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.
GOP Presidential candidate was quick to slam Cubs, while offering sympathies to Indians
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.
They say without Central Asia there would be no Apple.
And I never wondered why!
May be Syria, May be Iran, May be the Turkic peoples, But someone, somehow made it to North America.
All the way to Cupertino and beyond
‘Jobs’ created thus and are aplenty.
Be it for the shiny persona,
Be it for all the delectable simplicity,
Be it for its multi purpose resourcefulness,
Its core defines the Apple – sometimes single and sometimes dual.
Color makes it distinct, and we all have a preference;
Once you own one, you consume it without any hindrance.
Holding an Apple apparently makes you a hipster,
I just learned about it, while I let those onlookers snicker.
If there ever is one, I am already a member
of this exclusive ‘Apple Appreciation Society’.
Use it once and use it twice, why? use it everyday.
Geniuses may want you, but the Doctors will stay away.
Was an ordinary August day,Hot enough to crisp the hay.Rolled and stacked,
And a bit ransacked.
A pasture of trampled summer grass;Golden shine grappled as I pass,Of dusty summer, the hay smelt yet;Whittled bales, they formed a fret.On a dusky meadow, the lambs lay;As the sun shone, they made hay.The penetrating wind whistled away;Of love and joy, my music of the day.
Let’s be honest. Every four years, we all have to force ourselves to show a fake sense of enthusiasm about this sporting event called Olympics. Not that it doesn’t fascinate us. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies sure are fascinating. Because during those ceremonies, you are completely lost in the myriad colors and the many abstract dance forms set to strange music with shiny objects in shapeless shapes floating around, as you patiently wait to cheer for the contingent from your home country parade through the stadium alongside 200 other countries, of which you are likely to forget the names of at least 175 of them till the next Olympics.
Then you start asking yourself..
“Who is the flag-bearer of my home country?..Oh, who is it right behind her? And who is that tall bearded guy ? And who…etc.etc.”, before concluding that you really have no clue who anyone in that contingent is and the only thing you recognize in that contingent is just the national flag. Sigh!
That’s when it strikes you. Rio 2016 is here. And what are you going to do when you run into someone at a party or at your child’s soccer game or at work the next day and the water cooler conversation slowly drifts towards Olympics? You can’t just walk out of the conversation by simply saying, “Sorry. I don’t follow Olympics”. Can you?
Use this pocket guide and you can sound like a complete Olympics aficionado for the next two weeks, after which no one really cares about any of what happened in the past two weeks anyways. Depending on the topic or event being discussed, you can carefully pick any of the quotes (in any order) listed under that specific topic and spew them out with a swag, that only Olympics aficionados can understand.
[Note: It’s important to remember that no one really knows everything about the Olympics and specifically no one really knows anything in detail about any of the events. So, a bit of imagination goes a long way. And don’t forget that swag.]
“With everything that’s wrong politically in Brazil right now, come on, the country is not fully ready. I will keep my fingers crossed till Aug 21..”
“..Corruption. The place has so much corruption that even the water tests conducted on Olympic waters were done by a corrupt agency. I hope the rowing teams are provided with air-fresheners. Am I right or wrong? Ha ha…”
“Zika virus problem may be exaggerated. But I think in this Olympics they should label ‘antibiotics’ as performance enhancing drugs..Ha ha…”
“Do you know that there are five sports that have been contested at every Olympics since the inaugural Games in 1896, and one of them is Fencing..? Do you know the other four?” [Pro-tip: If someone confidently lists four other events, agree with him/her on the first three but say he/she is wrong on the fourth one. Before anyone could say anything, just leave. If no one gives a response, then you blurt out 4 random events..that you remember. No harm done. And leave.]
“Team USA’s men’s fencing team looks the strongest since 1904..They haven’t won a single medal since then. But Alexander Massialas, the No. 1-ranked foil in the world, will be the best hope for gold..”
“Hope Italy and France don’t win as many medals this year as they normally do. Go Team USA!”
“You talking about Mountain Bike or BMX or Road to Track..?”
“The Great Britain Men’s team was amazing in Men’s Team Sprint in London. Can they pull it off again?”
“I still don’t know how BMX became an Olympic event. Seriously hope they make them do BMX inside the Rainforest..That would be something..”
“Whoever came up with Pentathlon must have been smoking something. I mean who would have thought of an event that consists of Fencing, Swimming, Running, Pistol Shooting and ..and..out of all show jumping..? But in olden times i.e. the not so modern Pentathlon had some other 5 events..do you know?”
