24 November 2004

Love, or boredom?

Am pasting below excerpts from a recent chat conversation I had with a friend. We started by talking of ingrained values, how they are automatiocally accepted, of romantic vis-avis unromantic love, of love across the age barrier, etc. The conversation did open up some windows, but no flooding of light.

Darkness persists, provokes.

Friend: Is romantic love nothing but the working of hormones? Only a prelude to mating---which ends it all? Is it just Nature at work with its "propagation of the species"? Are we just the deluded?

Me: Romantic love is definitely a prelude to mating, but love doesnt have to end there all the time.

Friend: And what is un-romantic love? What attracts people to each other when there is no mating possibility?

Friend: No. It doesn't have to. But how does one explain eroticism creeping into parental or filial love and overtaking what would normally pass for parental love?

Me: Well, love doesnt have to be romantic. Maybe initially, it is. But it cant be starry eyed for long. What remains after the dust has settled, is either love or boredom

Friend: No, mating ends the "starry-eyed" business. But what then explains the problems created by eroticism overtaking other forms of love?

Me: Hm, i get what u say

Friend: "is either love or boredom"---yes, that's good. The question then is which remains? Boredom? Which is why couples cheat on each other? Or is "cheating" once again just the hormone-driven mating game again?
So two questions: 1. Love, or boredom---after the mating is over? 2. How does eroticism overtake other forms of love where it "normally" shouldn't appear?

Me: The first question, of course, each one has to answer for herself or himself. "But how does one explain eroticism creeping into parental or filial love and overtaking what would
normally pass for parental love" -- do u here Mean love that appears between 2 people of vast age differences? or do u mean incest?

Friend: And the second? How does one, for instance, explain the horrible incidents one reads of---of middle-aged men "raping" an infants? Molesting little children? Paedophiles? How does eroticism overtake "normal" affection? Just "perversity"? And how does such "perversity" work?

Me: the answer to Q 2 is beyond me

Friend: "love that appears between 2 people of vast age differences? or do u Mean incest?"---both. How does one explain this?

Me: Why cant love happen between 2 people of vast age differences?

Friend: "why cant love happen between 2 people of vast age differences?"---The problem is, it DOES happen ever so often. But why does it? It's not "normal" in the conventional sense, is it?

Me: Well, who's given a damn about 'conventional' anyways. I mean, incest, love of the kind discussed above, and homosexuality have always existed, despite social strictures to the contrary. The only difference is that people are now becoming more vocal about their sexual rights.

Friend: There is something akin to incest in such impulse, isn't it? The older man (let's say) begins with fond fatherly affection for a young girl (student/neighbour/whatever and then at some point begins to feel "strange" erotic attraction. The Lolita syndroMe . . . But why should it? Especially, if he remains fond and retains his initial fatherly feelings?

Me: Contradictory feelings, hm. But something else is the point here. We always expect a kind of uniformity, continuity, consistency, soMething explainable. We seek this in the world around us, as well as in the self. And when we find contradictory feelings: either around us, or in us, then we are destabilised, confused, sometimes disturbed. We dont realise that contradictions are but natural. Why the contradcition happens, well i dont know.

Friend: The question is, is the "inexplicable" to be viewed as just "kinky" behaviour---something inexplicable? But it happens ever so often---too often to be just wished away, right?

Me: yeah. Again, i wud want to wish away somethng like middle aged man raping infant, but not
something like love across generation gap.

Friend: But love across generation gap too isn't quite normal, is it?

Me: Unusual, yes, but not abnormal. Because eroticism is so different for everyone

Friend: "because eroticism is so different for everyone." But when it comes to patriarchal societies, the Lolita syndrome is quite common among older males. Wonder what it may have been in matriarchal set-ups? Did older women take young lover boys? There are some indications they did. Older woMen takeing young "beach boys" is something very common among young widows of old, rich landlords of Midnapur, West Bengal, for instance. Also, in western societies. Have you seen Liz Taylor in "Night of the Iguana"?

