What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scottie Got Low Low Low

An Ode to Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin to the style of Flo-Rida. 

Scottie Got Low

Scottie had em' union busting bills (bills)
Brothers em Koch (Koch)
He picked the phone (he picked the phone)
Next thing you know
Scottie got low low low low low

Them hefty tax cuts
And them Kochs to suck (to suck)
People came around, he talked em smack (Ay)
He picked the phone (the phone)
Next thing you know
Scottie got low low low low low

Actually Scottie got pwnd. Epic pwnage.




Sunday, February 20, 2011

Down with Walkerism, Long Live Revolution!!!!


If you follow any bit of news, you have probably heard about what is going on in Wisconsin this past week. Our newly elected governor Scott Walker is trying to pass a revolutionary bill that will strip public employees of their rights to collective bargaining. It basically is a move to destroy public unions. If you have an IQ that is even a smidgen higher than the entire tea-party put together, then you have deduced that I vehemently oppose the bill and Scott Walker in general. The rest of you who actually got thrown off by the picture of Scott Walker, case in point, learn to read and graduate from your pop up picture books.
 
Before I delve into my rationale for opposing the bill, let me share some background about myself. I am a very hard working, honest, tax paying citizen, feeling the pinch of the economy. I barely make $33,000 a year. I pay out of pocket for my own health insurance. Almost 90% of my retirement savings is from my own pocket. The rest of it maybe company matches through the years. I am studying for MBA and paying every penny out of my pocket. I have some subsidized loans, but so far there have been no grants. I've been paying for it through my hard earned money and had to even break a retirement fund this year for it. I have never ever received a penny of welfare or government support of any kind, and pray to God that I die before having to do so.

I come from Bombay, India. Home of Indian capitalism baby. It was also the city which in the early eighties experienced the Great Bombay Textile Strike. It was an almost militant strike by unionized textile workers in Bombay, which ultimately led to the demise of the once flourishing textile industry of Bombay. The end of the textile industry had a crushing crippling impact on Bombay's economy. It has made me view unions with skepticism and a pinch of salt.

According to tea-party logic, I should be standing there with with them supporting Walker's bill. As an honest, hardworking American, I should be with them. As someone with knowledge of the bitter history of the textile industry, I should be with them. However, that is exactly where their lack of IQ, lack of common sense, lack of good judgment and lack of basic humanity and human decency plays in. Their values actually completely contradict and clash with the interests of honest, hard working Americans.

They also need to learn the invaluable lesson of stopping their pick and choose approach to history where they misquote excerpts to their advantage and study history in context. The financial capitol of India was built on hard labor and even today depends on and respects the worker. Corporate greed and political corruption destroyed industries. The busting of unions is what lead to crime and desperation in Bombay.

Most importantly, my parents did not raise me to be selfish, greedy, self-centered and apathetic to the world around me. They did not raise me to wish or inflict pain on everyone around me. Just because life is tough for me does not mean that I ought to make life tough for others. No matter what, I should always stand for the people who genuinely work hard, for people who contribute to the collective good of society, to stand up for the right thing. That is why I a private sector employee, future MBA and hopefully corporate/executive employee with the teachers, nursers, public workers, and all other good people of Wisconsin against Scott Walker and his despicable bill.


Now that the agenda is clear, lets move on to the myths and facts.

Myth: Fair and objective coverage by Fox News/Conservative media. 
Fact: If Fox News was Pinocchio its nose would stretch light years into another galaxy. I was there at the capitol Thursday night and decided to watch Fox News to see the opposite point of view. I almost had to puke over their biased coverage. I had turned on the channel with an open mind to listen to the other side, but just a few seconds made me sicker than having my head stuck down a toilet. It was venomous, it was accusatory, it portrayed a picture of the bill opponents as vicious mobs, it accused them of vitriol and violent rhetoric. I'm not saying all protesters are saints or did not do anything wrong. However, I can reassure people that the protest on the whole is peaceful and friendly. Even on Saturday with the tea-party counter protest, there peaceful barring a few spirited debates and some unsavory signs. Fox News and many other conservative talk shows are not being honest with their coverage. I respectfully implore people to seek alternate news sources, look up the dozens of videos on youtube, call the state police and see how peaceful and friendly it is. Honestly, we would love to sit down for a cup of tea/coffee or a pint of local beer and share our perspective and why we so passionately oppose this bill.

