Tag Archives: Journalism

Trust And Trust-Worthiness

In a world where reciprocity is not a two-way street, trust is mentioned, trust-worthiness is not.

In a world where reciprocity is not a two-way street, trust is mentioned, trust-worthiness is not. But, a man who observes the world with his pure, uncorrupted eyes will find it obvious that people cannot be trusted. You hear about trust from a particular kind of girl that is not trust-worthy, and is unaware of the law of causality. Trust is often demanded as a gift, as an ultimatum. There are economists who want to believe that distrust imposes a heavy tax on the society. But, it is possible for everyone to trust each other, even if trust-worthiness is not the norm. It is only that people who cheerfully default on agreements will find this very convenient.

When people lock their cars parked in the inner city, when they hire watch-men, and when women hesitate to walk through the streets at midnight, no one complains that what the society suffers from is “a break-down of trust”.

But, I do not see this as a naïve view. This is a dishonest view. Mistakes of this scale are never an accident. It is immensely popular only because people are so much in sync with this fraudulent society, and are oblivious to fraud. When a decent man hears about the importance of trust, he feels nothing but contempt, nothing but disgust. He knows that the world is not a wonderful place where he only needs to trust other people because he was always their victim. People believe in such nonsense because they have such a shallow understanding of morality. They need such delusions. They truly have such low personal standards. This is an important concept with much wider implications. Continue reading

What Does My Detractor Say?

People are never clear in their heads.

I am feeling a little shy to admit that I still read the things my detractor Manu Joseph says. I hear that his novel is being read, unlike his Magazine. But, I read it on his own Facebook wall. I suppose I should take such claims with a grain of salt. He says that his novels are too good, and that he does not emerge from any particular tradition. But, that is not true. I will tell you where he lifted many things from—As soon as possible.

But, what are the interesting things he thinks about these days? His interviews are full of “stimulating thoughts”. Continue reading

A Confederacy Of Dunces

One of the hallmarks of this blog is that it holds every rogue up for “analysis”. There is of course, a reason. The greatest motivating factor behind this blog is admittedly Wimpy Kid’s foresight:

“Later on, I will have better things to do than answer people’s stupid questions all day long. So, this blog is gonna come in handy.”

The only sense in which my career is remarkable is that all the five bosses I have worked with in my life were willing to roast in hell forever if I were to join them. When I walk out of my apartment, I look back and forth to make sure my detractors are not hiding somewhere behind the bushes. My detractors tend to be shorter than me, but they also tend to have access to stronger goons. If they frame me, or get me killed, this blog is gonna come in handy. The readers and the police will know who all are deserving of some healthy suspicion. Continue reading

The Man Who Hated Everything

The Sage Of Baltimore

While glancing at a picture of a bunch of Harvard students holding a flag along with Mencken, captioned “Mencken was our God, and the American Mercury our Bible”, I couldn’t help wondering how a 20th century American journalist could evoke such burning passion in the minds of the very young. I had once read with  puzzlement that my favorite novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand showed him the manuscript of her first novel, calling him the greatest representative of a philosophy to which she wanted to dedicate her life. I had loved Rand’s caricature of H L Mencken (Austen Heller): “He had started as a literary critic and ended by becoming a quiet fiend devoted to the destruction of all forms of compulsion, private or public, in heaven or on earth. He could discuss the latest play on Broadway, medieval poetry or international finance.”  I had read that according Mencken’s own judgment, “Notes on Democracy” was the worst book he had ever written. But, I was shocked speechless when I read it, as it was the greatest work I have ever read on the “blind worship of mere numbers”. Everything I had heard of “the man who hated everything” started suddenly making perfect sense to me. I can easily agree with Joseph Wood Krutch that Mencken was truly the greatest prose stylist of the twentieth century. Continue reading

The Distant Cheeping

They are so clever!

A week ago, I felt that pressure was suddenly building up inside my head. There was a mild heaviness that didn’t seem to go away. I have never had a headache in my life. But, one night, I was turning back in my bed, trying to sleep. I never had sleeping problems. There was suddenly a sharp pain that never came back. I was having mild bodily disturbances on and off which I have never had before. Doctors often dismiss it telling me: “Wait, you are confusing me now.” I almost never sleep in the morning-even during Magazine production when I often have to skip sleep. But lately I am sleeping at my desk or office sofa for hours. While I was listening to a talk, I noticed that my eyes were drooping, even when I had slept six hours the night before.

When I went to a hospital nearby, the doctor asked me many questions: “Where do you work? How many hours do you work? Do you read a lot? When you read, do you read from a computer? How many hours do you sleep?” I have averaged four hours of sleep for many years.  I am always hooked to the web. I rarely read hard copies.  He just asked me to do a vision test, brushing off everything else. Continue reading