WAR IS A LIE: SAY IT IN BROKEN ENGLISH:

6 Jan

Once again it is, “Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”

It didn’t take so much as a nano second for people who are paying attention to point to the elephant in the desert when Trump assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Major General Qassem Soleimani last week:

Iran Finds Oil Field With Over 50 Billion Barrels, Rouhani Says (November 10, 2019, NY Times).

Whatever the actual figure the latest discovery turns out to be, that’s a lotta oil (unless the whole thing is, like war itself, a lie).

Did I say, war is a lie? Oh, no, my boy Riff did. What else did the clever kid say about war?

03

You think maybe there are some people who won’t like the idea of kids reading riff n Raff?

But never mind what my kids say about war, what does a real expert say, say Hermann Goring, for example?

01

Goring on trial at Nuremberg

Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

Yes, he said that, even SNOPES says it’s so.

So, what are you fighting for? It’s not my security.

It’s just an old war (lie), not even a cold war.

Just ask Marianne Faithfull

But, if you’re not sure you can convince people they are under attack, tell them they already have been attacked, and in the case at hand, that Soleimani was in on it:

Mike Pence pushes 9/11 conspiracy theories to justify Suleimani killing (January 4, 2020, The Independent)

Wait. Let’s ask an expert on lying what he thinks. Say, Joseph Goebbels

01

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Information is a commodity and a weapon. In this Age of the Internet ignorance is death, and willful ignorance is suicide.

Now, what was it that my boy Riff said about war?

03

You think maybe there are some people who won’t like the idea of kids reading riff n Raff?

So, what are you fighting for? It’s not my reality.

I started writing Riff n Raff when the Arab Spring kicked off, in December 2010, thinking it was a good time to get back to trying to do something about the world’s bullshit.

I finished it a year later and thought, this would be a good time to launch it, because something ugly was going on.

Every time i got a nibble from an agent or publisher, i told them, “This is good time time to get the book out into the world, because X Y Z are going on.”

The sad reality is that there has never been a bad time to get Riff n Raff out into the world, because X Y Z are always happening.

Now that the book is finally available to the world, the question is, when would be a good time for you for buy,  read, and share it?

TLDR: KABLOOEY!

25 Dec

i predict that, in the near future, mairka was suffer a major terror attack.

02

Investigators will discover that the terrorists were making their plans, via email, uninterrupted

when asked to account for the intel meltdown, the CIA will answer, the emails were too long,

01

“we don’t have anyone with the attenuation span to read them.”

IS HOPEPUNK THE BEST HOPE WE HAVE?

13 Dec

HOPEPUNK? WTF is that?

Yeah, that’s what I thought when I stumbled across the term the other day.  I am no literary scholar, but I figured this much out without having to Google it: following on cyberpunk and steampunk, it’s a sub genre of sci-fi, and works labelled as such  must instill hope.

The term was coined in 2017, in response to Trump taking up residence in the White House. From what I gather, my new book, THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS VOL 1. can rightly be labelled hopepunk.

Riff-N-Raff-cover-2

I started writing my book in 2010, as I watched the ignition of the Arab Spring .

01

Interestingly, there would be no Trump presidency if not for the Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring begat Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street was a miracle of sorts. There’s no way a small mob of stinky hippies pitching tents on a green space in the epicenter of crony capitalism should have caught fire the way it did. No way it would have happened when I was protesting everything (I hasten to point out that  I was never a stinky hippie!).

Marx said that two things are needed for a revolution: the objective conditions,

01

and the subjective readiness.

01

These must exist at the same time.

Any wannabe revolutionary will tell you that the objective conditions are always there. The subjective readiness is a little harder to figure out. If you give ’em an inch, they will take a mile, but how many miles will they take before people say NO MORE?

The subjective readiness was there in the early autumn of 2011 when the Arab-Spring-inspired Occupy movement started. The Mairkan public had been raped by Wall Street (2008 super nova of Fanny May and Freddie Mac. Obama fueled the fire by bailing out the banks, who fueled it even more big handing out bonuses to their execs; they didn’t just fiddle while Rome burned, they partied hard. That’s why Occupy exploded.

01

That, and the fact that we are no longer solely dependent on mainstream media for our news of the world.

