Thursday, October 5, 2017

No cure for gun related violence in U.S and thats not neccesarily bad

In the latest mass shooting atrocity in Las Vegas of some random vile individual whose motives are still unclear, of course it was inevitable that people bring up the culture of guns to forward their own pet agendas. The anti gun crowd tries to reduce and discourage gun ownership while those who subscribe to the idea that  2nd Amendment encourages gun ownership wont hear any of it.

I am sympathetic to the latter crowd. But when they make the correlation between higher gun ownership and less murders , they like the anti gun crowd are missing the forest for the trees.

Fact of the matter is that the U.S is a very violent society and this violence is a feature not a bug of the tremendous thirst drive and pressure for individual over achievement.
Japan of course has no gun laws and has a very low crime rate. But one suspects that even if it was awash in guns there would be relatively little gun violence except for Japanese men a far less painful way of commiting suicide than seppuku.

Men who commit suicide or mass murder are often misfits. In Japan, suicide is more common due to the shame and honor culture as the individual believes he has let his society down due to his failure and takes his life.
Conversely while U.S is a far more individualistic and extroverted culture, the same drive compels them to express their frustration outwardly. Hence the mass shootings.

All in all, paraphrasing Camille Paglia's comment on why there are no female Mozarts, it is because there are no female Jack the Rippers. Women are over represented on the bell curve with moderate intelligence but less so in the mentally handicapped or genius compared to men.

I would believe something similar is at work here, U.S has many individuals whose talents, skills and abilities led it to become a major super and soft power in all fields. On the other hand, it cant help but create these types of individuals who will inevitably cause wanton destruction.

We can only be thankful that these individuals are not welcome in the U.S military(no longer since Vietnam anyway). It is significant that his target was a country music concert where the concert goers were mostly U.S military and they acted in a heroice and humane manner by ignoring their own injuries to save others (one man stood in front of his wife and died as the bullet him saving her life).

All one can say in the end is that you take the good with the bad.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Our governments priorities on trafficking

The BJP government and its mother and sister organizations RSS and VHP's aggressive approach against cattle traffickers and abbotoirs are quite successful if this triumphant Hindutvadi source is any indication.


Almost 20,000 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India in 2016, a rise of nearly 25 percent from the previous year, government data released on Thursday showed..
Figures showed there were 9,104 trafficked children last year -- a 27 percent increase from the previous year. The number of women trafficked rose by 22 percent to 10,119 in 2016.

Hari Om (Trademark- Justice Katju)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Trump investigation scandals as per Andrew Klavan

"The FBI, as we know, is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to expose the Democrats emails. The Senate meanwhile is investigating whether the Obama Administration investigated the Trump campaign for the collusion that the FBI is investigating. The Judiciary Committee is investigating why the Attorney General failed to investigate Hillary Clinton's attempt to avoid the FBI investigation into the Attorney General's failure to investigate her emails to the Democrats which the Russians hacked in an attempt to interfere with our election, which the Senate is investigating in an attempt to find out if the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians' hack of the Democrat's emails which the FBI is investigating to see whether the Obama Administration was investigating the Trump campaign. 

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether the House Intelligence Committee overstepped its bounds in investigating the Obama Administration's attempts to use the intelligence community to investigate the Trump campaign collusion with the Russian hack into the Democrat's emails which the FBI is investigating in order to find out whether the House Intelligence Committee overstepped its bounds in investigating the Obama Administration. The Head of the House Committee meanwhile has stepped down, pending an investigation. 

At the same time, many in the press are investigating why the press never investigated the Obama Administration's investigation of the Trump campaign but continues to investigate the Trump Administration's investigation into whether the Obama Administration investigated the Trump Campaign, which is now under investigation in the Senate, causing several investigators to call for an independent investigation into the House investigation of the Senate investigation of the Trump Administration, which is meanwhile investigating the Obama Administration, which is on a yacht in the Bahamas at the time, dancing to the musical styling of Drake's "Hotline Bling." 

. Drake is not currently under investigation. Now, to be clear, an independent investigation into the Senate investigation into the House investigation of the Obama investigation of the Trump campaign could expand the investigation into an investigation of Russia's investigation of the emails that were under investigation by the FBI, which was in turn under investigation by the NSA, who have been investigating everybody in a surveillance program that's still under investigation. 

