Nov 15, 2016
London — Fictional Bureau
The latest British Punk Rock Band “Brex Pistols” is all set to release its debut album on Nov 16, 2016, exactly a week after Mr. Donald J. Trump got elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. The album titled “Never Mind The Bollocks (In the Middle)” has already created a tremendous buzz across social media and as of this morning, hashtags #NotMyBollocks #SexitOrBrexit and #NMTBITM were in the top 5 trending topics on twitter in the UK.
The band’s lead vocalist and its frontman Nigel Farage had this to say..
“I think frankly when it comes to chaos you ain’t seen nothing yet. I mean chaos in the music industry. During the (Brexit) referendum I said I want my country back. What I’m saying now is I want my music back, and it begins right now with this album.”
To a question if this album will have any reconciliatory tone at all given the prevaliling bitter atmosphere in the UK after the Brexit referendum, Mr. Farage and Mr. Kassam were quick to say “NO”.
“Listen! That goes against the fundamental pricinples of the very foundation of this band. We will continue to be nationalistic, racist and anti-immigrationary in our tone. And this album, in particular will be extra inflammatory in its theme because of the recent US election results. The highlight of this album is going to be a bonus track, which we in fact, just completed recording. The track titled “Anarchy in the world” features Mr. Trump. We can’t wait for the world to take a listen. Peace.”
The band also released this picture of themselves with the President Elect Mr. Trump, which they took while in New York last Saturday.
Disclaimer: This is a work of satire published with the sole intention of humoring those who enjoy such posts. The album artwork was created exclusively for this post. The above picture of Nigel Farage, his partners and Donald Trump is an original picture as shared by Raheem Kassam.
Cracking at the dawn
The daylight that’s gone
Walking down the lane
Felt a tingling on my cane
Pitching for a cutter
Forking up a dollar
Teeming with delight
Trying to stand straight
Weakening of my knees
And the trembling brings some trees
Bringing it Bringing it Bringing it down
The Earth is Bringing it Bringing it Bringing it down
Running for my life
Jumping in Strife
Thrusting up my chest
I am giving up with no protest
Searching for one life
Looking up the dead
Losing all my hopes
Will I be tossing all my ropes?
Mangling of the steel hive
Pulling out none alive
Staying up Staying up Staying up High
We all (are) Stayin’ up Staying up Staying up High!!
Like all of you, I would like to believe in the goodness of America and Americans, no matter what our politics is, no matter which end of the policy spectrum we are on and no matter who the President is. But just hoping that “Everything will be OK” is not enough. It’s easier said than experienced. Everything is not going to be OK till you and I actually make an effort to make everything OK. Everything is not going to be OK till we collectively (and not selectively) call out all the “-isms” that seem to have started showing up their ugly faces in our society of late in the guise of “politics” or hidden as “personal freedom”. Everything is not going to be OK till all of us stand up against the “newly” infused boldness to make hatred mainstream.
I have created an album on Facebook to share what the Post-Nov08-2016 America is beginning to feel like for some of us. All these images/videos (and incidents) have been reported after Nov 8, 2016. By no means, this is a comprehensive collection of every single hate related incident that has happened around the country. Only those that came to my attention.
I am not naive. I completely understand that these incidents reflect a small proportion of a vastly diverse but a very kind and a beautiful country.
So, what is my goal and why am I doing this?
My answer is “I don’t know yet”.. Just spreading awareness for now. That’s all.
Before you call me out, let me call myself out first 🙂 Yes, this is every bit of ‘social-media-slacktivism’ as you think it is, but I don’t mind if it comes across that way because I believe if you want to stand up for any form of social injustices, you have to start somewhere. And No, I am not trying to exaggerate or blow anything out of proportion. Simply highlighting the “new” hatred that is real and that’s being experienced by real people of this country.
And my hope is that all these initial euphoric emotions will fade away in the coming days. And my hope is also that we won’t try to “normalize” these things.
Not now. Not ever.
I have tried to validate these images/videos and the locations as much as I can (but certainly have not performed extreme vetting ). So, I definitely don’t guarantee that every image is authentic or has an authentic story behind it. If I find out there is such an image/video or story that is not authentic later on, don’t worry I will remove it from here. And my intention is also not to share every “-ism” based rant on social media. My focus is to only share images/videos that corroborate actual “new” hatred fueled incidents.
If you live in certain parts of the country or if your lifestyle keeps you in a secure bubble, then all these might sound and feel too farfetched or unreal and I completely respect that. But if these images shake you up a little bit, then that’s exactly what will act as the first step towards having active and meaningful conversations. Not here on social media. But within your communities, with your family members, friends and neighbors.
Don’t we all want to exercise our First Amendment rights to the fullest in order to keep the country safe for all?
Right now this album is not public and at some point, if it is needed, I will have to make it public. I hope I don’t have to. But since I shared the above on Facebook, I figured it is worth sharing it on my blog as well because the sentiments that I have echoed above are valid even without any images. Though some of you reading this may not have seen the actual images that are there in the album, be assured that they all are disturbing. The only silver lining in all of this is that there is no death or major injury as yet, as a result of these hatred fueled attacks.
There is a tunnel I see,
A treacherous path to flee.
The tunnel is lonely and bare,
Yet full of people who are completely unaware.
