Entries Tagged 'rant' ↓

Fuck Off Out of My Country

Yesterday: Well, Bush, McCain, Obama: it’s all the same to me. US ground troops landed a helicopter on Pakistani soil, got out, shot a bunch of villagers “indiscriminately” says Dawn, got back into their helicopter and fucked off. (Edit: yesterday it said “indiscriminately” and today I can’t find the source in Dawn.)

The bit in scare quotes are the bit I’m scared of. And the bit that’s disputed. Along with ground troops actually coming in. I googled the story and most US sources or international media are reporting it as if it was definitely Al-Qaeda that was hit. What we have is that 20 people died, most of them women and children. Someone got back from one of the agencies recently, which is what those parts of the northwest are called, like Waziristan. He was corroborating other stories. That the local “Taliban” are just thugs for hire and always have been. And that the locals, from the community, are now putting together militias of their own to fight the thugs and keep them off their land.

Today: The US is claiming it was soldiers that died and there was no ground attack. And it was all coordinated with the Pakistanis. Look here. And at the longer AP report.

Obama, McCain, Bush. They’d all go looking for bin Laden in Pakistan, unilaterally, without worrying about fucking with Pakistani sovereignty or killing innocent Pakistanis just living their lives between one set of bullies and another.

Talk about Black Flag Days. When Zardari is elected president tomorrow, vile stain of a man that he is, find me a ray of fucking sunshine then.

Not Girl Enough

A friend of mine just got fired from her job because she didn’t dress feminine enough. This was in Lahore. Because that’s what’s important in a teaching job – girlie-ness.

Some days the world is just disgusting. Which leads me to my next post…

Yoni Ki Baat – Global Comment

I wrote a sort of review of Yoni Ki Baat, the South Asian rendition of the Vagina Monologues for Global Comment. This is my shameless promotion, let me show you it.

Grad School Sucks All Badness

Because I just enjoy everything way too much and I’m too damn smart, man!

Continue reading →

حضرات

ہم نے محمد علی جناح کے نام کے آگے “رحمت اللہ علیہ” لگا کر اپنے ساتھ بہت بڑی زیادتی کی ہےـ

ایک زمانہ تھا ـــ یا شاید میرا من کرتا ہے کہ ایک زمانہ ہوتا ـــ جب انسان انسان کے سائز کا تھاـ نہ وہ کسی کا نوکر، غلام، کمی کمین تھا اور نہ کسی کا آقاـ یقینا جب حضرت آدم اور حضرت حوّا آئے تھے، انکو انکے بچے علیہ السلام علیہ السلام کہہ کر نہیں پکارتے ہونگےـ آخر اُنکا کیا کمال تھا؟ انسان ہونا ہی تھا نا؟ حضرت آدم کے اپنے ذاتی تو کوئی کرشمے نہیں تھےـ بلکہ اگر دیکھا جائے تو ہمیں انکا یہ معلوم ہے کہہ ابلیس نے انکے آگے سجدہ کرنے سے انکار کِیا تھا ـــ جس میں انکا اپنا کوئی کمال نہیں تھا کیونکہ سارا کمال خدا کی دین میں تھاـــ اور پھر یہ کہہ انہوں نے اللہ کا فرمان بھلایا یعنی غلطی کی اور اللہ کے حضور سے محروم ہو گئےـ

تو میرے حساب میں شروع سے انسان کی بڑائی اس میں ہے کہ وہ انسان ہےـ

لیکن انسان کو کہانیوں کا شوق ہےـ اور اسکی جستجو ہمیشہ سا یہ رہی ہے کہ جس عہدہ پر وہ ایک زمانے میں تھا ـــ کہ خدا کہ حضور میں اسکا وجود تھا ـــ وہ کسی طرح وہاں واپس پہنچ جائےـ یہی وجہ ہے کہ جب عام فرمے سے ہٹ کر کوئی بندہ یا بندی نظر آ جائے، ہم اسکے آگے بچھ جاتے ہیں ـ

جناح کے ساتھ بھی یہی ہوا ہےـ اقبال کے ساتھ بھی ـ کسی حد تک فیض کے ساتھ بھی ـ اور جب ہمارے بچے فیض کو پڑھنا شروع کریں گے، تو وہ مکمل طور پر حضرت فیض احمد فیض رحمت اللہ علیہ ہو چکے ہونگےـ

ہم سے عام انسان برداشت نہیں ہوتےـ یا عام انسان کو چھوڑ دو، خاص انسانوں میں ہم خامیاں برداشت نہیں کرتےـ اگر ٘محمد علی جناح قائدِ اعظم ہے تو ہم نہیں سن سکتے کہ قائدِ اعظم خنزیر کا گوشت کھاتے تھے یا شراب پیتے تھےـ اس لیے نہیں کیونکہ ان باتوں کا انکے کام، انکی محنت ، انکے شعور سے کوئی واسطہ نہیں ـــ حالانکہ قطعا کوئی واسطہ نہیں ہے!ـــ مگر اس لیے کہ ہم نے اپنے خیال کے مطابق ایک الگ سی شے بنا دی ہے جس کا نام بھی قائدِاعظم ہے اور اسکو ہمارے معیار پر پورا اترنا ہوگاـ اور اگر نہیں اترا تو ہم اسے بھی اپنے ملک، زندگی، وجود کی داستان سے خارج کر دیں گے اور بے چارے جناح کو بھی ـــ جو پاکستان بناتے بناتے مر گیا اور شاید پورک کھایا کرتا تھاـ

اسی لیے ہم افتخار ٘٘محمد چودھری پر یا جان دیتے ہیں یا اسکو دھتکارتے ہیں ـ کیونکہ یا وہ انسان کے روپ میں بذاتِ خود انصاف ہے یا وہ او نمبر کا چور اچکا ہے جس نے دنیا کی آنکھوں میں دھول جھونک کہ اپنے آپ کو ہیرو بنا دیا ہےـ

میانہ روی ہم سے بہت دور ہےـ ہمیں ابھی بھی رسول اللہ کی تلاش ہےـ کہ ہمیں ہم ہی سے بچا لیں ـ سیدھا راستہ دکھا دیں ـ انصاف سکھا دیں، اسلام سکھا دیں ـ

لیکن رسول اللہ نے نہیں آناـ امام مہدی میں بھی ٹائم ہےـ اس دوران میں اگر ہم حضرتوں کی توقع چھوڑ دیں اور انسانوں سے کام لیں تو کیا پری بات ہو؟

Turkey Bans WordPress!

Turkey has banned the domain WordPress.com on the instigation of, believe it or not, one man and his lawyers. The whole story is at the link, or you can find it in parts on Ali Eteraz, who will probably get a lot more traffic than me (meaning that his discussion will probably get more interesting – one of the major players has already commented on the entry).

On 26 February, 2006, Pakistan banned Blogspot because of the Danish cartoon controversy. Both are instigated by religious conflicts. I don’t really know what the Turkish conflict is, but the man who got it banned, Adnan Oktar aka Harun Yahya is accusing his primary rival of publishing slander about him on several websites, some of which are on the WordPress domain.

More information can be found here. (Thank you, Teeth!)

When the Pakistani block happened, some nice folks made banners to put on their blogs. So I decided to return the favour. I’ve made a few, feel free to download and use them. Please don’t link to my image because frankly my bandwidth and whatnot can’t handle it. Take the banner and do what you like with it. If anyone wants to code it so that it can fit in a template, please please do so and then give me the code. I don’t have the chops for it.

blockpng.png blockturk.png blockus.png

blockusmoz.png blockpaki.png

Get Out of My Garden

I ran into Muslim Hedonist via Natalia Antonova’s blog and read the heading “Why Don’t You Just Leave?” I was struck by this because I recently had the deep desire in my gut to hurl this at a foreigner.

I’ve been in Islamabad for nearly a month now, and I’m really enjoying being home. I taught the semester, then I taught Summer, with narry a break in the middle (in which I went to India, though) and just lazing about before the Fall semester is great. So I drive around Islamabad occasionally, visiting a plethora (well, 2) of friends who’ve returned to Pakistan from foreign lands and we all muck about.