Myth:  It is about the money. 
Fact: No, this is not about the money. Our public workers have already made huge sacrifices and are willing to make more as needed. All they want is the ability to sit at the table and negotiate. Negotiation is what keeps things running and helps opposite sides find a win-win agreement. It is not always about pay, but other things like working hours, work conditions, autonomy, flexibility etc. 1

Myth: The bill is absolutely necessary to balance the budget. 
Fact: No, our economic woes have been completely fabricated by Scott Walker. The Wisconsin state budget was actually in surplus after 2010. Our Governor Walker offered sweeping tax cuts to big businesses to create the deficit. 1 2

Myth: The AWOL Senate Democrats are not doing their job. 
Fact: They are doing exactly their job. Their job as elected officials is to represent their constituents. Their constituents do not want this bill passed as is. Their constituents want Scott Walker to negotiate a fairer bill. As someone who voted for the Senate Democrat of my district, I am extremely proud that they took a stance. In fact they would have not had to take this drastic step if the Republicans had been honest, conducted work in good faith and stayed true to the democratic process. 1

Myth: The teachers who called in sick should be fired. 
Fact: I actually agree in a theoretical sense. I would fire a worker who lied about being sick. However, for all practical purposes the venom against teachers is disrespectful and disgusting. I read a tea-party sign that said "If I abandoned my kids, I would be in prison". Well, Mr & Mrs. Sign, you made your baby and assumed responsibility for it. Unless your kids teachers actually conceived your child or pushed it out their vagina, I don't think they ought to be obliged to your children. Teachers are actually doing this so that public schools can continue to hire and retain good competitive teachers, keep the curriculum challenging, expand school programs, expand education so that all students including special students receive good education and your kids dont have to sit in overcrowded classrooms receiving sub par education from sub part teachers. Also don't whine about taxes. I don't even have kids and never will, there is no law exempting me from the taxes, there is "no child" tax benefit. In fact you with children get tax breaks. So if you don't like your teachers just shove it and send your kids to private school. 

Myth: Union employees are just greedy pigs. 
Fact: The people in unions represent a diverse cross section of hard working American people, policemen, firefighters, teachers, crossing-guards, nurses, doctors, EMT, janitors, garbage collectors, snow plow workers and a lot lot more. On an average they make less than private sector employees, have less career growth opportunity than private sector employees and sometimes benefits is the only way to compensate for the low pay and concrete ceiling. 1


Now that a few common myths and facts are straightened out let us focus on the bigger picture of unions, management and government. 

Corporate greed, abuse and overall bad management led to the formation of unions. Across the world unions representing hard working people have benefited the middle class and working society. It is because of Unions women can work, child labor is illegal, there are things like weekends and overtime pay, there are mandatory safety codes and many other valuable benefits that respect the worker. 

Consequently greed and militant unionism can lead to bad management and corporate clout. Many times unions negotiate excessive wages and benefits that destroy profitability and the business. Unions can have poor leaders who negotiate for themselves and not everyone. Auto making plants and many other industries were forced to outsource or shut down due to excessive cost of operations in USA. 

Good governments, good corporate citizens and mature adults negotiate responsibly and reasonably. Communication is the critical key to resolve most problems and issues. Management often never communicates respectfully why they have to make certain choices, workers often never communicate reasonably why they need something. Competent businesses and governments do not view collective bargaining as a threat, or try to destroy it; but, they take it as a challenge to work towards a new win-win situation. Corporates serve the customers, and government serves the people, and they know that employees are one of their valuable tools in doing their jobs. Good employees means success, bad employees mean failure. Most corporate or government failure is mismanagement of finances or employees. In the past few years governments in USA have done both. 

