Saturday, January 29, 2011

'Down the stairs? Well, don't stop when you get to the basement. Keep straight on. Give my regards to the earth's core. And if you give us any more trouble, I shall visit you in the small hours and put a bat up your nightdress.'

11 comments
This blog post title is taken from the Mrs. Richards episode of Fawlty Towers. I think it speaks for itself. Anyway, Republic Day came and went and as has come to be the custom with Independence Day and Republic Day in this onenumber country, one tends to look at all the increased security and have thoughts that are not necessarily ‘I love India’ but more ‘I wonder who’ll get bombed today’ and ‘I wonder who has threatened to blow up who or what today’ and ‘I hope no one blows me up today’. Clearly, this is what the spirit of India and independence and republicness is all about.

Anyway, RuPaul’s Drag Race!!!!111!!!! Season 3 !!11!!!! You betta WERK!!! How I love this show. And because I love this show, imma list my fav quotes from this episode so I can look back on them later on and enjai like anything.

-Everybody knows who Yara Sofia is in Puerto Rico. And if you don’t, then sorry darling, this is not your world.
(k- I’m going to start saying this to people. Sorry darling, this is not your world.)

-Girl. Prison, honey.

-She wasn’t giving us sexy, she was giving us crazy.

-I think your breasts are throwing your balance off.

-Alexis, a little Ann Margaret she was giving me today.

-Girl don’t blow your nose on the fabric, bitch.

-You never want to be upstaged by a papier-mâché snowman, you know what I’m saying?

-The lipsyncing is starting to get a little violent. Shangela’s lampshade has become a weapon. 

I was informed that there are not enough pictures on this blog. So here's one picture.



This sewing machine is one of those things that was bought because it seemed like a good idea at the time. We must reflect on what exactly the situation must have been like for the purchase of an 18th century sewing machine to seem like a good idea. Anyhoo, this machine hasn’t been used very often and when it has been used, it has been full of phail- I used it once and I felt the same sensation I get when someone makes the mistake of putting me behind the wheel of their car (which, I guess, also seems like a good idea at the time). It all looks very interesting and there are neat gadgets which I am appreciative of, but I really have no idea what I am doing and yet, I feel like that shouldn't stop me also. Anyway, the common diagnosis is that this sewing machine hasn’t been used properly and so, it’s sort of gone bad. It is a monument to the corroding power of potential that is never used but continues to just sit there. This is the Biff Loman of sewing machines but also, not really. I hope to set it on fire one day. If I do, I will take picture and post it on my blog.

Here's another picture.


See this nice angle and andy? I have no idea who they are. I have a photograph of them but I have no idea who they are. How did this happen? Once upon a time, an illustrious person (who would later send out 2007 New Year greetings in 2011) was once staying in Manipal hostel premises. And every year, various hostelites would leave behind English novels/random books after leaving the hostel, possibly because they are excess and unnecessary luggage. And this illustrious person, being someone who would later send out 2007 New Year greetings in 2011 (?!!??????), would collect all these orphaned and abandoned books and take them home. This photograph was in one of those books, but which book I cannot say.

For some reason, said illustrious person did not have the heart to throw this photo away so she left it in there. And everyone who borrowed the book said ‘hey you left this in here’ and she would say ‘it isn’t mine, you can throw it out if you want’ but no one ever did because there's something very sweet about the picture, no? So it just kept changing hands because nobody had the heart to throw it away and nobody knew what to do with it either. Eventually the book and photo parted ways and the photo was stashed along with someone’s photo collection because sometimes things like that happen. And then, it was remembered that I have blog so there was this brilliant idea to put it on the blog and see if maybe someone knows who this andyangle is. This brilliant idea is both absurd and notabsurd because the English reading populace in this area is kind of incestuous, although not nearly as incestuous as the English writing populace in this area, which is so much into the interfucking and inbreeding that it’s pretty much fucking itself. But that happens with so many other writing communities also. Inbreeding and Interfucking- it’s what community is all about.

So if you can somehow prove that this louly andy and angle belong to you (I’m not sure how you would do that tho), I will return this photo to you. Or I might just ask you to right click and save it and then I will take it down. This will be a big bulb if it turns out to be the picture of someone I know. Actually, the more I think of it, the more this seems possible.

