Archive for the 'wise-ass' Category

25
Nov
11

Gender Based Violence

Yes, this is an honest-to-God post about gender based violence. On this blog. What is the world coming to.

So, The WMC is having a 16 days of activism thing -> http://srilanka16days.wordpress.com/ which hopes to inform people about gender based violence and things. I had no idea what gender based violence in Sri Lanka is like, so I googled it. There is some violence against men, but I couldn’t uncover much about that and the whole 16 days thing seems hell-bent on women. Apparently it’s mostly violence against women, usually takes place in domestic settings and is almost evenly distributed among all areas and societies.

This is not surprising. Women get enough shit as it is, what with passive aggressive blogposts that reek of discontent with the female populace by snarky post-adolescents and the whole internet thinking they belong in kitchens. It doesn’t help that the legal system doesn’t offer much solace for many victims, and only a small percentage of cases are actually reported at all. What this means is that well, it’s up to you to do something. *cue motivational speech*

Violence, be it domestic violence, sexual harassment or mental trauma do not go unnoticed, most of the time. Just like an excessive amount of commas in a sentence.

*ba dum chingggg*

Stop treating women like they’re some other species. I keep seeing people who are all “Oh yeah I respect women, totally man.” and then start spewing stereotypes like a confederate soldier. It’s not about respecting women, for Christ’s sake, it’s about respecting your fellow human beings. They are not from Venus, and no matter what you tell yourself, you’re not from Mars. All of us crawled out of the sea together. The female of the species did not accidentally crawl out of the sea and into a prehistoric kitchen, in which they’ve been stuck ever since.

Women, don’t let anyone tell you you’re anything less than the other gender. Even the little “You know no machang, women are like that”. Women are like what? Enlighten me, dear caveman. We’re not living in some 1940’s Disney movie. There’s an infinite amount of things to get over, like parents raising their children to believe women are the fairer sex, people’s primitive instincts to assault anyone weaker than them and inane cultural influences designed to keep men in power. You have to start somewhere, I guess.

29
Oct
11

The System

Check out this video:

Now, stop laughing for a bit. I’m a great believer in freedom of expression. As such, I believe they’re free to do whatever they want. What I’m not a believer of, is stupidity.

If I’ve grasped this situation correctly, there are people in this world who enjoy all the trappings of modern civilization like facebook, youtube, the ability to make terrible looking videos(240p? They still make those?) and being allowed to stand around in the park all day singing toneless songs, who actually want to “break free of the system”.

“I am personally starting to dance at 12am on the 28th of October and will continue until the world is free. dance dance dance.” – YT Comment

What is wrong with you?

All of this is possible because of “The system” you want to get rid of! If other people weren’t out there doing their best to cheat someone else out of their money, you wouldn’t be able to go to the park for you little hippy séance because the park would be a tar pit thanks to there being no municipal council/evil system cleaning it. Our lifestyles are possible because of this “system”. It’s not the system’s fault there are Enrons and economic crises, it’s stupid people.

Look, telling people not to spend any money for a day is impossible. Even if all the social media buzz you’re creating is powered by unicorns and rainbows, by simply existing, you’re spending money. Taxes, water, electricity, things you eat and even the very clothes you’re wearing contribute to keeping the world going.

You’d better get used to running around the jungle in animal hides and inter-species breeding if you want to get rid of this materialistic world we live in. That screen you’re reading this on? System. The food inside you? System. Heck, those crappy videos of your friends making like a leper colony in the park? Possible thanks to the system. I don’t see why people can’t play/sing/dance/create unless they metaphorically unplug themselves from the matrix. It’s not like it’s any easier being fun when you step out of civilization. Do you know what medieval children used to play with? Dirt. Now, the wonders of the world will let you play with dirt and whatever else technology makes accessible. Like giant fighting robots.

I just don’t get how people can use Windows Movie Maker(you can’t mistake those text animations) to make a video about not using Windows Movie Maker.

