Why The Smiths Matters

Imagine a scene and in that scene, there’s you and there’s someone else.  But you know that you don’t want them there, because you’ve done it so many times before that the obverse now seems like a welcoming respite.  From all this bullshit.  Imagine you’re all alone and it feels good.  It feels good because you’ve transcended that same bullshit.  You are no longer tethered to those worldly ideals that confine you to boredom.  You are finally released from the bleak bondage of normalcy and you breathe…you inhale the sweet scent of that worldly beauty that eludes the normies.  I mean, in a nutshell, that’s what The Smiths makes me feel like.

Morrissey and his mellifluous voice, serenading me through it all, ups and downs but most of all, through all the boredom.  His is a lyrical, literary and other-worldly art.  Johnny Marr and his rhythmic tunes snaking and meandering in unison, what a gift to the world.  There is no other band like The Smiths, and I’m not saying it to spite your personal tastes.  I’m saying it because it needs to be said.  Just like we’ve preserved the legacy of Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Tchaikovsky, The Smiths will go down in time, in the same pristine fashion.  They’re better than the Beatles, than the Stones, than the Clash.  Because they made something that still invigorates young minds.  They transcribed the visceral into the lyrical.  And that isn’t just an ordinary feat.

The songs are as unique as the melodies, lullabies for when you abhor adulthood, panegyrics of a patrician kind that overwhelm you and soothe you.  Whether it’s about railing against the status quo or realizing that you’re doomed to an asexual existence or finally embracing your bigmouth proclivities, they’re all sui generis masterpieces that give your worldly experiences the sounds they deserve.


Why Is Death So Sad?

The great minds of yore would ponder.  Whether it was Nietzsche or even Hobbes, they philosophized about death more than anything, more than even their shitty lives.  And then the Absurdist movement was de rigueur in the 60s, which gave us nice works of art, movies, Camus and Sartre.  It was all about death and how living is worse than it.  And the old adage still holds true.  Aren’t we just traipsing along until the end finally befalls us, in whichever manner we dread?  Aren’t we just waiting for our own death knell?  Well, I guess it depends on your quality of life, and what those assumptions about death would cost you, in terms of joie-de-vivre and cash.


Death is the end, that’s all there is to it.  Just like we’ve marketed love and grief, we’ve done the same thing to death to assuage our pecuniary desires.  And as a result, this mindless concoction of apocryphal truths weighs heavily on our conscience.  Just like, having no money does.  Just like, being a virgin does.  Because we’re made to think about it, to hint at it even when we’re in the best of moods, even when nothing should steal our thunder.  But then your tv screen lights up to the generic tune of the moment, the empty people regurgitating their spiel, and you don’t really give a fuck but it lingers in your mind.  It tells you, hey Joe, you’re gonna die soon.  Go to the gym Joe.  Get a girl before you die Joe.  Just do it.

But Death is not sad, it’s only sad when it happens without your consent.  Because we’re all going to die, regardless of our lofty ideas about ourselves, regardless of our values and food habits.  In a way, we all consent to it in the end.  Maybe even before the end.  Because when you think, your mind reminds you that every past moment is a facsimile of the inevitable.  A harbinger of death.



The Worst Thing About Patriarchal Societies Is That Women Aren’t Allowed To Have Fun

I cannot think of a worse outcome for the other half of humanity- the ones who give birth, the ones who dedicate their lives to nurturing and protecting other human beings.  Somehow, along the way, it was decided that theirs ought to be a morose destiny.  They cannot be allowed to thrive, they are certainly confined to the realm of political correctness more than any other group and the sheer fact that their individuality is often put to the test just corroborates my claim-women aren’t supposed to have fun.  Our happiness isn’t a paragon of our journey in life, well at least not in openly patriarchal countries.

Unlike men, who are allowed to be as crass as they want to be, as depraved as they choose to be and as free-spirited as they demand to be, women cannot choose to embody values that are inimical to patriarchal values.  Whence did this double standard come from?  Well I cannot say, but it might be biblical or Hindu or Muslim in nature, but it certainly stems from the infancy of our combined human intelligence.  Just as much as some of us abhor the notion that religious leaders try to suck us into their mental vacuum, women must stay away from these thought control systems that have been the source of their modern scourges.

The most obvious reason why sexism impedes our pursuit of happiness is that we, as women, are seen as the other sex.  The lascivious sex.  The Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  The Mia Khalifa.  Well you get the mental image.  We cannot present ourselves the way we want to because certain people (most people) have already decided our identity for us.  It doesn’t matter how smart or driven you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, as long as you have that thing in your nether regions (a cool thing I might add), you’re already encumbered by these atrocious subconscious demands.

How do we change that?  The sad thing is, it’s going to take a while.  Maybe more than a while because our liberation is only going to be possible insofar as religion has lost its grip on humanity.  Meaning that, as long as people cannot think for themselves, cannot empathize with those who are different from them, well, we’re still going to have to fight for a chance to exist.  Because, sadly, it’s all about our own existence, we’re denied an autonomous existence, we’re robbed of it because of our sexuality.  And that doesn’t mean that we have to gear our sexuality a certain way to hightail to equality.  It just means that, as long as certain people cannot see past the curvature of our bodies, we’re doomed to a passive existence.