I was also informed that there aren't enough positive/happy things on this blog. So here are things I find funneh or just like to look at. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are positive. 


Pablo Francisco' s Strippers clip- 'This is a job man, don’t be makin’ those noises and shit!'

Margaret Cho’s Mom on the Answering Machine- ‘If you don’t pick up the phone, then you gay.’



Bus Driver clips from Lil Miss Jocelyn- '5, 6, 7, 8, Cor, Blimey, Geezer, Mate'


Vadivelu clip from 'Winner'-  'Venda. Valikithu. Azhathiduven.'

Super Karate Monkey Death Car clip from News Radio - 'But Jimmy has fancy plans! And pants to match.'



Horse Outside by Rubberbandits- 'Fuck your Honda Civic, I’ve a horse outside' 

I was alsoalso informed that there is just not enough of a lot of other things on this blog. And I was like, oh fuck off.

okbai.

ps- i almost forgot! another positive/happy thing

stolen from somewhere on jezebel.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

‘well again, you have had a wonderful career. I have missed so much of it because I've been busy and also some of the titles didn't strike me.’

24 comments

This blog post title is taken from an interview that Jiminy Glick did with Steve Martin at The American Comedy Awards sometime in 2002. I think it is wonderful because oftentimes, this is what people actually mean when they are saying all sorts of other things to you. I’m hoping to incorporate this more into my conversation as well as the phrase ‘you’re really emo.’

Anyway, I recently read this post over at the Kaleidoglide which linked to a number of other fine posts on issues of books and piracy and privilege. I think it’s neat how piracy is generally something associated with the unwashed, underprivileged and the morally reprehensible. And yet in this onenumber country, we have a lot of privileged pirates (they may be unwashed and morally reprehensible tho).

I was an extremely active patron of pirated books (I only stopped because I discovered free audiobooks, not because I decided not to be morally reprehensible anymore). I also realize that I am probs morally reprehensible writer for admitting to being a former pirate. On that matter, I'd just like to say
stolen from here






Apart from pirated books, my bookshelf (such that it is) contains Xeroxed books (also illegal apparently), secondhand books and craptastic original books which were bought “because they were big” (shoutout to my peeps who do this too, I know there’s at least one of you out there) because big books somehow meant that I was getting more words for my money. This is what makes you put down the Atwood novel and pick up The Superbig Big Book Of Vampires and Werewolves and Vampires And Stuff Like That because that’s somehow more reading value. I don’t really want to go into how many of those superbig books I have. I have 7. I don’t want to talk about it.

This bookshelf is partly the result of idiocy and partly the result of going to great and sometimes illegal lengths for books that were otherwise inaccessible for various reasons. If a book costs kajillions of rupees or can only be found in a library that involves a Lord of the Rings-like journey to enter, that is called inaccessible. I don’t find the fact that these books are inaccessible to be shocking. There are probably complex economic reasons for that which I can’t understand. I do find it a little strange when peeps get all #outrage over piracy and say things like ‘why can’t they just buy it like everyone else’ or ‘why can’t they just go to the library’ (I love that one. That one’s my favorite). On the other hand, why are we relentlessly pursuing these inaccessible books which clearly we are not supposed to have? One reason could be because we are not having very much respect for IWiE books, even though they are usually (not always) cheaper. I think there is a very real feeling that IWiE is suckass when compared to English books written by other peeps. BUT!!!! A lot of the IWiE IS suckass. Wottodo.

I did not buy pirated books because I felt sorry for the vendors (which, I understand, is why some people buy them and I’m like wow, really?). I bought these books because there was no other way I could get them. I did not actively patronize book pirates as some form of activism. If these books were cheaper, I would totes have bought them in a store because I like bookstores! Really! They are way nicer than having to stand in dirty, crowded, potentially dangerous streets getting pawed and prodded, making sure you don’t get run over or step in the dogvomithumanshit or that your wallet doesn’t get nicked while trying to ignore the creepy stares from drunk dudes while you try to bring down the price from a dude who is alternately not looking at you at all and then furiously staring at your boobs. All this for a fucking book that will probs have smudged ink, wonky formatting, missing pages or as in many cases, all three. That’s fucking crazy. If someone’s willing to do all that for your book, chances are that they will be amenable to going to a bookstore and buy the original as long as it doesn’t cost them their kidneys to do so.