If that were to happen, there would no doubt be a call fro a full investigation into all of the other investigations. So its easy to see that the firing of James Comey will have to be investigated, to ensure it doesn't in any way curtail the important business of government, which is... investigating. Thank God, the government's not actually governing, then we'd all be in real trouble."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Is the Bahubali series "Hindu"?

For the record, while I enjoyed the Bahubali series , I am not really that captivated by it as the rest of the country and dont quite understand the fuss.

The performances were actually rather subdued ,perfectly pitched and on note , which is surprising keeping in mind the over the top operatic style of the series. To this end poor Prabhas has been underrated while Ramya Krishnan, Sathyraj and Daggubati Rana recieved the lions share of the praise.

The visual effects were a mixed bag , some good ,some bad, same goes for the action scenes. and music score
However one thing that stands out and was excellent through out was set design. Here the film makers, polish, orignality and talent truly stand out. The other aspects of the film were too beholden to Hollywood blockbusters like Lord of the Rings and 300( a particularly immature and vile film IMO),

Im happy to say though that Bahubali shares with LOTR the elevated ideas of honor,courage,kingly duty,friendship and justice.

Of course since it is set in a time period roughly corresponding to what historians refer to as mid medieval age of India before the dark ages of Islamic rule, one wouldn't expect too many Muslims running around.

This led quite a few "secular" commentators to be clown themselves by being aghast that there are no Muslims faces present. Firstly it is not true, in the first film there was an arms dealer and friend of Kattapa called Aslam Khan who is portrayed a noble warrior and Bahubali even infiltrates a Muslim camp where some item number is taking place.

Furthermore the father of the director Rajamouli wrote the script for Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Hopefully this would squash any charges of "communalism" against the director but no.

For some critics who are accustomed only to Bollywood and their worship of Ganga Yamuna tehzeeb exemplified not just by the Khans but other actors who are Hindu,that the very fact this movie was made is an example of the communal mind of the average Hindu!

A TV series called Razia Sultana based on the only female monarch of a thoroughly despotic and tyrannical Delhi Sultanate whose rapaciousness astounded even foreign Muslims was quite popular.
It is shocking that someone had the audacity to suggest that this nobody and mediocrity who was only well known because she allegedly fell in love with her slave should be celebrated in anyway.
Thankfully the movie version which came out in the 1980s with Dharmendra comically covered in black paint was a total flop. The producer/director went as far as to provide free laddoos with every movie ticket to entice viewers!

At the same time there is a movie on Rani Padmavati in the works and apparently that Alauddin Khilji wasnt such a bad guy after all . He is just unfairly tarnished by those "communal" characters who object to wanton rape, plunder ,slavery and destruction of temples. They are silly that way..

These type of movies are considered acceptable in mainstream Bollywood. Oh sure you have TV series like Ashoka which really are a blink and miss affair.

But how many movies are made to celebrate Prithviraj Chouhan, Rana Pratap, Rana Sanga, Rana Kumbha or even Shivaji?

Yes we had Bajirao Mastani which hailed Peshwa Baji Rao but the USP of the movie was his affair with some Muslim slave girl not his burning desire to rid India of Muslim political control.

In this arena, enters Bahubali- the Donald Trump of films- an outsider smashing expectations, assumptions predictions and records left and right. Not to belabor the analogy but also like Trump it is clear about stance on native culture and traditions.

In regional cinema and Telugu movies particularly , religion, rituals and culture play a very major role and no one bothers about accusations of communalism because Eidh ul Fitr or Milad un Nabi are not given equal importance or any importance at all. I remember on some Telugu channel more than 10 years ago during end of Ramadhan, some Muslim caller(Telugu speaking) called up the female host of some variety show and her greeting to him was "Ramadhan Subhakanshalu"! LOL Ramadhan was over, it was Eidh, she didnt even know how to say Eidh Mubarak but said Blessed Greetings for Ramadhan! And in order to please her Muslim guest, she showed some clips of a few Telugu films all featuring Muslims where Muslims were shown as comic relief or terrorists!

I remember another movie where a woman was looking for a bridegroom for her son. One young lady who was interested turned up and when the old woman enquired her name, came the reply "Shabana Begum". The woman was aghast that a "turushkurala ammayi" would dare enter her house and promptly beat her up.