Scott Walker is an example of a terrible manager and failed leader. He showed an inability to manage finances, rejected federal cash that could have generated jobs and spent money on a narrow personal agenda. When he failed at financial management he then disrespected his employees and attempted to strip away their rights. As a leader and person having to make tough choices, he is unwilling to meet and negotiate with them. He is unwilling to actually show that he values his employees and sell his plan to his opponents.

Major fiscal plans need approval from all sides. Anyone who has worked in a job knows what happens when management railroads employees and forces changes. Valuable employees are lost and there is failure all over. Anyone with good sense knows that success requires alignment in an organization. Alienation and disillusionment will lead to organizational failure. Even if Scott Walker was God and ramrodded the perfect God made budget bill through congress trampling on his own employees, alienating them from him, creating depression and disillusionment - the state of Wisconsin will be in for Epic Fail. 

Seriously Scott, take of your blinkers and soak in the reality. 


Now that we see the big picture of negotiations, what should Wisconsin do for long term success. 

High Speed Rail: Public transit sucks balls in the United states. One great benefit people in Europe, India and several places in the world have is public transit. It allows them to travel efficiently without the debt of owning vehicles. It lets them save for other things. They are able to travel further for jobs making employment mobile, creating cross-employment both which reduce unemployment. Moreover, construction, operation and maintenance generates revenue and creates jobs. Now that the Mideast is in turmoil, USA will lose its monopoly over oil. We need to be more efficient in transit.

Broadband Internet: Internet will get the most rural and remote parts connected. Rural businesses and farms can take advantage of the internet to grow and expand their business. Rural people can take advantage of online degrees, certificates and enrich their lives and economies. I know the internet will kill the tea party because people will no longer be stupid, but its actually for the greater good. 

Raise Taxes (especially on the rich): Most countries have a much higher tax rate than USA. Contrary to the belief that taxes make people miserable, people in these countries are better off and happier. It is not a radical socialist idea, but a practical idea of giving back to society. It is actually the kind of common sense and community that our founding fathers built their societies on. Small gradual increases on the wealthiest people will actually go a huge way if not eliminate deficits. The filthy rich won't even notice the difference. Aww you may lose a vote or two and the millions of kickbacks, but you will do your job and receive the support of the people. 

Invest in education: Education is the building block of the future. A good education today is vital to produce good businessmen, lawyers, engineers, doctors and professionals in the future. As we ignore education, our competitive advantage in the globe is slipping away. We no longer produce the best of the best and are losing to other nations. If we continue ignoring education, India and China will be the superpowers of the future and we will be the backward nation. 

Invest in public sector: The public sector provides vital and critical services that keep the nation running. A good public sector prevents corporate monopolies, forces competitiveness, fosters product improvements, gives people choices and makes services accessible to all people. The wealthy can go to private schools, hire expensive doctors and lawyers, buy the best, but public sector gives the people a reasonable choice in services so they can save more to spend on other things. 

What can a citizen do against imperial governments? 

Anything and everything, we elect them in power to serve us. We have the power to make them do their jobs. Think of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, they are fighting against dictators. We have the power of democracy with us. This week I was blessed to be a part of history. For the first time in years, I actually believe I had a productive weekend and stood for something important. I plan to keep fighting the good fight till the end, and everyone can do to.
1) If you live in or near Madison, come join us at the protests. Even a few minutes at night after work makes a difference. 
2) If you live anywhere else in the state and cannot make it here. Plan and stage your own rallies and protests locally. Show Walker that Wisconsin is not with him. Show him that he does not have a majority. 
3) If you live in states like Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, Missouri or any jurisdiction that is trampling on the rights of people and silencing them, get together and organize for democracy. 
4) No matter where you live, you can always stage a rally or protest for solidarity. 
5) If you can why not buy pizza, food or other amenities for the protesters. Ian's Pizza in Madison is receiving orders from across the country and  globe supporting the protesters. 
6) If you can donate to the cause of working class America. 
7) Write letters of support, it means a lot when someone is with us no matter who you are, where you are.
8) Spread awareness of the issues of the working people across the world.
9) Get involved and stand up for your rights. This goes out to India, China, Pakistan or anywhere in the world where there are authoritarian governments, issues with corruption and corporate greed. The people united can never be defeated. 
10) Always remember "One World, One Pain". Its not about Wisconsin, Indiana, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain or Iran. Its a fight for the average working man across the world against corruption and greed. Its to keep the democratic process alive. 


