I Get Mail – Sex for the Gods

[notice]Testing out my three tier comments policy. Expect fancier artwork to be put in place when I can get some up but consider this topic a Yellow one. Stay on target, and discuss away. And at all points will there be no personal attacks and no bigotry. The following topic is NSFW as it contains a discussion about the sex trade. If you like what you read then pass it on, as I do feel there are a fair few misconceptions[/notice]

This was watched and reviewed at the Bengaluru/Bangalore Meeting of Freethinkers and it got me thinking and one of it’s members asked me if I could have look at it. It’s about the Devdasi or the sacred prostitutes of India. I am not against it, it’s not incorrect but it has a few misconceptions that we can clear up. [Read more...]

Thieves of Potential

Let’s call him V.

V is 12 years old and came to see me today. And V is a classic example of “chronic starvation“.

V’s got two sisters and a brother who are at school. They will be coming in tomorrow for an assessment too.

V’s so chronically starved that he is 20% of the normal height for his age. He is straight up 30 cm shorter than the average. A foot smaller. V is also 15 Kg lighter than the minimum weight for a 12 year old.

But he is a smiling child, the only sign of his starvation is seen when you notice he doesn’t play with the other kids. Merely watches. [Read more...]

A Voice for Me: No, You Cannot Steal A Voice

As you may recall, I was “bloody pissed off” about the Steubenville Rape story but didn’t weigh in. I didn’t know enough about American Jock culture apart from cursory immersion within it due to contact with Americans and through the media. However the post by Judgy Bitch kind of forced me to speak due to the absolute horror of watching her denigrate the suffering of others by showing greater suffering.

I call it the Suffering Olympics. For instance? I am sorry, you not getting a proper balanced meal on food stamps is insufficient suffering as I am going to play the “Starving Children in Africa ™” card. You Lose. Good Day Sir. [Read more...]

A Voice for Me: Not You Too India!

In the light of the Delhi rapes you may have noticed a couple of the MRA websites have rushed to defend the “so called Rights” of men in India.

I does need to be repeated. Anyone who has read my blog is aware of the various “major” rapes that grip the news headlines out here. Rape is common place enough and India still doesn’t consider marital rape as rape.

But various websites and indeed the commentariat from such stellar places such as the Slymepit and a Voice for Men have shown up to defend the laws based on a variety of points ranging from “not reading the News Article” to “But I have to pay more for Nightclub Entry”.

Today’s “Won’t Someone Think Of the Menz” candidate is A Voice for Men and it’s David Cuspis. [Read more...]

Greatest Show on Earth – Kumbh Mela

If you hadn’t already heard, I was at the Kumbh Mela for 3 days.

What is the Kumbh Mela? It’s arguably the biggest religious event in the Hindu calendar occurring every 12 years and it’s a ridiculously oversized event. This year 30 million people converged on the town of Allahabad.

I was planning to cut lose and photograph stuff but since the camera was damaged (don’t worry, I have earmarked a nice little camera to pick up when I am back home in May.) but more than an equaliser the mela is an entirely different world of faith, poverty and humanity.

IMHO it is poorly managed. It’s mass of humanity is astonishing. 30 Million People is a enough to populate most countries let alone a small town. The facilities are lousy. The streets are filthy.

I have said this to people everywhere but here especially I mean it the most. In India you will see the absolute best of humanity and the absolute worst of humanity. I shared food with someone who saw that I had worked 8 hours straight, they found out I just finished my exams the day before and treated me to a little bit of their dinner and some sweets they had. I saw rich people help poor people when they wouldn’t normally have in any other part of India. I saw the weird side of Hinduism in the Naga Sadhus (not to be confused with the Naga Khmer).

I also saw the bad side of it. Open toilet facilities that were little more than holes in the ground (let’s just say I didn’t really eat for 3 days lest I required to take a poop as the toilet facilities terrified me). Many of these were not even covered so they spread flies and disease and were often in full view of public access (even the women’s facilities).