Occupy got so much traction that the mainstream media could not ignore it. Occupy woke Trump’s core, the trampled-undefoot victims of globalization. They started looking for a champion. Call Trump an idiot all you want, but my bet is that he was fully aware of the gift presented to him by Occupy, and jumped on it.

Bernie Sanders’ core was also woke by Occupy. But Sanders is a socialist, which is the same thing as a dirty, Godless communist to most Mairkans, especially those who lived through the Cold War

01

And he’s a Jew, to boot (and, let’s face it, many Mairkans would love to boot a Jew, or two). So, Sanders was unpalatable to Trumps people.

A Trump vs Sanders battle for the White House would have been far more fascinating than Trump vs Hillary. But without the Arab Spring, and subsequently Occupy, it would have been Jeb (EMPEROR BUSH III) vs Mrs. Clinton.

Clash of the empires, but prima facie meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

But that’s not how it went down, as we all know. What started when a kid in Tunisia got so fed up with the constant bullshit of the authorities that he burned himself to death in the streets lead to Trump’s victory march to DC. The Butterfly Effect writ large in the Age of the Internet.

01

The Law of Unintended Consequences. It’s a strange, strange world we live in, n’est-ce pas?

And now a new age stands ready to be born into the lit world  Hopepunk is, or can be, a ripple in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Four years before the term hopepunk was coined, Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner) called on the writers of the world to do our part in making a better world.

Yunus’ contention is that we create the societies we IMAGINE. Take a look at the major sci-fi works of the 20th century and tell me he is wrong.

dystopian book matrix

The creators of those works cannot be blamed for the fact that we have built the world they imagined. As some clever someone quipped, 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

If we IMAGINE the world we want, we will build it. That’s the hope of hopepunk. That’s our new job.

And hopepunk may be the hope of the lit biz, which is dying in a world where new generations don’t read books anymore. What the scions of the lit biz have to understand is that hopepunk can be a monster, which can not only bring new generations back to books, but help build a better world.

Those scions need to understand that they cannot dictate what hopepunk is. . Hopepunk need not  be all Pollyanna. There can be some snarl to it (it is called hopePUNK, after all). Leaving contentious, inflammatory works out in the cold may well result in the promising genre being dismissed as little more than Sunday school sermonizing., albeit without having to run the risk of kids being molested by religious perverts (and please, let’s not pretend religious perverts don’t exist, for gawd’s sake).

In order to make the lit biz big wigs understand the point, I cede the floor to Ray Bradbury’s response to news that his classic, Fahrenheit 451, had been censored, little by little, with each new edition that had been printed:

“The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/ Republican, Mattachine/ Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme”

full quote here

01

Bradbury is vomiting in his grave every time he thinks of “sensitivity editors”, as well he should be.

As much as I believe that there is hope in hopepunk, I don’t really think the scions of the lit biz are gonna get it, let alone embrace it. If they take a fancy to it, they will try to neuter it. Still, we can hope. Strangers things have happened, right?

01

Or, we can get the job done without the lit biz. Occupy didn’t need mainstream media. We now have the tech to skate around the big lit biz people. And we can do it. Stranger things have happened, right?

 

 

NO FRIENDS ANYWHERE ON REDDIT

11 Dec

01

I took my clever solution to the Redskins vs redskins name brouhaha to a Redskins subReddit. Aside form on smart ass, it was crickets.

So, I took it to the NFL subReddit, where a couple people called me an idiot before the post was removed

 

 

JUST SAY NO TO BOOKS?

10 Dec

if i told people i was selling a new-to-you drug from India, i’d get 1000 times more interest than i do when i say i am selling a new book.

they’d have no idea what the drug is, or what it will do to them,

02

but they’d take the chanceS, anyway.

But they just say NO to books.

01

wha-hahahaha!

NO FRIENDS IN INDIAN COUNTRY

9 Dec

01

One of the primary characters in the book is an Indian (North American variety) named Basher. In book 3 Basher comes up with a solution to the ongoing acrimony about the name of the Washington football team, the Redskins.

This has been an ongoing battle for years. From time to time it flares up so much that it garners headlines. Lots of headlines. When it did so a few years, I came up with a win/win solution. I got as far with the idea as inner circle of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, before they fucked me off. I attempted to put the idea into the heads of American Indians, but failed. Having nothing else to do with it, I put it into book three as the subplot.

