Monday, April 16, 2007

Victim or bait?

Apathy at the individual level translates into insanity at the mass level. -Douglas Hofstadter

You know open secrets are called open secrets because there is a certain subtle thrill to that idea. The origin of that subtle thrill is the point of the open secret, which is a knowledge of something really scary that is generally ignored because the secretive society is not open enough. These open secrets are secrets because they are purposely, methodically, and traditionally ignored by the general society. So much so, that there are many things that are both open and secret, but don’t quite qualify to be “open secrets” because they go by unnoticed. But there is a blinding realization, a subtle thrill achieved, a mechanical extrapolation of personal knowledge, that results in a superfast glimpse of a shadow of a truth. Unfortunately, the truth is not an open secret, and therefore, there is no thrill to it whatsoever, subtle or otherwise. The truth is neither open nor a secret. The truth is neither known by society, or by a mechanical extrapolation of all its knowledge. The truth is neither paradox nor virtue. The truth is neither wine nor water. The truth is neither religion nor opium. The truth is neither God nor individual, neither sex nor gender, neither row nor column, and perplexingly enough, neither fecal matter of various species of avis, nor fecal matter of various species of bovines. The truth is a story. Beyond expression in art or non-art. The truth is hidden by the philosophies and politics of its own roots. Truth is everything. Truth is the ultimate common perception. Truth is the sum meaning of all human knowledge that is ever going to be attained. The truth is individual perception in context with all other possible individual perceptions. The truth can only be known to one individual. He is allowed just one truth. He is the – to put it with a totally unsubtle thrill, the chosen one for that truth, if you will. His fate lies in explaining that truth to the society. The society as a whole gains by getting one life closer to the truth. And that is the truth. The sum total of everything man will ever perceive together and quantified with the meaning of it. Looking for the meaning of it? The meaning of your life? Your life would not have a meaning if it weren’t for the society. Every single individual’s life before you, and till now, has influenced you in some way. If not on Orkut, or in peer group, or in work circle, or in family, they would atleast have been a demographic in a population study that would have influenced you. You find this ridiculous, then imagine all the advertisements made on study of demographics, or cinema generated for extracting money from these demographics, and the advertising of such cinema, and the technology targeted at such demographics (eg. iPod), the food habits of such demographics, and the accused normal culture of such demographics, and how much you want to be a part of it all, is all influencing your fucking life. If you still are not convinced of the argument, then to put it in simple, easily understandable physics, every particle in the universe affects every other particle in the universe. The action and chain reaction is a universal phenomenon. Literally, figuratively, philosophically, noticeably, and even fucking scientifically. There is no denying it, not only have other people influenced you, every star in the night sky you have seen has influenced you. Every unnoticed particle in the emptiness, has influenced you. If science ever acknowledges aliens, it has to agree, that the said aliens are influencing everyone on earth already. Scary? The shadow of the truth is. It gets worse. Only because it can be proved beyond scientific doubt. The answer may therefore lie in non-science, but language has been unkind enough to make the word “lie” pretty damn ambiguous. Let’s see if this makes sense to you. Your sun sign is something that you share with one twelfth of the world population. Let us see, if each sun sign, can be effectively and scientifically used as a demographic. Sun signs are everywhere in the media. They show up in the newspapers on every single day of the week, and in color over the weekends. Each newspaper has a different prediction for what will happen to the people who read their personalized prediction that day. Therefore over a period of time, people will read the predictions, and fear or hope to realize them that day. Which they try to do till the next prediction. There you have a bunch of people, across age groups, divided into just twelve demographics. The entire world, fits into twelve demographics. How cool is that? Still don’t believe it? Don’t think you follow the predictions in newspapers? Cannot believe that people try to realize the predictions in the newspapers every day? Do you deny that you ever had the urge to actually do this? Have you done it once or twice already? Still don’t believe it? Ok, then imagine you are in charge of a widely circulated newspaper, which earns a hell lot of money in advertising, just because they can circulate printed paper? Obviously they make a lot of money, the profits dwarf the expenditure by far. Now obviously, it would be beneficial for you to generate an easy demographic resulting in splitting the entire population into twelve demographics across all other barriers of individual belief? You know, like religion, sex, nation, race, and even age. If you do not manipulate your prediction columns to generate such demographics, the advertising people will pay you to do it. This does not prove that the stars have actually affected the lives of the people. Something else does that. Moral of the story: The concept of astrology is true, since mankind can never hope to actually execute it, that is quantify and calculate how stars really can do it, pretentious people pretend to do it, or advertisers use it to sell you things. What it does prove is however that advertisers can use anything to sell you things. The moral of that story is, do not trust astrology in newspapers.
