Oye British politician somberly appearing on television and declaring “I am absolutely gutten and heartbroken,” SHOW, DON’T TELL. After discovering Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box, did Brad Pitt simply SAY, “I am angry, very angry” or did he ACT it out? Television audience deserve better. Learn to wear your heart on your sleeve or don’t appear on my television screen, guv’nor.
I’m on the side of the good guys here. For their sake I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a case of the boy who cried wolf. For their sake I want Great Britain to really suffer, at the minimum a lost decade. Xenophobic racist attacks on existing migrants would be a bonus. I know I shouldn’t be wishing harm upon what are some of my own friends and relatives but everything in order to serve the greater narrative, eh? When did the threat of physical violence ever stop Gandhi from staging a public spectacle? He was willing to be lathi-charged as long as there was possibility of word getting around. Be like Gandhi. Know the importance of selling a story.
For months now I’ve been hearing that Britain on its own would be a smaller and weaker negotiating partner and would hence have to make do with less than ideal trade agreements. Well, I want to see that play out. I want to see a decline in British exports and I want to see a decline in the spending power of the British tourist. I want to see London’s financial sector fall to its knees and for wealthy Chinese to buy prestigious London real estate at bargain prices. I want to see Scotland break away and I want to see football transfers stalled by work permit requirements.
I hope every fear of theirs comes true, every nightmare of theirs comes to life. I hope their music bands stop performing in their own country, because their currency is worthless. At the same time, I hope some great music comes out of the chaos.
Relations between US and the EU won’t be as good with US’ biggest ally out of the EU. EU will no longer be disproportionately aggressive towards Russia with UK, and by extension the US, out of the picture. Britain will be reduced to a small country like Pakistan, trying to win favors from whomever it can. It will resort to playing off China against the USA. It may even give the Kohinoor back in exchange for some FDI from India. (Ironic, huh? Britain feared it would turn into Pakistan by letting in Pakistanis but it’s going to turn into Pakistan because of not letting in Pakistanis.)
Cristiano Ronaldo might have been wrong in calling Iceland all those things but he’d be will within his rights to call England all of those things. Namely, a small-minded nation that isn’t going to achieve anything. Well, it’s Capital might end up beneath the waves in the next 50 years and that wouldn’t be nothing. So visit it while you can, don’t wait for the currency to fall much further, there won’t be nothing left to visit.
The monarchy will become all the more important now, I guess. With no substance, symbols become everything.
Even today, you can see countries clamoring to get into the EU. EU looks like Elysium from where they are. Turkey is leveraging the refugee crisis to get closer to the EU, India would chop off an arm and a leg to have the concessions Britain had as a member of the EU, and to all that Britain said NO, BILL PLEASE.
The day after:
Front page of the Hindu: The referendum is likely to drive away students given the ‘unwanted’ feeling generated now.
Page 13 of the Hindu: The drop in the pound is likely to result in an increase in the number of students opting for the UK as a destination for higher education as this will make studying there significantly cheaper.
I mean I know the world is complex and there are two sides to every coin but WTF!
Quote of the day- “Migration to the UK will come down significantly. A recession tends to do that.”
The story behind the picture of Lea Seydoux: This tweet by Edgar Wright.
You want metaphors? I’ll give you metaphors. You cheered on when fictional Ramsay met his death but you know what, Ramsay won where it counts- at the polling booth. You cheered on when Harry vanquished Voldemort but you know what, you made JK Rowling cry and feel powerless. You made her lose to Voldemort, a figment of her imagination. How embarrassing, for her.
Did you hear the story about how the leave vote was strongest in the regions most dependent on EU*? Forget Apple, forget Steve Jobs, forget iPhone, this ladies and gentlemen is true human ingenuity.
*There’s actually a very good reason why the people in the regions most dependent on aid from EU wanted to leave the EU. These regions have suffered from deindustrialization, closure of factories, loss of jobs and have the highest levels of poverty. They may said to have suffered the most from globalization, as such. First came the impoverishment, then came the meager aid- as they see it. But is the answer to rail against globalization or to get newer skills and better degrees, as the backers of globalization put it.
I lost all shape last night. I wasn’t moving my feet. I was a WTA player on the cusp of a personal milestone. I was playing to the strength of my opponent. I became their puppet and they my puppeteer. I wouldn’t step back and take a deep breath and gain perspective. I wouldn’t recollect. I was too caught up in the moment, a deer in the headlights, a nerd in the same room as their crush. I possibly put myself in the way of bodily harm too, and in the pursuit of what? I lost sight of the big picture, missed the forest for the trees; I was in the throes of a goddamn disease.
