Monday, January 31, 2011

Religious Security Can Induce Laughter...!

Karma. A powerful and practical word that defines the belief of hundreds of millions of people around the world. Not just Hindus, I must add. The fact that your actions are sort of a boomerang, that eventually return to you in the same or another form is pragmatic and makes sense.
If Hindus thoroughly believe that, then how come Jim Carey making a sleazy joke on Lord Ganesha become so offensive all of a sudden? Apparently on a Jan 8 episode of Saturday Night Live, Mr. Carey did a little skit engaging Lord Ganesh in a sex act. Insensitive? Maybe. Funny? Perhaps.
Isn't that what comedians do? They are supposed to test boundaries to make their audience laugh. Mr. Rajan Zed, a Hindu Leader in Nevada apparently didn't laugh at all. Infact, he was irate at the portrayal of Lord Ganesh in such a "distasteful" skit. He, along with other Christian and Jewish leaders are now demanding an apology from the producers of SNL as well as Jim Carey.
Come on, folks. This high sensitivity to crude humor has been highlighted before. Protests on jokes on Mohammad have become all too familiar in parodies and adult cartoon shows and have left us nowhere, except the people who just sit back, take it easy and enjoy the show. Aren't we secure enough in our own religion to not feel insulted every time someone makes a joke about it? Mr. Zed should realize that demanding an apology is actually not Hindu like at all. As Hindus, we are taught to be at peace. We are not supposed to get worked up and angry on petty issues such as these. We should realize that what we believe is very personal and expecting everyone to respect it is a waste of time. Just because Lord Ganesh is sacred to us in our homes, we should not expect everyone in the world to be respective of that.
Consider it a sacrifice in the name of entertainment. There are people who aren't on tv who make jokes about various facets of the Hindu religion. They do it behind our backs, and grow in ignorance and groups. At least Mr. Carey did it on a high profile show and during prime time. He took a chance and let's just give him a break. I didn't watch the whole thing, but I bet it's really funny, if you take your insecurities out of it.
There are enough things wrong in the world that require our energy and action, let's not get worked up about something so trivial. Instead of coming together on a petty issue like this, maybe these leaders can come together for a greater cause, that can possibly have more meaningful consequences. How about education, nutrition, rural development? Hmmm.
Being one myself, I don't think most Hindus would lose sleep over what or how a comedian decides to portray a deity in an absurd skit.
Shall I prescribe Peace&Love?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Birds of a feather, flock (or slam) together...

Oh lawdy.
Another strike! How IS America managing to mess up so much lately? Or getting caught after messing up, rather.
So this new development on those 200 starlings in South Dakota showering from the sky is quiet 'bird's' eye-opening. Ha. The US Department of Agriculture decided that birds are less important than let's say, cattle, who happen to provide us with milk, cheese, and the hamburger goodness. Of course, lots of $$ as well! So, in this time of 'crisis', they acted appropriately..As "USDA wildlife biologist Ricky Woods explained that a large group of starlings was causing problems in a north Nebraska cattle feedlot, eating the feed and leaving waste on both the feed and equipment. So the USDA put out DRC 1339 poison for the birds.
"Lethal means are always a last resort," said Woods. "In this situation it's what we had to do."..<-- Ya right!
So if the birds are just following nature's orders to you know eat and excrete, I guess you have to give them poison.
Wow. It's also pretty amusing that 'wildlife experts' stated that the 5000 birds died earlier were 'startled' by NYE fireworks and running into buildings. Thank you scholars for the hearty laugh.
Not that I'm a bird lover or bird watcher or a member of PETA or anything. But I guess this is another screaming example of how the 'government' (I don't just mean American in this case, however, due to the stupidity of the incident, it is exclusive here) constantly manipulates our surroundings to advance ahead how they feel necessary. I mean, did they take an opinion from the local population to see how they would feel if they killed 200 birds who harmlessly ate cattlefeed? How am I supposed to believe that birds can take away food from cows? I think that cattle should learn to share. It's only fair!
I guess this incident is a bigger warning for what's actually been kept hidden from the public in general. They only admitted to poisoning birds that dropped down from the sky, but not all wrongdoings have such loud, obvious consequences. Am I being cynical about the government? Sure.
The sad thing is that there is nothing anyone can do about these secret projects until they unveil. Do I have a distrust in secretive authority? Yes. I do believe that the government should have some covert operations to ensure the safety of its citizens and prevent mass paranoia, but when such trivial happenings occur, it does raise some flags on what the government is actually capable and doing behind closed doors. Do those 'experts' really believe that 5000 birds can randomly die from shock of firewords and buildings? I smell some bull****.
Keep an open eye and ask lots of questions. That's all you can do to play your part. Oh, look up to God and out for any dead birds coming your way though.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Want to grade my parents? Check my report card!