And it was weird, I never got asked for money. Just for food and water. At the Kumbh money has no meaning since water and food are more valuable. A couple held onto my legs as I walked recognising the white coat and stethoscope I carried to work. I didn’t understand what they wanted then but someone later told me that their child had gotten lost and they hoped I could have found it. It sounds silly to assume that a doctor (in their minds) somehow had the power to find their child where others had not in the seething mass that was the Mela.

You can share what water and what food you had but you would get mobbed. There are too many to share with and you do what you can. I heard the people who had helped feed the pilgrims often fed them by the thousand. I didn’t keep count on the number of patients I saw but on day 1 I slept like a brick when I finished my shift. This was the India that people never see because it was so poor.

There is nothing like this in any other faith, Hinduism’s unique position as the last “old” religion left means it is unique and different to the ones we are familiar with. Check out these photos. They are absolutely stunning. (I know many of you don’t click links but Do It… Consider this Doctor’s Orders)

So I did something weird, on my last day there I woke up early and told myself that I would get to sleep on my flight and made my way down to the river where I was to take a bath myself. I certainly looked the part of a pilgrim with my hair shaved that morning in just a pair of trunks. It was cold and it certainly wasn’t pleasant or clean. The water is murky and polluted. Many pilgrims were drinking this stuff and I knew by the sheer number of cases of diarrhoea and dysentery that it was a “poor idea”. To think that this would wash your sins away is laughable but I still did it because I could.

I left feeling ambivalent.

And then I saw the news. In order to control a crowd of poor pilgrims who broke through barriers that had overcrowded them, Police responded with a batons (in India they are called lathis) which caused a stampede killing 32.

Those who lost loved ones poured the water they had collected from the sacred river at this most sacred of events onto the bodies of those they lost because they believed that it would bring them back to life…

Trashy, Glamorous and Insightful – Shobha De

She was (in)famous for writing proper trashy romance lit and pseudo-erotica. Less 50 Shades of grey and more throbbing manhoods…

But there was one thing I loved Shoba De for growing up (despite not having read her books) was how much scandal she caused. And let us be honest here.

Her books were terrible.

But for many women they were the first taste of sexuality. These were a generation of Indian women’s 50 Shades of Grey. A lot of the sexual freedom that Indian women have today can be directly linked to her works in some small way of emancipating women and making them realise that their desires are normal. This was a little sexual revolution in a world where women weren’t expected to have “fun” during sex.

And she has a phenomenal article out on censorship in India. This is worth a read.

Not the Ducks! – India.com and Cancer Quackery

There exists a massive problem in India and that is the notion of western medicine.

There is medicine and there is quackery. Vaccination is an eastern form of medicine but it is still used because it works. Medicine is EVERYTHING that works and is proven to work scientifically. Everything that doesn’t work is quackery.

Flogging “Eastern” Medicine is just a method of denigrating real medicine by equating “Eastern” medicine as an opposite equal.

And it kills. It’s simple.

Read this. This is not on a small website. This is a major website and it’s flogging some really dangerous things. [Read more...]

Age of Kali – Form III

Okay, a nerd reference to Star Wars but for those who don’t wish to be embedded into a massive chunk of Star Wars lore, Form III is a defensive style of fighting with a lightsaber said to make you nearly impossible to hit. An elegant defence in a less civilised age.

If you haven’t already heard, Manohar Lal Sharma has been named as the Defence Lawyer for the Delhi Rape/Murder case which he is planning to plead “not guilty” to. And boy is he a real piece of work. Remember how Anil from AVfM said “women have it better than men”? I probably have to apologise to him (And to Astrokid), because Sharma has it figured out.

Well Manohar Lal Sharma is all about women. In his infinite knowledge about the female body has analysed the case meticulously and found that in his experience there are no rapes of “respected ladies”. In addition the male companion was wholly responsible for the incident as the unmarried couple should not have been on the streets, particularly with such a weed since he was incapable of defending her against six armed dudes. It’s his fault for being so bad in a fist fight and it’s her fault for not checking his ability to fist fight.

“Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady,” Sharma said in an interview at a cafe outside the Supreme Court in India’s capital. “Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect.”

And here we were thinking that Indian women have it worse! Apparently I (PZ Myer’s Indian Minion) was wrong to think women have it worse than men.

Oh don’t worry, a Sadhu called Asharam said that “had the girl chanted the name of Krishna and fallen at the feet of the attackers” the attacks would have stopped. These two plans are fool proof. Now you know ladies! Having respect stops rapists and if you don’t have respect then you can stop rape by invoking Krishna (who was notoriously absent at this rape).

(In the Mahabaratha he stops a rape through what can only be described as his “Clothes Beam“.)

Oh that’s not enough? Well Mohan Bhagwat who is a pretty fucking big deal (He is the head of the RSS which is a part of the opposition to the Congress and one of the major Hindutva groups) said that this sort of rape doesn’t happen in the villages but in the cities because women there adopt western lifestyles.

Other politicians have claimed that this is to distract from other issues. Let’s blame mobile phones and women being free rather than women being treated like well…. women. Let’s hide women away from the dangerous dangerous men (You may or may not be a dangerous man. If you are not a dangerous man then this statement doesn’t apply to you. If you are dangerous but not to women then this statement may apply to you depending on the level of danger and the target. I for example am dangerous to cake and while you are all safe, your cakes are not…)

It must have been KFC and Jeans that made 6 young men drive around in a “rape bus”. Clearly if she had invoked the powers of Krishna and if her boyfriend could fight better she would still be alive. It’s all Jyothi’s fault. Case Closed. Good Job Everyone! High Fives and Cigars all around! How are you getting back tonight? Bus? Fancy stopping for some chicken?

More Signs

More Signs

Chicken...

Chicken…

Form III is not what Manohar Lal Sharma is about. If this case hadn’t made the world media, Manohar may have won his case with his “respectable ladies don’t get raped” strategy. But frankly he is going to lose. The government wants a death penalty for this to satiate the mob, his idiocy will get them killed. If you are talking about defending rapists then don’t send this bag of dick to defend them. The best hope he had was for a plea bargain, not by demonstrating how terrible he is as a human being. I fear that Sharma may be using this case to be the “go to guy” for rape defences for shitty cases.

It is not an elegant defence, it’s a moronic one. Jokes and Sarcasm aside, this attitude is demonstrative of the misogyny entrenched in India.

Dick Move Pakistan… Dick Move…

Yesterday marked a sad day in the India-Pakistan relationship.

Pakistani soldiers crossed the border and staged an ambush on Indian troops killing 8. It is believed that it was a revenge attack for an exchange of fire that killed 1 person last week. Similarities to the Kargil War abound and India is for want of a better word “Pissed the Fuck Off”

It is reported that Pakistani troops either executed one soldier by beheading him or mutilated his body afterwards.

Dick Move Pakistan. Dick Move…

And India Cried

“It’s because India is crying.” – A Random Protester

I was supposed to go down to two different protests, one a general one and the other a more quiet affair, the turn outs were low for two reasons. The weather was frankly atrocious making movement hard and people less likely to want to protest and because many people didn’t feel that it was appropriate to protest about the rape the day the victim died out of courtesy to her family who must be suffering a lot even without politicising the day.

The second event took place though with a small gathering of people who stood and spoke, recited poetry and told each other what they would be doing to fight the culture of rape.

A truly sad day but one where you realise that there are people fighting this who do require a voice and who often do not have one.

Some interesting mentions…

1. A man who had turned up in a suit to the first protest with the words “I am a Philanthropist, but you still cannot mug me”.

2. The KFC outside which the second protest walked joined in for a few minutes to show solidarity.

3. The poetry recited

4. The people who organised it even if it was a small, short event.

It may not mean much in the grand scheme of things but it’s a stance and a stance that has to start somewhere. Yes, there were some outlooks that were reactionary but there always are. There are also cool heads and we have to hope that they prevail.

My camera didn’t survive the day but here are some photos…