It is just amazing how despite living together for centuries, Telugus are hardly bothered about Muslim culture except to enjoy Irani chai and biryani. Even today in East Godavari districts , older people dont even care about Muslim self identification and simply call them "turushkuralu" or "Turks"

Coming back to the actual religion of Telugu people, yet another Telugu comedy had an old cranky athiest living in a village who decided to round up some youths and create a "Naastikula Samajam" or "Atheists society" in the village. One of the young simpletons agreed but stated for this society to get off to an auspicious start that they should purchase some coconuts and break in front of the local temple at the time as chosen by the astrologer!

This is obviously played for laughs but you get an idea of how deeply entrenched Hindu culture is outside the Mumbai/Delhi nexus particularly in southern India who held on more sternly to their customs as opposed to say Hindus of Rajasthan ,Kashmir or Punjab whose very prayers carry Persian and Arabic words.

Once you realize all of this , then it is absurd to consider Bahubali a communal film as it is simply continuing the tropes of a typical Telugu film which usually is geared towards the hinterland rather than the cities.

This is what many north Indian Hindus dont realize about Telugu films and assume such a blatant and apologetic celebration of Hindu culture carries a political agenda and hence try to thrust their own political views on it be it secular or Hindutva.

More so than the ritualistic observations of carrying the Shiva linga ,fire walk towards Devi temple or even cultural aspects of formation orders to the military in Sanskrit is the strict and unsentimental adherence to Dharma.


Sivagamis sense of dharma mandates that in order that her son the elder Bahubali be demoted from crown price to general to exile and finally death. And Kattapa who was like Bahubalis surrogate father carries out the order because that is his dharma

Compare this to the feel good nonsense of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya where (spoiler aler..oh who cares) Eklavya desists from carrying out his dharma in killing his son because.... well ..feelings!!

Some of this is due to culture perhaps, a good chunk of north Indian are Type B personalities who are sentimental and extroverted while south Indian culture since the late medieval era at least has Type A personalities who are driven and focussed. Yes I know- stereotypes but there is some truth to it on a super level but breaks down when you examine sub cultures I suppose.

Bollywood is full of these puny people. And another aspect I wanted to mention is that there is something about South Indian actors even if they are out of shape(clearly they are not in this films)that they are able to pull off a historical character is a very dignified and regal manner than their Bollywood counterpart. I dont  knoowwhy that is but it seems to be the case. The only actor who exhibited any regal presence in the incredibly silly Ashoka was not SRK but Tamil actor Ajith. There was something about the way he stood ,spoke and held his upavastra that the immature and boyish SRK couldnt master in a million years.

While on SRK, I keep hearing about how Bahubali would smash the D Company underworld films. There are a couple of things wrong with this assumption. Firstly it assumes that D company or the Islamic mafia and film industry nexus is still an actual thing. While there is certainly mafia involvement in Bollywood , it seems to have died with Dawoods increased irrelevance. it is not neccesary to have Muslim gangsters to have a disproportionate celebration of Islamic culture in your industry. Keep in mind most of Bollywood is controlled by a few families Khans , Kapoors and their fellow travellers Chopras, Johars etc all of whom hail from what is today Pakistan and Afghanistan. To this end , the Hindu Kapoors suffering from Stockholm syndrome are intent on praising those who evicted them from their homelands. While the Khans will do what they will do! Interestingly it is not neccesary to be anti Hindu to hang out with degenerate people like Dawood Ibrahim and celebrate Turko Afghan tehzeeb like Feroz Khan used to. Feroze Khan was a devotee of Sathya(not the Islamic Shirdi!) Sai baba while his brother Sanjay Khan who did make a TV series on Tipu Sultan also made one on Hanuman and spearheaded efforts to clean up Varanasi and the Ganga. Ahmad Shah Abdali and Ghazni must have been rolling in their graves!My point is that everything is not so cut and dry.

