Typicalism

So typical of you! Ever heard this exclamation? I’ll be you have, at least in your local language if not in English. I felt like writing about how people typically are typical in any respect. It’s so typical of my brain to be wayward, just like everyone else’s, but I go a step further in grabbing attention by writing loads of balderdash about it. But it’s a release, so typically I feel well after it.

typical
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)l/
adjective

having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing.

 

Now, isn’t that a typical definition as provided by a typical Google search?

Yes, I am over-smart.

What is it with my obsession about this ‘typical’ thing? It is basically just an outcome of everyday observations about how people generally behave, and follow patterns in their day-to-day lives, thinking that they’re living in absolute control over their habits and lifestyle and can bring about changes as and when desired. But with every single person, the case is such that they just don’t deviate from their daily schedules by a margin unless something of great “priority” comes up. Now, obviously, this isn’t the case with everyone, as statistically we can see that there are those who actually have control over everyday happenings related to their lives. But I’m talking about the 90% who don’t, and am really fascinated by the fact that everyone wants a change but just can’t bring it about so easily as they think they could.

Say, I tell you to start breathing exercises from tomorrow onward – exercises that take up 5 minutes of your “busy” schedules. We all know that such exercises will only benefit us in the long run, and it’s just the habit we need to develop now. There’s no money involved in it either – they’re absolutely free. This concept is both too good and true as well. But as good as it may sound, does it actually happen so easily? No, right? I’d like to stress upon this issue that’s been haunting human beings since time immemorial and one that everyone’s been after for a change but has never been able to successfully do so. I wouldn’t say I’m the first person who’s taken it upon himself to defy this trend and become so “effective” at changing habits and behaviour at will, but I would certainly make an honest attempt to become “effective.” It’s just that making changes in “life” are very difficult. It’s probably because the more frequently you perform a particular action that does not have an adverse effect on your physical and mental state (or at least deceive so), the more your inner working mechanism strengthens the intention to repeat that action. So, as we are all accustomed to our daily lives, we keep on doing the same things daily without thinking much about what we’re doing.

Now, if I were to just “follow my heart” and do what I wished to do, what’d happen? Would it cause a major upset in the functioning of the universe and change the course of history forever? Maybe. What, seriously? Does it have such an impact? At least we don’t perceive so. But what if the entirety of humanity was to reject the notion of a daily schedule, and take the concept of “free will” to such a level that they did whatever they felt like doing? Chaos, isn’t it? Of course. Obviously, if I were to think from a broader perspective, it wouldn’t be a major event, and it would certainly return to normalcy over a period of a few months. That is how everything in the world functions. We’re all tied to our own schedules. We simply say that we’re fed up of the “system,” and then comes another group which says that “you gotta change the system or follow your own path” and then another one that just rejects everything there is. It’s all so predictable now. “Typical,” this post cries out.

We’ve all become conditioned to just following someone out there just because they’re doing it (mirror neurons, maybe?) or follow someone who tells us “to set our own example and follow it.” Couldn’t we just simplify things a bit and think from a slightly less abstract perspective? Like, maybe, just getting our ego out of the way and just “being?” The literary world is flooded with quotes on practically anything and everything. You’re bound to find quotes related to success, failure, ego, persistence, and so many other qualities I can’t think of. Why attach too much to them and restrict ourselves to what someone apparently said through an image? We’re smart enough to make a good judgement ourselves and let go of such unnecessary attachments. We can prioritize well enough and make ourselves better off. Well, biases are something that’s left right now for a later post, since we all have them whether we like it or not. Now, what biases am I talking about? Biases related to every single thing – our upbringing, our experiences, our surroundings – we’re affected subtly by so many things out there that we don’t even realize it. These things may affect our judgment, but we could always agree on something that satisfies all parties. We’re all humans, and we all have something in common – at least a brain. So, irrespective of biases, we could always have a settlement.

Let me end this post on a typical note – goodbye. It’s very atypical this time.