Thinking that I might find some people interested in the idea, not only as a subplot but as a real idea that might work if the Redskins and redskins if they give it serious consideration, I wandered into Indian Country, which is the name of the largest subReddit on Reddit.

What follows is the verbatim discussion. I don’t know how long it will be accessible, but I have included the link at the bottom of the discussion.

I have not bothered to correct my typos, and there are a few. I have an eye condition, related to my diabetes, that makes it almost impossible to navigate on the Reddit platform because I have to magnify my screen to see text, and when I do much of the page disappears off the screen, so I make mistakes. And I don’t really give a fuck about typos in casual online blabbing anyway, so….

****

r/IndianCountry

  • Posted by

u/brainslam

18 hours ago

PALE FACE WRITER SAYING HELLO

Discussion/Question

Sorry, this post has been removed by the moderators of r/IndianCountry.

Moderators remove posts from feeds for a variety of reasons, including keeping communities safe, civil, and true to their purpose.

 

I hope I can call myself a pale face here. I actually prefer to refer to myself as a poor white trashole, but Facebook doesn;t like that, so you may not either.

I was brn and raised in thunder Bay, Ontario. I grew up in a housing project, where a lot of Indians lived, including a guy named Vernon Linklater who went on to become the super heavyweight amateur boxing champion of Canada.I haven;t lived in thunder for 37 years (I’m 56 and now live in India), but I understand there are some very ugly race problems in the Lakehead, most of which involve ignorance and bigotry.

Anyway, to my point. I have written a new book, the title of which I shan’t divulge because I got my head ripped off by a moderator on the books sub a couple months ago for doing that. The book is a trilogy of three novellas starring two 15 year olds who repeatedly save the world – they prevent a nuclear war, solve global warming and end hatred

The pair are aided and abetted by a colourful cast of characters, one of whom is a bruiser from the rez, who is doing his to not want to put a hurt on anyone, including the bad guys. The kids never resort to violence. They achieve their goals by using the one superpwoer we all have, which is LOVE.

The unnamed bruiser (I will keep him unnamed here for fear of breaching promotional rules) is also a 15 year old. He’s a football layer and drums in the heroes’ band. The subplots of the third story involves him and his Gypsy friend setting out to meet WARshington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. You see, my boy has a solution to the acrimonious name brouhaha.

I came up with the solution years ago, before I wrote this book. I attempted to get the idea to Snyder, but only got as far as one of his inner circle, before being ignored. I really belive my solution is a win-win. I have included it as a subplot n the book in the hope of casting some light on the idea in the hope that it might be taken seriously enough to consider (BTW, I did try to bring it to the attention of an Indian leader in the States, but that, too, went nowhere..

So, WTF do I want? A chance to introduce you to my kids. That’s it. If you happen to buy the book, great. If you decide to debate my solution to the name problem, even better.

I will be posting something similar on a Redskins sub or two. maybe the debate will have some fresh fuel if everyone interested gets into it.

I am pretty new to Reddit, so I will fumble my way around until I get the hang of it. Should I run adoul of some things, forgive me, please.

in conclusion, I am hoping that some of you in Indian country will be good enough to reply to this post and tell me what you think about my interloping ass tresspassing in your territory.

Please and thank you!

20 Comments

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level 1

Kabusanlu

6 points·18 hours ago

🙄

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level 1

yupolowake

6 points·17 hours ago

What the actual f. Whole lot of words for you to just drop a slur at the end.

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level 2

brainslam

0 points·17 hours ago

I’m a writer. Words are my currency.

What slur?

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level 3

Kabusanlu

5 points·16 hours ago·edited 16 hours ago

If you’re trying to “write” about Native issues then no one here should have to explain..