Secondly I have to ask a question to those who are familar with the dark ages of Islamic Bollywood nexu because honestly I dont know. Yes Muslim gangsters want to popularize their culture by glorifying their emperors and heck pretend to be empeors themselves. A point encapsulated in Philip Lutgendorf's review of Maqbool(based on MacBeth) where the Muslim don assumes the manners of potentate complete with its attendant rituals, palatial backdrop ,clothing and a durbar to hear complaints. This was based of course on the Pathan gangster Karim Lala(ironically Pathans were never emperors but hired goons who later carved out fiefdoms) and the Tamil lord of Mumbai Varadarajan Mudaliar.
Now what is the supremacy clause of Islamic gangsters- is it to promote Islamic culture or make money? I understand they want to do both. But wouldnt it be therefore prudent of them to finance films like Bahubali where they can obviously earn lots (Bahubali 2 looks like it will easily cross 1000 crore mark). I cant believe gangsters are that short sighted and ignorant, perhaps they are when it comes to assessing markets but if Muslims are well represented as sculptors of Hindu idols in U.P, Bihar and Bengal and perform in temples in Varanasi, Kashi and Rameshwaram, surely they dont mind getting money celebrating "kafir" culture. Again I dont know Im just asking questions.

All in all Bahubali wasnt a hit just due to the rugged , fit and talented Prabhas and Rana, the noble looking Sathyraj or the lovely Ramya Krishnan, Anushka Shetty and Tamanna Bhatia or even the special effects ,battle secenes , costumes or set design. For a film to be this successful it must have heart and have an emotional resonance with the audience and Bahubali , corny as it often is, delivers that in spades. For that alone it deserves all this success and more.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hahaha the alt right "discovers" Donald Trump has a Jewish son in law

I should specify the alt right - a motley collection of libertarians, anti PC crusaders, lonely gamers and neo Nazis who banded together in an odd alliance to help elect President Trump. When I speak of the alt right, I have in mind the most vocal of this lot-the Ron Paul isolationists as well as the neo Nazi wing(but I repeat myself) is shocked shocked that Trump bombed the Syrian air bases taking out 20% of the Syrian air force in one go following the ghastly chemical attack on Syrians by Assad.

Every one of these deranged weirdos are howling with righteous indignation from Ann "Adams apple" Coulter, the flamboyant right wing gay Milo Yianopolous("Trump is my daddy") to Paul Joseph Watson of the crackpot Infowars site which promoted theories such as Dark Knight Rises predicted Sandy Hook shootings in 2012and Israel caused 9/11.

They have turned their ire not so much on Trump but Jared Kushner, Trump's Orthodox Jewish son in law and his daughter Ivanka Trump(who converted) and allegedly pushed Trump into bombing Syria. They have gone as far to demand on Twitter than Trump fire him and placate their guy Steve Bannon who was removed recently from a position on the National Security Council where he had no business being anyway.

Apparently it is never the fault of the noble Aryan who does objectionable things but it is due to the perfidious Jew who seductively whispers sweet nothings in his ear.

If they were this worried about Jewish influence on Trump why did they even bother supporting Trump - a guy whose bluster and Queens accent is reminiscent of a working class New York Jew from the 1940s and pretty much all of whose offspring are somehow involved in relations with Jews.

Like our hero captain and Modi, these conspiracy loons who claim to be oh so hyper perceptive and alert about sinister powers underfoot and refer to skeptics as "sheeple" are actually themselves the most gullible people on earth.

Just as Modi who ran on nationalism is rapidly embracing global cosmopolitan (the dangerous and stupid cow politics aside) , and so Donald Trump rode to power on the alt right and tossed them aside like a used condom. And I still cant stop laughing...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Why India doesnt function optimally?

I have seen various rationales for India sub par performance in pretty much every field (relative to its large size and impressive history) ranging from colonialism, socialism, rapacious capitalism, Hindu religion, Islamic dhimmitude ,plunder and psy ops warfare over population etc etc.

But all of these miss the forest for the trees. The main reason India is so horribly mismanaged is because Indian institutions whether Indian army, navy and air force,railways,  IAS, IPS as well most of the Indian bureaucracy ,media , elite universities is based on British models and these models were predicated on a foreign power exploiting India as a source of manpower, raw material ,money and other capital.

The British have left to be replaced by a "swadeshi" set of theives, crooks and incompetents who view the Indian populace irrespective of class, sect or caste as cattle to squeeze dry or if necessary sacrificed for their meat.

If none of these institutions function as to our satisfaction then we have indeed to ask the awkward question whether they were intended to function to benefit us. Alas the answer is :No!

