Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home

Duality Duels
“It takes darkness to perceive light.”

We all know this. It is with us and in us. In fact, it has been embedded in us ever since we came to know about it. But being a citizen of this country, you realise that you are caught between a epic battle of duality.

Nazrul and Rabindranath:
So we love poetry, right? Doesn't matter. We are still bound to get hooked into the works of these two extraordinary creative personalities at some point in our life. They deserve it, too. But there is a subtle undercurrent of rivalry between the followers of these two giants; a quiet, discreet contest between 'Shonchita' and 'Shonchoyta'.

Political Party A and B: This is inevitable and we all know this very well. So well, indeed, that we are forced to know more about them, and their actions every day of our lives. From airports to bridges, it's all part of a fun ride. Now you see it, now you don't.

Leaders of the nation X and Y: Refer to point above. You will get the idea.

Bengali medium and English medium: Now this is interesting, and contagious. Taken from a personal perspective, the following conversation might help explore the situation:

Bengali medium boy (B): Ki khobor, kemon aso? Ajkal dekhi na tomake…

English medium girl (G): Oh ya, I was like kichu din-er jonno baire gesilam…Amar family kinda amake jor kore niye gesilo, like I would enjoy a bit!

(B): Owh. Jai hok…Pora-shona kemon choltese?

(G): R boilo na...Amar miss is like SO boring, n ami khali ghumay pori onar class-e! But the Economics teacher is OK. I mean like… beshi JOSS

(B): Owh, hmmm. Ami ekhon jai tahole. Dekha hobe… Sir-er bashay jete hobe.

(G): Okay… Ami-o same. Chill!

(B): Kaak.

B'desh and 'bidesh': We have suffered from this at least once in our lives. If not us, then our friends, neighbours or relatives have. There is always this rush to crush on foreign soils, no matter what the reason might be. If everybody goes on to 'love' NY, then who is going to love our beloved Dhaka? Besides, our cabs are also yellow in colour for crying out loud.

Science and Commerce:
This one really gets serious at times. For anybody who hasn't suffered it yet, you can read on. This takes place mostly between science-loving parents and commerce-loving children - or vice-versa - at certain points of their academic lives. Specially during the choosing of core disciplines for higher studies. While the poor son/daughter strives for his/her wish (to be in Charukola), their ever strict parents thrive on their will (a place in BUET). Some parents need to change. That is, ALL of them!

Brazil and Argentina: It needs no introduction as far as the World Cup is concerned. We all saw what happened. If anybody is a fan of any of these two teams, s/he is a foe to the other. Coincidentally, same goes for the Pakistan and India cricket supporters in the country. But for 'some reason' they don't come up with the flags during matches though. Wonder why.


Rickshaw and BMW: Undoubtedly, both are two big brands of their respective countries. But the marriage between these transport personalities never gets stable on the road. While you're in the car stuck in jams, it's the rickshaw's fault, and while on the rickshaw, it's the car's. There are definitely many points left. But that is the beauty of this duality thing: we want to know it all at once. But there is only one Thursday a week. Oh well.

By Sani Montasir


Occupy FAQ

All over the world, in more than 1000 cities, there are people standing outside their respective stock exchanges or their government offices. These people have brought tents, somewhat amusing and witty signs and Guy Fawkes' masks like the one from V for Vendetta. And for once, it's not really your fault if you didn't know about this at all. Below is the simplified version of what was at one point Occupy Wall Street and now known as Occupy : <insert name of your city> so that you can pretend to know what's going on in the world.

So, why are all these people and their amusing and witty signs hanging around Wall Street?

They are there to protest the blood hungry, ruthless corporations that are being bailed out constantly by tax payer's money (funnily enough, those Guy Fawkes masks they're all wearing are produced by one of the largest corporations in the world - Warner Bros.), against social and economic inequality and the influence large corporations have over the government. They want banks to make less money and they want jobs that pay more. They also want a more populist set of government priorities (read: they want the government to bail them out of their college debt and their mortgages instead of the banks). But hey, America is the flag bearer of democracy, meaning they should listen to their people and do what they want. But then again, that's another thing they're protesting about. How much of a democracy is it when healthcare and education is neglected so as to supply banks with money to give their CEOs huge bonuses. In the words of Noam Chomsky, “The best way to restrict democracy is to move the decision-making from the public to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.” Oh, well in that case, perhaps it is justified in calling this the American Spring, styled after the Arab Spring, even though it's October. The American Fall? Doesn't really have the same effect.

Why hasn't this plastered the news channels? Why don't they care?

It's quite strange why there is so little coverage of the protest happening in the heartland of democracy after the continuous coverage of the new spread of “democracy” in the Middle East. Yet, the mainstream media has suddenly gone very silent and has chosen to mostly ignore this. One writer from the Boston Globe said that it was hard to take these picketers seriously with the circus environment they've created. But surely that is not an excuse? Circuses can be newsworthy too, and they are fighting for a good cause. But the tiny problem here is the mainstream media are owned by very large corporations who, if I'm not mistaken, are what they are protesting against. Facepalm anyone?

But that's not to say the internet hasn't sat up and taken notice. Well, that's probably because the internet doesn't discriminate and is everybody's friend. And because when they aren't shouting bloody murder at stockbrokers, “The 99%” sit around the park and tweet about their movement and the celebrities they saw that day who came by to lend their support (and possibly promote their new movie/album. Two birds, one stone). The internet is aflutter with news of Wall Street. And parodies (Occupy Narnia, Occupy Middle Earth, Luke Skywalker is the 99%, yeah they've got it all). So the mainstream media can try to shut them up, but they'll still get their voices heard somehow... via facebook.

So, why should the world care about this?

It went worldwide. They will now occupy the world. Didn't I say that in the first paragraph? All the cool kids are doing it. The world is very pissed off apparently at their economies and at the banking sector in particular. And besides, if they have an Occupy Dhaka it might give anyone bored enough to read this something to do. But we are Bangalis and asking us to do a mass peaceful protest for more than an hour is like asking a penguin to fly. We can't do it. We have to break a few cars or else we get angry.

So, how do we make them happy and get them to go home or get them to go back to work or at least try and look for a job?

Well, the obvious way to make these people happy is by giving them a job which gives them money. But that's kinda hard in a capitalist society which works to maximise profits because you know, employing more people increases cost of production and well, go look at your economics book. But since that's hard to do, in this case, a simple “We're sorry” from the immoral, evil heads of these corporations should suffice. Also, making the senior executives of these corporations feel really guilty about destroying the livelihood of the families they've helped destroy. And more free promo items, even if they are just silly hats. I wonder if they've heard of Socialism.

Well, an ending for this article is hard because well, I have severe writer's block. So, I'll just end using a quote. When in doubt, quote people. Always works.
“The marriage between capitalism and democracy is ending” - Slavoj Zizek.

By Bareesh

 

 

home | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star