I came across an interesting article on the 'Oriental' style of parenting that I thought deserved some discussion. The full article can be read by copying and pasting the link below (I tried hyperlinking, but it didnt work):

The article is pretty long, but I cited it so that it can be confirmed that what I'm inferring from it is in fact true. The author, Mrs. Amy Chua, proudly states the things that her daughters are not allowed to do, and how she is ensures that her children will be successful when they grow up. She goes on to suggest that her techniques and discussions are Chinese in that they are mostly Asian, and that when she compares her parenting style to her Western counterparts, she just means parenting that is more 'loose' than hers.
I have a lot of personal issues with Mrs. Chua's extreme parenting techniques, but aside from just that, her defense on why her approach is better is baffling to say the least.
To suggest that the only way to ensure success in children is to be extremely strict, insulting, belittleing, blackmailing, threatening, and superficial is outrageous. She suggests, or claims rather, that academic success is the only way to judge good parenting. So clearly, any student that performs horribly in school has horrible parents.
She further states that 'Western' parents care too much about their child's self-esteem and self-worth, and not enough about their success. How can one acheive the latter without the former two? Aren't those necessary ingredients to attain confidence and motivation to perform better?
I'm not sure if this is how all Chinese parents think, but if it is, then I can safely state that their kids lead very very sad and monotonous lives. If individuality and uniqueness is not promoted at home, how is the child supposed to realize their strengths, weaknesses, true passions, interests, etc? Are they all supposed to be robotic in nature and have one single goal of being number one in academics? Let's get real, there can only be one number one. Durrr.
I don't agree with a lot of the Western philosophy on life. I don't agree on giving up when it's too hard, or having a fragile psyche that hurts my character everytime I hear something negative about myself, but I definitely don't think that doing the exact opposite is the most effective way of parenting. Being insulted and called "garbage" just because I can't solve a math problem under 30 milliseconds is ridiculous. I think most 'Westerners' would agree with that statement.
I have excelled and gotten straight A's all throughout my academic career, but that was not due to good or bad parenting, but due to personal motivation, drive, and competence. Success is not simply measured by good grades, but by excelling in your passion. I consider myself pretty Asian in my beliefs, but if being Asian means being a cookie cutter parent with cookie cutter kids, I guess I'm as occidental as it gets!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pardon my gunshots, I'm just insane!