Mother wakes me up at 1130. I know this because checking her claim against the time on the phone is the first thing I do. “Oh good, it’s only 7 hrs until England v Wales,” I mentally establish. A pleasant thought to start off the day. She says something about lunch and heading out but having just woken up and busy with thoughts about England v Wales, I pay no attention. I never said I was a role-model.
When I finally get off the bed, it’s 6 and 1/2 hours to kickoff. By the time I finish brushing and listening to select tracks from Kanye’s Life of Pablo, it’s 6 hours… you get the drift.
We met on G-chat. Well, me met in real life first but we didn’t really open up to each other until we hit the G-chat. And by opening up I mean, I sent her links to my favorite songs and she sent me links to her favorite songs. I preferred my songs to hers but I knew enough to say nothing more than 🙂 I was more eloquent and less dependent on emojis when holding forth on other matters and judging by the number of haha’s I received, funny too. That or she was distracted and was merely being nice. After a while me moved on to Whatsapp and this was more convenient. I could now chat with her while simultaneously watching and feverishly tweeting about sports. Then one day, she asked if I had an account on Snapchat. I said I didn’t and she sent me a sad face. I didn’t know it then but that was how the cookie crumbled. I couldn’t stay up with her and she left me behind. The perils of seeing a sixteen year old. The only place where I see her these days is on Instagram. When people ask me what I’m doing on Instagram, I say I’m only there to comment ‘Lord’ on Bendtner’s photographs, nothing more. When they persist and ask why is my account locked and why do I not let them follow me, I politely change the subject saying it isn’t worth it.
A friend I knew and an online acquaintance I’ve never met walk into a bar. They both order the bartender to send me a message each on FB messenger. I notice their messages as soon as they’re sent. It’s now been a week.
I lost all shape last night. (I was laying prone on the couch). I wasn’t moving my feet. (They were resting on the armrest of the couch). I possibly put myself in the way of bodily harm. (Left eye prone to dryness on continued extended exposure to electronic screens).
Question: When do women find a man attractive?
Wrong Answers: When he’s kind, when he’s funny, when he’s smart, when he’s good looking, when he’s athletic, when he has a towering intellect, when he’s tall, when he pays attention, when he pays for travel, when he knows his way around tools- both kinds, when he knows how to dance, when he’s confident, when he’s humble, when he’s self-made, when he has an endowment fund, when he has a great set of teeth, when he’s popular, when he’s lonely at the top, when the boss loves him, when he does what he wants and is his own boss, when he cooks, when he’s so involved he forgets to eat, when he fights for the rights of the downtrodden, when he’s close to his mum.
Right Answer: When he’s with another woman.
Question: When do men find a woman attractive?
Wrong answer: “When she’s a lesbian?”
Right Answer: When she’s asleep, when she’s awake, when she’s brushing her teeth, when she’s team morning breath, when she’s groggy and miserable from lack of sleep, when she’s refreshed and raring to go after a good night’s sleep, when she swears by makeup, when she scoffs at makeup, when she’s gotten a fleek new hairstyle, when she’s got no hairstyle, when she likes kids, when she hates kids, when she’s smoking a cigarette, when she’s disgusted by a person smoking a cigarette, when she’s a doctor, when she’s a lawyer, when she’s a painter, when she’s an engineer, when she’s down for everything, when she’s down for nothing, when she curses like a sailor, when she blushes at a cuss word, when she’s the life of the party, when she can’t wait to leave the party, when she’s all loose on the dancefloor, when she’s uptight and thinks all who dance are sluts (her words), when she’s an outdoor person who likes to run, when she’d rather stay in and watch a rerun, when she likes Woody Allen, when she doesn’t mind Adolf Hitler, when she’s lost some weight, when she’s gained some weight, when she likes to read, when she doesn’t understand why people read, when she’s the one with the brain, when she doesn’t like to think because “it causes wrinkles”, when she knows how to play an instrument, when the only thing she plays is one guy against another, when she’s a mother, when she’s a daughter, when she’s a blonde, when she’s a brunette, when she has a pair of arms and a pair of legs.
So don’t sweat it ladies. What you are is enough. Down with the brands, and down with their ads.
Question: Is this post pro- or anti- women?