But Hay Gaiz! Guess What! You don’t need to be a bad book pirate! You can go to the library! Libraries are universally good things! Like good writing! If you can’t get your hands on the latest, all you need to do is skip over to the library, curl up in one of those lovely chairs provided by the management and enjoy the book! YAY! Golly gee whiz I sure do love libraries! Actually I’d rather eat my own spinal column while stabbing myself repeatedly in the eye with a dead bird than patronize a library. I know that as a writer I’m not supposed to say this either but again,

stolen from here
My libraryhate is purely a personal thing. I went to them repeatedly because I used to love them so much I can’t even say. I gave them my time and my money and they took everything and they broke my heart. They lied. They let me down. They broke my heart. I aint naming any names because I don’t want the English library mafia coming after me. Also these are my experiences, based on certain libraries during certain periods of time. It is my sincerest hope that other people have more positive experiences than I have had.

School/College Libraries- Ragged collections of locked bookcases filled with books that looked like they must have been all the rage in 1745. The End. I believe that the bookcase keys often played hide and seek with the library ledger which is maybe why people forgot that these bookcases could actually be opened and the books could be taken out.

Government Libraries are Government- These are great places to go if you want to look at books that have no pages in them. Where the pages went? People ripped them out and put them in their pocket and went home where they can do their research/studying in more comforts. There are of course books that still have pages in them but these books are no longer in the library. They have been lackadaisically spirited away and are in better places because apparently, the easiest thing in the world to do is flick English books from certain government libraries. Contrary to other libraries, these places actually kinda encourage you to read as long as you take the books (or at least the pages) with you and don’t come back and bother them again.

The Foreign Embassy Library- What could possibly be weirder than getting racist treatment in a phoren embassy library by your own brothersister brown peepal? Going back again and again to said establishment for getting same treatment like it is some candychocolate. But it’s going to take more than silly racism to keep me away! Because these people clearly did not want me in their libraries, grubbing up the books and the carpet and that imported phoren air with my dusty thirdworldness. Why else would they charge are-you-fucking-kidding-me rates for library cards? Other things they did to make these libraries superaccessible was to make it as hard as possible to physically get into the building and also to employ peeps with fullon Govt. Office Attitude, which I can get for free at places like the post office. Also worthy to note that these libraries were often shelf upon shelf of books that made one wonder if these embassies are dumping their garbage, outdated meds, toxic packaged food AND fuckall books here. Fuck you, foreign embassy library. Just, fuck you.

Private Lending Libraries that Offer More Than M&Bs, Sidney Sheldon, Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie and PD James (Beedi James. LOLOLOLO)- These are the unicorns of libraries. I heard they exist but they apparently exist in very secret, magical places and only very special people are allowed in. To sign up, you have to take a blood oath which I understand is basically ‘keep it secret, keep it safe’ only it involves sacrificing a portion of your tongue at some point. If you offer up your first born and your liver, you get to take the book home. If you return the book early and in perfect condition but not early enough, they will slaughter your entire family. Twice.

Also, I doubt whether this somehow automatically reflects the sad state of libraries all over the India. Why because means in one little area I know of which somehow could never get its shit together in terms of setting up proper garbage disposal and sewer systems somehow had it together enough to set up a library (Tamil books and newspapers), which is used often and used well. Which kinda goes to show that we can if we want to, no? Or maybe we can’t when it comes to English books. I don’t know.

Ok, now I am going to be all contradictory and say I don’t think book piracy is a good thing. I say this as a writer with a book and also a reader who actively bought many pirated books- it sucks for an author to lose money (especially if they are not making much in the first place) and pirated books, in most cases, are not worth it. You just buy it because you reallyreally want to read the book.

I think shouting people down by saying ‘stop book piracy!’ is about as effective as ‘just say no to drugs’. It completely underestimates how deep the piracy issue is, why it’s happening and how badly some people want their books. If this is all about hip and swinging capitalism (ain’t no shame), doesn’t piracy mean there’s something wrong with the system? And if it is morally reprehensible to buy a pirated book, why is it not morally reprehensible to charge 900 rupees for that same book in its original form? If we can’t afford 900 bucks a pop for a book, does that mean we’re just not privileged enough to read and we should shut up and go away? When will people stop telling us to go to the library? Stop telling us to go to the fucking library!!! 

