Saturday, September 19, 2009

Freedom of speech?

I love the internet. I truly cherish the times when my mindless trawling on the World Wide Web dredges up something so hilariously dreadful, comically depraved, stupidly fascinating and at the same time so damn sad that even some one as zombie-brained as me can do nothing but just sit back and stare at the monitor.

Welcome to the Westboro Baptist Church.

And say hello to the Phelps family.

This man is legally SANE.

This charming group of people hold the belief that the world is in the sorry state it is today because God almighty is pissed of at us. But why is God so pissed off? According to ol' gramps Phelps, God is going all old school (as in a totally biblical old testament sense) at the society at large because our culture condones, hold your breath, "FAGS." Thats right folks! 9/11, hurricanes, tsunamis, car crashes, electrocution, flood, herpes EVERYTHING, blame it all on the homos!

So they go around the USA displaying placards which carry charming ye olde world messages like-

and demonstrate at the funeral of fallen soldiers! Thats cold in more ways than even I can imagine :(

For more such gems of wisdom and sublime comedy in multiple levels, check out these links -

Sounds almost like a school kid, doesn't he? And his favourite word, as you can guess is... "FAG."

Now this dude, apart from getting all shook up on gays, also has a website, where he puts forth his extremely interesting views on almost all countries, including India. That part of the website has different sections, where he blames the Hindu religion for being gay friendly (I know. Its surreal!) and puts down all the misfortunes that fall on this part of the world as so called Divine Vengeance.

Now normally I don't have an issue with zany ideas. Infact, I rather enjoy talking about them and love to rate my own crazyness against others. But I draw the line when a psycho turns his family into a cult which corrupts little kids. This guy has 13 children, most of whom are as loony as him. His family (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren(?)) actually forms his cult, and little kids, as young as 7, carry around these obscene placards in their pickets! These little kids are taught to say stuff like "Fags are basically jews!" By their own mother! WTF!

This raving lunatic is a perfect example of what religious extremism, coupled with an obvious god complex and a thirst for publicity, can turn a human being into - a disgusting, hate filled, brain dead moron.

So the core question arises, how far does the right to free speech and expression protect locos like these? At what point does society say, enough is enough, if at all? Being a liberal atheist myself, I should say, Never! But the world is full of crazies who wish to turn other peoples grief into their own personal opportunity. In a society like India, these guys would be mobbed the moment they would start their vile blubbering, but that is as much a reminder of our intolerance as their message of hate. There will always be people who will take advantage of any fundamental right, but that does not make the humanism behind those rights any less valid. There will always be creeps hidden in the woodwork. That is the sad truth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

And there was...

When I gained consciousness, I found myself alone on the edge of an unknown precipice. Of course, I did not know it at that time, for it was all dark around me. It was my first faltering steps who threw me down into this unseen abyss. The sensation of falling lost all meaning after some time, as my idea of reality adjusted to the fact that solid ground was, in fact, an illusion. This realization was strangely liberating, until I realized that I was alone, and thus already liberated. It was strangely disconcerting, for I found the feeling of absolute liberty to be quite underwhelming. Slowly I lost all feeling of kinesis, until the moment came when I found myself to be suspended in space.

It was pretty boring.

I mean, there didn’t seem to be a purpose for my being there, alone, floating in nothingness. It seemed totally pointless, not to mention ludicrous, that I should be left hanging out in the middle of nowhere for no apparent rhyme or reason. Then the fireworks started.
A tiny speck of light shyly appeared above me, and I named it the North Star. It grew brighter and brighter until I could not look at it anymore. Then it suddenly exploded into countless particles, each more bright than its brother, and my senses were filled with a cacophony of light. After a while it all calmed down, and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of expectation. Now I regained my sense of motion, as I hurtled past massive churning nebulae and feeble starspawn and extravagant supernovas – and counting milestones in emptiness.

It was good while it lasted.

After the lights went out, I was once again suspended in space. But this time I had the memory of the cosmic dance burnt into my consciousness to sustain me... for a while. It was like this one event had put in a glowing marker to my aimless journey. Now that I knew of light, the darkness was oppressive to me, and not liberating. I still do not know why the light appealed to me so much. Perhaps I will always yearn for something that I cannot get…

Anyways, I waited patiently for the lights to return. But waiting has no meaning when time stands still. And thus was born the first active flicker in my passive existence – a yearning for the return of the celestial spectacle that I only vaguely remembered. This flicker of yearning grew and grew, like an ache in the chest and unwept tears in the eyes, and it struggled, like a titan in caught in a net, and it grew and grew… until my hollow shell could not contain it any more. I cried out, “Let there be light”, and there was light.

The last thing I remember before losing consciousness was a voice telling someone, “Congratulations my dear. It’s a boy.”