(Before John Oliver had a take on the wall, I too had a take on the wall- but I couldn’t see why I should have a take on the wall. So even if I had a take on the wall, I confined it to the drafts folder- until today, when I saw John Oliver’s take on the wall and figured mine wasn’t that bad either. Some of the references have become a bit out-dated and slipped from our collective minds in the two weeks that have passed since the time of writing but I’m sure my one reader won’t mind.)
Tell me why you are opposed to Trump’s idea of building a wall. What Trump aims to achieve by building a wall (stopping illegal migration, drug trafficking) is something most of us want too. Hillary Clinton makes fun of the wall but her policies will set out to achieve the same end of curbing illegal migration and drug flows. They better, because that’s what being a commander-in-chief means – drawing out policies to secure the borders.
The only reason then that remains to make fun of the wall is its ineffectiveness. If you argue that the wall won’t be able to stem the flow of illegal migrants and drugs, then I’m with you. But why are you against the wall? Is it because of its ineffectiveness or is it because of what it will symbolize? Of what it might suggest? (That those on the other side are barbarians). Is it because you believe that in civilized societies physical walls have been replaced by the much more tacit system of visa approvals and hence, there’s no need to be blunt and go back to walls?
Is lack of tact the major issue you have with Trump’s proposal? Or do you believe there’s no place for borders at all? Surely, you believe in borders. Surely, you believe in regulation of people that come into your country.
Trump’s supporters on the other hand take solace from the physical manifestation (effective or not) of the mobility restrictions that are anyway in place. They feel more secure with subtlety out of the frame. They truly believe the Mexicans are barbarians- and that is worrying, and building a wall will only strengthen and act as a vindication of their narrow mindedness- which is even more worrying but is that the reason you’re opposed to the wall? That walls act as a placard for xenophobia?
Bear in mind that trade and legal migration numbers will theoretically continue to be the same, wall or no wall. In the event of the wall, the Mexicans might get offended and decide to lodge a protest by cutting a token amount of the trade, which anyway can’t amount to much since they’re highly dependent on exports to America. So why all this fuss over a wall? Is it only due to fiscal prudence?
Tell me why you’re opposed to the wall. Is it because
a) It’s going to be an image problem and there are just as effective and subtler alternatives. Or
b) A wall won’t make the border any more secure. Or
c) You don’t believe in borders, and by extension, nation-states. Or
d) You don’t want to play into the hands of xenophobes. Or
e) It’s a waste of money. Or
f) Some other reason.
Now that we’ve established that the outrage over the wall is nothing more than outrage over a few billion dollars, a few billion dollars that Hillary will anyway forfeit to her Wall Street backers in the form of tax loopholes, let’s move on.
Let’s move on to the nitpicking of quotes used by Donald Trump.
One of the quotes he was made fun of for using was a “Gandhi quote”. Trump, like millions of Indians, unknowingly misattributed a quote to Gandhi, and if not for Trump millions of Indians would’ve continued to misattribute that quote to Gandhi. But for some reason, the whole incident was brazenly exploited to portray Trump as an idiot. Which he is, but not for this.
There was also the time when he was attacked for quoting Mussolini. Quoting Mussolini sounds insidious but when you look at the quote, it’s something Abe Lincoln might have said. It’s something a school teacher might have picked as the quote of the day. Well, the PT teacher perhaps. Anyway, why the circus? It’s like the media have decided there’s a readily available market for anti-Trump rhetoric out there and it needs to be tapped, incessantly.
At this juncture, I am thinking I might as well translate Kendrick’s These Walls into French and put it up here but I won’t. I’ll put up the possibly NSFW music video instead.
What do we want? Jobs.
Why do we want? Huh?
What do we want? Higher social spending.
Why do we want? Without providing access to health and education, we can never become a superpower. And what better way to combat and shield against the disease of poverty.
What do we want? More capital spending.
Why do we want? A village connected is a village able to provide. We need roads and electricity, schools and cooking gas. We need to decongest the existing roads and improve the public transportation. We need to remove supply-chain bottlenecks and provide faster internet, reduce the cost of transport and improve the competitiveness of our manufacturing.
What do we want? Lower overall spending.
Why do we want? To lessen the fiscal deficit which will help attract investments from overseas, even if they are of the speculative kind. Discrimination is uncool, bro.
What do we want? Wider tax base.