 

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Geniuses like you need not make time or space for racism

All right, so this was expected. How could a person who’s new to the world of blogging not rant on a topic so commonly attacked throughout the internet, throughout history and across continents? Since everyone has a say in everything around them, how could they not have a say on racism? Apparently, some people do not, and that is because they aren’t treated in the same way as they ought to be. But, oh well, that’s how the world is, isn’t it? It’s a multi-coloured world out there, sometimes covering a spectrum encompassing shades of skin colour, and sometimes going beyond that. But who’s to say who dominates whom?

Well, if the “issue” of racism were so simple, it should have been settled by now, isn’t it? Rather, it shouldn’t have been an issue at all. The roots of racism probably lie in everyone’s average appearance being different, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. But if all of us geniuses were so well aware of such a common thing, shouldn’t we have all just said, “well, that person just looks different from me because nature probably works that way?” But instead, for some reason that completely beats me, we apply a logic so twisted that even pretzels can’t stand it (okay, too far a joke) and extend this difference of appearance to discriminate people from our own “race.” Now, to this, you’ll easily say that I’m living in the ancient times, when this was very prominent and slavery was rampant; you’ll easily tell me that “the times have changed,” “the world has moved on since then,” “we’re all equal,” and cliched phrases like these which sound very superficial and might well be too. But if the modern world really has “moderned” up so much, why do we still find so many instances of racism-fueled attacks all across the globe? Why do we even need to have so many public groups actually “remind” ourselves that we are all equal? Aren’t we smart enough to “kind of” accept our differences and coexist peacefully?

Is it the case that our egos are so bloated on the inside that no matter how polite and well-behaved we are with our own “kind,” we just can’t stand the “others” just because they look different? Now I’m not a genetics expert (or any kind of expert, for that matter), but I sure do know that we belong to the same species, if not the same ancestries. The moment we start pointing out differences among our own kind, we start discriminating. Now I’m not being a delusional freak here who’d go out and say that everyone appears the same. Of course, there’s a difference in appearance and behaviour among people! There’s no denying that; acceptance of this fact will make things easier. We could just keep our differences to that point, and move on in life easily. Why should I write another post just to add my chunk to the already overfilling bowl of hackneyed racism-related articles? Though it is part of my waywardness, this issue has been bothering me for a while now, and has left me wondering why a simple observation can’t be restricted to just an observation like it ought to be. The history of my country of birth (India) is a good example (rather, a sad one) of a kind of racism. Though it was a colony of the British empire like any other, the common point that colonization was all based on the superiority of the empire is reason enough to make one feel that there was a hint of racism in it. Why would one simply want to leave their place and go all over the world and dominate every other human being there?

It’s all in the past, you say? Been a hundred years or more since then, is it? As Dream Theater put it so well in one of their songs, though in a different context, the lyrics of the song ‘Beyond This Life’ clearly help explain the case:

Our deeds have traveled far,

What we have been is what we are.

I won’t explain these lines; the reader(s) is smart enough to interpret them on their own. Applying this to racism makes sense in that we tend to base our course of action on what history has taught us. Some guy back in some ancient era decided to play mischief with people based on their appearance, and what do we have? People following an example and this trend sparking off a worldwide wave of racism that has stood the test of time and is so prominent even in today’s “modern” world. Individually, we all might think that we are “good” human beings at heart, but when it comes to seeing someone performing an action no matter how “righteous” or “evil,” we might just feel that since someone’s doing it, it might just be “right.” Now, if I were to apply absolutism here, that is, from a broader perspective, racism would merely be reduced to a community of humans calling each other some names and fighting over it. But since we live in a society and expect harmony at least among human beings, racism is one thing that is bound to destroy it. We could just accept people the way they are, accept how we are, change ourselves if we think we need to – it’s as simple as that. We need not bother mocking people about things that are innate. In case we do, it should work both ways – we shouldn’t lose our heads the moment someone says something about us that we don’t like to hear. Vicarious thinking, FTW.

Now, the world today has been modeled by endless years of racism-influenced thinking, so we have developed biases about communities and groups (yeah, stereotypes) and have cracked tons of jokes on people for their physical features. There’s nothing we can do about it, but accept things the way they are, accept how we are, and just move on. There need not be an endless cycle of “jokes” only for the sake of getting back at people. We could do away with the intention of causing unwarranted tension, and in fact, over the years, even cause such instances to just fade away. What has happened, has happened, and that can’t be changed. But we can shape the way things are to come. Imagine a world in which one actually doesn’t think any less of anyone else, and only treats differences in appearances as mere observations. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? John Lennon agreed too. But it isn’t impossible.

