Before the end of civilization as we know it…

I thought I might take a cue from my various Facebook followers [who made me hate the idea of Facebook and following; did I already say “አበሻን ‘አድ’ ማድረግ ድንቁርናን ማስፋፋት ነው”?!] and share with you – my [hopefully] more sensible readers – stuff I have been reading, watching and listening to. [And no, Layla, you don’t need to comment on this one sweetness :)].

  • is “A conversation about life’s unseen patterns” Podcast hosted by Shankar Vedantam, who is NPR’s social science correspondent and my favorite East-Indian of all times. Unless Anil Kapoor is still alive, in which case Vedantam would have to step off to 2nd place. [Here below are two of his pieces that I found especially interesting; being a woman in a winning-men’s world afraid to try new things because she is fucking scared of failing – in full-view of her own damn self!: How Does Gender Affect One’s Willingness To Compete? and Women Held To Higher Ethical Standard Than Men, Study Shows]

Enjoy, y’all.

August 6, 2016 at 1:49 am 10 comments

The problem with Kenenisa

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June 13, 2016 at 5:56 am 8 comments

Of Cars and Crows

You don’t know what it means to be picked on until you have been picked-on by a crow three times in a row. It is very hard not to take it personally; it’s cawing bloody murder every time you appeared [as if you were sent from the inner depth of hell], jumping from tree to electric wire to make sure you have left the vicinity, dive-bombing at you and missing you by an inch. Add to this trauma the discovery [like an eye that can’t be closed once opened] that there were a lot of these mother fuckers tip-toeing around. Soon you would find yourself jumping at every flap of every feathered creature’s wing. At every cat that frowned at you. At the squirrel that sprinted in your way before finding its grip on a tree and running up for dear life. As for the dog that startled you when looking up from your phone, you better hope the owner has a strong hold on the leash. Because it would start “leyaj, legeraj mascheger”ing, and you would find yourself both a victim of uncalled-for aggression and apologizing for something he clearly needs to work through. “Dogs need to learn to mind their own business” – endil Troy.

The first two times it happened, the crow-harassment not the dog taking offense at my texting while walking, I haven’t worried much about it. Have even laughed when Troy said “Crows are good judges of character” as to why I was being chased out of town by one. Round 3 was not as amusing. I have, in fact, wondered if it wasn’t an omen; a foretelling of an impending doom; a crow-on-human racism [this is, after all, the “posh” part of Capitol Hill – where bridges over-look Cascade mountains and humans jog in name-brand sweatsuits when they aren’t walking dogs with shiny-coats]. Have wished I had owned a gun, or a baseball bat, or even a pepper-spray that would incapacitate the little bastard before I kicked the living shit out of it. “You aren’t so tough now, are you biatch?!” – I would have bragged, while applying feet to beak.

The fourth time, I was in full panic mode! It was not just the one crazy asshole cawing and taking swooping-shots at me. Two more have joined the cause and they were “maQaTeling” the neighborhood with “chu’het” while making escape quite difficult. I did make it out alive, after alarming two White women by my hide and seek routine to avoid the crows’ field of vision. And almost running into traffic while attempting to dodge what one writer called “the original angry-birds”. Upon finding my breath, calming the fluttering heart, and an area that doesn’t seem populated by the hateful species; I fed the question “crow attack human” into my google-search and waited for a response. Apparently, it was neither my [dark] fashion sense, nor an invisibly-inked “Mark of Cain” on the forehead, or even being mistaken for a past-offender that stirred the crow-community against poor ole moi. May-Mid June, was, apparently “fledge season”: where crows help their babies learn how to fly. And their over-protective parental sense tends to make them mistake anything from a folded umbrella to a tied hair to a flapping buckles of your big messenger bag [as in my case] for a nest, a dead bird, or some such nonsense.

