Merchandising Terrorism during Christmas Season

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Osama dolls

Merchandising terrorism during the season of goodwill has its commercial advantages and this should not be overlooked in the fight between – Us and Them.

The world appears to be in the grip of terrorism on a scale ‘apparently’ not witnessed before, and this has been reinforced by sudden dramatic discoveries of explosives in airplanes etc., sinister plans to cause assorted mayhem, commit mass murder and execute high profile assassinations.

All this sounds very exciting but how can politicians and business work together to make money from this and how can small businesses be rewarded with increased retails sales.

Presently, the only business that appears to be lucrative is security – invading countries, manpower and gadgetry. But has thought been given to clothing, games and cuisine?

For example: The face of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara aka Che has been featured on T-shirts (printed, woven and hand painted) on sale for a few dollars by street vendors without Che’s estate reaping any benefits from this commercial exploitation.

In 2010 we have Mr.Osama Bin Laden, the face of a generation of psychopaths and suicide bombers. This has made him not only a Persona non Grata in many countries but also a brand that can be exploited for profit (the loss being innocent lives but this is incidental) by creating a range of products and services.

Media (print/Electronic)
Every perceivable threat can be headlined with his face and admonishing index finger. This sells copies, increases viewership thereby resulting in additional advertising revenue.

Government
Any ‘incident’ can give governments the excuse to ‘upgrade’ security and further curtail the freedom of its citizens. Result – increased expenditure on security (more jobs and purchase of new equipment) and altering of civil liberties.

Osama Dolls
Walky Talky dolls screaming “Death to the infidel”.
Osama version of Rambo preferably in fuschia.
Osama as chef in kitchen (dressed in drag) with Bush as his side kick (wasn’t Bush his business partner before he diversified his operations?).

Video Games
Homeland Security Vs. Osama’s Assassins.
How to plant bombs on one’s self and in cities and explode them without being detected.

Confectionery
Made from marzipan in the shape of automobiles which explode in the mouth when eaten. Of course the incendiary device will only contain jam or fresh cream.

Board Game

Snakes & Ladders – revised version with booby traps and suicide bombers etc. Great fun for the whole family!

Oxymoron
A card game for those interested in ‘counter-intelligence’.

T-shirts
Specially designed for sixteen year old nymphets with the slogan
” Osama was here”. This is with reference to his penchant for marrying teenagers.

All tax revenues from the sale proceeds must go toward financing the fight against terrorism i.e Us Against Them.

If governments,  industries and the jihadis can make money from the senseless killing then why not the rest of us?

Merry Christmas Folks!


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Rahul Gandhi – an open letter

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Namasker Rahul,

I have been reading with great interest your travels ‘through’ the lower caste strata of Indian society including the marginalized impoverished rural youth. This is heartening for it appears the ‘young’ generation in Indian politics is not deaf, dumb, blind and apathetic to these unfortunate people.

Maybe you are aware of the aberrations that exist, fueled by the arrogant Indian Middle Class and the apparent lethargy of a burgeoning State, which are seemingly at odds with Nehruvian ideals, Gandhian principles and self aggrandizement (corruption).

CASTE SYSTEM
A brilliant method of demarcating society and enslaving those unfortunate lower caste people who even today (in many places) are forbidden to draw water from the village well and instead have to walk miles to collect it from another place.

The Caste system is also perpetuated by the Indian Middle Class in connivance with the national print/electronic media. A glance through the matrimonial columns of any leading English language newspaper will show that the Caste system is alive, well and profitable for a select few.

I understand it is a crime to call a lower caste by his/her caste or trade e.g. cobbler. If this is so, then how is the media permitted to publish matrimonial advertisements under caste headings. Check out this link http://www.bharatmatrimony.com/newspaper-classifieds/newspaper-classifieds.php . And The Times of India Sunday newspaper with its supplement of “Matrimonial Adverts”.

CALL CENTRES
This business has paid rich dividends and created job opportunities with high salaries. The fallout for youngsters fresh out of school who work in Call Centres; stressful working conditions and an inadequate social support system has resulted in (it is claimed) suicides, rapes, failed relationships, alcoholism and more. This is a generation of  youth with little or no future prospects for once the bubble bursts where will they go?