So to conclude, I want to apologize. This blog post is just really whiney and offers no solutions though it offers problems and some questions and that’s really annoying. Also, in an effort to redeem myself as a serious writer, I just want to say

YOU BAD THIEVING PIRATING NATIVES!1!! SHAME ON YOU!!11 

okbai

Saturday, January 15, 2011

what is your native

28 comments
Phust, I want to send a big pongalo pongal! shoutout to my nativepeeps, wish you all good things and I wish people would stop saying ‘Pongal’ is ‘porridge’ because it’s not and this is not a festival celebrating porridge. 

This blog post title is what people in my corner of the world ask when they want to know where you come from. It would also be a great name for a game show. Anyway, I finished Moby Dick and so I would like to dedicate the song Hannah by Freelance Whales to myself and also to all the freelance whales out there, thank you for keeping it real homies.

In the last week or so, I seem to have read a lot of stuff about Indian writers in English. Manymany things have been said but I think the bottom line is that IWiE are basically fail. If this whole thing was a reality TV show, people would be saying that IWiE are like so fake because we aren’t for real. The question of realness with IWiE has been dealt with nicely here so I won’t go into that. But I would like to offer helpful pointers on how to be IWiE win. I am the first to admit that I have absolutely no cred, experience or right to speak about IWiE win. However. I do have massive experience and cred in being IWiE phail. I know this because Indians in the India have told me this, Indians not in the India have told me this and notIndians in the notIndia have told me this. So it must be true. So here it is. Wish you all success in your future endeavors.

1. Write like an Indian

Sometimes people will choose an Indian book of fiction because they want to learn about new cultures like that Slumdog movie. This fiction needs to primarily operate as a guidebook to Indian Exotica and not so much as fiction because if these peeps wanted fiction, they would have probs chosen something else to read. Anyway, ‘Indian Exotica’ is very different from ‘Indian’. Indian Exotica is what people THINK constitutes all things Indian. It is mainly there to satisfy that Indian Exotica Itch. In other words, it’s porn so it needs to be written like porn and that’s very different from writing literary fiction and other stuffs also. So your scifi story might simply be phail because it’s not Indian Exotica porn. So it’s not really your fault. Well it kinda is because you’re Indian and you’re not supposed to be writing scifi anyway.

Also, while you need to write like an Indian, it’s important not to be too Indian. Do not use too many non-English words that will make white people faint away in fright or get like distracted with the distracting (ie threatening, confusing nonEnglish) vibe you got going. Also remember that as an Indian, your story, no matter what it’s about, automatically runs the risk of slipping into magic realism territory if readers cannot latch onto some “realist” aspects like beer or Jesus. 


2. Do not write like an Indian

The biggest criticism that IWiE face from readers back in da hood is that it sounds Indian and it fails to be compelling because it doesn’t sound NotIndian. We’d all be extremely wealthy people if we got 50paisa for every time someone wailed about how there are no Indian Bukowskis or Franzens (btw, who dat? btw, never say 'who dat?' about any authors you feel may be famous in America (also kinda in the UK but mainly America) because people will kill your face if you do. You are, however, encouraged to be ignorant about other IWiE). So anyway, children’s stories are not Harry Potter. Fantasy stories are not Tolkein. It’s a fun game to play once you get started, no? For some reason no one plays this fun game the other way round because that’s just weird! I mean, all those people OWN English and we are just borrowing it or “aping” English like we “ape Western culture” (I for one would be in epic bling if I got 10paisa for every time someone said that to me). However, I heard that most IWiE are not too worried about this one because it’s mostly just Indians saying this and nobody really cares what Indians say anyway, especially other Indians.