Locally, there’s Occupy Colombo. I don’t know what they’re trying to do either. Protesting injustice in government by not doing anything. I think they got lost somewhere between the philosophies behind Gandhi’s satyagraha’s and sleeping through the alarm in the morning and missing work.

It’s just… So much wasted energy. Why not do something useful? Protest by showing people how it’s done, not by depriving someone of their daily sales target and getting him fired, forcing his wife and children onto the streets thanks to your self-righteous faux-protest. Why do you not realize the simple fact that your life is made possible by “the system”. It’s not evil, it just works. For some people. It’s a system that depends on people like you to go out there and help those who don’t make it. Do you have a better one?

16
Oct
11

Teenyboppers

Recently there’s been a spate of old codgers crawling  out of the woodwork of kottu, to nag about “teenyboppers”. Teenyboppers are a strange phenomenon. They’re the little humans who’ve just gone through a decade of wishing with all their fist clenched might to grow up faster, and are now on the cusp of actually going through with it. They are yet to figure out that once you do cross that line, all you ever want to do is stop growing older.

Generally, the term is applied to the more obnoxious bunch from that age group. The ones who write about rebellion on their iPads. I’m sorry, but you can’t moan about how much your life sucks if your biggest problem is that there aren’t any starbucks outlets here.

Every generation has teenagers. We all were teenagers. We all did things all the older people looked at and gossiped about. If they had blogs back then, they’d make mediocre blog-posts about it too. Complaining about it is the same as your parents complaining about you doing something they didn’t like. Playing the music too loud, going out with someone, skipping class. Whatever.

Being all high and mighty about it is just as pretentious as those kids who wear Che t-shirts they bought at Odel. “We were such good kids, with such good taste in music.” Bull-n’syncing-shit. None of us can claim to have been the picture of obedience, sitting at home like a nice little sacrificial virgin listening to our Cliff Richard cassettes.

We listened to obnoxious music. Every generation has music the next thinks is obnoxious; and if you think your taste in music was “better” than everyone else’s back then, well congratulations bub, you were one of these “rebellious teenyboppers” you claim to detest. You were just mediocre enough to want to differentiate yourself by listening to crappy progressive metal. What all you closet conservative grandmas can’t seem to understand is that this happens to every generation. You’re just playing your part by being the set of grownups who always nag the kids about things from what they’re wearing to how they make cereal.

Let them go to jazz sunday, let em wear hair that looks like dead cats. Heck, doesn’t it make sense to keep them all at jazz while we go do stuff that’s not eyeball gouging-ly boring without all these damn preteens around, messing up our mojo?

 

P.S – And yes, I’m allowed to act all grown-up now that I just turned 22 last Friday.

12
Oct
11

Weddings in Sri Lanka

I just got back from a trip to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, home to many leftovers from ancient civilizations, sacred temples and mediocre chinese food. This has nothing to do with this post, but I just thought I’d get it out there. Expect a post about it on Sinhalayatravels, soon. It’s still in the atelier(*cough*cough*), but should be done soonish.

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Weddings in Sri Lanka are insane. Actually, weddings anywhere are pretty insane. I was recently asked by a friend to come take some candid pics at his brother’s wedding (I’m not too sure why, since he’d just end up with a bunch of macro shots of the wedding car’s brand badge and some pictures of the sunset), and went over to take a look. This was a standard catholic wedding, in a church. By that I mean a bunch of people dressed in clothes more suited to the inside of the ice truck killer’s chariot than a church that turns into a convection oven in the daytime.

I don’t know why people do this to themselves. And they looked at me funny when I turned up in a shirt and slacks. Hey, be thankful I was wearing a shirt. There are between two and three million things that can be improved about weddings. A few:

First up, we have the whole wedding. Why do we have weddings, again? Specifically christian weddings with a priest and hours of standing around in a church. I don’t think God really cares if we hold a gigantic ceremony to get married. “Dear lord, here we are. We’re getting married.” is, essentially, the message. He will not smite your marriage and make your offspring have six eyes, alcohol addiction and a tail if you don’t detain people in a sauna for an hour. Neither will He benevolently smile upon your union and make sure your path is paved with rainbows, unicorns and floor tiles of angel’s feathers just because you rented out St. Peter’s Basilica for your special day.