MAURITIUS: My Ex Boyfriend Beat Me Up With A Metal Rod, Causing Considerable Injuries And He Is Still Enjoying His Freedom

Something is off with that man, I’d tell myself every time he would throw a tantrum in his drunken stupor.  And yet he claimed to love me, despite all my faults.  Those faults, he was always eager to point out and when I would suggest we break up, he would change his tone and profusely apologize.  The hallmark of a liar.  The last time I saw him, I had already broken up with him.  But he wouldn’t let me have some personal items he’d borrowed; camera, tripod, microphones, inter alia.

I was livid that I had to live in fear of such an individual, in a country where apparently if you’re a woman and you get assaulted, you have to bear the brunt of the accountability.  As if I asked to be assaulted.  The problem with third-world, developing countries is that even if they advertise themselves for making strides in gender parity and equality, it’s usually not the case.  Because at the very crux of the problem, is the corrosive nature of our culture, and its corollary-our laws.

The first thing I did, after suffering blows that caused my near disfigurement, was to go to the nearest police station and clearly point out my assailant.  I was under the impression that once this was done, he would be arrested and I would be granted a protection order of some kind but according to the law here, no such thing would be available to me as I wasn’t ”married” or living with my assailant at the time of the crime.  I would have to live in fear, dread every moment the psychopath might use to complete what he started.  Because his goal wasn’t to maim me or even injure me, it was clearly to kill me.

It all happened under the watchful eye of his mother, standing right at the door as his son was bludgeoning me with the tripod he had borrowed from me.  I yelled for help, I exhorted her to call the cops, but all she did was leave me to fend for myself.  A friend was waiting for me outside in the car, and even he couldn’t intervene, faced with the terror that would not abate.

I collapsed in the corridor, feeling the life slipping out of my body, feeling my head explode and not understanding how I was able to swallow so much pain.  But I couldn’t let him finish what he started.  Sure, I wasn’t as muscly and I was rather frail, but I had come a long way to let a man, who hadn’t achieved half of what I had achieved, inflict death upon me.

I knew what would put an end to all of it and I pretended to regret breaking up with him, telling him I still had feelings for him, while my face was bruising up and that shiner was getting worse.  His simplistic barbaric mind bought those excuses just as quick as he was to resort to violence.  His was so clearly a mind that never developed, he couldn’t understand nuances and everything was prone to duality.  She broke up with me, I will kill her; She loves me, I will stop beating her. 

 After that event, the legal procedures were a blur, but I felt something I had never felt before.  Contempt.  His father, being highly ranked in the police force would certainly interfere to impede my quest for justice.  His son could beat anyone, kill anyone, but owing to our ambiguous, poorly implemented laws, his father could just bail him out, with no regard for the safety of others.  But I will not stay silent.  I never beat anyone up, all I wanted was to regain my possessions and never see that person again.

I should not be living in fear and neither should the millions of women who suffer silently in developing countries.  The feminist wave that captured the West ought to liberalize women from the shackles that prevent them from even being safe in developing countries.


Panem Et Circenses

Another week of  political scandals and machinations has elapsed and there isn’t much we can do except ratiocinate even the direst of the events that occurred.  We witnessed our freedom of expression laws being eroded in the most ruthless manner, we read about a high ranking official slut shaming a woman he’d been sexting and an MP publicly excoriated a female journalist by implying her gender is inferior.  These are just some of the new developments in the political arena, notwithstanding the reams of scandals that have already defined this administration.

Three journalists were apprehended in the wake of Ravi Yerrigadoo’s resignation as Attorney General, after Hussein Abdool Rahim alleged that they were implicated in a smear campaign against the latter.  The laws are so bendable when they’re in favour of the  politicians, which means that they get to indulge in their petty shenanigans and wreak havoc on their detractors.  But the fact that our law officials are anything but unbiased in this situation means that anyone who isn’t a politician has a lot to contend with should they dare take advantage of our freedom laws.  A politician can make death threats in broad daylight and that’s the end of it, but a journalist mustn’t ask answers, which essentially negates the whole purpose of their occupation.

What’s more, we’ve become totally attuned to the flow of scandals being unveiled, so much so that they’re now perceived as local entertainment.  The lack of transparency within the government and the justice department has given rise to the ambiguous practice of throwing people under the bus without impunity.  This has been the legacy of our country; politicians (the people who you’d expect would be well versed in our constitution) are often embroiled in legal affairs that would befit only a hardened criminal’s CV.

The press faces lofty challenges in disseminating information among the masses, in the guise of those bendable laws that can be used against them anytime a politician takes offence at a jibe.  For precautionary reasons, journalism has devolved into verbatim translation, which doesn’t leave room for existential debates.  And when they do delve deeper, they face appalling opposition from those who’ve been elected to oversee the rule of law.

As long as the scandals are approached with levity, we’re not addressing the crux of the problem-politicians are above the law.