3. Be Duly Penitent and Ashamed for Not Knowing Your ‘Mother Tongue’

English is the language of superduperprivilege in these here parts and that is a trickytricky thing. It manifests in different ways. In RaceFail and in many arguments about Othering, the privileged whine about how all the nonprivilaged folk are just so mean to privileged folk who are like so misunderstood even though they are so nice and stuff. Sometimes however, the privileged don’t say anything. Notice how this blog likes to go on and on about all sorts of nonprivilege issues but keeps a studied silence about its own privilege. For the IWiE, this Privileged Silence must always be coupled with the act of showing everyone the scar and shame of the absence of your Mother Tongue. This should be automatic. It should be so automatic that you should say ‘I feel terrible for not being able to speak/read/write in *insert any vernacular language here*’ for no reason whatsoever. This is like saying PROUD TO BE INDIAN for no reason whatsoever. 

It doesn’t matter if you really do feel terrible about this (because you SHOULD feel terrible about this, you terrible person) because no one is going to believe you anyway. You are writing in the language of the raping invaders which means everyone has the right to tell you how your writing is ‘inauthentic because it’s in English’ and ‘you are handicapped because you cannot write in your Mother Tongue’ and you’re basically just this big whoring writer slut-ho. You may feel the need to politely point out that maybe English IS your mother tongue, it’s the language you think in, it’s the language you are comfortable with, you revert to it when you are angry or in great pain. Do not do this because no one will believe you and also, you probably do not believe this yourself. It’s usually best to just stand there and nod and say ‘yes I am a motherfucker’ over and over again instead.

4. Be A Walking Encyclopedia Regarding All Things Indian

So as an IWiE you’re already inauthentic and people don’t believe what you say or they do when you say what they want you to say. Apart from all that, you also need to be a living resource on all things Indian because NotIndians need you for guidebook purposes and Indians need you to balance all that inauthenticity with rabid GK knowledge. When people say ‘what’s a caste system’, you better have a well-researched, 50 word answer, preferably with Euro-centric/American parallels ready at your fingertips. The same goes for issues like Indian royalty, communal violence, the British Raj, the anatomy of Bollywood, the decline of the Indian village, the use of spices (especially turmeric) in Indian cuisine, Satyajit Ray, the joint family system, role of women in Indian society, cows, child labour, the literary history of at least three regional languages, AIDS and Indian lorry drivers, the transgender community and Anglo Indians. You are not allowed to say ‘I don’t know’ to anything because that renders you both useless and more inauthentic than you already are and you may disappear completely off the face of this good Earth.  


5. Do not have an unnecessarily complicated name like Kuzhali Manickavel

The English alphabet was not made for Indian names. So when people stumble over your name, in yours one number country and abroad, it’s all your fault and you should be so much ashamed. If your name has zs, xs, consonants all smashed together, inappropriate vowel combinations, hyphens or if it’s just really long, you are Ebil Name Terrorist. The best way to not be a terrorist is to have simple one or two syllable names. Arundhati Roy wins for her last name but screws it up entirely with her first name. Vikram Seth wins slightly more but would have won completely if his name was Seth Vikram, or better yet, Seth Victor. Names to avoid are anything that shows up as a mistake on spellcheck or anything that will make people nervous and angry and ask if there is some ‘easier’ alternative that they can call you. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid names like Swastika (especially if you’re hoping to hit it big overseas) and anything that runs any kind of risk of immediately conjuring up images of fecal matter, urine, reproductive organs, various stages and acts associated with coitus and also mammary glands. For example, avoid names like Peeya, Poorani, Dikshit (holla back at me white dude from New Zealand!), Mehboob, Fakhia and Christians leddies are encouraged not to shorten their name to Titty if their name is Elizabeth. 


6. 
stolen from somewhere in the deepdark wilds of jezebel.com
 I just put this gif here because it seemed like the right thing to do. I don’t think it has any magical IWiE powers. 


7. Have No Sense of Humor 

Isn’t Indian Writing in English just the funniest thing evar? No it is not. Why it is not? Because, as someone once told me, ‘what is the need?’ And since I could not think of an answer to this, they must be right. Humor is one of those things that is like really awkward and upsetting when it comes from anyone in the third world. I think there is some rule that one should not look for humor here because we’re supposed to be really sad all the time and it’s bad manners to remind us how we are so third world we obvs can't afford to have a sense of humor. I mean, all those times you see peeps smiling or laffing here? We're actually crying. We so sad. We are not with smiling face.