And to end this some inspiring videos to share what we fight for and why.



Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill Protest from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo


Wisconsin "Budget Repair Bill" Protest Pt 2 from Matt Wisniewski on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Teenagers destroyed the internet!

Technology and I go way back, really way back. I recollect the days of the MS-DOS machine. Back then Windows 3.11 was just a DOS application and we waited fifteen minutes for it to boot so that we could play Solitaire and Minesweeper. I've lived through the era where gaming meant hours of Prince of Persia, Bricks and Paratroopers. The first time I surfed the internet was in a text only browser. The thought of images and videos and rich content was like a dream. Internet meant boring email and then the spicy adventure of IRC chat connections with strangers.

I lived almost an entire era on the 58 K dial up modem. The humming buzz of the line connecting was music to our ears. Unfortunately, the internet was not unlimited like it is now. Usage was often metered and you had monthly bandwidth. Incoming and outgoing phone calls meant being disconnected from the internet. Most horrifying was the often excruciatingly long and painful wait of days or even weeks to download a song.

One can only imagine my ecstasy when I first discovered high speed internet. I could download a song in a minute. Heck within the next hour, I had a music library. I swore I would never ever go back to dial up. Now if I ever move, the one thing absolutely necessary is high speed internet access in that place. Technology is incredible in todays world. The possibilities are endless. I can watch clips and videos on Youtube, I can keep in touch with people on Facebook, I can catch my favorite shows on Hulu, lookup information on Wikipedia, check out movie times and a whole lot more. I can play games, read jokes, visit forums, blog about mundane stuff and literally spend hours on the internet wasting away, never getting bored.

We have come a long way baby. Unfortunately, amidst all those leaps and bounds of progress there has been one massive backward step that ruins everything. It is the single most annoying, frustrating and enraging pitfall of the internet. It is looming doom and even God does not know how to solve it. The name of that problem is

TEENAGERS!


Teenagers have single handedly ruined the internet for everybody. If the real world faces doom at the hands of a zombie apocalypse, the virtual world faces doom at the hands of teenage apocalypse. Just like flesh eating zombies who feast on brains, teenagers are the content eating zombies of the internet who feast on reason and intellect. It really is a terrible predicament we are in. Its not just sexting, social media addiction, stupidity or the human devolution into human like apes who communicate in grunts and monosyllabic words rather than proper language of any time. Most teens cannot even speak or spell slang correctly, even dis and dat becomes uh-um, yeah.

The problem with teens is that they live a sheltered coddled life. Their parents obviously hate them and would rather have the internet raise them instead of themselves. They hate them so much that they dont even let the old fashioned traditional nannies like television or video games raise their kids. After wonderland and fairy land and Disney land, parents figure teenagers might as well graduate into the virtual land where any fantasy goes like in their childhood fantasy lands. The net result is rational grown up people like us have to endure teenagers with brains the size of a pea, IQ slightly lower than that of an amoeba, and an EQ that would shed enough crocodile tears to flood the Nile in biblical proportions. They are whiny, clingy and needy. They latch onto delusions and live lives vicariously through celebrities because their parents just cannot love the horrible creatures that they are.

It really beats me how and why this disturbing trend started. I don't recollect teenagers being so stupid. In fact I know many articulate, intelligent and eloquent teens, who have bright futures. But for some reason the internet tends to draw these dumb teens like bees to honey. The signs were there long ago, I just never imagined it turning this bad.

