazine so it's like publishing and minorities and there are pictures and everyone likes pictures.

4. Why Am I Suddenly A Racist For Only Reading/Publishing Stuff Written By Men?

I personally don’t think it’s racist or sexist or whatever to read/publish stuff only written by men. I actually think it's neat to have that kind of clarity about what you like. What’s confusing is when your heart clearly belongs to men's writing (as opposed to women's writing) but you claim to ‘welcome and encourage diverse forms of writing from all over the world, regardless of anything. We even take translations’ and then you continue to publish the same kind of men's writing over and over again. It's like that epic fuckwittery that makes publications say 'we encourage international submissions!' and then you only accept postal subs and you charge reading fees in dollars and you want to be paid via fluffy pink unicorns and it's all very
from here, please to click to get fullfeeling effect
It would really help a lot if you just said ‘we dig men's writing’ or ‘we welcome and encourage diverse forms of writing as long as it’s men's writing’. It's just easier. You know?

Anyway, ever wondered what the song Dance pe Chance would sound like in Serbian? I did and then I found this song and then I was like, well I don't have to wonder about that anymore.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

'Opulence. You own everything. Everything is yours.'

This blog post is a line taken from the documentary Paris is Burning and you can see the line in all its opulence here. I like to remember this line when I write because I feel like it’s a great thing to write like I just own everything. And when I've written something phenomenally fail, which happens a lot, I still give myself one of those diva pats on the cheek because it's like whatever bitches, at least when I wrote it, I owned everything. 

Natural segue into RuPaul

I feel like this season is just not delivering as many amazing lines as the other seasons. I could barely keep track of the amazing lines during Season 2 and Season 1 gave us that one epic line 'I don't see you walking children in nature' which sort of wins everything. Anyway. Fav lines from this ‘sode. 

Girl! My tuck!

We're giving fierce, jazzercise realness

Kate Gosselin, she learned this and then she loaned me this hair.

1, 2, 3, 4, I don't want that whore no more

What the hell is she thinking? You can't be lifting up drag queens!
(k- Fur realz, wtf? this is not WWF! This is not The Rape of the Sabine Women! You are not carrying drunk girls home! Wtf?)

Two neat things. One, Mubarak finally said ‘Well, FINE! I’m GOING!’ and went. Isn't that nice? Two, Daisy Rockwell at Bookslut did a nice write-up of some Blaft books including onenumber book that I wrote also. Which is rad.

Two fuckwitted things. Now the thing is, I can’t decide which one is the Great Big Awesome Winner of Fuckwit. So I thought I’d do a little contest type thing for myself and by myself and then decide accordingly. Let's do this Clue-style, shall we?

The salient features of this incident are as follows.

Amar Singh went to visit rape survivors.
(k- ok.)

A press conference was held.
(k- ok.)

At said press conference he took his pants off to show the “wounds” he got from not traveling by luxury buses.
(k- ok. Wait, what?)

I don’t really know what to say. It’s like some weird dream someone tells you about, you know? ‘And I dreamt Amar Singh was visiting rape survivors and there was this press conference and then he started taking off his pants-’. And that’s where you say ‘ok you can’t tell me about your weird dream anymore’.

Anyway, clearly the one thing that rape survivors need is a politician coming to visit them and then taking his pants off at a press conference and showing everyone his “wounds”. The only thing that hasn’t happened here is said politician declaring said “wounds” to be stigmata.

 2. Jacques Testard at the Jaipur Literary Festival with the Slumdogs 

Some of the salient features of this have been culled directly from the article and are featured here, completely out of context, which is like so mean you guys but whatever, this is my blog. But you are encouraged to view them in the beauty of their natural surroundings as well. Also this is just about the phust installment. I was instructed to stay tuned for the second installment, which I understand is up now but it behooved me to politely decline said offer because I am young and I want to live. So if second installment is awesome, that's awesome. This is about phust installment, which is brimming with Hindoos and lepers and cows and toilet issues! Now there’s something no one’s ever written about before! Here we go!