Also, writing is a very serious bidness, especially if you’re Indian and especially if you’re writing in English because then it becomes runningrace and has almost nothing to do with writing at all. And like all runningraces, you have to be in it to win or really, what is the point in you being alive? It’s like getting phustrank. If you can’t get phustrank, why are you living? Anyway, this is why we are having so many people who believe they can win at writing in English because they have a passable knowledge of English and that’s really all you need in this particular runningrace. I myself like to believe I have a passable knowledge of Tamil, which means I win at writing in Tamil. Also apparently, Indians do not have a sense of humor anyway because, apart from many other reasons, stand up comedy is not part of our culture. Someone told me this so I’m just passing that along, so you can know it too. Anyway, what is the need? 


8. Do Not Write Blog Posts Like This 

Why because means, what is the need? This is what people here will tell you and people over there will tell you and people who don’t know what you’re talking about will tell you because ‘what is the need’ is one of those things that is all-purpose-multi-purpose. Also the English writing world is sad enough without your woe and your woe is not universal. You know what’s universal? Good writing. Good writing is universal like Universal Studios. Anyway, if you find that you are fail at being an Indian Writer in English, quietly you can label yourself something else. Say you’re a NotIndian Writer in English. Or UnIndian. Don’t say you’re Anti Indian tho because you might get thrown in jail.

okbai.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

that’s neat that’s neat that’s neat that’s neat i really love your tigerfeet

2 comments
this blog post title is taken from Mud’s Tiger Feet, covered here by Gus and Fin. This is their cover of Are Friends Electric? And this is their cover of Don’t Fear the Reaper. I think Don’t Fear the Reaper is one of the stupidest songs I have ever heard in my life. But I feel like Gus and Fin make it not stupid.

So one week in the new year has passed and what I can say is that it was remarkably like any number of weeks that occurred in the last year and in many years prior to that. Well maybe not so much because in weeks gone by, the media was not saying that birds and fish and crabs and corporate bankers were dying in legion numbers. Ok, maybe not the corporate bankers. Anyhoo, what we have forsures are the dying animals and the illustrious people at The Hairpin were not only able to comprehensively collate the data but also discern telling distribution patterns which you can see here. It is worth noting that none of that crazyass shit is happening in India because we’re Indians and we don’t do crazyass shit like that, not even our birds and fish and crabs. I mean the REAL Indian birds and fish and crabs don't do crazyass shit like that. We did have the plague once though. Remember when we had the plague? In 1994? Which was an excellent year for Tamil cinema in terms of musics I feel. And we didn’t get the plague down here either. So maybe a good year all round but not if you had the plague and had no access to Tamil movies at the time or did not appreciate them also.

Anyway, in an effort to retain some ragged credibility as an alleged writer, I thought I should write about some of the books I have read recently. Which I haven’t really read in the traditional sense because I fall asleep when I try to read actual books because I am old. However, I have listened to a few audiobooks which I understand don’t really count as real reading because real reading involves pages and the smell of the pages and the turning of the pages and curling up against and around significant others with cups of coffee and sweaters and things like that. I am sorry for not doing all those things but these audiobooks are free and for me, that is more important than turning smelly pages.

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr- Sometimes we read/listen to something and think, why am I doing this to myself? I often thought this while reading/listening to Ragged Dick, which for some reason is not gay porn but, according to the everknowing wikipedia, ‘a juvenile novel by Horatio Alger, Jr. about a poor bootblack and his rise to middle-class respectability through good moral behavior, clean living, and determination.’  So it is what it is and all I really have to say is that it would make a great Tamil movie and it is also lolololo in the same way that elderly bigoted people are lolololo because they are old and they are going to die soon anyway so whatever.

The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith- I could go on and on and on and on about why I liked this but I am really trying to do the shorter blog posts thing so I will just say I liked this for many reasons and I don’t understand why it isn’t more famous or maybe it is and I didn't know. This particular audiobook is also the happy marriage of a good piece coupled with a good reader.