The moral of the story that had lost its track was that the best way to attain something close to a number of different simultaneous perceptions, that you get what is called “cubism”. Cubism is an attempt to portray a common truth. That truth between the author and his killer. Somewhere, in cubism, is hidden a common perception. A perception that the author knows that the reader has, and a perception that the reader knows the artist has. It is a perception shared by two individuals, and it is a perception that is real. That is it is produced. It is contained. It is released you know, it has been mechanically quantified, it is that cubist shred of crystallized artblood.
Ooh blood is scary man. You don’t want blood. It is within you, and you don’t like it coming out. This is not an allegory alien to you. It is enforced by the aura around the idea of “writing with your blood”. It is not only hearfelt, it is how the reader kills the author. By reading his blood. It is impossible therefore to be aesthetic. Blood is aesthetic only to the mordbid. Either you are aesthetic or you are morbid. You are either aesthetic or cubic. The catch is, you are a cubist even if blood is sometimes aesthetic and sometimes morbid depending on context. The reader kills the author, then, because it is for the reader that the author writes in his own blood. If the author indulges in art for money, then the bastard is selling his own blood to the vampires. He will die younger. Other authors live longer. This kind of bloodart will be immortalized in future thought and philosophy. The author becomes a phoenix on his death. He dies in the cause for his art, and emerges as an immortal, everlasting meaning. A meaning spread across many consciousnesses. How completely a cubist would understand an artist. A cubist could even get around the fundamental paradox in art for the sake of art. The idea of Art for the sake of Art would be torn apart by a cubist society. The phenomenon of the artist would still be a spectacular firecracker. Practical eg: Oscar Wilde. You might not have understood the picture of Dorian Grey, but you will have understood Oscar Wilde as an absinthe drinking homosexual. Wilde was all for the whole art for arts sake thing. He wrote with intent to hide his own purpose, making Dorian Grey a difficult read, and yet, despite him believing that the author was indeed dead by the time he got to the reader, the author, was unfortunately not. Oscar Wilde has entered many memes in pop culture, and has spread in the popular consciousness. Just head to uncyclopedia for proof. A cubist society, has ended up understanding the producers of art more than the art itself. You understand more about Picasso as a painter than Picasso as an artist. You understand Einstein as a genius much more than you understand his theories. This is just to prove the same point to the scientifically inclined.
You live in a cubist society. One that wants to look at you from everywhere. One that wants to analyze and disintegrate everything. You live in a society infested with open secrets. You live in a society that seeks to dissect and understand and comprehend and control and overpower and ruin every single thing it sees. You live in a society that is driving the people mad in its rabid rush of progress. Civilization has snowballed out of proportion, and it still has to go a long, long way down. Your society is oblivious of the truth, and unashamed to admit it. Your society is so cubist, that it can see nothing. If you see black and you see white, and you even them out, you get grey. These are two colors at the end of the spectrum. Everything that your eyes can perceive, both literally as in physically and figuratively as in politically. Everything else falls in between. All the other colors. You even them out, you have grey. You have nothing. You have a cubist perspective.
Majidi made an aesthetic film called “Colors of Paradise”. Ram Gopal Verma made a morbid film called “Black”. Both put their blood into it. One of them is considered to be a better film maker, and that, funnily enough, most people, have no doubt about.
Verbal hip shit pscho techno rave trance water montage google hop. Verbal hip hop montage. Narrow in. Verbal Montage. Narrow further. A graveyard. A green lava tomb. A sprout of blood from it. Injected, hypodermically out of the grave, as a part of special effects. Literature is obscure now. It is pluralist. It is blatant and meandering. It is multi-purpose. It is generated to satisfy the society’s need for speed. Complex thoughts, emotions, philosophies and ideas are spoon fed to the masses, and they don’t even look at what is going within them. It is that kind of morbid rape where the child is molested by being fed venom instead of milk. This is exactly the kind of shocking ideas that is taught to little students of Indian mythology. Yes, the idea of the rape, and even in the context, and with the particular method, was not a formation of the art, it was pre-existing in society, and that too, as a myth.
Ignore the demographics. Ignore the art. Ignore the society. Get real. The point cannot go across a medium or a form that is solid. Art is a weak mode of communication. The black and white of the perceptions of the real world, must be thrown in with the splash of personal blood to attain that cubist perspective that will convey the news of the death of the author to the readers. Words are a weak medium for communication. They must build up on each other and convey a lot of meaning. But society needs this meaning quick and dirty. There is a quick and dirty IQ test on blogthings. Blogthings analyses you, psychologically, based on a few questions. It is scientific, and the results are pretty accurate. They can see you inside out based on which picture you chose out of nine. Their advertisers have to contend with only nine demographics. The reader needs it quick and dirty, so there are layers made, analogies and cross connections that will get the point across quick and dirty. The focus is on the necessity of it getting dirty. Some perspectives just wash over us, we do not notice them at all. Did you find the reference to child molestation aesthetic or morbid? Either answer should leave you with an extremely garish picture of yourself. Be ashamed. Very ashamed. It is your fault. You author killer.