And a generic sermon, of course. One can’t forget the sermon. A wedding connoisseur could probably predict every turn of topic the sermon will take, since it’s usually the same “Let us hope this couple stays together like this forever and ever and may they always remember that it takes [generic good qualities] to make a marriage work. Illness, divorce rates, society changing etc.”. The only thing missing is a sacrificial goat.

Just get a priest to do the paperwork or something. It could be condensed to be seated, walk down aisle, recite recite, sign sign, witness witness, ring ring, booyah. Stomped out in ten minutes. Then throw a limbo party. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine such perfection. Have it at the park, have it at the beach, have it on top of a mountain. Wherever. Dress for the occasion. You don’t want the Royal Wedding. Neither do the people attending. You don’t have to invite all fifty thousand relatives from all corners of the globe, because, well, it’s your wedding. You decide who you want to witness it, and I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be forced to memorize a bunch of names I’m not likely to use again for decades. At least for the simple fact that it takes less effort to plan the seating arrangements that way. You know nothing ensures a healthy marriage better than a seating plan that doesn’t eat up the pre-wedding preparations. Epic seating plans are the tops.

In Sri Lanka, you go to church for the wedding, sweat it out through the ceremony, go over to a hotel for the reception(thankfully air conditioned) and then have  a “homecoming” which usually happens a few days later, after the couple get back from their honeymoon. Would you want your family and friends congratulating you on a honeymoon well done? Imagine someone effectively patting you on the back and saying “Atta boy Somapala, hope you put your back into it!” when they shake your hand.

It’s hard to break tradition, and kids usually want to make their parents happy. So we have ridiculously large weddings which cost a lot more than they should. Some people actually take out loans for a wedding! It’s the grown up equivalent of borrowing money off your parents to ask a girl out, except the bank doesn’t forget about it after a while. We must. see. reason. This cannot continue.

Please, please make your weddings more pleasant for people attending.

18
Sep
11

The Private Bus: A Layman’s Guide

I’ve been taking the bus for a long time now. Over the years, you tend to pick up little things about bus etiquette and how not to get wet when it rains and you’re hanging off the foot-board. I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I’ve acquired.

Hailing a bus – Sri Lankan private buses come in many varieties. There are buses which seem to stop at every bus stop there is, and everywhere in between, and then there are buses which like to pretend all passengers can magically teleport themselves inside the bus if it passes near them. You have to aim for the middle-ground buses. These can be fairly easy to flag down, but if you’re by yourself,be prepared for a brisk sprint.

Entering a bus – Now, what is important is how fast that you are moving. If you and the bus are standing still, you sho- oh come on, we both know that’s never going to happen. So, assuming you’re jogging along the bus, try to equalize your velocities. Your chances of looking ridiculous are directly proportional to your relative velocity. And, well, your ability to leap gracefully. You need to judge the point when the bus is moving slowest. This will take a few tries. When you sense it, jump on. Choice of door depends on personal preference. Some prefer the front, some prefer… Nevermind.

Moving on,

Navigating the insides of a bus – Since you’re on a bus, I’m going to go and assume you’re given to flights of lunacy. We can’t have those on the bus. Only the conductor is allowed to do so. You get in, sit down, and shut up. If you don’t carry exact change, have a strange haircut or look at the conductor funny, be prepared to feel an effect equivalent to six mother-in-laws complaining about how you could never live up to their husbands and how you’re too impotent to know how to count change. Logic, logic cannot survive in such harsh climates.

