Brothel and the Book store

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What is a civilisation? How do you measure the height reached by the soul of a nation? I say that it can be measured by these two things: A Brothel and a Book Store.

If you ever happen to be in a foreign country and wish to know how evolved its citizens really are,if you wish to see beyond the veil of tall skyscrapers and crowds covered in the latest excesses, go to these two places. Do not go to those culture and language exchange clubs for those are scams, deluding you with historical significance,of how things should be, of how they would like you to see them, but not how they are.

A brothel shows you how they look at sex. Is it legal? Notice the quality of the whores. Are they healthy? Notice the locality of the place. Is it in the dark end of an obscure road or the city center? A truly civilised society rejoices sex in any form, instead of trying to hide it like a sin.

A book store on the other hand. shows the intellectual capabilities of the society. Notice the people visiting these stores. Are they young or old? Young customers indicate a society willing to learn.What books are being bought? If all that most people buy are self-help books you know that it’s a sick society, struggling to survive. On the other hand, an interest in literature, art or philosophy is an indication of a mature soul.

The most civilized state will hence have a whorehouse alongside a bookstore, both filled with people, young and old, right at the center of the city.

 

 

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Crab Soup

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One should value above everything else freedom, equality and crab soup’

The crab soup in this Heinrich Heine quote refers to the small pleasures of life. It is to be valued with utmost care since it is what makes life worth living. We live, not for some grand event, yet to be unfolded, whereby we emerge victorious and universally lauded, but instead for life itself.

I find these pleasures in my morning cup of Darjeeling chai and roti.

Nothing beats it. Even a thousand kilometers away from my country, the first sip of tea, the first, soft, bite of a hot roti, dissolves the distance with fond memories,still fresh as the morning dew. The day ahead might be hard. The evening, harder. But the first 20 minutes of the early dawn belongs only to me.

Oh and yes, there is also the morning cigarette, my guilty pleasure.

 

moaning of life

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A second child was born to a family from Laos. People from the dorm were gathering to celebrate with the couple in the park nearby. A picnic-like atmosphere was created in half an hour, with foods and drinks, laughter and songs.

And I think to myself,” Why,this is just fucking annoying.”

What are they celebrating about? That poor sod! The things he will have to go through competing for a share of the world’s resources. Only a group of lunatics would celebrate such a tragedy. Don’t we have enough people already? Why more?

Cities are growing taller with nowhere to spread. People are being squeezed inside bird cages, with walls so thin, you can hear your neighbour’s intimate,midnight conversations.  And yet we are popping babies out one after another.

I don’t get why people want to have children in the first place. Sex, I get. But why reproduction? I find thinking about pregnancy rather revolting.

 

I was looking at news from China and they have this one-child policy.  I read that it has prevented some 400 million births since 1970. Some people have criticised it on grounds of human rights, hefty fines, etc.

But hey! It works you know.

I read somewhere that if all the world’s people were to live the American life, then we would need 4 more Earths. It’s clear that we don’t have the resources to provide a good life to everybody. Then what are we celebrating about? What do we say to the baby? “Welcome kid, to a mildly satisfying life.”

I think we have got this the wrong way round:We should mourn a life and celebrate a death.

I once heard some sort of a buddhist monk telling his followers a story.A child was born and the first thing he said was,

Oh no! Not again!

I believe the kid in the dorm was feeling something similar.

A Weird Dream

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I had a weird dream the day before yesterday. It happened early in the morning and I saw myself eating half-cooked cockroaches. I was there in the first person point of view and could even taste the disgusting flavour of the food. Even after I woke up, it was as if I had an aftertaste leftover from my dream.

I thought,”That’s a weird dream. I wonder why I had it.”But I already had the answer to that. I remembered that only the other day I had come across a quote by one of my favourite humourists, Mark Twain. It went something like,

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

Why the roaches instead of the frog? That’s because I am scared of roaches. Scared and disgusted by them (And I am a man. I hear the distant,tragic moaning at the demolition of the image of the idealised “Man”). But there was more to it. I have a habit of listening to podcasts while going to sleep. Mostly comforting discussions on various topics, ranging from philosophy to psychology, which I enjoy. A couple of nights before the dream I was listening to a discussion on the topic,

What is the nature of the unconscious and Carl Jung’s “Man and his Symbols”

It says how our unconscious mind is a world without language, trying to weave messages through pictures and symbols. But since we live in a world dominated by words we find it hard to decipher them and often neglect it as non-sensical. So. I decided to make sense of the dream. Did it mean anything? Or was it just a restructuring of Mark’s quote? Since I consider myself to be a skeptic, I wanted to be careful of trying to find meaning where none exists. But then a thought hit me. The quote. Yes! The quote. What is the one precondition for truly enjoying the brilliance of the quote?

You have to be already living in a situation that makes you feel that your day would indeed become tolerable if you would only follow the advice.

And I did follow it,didn’t I! In my dream. So what does it say about my everyday life?

Oh.

Cartoon by Lev Yilmaz


Featured Image: http://opiniaocentral.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/carl_jung.jpg

 

 

Don’t Think: it is irrational

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How do you make a decision? We believe that whatever or most of what we do is the result of careful,conscious thought given to the choices available while making the decision. Right? I say that this notion is utter bullshit.

To go to work or take the day off? To clean the room or not? To be or not to be.

