the great escape

I look around and eye the **exit** my great escape, the red flashing sign, the word EXIT, written up, loud and clear, I eye it. And I make a run for it. The two hosts grab me before I even take a step, each with one arm locked into mine, they **crack a joke** about me, the audience laughs. They hand me a metal statuette, I hold it --the heaviest thing I’ve ever held on to-- it falls through the stage, through the wooden floor, with me holding tightly onto it, through and through. “Ladies and gentlemen we just witnessed **a great escape** for the first time in the history of this event, has the winner escaped in such a dramatic fashion, and without giving a speech either.”

Sunday, June 26

What Happens in A-Bot-A-Bad Stays in A-Bot-A-Bad

--> So a lot has happened recently, it appears. Shaykh Osama, the Chief Terrorism Officer of the venture formally known as Al-Qaeda is no more and has left us to wallow alone in this post-apocalyptic pit of our sins. Meanwhile, the US is using the 'pull-out technique' as the alliance dwindles into the diplomatic rupture of the coitus-interuptus of the cozy relations the foreign offices of the two countries had seen over the past decade. If you think about it, it only took one day to change the face of everything as we knew it.
 What happened?

Well one thing's for sure, it must have been a highly undramatic event, otherwise its official narrative would have appeared in a little more sensational fashion. However, the shrouded secrecy of the whole affair casts the entire operation which was at the center stage of what can be known as the Anti-9-11 .. no where near as spectacular as its countervalent at the other end of the decade, but certainly no less controversial.

Just like 9-11 this happened on an unsuspecting day in the United States (night in Pakistan), and just like 9-11 immediately there was a sleuth of stories, an explosion of explanations and implications in the media. Within minutes the compound turned into a luxury mansion turned into a rickety hideout. One minute Osama was watching videos of himself, the other he was watching porn. One minute he was hiding behind his wife using her as a human shield, the other he was unleashing a barrage of bullets at the intruding Navy Seals, and then he seemed to be unarmed. And the next minute he gets a shot in the head?
And then the infamous "Sea Burial" did its part to unleash a cloud of speculation over the whole deal. Unlike the old Saddam days where we would get pictures of his cavity searches on repeat at all hours, there were no pictures of the Shaykh, no embarrassing videos, and supposedly his body was mercilessly thrown into the sea.. I mean even Hitler was allowed to rest in peace for a couple of decades before his remains were thrown into a river. Alas they didn't want to create a terrorist shrine to kick off the new religion.. but little do they know the spirit they unleashed into the sea was so damn evil that the next Mega Tsunami is headed for the US West Coast  with the face of Osama imbued in the tidal wave that’s going to destroy all US costal cities in the radius. Then they'll say we should've launched his remains off into outer space or something...

Anyway, I digress.. so what really happened that night in Abbottabad, or as Obama would say A-Bot-A-Bad.. to which I would say You Bought A Bad? I Bought A Bad Too.. But You Fo Got A-Bot A-Bot-A-Bad? Too-Botta-Bad! Ab0tabAd is an interesting town to say the least, well saying the least would be that nothing really happens there, I've spent a total of two days there period.. and it doesn't seem the town has any swinging night-life where the Shaykh would be partying it up.. so it was a quiet night the international media tells us.. No Shit! It better be a quiet night in Abb0ttabAd because if it isn't a quiet night that means the day of reckoning must be upon us. That’s probably that one twiterer must have thought when he started twitering .. trust Twitter to mess things up for the element of surprise.. @TheRealOBL was probably also on Twitter checking his updates where he found out that there was a chopper (or two) up in the Abbottabad skies..

So What "Really" happened in Abb0ttabAd? 
Of course like the famous assassinations, Lincoln, Kennedy, Lennon, Morrisson, Cobain etc. we'll never find out what "Really" happened. We might still be able to reconstruct the event as it must have happened...

So we have two helicopters with Navy Seals in them hovering around over a dingy "hideout" in Bilal Town, Abbottabad. One of them lands near by fluttering subtly in the blackness of the night, the other hovers above in a loose circle. A handful of professional looking Navy Seals disembark the Gunship and secure the outside premises and give cover to the few who proceed inside. There is a slight altercation and some gunshots are heard as weapons fire but it quickly implodes back into the silence of the night. Soon the Navy Seals emerge from inside with a tall skinny figure, struggling under restraint, being transported in cuffs. They all re-embark the chopper with their single high-value asset. Approximately 5-7 seconds later the Gunship explodes to smithereens with the other still hovering above watching the night engulf the explosion suffocating the burning embers of a helicopter carcass...

What happened??