The relief was so intense, so vindicating, I wanted to retell my ordeal in the form of a graphic novel. Start with a murder of crows in a meeting, where a young and handsome crow [ex-military; lost wife and kids to some human-induced accident] with a “you be damned” attitude is pled against by the elderly to stop harassing the neighborhood nanny. That there was nothing to indicate she presented a threat. To stop recruiting their naive [idiotic] sons to its cause, and get the help he needs. And his revolt against the powers that be. And how the story ends with the poor woman’s death; but not before she got the kids in her charge out of danger zone; taking a bullet for them – as it were. With the lesson being how crows were like all [human] communities, or old white men, who would assume the worst at the sight of every [harmless] ‘tsegu’re liwit’.

The following isn’t a people-equivalent of a gaggle of hormone-crazed crows. It is what happened one Summer afternoon [in Federal Way, WA] when the red light refused to change.

Cars ejecting themselves out of the line like a throw up. Honkings, swervings, curses, almost crushes. Mad dashes, victorious laughters, middle fingers. And quite cars filling into spots vacated by angry drivers. Fresh faces of willing motorists ready to wait, to obey the law, shading their eyes from the sun with glasses and newspapers; occupied with earlier conversations, hesitant smiles, not knowing what all the noise was about. Hopeful  trusting faces who believe in order [!] and still give a damn.

Until they no longer do.

June 9, 2016 at 9:12 pm 7 comments

And now…..

photo

Expressions I hate from the Radio

  • Double Down
  • In real time
  • Ramp up/step-up/rachet-up
  • Pack heat
  • Brexit and Clopen [Close open]
  • Unpack [it for us]
  • [His/Her] full-on
  • Robust [for sounds/images]
  • Buzz word
  • Outlier
  • In this point and time
  • Any given time
  • Get your [something] on
  • Took her to task
  • [Something] on steroids
  • Tink-tank
  • Not all.. are created equal
  • Struck out
  • Crunch the numbers
  • Track record
  • Stocked about
  • Boning up on
  • Break-out role
  • Geek out
  • Call [someone] out
  • Rhetoric
  • Front and Center
  • Media darlings
  • “Check” [This and that thing]
  • Bust out
  • Epic center

and last, but not least, “A phrase I never thought I would say”

Grrr

[News] Hheadliners I don’t give a shit about

  • The threat of Zika to pregnant women
  • People made homeless due to their drug addiction
  • Death resulting from over-dozing from Heroin
  • Teenage girls’ inability to achieve orgasm
  • Pandas
  • India’s pollution
  • Shortage of clean-drinking water in India
  • China’s smog blankets
  • Japan’s rapidly aging society
  • Chinese culture. Chinese people. Chinese food
  • People who die from various natural disasters in India/Pakistan/Nepal
  • Saudi women’s inability to drive
  • Economic migrants dying en-route to Europe
  • Guantanamo prisoners
  • Gays in Muslim Countries
  • Gays in African countries
  • Gay men refused a wedding cake by a “conservative” baker
  • Transsexuals who are not allowed to use the restroom according to the gender they identify with
  • People who get harassed by the Moral Police in Iran
  • Kids who come out as “transsexual” at age 4
  • Parents who complain they can’t live on minimum-wage while expecting their 5th kid
  • Single mothers who dress and behave like their teenage girls ending up being killed by a psycho they met online
  • Black [men’s] lives in general, and African-American men’s lives in particular
  • Criminals given harsher sentences than what their crime merited
  • Old white men
  • Angry old white men
  • White mothers who get shot by their sons using the gun they gave him as a birthday present
  • International students who died on Aurora bridge after their bus collided with a Ride-the-duck vehicle
  • The international student who got killed by a fire truck after surviving a plane crush
  • Anything that happens to international students
  • The millions spent by Tech-workers in pursuit of green cards
  • Black gays and Black Republicans
  • Latino gays and Latino Republicans
  • Black and Latino gay Republicans
  • Bernie Sanders’ supporters and their [marginalized] woes
  • Anybody who thinks the system is “stacked against” them
  • Millennials
  • Kenneth Bay and Asian Evangelists being prosecuted for their faith
  • Julian Assange and Snowden
  • The stuff Bowe Bergdahl was going through before abandoning his post
  • Al-Jazeera reporters in Egyptian prisons
  • Malala Yusuf
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  • Victims of revenge porn
  • And last, but not least, the face of black America, as represented here below by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
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May 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm 3 comments

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