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level 4

brainslam

-1 points·14 hours ago

Okay

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level 3

yupolowake

3 points·11 hours ago

If those “words” are your currency you are broke as fuck and it’s no wonder you’re on reddit begging for readers

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level 4

brainslam

-7 points·11 hours ago(0 children)

level 1

RunWithTheRailroad

5 points·15 hours ago

Reddit is just not a good place for peddling duder. You’ll probably be pretty ill received in this community if you just come walking out full frontal-style like that. These ain’t the 80’s-90’s NDN’s it sounds like you’re used to to be frank

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level 2

brainslam

1 point·14 hours ago

I believe you

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level 3

brainslam

1 point·13 hours ago

But, just to clarify, are you saying that y’all ain;t nothin’ like guys such as splitting-the Sky and wolverine? Y’all ain’t nothin like the people who organized standoffs at Oka and Gustafsen Lake?

’cause if that’s true, I am probably in the wrong place.

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level 4

yupolowake

5 points·11 hours ago

Man, get out of here with tired, stereotyping bullshit. Nobody here wants to listen to ramble about “pale faces” and co-opt Russell Means quotes to shame us. And certainly nobody wants to read your books. There’s plenty of Indigenous writers who are a thousand times more deserving of our readership.

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level 5

brainslam

-4 points·11 hours ago

What stereotyping are you taking about? Can you be specific? Or is that just what white people do all the time? Stereo-typically, I mean.

No doubt there are a lot of your own people writing. They may be aware of a new genre that is rising, that may be of interest to them. It’s known as HOPEPUNK. It’s a sub genre of sci-fi>

If you think of the biggest sci-fi books of the 20th century, they are almost all dystopian. HOPEPUNK turns that on its head by inspiring optimism. HOPEPUNK was born as a reaction to a Trump White House. It’s catching on.

Muhammad Yunus , who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for creating micro loans for poor people in his native Bangladesh, is a big fan of something called social fiction, which is where HOPEPUNK essentially comes from. His belief, and I believe him, is that if we put positive ideas into popular culture, we will create positive changes in the wolrd. That’s what my book is about.

I actually wrote my book long before the rise of HOPEPUNK. My inspiration was the Arab spring. Which inspired the Occupy movement.

But you’re probably tired of me, already, so maybe I should just STF up, right?

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level 6

yupolowake

2 points·6 hours ago

Didn’t read a word of that except the last line and you’re right about one thing, you should shut the fuck up

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level 1

Cuzcopete

4 points·15 hours ago

So what’s up with the goofy 1950s tv “paleface” rhetoric?

As I say to my University students when evaluating their essays: get to the point before you lose your audience. You can simply explain that you are an author, have written a work of fiction partially based on your own experiences growing up in Canada among First Nations people, and hope it will be read.

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level 2

brainslam

1 point·14 hours ago

I’ve written professionally for more than 30 years. I learned one thing worth keeping when I was in j-school – hook ’em, or lose ’em.

You have your way of writing, I have mine.

To be clear, are you saying that using the word “Indian” does not fly here in Indian Country? I do want to be clear about that (you specifically used the term First nations people).

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level 3

Cuzcopete

2 points·14 hours ago

The general term for Indigenous peoples in Canada is First Nations, in the US it is Native American. However it’s always best to use the actual tribal name. For example: Dine instead of Navajo, Lakota rather than Sioux, Inuit in place of Eskimo etc.

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level 4

brainslam

1 point·13 hours ago

I did specify that my hometown is on Ojibwa territory.

I am well ware of what the general terms are in Canada and the USA. Given the name of this forum, I assume that the people who started it are generally fine with Russell Means’ quote,:

“The one thing I’ve always maintained is that I’m an American Indian. I’m not politically correct”

I am not politically correct, either. But this is your place, and I am an interloper, so I will abide by whatever rules you set. Somehow,though, I suspect not everyone here has a problem with the word Indian, yeah? Just checking.

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level 5

pithyretort

6 points·11 hours ago

There’s a big difference between not being “politically correct” when talking about your own identity/story/culture and when talking about the identity/story/culture of others.

Given that you don’t seem to have figured that out yet, I don’t think your assumptions are going to get you very far.

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level 6

brainslam

1 point·10 hours ago

I am asking if there is unanimity about the use of the word Indian. According to this, written by a mod of this sub, there is not:

https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/54xh81/eli5why_are_native_americans_still_referred_to_as/

I am also tryng to put forward what could be a solution to the Redskins name arguments, one which could make life better for your people. SOME of your people.Maybe quite a few.

