Eternal Activist- a nonstop journey!

protestYou must have seen him, his pictures or read about him. He is the guy who is always being dragged by police, water sprayed, blocking roads, tying himself to trees and in the back of a police vehicle. Or you might have seen him protesting against protestors at city hall for raising minimum wage.

How did he become “him”? Could it be that the first seeds of protest were sowed when his 5 month pregnant mother was protesting against Vietnam war? Or could it be at the very moment when his father was rebelling against the machine by smoking a big fat joint smack in the middle of town square. It could also be when his mother decided to go topless at a public beach to protest against double standards for men and women at a public beach. But this man would never talk about his own journey while there are some 7,432 active issues involving humanity, animals, reptiles, environment and increasing incidence of cancer in south Pacific Hammerhead shark.

He remembers his first protest in middle school. He protested against beatings by class bully, after being encouraged by his mother. The bully beat him more, he protested more and at some point, after being beaten for almost a year it stopped. Bully probably got bored. But activist realized that protests do work although a little bit late. His mother celebrated this as his victory because he had succeeded in changing the aggressor without changing his own character.

He protested more in high school. He protested against meat in cafeteria, against milk in support of lactose intolerant, against religion, against cold war, against school mascot, against funding for football program and for saving turtles in Madagascar, seals in Sweden, for rights of Aborigines in Australia and Roma in Europe. At times he was protesting so much that he was hardly attending any classes. This resulted in expulsion which resulted in another fierce protest.

But he finally realized his true calling in college. He protested for Marijuana, against easy availability of alcohol on campus, for condom vending machines and against racial undertones of 18th century English literature. He climbed rooftops and refused to come down till Japan apologized to China for their atrocities. He chained himself to a tree to protest against honey industry and their inhuman treatment of bees. He taped himself to movie theater seats to protest against too much sex and violence in main stream media. He also protested outside the movie theater for not showing a banned movie with excessive violence.

He was known to protest right in the middle of a class if a white professor used the word black. He protested against the color of blackboard being black. He protested against police brutality but also against gun rights. He protested when rapper, “$-DOG” was not allowed to present his poetry to middle schoolers with lyrics like “bros before hos, my bitch ain’t no ho and kill the ho”. He wanted middle schoolers to decide what they want to hear rather than machine telling them what to do.   To be continued…


Sensibilities-times we live in!

Every single day I find myself a victim of multiple assaults on my sensibilities. There are movies, news, cartoons and comedies that are offensive. In these times our religion, god and country are all under attack all the time. A lot of these things are simply being created to cause hurt and assault our sensibilities.

The attacks are relentless. If you turn your computer on, go to Internet, go to you tube, find a website called AIB, find the video and assault is sitting right there. How do you escape such spontaneous attacks! You are looking at tweets and someone posted an unflattering picture of your god. What can you do? The assault has happened. You went to a movie and they made fun of your god. Everyone is laughing but you are offended. What can you do? The assault has happened. I tell you there is not a single thing you can do. I am sure you feel as helpless as me.

There are things we can do to protect ourselves. When our car stops at red light and those annoying dirty begging children come and knock on our windows, we are ready. We have  windows that we can close. When we read about a minor girl who was raped in newspaper, we are smart enough to jump to next page because we were ready. But how do we avoid those spontaneous assaults. Why would they make fun of a Politician or a religious head and hurt their follower’s feelings. I understand it is democracy but that does not mean you can assault someone’s sensibilities.

The concept of freedom of expression is not needed in well controlled societies. We should have a list which clearly labels clear list of things which are offensive. The list should be maintained regularly and have input from religious heads and government officials. Once we have all agreed on such a list, we should be able to use it for purpose of humor and such. If someone still finds a joke offensive, we should have the grace to take it off from the list.

Should we have Humor at the cost of offending someone’s sensibilities? I am sure you will agree with me that answer is a resounding NO. We can all live without humor but if our sensibilities are offended the life become a worthless rot.