The Club of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton- Sometimes I go to this place where I am reading English words or hearing them and I understand what they are supposed to be as single words but they make absolutely no sense to me as a whole. I think this might be a family thing because once I was watching CSI with an illustrious family member and said illustrious family member  turned to me and said ‘I can’t understand anything they’re saying’ and I said ‘Neither can I’ and she said ‘Oh good, I thought it was Telugu dub or something. It’s English, no?’ and I said ‘Yes.’ And she said ‘But we can’t understand it for some reason’ and I said ‘Yes’ and she said ‘Ok’. I don’t know why this happens but it does- I can recognize the words and I can hear them but they are just not understanding for me. This is what happened to me with this audiobook. I understand this is a collection of 'mystery short stories' and that is totally what they were for me. They were very mysterious and I would love to know what it was about and what those words were saying.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- I haz a sad because the audiobook I heard was actually quite good but it also had a sermon sneakily sneaked in there which we are encouraged to distribute among people because Jesus said so or something so I’m not linking to it because Jesus told me not to. I have heard people orgasming about how epic this book is and all I have to say is homibabas, I totally totally get what you’re saying. Totally.

I am currently trying to read Moby Dick, which I am reallyreally happy I didn’t have to read for school or in order to save my life because I honestly do not know how I would have gotten through this. When I am older and wiser, I hope I will be able to appreciate this one better because like many things I have read/listened to, I can understand there are amazing things happening but I can't quite grasp them. It’s like being on the wrong side of the door and knowing great things are happening on the other side. Also, I feel like I know a lot about whales now.

And now, some things I appreciated from Def Poetry





And now, musics also.




okbai.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

i have changed my name so often i have lost my wife and children but i have many friends

20 comments
i would wish you heppy new year but i am unsure if it is unIndian to do so since we didn’t create it or something. No doubt, we will have to rely on those mostillustrious and often violent keepers of teh Injun CulturesAndTraditionsAndEthnicDress to let us know because they are so smart and stuff like that. Anyhoo, this blog post title is taken from a song whose cover version I so much appreciate. I sometimes like to think this particular line applies to me very well except I never had a wife or children and I don’t have many friends. I have met people who think this line applies to them too very well for the same reasons also.

Anyway, I thought I would use this post to catch up on some correspondence that I never got to send before 2010 keeled over and died.


Dear Warren Anderson,

Hay sup homi!!1! What’s going on with your bad geriatric self? You know, I was just thinking about how you’re totally not in jail but Dr. Binayak Sen just got life imprisonment on sedition charges. I couldn’t help but admire how neat that is for you and for all those people like you who are inside the Indias who should also be in jail but instead they are like in parliament and stuff like that. Indian Justice, we haz it! Anyhoo, I guess it’s only a matter of time before I call India a big poopoo head and get sent down for life on sedition charges myself. I guess you won't be in jail then either.


Dear Sheila Ki Jawani,







  



(stolen from here)


Dear ColorWar Brigade,

Did skin lightening in the third world become the new haut thing to write about now? Why are so many of these writings/conversations little more than excuses for peepal to talk about that time they went to that dark, exotic foreign land and that’s about it. I’m not hating, it’s totes cool to reduce otherwise large and complex conversations into excuses to talk about our minority friends and trips abroad. I myself used Christmas as an excuse to tell everyone I had that one Christian friend that one time. Besides, people kinda do it in fiction and that’s totes ok because whatever! But maybe if we want the conversations to move beyond that, maybe we can keep the following points in mind the next time we decide to fight over non-white folks in non-white countries and how they should be studied, pitied and then shot for lightening their skin. Also ‘non-white countries’ is the term I will use for want of a better term and because this is my blog and also all four of ya’ll know what I’m talking about anyway.

1. Skin-lightening in non-white countries has to do with white people, doesn’t have to do with white people and has to do with a bunch of other stuff, some of which predates Jesus and it’s all exceedingly difficult to summarize in 30 words or less. Wottodo, life is hard.

2. Skin lightening in non-white countries is not the same as skin lightening in America. If you apply the skin lightening reasons of America to skin lightening in non-white countries, you will reach that scawy part of the Twilight Zone called Flabbergasting Conclusions which is like a corn field but without the corn and without the field also.

3. Just because you ‘traveled extensively in *insert any non-white country here*', or ‘have friends from *insert any non-white country here*’ does not make you any kind of authority on issues of skin color in said non-white country. There is of course nothing wrong with sharing what you know based on these experiences but it would be really nice if people could move beyond ‘well when I was a tourist there I saw this happen from my tourist bus window so it must be true’.