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level 1

Herminigilde

3 points·5 hours ago

You said you’re new to Reddit, so here’s a tip (on the off chance that you’re telling the truth). Most subs have rules. Read the rules. On some subs breaking the rules will get you reported, your post removed or you permanently banned

I can virtually guarantee you’ve been reported several times today. Go read the rules

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https://www.reddit.com/r/IndianCountry/comments/e7s0zn/pale_face_writer_saying_hello/0

FREE AT LAST FREE AT LAST, THANK GODZILLA ALMIGHTY YOU CAN BE FREE AT LEAST

6 Dec

I have been playing around with words and ideas for the past couple days, as is my wont, trying to come up with an opening argument in my case to sell THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS to the world.

Just before sitting down to get down to it just now, I checked my Facebook memories, as is my wont, because I mine those fat veins for gems deposited and too often forgotten, and because it is a special new day, because I FINALLY have a book for sale, and I wanted to see what I was up to on this day in the past.

Evidently, I shared the Camus gem with my friends, most of whom I don’t know, on this day eight years ago. As soon as I saw the words on my screen I knew it was the place to start, because my book is a rebellion. And so I shall – start my case with Canus’ truth, and continue the act of rebellion that is my life, that is – as Mozart’s Requiem plays randomly on my YouTube shuffle (and I do hope that is not a portentous overture from the Evil Clown Gods Who Rule the Universe, but make note of it, if that should come to pass, because it would be evidence of… some damn thing, n’est-ce pas?).

Boys and girls, of all ages, of the jury, we do, indeed, live in an unfree world. As some sage, Internet meme guru recently quipped, modern slaves are not in chains, they are in debt.

Clever because it is true, yes? But there is more to the meme than meets the eye.

We are all indebted to those who came before us, fought for the freedoms we enjoy, and were often imprisoned, beaten, shunned, and murdered for their efforts to create a better world. Start paying your debt to them and you will free yourself, and future generations will be indebted to you.

I have been cognizant of this undeniable truth since I was but a boy. I have long understood that I can only pay my debt to those genuine heroes of the human race by following Canus’ aforementioned imploration. Volume 1 of THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS is my latest, perhaps my greatest, attempt to pay down my debt.

I started writing the book just about nine years ago, inspired by the opening of the Arab Spring. I wrote the book in the hope that it may inspire others, especially teens, to rage against the machine.

I could have churned out a dogma laden screed, as too many have done before me, but what the Hell is the point of that? A screed is a screed, is a screed, after all, and the world ain’t needing no more of all that tiresome jazz.

In a world where each successive generation from this point forward will chant TLDR as a mantra, you have to infuse a lot of fun into anything longer than 140 characters if you hope to open/change minds with mere words.

Thus, the underlying message of the book is simple: rebelling is fun! Riff n Raff have fun while saving the world, and so can you. I know this to be true, for I have had a Hell of a lot of fun over the course of my life, as I openly and gleefully mocked anyone fool enough to think they have power over me, and a right to try to stop whatever the fuck I was up to at that particular time. If y’all to do the same, you will see for yourselves just how much fun it is.

But in order to savour this flavor of fun, you must first overcome fear.

Fear enslaves far more people than debt. Fear is the reason the human race is so far behind schedule in its march to civilization.

The entire history of humanity’s attempt to civilize itself comes down to three words: assholes oppressing cowards. Fear them not, if you want to be free. The more fun you have while shaking off your shackles, the less you will fear.

I understand that’s a lot to ask. I understand that we are trained to fear the assholes who oppress us. But I also understand that there is some, ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me,” in each and every one of you. I wrote this book with the hope that readers will free their minds of the fear that keeps them from paying down the debt they owe for what freedoms we have.

Above all, this is a book of hope.

But it is not a collection of inspirational meme worthy quotes, ‘cause, let’s face it, those get pretty damned trite, pretty damn quick, and no one should even attempt to eat an entire box in one sitting.

Reading the book will be more fun than watching naked lepers bungy jump, more fun than pissing in a toaster.

Riff n Raff know how to have fun!

I am often told that I am years ahead of my time. I have never understood how, or why that is, but I suppose there is some truth to it. I finished writing THE RIFF N RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1 about eight years ago, so maybe its time has come.