“Our driver is a Hindu; Ganesh stickers adorn his windscreen.”

(k –Doesn’t everyone just do this all the time? Like when you’re in Chicago or Vancouver, don’t you just go to the cab driver, hey muchacho, I see you have no stickers on your windscreen at all. You must be an atheist! Anyway, this comes near the beginning and it’s God’s way of telling you this is not going to go well and you should stop reading right now)

“…crouching lepers and stray cows”

(k- I mention this only because it will be the follow up to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. FYI. You saw it here phust)

“The mild January weather tempers the overwhelming olfactory experience that is India.”

(k- Can someone tell me what it means if India smells normal to me and I live in India and I totally don’t get this ‘overwhelming olfactory experience that is India’? Does this mean I’m actually living somewhere else? Does anyone know where I am? Can someone come and find me?)

“I’m looking for David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The girl at the till has not heard of it."

(k- it’s always very precious when the natives don’t know what you’re talking about, no? It’s one of the many things that makes me precious because I don’t know who David Foster Wallace is either. Who dat? I thought he was a piano playing dude but apparently that’s David Foster, which is a different man entirely. I made the same mistake with Victor Borga and Borges. I don’t know why I keep thinking certain writers are piano players)

“He worships Rama and Hanuman, the Monkey God who can change his size at will. In the Ramayana, Hanuman grows into a giant monkey and hops from south India to Lanka in search of Rama’s wife, Sita, who was kidnapped by the evil king Ravana. Most of these deities are blue. Christianity pales by comparison.”

(k- I’m not kidding. He actually wrote that. And then The Paris Review published it. Is it just me or does it sound eerily like Mrs. Mortimer? Maybe we should all be happy that writing in 2011 is similar to children’s books written by bigots in the 1800s)

“I’m determined to get through this book tonight. Testard, my surname, is French Provençal dialect for stubborn. I am not a practicing Jain.”

(k- I’m determined to get through this article without vomiting. Manickavel, my surname, is Tamil for Manickavel. I am not a banana. What the fuck? Am I on drugs? What is this? Why am I reading this? Why do I keep doing this to myself?)

-The hijras are eunuchs who live in marginalized communities and make a living from dancing and casting spells on credulous Indians. They also show up whenever there is a wedding, a birth, a death—any major family event—and demand money. If you refuse, they get naked and cast a spell on you. -

(k- The ExoticaSplaining Dude lives in other countries and makes a living from casting spells on credulous people by writing exotically about exotic stuff in exotic third world exotic countries. They also show up whenever there is a slum thang happening, a natural disaster, a literary festival- preferably any major third world event that involves poor peepal tho- and demand that you listen to them because they are the ExoticaSplaining Dude. If you refuse, they get naked and cast a spell on you. Actually they don’t but wouldn’t it be funny if they did? They should totes do that. Also, knicker please. As if the hijras didn't have enough issues to deal with. I mean why not just say they are casting these spells because they are magical vampires who beat up old people and steal the livers of newborn children also?)

Mrs. Mortimer wrote about all sorts of Far Away lands without actually going anywhere. And while I don't doubt that the illustrious Mr.Testard actually made it to our awesome shores, I couldn't help but think that it would be really easy to pull a Mrs. Mortimer with this one. After all, there is a lot of info on the JLF online. Add a few cows, lepers, a purple sari, Hindoo Gawds, hijras, reference to Indian friend who is related to people who live in India, throw in some pics from teh internetz (i noticed one pic was lifted from wiki, not a crime but whatever) and there you go- it’s like someone’s vacation blog from 2004. And now, after all that whining, can you offer us an alternative, you whiny third world colored person? Why yes! Yes I can! I personally liked this excellent write up very much but perhaps it sorta fails because it doesn't have enough cows and lepers in it. Oh whale.

And now, I have come to my decision.

Jacques Testard at the Jaipur Literary Festival with the Slumdogs-  Despite having many salient features and providing the odd guffaw, I'm afraid we couldn’t find anything unique or memorable that we haven’t seen a kajillion times before and won’t see a kajillion more times in the future. If you had held a press conference and taken off your pants, we may have thought differently. Unfortunately, you didn't.