One of the first internet message boards I visited was the MSN India section. I would post in the news and current affairs and Bollywood section. One major problem of the forum was that the forum was filled with filth and abusive argument. Granted there was good stuff and good discussion which is why I posted there. However, there were some people who were profane, abusive and argumentative. There were no report functions. I don't think there were even administrators or moderators taking care of things. At the end of the day I did not mind it though. I'll admit I was a noob of sorts to the web at that time, but I never felt a need for someone moderating. Now decorum is a habit, but back then it was kind of real world. Somethings you just cannot control. You shrugged it off and moved on.



My second longest and most enjoyable internet forum stint was at the Tatu.ru forum. In fact I was very shortly promoted to moderator there and was one for a long long time. Obviously this was a fan forum and most of us were fans of the band. Yes and like many fans we did feel a need to 'protect' our favorite celebrities. However, the forum is a great illustration of maturity and reason within fandom in comparison to the mayhem that can ensue these days. The fandom and the forum went through several schisms typical of many Indian soap forums today. The outcome was far different though.

For those who don't know Taty, they are a Russian pop duo. They were famous internationally circa 2003 with their hit song "All the things she said". Their entire image was scandalous and titillating. One controversy was their lesbian image. The second more empathetic one was the image of highly provocative school girls. The biggest rocking scandal came when they revealed that they were not really a couple but everything had been a front for publicity.

There were many different points of view, fans who continued to subscribe to the lesbian image, fans who perceived them as heterosexual women, fans who were able to brush aside the image revelation, fans who felt betrayed lied to and thought it was cheap publicity, fans who thought the provocative school girl image was perfectly acceptable, fans who thought that the image was pedophilia and pornography, fans who thought they were immensely talented, fans who thought they were at best mediocre compared to other artistes, fans who were there for nostalgia, fans who were there for the future. Note how every group is referred to as fans, not haters or bashers because the thing is being a fan does not mean you blindly love everything. Fans can be critical and questioning, fans are not homogeneous groups but unique individuals, just like liking a song on radio does not make a fan, disliking aspects does not make a hater. The most important thing was that we knew we were fans despite going in different directions.

As one can see there were many schisms and subgroups, many differing opinions. That meant several extensive discussions and debates on the music, videos, performances, image, history and future. In fact there were several very heated arguments on each and every one of these subjects. There were also arguments on various other issues like behavior towards fan, basic attitudes, personal life etc. As you can see some of the subject matters were pretty mature and we had allegations of perversion, promiscuity and questioning of personal lives. There was also criticism of singing describing it as 'screeching of a cat with a sore throat' or calling of a concert outfit 'frumpy and fat' or the look was that of a 'slutty streetwalker'.

The point of interest was that moderators rarely had to intervene. There were barely one or two 'diffusions' of argument that I actually had to do. There was one ban and barely any warnings. Basically moderators were there basically to address trolls and spamming. The basic job was to prevent pornographic, commercial or spam posts. The bigger job was to create and promote lively active topics, remove illegal media links, manage information and the day to day nitty gritty like merging, moving etc. Actually, this decorum was seen across all major Taty forums (tatu.us, tatysite.net and tatu.fatal.ru). The only site that was a hot mess was tatugirls.com.


There was no magic formula that helped managed this sort of decorum. No magical set of rules or incredible moderators. Rules can be arbitrary and people are humanly flawed. If there is one word that could capture the ability of such high voltage arguments and discussions to take place is "MATURITY". A very basic and simple human trait that teenagers these days fail to have. Somehow teenagers back in circa 2003-2006 or so had the human ability to grow. For some inexplicable biological reason teenagers exhibit some curious case of Benjamin Button, but they grow dumber instead of younger.

It is incredible how far maturity can go. References to cats screeching or unsavory aspects of personal lives were not done by people who were 'haters'. They still were past fans or even current fans. They had disagreements that they wanted to express. Similarly no one viewed these as 'bashing' and took in in stride. Most important was constructive back and forth which was not frivolous accusations on the other person's intent but real meaty discussions with opinions backed by reasons. These reasons were not any sort of love/hate relationship, but concrete content based reasons related to music, personal preferences, industry standards, sales, interpretations etc. Of course every now and then there were heated arguments and people crossed the line. I think I even railroaded a person unfairly once. But everyone had the ability to move on.