Bogart famously said, “The problem with the world is that everyone is a couple drinks behind.”

Knowing that to be true, it is my pleasure to announce that the bar is open. Riff n Raff are serving courage cocktails. Place your orders, and don’t forget to tip my kids.

Here it is. Come and get it!

PISSING ON GANDHI’S GRAVE

18 Oct

Yeah yeah yeah, I know Gandhi was not buried. Whad’ya think I am, schtoopid, or somethin’?

On October 2, 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Matatma Gandhi, I thought I would be celebrating the launch of my first book published by someone other than myself, THE RIFF n RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1. The book, a trilogy of silly-serious novellas, stars fifteen year old best friends, Riff n Raff, who repeatedly save the world. They prevent a nuclear war, solve global warming, and end hatred. They never resort to violence, choosing, instead, to employ their one superpower, the one superpower we all have, which is LOVE.

Setting October 2 as the launch date was not by accident. Given that I am living in India, for the moment, and the publisher is Indian, we thought it would be fitting to send the tales of hope and love out into the world on Gandhi’s birthday.

We were not the only ones who sought to capitalize on the Mahatma’s birthday as a unique opportunity to launch an artistic project.

The producers of a Bollywood film also caveat emptored.

The launch of my book was halted on September 27 because the cover featured DJ Gandhi laying down some fat beats, while Riff n Raff, and the other heroes of the Utopian yarn dance to his grooving grooves, while the villains look on scowling.

People inside my publisher’s team were afraid that this would lead to mobs of irate Gandhians turning violent.

The film that launched on the same day is titled WAR.

I will say, for the record, that I admire the cheek of the film’s producers. More so than their craft, but never mind that.

Unless I missed something, irate mobs of Gandhians did not storm the theatres across India where the film made its debut. Not so much as a single protest was mounted against the film, unless, perhaps, a few dismayed Gandhians threw popcorn at the screen, but I doubt that. Quite the opposite, in fact, if the film’s Wikipedia page is to be believed: “War set the record for the highest-opening day collection for a Bollywood film in India. With a worldwide gross of over 400 crore ($4 million, give or take a couple shekels), it emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019.”

I was one of the million or so people who coughed up to see the shoot-em-up. I couldn’t help myself. The irony of it all was just too great to resist.

I started writing my book while the Arab Spring was kicking off, in December 2010. Yes, the uprising was my inspiration to pick up the project that I had abandoned a decade earlier. To say that my struggle to get the book published has been frustrating would be a massive understatement. Time and again, I was told that there simply is no market for an anti-war book in this age of perpetual war.

One of the reasons I came to Inidia is that I had seen an interesting interview with Aamir Khan, one of the giants of Bollywood.

The interviewer says that Bollywood films are always about hope, whereas Western films are about despair. Khan nods his head in agreement. My book is all about hope.

A friend sent me the 2011? interview when I told him I was striking out, yet again, this time in Istanbul, and thinking the land of Gandhi might be my next stop.

 Although her song is about a personal romance, I can apply Pink’s beautiful plea for hope to my hope for humanity at large (and my book’s possible contribution to that hope).

Just give me a reason
just a little bit’s enough
just a second, we’re not broken
just bent
and we can learn to love again

 So I packed my bag and flew off to Calcutta.

The thousand seater theatre was packed. Easily 99% of attendees were males under the age of 30. Young and dumb and full of rum, they hooted and hollered the moment the blood started to spill on the screen. Hell, they could barely contain themselves when the Indian national anthem played prior to projection.

I’m not gonna give you my opinion of the film, for I was not there to do a review. I was there because, well you know why I was there.

But I will say this much about the flick: although I loved the dance scenes, I was a little disappointed by them. I knew there would be dance scenes, of course, but I was hoping that the combatants would call a cease fire in the middle of a gun battle to bust some moves with some busty Bollywood babe-atollahs (and I’d love it even more if the next Rambo film would do it, too!). Ah, but that would be too discordant, wouldn’t it? Maybe even sacrilegious, huh?  

The young and dumb and full of rum boys are not monsters. A dozen or so of them even asked to take selfies with me during the intermission, just after taking sellfies while standing and simpering  next to the film poster in the lobby (I am very much a visual anomaly here).