The only problematic thing about doing this is the conditions of the roads. There’s massive expansion going on and all single carriage arteries are being made dual carriage, and things are dug up and they’re building an underpass practically right outside my house. So it’s annoying, veering around piles of dirt and whatnot, avoiding recently dug ditches full of monsoon water. By the time you get to your destination, you’re generally in need of some immediate distraction or a stiff drink.

Which is why, when one is driving behind a car with a red liscence plate (used by diplomats) or a blue one (indicating UN people), one wants to get out and go medieval on their ass. Their cars are usually large, especially the UN. This is in itself only a minor annoyance (she says, ducking behind her father’s SUV). What is troubling is that these foreigner cars seem to feel that they can straddle the centre line, flash you from behind if you’re in the fast lane, regardless of whether you’re about to turn form that lane and most annoyingly stand bang in the middle of a street (my street) chatting, asking directions, looking about without worrying that there’s a car (me!) right bloody behind them that would like to get past please and not watch you dick about, wondering how the fuck you ended up in this Godforsaken country!

Ahem.

Being stuck thus in my own street, not 100 feet away from my house, running on CNG and 1000 kilometers past when I should have changed the oil, you can imagine that I had just managed to get up the kind of speed and pick I like from my car when this asshead presented himself to my attention. And I swear to you: I wasn’t PMSing, I didn’t have a migraine, I had not recently fought with my anybody. But I had the deep deep guttural desire to get out of the car, knock on the window and say, “Listen, buddy, if you can’t figure out how to drive properly in this country or don’t care to do so just because you find the laws are lax here, if you’re lost, or are feeling lordy and first worldy, or are scared shitless of, say, me coming up to you in your car even though I’m always flashing a bit of cleavage and carry no bamboo sticks, why don’t you go back home?? Learn how we drive here or bloody well leave!”

Instead I honked like a bitch and the fucker moved. And this was fine.

But it led me to the analysis portion of our blog post: In the US, in liberalism school, we learned that asking someone to get out of our country (the US) was bad. It was a bad thing to do because you were being racist in faintly coded or totally uncoded terms. You were saying, “If you can’t do like the Romans, if you can’t assimilate, if you insist on being who you are and just doing that here, then you best bugger off.” And that’s bad.

Well, it is. I’m not pretending otherwise. I’m just wondering if, as intuition would have it, the rules are different when your residential streets are suddenly populated by diplomats and American marines who need barbed wire around their houses (which, for our American viewers, are already surrounded by high boundary walls, as Pakistani building convention has it) and guards outside post No-Parking signs are shooing away anyone who, as a friend did recently, might be local and asking for directions.

To an extent, I think they are. The anger is a little more righteous (though perhaps mine wasn’t, which in the incident above was completely mental) because circumstances have led to an urbane invasion of your home town, because it’s a capitol city and because it’s in Pakistan, and you’d like to go about your business unmolested by red license plates.

But I do wonder if it occurs to Pakistanis what we’re saying sometimes. Racial (and ethnic and gender and sexuality) slurs come easy to us. People are chinmin (“chinks” I suppose) and kaala (“blackies?” that’s what Brits [“Brits!”] used to call South Asians way back when, but it means black people); a man’s female love/lust interest is a bachchi (child of female gender); a gay man is gaandu (sodomist): and we bandy these words about easily.

I’m not one for self-censorship in the name of political correctness. At some point, any of these terms is relevant and useful, at the very least as humour among friends, one of whom might be a gaandu or a kaala.

But being as homogeneous as we are in terms of general looks and, particularly, religion, it might make it all the more stark. Difference is only tolerated when it can be diminished and reduced to humour, and shoved back into someone’s private life, from where it foolishly peered out. I used to teach middle school and one my students was half Japanese and half Pakistani. He was a complete terror most days, but it was easy to upend his bravado and 13-year-old equilibrium by making comments about his Japanese side – particularly by calling him Japanese, ironically, and saying he’s not Pakistani. Many trips to the principal that one caused.

I don’t have a conclusion. It’s just something I’ve been mulling over since I had the strong urge to grab a foreigner by the scruff of the neck and toss him out the front door of my country for driving arrogantly. We ‘re not really all the same, but we seem to have an even stronger desire for homogeneity than the empire of McDonald’s and the doctrine of multiculturalism.

