Tuesday 18 February 2014

Wendy's theodicy

Theodicy means- 'how come bad things happen to good people?' Wendy Doniger wrote a book on Hindu theodicy way back in the mid Seventies. It was remarkable in that it didn't once mention the correct solution which no one doesn't know- viz. life is a stochastic process, D'uh. Indeed, everything is.  This is why Yuddhishtra, the Just King, has to learn Statistical game theory so as to overcome his 'Vishada' (Depression) and keep his place as the Head of the Pandavas.
Now, it's true that people whose shtick is being extra devout or to having an extra sensitive poetic disposition, try to grab attention by pretending that there's some great mystery involving God or their own putrid sexual dysphoria which lies at the heart of Theodicy. Furthermore, Statistics is a deeply boring subject. Yet, Theodicy is only important- at least this is the message of the Mahabharata- in so far as it motivates Mechanism Design- better mixed strategies so fewer good people have bad things happen to them. No genuine Theist, or genuine Poet, has any problem with this. But God botherers and Neurotic nutjobs we will always have with us which is why Literature is, by and large, shite.
For Wendy- a bright kid who got stuck in the Sanskrit ghetto without access to Statistics 101- Hindu theodicy had to be about the admittedly yucky fact that women bleed which is like toootally unfair and Evil coz one isn't allowed to slap Prof Zaehner with one's sanitary napkin though you gotta admit that sure would raise a laugh.
The other thing was Wendy came of age during the Sixties when Club of Rome silliness (endorsed by windbags like Raghavan Iyer) was sodomizing Marcusian silliness and getting it pregnant with a Harvard School of Divinity type phantom child.
This is not to say that Wendy's books are evil. They are menstrual, and menstruation is a good thing- provided you slap Rajiv Malhotra around the chops with your used tampon coz that's always funny. Not that I'm against Malhotra. It's just there's a certain protocol to be observed in dealing with Stephanians.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Ghalib Ghazal 64

If Nakedness is lacking whose hand can Madness lend?
Collar tearing now the Duty my neck to thus bend.

Like the prismatics of burning paper is Restlessness' wizardry
With mirrors myriad the heart binds its own flutter to be free

What claim for departed joy can we press on Heaven's Wheel?
For what the Highwayman carries off, in his debt we yet feel

To extinction allot your essence if for it you are yet eager
The wood chips kindle, make the fire-place not meager.

I am a sacrifice of such style as to my butcher instigate
To such ingenuity in torture both worlds regenerate

junūñ kī dast-gīrī kis se ho gar ho nah ʿuryānī
garebāñ chāk kā ḥaq ho gayā hai merī gardan par
bah rang-e kāġhaż-e ātish-zadah nairang-e betābī
hazār āʾīnah dil bāñdhe hai bāl-e yak tapīdan par

falak se ham ko ʿaish-e raftah kā kyā kyā taqāẓā hai
matāʿ-e burdah ko samjhe huʾe haiñ qarẓ rahzan par
fanā ko sauñp gar mushtāq hai apnī ḥaqīqat kā
furoġh-e t̤ālaʿ-e ḳhāshāk hai mauqūf gulḳhan par
asad bismil hai kis andāz kā qātil se kahtā hai
kih mashq-e nāz kar ḳhūn-e do-ʿālam merī gardan par

Tuesday 11 February 2014

A Gedanken re. Jack Bauer & the doctrine of Necessity.

Spoiler alert- the forthcoming Jack Bauer film, like many other Hollywood blockbusters which shameless rip-off yours truly, is based on the following blog post.