I watched about 10 minutes of the second reel before handing my half eaten box of two day old popcorn to the ten year old muncnkin making monkey noises in the seat next to me, and taking my leave. They’d gotten my money, they weren’t gonna get anymore of my time. I’d seen enough.

The young and dumb and full of rum boys are not monsters, I repeated to myself on my way home. But they can be turned into monsters. Alas, has ever been thus.

But where the fuck is the hope in the land of Gandhi today? I contemplated that for an hour, oh so, while staring into the void from my rooftop. I suppose, I said to myself, it is in Gandhi and his message.

So, I made my way to my computer and watched Gandhi for the first time since it came out in 1982. That was the year this rebel found his cause. Along with If You Love This Planet, Gandhi made me an activist, instead of just a complainer.

On the bizarre night of October 2, 2019, I really needed some of Gandhi’s wisdom to give me a reason, just a little bit’s enough. I am happy to report that I found it while watching the three hour masterpiece.

And I laughed, as I realized that it was a Hollywood film that glorified Gandhi, not a Bollywood production. The irony did not stop on that day; it just kept rolling in front of my eyes.

So, what is it that Gandhi said that gives me hope? The quote is used in the film, of course. Twice, as a matter of fact. The second time comes right after his assassination at the film’s end, before the credits roll.

“All through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Think of it: always.”

Here’s hoping, little big man. Here’s hoping.

THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL BOOK NEVER PUBLISHED?

7 Oct

4 covers final

Everyone knows that banning, or burning a book results in increased interest and sales. But what would happen if the publisher, and everyone involved with the making of the book, were slaughtered mercilessly? Preferably starting with the artists, and excluding the author.

Would it be even more astonishing, and profitable if the victims were massacred by disciples of Mahatma Gandhi?

Those are the questions I had to ponder long and hard a week and a half ago, just five days before my book, THE RIFF n RAFF REBELLIONS VOLUME 1, was scheduled to launch.

Well, that’s a fib; I knew damn well that such an atrocity would boost interest and sales of the book. So, the questions I actually had to ponder were: was it worth it, and if so, how could I convince my publisher that it would never happen, and hope that it did?

Okay, that, too, is a fib, because I did not believe, for a second, that publication of my book would result in mobs of murderous Gandhians laying waste to the office and everyone inside. Nor, for the record, did the publisher, but no argument could convince the other conspirators that there was any point risking it.

Now, i have zero doubt that my silly/serious book will be controversial, if it becomes widely read. But I could not have imagined that having an illustration of Gandhi DJing a dance party would be the most contentious thing about it, and I am endowed with a fuckin’ eh wild imagination.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, we will never know just how insane Gandhians would become by seeing an image of the Mahatma spinning some vinyl (and it’s not as if I was the first to come up with the idea).

because we have agreed to kill the cover.

So, for those of you – too few, boo hoo – who were anxiously awaiting your chance to read my magnum opus (thus far) are going to have to wait awhile. How long awhile? Fucked if I know. This is India.

If you really don;’t know what I mean when I shrug and say, this is India, let me see if I can explain in a way that will amuse you, and hopefully not result in me, or anyone I know, being disemboweled.

When I leave here, wherever I go, I am going to open an Indian restaurant. And I’m gonna name it… TOMORROW. I will name it TOMORROW because, no matter what you order, expensive or cheap, complex or simple, you ain’t getting served until TOMORROW. And everyone employed at the restaurant will be an artist (so, you may not get your meal until NEXT FUCKING WEEK!).

I swear, the only job Indians finish is fucking. And even in that, they stop for tea. Three times, if you’re not quick about it. So, if you are getting jiggy, hot and heavy, down and dirty with someone from the land of Gandhi (aka TOMORROWSTAN), and they get up and just walk away in the middle of all the passion, you’ll know why: because it’s fucking tea time.

I’m gonna be an asshole, and leave you hanging, scratching your heads and wondering WTF?, for the moment, but when we pick the story up again, I will explain just why it is not absolutely beyond belief that Ganhians might have killed us all, if we went ahead with the cover.

For now, good people, I leave you with this, which I know to be true, from more experience than i wish i had gained over the course of my life, so far: FEAR IS THE MOST PERNICIOUS THING IN THE UNIVERSE.