PS. Check out this discussion of racist and sexist jokes. I wrote my post and then found this, oddly enough. Good stuff.

PPS. The title of this post is a line from a tori Amos song called “Datura”.

Tripe Alert

Check out this piece of genius rumour-mongering on the part of the Saudi populace – or whoever runs stuff over there. The full story can be found here.

It makes me ashamed. To be what, I’m not sure. But just a general crimson hue is creeping over me at the notion that there are scads of Muslims out there thinking a) melons can get AIDS, b) melons can pass AIDS on to people and c) this is how the State of Israel, in its infinite Muslim-hating campaign of religiocide, is going to kill us quietly in our beds.

Go here if you doubt the Jewy agenda of Ynet. Go down past the strange scrolling furniture ad.

What assheads.

Luddite, where art thou?

Now I know I created this forum for intellectual purposes. (ha! “forum!”) But I can’t help it. Sometimes you have to bitch about the stupidities of modern life.

You see, I am victim of multiple personality disorder. I have a gadget fiend fighting a Luddite inside me. The gadget fiend has acquired an iBook G4 (Jan 05), an iPod (Sep 05) and extremely grudgingly, a mobile phone (I don’t know, some horrendous time in 05 when I returned). The Luddite hates, I mean loathes mobile phones because she believes, deep down in her bones, that if people were meant to be in constant contact, God would have fitted us with antennae. She has no television in her house and doesn’t miss it much. But she watches, incessantly, obsessively, downloaded television shows such as House MD and the Gilmore Girls, and owns every episode of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ever.

You see my problem.

And you see the anxiety, the sheer torture I experience, because of the fact that I have no real internet connection at my Lahore home. That is to say, the nifty V bloody PTCL blast its mother Wireless telephone we acquired for the purpose of having internet in our house will not connect to my computer because my computer is a mac. So I have to ciphon it off of Mariam’s, which is lovely while she’s there, but not feasible when she’s not. And as a result, you can see the torture I am put through at the idea that I have to buy another blasted mobile phone so that I can connect to the damn internet with it, using it as a modem.

Those Nokias you can browse with are sooo pretty. I’ve been looking at the E61 and I swear, if it were in my hand, I’d salivate all over it and short it out.

Don’t talk to me about DSL and Cable. We don’t get those in our neighbourhood. We live in a broadband shadow right next to the glitzy golf glub. They must get it. But we don’t.

Of course, just because those Nokias are pretty and they have a zillion plug-ins for iSync, doesn’t mean that they are actually compatible with iBook G4. So now I have to upgrade my OS to Tiger, just in time for them to release Leopard.

Excuse me while I kiss slug this guy.

/fume

Enlightenment’s a Bitch

Although I suppose someone will nail me for saying that Yoga is enlightenment per se. I suppose it would be some sort of exotification. Usually I’d be able to tell myself, except my ruddy head got twisted around to the back and now my brains are addled.

I went to Yoga last night. I don’t quite know why. I suppose there was a sort of inertial momentum thing. (Can you have inertial momentum? I don’t know because I have a migraine due to Yoga. It sounds good though.) My friends were suiting up as if they were going into battle or a spaceship and I thought, hmm, why not, nothing better to do. Turns out I do have better things to do than touching my spleen with my ear.

Turn yourself into a triangle. Turn yourself into a tree. Turn to your right and put your hand backwards so that all those childhood stories about witches with backwards appendages become more real than you could have thought. Bend down and grab the hand behind your back with the hand you just threaded up through your crotch. Oh, and look up the whole time.

Now I can feel muscles I had no business knowing about and I would be thankful if they went back to living their KGB existence. And I have a migraine. Big effing surprise there.

Bloody Indians and their bloody bright ideas.

Men are Exhausting

Disclaimer of sorts: I know that I don’t usually broach this kind of subject here, but really I’ve had it and, additionally, I’ve had a fever and tonsils the size of golf balls and, overall, it needs to be said. /Disclaimer

There’s a Seinfeld joke that goes something like: you know what men are thinking about? Nothing. Nothing at all. They’re just looking around, not thinking about anything.

It works a lot better in person, and when someone has delivery skills.