4. Don’t feel shy to read resources on the issue that are written from a non-Eurocentric perspective!! I am convinced that shyness is the only reason why more people aren’t doing this so I say to you, SHY IS COMING MEANS DON’T AFRAID BAYBAY. YOU BE FREE!!! NO ONE CAN JUDGE YOU!!!

5. Did I mention I had that one Christian friend that one time? I totally did. True story.


Dear Indian Journalism,

In a year that was otherwise devoid of LOLZ, you guys were totes hilarious. Like seriously you guys were like,



I don’t know how you will top stuff like plagiarism, doing messenger work between political parties and taking dictation from corporate lobbyists. But I have fullfaith that you will somehow manage to entertain us even more in the new year. Stay classy ya’ll!

And now, the obligatory list of Resolutions for 2011. I hereby resolute to resolve to make the following resolutions.

1. I will walk with my people once I find them.
2. I will start a revolution.
3. I will be arrogant enough to think I can start a revolution.
4. I will stop talking about the ‘Other’ in fiction because it is pointless.
5. I will eat less vegetables.
6. I will never stop talking about the ‘Other’ in fiction because as an alleged writer with a blog, I revel in pointless things.
7. I will frequently say ‘PROUD TO BE INDIAN!!!!’ for no reason, thus cleverly avoiding any risk of being charged with sedition. PROUD TO BE INDIAN!!!!
8. I will find my home so I can finally give up and go home.
9. I will be more forgiving of people who refer to me as 'exotic', even if they keep doing it because to them it's a compliment and I guess it doesn't matter that it makes me feel like a pineapple.
10. I will ignore it when people call me 'exotic' and pretend like they just farted or something.
11. I will do the same as above when people say stupid things in general.
12. I will set up an I’m an Exotic Third World Writer So You Should Give Me Money Fund for the people who call me 'exotic' so these people can send me money and I can get this money that they send me. This fund will basically be about giving me money.
13. I will start a political party that solemnly swears never to talk to Nira Radia.
14. I will not buy bread that smells like agarbathis.
15. I will finish my epicest novel All These Bitches Is My Sons.
16. I will start the sequel and call it All These Bastards Is My Daughters.
17. I will write a novella called Only Some of These Bitches is My Sons.
18. I will only write in the goode Englishes like all goode people. Bad people apparently write in French because French is the opposite of English. FYI.
19. PROUD TO BE INDIAN!!!!
20. I will use the word ‘twunt’ more.
21. I will stop using the word ‘fuck’.
22. I will start using the word ‘fuckityfuck’
23. I will sob loudly when people pity me for not being able to speak my Mother tongue properly.
24. I will set up an I Can’t Speak My Mother Tongue Properly Fund so people can send me money and I can get this money that they send me. This fund, like the above mentioned fund, will basically be about giving me money.
25. I will no longer post the GIF of the dancing dude because it objectifies men, a section of society that has been oppressed and objectified for far too long. Objectifying men is reverse sexism and like reverse racism, it’s like so mean, you guys.
26. I will submit this list of resolutions somewhere as a list poem

27. 











 
















                            (stolen from jezebel.com but where exactly, who can say?)

28. YOU MAD!!!!11!!!!!!! That's not a resolution but whatever. YOU SO MAAAAAD!!11!!!!
29. I will eat more candy.
30. I will write shorter blog posts.

And now, in an effort to broaden my understandings of exotic cultures, some exotic musics.

Song of India by Korla Pandit-  I am incredibly shocked to learn that Korla Pandit was apparently an African- American dude and not “a baby born in New Delhi, India to a Brahmin priest and a French opera singer, who traveled from India via England, finally arriving in the United States.” I am not really shocked with the costume of the dancing dude featured here because it explains to me why so many nonIndian people think that Gandhi was “wearing a diaper”.

Cara Mia by Jay and the Americans - Not to be confused with that other famous group Jai and the Indians

Cuanto La Gusta by Carmen Miranda and the Andrews Sisters

We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP

And last but not certainly not least, here is my wish for you in the 2011.What did you say? Hey! What did you say? Nothing? Oh, it's alright!

May these words be like words in the new year and things like that.

okbai.
 

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