Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Other Side of Sin

By Narcissa Hypocritus

All great truths begin as blasphemies- George Bernard Shaw
Human concepts are so befuddling. Is it not a wonder how they got this far on the timeline, breaking every rule they've so zealously created? From 'don't talk to strangers' to 'I have always depended on the kindness of strangers' and from 'don't tell lies' to 'little white lies.' And so on. Then you have sins. And the Seven Deadly Sins that are apparently worse than regular sins. Which is ironic, considering the sins in question. To this writer, at least. If you disagree, the Rising Stars Facebook fan page is always welcome to opinions but please, no lathis, burning torches and lynching a poor writer only trying to do her job. That would be mean. And meanness should be a deadly sin but people just cannot be sensible like that.


Any motivational speaker will tell you that in order to appreciate others, you must appreciate yourself. And they're right, of course, however confused their own intentions may be. Was it not Keats who wrote, “ A thing of beauty is a joy forever”? And other random people who couldn't come up with better quotes that said, “If you have it, flaunt it”? You're beautiful, smart and always right, so show it. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise has serious self-esteem issues and should take a leaf out of your book.
Unless you aren't any of those things, of course, in which case none of this will make any sense. Your bad.


Would any organism on earth exist were it not for lust? Would you have anything to care for, be it that exquisitely sculpted senior or that tiny red Chanel number, were it not for lust? Please do not regurgitate the “It's-love-not-lust-I'm-not-thinking-of-that-don't-make-me-blush” balderdash. Love-and-not-lust? As if we'd make any effort for the nice, adoring classmate with the off-putting specs, or for that cosy, sensible sweater that Nani-jaan knitted last year, out of true, grandmotherly love. Indeed, lust is the dynamism behind our relationship with the world. (This does not apply to you if chaps-and-Chanel or chicks-and-cars do not constitute your world. Clearly, you are not human.)


Humans are the biggest fools on earth. Well, they are the only fools on earth but the point still stands. You admire greatness or beauty, you want to emulate it, you become just ever so slightly competitive and you're possessed by a green-eyed monster? How does that work? And will someone please explain this prejudice against green eyes? Respected reader, do you not envy the fact that the so very (extra)ordinary work of yours truly's so very (extra)ordinary self is printed somewhere within these hallowed pages every week, connecting her to a greater consciousness? Does it not goad you into producing something of substance yourself? No? Not even the tiniest bit? Well then, you're just jealous!


Ignore the fairytales grownups told you about power-hungry trolls and witches. No one ever advocates the ethnic minorities and poor old women whose pensions are overlooked. Do those simpering Snow Whites and snooty Cinderellas ever do anything to help them out once they have their palaces and wardrobes and are stuffing themselves with truffles and caviar? It's a struggle to exist and no one will help you fight it. Hence, is it so terrible to try to make life just a little liveable? Moreover, think: without greed, would we ever have been able to experience the economy's wondrous bounty? It is crucial that the need to roll in more dough, have more toes to step on and more resources to exploit be insatiable. We'd be one subject short of an easy A then and that would be catastrophic.


Even the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Stuffed Animals will agree that any rabbit daft enough to reel through the air and plunk on to the keyboard of a luckless writer attempting to meet a deadline deserves a dismembering. It's creatures like those that will bring the world to an end.
And about anger making you 'see red'? Bilge. Drivel. Tripe. It's mind-boggling how anger can enhance one's awareness. It gives purpose and clarity to the most hopeless scatterbrain. You KNOW that the only thing to be done to the guilty bunny is to yank its fluffy paws in opposite directions. Hard. Until it explodes in a glory of fluff. Anger brings justice, anger makes things happen. And consider this: have you ever made a statement about anything that didn't rile you?
As with most necessary statements, the ones made by anger are predictably misunderstood and culminate in having to repair the accursed bunny. But you needn't repent if you're punished; not that it would be necessary anyways.


The drive to succeed is bad, the drive to procreate is bad, and the drive to defend oneself against stuffed toys is bad…it makes you wonder why humans exist at all. And now, when food exists to be eaten, when it's ok for every other organism out there to consume and digest and metabolise and survive…. well, okay, uncertainties of post-consumption notwithstanding, you don't see animals interfering with other animals' dietary habits. Except us, but we occupy the top of the food chain so that's fine.
All humans appreciate food but some appreciate food more than others. And if they put on some pounds and then spend on dieticians and gym sessions instead of other causes, termed by 'other other' people as 'needy', who has the authority to argue? The energy isn't anyone else's to mess around with. So go and make your own brownies.


This shouldn't even be termed a word. You can bet that dinky new laptop keeping you in bed all day that whoever coined it was dead drunk and whatever she or he was trying to say came out as that slurred monosyllable. A nasty sound conveying nasty conceptions.
Which is why we should campaign to have it replaced with 'appreciation of life through recreational relaxation.' Or something. After all, do you not see that this is the solution to the global time crisis? People have abandoned conventional units of measuring time for 'assignments', 'engagements' and 'traffic jams'. There's no time to do anything properly, or to appreciate. It's rather worrisome. And it calls for a drastic 'recreational relaxation' movement. Chuck the dinky new laptop in this direction and dreamily pirouette around, smelling the roses, dahlias and jasmines while you're at it. And life will feel like one nice long spring day with fading stress-frowns, brains turning to mush and burgeoning thighs and waistlines. Bliss.
If you come up with a nice enough word, do send it over so that yours truly can take the credit. Not that she can't find one herself, but life is waiting to be appreciated.
So celebrate your sins and move onward. Or back or in any direction you feel they may take you. This, after all, is what makes us human.



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