Exiting a bus – This is an extremely important aspect of any bus journey. Many are the technical aspects of the perfect exit, one that takes a lifetime to refine, which, if you’re like most people and do not posses masochistic tendencies, you’ll want to avoid. But, you do wish to live long enough to outgrow the bus, so read carefully. If you are a) pregnant, b) have a heart condition or similar, c) are shorter than Himal, or d) sane, avoid exiting the bus while it is moving. Real life is not Speed. If you must, then head towards the exit closest to you. Avoid the front exit if you wish to disembark while the craft is turning, as you will have a quick meeting with the front wheel, and then drop in for a surprise visit to the deity or gatekeeper to paradise of your choice. If you lean that way. Otherwise you have the far less glamorous option of The End. Once you’ve positioned yourself on the bottom of the footboard, again, try to sense when the bus is at its slowest. Leap. Like a paratrooper, you must be prepared to land running, on your feet, soldier! Tripping up will cost you, at the least, your dignity.

If you’ve managed to complete all the above without bodily harm, congratulations. Give yourself a pat on the back. Then punch yourself in the face. Preparation for the next 154 you have to take.

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Additionally, the disparity between men and women on a bus is just odd. How often do you see women getting onto a moving bus, or exiting one? What gives, womenfolk? Ask your menfolk how to use the commenting system if you need assistance. Recipes are not welcome.

05
Mar
11

The Muslim Dude Thing

You live in Sri Lanka don’t you? No? Well then, greetings to you, foreign devil. Let me tell you a story. A tragic story of a young man who was left to fend for himself for a month. This gent was just told that he would be left to his own devices for yet another month or so. This news has driven that resourceful yet lazy being to near insanity and, among other things, occasionally referring to himself in the third person.

Yeah, it’s a short story. Now for the rest of the Sri Lanka related post.

Apart from my imminent death, to be caused by liberal application of ingredients to my “cooking”, something else I’ve been meaning to jot down is the impression that most Muslim males in Colombo are sleazy. I don’t have much first hand experience of this, but a lot of people I know seem to think Muslims are a bunch of ravenous sex-starved predators just waiting to pounce on the next bit of metaphorical steak that comes their way.

Now I know at least one of you fits the description of a Muslim male, and I’m okay with the surely slight chance that you’re going to get offended. What with the whole of the western world seeing you through suicide-vest tinted glasses, a gaggle of gossipy twenty-somethings are the least of our worries right now. As they say, don’t shoot the messenger. Or the blogger.

In a survey conducted recently which involved me trying to recall the number of people who supported this theory, it was found that even a lot of Muslim females think that out of the males who approach them, the ones who happen to be Muslim are usually ranked higher in the great big sleaze-o-meter in the sky. Other findings included the surprise that some of the Muslim females I know get hit on.

Why is this? I simply find it hard to fathom that anyone would get past the facade of of a vicious velociraptor with a taste for Sri Lankan Male and actually make advances at them. Perhaps less significantly, where is this impression of Muslim men being sleazy coming from? Is there any truth to it? How can one quantify such a thing? What relation does your religion have to do with how sleazy you are? Am I going to get flamed for this post? Is Halik really all that sleazy?

All these questions and more, might be answered in the comments section below. I hope.

29
Oct
10

A “Feeling-ey” Post

You know what I miss? The “good old days” of a few months ago. When I didn’t know who half most people posting on kottu were, and trolls were funny. I yearn for the days of laughing at the Whackster’s emo outbursts and Saint Fallen’s Miley Cyrus posts. Then there were the occasional weirdos that showed up and disappeared in a few weeks. Sometimes I thought that if sexual frustration could be harnessed, some of the blogs that showed up could power the country for a good six months. And then there was Papareboy.

Nowadays I don’t even get to read most blogs. I just never get around to it. Instead I spend my time on the internet doing things like downloading Katy Perry albums. I freely admit this because my manliness is as boundless as Chavie’s enthusiasm to post positive comments everywhere. I trust it further than I can kick a cat, which is quite far. Last time I tried I got an email from Gliese 581 cursing me to hell for introducing parasites to their pristine planet.

In other news, I am going to install a Linux distro on my laptop and see if I can use it as my main OS. I’ll have windows on for games of course, but that’s quite rare on the laptop so I don’t think I’ll need it much.