Wait lets rewind a bit. Now Shaykh Bin-Laden was no simple idiot. He is the alleged mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, so he must have something in his oversized noggin. He had to have foreseen this day long before, every high-value target knows that its better to bite the bullet, slit the throat, tie the noose than to become hostage to the assailants. Anyway, so Osama must have had the R&D team at Al-Qaeda Inc. to design an Improvised Explosive Device (the infamous IED.. not to be confused with EID which is a Muslim Holiday), but not just any Improvised Explosive Device, it would be a rectal device installed in the anal cavity. The device wouldn't be triggered through a button or a wireless signal (you don't want to put the dignity of  your hole in someone else’s hands after all) so it would be triggered through a complex sequence of sphincter muscle motions known exclusively to the Shaykh himself. It had to have been a complex sequence because a simple one might have the risk of 'going off' while asleep.
So when you see Osama struggling with the Navy Seals, he isn't actually struggling at all, he's just pretending to struggle while going through the motions of an intricate sequence of up-down, contraction-relaxation motions to time it just right. He might have messed it up a couple of times of course, having to restart the process all over again, but he must have gotten it right the last try...
And Ka-Boom the chopper explodes, fuel-tank, motor, and that infamous rudder all together in one big blitz.. gone up in smoke.. no remains.. no heroes.. nothing.. its like it never even happened. But here's the tricky part.. If he did pull it off, then that means Shaykh Osama died by the bullet.. he blew himself up killing everyone around him suicide-blast style. Now that creates some complications, not only has the operation been robbed of its seamless success, but also instead of dampening young terrorist enthusiasm all over the world, this would spark more Jihadism in their blood than ever so that the many headed hydra can start growing more of its multiplying heads...

How do you cover up such a huge blunder? no body .. no nothing...poof .. gone.
No wonder Obama pronounced it the way he did .. A-Butt-A-Bad.. he obviously knows how to pronounce Abbottabad (look at his precise pronunciation of Paakistan).. and Abbott is a British name to begin with.. It had to have been those weary details from the CIA intel wire that were still hovering around in his head impeding him from the smoothness of his delivery with which he would have everyone think that it was a clean deal. It was the butt that messed things up in Abb0ttabAd...
Of course it happened in Abb0ttabAd .. and only the dark silence of the night knows the secrets of Bilal Town...

Sunday, May 29

Turning On .. Tuning In

So I've been sloppy about posting again.. but I have a good excuse! I was caught with finals at the end of the semester right? and I was just too swamped writing all sorts of stuff for school that I couldn't concentrate on coming up with good nonsense to blurt out here. That doesn't mean that I haven't had nonsensical ideas.. Oh I get ideas all the time.. trust me its not a case of writers block (no siree! I trust myself, don't you?) In fact, a few months ago when I  slacked off the last time I gave a list of so-called coming attractions.. which sadly was a mandate I unfortunately could not come to par with:
apart from some posting some previously written material, topics i'll be exploring include:**the lotta/toilet paper litmus/acid test: how to measure how desi you really are****something on the halal/haram toleration of interest in financial systems of Islamic republics****something about how liberalism sucks as a political discourse and how i hate being called a "liberal" (yukh!)****other goodies that i can't think of right now but they're there in the back of my head or my hard-drive i promise!

**so stay tuned..  Stay tuned.. my ass! None of the above three and a half topics did I broach after posting up older material.. and other goodies.. **wooh** yeah right! So since I have such a horrible backlog, here's what I'm going to do. Coagulation is a skill that I have honed over the past and utilize it precisely when I find myself in jams like this one so.. here goes.. the next blog I post is going to be a **mash-up** of all three ideas glued and fused into each other in strange ways...

So this is to announce that I will soon present to you an Haram/Halal Usury/Profit Lotta/Toilet-Paper Litmus/Acid-Test Blog About Why Liberalism Sucks!

... Wait.. did I just say all that? That's a mouth-full isn't it? Try saying it dragging each syllable a little and you'll see.. the.. Ha-ra-m/Ha-la-l U-s-u-ry/Pr-of-it Lo-tta/T-o-il-et-Pa-pe-r Lit-mus/A-cid-T-es-t B-lo-g A-bo-u-t W-h-y Lib-er-al-is-m S-uc-k-s! Wow thats a lot of syllables  .. phew.. but more than the syllables.. what kind of monstrosity will this absurd topic .. how can I even think of writing about this? How can I.. How can.. How.. how...

**To Be Continued**

Tuesday, January 25

The Emergence of the Jamaican Taliban !!!

A new episode of Talibanization has begun to sweep the Caribbean taking root in the Jamaican Island. The Jamiacan Taliban have begun imposing a strict morality regime across the countryside.