But I bring it up because of it’s fundamental untruth. Men are not not thinking. They are thinking. They are thinking a lot. All kinds of jumbly jumbled up thoughts are going through their heads, a mile a second sometimes (depends on your man, really), and all those damn thoughts are relevant to something. But they have no filing system. They have no coding. They haven’t even got dates or names or some sort of esoteric personal pnemonic system that would explain to the primary user (the thinking man) let alone an innocent bystander (the woman in the vicinity) what the fuck is going on.

The stereotype is that women are complicated and think too much and, if you’re more progressive, smarter and more intuitive and more emotionally mature. I’ll take the maturity cred, but I think we’d be closer to the truth if we admitted that those visuals you get on shows like House M.D. of the brain firing strange electrical currents, doing horrid unspeakable things to its owner is the daily life of the average man. Whereas a woman uses whatever sticky organic CPU is installed and processes some of the thoughts, at least before the ovarian function kicks in and adds “murder” to the daily to-do list.

Men are exhausting. It doesn’t matter the nature of the relationship you are in. It doesn’t have to be romantic. They can be your friends, your colleagues, your father. Your father will be especially exhausting, in fact. Your brother. Your best friend will make you want to swallow you bedsheet in anger, regret and frustration at 5 in the morning when really you should be sleeping because he’s mad at you about something you have a limited sort of control over. Your crush/romantic interest will make you want to chew the paint off the walls because he isn’t understanding that when you asked him out on a date and he said yes, and then sorry, and then yes again and then nothing happened, this means you are sad – while he’s still trying to compute how the biped with the breasts did the asking out part of the ritual. Your father – oh, your father – he’ll just mess your head up once a week, for fun and profit. And your other best friend will tell you how you are untrustworthy and untrusting, but nothing really matters, so let’s all eat cake and be happy.

I’m complicated. I have the courtesy to wear this as a neon sign on my aura. Men are also complicated. They walk around with “Duh!” painted proudly on their chests like this is fooling anyone. Three of the above-listed things has happened in the last few days and I’m tell you men, you’d better fuckin quit it.

My Hips Lie

There. I said it. All the time, they lie. I practically have to padlock them to keep them from saying bad things.

No, wait, that’s a different device.

I hate that song. I long for the days when I was living in a land that was so removed from Top 40s, MTV, crap-music pop culture (i.e. Seattle) that I was not exposed to Shakira (and I do mean “exposed” – my eyes feel violated every time I look at the chick) and did not have to hear, over and over again, the asinine refrain, “My hips don’t lie.”

I don’t know what the rest of the song is. It’s indecipherable for the most part, which is good, because the part that is decipherable is bloody stupid. What does that mean? My hips don’t lie. What were they saying? I have a nice ass? Come ‘n get it? That’s what most of the rest of Shakira tends to say.

And don’t get me wrong. I have my feminist cred and my mom raised me right, so, grudgingly, power to her. If she wants to take her clothes off a lot and go jiggy jiggy at people then, well, I shrug. I tell people I’m a feminist Muslim in the same breath as I say there’s no such thing as a “feminist” because “feminism” isn’t a religion, but a tool and you can’t be a feminist in teh same way as you can’t be a hammerer, not without sounding foolish. My point being that we all do things to make people listen to what we have to say.

Which is where I get upset with Shakira. What is she saying? What is her music? Is it anything? No! She’s singing that her hips don’t lie! It doesn’t mean anything! It means less than nothing! It means “sex sex sex”, in a siren-like computer engineered voice, with ringletty dirty blond hair and – aargh – hips!

Really, honestly, I don’t mind sex on the packaging. Sex is a good thing. It’s nice. Birds and bees do it, and hedgehogs can’t be buggered, and all that – but the medium is the message, and when you (ahem) unwrap the package, there should be something inside, no? Besides more pacakage?

Wait, that’s a different metaphor.

My New Heroes

Whoever is running pkblogs.com is my new hero. They get a special prayer and, if I could, a tropy saying “Kyla’s Heroes” for making Blog*Spot blogs accessible. Now all you have to do is take the username of the blog – in my case “geographytelecast” – and type in pkblogs.com/geographytelecast [or username], and you can see the blog in Pakistan.

Pass it on!

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