Jack Bauer has come to learn that the following propositions are factually correct-
1) Ambassador McFaul will fill his hands with his own feces and fling the said feces at Vladimir Putin at the Sochi Winter Olympics closing ceremony, thus triggering the thermonuclear annihilation of the planet, unless Michelle Obama discontinues her degrading habit of tickling his tummy and remarking 'who's a good boy then?'.
2) Michelle Obama will only stop tickling Ambassador McFaul's tummy and saying 'who's a good boy then?' if Barry takes her to Specsavers.
3) Barry will only take Michelle to Specsavers if, the 'Ethical Genius of Georgetown', the gorgeous, pouting, Prof. Jason Brennan, once again takes on the redoubtable role of 'Debbie dun Dallas Dresner and attempts to extort money from POTUS by pretending to be an attorney representing the website 'How to be Black' and alleges that Barry dun bin channeling Baratunde and owes mega-bucks for Intellectual property rights infringement and so Barry realizes that the only lawyer smart enough to get him off is his wife Michelle but she sorely needs them half moon reading glasses, that Specavers have a discount on, which Juries like totally eat up, provided they are sported by truly epic callipygian hotties like Palanniappan Chidambaram not to mention Kapil Sibal, except I did just mention Kapil Sabil and will have to go away for a bit for a quiet wank.
Jack Bauer has now cornered Prof Jason Brennan and attempts to reason with him-
Jack- Prof. Brennan, you gotta immediately extort Pres. Barry. Billions of lives are at stake. Please, please, pretty please!
Brennan- Fuck off. Ever since I tried to extort Vivek Iyer- that horrible declasse Tambram piece of shit- I keep having nightmares of that deranged fuckwit lecturing me on the phone about, anti-Mahaffy, Irish Catholic antinomian ethics and shite.
Jack- But, don't you understand, Humanity will be wiped out unless you once again don the wig of Debbie dun Dallas Dresner?'
Brennan- Would that be such a bad thing? At least, that fucker Vivek Iyer will get what's coming to him.
Jack- Vivek will survive! Because he is a miserly little shit, he orders takeout idli-sambar only from the filthiest South Indian eatery in existence! Indeed, he is their only customer! Thus, he has ingested such a huge quantity of cockroach intestines as to have become a cockroach himself! I tell you, he has become the king of the cockroaches- which species, as you well know, will survive the Nuclear holocaust and rule over this planet! Don't you understand! This is all part of Vivek's cunning plan!
Brennan- It is for the best. Humanity is too good for this planet. I have guarded my anal cherry for Ayn Rand, who has a dick in Heaven. Dying to this earth, where I was but a soi disant Bleeding Heart Libertarian, I am reborn to her brusque buggery for, as you know, Ayn only sodomizes virgins for in her Heaven where all revert to that condition of sempeternal sophomorehood such, as it is my proud boast, I alone have sustained all through my career as a Public Intellectual.
Jack- Are you saying, if you were buggered here and now, Ayn would disdain your backside?
Brennan- Yes! Of course! Ayn don't do sloppy seconds. If I were buggered on earth, I'd spend eternity in that Hell described by Doestoevsky, suffering that sorrow that arises from one's inability to be anally Ayn Rand reamed.

Under the Common Law Doctrine of Necessity (Braxton), and keeping in mind that U.S foreign policy is bankrupt, does Jack Bauer have a defense in Law for what he does next?

Sunday 2 February 2014

Dana Gioia- genuine poet or fake Catholic?

He was a smart guy, a nice guy, a good looking guy. He married someone as lovable as himself. They had a child who died.
Many years later he wrote this-


Now you’d be three,
I said to myself,
seeing a child born
the same summer as you.

Now you’d be six,
or seven, or ten.
I watched you grow
in foreign bodies.

Leaping into a pool, all laughter,
or frowning over a keyboard,
but mostly just standing,
taller each time.

How splendid your most
mundane action seemed
in these joyful proxies.
I often held back tears.

Now you are twenty-one.
Finally, it makes sense
that you have moved away
into your own afterlife. 

 This is a genuine poem- no question. It's actually a great poem though it doesn't concern itself with greatness. It is full of art, without being artful. It has 'ma'ani afrini' - meaning creation- 'mazmun afrini'- theme creation- and, by its fecundly inventive accentual fractal structure, it actually does exhaust its theme, in the proper Baroque manner, thus instantiating a kenosis, and qualifying as a proper Scholastic or Sufi synteresis.
But is it Catholic?
I ask because, clearly, it is a poem and it is a 'guarding of the heart' and both can be Catholic but
reading it
Tears are our Theotokos
(Allamma Prabhu!)
Whose Christ is lost to Geist.