We struggle with the options day after day. Some may even go on to read analytical philosophy to get a reference frame from where they may discuss the rationality of the choices. But these don’t amount to much.

Have you ever felt that your mind already knows the answer to your dilemma? Have you ever felt that your conscious reasoning is mere pretense? If you have then you were right! It definitely is.

Your mind( subconscious) has already made the decision for you, independent of you. Thinking is just a waste of time as far as the final decision is concerned. The purpose of thinking seems to be the rationalization of the choices that have already been made by your brain.

We feel good when we can justify our decisions. And that is the purpose that thinking serves. But this also consumes time and causes anxiety. Wouldn’t it be great if we could jump to the decision without spending time in weighing the options? Well we certainly can and should. For thinking is irrational if its only role is to give us comfort, a sense of illusory control.

I propose that letting go of the conscious thought would be hugely beneficial to us.

Things Joe hates about his daily commute

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Joe hates his daily commute. He finds it simply excruciating, harrowing to go through this monotonous loop of “inaction” (because technically speaking, the train does most of the moving business for Joe), over and over again like a lunatic.

Joe hates the fact that he has to get up at 6:30 in the morning to reach his workplace in time, which opens only at 9. The actual distance from his apartment to his office should be about 12 kilometers. But some genius working for the city-planning division, decided to lay down a rail-route, so twisted, that he is inclined to believe that it is part of some deliberate and grand conspiracy to sabotage his unwavering focus on his work. It’s just pure evil. It takes him, over an hour, 4 line transfers and 12 stops to reach his destination. Well, that’s the cheapest transit he can afford. So everyday, Joe wastes around three hours of his day in this transit.

A rail route so twisted…

Then there are the passengers themselves. Passengers are weird people. Joe has been keeping an eye on them and he had noticed that they tend to do either of three things;sleep, get into a trance-like state with their iPhones or read newspaper or book. But rarely do they talk to each other or look out the window. On rare occasions, he had seen a few women putting on makeup or a drunk man uttering gibberish, but that’s it. It’s almost like they are all dead,disconnected.

Co-passengers?

It is thus a big relief for Joe, when a bunch of chattering,young schoolkids walk into his compartment.

“They are still uncorrupted. They remain pure, for now…….”,thinks Joe.

The trains are air conditioned.The window panes, never opened.  This perturbs Joe a lot, for every time he gets off a train he is hit, either by the unpleasant, hot breeze of the summer or by the biting cold wind of the winter. And speaking of winter, people wear thick overcoats at that time and this makes life even more horrible for Joe, being stuffed in the tiny aluminium box  with hundred other passengers.

Packed as a Cattle-truck

  • Why do I have to travel so far to work?
  • Why are there not more trains?
  • Why do I have to stop at 11 stations when I get off only at the 12th?
  • Why is the planning of these “modern” cities so inefficient? 

Joe is too busy with his work to think of a solution to these problems, so he just goes back to his laptop, grumbling like a disgruntled old man. .


How to Build a Better City

For a more scholarly study on Mixed-Use Urban Planning: Click here

On Giving Charity

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Nor is just ten years old. But don’t be fooled by his tender age. He has already won the Responsible Global Citizens Award for earning the highest credits on the Consumption and Waste Contribution Program. He had been eyeing the coveted award for the last two years and now his success has turned him into quite a star in his neighbourhood and school for this extraordinary work of charity.

Thousands of people across the developed nations have signed up for this program, aimed at providing much-needed aid to the less fortunate parts of the world. It goes without saying that it is the single-largest, consumer-driven, humanitarian, global endeavour to  alleviate hunger,curable diseases and lack of proper clothing and shelter from the poorer nations.

According to the award winning economist,Tim Smith,

Capitalism’s current success lies in the proper hybridization of consumerism with sacred virtues of charity and cooperation.

To qualify for this Program, you need to download the Consumption and Waste Contribution App(CWCA) available on all platforms.There are two types of Credits that you can earn:1.Consumption Credit and 2.Disposal Credit

1. Consumption Credit: It is the credit that you can earn when you buy a product.Whenever you buy from places like McMickeys or Sunbucks, 1% of the money will go to various charity organisations.What’s more, you earn a full 10 credit points in your CWCA.

The more you consume, the more credits you gain and the more charitable activity you can pride yourself with.

https://i1.wp.com/media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2011/10/conspicuous-consumption-i-shop-therefore-i-am.jpg

Also, don’t forget to like and share their products on your SNSs. You earn 1 credits per like and 5 for a share.

2. Disposal Credit: Now this is where the real genius of the Program comes into play.As we all know, in 2020, in a massive undertaking, the multi-billion dollar Sewage and Household Waste Corridor was constructed, diverting all waste products to the under-developed world.

Despite protestations by several, mostly ignorant “activists”, scientific researches have categorically concluded that sewage and household food wastes, though undesirable to us, contains several nutrients which can sustain those living in despicable poverty.

It is thus, our responsibility to consume,urinate and defecate as much as possible. The principle of charity here, is of course,

“Giving anything is better than nothing, even if it’s shit”.

To earn credits, just use the Creditor Biometric Screener to confirm your identity in the washroom and garbage bins.


“….charity degrades and demoralises… Charity creates a multitude of sins.”-  Oscar Wilde

Charity and Cultural Capitalism: