Hare we have specimen A, the Internet recluse, known in the scientific community as the homo-internetian. Although by all accounts he can pass of as human, we have confirmed that he happens to be a direct off shoot of the species, related, yes, but usually the resemblance stops there.
We have managed to affix ourselves to the natural habitat of this specimen recluse. The habitat as you can see is a darkened room, which contains an untidy bed, a shelf, clothes on the floor and a spotless, top-notch computer. Take a good look at this specimen, who if he deigned to, could pass of as a man, albeit a man who has diligently avoided sunlight his entire life. He's skinny, with sunken features, dark circles under his eyes, under-developed muscles and decaying eyesight. To make up for his physical shortcomings, he has developed his intellect somewhat. He is what, by conventional definitions mean, a geek. A computer enthusiast. Or better yet, said Internet recluse.
The common internet recluse spends his time stalking the vast prairie land of the interweb, which is a vaster universe within an universe, filled with wonders from all over the world from the Angry German Kid to Numa Numa, then there's Lost Generation, Where the hell is Matt?, and then there's that incident with the cup which we never ever speak about in decent company, so let's not go there. There's www.cracked.com, www.google.com, and whatever have you. These, and so many more, are the spoils of the recluse's hunt, his sustenance which keeps him waking up everyday to face his incorrigible lo-tech parents who disapprove of his habits, not knowing they are persecuting a rare specimen, an offshoot of the human kind.
The Internet recluse has made it his life's purpose to make sure that he has little reason to get off from his seat-slash-loo chair. Online banking has made it possible for bills to be paid online, and online retail vendors make it possible to buy any necessary household requirements possible. Even little USB tanks!
Internet recluses hardly ever live away from their parents' house, so food never really becomes a problem for them. Aspects of a recluse' life involves becoming extremely active members of this forum or that- they usually reach moderatorship within a few weeks or less, and, unless the person isn't a complete fudge like most recluses are, abuses his power over newbies.
Massively-Multiplayer Online gaming is a common phenomenon and much loved. If you've seen the episode, “Make Love, Not Warcraft” of popular animated show South Park, you'll have a good idea of what I'm talking about. Spending hours and hours every day on building up their respective imaginary and completely fictional characters, who have no effect on their real lives whatsoever and yet is as precious as real money, is their dream job. Hmm. Come to think of it, I think there are jobs like this. You'd be pretty freaked out by some of the things that go on in the interweb. Example: Some people prefer to break up through Sims or Second Life than the real world- and worse.
The Internet recluse is, according to some circles, the evolutionary link for human kind. The scientists who came up with the theory were prosecuted for defamation, but they have laid the foundations. Sooner or later, it is estimated, humans will all evolve and learn to live in the cyber world. The Internet recluse is merely the first of a kind.
Some of the more zealously extreme recluses have prophesized the herald of a Super Recluse, ushering in an age of eternal cybernationalization. We await such a time with alot of apprehension and a little more dread. Homo-internetian may just be the next phase of human existence, and god help us all if we fail to adapt to this coming change.
Power to the people!
By Tareq Adnan and Emil
Judging a book by its cover
I recently decided to stay over at my friend's house in Banani, the main attraction being the brand new Playstation 3, which my friend's sister brought him from Malaysia. We spent most of the night playing Pro-evolution Soccer. I was having a grand time, as its graphics and game play were much better than my outdated Playstation . The next morning I started for my home back in Dhanmondi in my car.
On the way the car suffered a punctured tire and I started getting cranky and started complaining while our driver changed it. When we finally began to move again, I began to get irritated, first by the non-functioning air conditioner, and then the complaining got worse as the car got stuck in heavy traffic right in front of where the Rangs Bhaban once stood. All that remained in the site were sand and rocks.
It was while I was looking at the ruins of the Rangs Bhaban that I saw three children, not more than six years old, playing with a rock in the sand. All of them were shirtless and one could very easily see the bones of their ribcages, indicating a lack of food. While I sat complaining in the comfort of my car, music playing on my ipod, all they had to amuse themselves in this scorching heat was a rock. My complaints faded in the face of the sight of the three kids, and I contemplated taking the money that was in my wallet, some 150 takas, and going some 10 feet to give it to them. While I was still pondering on this, the traffic started moving again, and we left the children behind. The guilt at not being able to help, remained.
On the way back all I could think about was the countless times I saw people in need but failed to help them out even when I had the means. And I realised that thousands of people around the globe fail to do anything to help the millions of less-fortunate people right in front of them every minute of every day. That is the way of life. Our way of life. This is how things were, are and will always be because in the midst of the comfort of our cars, air conditioners and expensive food at KFC, we forget that millions of people suffer and even die every year because of our negligence. Because everyday of our life while we see people starving and suffering right in front of us, all we manage to do for them is nothing.
By Eresh Omar Jamal
Our way of life
"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
People judge other people all the time, whether it is on looks or size or wealth. Is it fair? No. Does it happen? ABSOLUTELY!
You look at someone and instantly there is a label for him or her in your head. 'Fat', 'Nerd', 'Loser', 'Anorexic', 'Freak' and some that are even worse. When it comes to people, everyone is judgmental.
If you're different and don't fit the 'perfect' mould society has created, people tend to stop and stare. Some even point and laugh behind your back or, even, to your face!
Everyone has something that they don't like about themselves. It's not our place to point it out in public, embarrass and hurt them. How would it feel if it were your flaw people were pointing out?
People tend to focus on the negative thing. There is always going to be an ignorant family member or relative who comments on how much weight you've put on or how dark you've gotten. They'll never compliment you on how nice your hair is or how pretty your eyes are. So do yourself a favour and ignore them. Laugh it off, its not like you can say anything back to the 'grown-ups' 'cause then you'd be labelled 'beyadob'.
Appearance does not make you who you are. Granted, a little can be said about a person by the way they dress. But nothing can be prejudged by physical appearance. A person can be the funniest person, the smartest person or the most important person in your life, but how will you know if you never give them a chance? If you don't get to know the real them because you didn't like the way they looked? Beauty is, after all, only skin deep. Other times, like in the magazines and ads, beauty is airbrushed. How can we compare natural beauty to a million and one pound of foundation, professional makeup artists and computer effects?
The hurtful words from other people do affect us a lot. We ourselves always focus on the negative comments people make rather than the positive. Criticism is always so much easier to believe than compliments.
Even if its hard, we need to brush off the criticism and the mean things people say about our appearance. Don't let 'them haters' get to you. Make you're OWN labels. They call you a 'freak'; you call yourself 'unique'. You get to decide who you are, and what you are perceived as.
Perfection has many definitions. Maybe to Bangladeshi society, perfection is silky straight black hair, petite body and fair skin but to me, I am perfection in all my curly haired, plump bodied and caramel skinned glory. Forget what you've been told and make your own version of perfection. Embrace your uniqueness!
By Musarrat Rahman
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2009 The Daily Star