Monday, November 15, 2010

Siblings

(Before I get to today’s edition of Rant 101, Sh Pady style. I need to re-direct you good folk to a blog that I recommend. Nothing but Ficus. He’s an awesome writer and a good friend. I do hope that you drop in.)

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Here’s what bothers me about democracy – people get away with just about anything in the name of ‘the freedom of expression’. It just plain sucks. Take for instance this.

The last paragraph, with the bits about creepy things going on in the homes of ethnic minorities really got me. Even if the writer is being sarcastic, this shit cannot be sold in the name of social commentary. It is shit. It is racist. I don’t see how this stuff gets run on a medium as large as the internet. Where is editorial discretion? Who lets this shit pass? More importantly, why and how did it get passed.

I know of this website as a place where a lot of content is about issues like bullying (they hate the bully) and women’s issues. Most of it is dealt with well. They even made a big brouhaha about that Marie Claire article about fat people. I’m surprised that this one got published.

I guess I am a little annoyed that this post has been made on a forum that I follow and to some extent look up to. However, that doesn’t mean I have to be so biased that I will let this website become my touchstone for appropriate mass opinions. Sorry. I can’t able to do that ya!

As much as I’m all for saying my piece and telling the world to eff itself in the process, I do think that approach can be dangerous if it goes too far. On some level, we should all realise that a public forum has its share of responsibilities. Especially, if said forum deals with opinions. A follower of a website, any website, is a person who, to some degree, espouses their opinions. That being said, I don’t think I want to espouse this opinion. For one, I don’t see how this is even remotely sensible.

Siblings are bad? Really? – even if you don’t get along, at the very least you will have learnt how to deal with a person you don’t like, who is constantly in your vicinity. I honestly think that an only child is someone who will grow up to lack some very basic social interactions that big families bring with them. Too many siblings (my father has 8) might be a bit over the top, but one, or even two, is not that bad.

I know of friends who can’t really see eye to eye with their siblings. They get on with life. I know of friends who have siblings they absolutely love but are not overly coddling with them. I find it immensely annoying when almost every relationship has some degree of a sexual overtone attached to it thanks to some ‘study’ and some ‘expert opinion’. Freud, thanks a lot, buddy. I truly appreciate your immense contributions to helping deconstruct the true nature of human relationships.

Having a sibling has been, for me personally, a great experience. My brother and I grew up fighting with each other (I remember times when my mother sat somewhere in the house crying because she was convinced that Siddharth and I would never see eye-to-eye), kicking each other (WWE (nee F) had a lot to do with this) and constantly vowing that we’d never speak to the other again, ever. As we grew older, moved to the army quarters in Chennai and interacted with more kids, we grew to like each other better. My mother was a bit more peaceful when we were living apart from my grandparents and aunts and uncle. She had the time to establish the simple fact that she was the main authority in our family and Sid and I just had to deal with it. Complaining to my grandfather after my mother was giving us the cane was not going to cut it or have an impact for that matter. Not that it mattered, if we were being brats, the consensus was pretty uniform. After a big crying and complaining session, if I got a you're-a-brat-so-I-had-to-use-the-cane-but-I'm-crazy-about-you hugs, nothing could be wrong no? My mother was unflinchingly honest about the fact that Sid and I were annoying sometimes and needed to be disciplined so that we could understand that writing notes while in class is the right thing to do. Eidetic memories are not for everyone!

This article implies that ‘white’ adults with siblings are miserable and have issues. ‘Ethnic minority’ adults don’t have such issues, because some hallucinogen is involved. That hallucinogen, you lunatic, is called family. A unit you probably snort at when you watch a Disney movie and awe at when you watch The Godfather. However, if ‘space’ and suchlike is being given to children then they shouldn’t have ‘issues’ right? It makes me sick to sit and read through reams and reams of print devoted to the many ‘issues’ that children have these days. What issues? Why issues? These children live in developed countries where just about every system is in place. Ambulances reach on time, school education is free. There is a thing such as social security. They are documented citizens of their country. They have all that and yet they have issues. What do they need? Love? Free Hugs? Are these issues the reason why they leave their countries and come here as tourists to sit and exclaim over every stinky waterway and beggar and landscape and then proceed to write something as nonsense as Eat, Pray, Love? (That book is total rubbish. I don’t know how it sold so many copies. One more book by one more white person about one more cow and I’m going to try my best to ensure that they all NEVER be given a visa to travel here. The Bhagawad Gita is not the most sacred text of Yoga, you dumbass. It’s a treatise on dharma.)

The word issues has so many things wrong with it in this particular context. So many things. People need shrinks in times of extreme distress, but a sibling sure as hell is the wrong reason to need a shrink. If you think your mother doesn’t have the time for you, then just fucking deal with it and be glad you’re alive. I don’t want tell you about the innumerable number of instances when little girls didn’t live to see the day because their parents wanted a boy instead.

6 comments:

  1. Hmm. It's true that the researchers are still a long way from understanding the different groups and the social structures that exist in different nations.

    Taken objectively, I am forced to believe that the researchers in Britan, where there has been substantial increase in non-white population in the recent past, did end up with few non-whites and hence a reference to ethic minorities

    But yes, did love your rant :)

    P.S: I'm here from NG/JB's blog

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  2. Raj - publishing research on the basis of studying one group of people is fine by me. I do mind when people publish 'research' and then dismiss an entire section with a couple of sentences and some silly points of references.

    Thanks for commenting...

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  3. I really don't get the "if you have sibling, you get unhappy" thing...I've always been glad I am not the only child....what crap!

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  4. Lots of folk are happy to have siblings and are happy not being only children. However, happiness is not something, at least I think so, that you can gauge based on whether you have a sibling or not...

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  5. Wow Shruthi. I just saw this :) Thanks a ton!

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