Maturity was not just reflected in people's behaviors, but maturity was the number one rules of the forums. Stupidity was a bannable offense. In fact we were given a free reign to ensure the forum did not sound stupid. We would openly mock and ridicule people who posted dumb and mindless posts. We would openly mock and ridicule the people who had the inability to make sense. We would openly mock and ridicule people who made frivolous posts like I agree, I disagree, or Hahaha without content. We even went on what we call the great modspiracy where we locked all but three game/chat threads because people were just being stupid and wasting time.

Now the tatugirls.com forum was the one we unilaterally and unanimously made fun of for being nothing but a bunch of dumb ditzy twelve year old AOL'ers. They could have been 25 or 55 for all I know, but they sounded like clueless noobs. If they were not discussing boys or make up, they were busy arguing and bitching with each other like a mob of rabid mongrels fighting for a piece of meat.

The only reason I left is because people were starting to take some schisms to seriously, more and more dumb teens were emerging and there was a dangerous trend of people living vicariously through celebrities.

Life is cruel bitches. It is not for pussies who need to go running to mommy all the time. The virtual world is an extension of the real world where the world can hit us hard uncut and uncensored. That is why "dumb, immature, stupid"  teenagers don't belong on the internet. You need to be prudent, intelligent, smart, cautious and yes mature to conduct yourself with discipline and decorum if you want to communicate with a diverse age and cultural audience. Actually with all due respect teenagers must socialize with their peer groups, and other better supervised internet settings before being let loose on the internet.

Unfortunately, the internet is now infested with teenagers. The internet is full of people who are running out of their patience. The internet is full of people who actually never grew beyond their teens. There are many great things the internet can do. However, the internet is also a ticking time bomb for the next Jessi slaughter. The worst part is that stupidity is deadly and contagious.



I'm not sure if American Television forums are as stupid, but Indian television forums are full of people whose brains have been washed clean and blank with all the soaps they consume. I'm not sure of their ages and genders sometimes, but it does not matter because the all tend to act like a group of bitchy, ditzy, high school teens, clawing and pawing at each other in their clique wars. Just a whole bunch of people who God knows why get all riled up over television actors and coupling with such vigor as if they are saving a nation from being raped. Just a bunch of people so juvenile and venomous that you would think they were a kid whose candy was stolen and they have to do and say all sorts of mean things in revenge. With the way the internet is going, moderators and administration are things of the past I think. We need certified psychiatrists and mental hospital administrators.


Are you a parent?

If your child is under thirteen, they should not have a smart phone, they should not have their own computer, they can only use computers supervised for school work. If your child is under 13-16 then their computer should be placed in a public area of the house, not in their rooms. Limit their hours on the computer and restrict 'entertainment and social networking' to weekends only. If your child is 16-19, then allow them laptops or computers in their room, but still set ground rules for usage. I strongly recommend that parents discourage forums and social networking activity with strangers until kids are more grown up and mature. There are plenty of other fun sites.  Of course there are always exceptions, each child is unique.I firmly believe mom knows best.

Is your favorite television couple under threat?

Ah snap out of it already. Unlike you, they are grown up and can take care of yourself. If there was any threat to them they would seek legal protection, they don't need your silly little efforts. Your spittle and drool as your mouth hangs open in awe at their awesomeness is good enough. As long as you loll and drool enough to lose your minds and be mindlessly attached to them. You know what, mom knows best, just ask your mom why the dumb fucks keep attacking your couple and what you should do. Lets see what she has to say about your life priorities.

Is your favorite television actor/actress under threat?