TOURISM
Incredible India, that’s what the slogan says. In reality it is just a slick advertising campaign that oversells the product on offer. It is misleading for it doesn’t reflect the ground reality, example – the experience of a white single woman travelling alone by train from New Delhi to Varanasi.

We advertise Incredible India and yet our Visa system doesn’t support this.

Incredible India – visit Goa and see the garbage and rampant desecration of its ‘once’ pristine beaches. Incidentally, Goa has the distinction of being nominated to the top ten worst beach spots in the world, courtesy National geographic. The uniqueness of this former Portuguese colony is its apparent non-existent system of garbage collection and disposal. To add to this is a herd of cows that roam the famed hippie hangouts of the last century; while passengers from tourist buses throw waste out of the window of their moving vehicles.

Many beaches have been turned into tourist ghettos that are a slur on the vibrant ethos of Goa. Interestingly, a prime tourist attraction is a large ship grounded off Fort Aguada, rusting in the sea and polluting the environment.

Goa with its white washed churches, emerald rice fields, beautiful temples,  fish curry, xacuti and vindaloo spiced by its vivacious people WAS to many an intrepid overseas traveler, a haven.

But not anymore.

For times have changed.

In the words of my Goan friend, “Brother, our home (Goa) is slowly dying and there is no one to help us save it”.

On the flip side: Havelock island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a perfect example of how an administration can work with citizens to create a clean and unpolluted environment. This is due to the personal efforts of the DIG Police, DFO Divisional Forest officer and the Panchayats. (BTW they urgently need a garbage recycling plant. Politicians have visited the small island but have done nothing. Will you please do something about this, Rahul?)

Many among us consider  Shashi Tharoor to be the right person for helping Goa and overseeing the development of tourism in the country.

EDUCATION
Why can’t we (the rest of India) emulate the State of Kerala that has 100% literacy?

ENVIRONMENT
I will refrain from the usual dyspepsia around pollution and speak only about our forests in whose embrace shelters our vanishing flora and fauna.

The tiger. Did you know that Project Tiger which your grandmother (Indira Gandhi) launched was a great success because it increased the number of tigers in the wild to (I think) around 4000? Now we have (it is claimed) approx. 1500 – a figure disputed by experts to be much less than this.

Our neighbor China continues to pay top dollar for Tiger parts…so what are the politicians doing about this? Talk is cheap. Action is what is needed and you, Rahul can instigate the powers that be to set up a Task Force under Valmik Thapar to tackle this problem head on. Keeping politics aside it would also be sensible to rope in Menaka Gandhi who is a well known activist. Government officers like D.P.Yadav, Divisional Forest Officer of Havelock, could also be appointed to the Task Force.

Time has run out, we have to act now. It is people like you who can make this happen.

RIGHT TO EAT
In the end all the above suggestions or viewpoints will be meaningless if we can’t feed our millions.

HOPE
The baton has been handed to you and your generation of young educated Indian politicians.
You can run with it or hand it to someone else to run the race.

It’s your call, Rahul…India is watching and expecting you to win.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

National Geographic – World’s worst beach spots in 2010!

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Pic by Mark Ulyseas

Thank you National Geographic for bringing this to our attention.
November/December 2010 issue highlighting the world’s worst beach spots of 2010.

Vietnam Nha Trang
Spain Alicante
Lebanon Coasts
Grand Strand South Carolina
India Goa
Egypt Sharm el Sheikh Area
Cambodia Sihanoukville
UAE Dubai
North Shore New Jersey
Gulf Coast Mississippi
Gulf Coast Louisiana

Hurry up folks we need to destroy Planet Earth by 2012.

Hidup Manis…the sweet life

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Picture this – heavenly bodies marinating in the sun on the vibrating beaches of Bali…now read on to find out why life’s a beach in Bali!

