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A few weeks ago, I gathered that a friend is a homosexual. There were premonitory signs. He was eager to meet. He’d message me incessantly on Facebook. This doesn’t prove anything. I know another guy who does all this. He’s just weird. Maybe some people are neurotic. Perhaps their communication needs are much stronger. People are not straight forward, and perhaps these guys want to just feel safe.

This fellow is very good at his job. But, he’s still bothered by what happened in high school half a lifetime ago. When a guy tells me he’s depressed without giving me any good reason, my first guess would be that he’s gay. He doesn’t believe in marriage. When I probed further, no good reason seemed to be forthcoming. At some point, I felt he was hitting on me. There was nothing really sexual in what he said, but my intuitions don’t go wrong. I asked him whether he’s straight, and he said, “I don’t even know what I am”. I asked him whether he can give me a plain “Yes” or “No”, he said “You can’t put people in a box.” This is exactly the kind of thing leftist people say when they try to get away with something. I said, “Bye-Bye”. This is not my thing.  Continue Reading

Books

In later life, she always associated this with snow.

As a social experiment, I occasionally share a scene in Mon fils a moi on my Facebook wall. A controlling mother enters the bathroom when her twelve-year old son stands naked. When he covers himself up with his hands, she asks him to take his hands off. She strikes his legs with a towel, and when he tries to pick up his underwear, she snatches it and gives it to him. When he wears it staring at her face, trembling, she shakes her head smiling. She then leaves the room after stroking his hair.

Everyone ignores this when I share it on my wall, even though it is a visual. Ordinary people love visuals more than text. Yet, they ignore it, because they are not doing so because they are indifferent to it.  A lady once told me that they ignore it because it is something to be enjoyed, but not to be talked about.

For people to ignore something that bothers them, it has to be something that really bothers them, something that bothers them to the point that they are compelled to ignore it. This is an important concept that has much wider implications. Continue Reading

Books, Uncategorized

I “loved” School.

Imprisonment can be considered effective if people voluntarily submit to it. This is rare, but our schooling system is a close candidate. Much of what school forces you to do is intrinsically painful. Children have better uses for their time. Yet, they spend even up to two decades or more in school. Then, they do not have much of an option. In many parts of the world, schooling is free and compulsory.

The convicts in the penitentiary almost never ask for an extension of their prison sentence. But, the brightest students often want to extend their term in school. When they graduate, they look back at their school days through rose-colored glasses. In a sane world, young men would be hesitant to admit that they have wasted much of their time in useless pursuits. But, the workplace rewards people who have jumped through more academic hoops. Continue Reading

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I will just mention as a side note that it is not Kanika Datta of the Business Standard.

Miss Books Editor is a clever cookie who shall go unnamed. I will not tell you the name of the newspaper she works with because you will Google and find out who she is. And, that is embarrassing. The real books editor is free to stand up, but I will just mention as a side note that it is not Kanika Datta of the Business Standard.

The day I met her for the first time, I asked: “They told me that it is you who handle the book reviews here?”. She asked arrogantly, “Yes. That is right. I do. Who are you?”, and I said, “I work here.” She asked naively, “Oh, you work here. Are you part of the desk?”, making a circle, pointing her finger at the section where the desk-hands work. I said, “No. I am a reporter.”

Many weeks later, when I asked her whether I can write a piece on Mencken and Ayn Rand because their birthday’s were approaching, she said cheerfully, her eyes twinkling, “Ayn Rand—We can ignore her.”, The smile on my face disappeared. After a while, she said, “Mencken…hmmm…Let me think about it.”, with a smug smile on her face.

The next evening, I sent her an email: You might find Mencken’s “In Defense Of Women” very interesting. And, she asked, “Will you write a piece on Mencken? It is my request because I handle the Weekend Ideas page.” I said, “Yes. Let me think about it.” 🙂 Continue Reading

Books

Ah. See.

I do not know why I am thinking of this passage today. People without self-knowledge should know what this means:

“What is it like to get kicked in the ass? Is it the same as getting shot in the head? Clearly not. Is it like being punched in the gut? Not at all. How about a smack in the nose? Is it like that? I think not. No, a kick in the ass is something special. It propels you forward, reeling. It makes you look silly. It hurts your pride as much as your ass, although it certainly does hurt your ass, no doubt about that.

Come to think of it, when was the last time your ass hurt that way? When Mommy or Daddy spanked you, that’s when! See? Ass kicking is spanking for adults. It’s not a death blow. But the recipient shouldn’t be able to sit down for a week.”-Stanley Bing. Continue Reading