Ah go boil yer heads will you, it needs some steaming. Do you seriously think they are damsels in distress who need you chivalrously charging your cavalry for a battle. Spare yourself the agony. As long as you keep making out with their images you scrounged the internet for or self pleasuring yourself the watching television shows with them even if it means watching them appearing on screen and dancing like an electrocuted monkey on a tight rope. But seriously, you are a teenage and this pathetic stuff is what you use your freedom of internet for? If only you watched good old fashioned porn, I would not advice your parents to be so concerned for your sanity.You know what though, mom knows best, just ask your mom why the dumb fucks just cant appreciate her stunning superior acting and classiness or bow down and prostrate to his sexy Godliness. I'm sure she will have good advice on your priorities.

Do you feel the urge to tarnish a couple or destroy a celebrity?

Oh golly gee whiz! Good for you saving the world one meaningless endeavor at the time. Who the fuck to you think you are, the next Martin Luther King with some great gifted dream to lead the people to liberty. Seriously how far up your ass do you have your massive head inflated with all that ego. It must really hurt to having to always shove your head up there to conduct your public service. Society must sure have a heavy debt to pay to you. Honestly, why not channel all that rage to something more constructive like the serious issues to plague the world. But I stick by mom knows best, just go ask your mom how to express your immense hatred towards someone in the best possible dissing way. I'm sure she will have some good constructive advice on what to do with your life.

Seriously, the bottom line is most people are well intentioned, good people. In the end its just a show, just another celebrity, just another forum. I don't really mean all that. All I mean is that just be more constructive with your lives. Respect yourself and conduct yourself with dignity and maturity. Make sure to do things that will make you feel good not just today, but ten years down the road that you actually did something constructive. Don't do things that someday down the road you might regret or consider the biggest waste of your life. It might be just the internet, its still your life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The lost art of sarcasm

A long time ago there was a debate if homosexual people should me made to register. It reminded me of the mutant registration act. In the process of debate I made a caustic remark of the likes "All gay people should be tattooed with their own gay id number and put on their own special gay island". That statement is wrong and politically incorrect on so many levels. Not only is it discriminatory, but it uses the holocaust as part of a punch line. As we all know holocaust humor is precarious territory. Thats classic sarcasm though, using something so wrong and precarious to make a statement. Its is a sharp remark that points out how discriminatory the concept of homosexual registration is.

Unfortunately, it also turned out to be a classic case of "lost" sarcasm. Someone actually accused me of being a terrible human being and thought I was actually some anti-gay evangelical. To give due credit to the person it is hard to distinguish sarcasm, especially in an online text only context. Also now that we know that crazy people like Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin exist, it is completely plausible that people are actually evil and stupid enough to make comments about gay concentration islands.

The bigger issue with the "lost art of sarcasm" is that somewhere down the line in literary, this noble form of rhetoric has lost its true place and effect. With every Tom, Dick and Harry sporting a "sarcasm" shirt. Yeah, I'm guilty of owning one of those "Sarcasm: Just one of my many services" shirt as well. In my defense years ago sarcasm was not fashion, but the abode of the few Colbert Report viewing, Onion reading intellectual. There was a time sarcasm was for the classes, not like free, cheap, crap of the masses. This invasion of sarcasm by the masses has completely diluted the beauty and effect of sarcasm. Most people have lost the ability to recognize, appreciate and most importantly use sarcasm appropriately. The result is that most people are unable to recognize the difference between sarcasm and just plain rhetoric and actually just plain hate speech.

First and foremost hateful derogatory language is not sarcasm. Sarcasm is caustic, scathing, sharp, bitter and can cut through the soul like a hot knife through butter, but sarcasm is not mindless taunting or spiteful speech. In fact merely spewing hatred is actually just plain bullying or hate speech. You would barely call Sarah Palin a master of sarcastic rhetoric, when she trashes the liberals and democrats. Even when she is funny or cracks a joke on them, its not really sarcasm at all, its pure spite. Vitriol is not sarcasm, nor is sarcasm part of any hateful agenda. Sarcasm is merely a rhetorical means to make a point, to show a fallacy in though or argument in a sharper, effective and more caustic manner.