I have taken the full liberty of not mentioning any particular “race” or ethnic group here lest you say that I’m biased, or even worse, that I’m racist. That’d kind of suck. Of course, the India example is present in this article because it’s a personal one which I felt helps me express my concerns better. Why Dream Theater and John Lennon in this article? My mind is just like yours – wayward. So.

All I’m saying, if it’s TL;DR for you, is that we must learn to laugh at ourselves, and to let go of that part of your ego that makes you feel superior. Just that I somehow managed to write over a thousand words on it.

Say, liberate celebrity?

The point of this post? It’s another one of my attention-seeking blog posts after the first two. Let me start off with grabbing some attention – through the title. If you haven’t noticed, I have played a #smart #pun in it. Do you see it as I do? Let me make it clear – do you want to liberate these supposedly popular homo sapiens of their celebrity, or do you want to celebrate their celebrity? Awesome, you got the pun, and the obvious topic of this post too. You must have a brain!

Just kidding. If this post makes me look arrogant, so be it. I am. But that’s not very important in the grand scheme of things, is it? Now that I’ve mentioned it, it is. Now you reader(s), if any, will hold a grudge against me and scoff at me in case I do make it to the mainstream media, saying “Oh, it’s that arrogant, smug, kid who wrote that blog post! I hope he screws up somewhere in life!” Well, I’m just joking. This paragraph itself is a joke, because – number one, I don’t consider myself arrogant, because, two, I won’t have any readers (secretly hoping that I get at least half a reader), number three, I won’t make it to the mainstream media, number four, people aren’t all that bad, and number five, I could have easily enumerated this sentence in the form of a list, and number six, I used six points to make my point while making it to level meta.

Chuck it aside. Let me write normally now. What is it like, having a celebrity? By that I mean the second definition Google throws up; the status. Since the concept of having multiple media to spread information across the globe came into picture, it seemed inevitable that certain human beings would be in the limelight more often than others, and with more coverage. Why, you ask me? Now, consider the sample space of your classroom – there’s obviously that dude who is popular because… well, it need not have a reason, need it? It could be anything – dude could be a good speaker, a sportsman, a maestro, or dude looks like a lady (to all you pseudo-feminists who can’t stand this reference – it’s the name of an Aerosmith song. Go ask them them questions). No more digressions, I promise. As I was saying, there’s always someone who stands out from the crowd due to whatsoever reason(s) no matter how small the crowd. Now, stretch this concept to a classroom of more than a billion people, and voila! What do you have? Some people who became famous because of that incident, or that talent, or whatever. Works both ways, actually. You always have that dude who makes it through to the gossip for all the wrong reasons, but gets ‘recognition’ wherever he roams in school.

It could be seen as an outcome of statistics, I believe. Someone finds a person interesting, they tell it to another, then to another, then it goes on till almost everyone knows that person. This, probably, doesn’t happen to everyone, and it always ends up being that handful of people who get ‘fame.’ Now, in the Whole Wide World (you got me, damn. I must make my references to the internet more subtle), where everyone exists for whatever reason (or not?), there exists the concept of a ‘job.’ We all do it, no matter how small or big, so that at the end of the day (month, for most), we have something known as ‘money’ in our hands with which we can have a certain limited quantity of what we want or need. So, a certain section of the population decided that telling the world what’s going around in a place is very important, and could yield them some money since everyone is so curious about knowing about anything. There begins the concept of the media around us. Now, since I’m not very well-versed with the history of how the media evolved, where the heck the concept of advertising came from, or whether or not I am grabbing attention from my reader(s) through this, I’ll restrict any further writing on this topic, and get back to what I wanted to rant about. Over the years, as the influence of the media grew and began shaping how people looked at places, at sports, at art, it also shaped how they looked at people.