“Show jumping – I can never stop watching this. So beautiful..Those horses. They arebjust majestic and beautiful. So well trained..”
“May be the host country has a chance here. But I think Great Britain is the favorite..” [Pro-Tip: Feel free to add your own imagination when you are talking about Modern Pentathlon. Very few people follow this and even out of those who follow, very very few know anything about anyone in this sport.]
“Seriously. Who can forget Gabby Douglas from 2012 and be not “impressed” with McKayla Maroney or the Fierce Five? I have my bet on them..” [Remember to use your hands to make the quote gesture and stress on impressed..]
“Between the beam and uneven bars, I dig uneven bars..What’s your favorite?” [Pro-Tip: This normally throws people off in a spin. You will always come out a winner in this. Just keep cool. Swagalicious.]
“Floor exercise is so stressful to watch. Team USA or Brazil or China..? Team USA will clinch gold for the team event for sure. Do you remember the spin she took what’s her name..the ..never mind, the one from Brazil in 2004?” [Pro-Tip: Again, you have a winner on hand. No one will remember. You just move on to saying something profound about Gymnastics in general. Swagalicious.]
Note: This topic is a bit complicated and you need to practice this quite a bit before you can pull it off because Athletics is such a vast category that there are so many different events. A bit of an ear into what specifically is being discussed could go a long way.
“Team USA is going to come home with quite a few here. This is one area where China hasn’t broken the ceiling yet..”
“Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt.” <Mic drop gesture>
“800m is a bit much for him..You are talking about LeShawn right? No?”
“He needs to have a better lift. That’s one thing that would kill you at the 15th km. Remember the Australian who was in the lead till the last 500 m and then lost the gold.? Think it was 2012..May be 2008..” [Pro-Tip: Enough to send the group on a dizzying search because Walking is the last sporting event anyone pays attention to.]
Discus, Hammer Throw, Shot Put, Javelin
“I always say that the technique is the most important thing here. Not your strength. Of course it matters..But to be able to spin like that..Amber has a chance I think. Hope it’s not the Polish again..”
“What? you are not talking about Hammer Throw? Right. Shot put is equally hard. I used to be in my high school shot put team..Barely cleared 50 m..”
Long Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Triple Jump
“Triple jump is my favorite. Looks very easy on TV but it’s really hard. Christian Taylor and Will Claye. Although Germans could nail this..Don’t you agree?”
“Love keeping tabs on this..Do you remember who finished at the bottom in the last Olympics? It was Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco I think. May be Kuwait as well. Always love to see those surprises. Remember Togo? No? Let me explain..” [Pro-Tip: It’s your opportunity to make up a great story. From the 1984 Olympics or 2000 or even 2008. Don’t think anyone cares at this point.]
“If Opening Ceremony is about optimism, I have to admit Closing Ceremony makes me cry. Well sort of. There is always someone crying in the stadium. Especially the citizens of the host nation. Although in Brazil, they could be celebrating that it’s finally over and they can get back to their real lives.. Oh, wait that should make them cry. Anyway….The opening ceremony was a blast this year. Gisele stole the show I think…What did you think of that music they played..? By the way, do you know where the Olympics flame is burning in Rio right now? It’s in a top secret place..Very unusual..”
I woke up this morning to the news of an attempted coup in Turkey.
I woke up yesterday morning to the news of the Nice terror attack.
Being in a different time zone the past few days had meant that my waking hours were filled with a certain emotional feeling that is hard to describe. I don’t enter a state of gloom or depression these days, immediately after I learn about such tragic news like I used to. But I do sense an emotional feeling which is hard to describe.
A sense of exhaustion, perhaps. A vexing sense of helplessness. As I read the news, there of course is a sense of shock to begin with. This lasts only for a few seconds. Then I try to read more about the tragedy. That invariably results in me trying to gather more information. And more. Eye witness accounts. Political experts’ views. Twitter reaction and more tweets. Facebook comments. Journalistic opinions. Video footages. Soon, I find myself involuntarily connected to a limitless stream of information resulting in that utter sense of helplessness.
Why am I unable to help avoid these tragedies? Why don’t I have control over any of these?
What can I do to solve these issues? How can I contribute?
Often these questions arise and I struggle to answer them.
Since such incidents seem to happen more frequently like what we’ve been witnessing in the past few months, that urge to be out there to help seems to fade away resulting in a sense of helplessness, because before I have time to analyze one tragedy, there comes another. Pushing me to a corner of absolute numbness.
…and the world continues to dive deep into a perpetual state of chaos. Or so it seems to me, thanks to the limitless information supply line I am connected to.