Bali is a small island eight degrees south of the equator. With a population of around 3.5 million and an equal number of visitors, it survives on a staple diet of tourism. Its beaches are numerous; the stretch from The Oberoi to Kuta and up to the Discovery Mall is famed for its surfing conditions and bungee jumping tower from where brave hearts hurtle down on motorcycles. But before we lay out the menu be warned that hawkers will descend in droves the moment your presence is felt…literally, because as you lay your jetlagged torso on the warm sand masseurs will emerge from the madding crowd to gently circumnavigate your shoulders and legs with deft hands backed by smiles that would melt butter in a jiffy. Now let us move onto the Meenu as it is called here. These are the recommended delicacies if you happen to be stranded on Kuta beach and are hungry. Prices range from US$ 0.20cents to US$ 1.50 –

Manas - Pineapple

Manas (Pineapple) Skinned sweet pineapple on a stick or fork. Refreshing, clean but very sticky so a quick wash up in the sea will definitely follow.

Sele (Sweet Potato) – Slices of sweet potato with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts and topped with chopped chilli. It would be advisable to nibble a bit of the chilli as the Balinese chilli is notorious for reminding the diner of its presence the following morning.

Buah aka Rujak Manis (Mixed fruit salad)– Mango, Banana, Watermelon, Tomato, Papaya and Melon sliced and liberally sprinkled with prawn paste, garam (salt), gula mera (palm sugar). Very popular with tourists and locals.

Jagung Bakar (Grilled corn), nothing really to write home about.

Bantal – Sticky coconut rice wrapped in palm leaf. Children love it. It goes well with Buah aka Rujak Manis (sweet salad).

Sele - Sweet Potato

Ice cream vendors overrun the area so if one bites on a chilli mistaking it for a green bean there is always first aid at hand in the form of an ice candy.

Bali Kopi – The local brew that invigorates the extremities instantly. Order a cuppa at sunset before retiring for the night to the dens of iniquities dotting the throbbing by lanes of Kuta.

Drinks – Established brands of beer, soft drinks, juices and mineral water. Served chilled.

Mei Ayam Tak Tak

Mei Ayam Tak Tak – Noodle soup with ayam (chicken), water spinach, egg, whole peanuts. Tak tak because the ‘chef’ at the warung ( dhaba) knocks the spoons/chopsticks on the rim of the bowl when he/she serves the dish piping hot.

Nasi Campur Ayam – Steamed rice, fried ayam (chicken), vegetables, fried tempe, whole fried boiled egg with sambal (chilli paste) on the side. The staple meal for all self respecting inhabitants of the isle. Served at beach temperature.

Nasi Campur Ikan – Steamed rice, fried mackerel, fried ayam (chicken) optional, vegetables, fried tempe, whole fried

Nasi Campur Ikan and Ayam

boiled egg with sambal (chilli paste) on the side. Served at beach temperature.

Bantal – Sticky coconut rice wrapped in palm leaf. Children love it. It goes well with Buah aka Rujak Manis (sweet salad).
A word of advice: Don’t panic if you can’t eat the beach food, there are other options. All along the promenade that lines the beach are a host of fast food outlets and restaurants to cater to all budgets. Also, every outlet has clean rest rooms!

Nasi Campur Ayam

Essential words for the philistine –  Garam (salt), Susu (milk), Manis (sweet), Pedas (hot), Nasi (rice), Masalah (problem), Cinta (love), Ya (yes), Tidak (no), Tamu (guest), Aku cinta kamu (I love you) – and for the intrepid traveller more to follow in the next issue.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Bantal - sticky coconut rice wrapped in palm leaf

Thank you Pauline Hanson for your racist remarks.

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Ms.Hanson did you know  that your country, Australia, is a former Penal Colony?
Do you know what people of your color did and are still doing to the Aborigines?
You are a disgrace to all the wonderful (White) Australians I know and love who make Australia such a wonderful, beautiful and vibrant country.


 

Oz students outsource their homework to India!

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The times are changing in a curious sort of way.
Is this the beginning of a new age of consumerism or is it sheer laziness?

Russian roulette for one

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Why survive on the cusp of desperation
When one can walk away into the darkeness
The great sleep will bring with it
Consciousness that soothes the soul

The rat race
Th minute waltz
The fandango in a trance
Regrets, pain, laughter…reverberate
But no one is listening
Just the pigeons huddled on ledges
Overlooking deserted streets

I waited to be
I waited to love
I wanted to leave an inheritance in the void
But fate played a trick
As the trigger clicked
Russian roulette for one

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