Bathe in paradoxes. No really, bathe in impure plumbing water, drink it trusting a few units of electricity to purify it, and it is possible for you to live through life without ever tasting the pure open wild spring water that drove our ancestors into civilization. Imagine water to be a very addictive drug. Our civilization is based on it, and we cannot subsist without a constant access to it. And we are all denied it. In its pure form. Civilisation has driven us away from our most fundamental needs. We are all babies who have been fed venom.
Where will they go? The stories of the police I mean. They are so stereotyped everywhere. Let’s experiment with another police story. Let us mutually observe what these stereotypes are and how they gain in our understanding of the police story. Let us fragment the police and critically understand them. Let us portray them in a form where they will be understood, predicted and controlled. The media, constantly, controls the attitudes of the police, in a manner beneficial to them. The media understands and comprehends the police. Real world truth: When the students protested against medical college admission procedures, the first to reach the point of the protests was the media. Various Vans of news channels, occupied the space normally used by the vehicles of students. The next to reach the point were media students who didn’t know where to park. The next to reach the point of protest were the police. All the people crowded in the area, had issues of their own, yet were not protesting against anything. They were all mechanically playing out their roles well. They were all waiting for the students to do this, and finally, after much anticipation they showed up. The promptly bundled them up into their own vans. The students went in willingly, mechanically playing out their roles as well. They just believed they had the guts to get something done for their own good. The system is so thorough my friends, that there is, no way out. The magic red pill is a fabrication. It does not exist. Morpheus will never give you a choice. Bacchus, will however readily console you with a suitable compensation for a lack of choice. The Gods play out their roles well too. Well the society does that. And to protect this society, they appoint the police. Laugh! That is fucking hilarious! It was just joking or something.
Now this police, really plays out its role well. Students trying to break out of the system (in various “wrong” ways) are always shit scared of the police. The students are a divided force themselves, like in youth nation there is no democracy or consensus, there is just absolute anarchy. So the students don’t happen to be a demographic that can defend itself. Their mistakes and their indulgences are amplified and criticized with relish by the jealous society. All other demographics look down on the youth. Those older than them constantly supply a stream of hypnotizing ideas. Education and School both play a vital role in their attitudes, but the Education is mostly by the leech of a mass media that unabashedly advertises to a very impressionably demographic. The youth in turn, criticize each other to an equal extent. What you get is positive alarm at the idea of police. It blares into your consciousness and screeches to a halt next to you. You need to understand the police. You need to comprehend them. You are on a need to know basis, and the basis has been established, therefore, this is not information that should readily be considered wrongful, but you, now, have a choice, because I am a mortal. Please do not kill me.
Do not be scared of the police sitting silently in a van. If they are in one place, and immobile, they are waiting for someone coming their way. They are not interested in you. They are just going to kind of hang out there, till something happens in the immediate vicinity. It’s a stationary beat. You can go by and get off with a few things here, as long as you are not too obvious about anything. Be totally unafraid of police men moving around in jeeps. Just stay out of their way if you are on a vehicle to. They are going from point A to B and definitely have no interest in you. Let them go their way. A police jeep however going by slowly, with its lights off and the engine running silently in first gear, be careful. They are on a scouting mission. They are on a real beat. This is where they are checking out high risk areas for troublemakers. Any seaside gets one of these every two hours. The regular two hours. Every colony, every housing society, and ever locality in general, gets a regular sweep at specific periods. If you live in that locality long enough, you know the timings of these sweeps, and you are good to go at any other time.