Amar Singh At The Press Conference With His Pants Off, Showing His “Wounds”- For sheer wtfness that worked on numerous levels and was memorable in the way that we cannot ever unknow and we really don’t want to hear or see ever again, you win. Congratulations, you are the Great Big Awesome Winner of Fuckwit.

Gentlemen, we thank you both. Without these awesome displays of fuckwittery, I would have had nothing to blog about.

And now, here is a Leiomy Maldonado Vs Kassandra Ebony vogue battle where Leiomy does this INSANE matrix dip and it’s like…there are no words. INSANE!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

all these bitches is my sons is the industry leader of viral data hygiene


This blog post title is taken from an iteration of the constantly-changing prospectus for my forthcoming novel All These Bitches is My Sons. If you are, for some reason, able to read the prospectus in its entirety without your brain exploding, you will see that All These Bitches is My Sons is more than just a novel and the industry leader of viral data hygiene. Sometimes it is also the industry leader of B2C one-to-one re-sizing and sometimes it also practically invented the term "CAD". The fact that you get a completely new prospectus every time you refresh the page just goes to show how dynamic and fluid this novel is going to be. It’s just how we do.

So much shawking shawking news! Bryan Adams concert in India! ZOMG!!! That has never EVER happened before! Do you think he’ll sing Summer of ’69? Even though it’s 2011? Does anyone know why he keeps coming here? Also, Raja was arrested! It’s almost like he did something bad or something! Shawking!  

Now I will put these exclamation marks to better use and say RuPaul! Season 3! Episode 3! Drag Queens in Outer Space! Why hasn’t someone made this movie yet? Seriously, we had lesbian vampire killers but no drag queens in space, it makes no kinda sense!! Ok, my fav lines from this ‘sode were

Well. Glad you’re still here Curly.
(k- Ok, the line isn’t that amazing but when Manila said this it kinda sounded like she was saying Kuzhali and I was like !!!!!  Only she was saying Curly and she was saying it to Shangela and Shangela was like bish, please. It kind of sounded like Kuzhali. Kinda.)

Delta knows how many cab drivers I’ve slept with, Delta knows all kinds of shit.

Tweaker? The She Monkey? That’s haut.

Do not make fake sound effect gun noises.
(k- general rule I think. Just anywhere, fake gun noises. No.)

The idea of having Michelle Visage sitting there terrifies me a little bit because that woman scares me.

Lily motherfucking Tomlin.
(k- I KNOW!!!)

And while not technically a line, this little bit of conversation that happened while they were doing rehearsals was very swish because they were about to do the scene so someone said 'Action!' and then this happened.

‘Say what?’


What else means PETA did an ad which apparently features a range of women fellating vegetables. I feel like this is the right time to confess that the only reason I am not a vegetarian is because PETA has not done an ad featuring haut dudes fucking melons. Make it happen PETA!!!

Then, my contributor’s copy of Pank 5 arrived to my little corner of existence and that is always a triumph when things like that happen. If you’re sitting there with thirteen American dollars and wondering hmm, what I can do with this thirteen American dollars maybe you can buy one number copy. Not only is it filled with writers who are phamous in other countries, it has some kind of illustrated dead bear on the cover and a bus and fire. If I had thirteen American dollars, I’d buy it for the cover alone. 

Also, Lapata interviewed me at Chapati Mystery and painted a picture of me also and also included my louly ‘you mad!’ dancing dude as well, which is very yes. Did you know he dances like an awesome to ‘show me your jalwa’? I feel like the haters need to know this and if you know this and keep hating anyway then I don’t know what to say. You must be carrying a great sadness around with you if you keep hating after seeing the ‘you mad!’ dude dance to ‘show me your jalwa’.