A tunnel with an unreachable end,
With all its darkness to fend.
Wish they could see the light,
After they shed all their fright.
There is an instinct of hope,
Even if the terrain is aslope.
A journey over mounds of grime.
Through the “Tunnel of Time”.
Nov 03, 2016
Cleveland — Fictional Bureau
With less than a week to go for the Presidential elections and with the state of Ohio still up for grabs & perhaps within his reach, Donald J Trump did what Donald J Trump normally does. He cried foul.
As soon as news started pouring out from Cleveland that Chicago Cubs have won the world series, the presidential candidate was quick to register his sympathies for Cleveland Indians through a tweet, may be because they are a team from Ohio. We can’t find a single real reason why he would hate Chicago other than the fact that President Obama is from Chicago and Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago.
Here’s the tweet he sent out as soon as he found out that Cubs had won.
During the press conference that was held a few minutes ago, when a reporter in the room asked what his proof was to the claim that world series has been rigged, his campaign manager shared a copy of an email that has been obtained from the latest wikileaks hack job. This was an email apparently sent by Donna Brazile to the Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
When our reporter further insisted on more proof, Mr. Trump threw this printed “conspiracy” image on our reporter’s face and walked away.
As Mr. Trump was walking out of the hotel lobby, he turned towards the reporter and said,
“..If you can’t confirm from that image that the world series has been rigged, especially that Game 7 has been rigged tremendously, then I am not sure you deserve to be a reporter. I think even you are rigged bigly…” .
Note: This was the image that Mr. Trump dropped on our reporter’s face.
Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece with photoshopped images (including that of the Donald Trump tweet), published with an intention to humor those who enjoy such pieces.
There was this short story I wrote almost 7 years ago. The title of the story was “33 minutes” and I had called it thus because the sequence of events that form the crux of that short story happen in 33 minutes. (I am sure you have guessed that reason even without reading the story.). Here it is..
A good friend of mine reminded me earlier today that yesterday was Authors’ Day (Or International Authors’ Day) and that reminded me of this story I had written. As I was reading it again this morning, several memories flashed through. Firstly, I was amused with myself for having imagined to write a story like this. Then I was surprised with myself for having the clarity I seemed to have had then about the characters. Being a short story, I didn’t delve into a lot of details. But I could recollect many of the details that went unwritten (but stay fresh in my mind even today) about the characters, events, etc. So, I thought I would quickly pen down some of those details without specifically going into the details..Know what I mean?
1) Mayan Bloodletting Ceremony – There is enough reading material out there but this was a real ceremony that was common in Mesoamericas. I definitely took some artistic liberty in imagining the ceremony in my own way. Here is a publication worth reading on this topic.
2) Vision Serpent – Again this was a real symbol from the pre-columbian Mayan era. The symbol on the package was manually created by me keeping the vision serpent in the center. And I had a specific reason to create the symbol thus.
3) If it is not clear in the story (it is intentional) Chief Shirley is a single mom with 2 kids. Amber (13 year old girl) and Timothy (9 year old boy). There is a back story for Chief Shirley that I didn’t fully develop but had sketches of what it would be like.
4) Backstories of Sergeants Kimberly and Sam. What is their relationship?
5) Time period. Which time period is this story set in? I had deliberately left it ambiguous. Gives an opportunity to the readers to let their imagination do the trick.
6) And finally the town of Hemsville – I had imagined it to be in a certain way. There are many characters who are the citizens of Hemsville that are waiting to be developed in a more detailed manner. So many side stories to build on. For example the three other characters who briefly get a mention in this story – Himler (the deliveryman), the unnamed Hemsville Police Department (HPD) night shift clerk and the Security Guard.
While I was revisiting this story this morning (as I was walking my dog out on a mildly chilly Autumn morning), I had a flash of an idea. An idea that I believe would be simply awesome for a short film. I even had the sequence of the scenes built in my mind in a few minutes. But then making a short film is going to be that much more difficult for now.
So for now, I have decided to take up the challenge of converting that film idea into a short story first. I say challenging because…because..hmmm..you will know when I actually publish it here.
Last night, when I was walking around the neighborhood with my daughter (my son, who is 12 now went trick-or-treating on his own with a friend…sigh!! They do grow up fast..), I realized that I was enjoying this experience of being in the block in a semi-dark ambiance, running into known and mostly unknown faces. We normally exchange quick pleasantries and wish each other “Happy Halloween”. But since this kind of face to face exchanges with my neighbors (so many at a time) don’t happen that often on a regular basis, this experience has always been special.
All of us, the trick-or-treaters, walking around on a Halloween evening had a purpose of joy, one that of simply letting our kids collect candies (or whatever) and had a purpose of satisfaction, one that of seeing the kids’ faces let out bright smiles, when they walk back to the road victoriously after each conquest. Also, that hour or two is a great equalizer for all of us neighbors (we have some 200 plus houses in our subdivision). Because the evening of Halloween brings everyone in the neighborhood out to walk on the same trail.
Years of walking around the block with my kids on Halloween night has also given me a unique perspective on how each house (including ours) prepares for the Trick-or-Treat affair on October 31. And how I can classify these candy givers. Of course, this is a fun exercise and I could have done this classification based on what candies they give or based on so many other factors. But I decided to take this approach.
Here you go:
Which type are you?