Earlier, the ancient and the medieval ‘celebs’ like Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Aristotle (I so wanted to add Jesus here, but He blocked me from writing his name), were probably just engaged in what they did without bothering about whether their wardrobe malfunctioned or not (they’d hire a carpenter in that case… I won’t be surprised if you left off at this point. Blame me, cool?). The stories of their conquests, their beauty, their teachings – they were all written by their followers or people who were interested in what they did. It wasn’t the case that every day of their life was broadcast to millions of people worldwide. But now, things have changed. Every person who somehow becomes famous, becomes famous through the media – how they’re portrayed, what they do, how they live, and so on. Be it the leader of a country, the frontman of a band, an actor, an author, or even me (yeah, me!) – they are all just humans, ultimately. They play a role in society, and whatever they do is shown to the world through a lens. I don’t know why, but loads of people find every single aspect of it very engaging, if not entertaining. You got a country to run? Great, I’m sure you’ll do well. Got a concert to perform at? Awesome, I expect good music. But it never stops there, does it? It always has to extend beyond these roles and into their private lives, till they are so heavily monitored that even a minor slip of tongue attracts attention and criticism from people everywhere. Celebrities just can’t live lives like ‘normal’ people do. They have to have some mega-level of self awareness, lest they slip and fall and make it to scores of headlines no one should ideally be bothered about.

Now, I’m not taking sides, or for that matter, even making an argument out of this – I’m just making an observation that has fascinated me for quite a while. The moment someone gets a lot of attention, they change. I will too. So do the celebrities, with all their fame, and wealth, maybe, actually enjoy their celebrity? It’d be frustrating, I’d say. You simply can’t pass a day without someone wanting to interview you, feature you, take your autograph or your signature, or even heavily judge you. It definitely changes a person. Simple acts of frustration can be seen as the celebrities’ ego expressions. “Oh, the poor fan, he was simply ignored when he asked for a simple photograph!” I mean, could someone think from the celebrity’s side? So many people out there who love you, and all you have is a means to love them all at once, lest you be pounded by tons of fans if you were generous enough to sign for each one! C’mon, people! It’s sheer numbers! I’ll give it that if someone’s played a role in a movie, or someone’s left people awestruck by their dance moves, or someone’s leading a whole nation – they’re bound to be in the limelight. But does that mean that they can’t have their own moments? Do we seriously need to be so inquisitive about their daily activities? Let them do what they want to do! If they needed to reach out to you, they have the necessary means and would definitely do so. I’m sure they wouldn’t let down the people who love them so much. Even if you meet them personally and they appear rude to you, so be it. Isn’t it in human nature to have a personality, if not from their tight schedule?

That’s the ironical situation with today’s global populace – everyone wants to be famous, but everyone wants their “me” time too – the ones who aren’t famous think they are, going all guns blazing on social media looking for tons of attention (don’t point your finger at me) and those who are famous want to have some privacy, but are constantly hounded by the media. Celebrity worship syndrome is a page that Wikipedia ought to have come up with since this is the case.

If you be so kind, follow the people you think you should follow, but do have a human heart to feel that they’re human too, not just pixels on a screen or ink on paper, and leave them their personal moments. They’ll reach out to us when they feel they should. They aren’t ignoring us; they’re just being human. At least let’s attempt to think from their perspective, since none of us (at least not you; can’t say about me) is a celebrity – say, liberate their celebrity and celebrate their celebrity when they want to.

Life is so full of quotes on life

“Life is…” is a quote beginning most literate people are familiar with, irrespective of the language they speak. It’s almost like the Pokemon Ditto; the blank can take virtually any random word yet it would make sense to at least one person, if not the creator of the quote. People interpret much.

Okay, so let me make things clear: this isn’t a rant on how life quotes are misleading, how people interpret life based on them, or whatever. It’s just a post that my whimsical brain decided to write because potato. I really need to learn to use my time better. So without much ado, here goes nothing.