Then after somehow managing to listen through the novel Moby Dick, I made the unfortunate decision to listen to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. And while I can appreciate the book for what it is, I can’t help but feel like it would have been vastly improved if the garden had eaten all the children in the end. Or the children had eaten the garden. I guess maybe the latter, considering they were eating so much of everything else during a large portion of the book. Anyhoo, I am pleased to say that I was able to make up for things with two veryexcellent short story collections which I feel are totally worth reading/listening to again and again. 

Dubliners by James Joyce-  One reader actually sings at one point and another makes sounds like a cork popping. Which is rad.

A Man of Means by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill – The reader does not sing or make cork popping noises but we don’t judge him because that's not how we do.

And then, while trawling the internet to find stuff to read about Egypt, I came across this post called A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt. I found this very helpful because while I am not an authority on Egypt or the situation there, I kept reading stuff that made me feel like something was not quite right in the way some things were being said. Coming across these kinds of guides when dealing with Othering in fiction is inevitable. Someone writes something idiotic (which happens a lot and frankly, there’s not enough guides happening), someone else gets riled up about it and they write a guide because really, that’s about all you can do about Othering. It’s a very lucrative gig and also if you call people out on it, that means you’re racist and sitting on the neck of their artistic freedom. Or something. I don’t really understand that part.

These guides also often happen in response to certain kinds of travelogues which are also basically fiction and which are also popular because of the Othering factor. My Trip To Canada? Meh. My Trip To Africa! YES PLEASE! Tell us all about how the tribal people danced with lions and elephants and how they made you king of their village after you showed them your cell phone!!! I feel like Canada really misses out because it has no tribal people dancing with lions and elephants. They do have Nanaimo bars though. Anyway.

And now we have a guide for the situation in Egypt, which I think means that at some level, Othering is rearing its awesome head here as well. If when listening to what the Egyptian people are saying, some folk are only coming away with the revelation that 'Egyptian people are so articulate', it seems to imply that what they're actually saying is being lost in the astonishment that the Egyptians can speak at all. And to say 'duh of course they can speak, what's wrong with you?' is for some reason racist and like, so mean and stuff like that. I don't really understand that either. So many things I don't understand. 

I think the need for the guide arose because possibly for the first time evar, Egypt is being discussed in terms that don’t involve The Mummy and My Awesome Egyptian Vacay! And while I cannot speak of Egypt, I feel like I can speak about the other things that Egypt has taught me.

A large number of people do not want to actually understand what is happening in Egypt. They just want to get all emo on Twitter. (in case you DO want to educate yourself, maybe you can start with this helpful post at the disquiet blog. but it's way easier not to read anything at all and just get emo on Twitter. seriously.)

The incidents in Egypt have helped an enormous number of people realize things like the women are brave and the people are nice and these are totally relevant things to say right now because they are not generalizing and sweeping statements at all. Perhaps most shawking of all, Egyptians actually do not go around 'walking like an Egyptian'.

People who are ‘progressive’ and awesome because they got dysentery one time when they went to Mexico cannot technically say fuckwitted things about Egypt because this one time, they got dysentery when they went to Mexico and Mexico is like Egypt. If you feel what they say is fuckwitted, it's because you never got dysentery in Mexico. 

People who are totally not in Egypt are like really upset. We can know this because they keep saying things like ‘I’m so upset about what’s happening in Egypt. I just can’t deal with it. Why can’t they just stop! It's all too much for me, I can't bear it! Make them stop! They're upsetting me!!!!!’ I’m sure the Egyptians are real sorry and wouldn’t have gone all revolutiony if they had known you’d get so upset. 

'Walk Like an Egyptian', a song with lines like 'foreign types with the hookah pipes' is somehow the unofficial anthem for the 'Egyptian Revolution' because…well you know, they are both about Egypt and Egyptians walk but as was pointed out earlier, not like how we thought they walked. And it's always important to appoint other people's anthems for other people's revolutions. I feel like Egypt Rani from the movie Narasimha (phust song) is a better choice because at one point, the woman is called a 'ganja poonthottam' which I believe sloppily translates as 'marijuana flower garden'.

And now, mashups.


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