Why do we want? A government needs revenue to function. We have one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratio going around. We are a 6 pointer, we can’t go to grad school with that record. We need to keep our head down and do some additional courses, probably at a night school, probably run into a girl there- but no, we need to focus. We need to remember why we are here. We are here to improve our country’s tax collections, goddammit. A government under Trump with a higher tax revenue will be able to provide better services than a government with no revenue under Abraham Lincoln. That’s just how it is. A government needs revenue to fulfill its duties. Know why Western governments provide better services than ours? Because they are able to mobilize taxes! You think their politicians are any better? Maybe their institutions are partly better owing to greater decentralization, but I digress.
What do we want? Women empowerment.
Why do we want? Will lead to higher labor force participation. Good for the country, good for the household. Cheaper to provide paid maternity leave than not have them working at all.
What do we want? A new tax structure.
Why do we want? To get GST out of the news. I’ve had it with all this talk about GST. Just implement it already.
What do we want? More movies from David Fincher.
Why do we want? They’re good.
What do we want? Less editorial oversight.
Why do we want? Wacky is good, wacky is food for the soul, wacky is Leonardo di Caprio sticking his tongue out in the rain. Wacky is the joy of being alive and being able to do whatever- as long as it’s not retrospective taxation. Nothing turns off investors more than unpredictable policy. We need predictable policies and an efficient judicial system that is able to settle conflicts in a reasonable amount of time.
What do we want? A strong IPR regime.
Why do we want?
Because the US government wants it To encourage innovation, to protect the risk-takers, the movers and the shakers.
What do we want? Better corporate governance.
Why do we want? We’re under the impression that companies wouldn’t have run up the present levels of bad debt had they been run better. Our country is in severe need of capital, the last thing we need is funds getting tied up in non-performing assets.
What’s hurting the banks today, will hurt us tomorrow. A healthy banking system is as important to a country’s (financial) security as soldiers are on the borders. Capping bonuses will only keep the best and the brightest away from this sector of national importance. We hereby introduce a petition demanding the withdrawal of any and all proposals seeking to cap executive bonuses. (what’s that? wrong forum? that meeting is in the next room?)
What do we want? A green economy.
Why do we want? If we continue as we are, mankind will perish by 2100. I’m only kidding but I wish I wasn’t because maybe at least then we’d be moved to take some sort of action. A green economy, in addition to saving our race, will also make our societies more equal. It is in many ways the silver bullet we can reliably rely upon to vanquish many of our national and global problems at one go.
What do we want? No more ill-conceived laws.
Why do we want? Because they’re inadvertently preventing many of our firms from growing/ joining the mainstream. Firms are hesitant to take the next step if it means losing out on exemptions they received as small industries. Similarly, many of these laws are hindering the growth of the formal sector. We need to stop punishing and start rewarding those who open up their books for scrutiny. Amen.
What do we want? More posts.
Why do we want? Not government posts, the last thing we need is revenue deficit. We’re talking about blog posts. We can’t seem to get enough.
An actress, I won’t say which, was lounging by the side of the pool. We were rumored to share the same birthday, this actress and I, but sharing a birthday isn’t quite the same as sharing a bed, as we all know, and those rumors devoid of any substance to begin with turned out to be pretty unfounded on top of that. Turns out we weren’t even born on the same day, this actress and I. I might as well have claimed we shared a bed that one time, although we most definitely didn’t.
I couldn’t see the actress from where I was, and I was perfectly fine with that. You know me, I am perfectly fine with everything, apart from that one thing with the Proteas and maybe that other thing with some other thing. Seeing an actress isn’t quite the same as sleeping with an actress, if you know what I mean, although in some cases it does… mean the same thing. Anyway, this actress lounging by the side of the pool had a bright idea.
Her idea was so bright you couldn’t miss the glare for 3 miles. I was caught up in it. I tried to hide in the refrigerator but it was full. (A full refrigerator, one of the perks of staying at home.) The actress had apparently figured she could get some reading done while the shots were being set up. She sent word for some reading material. Shooting can be quite the tedious process, you see. (Even more tedious than reading? It depends.) It involves a fair share of waiting. In the average time it takes to set up a shot, Ashwin and Jadeja would have run through the opposition’s top order, reached the end zone, celebrated the touchdown and lifted the Superbowl.
I could’ve sent her my iPad but I wasn’t sure if I would want to get another in the event of this one falling into the pool. So I sent her some communist reading material instead. They were sent back with urgency. A week later, she was abducted by Maoists. I won’t say I had anything to do with that. Saying so would mean I had something to do with that, when I most certainly didn’t. I don’t know what their motives were. I didn’t follow the story. I had more important things to do- like hiding in refrigerators whenever someone in the vicinity had a bright idea.