The new Taliban inspired movement in Jamaica is driven by rebellious Rastafari dissidents who want to take over the Island.

In the latest spate of Talibanization, it has been learnt that the Caribbean has given way to its own indigenous spin-off movement known as the Jamaican Rasta-Khowaraian Taliban. This most recent Taliban movement is said to have no significant organizational or strategic linkages with the deeper entrenched Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or the original Taliban of Afghanistan. Rather, these inspired counter-movement within Rastafarianism is believed to be more thematically inspired from the other Taliban variants, baring certain core similarities with certain significant divergences.

The group that calls itself the Jamaican Rasta-Khowari Taliban is a sort of revisionist orthodox insurgent backlash within the Rastafari movement. The main premise of their still unwritten mainfesto is that the integrity of the original Rasta culture has been corrupted by "evil" (read: commercial) influences from "Babylon" (read: The West). In this they echo the hatered of the West always underscored by their Taliban counterparts in the east. Shunning the loose and disorganized structure of the existing Rastafarian tradition, this inspired band of armed hoodlums has theologically reinvented itself in the form of a strictly organized and well regulated militarized operation. In vigor and recklessness this newly bred "homegrown" brand of Taliban is no less than the ferocious militants of Afghanistan and Pakistan that inspired them.

Some thematic linkages also exist, not only do they want to wipe present-day Israel off the face of the earth in order to declare Ethiopia as the "True Zion", the recent surge of Jamaican Taliban and linked militant Rasta outfits has imposed a strict morality campaign on parts of the island.

The Kh in the Rasta-Khwari has special significance as a lingual reinvention that immediately differentiates the group from other Rasta variants. Some claim that its a recognition of their Arab cultural heritage, by enounciating the KH they pay homage to the Arab traders who introduced them to their holy sacrement the herb they called Ganja. Some adherents of the Jamiacan Taliban also go as far as to claim that the fact that the herb was originally brought from parts of northern India (now Pakistan) and Afghanistan, where the Taliban are at large, signifies that it was probably hashish smoking Taliban who were the first ones to introduce Jamicans to the herb. Like the word "Ganja" the word "Khowari" is also incorporated from north Indian language, where the word implies an aggravating boredom, restlessness, and lack of sexual possibilities.

The murderous gang of unruly Jamaican Taliban roaming the Jamaican badlands, has taken the Island nation by storm, over-running a few small towns, also claim that the second half of the Bible that was stolen from them by the "White Man" (read: colonizers) were actually the scriptures upheld by the other major Taliban movements. Consequently they have imposed a strict morality regiem in the territories they have so far occupied. A few local homosexuals were hung as an exemplary punishment for moral deviance and their bodies left dangling in the main square of Lucea, a town in Jamaica.

The Jamaican Taliban are as strict on recreational uses of Ganja as they are on sexual deviance. The terrorist organization claims that the sacrament has been corrupted by commercial interests, and only their orthodox clergy has the divine right to administer ganja for spiritual purposes only where necesary. However, reports of Jamican Taliban roaming the streets with blood-shot eyes and vacant gazes contradict their own strict doctrine. "We will smoke all da herb on da island", bragged one Jamaican Taliban patrolling the streets, "we da Jamaican Talibaan maan .. we are da ONLY chosaan pepaal of Jah". The movement continues to maintain that only they as the chosen people have the exclusive right to spiritual enlightenment from cannabis.

So far the Jamaican Taliban have taken over vast reserves of marijuana in certain parts of the island. With local residents complaining of the drop in supplies, these resurging Taliban seem to give no signs of respite. Rumors floating in the marketplace suggests that the movement bares its origins in a group of ganja fiends who decided to capitalize on the political situation. Unnamed sources within the organization hinted at prospects of international recognition by strictly following the model of the major Taliban movements, some sects of the organization consider the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to be a more authentic model of Talibanization to follow than the more organically driven Afghan variant. When questioned about whether they're afraid of fizzling out as a media phenomenon like the Indian Taliban, the source remained silent. Neither Pakistani nor Afghan Taliban officials could be reached for comment.

Tuesday, January 11

A How-To Guide for the Weak-Stomached on Building Tolerance

Suddenly there’s a lot of debate over tolerance and engendering some sort of empathy and understanding in Pakistani society. For a society that’s seen random spurts of violent urban attacks, sensational acts of terrorism, ethnic violence, and even a spate of target killings to have some sort of identity crisis is perfectly normal. However, this time it seems to be a severe reaction pointing to the fact that perhaps we somehow haven’t managed to come to terms with who we are.