The recent shooting tragedy on Saturday, Jan 8, in Tucson AZ is yet another reminder that something is gravely wrong in America. Deaths of innocent victims saddens everyone, no matter what one's political affiliations or opinions are. There is no one person or one comment that triggers someone to act this way. Yet the political scene finds it comforting to constantly play the blame game through vitriol and try to collect some "points" from any tragedy that occurs.
This lunatic, Jared Lee Loughner, decides to bust out his Glock 9 mm gun and go to town, kills 6 people and injures another 8. Who is to blame for this incident? Umm, hello! No one else but the psychopath himself. And of course the lenient gun laws in the country that allow any person with no federal record to own a weapon. I mean, wtf! I agree that everyone who has a gun isn't going to go on a shooting rampage but maybe try to tighten the laws a tad might be of some catharsis to the public.
No one can get into the head of someone this extreme and figure out what their frame of mind is, but there has to be a reason for all these crazy shooting rants on the general public happening in a developed country like the US? Yeah yeah, it happens in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan but those countries are battlegrounds of war, and there are reasons to point to for such happenings there.
What is America's reason for these incidents? Mental Illness. What a joke. Is the government exposing us to some weird chemicals that causes normal people to all of a sudden experience a chemical imbalance in their brains and go insane? I'm sorry, but this "insanity" plea is a very sorry excuse for such radical behavior. The public needs to stop calling mass murderers mentally ill and realize that they are no more crazy as the average person. They are just sick in the unconventional sense. Serial killers and serial rapists are just as "mentally ill" as Loughner is. We need to realize that there are just some 'bad' people in the world who find pleasure in giving others pain. It's dark and gothic, but sadly true.
It's irritating to see these murderers being called "ill" when they are perfectly sane in everything else they do except killing people. These people don't need medicines or drugs to cure them, but life to capital punishment to make others realize that it is not okay to live in a civilized society and decide to "go crazy" for one day. Perhaps moving to a jungle is a good option? No one to fight there but wild animals. That'll make it easier to get all the "mental illness" out of them, I bet.
I hope this guy gets what he deserves, because too many times evil people go unpunished on the sorry excuse of "insanity".
RIP the victims of this horrible tragedy and I hope Americans learn that excusing evil doers as insane is the worst thing they can do for society at large.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wedding. Reality. Realizations.

I have been MIA for a while now. But considering all the craziness and insanity that involves in getting married, I think it is fair to say that I was ridiculously busy.
Big fat Indian wedding. This phrase is no overstatement. Considering that my own wedding was the first and only one I have attended so far (wow), I can say that this experience is definitely one of a kind. Aside from all the pressures of looking, behaving and engaging like the perfect Indian bride, there is a lot of unsaid aura in the air around this time.
Since most of my close cousins and friends came from overseas, their point of view was different than the other traditional guests and thankfully attending to my close ones took most of my time around the actual wedding.
However, a few months and weeks leading up to the wedding, there is a requirement to be in complete Indian mode and in dedication to the gala of functions that are about to happen in celebrations.
I had a "love" marriage to a guy I have known my whole life, whose family has considered me their own since god knows how long, but even then, I can say I went through a pretty traditional experience.
Aside from all the joy and great cloud nine emotions, there is another set of experiences that changes you as a person after going through this intense wedding fiasco. I think it can be safely said that the way weddings work in our society, and what is expected out of the families of the groom and the bride, that Indian weddings make you materialistic in process.
Let me explain. I would not consider myself a greedy or manipulative person. I am pretty simple minded and a hopeless romantic when it comes to matters of the heart. The great thing is that it's the heart at work until all the formal processions begin. What I found amazing was that from being a person that knew nothing about weddings or the formalities surrounding the same, I found myself getting sucked into all the politics and material "stuff". Superficial matters that will subside shortly once everything is over, but its a blackhole nonetheless.
It took some self analysis for me to realize what was going on, and after stepping away I realized that each of these wedding traditions had, at one point, a significance to the overall scheme of things. It mattered why certain people got certain gifts, or why the bride received X grams of gold, etc, etc. However, in this day and age, most of these practices have lost their true value due to the renewed sense of culture in our society.
Perhaps its time we revised these traditions to better suit what we want out of our lives instead of just our wedding. And I got to do some of that at my wedding. I didn't re-establish customs or omit any important ceremonies, but I did get to pick and choose what I wanted associated to our wedding.
It's been six weeks now, and I am happier than ever. I can't remember the controversies or the disagreements, but I remember having the perfect wedding I could have asked for. I guess having a fairy tale wedding is possible, as long as you're ready to walk away from all the useless reality.