[+3] paperback activists considered really, really  harmful

September 6, 2013

This is the last of the series of posts. Relax. You don’t have  to read this, got it?

The previous ones are here:


Scenario #10

Norman L Programmer is moving around in a major frenzy these days… His latest discovery is  Neuro Linguistic Programming (unfortunately, he had gone through one of the NLP evangelical  programs; and, this is my complaint against these kinds of self-help courses – they just don’t follow carefully laid down entry criteria, with the result that non-serious individuals (like our Norman) get in just because they can afford the fee quantum!) and just like any other neo-convert to any new concept – he feels that all ills of the world can be solved using NLP.  He is thoroughly convinced that he can convince his brain to convince his body that – it is capable of miracles. He practices his new fangled NLP factoids on anyone and anything that he comes across. He even told me that, in just a 2 hour session, he made his (one of his) relative’s chronic arthritis ailment vanish! I hope he has gone thru that nice and succinct article “Will the real NLP come forward?” by Sue Knight available at: http://www.uandinfinity.com/realnlp.htm


    1. How can Norman be sure that his relative did not lie to him? Probably his relative was sick of the incessant NLP carpet_bombing and in desperation, lied that he was cured of arthritis.
    2. Having reached, say 35 years of age, one can be expected to have become worldly wise – coming to terms with reality, accepting some of our capabilities and the lack of some others. Don’t consistently twisted (am reminded of a writing from PG Wodehouse to this effect: ‘He is so twisted that he can comfortably hide behind a spiral staircase‘) persons with a megalomaniacal attitude – behave like Mr. Knowalls? Don’t they ever graduate from the levels of juvenile delinquents?
    3. In my opinion, only deep seated cancer needs to be treated with a scalpel; and pimples can be treated with some random cream or the other – it they must be treated, that is. Scalpel wielding skills and cosmetological prowess are appropriate in different settings and each approach has its +ve and -ve sides…  Since when there has been an overarching solution in the world, seeking to solve all issues, including the current US-Iraq conflagration?
    4. Is the saying – ’empty vessels make more noise’ – the appropriate thing to say here? :-)

Scenario #11

Karate_Sans_Sense San is full of verve and vigour these days. It is because KSS San has been learning Aikido, Tai chi, Karate (accredited to one of the Japanese sounding schools like Nikkuma Nikkada Dojo), Kalari payattu and what not… And, a few months back KSS and I were walking along a rather busy sidewalk of Infantry Road, Bangalore – when we were accosted by a rather tame looking persistent beggar who wanted some money. We could have simply said sorry and could have walked away – but then my illustrious comrade was so annoyed with the beggar that he was talking in terms of giving him a swift karate kick on his solar plexus! I was aghast and suggested that probably the beggar (a mussalman) interpreted us as devout muslims (both of us had flowing beards sans skull cap, and it was the month of ramadan) and therefore badgered us for alms… But then sadly, KSS continued to spit fire and brimstone for some more time, till his hot blood cooled down! Why am I even surprised?


    1. Martial arts are supposed to bring in some humility and basic balance in life; is this a wrong assumption?
    2. How come there are no acceptance criteria for training individuals in martial arts? However, just like the NRA’s take on guns, I would say that the fault does not lie with the technique, but rather with the individuals who are abusing the technique.
    3. Is there a need for a central  lesson in these kinds of martial arts – clearly specifying under what circumstances that they can and should be used, if at all?
    4. Is ‘martial_arts discipline’ an oxymoron?

Scenario #12

Dejavu Renigunta has too good a memory! He will certainly remember what he heard or read or saw – but then he would systematically twist them so that, (‘First get the facts; you can distort them at your leisure‘ — Mark Twain) at a later point of time they all become his ‘own’ facts and his ‘logically reasoned_out view points!’ I did not understand the philosophy behind that feeling of dejavu, but then, when I heard him passing off my opinion (uttered by me sometime earlier) as his own, I saw the proverbial light as in a typical zen story.


    1. What makes the folks like Dejavu think that ‘others’ have short memories?
    2. How come it is oh so difficult to even come up with original view points? I understand that for people with fat posteriors, it is very difficult to physical work. ;-) But then, typically people of the ilk of Mr. Renigunta are comfortably placed in life (read $$$,$$$,$$$S) and devour books and magazines like nobody’s business – and hence have access to all the raw materials for charting out their own discourses. So forming and finehoning viewpoints should be rather easy! But why is this simple thingie  not done?
    3. I hate to use the dreaded AynRandism called ‘second-rate’ individuals who are essentially copycats or copyrats – whatever… Don’t Reniguntas fall into this type?


As I have been repeatedly saying elsewhere in my rants:

    1. It is easy to read newspapers, books by Chomskys and Choussudovskys and wax eloquent about MNCs and world domination. When I look closely at persons doing this, the massive disconnect between what they profess to preach and what they practice is really rankling. However, as long as this ranting ‘against’ something is a preparatory ground for an individual to actually do something about it, it is fine; but alas, it is NEVER so with most of these people!
    2. It is very easy and convenient to be anti-something. But it is nontrivial to actually ‘do’ something.
    3. It is very easy to take some half-hearted measures to do something and then at the very first sign of trouble – run away from the scene. This mode can also make the ‘doer’ feel happily martyred and he can complain the rest of his life that he ‘tried do something, but…

Over a period of many years, I find that I have also enacted the above described kinds of scenarios with much panache and aplomb… But then I have realized the following:

  1. There should not be any right to free-speech (for the leisure class of urban elite), with its added freebie of unlimited irresponsibility; it should always be taxed. This measure would reduce the noise pollution at least, among others. And, individuals who want to be responsible for what they say would only have the courage to speak out. (well this point is actually a flame_bait, FYI!)
  2. Probably human beings have a right to be heard – as it sometimes helps a few individuals, when a shoulder is unconditionally offered to them to cry on… But then, when the shoulder is mistaken for a soak pit, then it would be better to avoid offering them the shoulder.
  3. It may be that, human beings have a right to be heard (may be occasionally, at best) – but I will not mistake this right for something else. Nobody has a ‘right to be taken seriously.’ And, of course this razor applies to me too.

JournalEntry#  14th April, 2004

மேற்கண்ட பதிவு (அல்லது பின்னூட்டங்கள்) குறித்து (விருப்பமிருந்தால்) உரையாடலாமே...

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