The recent attack on the "liberal" community, especially, sparked a lot of controversy over whether those whose beliefs don’t coincide with the social mean should be respected or simply eradicated. Most people really wouldn't give a damn either way, but nowadays everyone seems to be caught up in the crossfire between the ultra-radical hyper conservatives, and the flip-flopish moderate supporters of a semblance of liberalism.

Besides the sensational coverage of all the Television news channels, Other than newspaper editorials repeatedly asking “Why we are the way we are?”, or disgustingly lukewarm apologetic sonatas declaring “Today I too am a minority” (for one day only), the average person these days is brought into the center of the debate through cutting edge social media, like Facebook. There have been several instances of people blocking or “de-friending” their Facebook friends upon finding out that hey were either blasphemous, supported blasphemy, or supported the violence against those who supported blasphemy. This has resulted in a massive social reorganization of Pakistani Facebook networks based on what side of the debate the person’s Facebook status took.

Many people are simply in shock over the flaring up of the recent issue, and have simply failed to get a grip on reality. Where social tolerance is concerned, I think being tolerant is one thing, and pretending to be tolerant is a whole different thing. For me tolerance and intolerance within society is like having tolerance or intolerance for certain substances, for instance lactose intolerance (or other forms of tolerance), if you have a certain threshold of tolerance and you know it all is well, but if you have relatively low tolerance, and you pretend to be highly tolerant then things can get very risky. Things can take a turn for the worse quite quickly, since you wouldn’t know your own threshold, you might end up throwing your guts out at the end of the night.

Which is precisely the predicament I find our society to be in right now: hunched up over the bowl going through the all-too-familiar gagging motions as vomit spews out of the mouth while uttering the words “never again” in-between mouthfuls of gastric juices and semi-processed morsels of food. The “never again” is the most important epiphany as this whole episode runs on to its usual conclusion, because it implies that never again will you cross that threshold as you go on pretending to be tolerant.

For one, I think we need to come to terms with the fact that as a society we’re highly intolerant and that there’s no way we can stomach all that cultural diversity. So expecting ourselves to be tolerant about the views and opinions of others is a little too much to expect from such weak-in-the-stomach people. Then rather than making a show out of how tolerant and accepting we are on the outside, I think we need to be more in touch with the reality of how insecure, and complex we are on the inside.

We can hardly stand diversity, and whenever one social group treads a marginally different line from the mean they are immediately identified, excluded, harassed , and targeted. I mean forget crumbling Jain temples, and ravaged Hindu communities, last year over two hundred people were arrested for violence against Christians in Gojra, from our very own ‘brotherhood of the books’.

When such overpowering facts are staring pretty much in your face, then how can you go on pretending to be a tolerant society which respects fundamental human rights, and believe in equality and liberty for all. We really don’t. And if you don’t happen to agree with that, then let me tell you that you too are a vast minority in the face of the intolerant masses, and that you’re lucky that you blend well with
the intolerant ones, because if there was a way to single you out, you wouldn’t be reading this article— you’d be dead.

Grim endings aside, I think its important for us to know our own egalitarian limitations. Because really, every time we pretend that we can get up and stagger our own merry way home, and to never re-visit the ugly stomach-churning episode again, the withdrawal symptoms of our own addiction to hate-spewing rhetoric and extreme firebrand ideals brings us back to our knees in prostration in front of the toilet bowl once more, to partake yet again in the ritual of coming to terms with ourselves, and whispering “never again” quietly underneath our vomit-ridden breaths.

catching up/update/getting upto speed blasphemous (read: dangerous) times like these..

apologies to anyone who actually reads this for not posting in the past 3..4? however many months. moving out of lahore and into new york caught me off guard, as did the demands of an academically intensive graduate program. regardless.. now that i've managed to acclimatize, i wish to inform you actual readers, that i will be posting regularly from here on in.. this haloed eleventh day of the first month of the year of our lord, two thousand and eleven 1/11/11 or 11/1/11 depending on what part of the world you're in. it should be evident that i have a slight fetish for 1s and 11s wherever they appear together esp. in dates and times.

anyway, just because i haven't updated this thing does in no way mean that i haven't been thinking strange and deep thoughts. just so you know, i have been thinking a lot of those, and more importantly, i've been building them up for one big motherload thats coming your way very soon!

apart from some posting some previously written material, topics i'll be exploring include:

* the lotta/toilet paper litmus/acid test: how to measure how desi you really are

* something on the halal/haram toleration of interest in financial systems of Islamic republics

* something about how liberalism sucks as a political discourse and how i hate being called a "liberal" (yukh!)

* other goodies that i can't think of right now but they're there in the back of my head or my hard-drive i promise!

so stay tuned..