Nationalism — Pride or Prejudice?

Is it necessary to be patriotic when the country is not at war?  Or do we hang on to the sentiment in hopes of it becoming a habit so we are prepared for war?  Why should we feel patriotic at all?  Patriotism or nationalism has its roots in ethnic identity.  Or maybe even in the more fundamental unit, the family.  Men have supported huge families and are taught since their embryonic stage that blood is thicker than water.  It’s a clever ruse devised by mothers who don’t want to let go.  And of course, there is always this lame duck in the family that requires extra attention.  It was necessary to support an uncle out of a job and a girl that never got married.  When the family no longer demanded full attention and there was enough money to spare, people helped their neighbors.  We choose to bond with neighbors of similar backgrounds, religion, language and culture. It is not easy for us to coexist with those that are not “our kind”.  However, we are also tied to each other by a shared “pride” in our land.

Once we’ve moved past the bias of “kind” and identified ourselves with a heterogeneous community, we are at loggerheads with the establishment–the same establishment that we now praise to other countries, we resent in private.  “Belonging” at this point becomes ambiguous. It seems our social interaction expands in concentric circles and the nation is at the edge of this galactic dimension.  I’ll tell you why the nation is the least favorite uncle.  Nationalism calls on its citizens to make sacrifices.  No one likes to make sacrifices.  No one wants to buy substandard products to boost a nation’s economy.  No one wants to go back to the villages they’ve left, or to give anything back to communities they’ve worked hard to escape from…The idea looks noble and grand on paper but is not really practical or enforceable. Insular economics doesn’t help a nation any.  The solution  is in opening doors to people with new ideas, imitating concepts that have been proven to work, inviting other countries to share.  We need to grow beyond religion, culture and boundaries of land. Cannot look back to roots. Otherwise, we promote fascism where race dominates the individual and the military suppresses any opposition.  Do we really need to learn the lessons of World War II all over again?

Nationalism is absurd.  

Advertisements

Lunar Embassy, the Ambassador to Lunacy: An Update On the Moon

When I first wrote about men colonising the moon, I did not realize that someone had already thought of it.  It seems that back in 1980, Dennis Hope found a loophole in the 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty which allowed him to claim ownership to parts of the moon and other celestial bodies.  He established his company called Lunar Embassy and is now selling plots of lunar real estate.

(Would you believe HIM?)

According to CNN.com:

In addition to their lunar plot, buyers receive a deed, a site map, a copy of the lunar constitution bill of rights and a copy of Hope’s declaration of ownership filed with the U.S. government. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee.

Nonetheless, other speculators have laid claim to the moon as well. One in Texas that peddles moon plots suggests buyers book a ride into orbit aboard the space shuttle and hitchhike the remainder of the way to the moon.

Mr. Hope assures his buyers that they will not get a fake Rolex at twice the price.  This is hilarious.

Ishqiya–No John Galt

Saw Ishqiya last night. Didn’t understand the movie till I was half way through, and then I realized that’s what the director intended. But it was all very vexing. The actors were barely clear in their speech, the dialect was obscure. I cannot imagine any South Indian understanding any of it. Seems to me Hindi has evolved since I left Delhi in 1976, but on second thoughts, I think it WAS the speech delivery that was at fault. I am not referring to the Gorakhpuri–Nasiruddin Shah wasn’t speaking that, was he?
To me, any gun is a bandook. Never heard of a tamancha before. Sign of the times–language has to include instruments of daily use.
The character of the leading lady as a seductress (Vidya Balan) was wholly unusual for a Hindi movie. I see one Hindi movie a year and I feel totally bewildered with all the changes. Its like progressing from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds.
Men wore more make up than women (woman).
The movie was disappointing– it had so much potential for violence.  The jeeja is an ass; he should have killed when he had the chance and gone after Verma himself, unravelled a huge arms smuggling scheme and blamed his own bossy wife for it.  But the makers wanted everybody to look good (with infidelity being the only major flaw). Which reminds me…Hindi movies do harp on infidelity. Nowadays it seems accepted; sign of machismo. Hmmm. The movie came complete with kinky sex games.

I was hoping Verma would turn out to be a John Galt.

Like A Phoenix

I had to change the name of my blog–from priyamsmusings to priyamsez. I found the previous name did not express the true nature of my blog. I was not really musing–maybe amusing–but what I was actually doing was saying stuff. Thats not the whole reason either. I was shocked to find “musings” was a word often used by bloggers. What is everybody musing about? We need a little more action and a little less musing. I’ll do the thinking for the rest of the world. Remove poverty (shift it a little bit to the right over there), eliminate hunger, educate girls, do this, do that and watch “Ishqiya”. There…I did my part. The rest is upto the other bloggers.

We need more Bill Clintons. He is a doer.