Secondly sarcasm is of the intellectuals, by the intellectuals, for the intellectuals. Its definitely not for stupid, stupid. Not to be brazenly un-PC but it is a scientifically proven fact that retarded people don't get sarcasm. Let me cite how the brain processes sarcasm from "How Stuff Works"

A 2005 study in Neuropsychology concluded that three areas of the brain are responsible for our understanding of sarcasm: the language cortex in the left hemisphere, the frontal lobes and right hemisphere and the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex. When you hear a sarcastic statement, the language cortex understands its literal meaning. Then the frontal lobes and right hemisphere infer its context. Last, the right ventromedial prefontal cortex put the two together and interprets the statement as sarcasm. 
Stupid people have one or more of these parts damaged in some tragic accident, most likely caused by their own stupidity. More truthfully, they were probably born so retarded that these brain functions never kicked into action. So basically all those claims that its the bodies best defense against stupid is basically just as true as Chuck Norris curing cancer with his tears. In simple terms pure nonsense and gibberish. Using sarcasm against stupid is like trying to hunt bears with a fishing pole. Your best bet is that the bear is stupid enough to choke on the hook, but thats not saying much about you choice of weapons. Even Sarah Palin knows that you hunt bears with big bad guns. So the thing is if you intend to hunt stupid bears just lure them with a honeycomb and blow their brains out with a gun - yeah brute force - its the only thing that causes pain to the stupid because they are too stupid to realize that something can causes other forms pain. 

Sarcasm is best enjoyed by intellectuals making fun of stupid people amidst themselves, knowing completely well that stupid people don't have a clue. In fact true sarcasm is best served in the guise of a deliciously sinful chocolate desserts on a silver platter.  Take Stephen Colbert the fake conservative pundit for example. The man is such a brilliant genius that he even has conservative pundits fooled that he is one of them. George W. Bush was so enamored by Colbert's conservative punditry and truthiness that he invited him to speak at the Republican National Convention. An event that made fans squeal with glee at the far reaching effects of his sarcasm. At its best sarcasm is like a ninja in the dark, a sexy suave secret agent who can infiltrate any ranks of stupid to serve delights galore to the upper intellectuals. If skin tone was not an issue I would have loved to infiltrate the ranks of Neo Nazis with my gay branding idea. Right now I am hoping to infiltrate the tea party with my radical ideas that "Homosexuality caused the recession".

Finally a noble art ought to be used for noble causes. Look at the rich heritage of sarcasm proponents - Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mark Twain, Geoffry Chaucer, Groucho Marx, Isaac Asimov and George Bernard Shaw. All great iconic intellectuals. Even if you look at the modern proponents like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey. Think of Jonathan Swiftss 'Modest Proposal' or Voltaire's 'Candide'. When you choose to make sarcasm a lifestyle, you are choosing to follow in the footsteps of some very great people in this world. You simply cannot afford to use it cheaply and freely for the wrong frivolous reasons.

These people made a difference. Sarcasm is a form of rhetoric, that is a form of persuasive argument. When you use sarcasm, you don't just want a few laughs from your peers, you want to make an impact, make a difference. Humor can go a long way in making a point. Take mock organizations like Billionaires for Bush or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster. They use humor to make a point, to try and influence something significant and important. One critiques government policies and the other critiques creationism. Neither organization is anti-something (Bush or religion). Neither organization is about 'stupid people'. They use sharp wit and sarcasm to show fallacies in other schools of thought, to get the rational thinking people banded together to think rationally and responsibly.

If there is one thing that anyone who even remotely considers themselves sarcastic is to pay due homage to the sarcastic greats of yore.

Sarcasm is not hate speech or bullying, but scintillating effective arguments against fallacies
Sarcasm is not about defeating or pandering to stupid people, but about intellectuals and their thoughts
Sarcasm does not cater to nonsensical stupid things (thats what Jackass is for), but its for doing better things.

Let the true sarcastic people unite and restore sarcasm to its true place in the world.