The most dangerous beat is the autorickshaw one. Plain clothed middle aged middle class men, never ever travel in an autorickshaw. Women do, but men take the bus, or use a personal vehicle. There are no men in this demographic that use the autorickshaw. Their sudden scarcity in recent years, has led to customer savvy rickshaw unions to start up share rickshaws. The common population thinks that the government thinks this is a bad idea just because they cannot stand the rickshaw drivers cheating their customers. The government gets a veritable share of the cheated money, it has no problems with that. It thinks that this is a bad idea for many things, one of them being the removal of camouflage on the most effective beat. You see, plain clothes police men have to use rickshaws. Any other vehicle conspicuously heralds their oncoming. A police jeep is a strong symbol of trouble in the youth. So is a police bike. Any policeman driving a bike will have “police” written on his number plate. Police cannot use private vehicles. A police man cannot use a bus for his beat now… he cannot direct the bus closely enough and keep the riders unaware of it. That is difficult to achieve. The plainclothes police man MUST use the rickshaw, and this last camouflage too has been stripped from him, and he gets revealed to all those who seek to avoid trouble with him. The police cannot catch anyone now, despite being in plain clothes. And the whole idea is symbolic you know. The police having to shed their uniform and wear plain clothes just to be able to catch somebody. No wonder the society hates police. The society also hates sting operations. It hates both of them for basically the same reason.
What is the nature of those who choose to accept its irony, yet sorely feel its necessity, is something that would deviate from the story. The story is more important than contemplating that. The story hopes to make you contemplate that. The police are cool that way. They know what you are doing and when you were doing it. I was of the opinion that I was dead. I was scared of the police, and every time I did something wrong, I tried to save myself from their gaze. Not that I was ashamed or anything, I did not want to find out if there was any truth in the stereotypes if their brutality. They know you inside out, and the really, want to protect you. No seriously, your protection is the very thing that makes them proud of man hood that you rightly accuse them of. Policemen who do wrong are not proud of their occupation, and therefore do no wrong that result from pride. At least any pride that has to do with their occupation. So it is wrong to assume that it is the pride of the policemen that drives them to do wrong. There is a regular sweep that goes past my windows every morning at two thirty a.m. Sometimes it is a van, sometimes it is a Jeep. But it goes by, and I watch it. I am usually smoking at that time. If I hide the cigarette when they go by, they will notice me and catch me. If I do not hide my cigarette, they will be interested, and they will go by. Every day, they see me there, and one day they stop to enquire. The watchman sends you a cryptic message in morse code by tapping his pole to the ground, that only the drugs in the cigarette can make you understand. The police are coming you think, and rush into your window, turn off the lights and go to sleep.
And you realize that was the one thing you shouldn’t have done. The next day, you do not rush in. You do not hide your cigarette. You stand there, not doing anything about it. They come. They go. They do not stop. You ask the watchman the next day if the police had asked anything about you. He says that they hadn’t. You are happy. You then continue to smoke in the balcony for a long time, steadily getting happier with yourself, and everything that you are getting away with. It is the pride got out of cheating the police that makes you do more and more wrong things. That increases the dosage of the drugs, not the drug itself. And then one day, the police catch you.
They come. You do not hide your cigarette. They appear to go. You do not hear the watchman signaling you in morse code. You realize over the days that there was no pattern in his senseless banging of the stick. Then one day you realize that it was just a greeting to the policemen. Then another day you realize that it is a sign to say that everything is clear. The next day, the police catch you.
That is the day when you will realize a few things. And when they are walking towards you, you already know what has happened. They are going to ring the bell. That will wake your people up. You are going to be in a lot of trouble. How in hell did they catch you? And you realize it. Standing unabashedly in the window. Every day. The police had asked the watchman. The watchman told them about me. The watchman kept tabs of how much I was doing by sneaking under my balcony and using his nose. When he saw that I had become bolder, her had signaled the police to stop with his stick. And I saw them from the balcony, walking towards me, and I ran into the house, and had the foresight to quickly type out a story and blogged it to save me from my doom, and opened the door before the police could bell. I had decided to surrender to them.
And they called me down. I walked down. The policeman looked at me. And I looked at him. And we understood our roles. And we both played them out. He said “look, I know you have shit on you”. And I said “Yeah, I accept it, tell me what should I do next.” And he said “we hadn't noticed you at all till the watchman told us you had asked about us”. I was confused because he said it in an almost respectful voice. “And this only means that you must get quality hash. Can I have some please?”
And six feet below my building, sat four policemen, one watchman, and one stoned youth, sharing a pipe, and totally unafraid of each other. The smoke rose in tendrils above the society, and disappeared softly into those clouds. It made the clouds slightly darker. It would reach its destiny as the rain much welcomed in the parched civilization below. Pity Mumbai was the heart of the monsoon region.

Note to readers: Seriously, this is just not a story with any truth in it. Unfortunately so, because a story full of allegory cannot have truth.

Note to police: I share the pipe of peace with you. Thats only because I cannot say I will not share it with you.

Note to other demographics: Either way, the origin of peace, is within me. Peace is the drug that I abuse. The beats are of my own heart, that watch me when I abuse it. The police is my own brain, keeping track of me. And what am I really? An author thinking "I am so dead man"...

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