Women’s Rights And Gender Inequality In Mauritius

Inequality, as a broad term that covers several areas, has stymied progress in Mauritius for a long time now.  What we need to do to liberalize our society, as well as our economy, is to push for forward-looking policies that have the advantage of steering the country in the right direction.

Inequality in our society doesn’t impact everyone in the same way; the distinction needs to be made.  Mauritius, being a highly patriarchal society, has failed to enter a progressive phase that would’ve liberalized society for women, not just in terms of mores and norms, but economic parity as well.  In terms of economic parity, several studies have shown that the gender-pay gap is salient throughout all sectors of our society, which can be attributed to the fact that women in general, aren’t present in the top hierarchies of companies, despite excelling in academic settings.

As well as not possessing economic clout, women are highly disadvantaged when it comes to exercising their own freedom.  The archaic laws that govern our country have made it illegal for women to have reproductive rights, which basically reduces them to brood mares for the state.  And as a corollary to that, just recently the Ministry Of Health was exhorting people to procreate more as the birth rates are ostensibly plummeting.  In light of the various economic and social inequalities stalling our progress, it wouldn’t be unwise to think twice before procreating.

The abortion issue is rarely ever broached into the mainstream conversation because we have a nation of fully-fledged bigots who cannot fathom differing viewpoints.  So much so that you have to remodel your life to meet their expectations, and that too is framed into our laws.  It is quite alarming that in this day and age, women haven’t yet seized the baton of resistance to clamor for their own basic human rights.  This reality is appallingly obvious in the way that women are treated by law officials; several domestic abuse victims are advised to bury the hatchet with their assailants because the rupture of the nuclear family is more worrisome to authorities than the dehumanization of women.

All these issues stem from the very fact that in this society, we rarely ever extrapolate on policies that would really benefit the core of the nation but instead the benign skirmishes among politicians make the national headlines almost everyday.  This languor when it comes to progressive values we ought to espouse, will slow us down further on the evolutionary ladder.

Societies that fail to address their lofty inequalities aren’t conducive to widespread growth.

Child Sexual Abuse In Mauritius-Why Some Victims Suffer In Silence

Recently, we were approached by a young man whose life has been torn apart by the vestigial traumas of his childhood.  For the majority of his life, he battled deep psychological issues on his own, masking his pain with self-destruction and he didn’t know where to seek help.  In Mauritius, psychological trauma is rarely ever broached into the public space and people might feel vulnerable to open up to their own family members, because whether we like it or not, a whole generation of people were brought up with a myriad of prejudices and taught that anything slightly wayward about their lifestyle might bring them shame.  Which is why, many people tend to bottle up the unspeakable atrocities that had been meted out to them for fear that their vulnerabilities might turn them into a laughing stock.

Ravin (fictitious name) was tormented by his own mother throughout his childhood; the pain she inflicted on him would vary according to her mood but it was always a given.  Ravin spent the majority of his childhood slumped in a corner, wailing after each beating he’d suffer through, and he maintains he never understood what provoked the unmitigated ire of his mother.  His father, being an absentee parent, never took notice of his emotional turmoils although he was very well aware that his wife would unleash hell on their defenseless toddler, whose only crime was to be born to people who knew zilch about empathy.

The brutality would escalate in an upward trend, to the point where the only memories Ravin has of his childhood are replete with heartache and isolation.  But he’d internalized one particularly gruesome memory that he was intent on forgetting for the sake of his psyche.  After almost 15 years, he conjured up the memory to share it with the world because he realizes his silence is only abetting the psychopaths who think they can get away with anything with impunity.  And in his case, the psychopath is none other than his own mother.

Their relationship had been fraught with animosity since the very beginning for the reasons cited above, but one particular bout of crazed brutality would mark Ravin for life.  He was only 8 when his mother barged into his room under the influence of alcohol or drugs and proceeded to rape him.  After she’d robbed him of his innocence, she pummeled him mercilessly until he fell asleep.  It happened 4 times according to Ravin and these memories are only now resurfacing to bolster his quest for justice.  All these years, he shared a roof with the woman who’d stolen his childhood and dehumanized him because he had no outlet; the shame of what he’d been through was impinging on his will for a better life.

But he realized since then that he couldn’t let a psychopath revel in his self-imposed tacit suffering and he revealed the full extent of the abuse to his father.  The latter was quick to dismiss his claims on the grounds that it would bring shame to their family to out his criminally-inclined mother.  Ravin was aghast at his father’s apathy but he was only following the lead of so many Mauritians before him, who’d rather preserve their deceptive appearances than address their problems in a productive manner.  Ravin’s father is very epitome of the image conscious Mauritian, whose infatuation with honor overrides basic humanity.

Mauritian society has yet to deal with these taboo subjects because they’re antithetical to the image we’re trying to project.  It’s unnerving to juxtapose such a pristine environment with primitive, carnal behavior and yet there’s no other way that we can go about it.  We need to have an honest discussion about the care set in place for people like Ravin, without the debilitating victim-shaming that is so redolent of our culture.  The only people who ought to feel shame are the ones who commit the crime and we hope that Ravin’s mother faces the wrath of our judicial system.