Friday, 18 December 2015

Scroll Down You Heartless, Type Ahem

Most days I get up in a reasonably neutral mood. Get up, poop, shave, send out some GMs, get the kids up and ready for school, etc. Routine stuff, not necessarily in that order. Well, except for the first one. You have to get up first. Pooping and then getting up would be disastrous. Would like to kick the bucket before reaching that stage. Some days I am a bit cranky, but never once have I woken up in the morning in a euphoric mood. Never have I got up with a “Yay, I’m gonna kick ass today” spirit. Maybe I should get some of that kickass mojo somewhere, keep aside reason and scepticism and try going through the day in false high spirits. Maybe not.

I am also put off by motivational bullshit messages and stories. Especially stories, almost all of which turn out to be fake. Today’s “true” story was about a kid called Robby who played Mozart’s Concerto #21 for his mom who died of cancer. Conveniently, Robby died in the Oklahoma City bombing. Inconveniently, there was no person of that name among the dead. There is some profound hidden message in there from the Lord, which I am supposed to grasp to enrich my life. However, I never understand such messages. I need clear, simple explanations straight up. I am dumb.

For example, during the recent floods in Chennai, you kept seeing messages such as “Save them O God!” or “only God can help them now”. Based on the generally accepted definition of God, it would have been this very being who unleashed this floods on Chennai just some time ago. Why would he now want to save Chennai? For some prayers and offerings? What kind of a psychopath would do such a thing?

Then there’s the “Scroll down if you’re heartless; or type Amen” postings on Facebook with a picture of a child with no limbs or of a pregnant woman who is dying from cancer or a guy with an extra testicle. You see half a million people liking or typing amen. Heartless, I usually scroll down. How does this work? Suppose the picture gets a million amens, will the extra testicle disappear? I have no idea. I am yet to see a picture of a kid with a caption, “thanks to your million amens, this child has now grown back a full set of limbs”.

And, this just in - the Vatican has come out with an announcement saying that Pope Frank has approved a second miracle for Mother T, who is now in line for sainthood. Wow! A second miracle. Apparently, a Brazilian man was cured of multiple brain tumours by Mom T.

Is this reproducible? The Vatican’s benchmark for sainthood appears to be pretty low. If you’re doing a scientific experiment, you have to be able to replicate the results, many times over, for it to gain acceptance. Here, it is just two “miracles,” and you’re a saint. I hope the Vatican comes out with the exact procedure as to how to pray to this lady – go to her church, say some verse a million times, type amen on another cancer patient’s Facebook post, squeeze a goat’s balls, break a coconut … on a goat’s balls, etc. I’m sure people will do all these and more, as long as you give them some kind of guarantee. For instance, if your goat has only one testicle, your survival rate will go down by 25 percentage points, or something like that. But then, that would be science.

“Science is Life,” thus wrote our PM on a digital wall a few months ago in Abu Dhabi, one of the pit stops of his travelling roadshow. It was an excellent thing to say in one of the top non-scientific regions in the world today. He could’ve said “Vedic Science is Life,” but he didn’t. He is shrewd. He was in town recently, almost. The town was “grazed” by him. It was the most disappointing PM visit in my memory because the only good thing during such visits –the roads getting fixed– didn’t happen. He landed at the airport, flew out to a nearby town to meet some religious dudes and flew back and flew out. In between he gave a few minutes on the tarmac to the Chief Honcho and other ministers to discuss the state’s issues while he was walking to the plane. He is a busy man, and he also knows that these pols don’t have their fingers on the pulse of the people.

Because couple of days later, he had lots of spare time to sit down and talk with a person who definitely had his fingers on the pulse of all nations - Google CEO Sundar Pichai. His company comes out with that data every year and this year also the top searched person in India was the porn star Sunny Leone. The throbbing pulse of the nation.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all