Me: nope

Friend: Middle-aged Liz Taylor is rich and is bored. And so she engages two "beach boys" to take her to the sea each day and stir her with love bites and foreplay till she wants them physically. The "beach boys" are young enough to be her sons.

Me: my point is: sex appeal doesnt always have to be bound by age. And that is what I meant by eroticism being different to everyone. Older men/women preferring younger people: well, we can think of substanital reasons for it. But if younger men/women prefer older people: it is unusal, but again it aint abnormal.

Friend: Too long have such incidents been dismissed as "kinky/perverseness" without any discussion on how all this works. There has never been any EFFORT to understand or analyse such things. At best oversimplifications such as "cheating/boredom" etc
Me: hm

Friend: ": but if younger men/women prefer older people"---that's rare. But why is it rare?

Me: because nature's dictates require mating to produe the best progeny. And old/young coupling may sometimes go against this dictate.

End of conversation.

18 November 2004

Internet is shit

The Internet never was and never will be a credible source of information, unless you know the source of information. And even that is not a guarantee.

But I still wouldnt say Internet is shit. Its full significance can only be grasped by people bound by the culture of secrecy.

09 November 2004

Non-geeks of the world live long!

Something that made my day: computers are not that smart after all.

At some point in life, the cursed comp has handed out to each one of us some gibberish error message. And made us feel stupid, coz we couldnt decipher the gibberish. How could we, its gibberish after all.

An article in the Economist, damn, I cant give the link, because its premium content, assures us that it is the comp, and not we who are stupid. A friend had made the same point a few days ago, but I didnt thnk much of it, because he was a geek. And geeks, I thought, can afford to look down on the comp, not non-geeks like me, who are forever trying to avoid the next error message.

The point is that, technology does not serve its purpose if it makes life more complex, and not simpler for everyone. If only geeks can be comfortable with computers, it cannot have a very strong mass following. Read: no market. If it has to be all-pervasive, it has to be all-friendly.

Again, its not as if geeks find comps manageable all the time: the article begins with an MIT prof whining about his comp the way you or I would. So IT, as it stands today, is flawed. Yippppppppppeeeeeeeee!! All IT majors from Intel to IBM to Microsoft agree that the challenge now is to simplify things. Intel has introduced the 'on-demand business' concept; others have their own jargon.

Ha, I cant stop smiling. If you dont make it simple enough, you geek, you just aint smart enough to figure me out: I am analog, not digital.

08 November 2004

Zaheera Sheikh

This post comes a bit late, thanks to Blogger not loading on Friday.

Zaheera Sheikh's turnaround is critical to how communal politics will turn in India. The truth will never be known, of course. There will be many truths. But Modi is happy for now.

Also, on Saturday, the different hues of saffron were on display. Bal Thackeray's estranged son is set to join the NCP. Also, the VHP said it would choose Hindutva over BJP, if it came to that.

03 November 2004

Of raisin sized brains

Ha, I cant believe it that Bush is leading, though by a slim margin. Shucks. The other day, I watched Question Time on BBC. And Clinton's speech writer said that the majority of American voters did not have a clear understanding of either candidate. Also, they believed that their choice is seconded by the world in general.


02 November 2004

Questions, questions

A friend asked, "Is homosexuality nature's solution to overpopulation?"

Is it, really? What drives people to be homosexual? At what point in life do people turn gay? Or, were they always so inclined?

Do homosexual people have no desire to leave some of their trace on earth, that is, to reproduce? And hence, is it nature's solution to overpopulation? If yes, is it welcome for that reason?

Is homosexuality in the genes? Or is it a modern day phenomenon? Is it natural? Will it always be a fringe phenomenon?


Also, is lesbianism the best guarantee of women's empowerment? Sexuality is a double-edged weapon, remember? Let there be no penetration/perpetration of violence? Is that why men are intolerant of lesbianism, as it makes them dispensable?

Do we accept that man-woman relationships fail, by default? Because men just cant understand how women feel, and vice-versa? Could lesbians have more fulfilling relationships? No complications, eh? At least, no unwanted pregnancies to worry about. Less mess?

Any answers?