People expect. People expect loads. Be it from their career, from their personal relationships, from strangers – people expect a lot of things. It’s almost as though life revolves around them entirely and the universe must come to a standstill just because they’re upset. “Nobody loves me. They all do this just to make me feel bad.” This is what most people come up with when they face a tough situation in their existence. Mind you, I’m being careful here not to use the words “in life” to end that sentence lest some over-smart being point that out and make my already unread blog all the more unreadable. Haha. Such a witty joke. K. Moving on…so that’s basically my point here. Everyone would like to believe that the planet, the solar system, the universe – all of it is the way it is because it was always “meant to be so.” They say that “life is tough”, “life is miserable”, “life is so beautiful” and whatnot just to please their immediate states of mind. “Oh, what a lovely day today! Let’s see what life has in store for me!” It’s almost as though life has become an entity of its own; a very moody one indeed. People assign moods and character to life with every passing moment. They come up with loads of witty statements just to sound poetic and attract some attention, just like this post. But what they probably don’t realize, or have reached some mega level of acceptance about is that “life just IS.” That’s it. Nothing more.

We’re taught ad infinitum to be helpful, to be kind to others, to not indulge in supposedly evil practices, but we’re never taught how to be pragmatic. Most of us end up learning the hard way that our so-called “life” does not owe us anything. What we give to others, won’t necessarily return to us whether “good” or “bad.” You go out and help millions of people? Great. Do millions of people turn up at your doorstep when you’re in need? I doubt. Okay, I’m exaggerating. Let’s bring that figure down by a few zeroes. Ten people – is that all right? Great! Will ten people come to your help when you’re in dire need of it? Maybe a couple will, and that’s because they’ve been taught to serve others. The rest? Will they be “cursed” for their “apathy?” I don’t think so. So what message am I giving out here? Am I being a highly pessimistic, or to some, a very realistic chap who’s seen it all?

No, I am not. I am just putting across the point that you need not be too helpful to the people around you. Rely on the power of numbers; there are already more than 7 billion people on this planet, and you’re not the “chosen one” to go out and selflessly serve everyone. Everyone can be a part of helping the ones in need without losing their head and blaming “life” for being rude to them. Get real. It always feels good to reach out to the ones when they need it, but be cognizant of the fact that you’re existing too. You weren’t born to play the role of that sad guy who always gets trampled on but keeps on serving the ones who do it just because he is “so good at heart.” I pity that we’re always taught that we can be someone’s “hero” by helping them out. I seriously don’t understand this concept. It’s not like I’m saying that we must always be on our toes and treat everyone we interact with with the highest level of suspicion lest they be preparing their move to harm us. I’m just pushing for a middle ground. You feel like helping people? Do it, it makes you feel good. You keep on spending time on helping others and then keep on whining that “life isn’t treating you well?” It obviously calls for a change. You live in your own body, and it has its limitations. There’s no need to be a superhero and show off your generosity – one can be charitable without all that attention too. Neither do you need to keep on looking at people’s shortcomings for opportunities to tap. Just be. Take your “life” as it comes. Stop visualizing it as a race, a journey, a struggle. Just be aware that you exist. Interact.

Since I’ve been writing for a while (I mean, a few minutes), let me bring this article to a smooth end. TL;DR? In short, “life” definitely has no meaning, we’re born not to serve any purpose, and ultimately we all die. But is this view helpful? To cynics, maybe. Not for 20-year-old sapiens like me, who are trying to exist in harmony with their fellow beings. The key is to find a middle ground, and live in a way that’ll strike a balance between your own happiness and the happiness of those around you – you need not be too selfish or too generous. Just be, and take a judgement call. A symbiotic relation between creatures of the same species is definitely a possibility.

And what digression, I believe. But, oh well, that’s enough for #2 of my hopefully regular run of articles on the everyday ventures of my creative pink. If you’ve been kind enough to stick we me till this point, and tried to take my words seriously (they were meant to be) despite my immaturity (aww, this 20-year-old is so considerate), my deepest gratitude lies with you (awww, with that extra ‘w’). If not, not a bother. You’ll probably find something better to read soon.

Adios.

The cliched first post

Now, if you grammar pedants haven’t noticed, I haven’t used “clichéd” as it ought to be. Don’t ask me why; consider it the exertion of my so-called “free will”. Why have I begun to write this blog? Again, you won’t get an explicit answer. I just felt like doing so. If you fancy fancy words, call it the oozing out of my existential fluid. It’s all figurative, you pervert! If you’re here at some odd hour of the night, navigating through endless pages of the virtual sea known as the internet, I won’t blame you for being here. That is what this world has come to. I am 20 years old, and as I type endlessly on this keyboard, listening to songs on my headphones as any teenager would, I am going through a phase of life filled with anxiety. Yeah, yeah, you got that right. Same old, same old; the typical teenager who’s stuck in the transition from his teenage years nearing an end to the professional world in which one is valued for their skills. I know that I am oblivious (irony?) to the passage of time that I’ll probably whine about later on, but, oh well, what can I say. This is, in all probability, the worst introduction to any blog, leave alone this article. It’s just a scratch pad for the pink jelly apparently filled with grey stuff placed cozily in that chamber. It’s just a means to vent my frustration and/or anxiety about the world in general, and a release from the constant mosh pit of thoughts and emotions that keeps me going (nowhere?) every day.

So, why write a page full of utter balderdash? I have come to realize that the more often you pen down your thoughts, the easier you will be in terms of peace of mind. It’s like a saucer to your overflowing cup of brainy tea. It need not be a well-crafted, well-worded masterpiece such as Catch-22. Boy, I sure love that novel! A verbal piece of art, and what hilarity! Tut-tut! We’re digressing here; let me continue my article on waywardness. I’m not trying to be cheesy here by saying that this is a perfect example of all that this blog is about. Probably I did turn it into one, though. Anyway, let me continue. Where was I? Oh, right, the existential crisis that some, if not most, people of my age may be going through right now. It is something that has been bothering me for quite a while, and though it feels good to find kindred spirits going through such a phase, it also makes me feel helpless all the same. It’s as though there’s no onewho can help us (no, not exactly our parents because The Times They Are A-Changin’) and take us out of this quagmire but our own selves. The issue then arises of all the others who have their life path (be it personal, career, or whatever) set in stone. They’re probably those high-achievers, straight Aers who’ve always competed against their peers just to get to that golden digit, not discovering things around them that warrant loads of discussion, thanks to the endless rut of examinations and other academic hurdles. Man, some people can never be at ease.

Am I at ease? Haha, if you’re smart enough, which you definitely (if not presumably) are, you’d wonder why the heck I am writing this article if I were. Hell no, I ain’t at ease! I am, as I said in the preceding paragraphs, like millions of other teenagers in the world, at loggerheads with conceptions of my own ‘selves,’ one being the supposedly rational, all-abiding sane human that is, and the other being the inner, nihilistic, existentially questionable combination of chemicals and synapses in the jelly up there. I have been raised as a ‘good’ kid, taught good habits and manners since childhood, haven’t had any rough treatment in any way, and have never been exposed to the perceived ‘bad’ elements that exist in the world. But do I see myself growing up to become a person having even the slightest semblance to the kid that I was in childhood? Perhaps not. I believe it is the case with scores of youths out there, clearly exemplified by the statistics of drug and alcohol abuse and instances of violence. So why are we taught things that delude us into thinking so rosily about the big bad world out there? Why not teach Darwinian principles to children, albeit in a toned down form, so that at least they get a fairly realistic view of the world from a very young age? Why wait till they attain puberty and realize that the abstract world around them is completely different from what they imagined back in the gleeful days of kindergarten? I simply don’t get it. If we’re taught that happiness is something that we must get and try our best so that people around us get too, why does money come into the picture and make people greedy and ruthless? Well, that’s for sometime later, as I believe an article of this word length should be sufficient for a first post on what I believe will be a perennially sporadic blog, or at least I hope so. I just hope this article doesn’t remain the only one on this blog, or else my ambitions as being an online excretor (don’t know if such a word even exists) will be dashed. I will have to stay stuck in the WC, endlessly waiting for ‘release.’

CaptureW
Yay! Congratulations on reading my first post on waywardness!

If you’re still reading this, well, congratulations! You get a virtual cookie (geddit?). This is just a peek into what I am thinking about at this hour of the night. I have always wanted to write something on the WWW, because I love to read books, and besides, it’s the “it” thing nowadays and everyone’s into writing.

Actually, no. The WordPress layout is very attractive.

No, this isn’t an attempt to make myself sound witty or hilarious. Haha. I am being over-smart here. But free speech. Seriously, the WP layout is catchy.