As they say the test of the pudding is by tasting. So let us compare the performance of  prime ministers who were educated either abroad or in these institutions with that one person who wasnt: PV Narasimha Rao.who is considered the best PM of India.

I am not taking into account BJP PM's such as Bajpayee or Modi as they were technically educated by the RSS which was at worst a collaborator for British rule and at best a mute spectator. All the while espousing a nationalism which masquerades as religion which has its source in Garibaldi than any Indian counterpart.
In short India is a misfit for Indians. So why would Indians thrive in it?

Most post colonial countries suffer from this very problem but due to India's large size, population , complex history and diversity , the problems have been exacerbated.

The solution? Nothing more tearing each and every institution and reforming them from the ground up. And yes in this I include the Indian army which as I mentioned before is not a friend of the Indian populace simply because its current and former employer (the Indian government and the British empire) do not care about Indian interests. It always amazed me that Indians would hurl the choices of (well deserved) abuses at their government ministers but let the Indian army go scot free.  To my mind the Indian army is simply a glorified version of the Indian police whose heavy handedness towards their clients as well their inadequacy in dealing with law and order or terrorism is well known.

Such a bottom up and top thrown overhaul will be unpleasant , messy , there may even be .blood. As there should be . This brings us to another problem with our independence movment. By and large India was bestowed independence not due to the efforts of Gandhi , Nehru(hahaha) but simply because India once a source of revenue was now a bottomless pit of money ,man power and capital which Britain ill afford after WWII despite delusions of grandeur of Winston Churchill. Interestingly the British saw the writing on the wall even before the Indians such as Nehru and promptly gave Churchill the boot in the 1946 election.

The British practically gave India away to their underlings and being underlings they had no capacity for leadership and independent thought or backbone. The sad results are there for all to see.

Study after study shows that people who win lotteries are usually worse off than before because mostly because the type of people who buy lottery tickets are lacking in discipline, far sightedness and have poor impulse control. India was a lottery won by dimwits and spineless cretins who were in the right place at the right time. But the difference here is that the citizens of India pay the price while the vermin at the top continue to reap the benefits.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Excerpt from Anthony Daniel's Wilder Shores of Marx: A Potemkin Mall in North Korea

Anthony Daniels who usually writes in his nom de plume Theodore Dalrymple paid a visit to North Korea in the late 1980s as the usually discriminating North Koreans mistakenly assumed he was friendly to the regime as he had once with Julius Nyere of Tanzania who was a friend of the despot Kim Song.

He had made several remarkable observations. None more than what was a implicitly a tribute to capitalist society but it end up as an indavertent satire.

I went several times during the festival to Pyongyang Department Store Number 1. This is in the very centre of the city. Its shelves and counters were groaning with locally produced goods, piled into impressive pyramids or in fan-like displays, perfectly arranged, throughout the several floors of the building. On the ground floor was a wide variety of tinned foods, hardware and alcoholic drinks, including a strong Korean liqueur with a whole snake pickled or marinated in the bottle, presumably as an aphrodisiac. Everything glittered with perfection, the tidiness was remarkable.

It didn’t take long to discover that this was no ordinary department store. It was filled with thousands of people, going up and down the escalators, standing at the corners, going in and out of the front entrance in a constant stream both ways – yet nothing was being bought or sold. I checked this by standing at the entrance for half an hour. The people coming out were carrying no more than the people entering. Their shopping bags contained as much, or as little, when they left as when they entered. In some cases, I recognised people coming out as those who had gone in a few minutes before, only to see them re-entering the store almost immediately. And I watched a hardware counter for fifteen minutes. There were perhaps twenty people standing at it; there were two assistants behind the counter, but they paid no attention to the ‘customers’. The latter and the assistants stared past each other in a straight line, neither moving nor speaking.

Eventually, they grew uncomfortably aware that they were under my observation. They began to shuffle their feet and wriggle, as if my regard pinned them like live insects to a board. The assistants too became restless and began to wonder what to do in these unforeseen circumstances. They decided that there was nothing for it but to distribute something under the eyes of this inquisitive foreigner. And so, all of a sudden, they started to hand out plastic wash bowls to the twenty ‘customers’, who took them (without any pretence of payment). Was it their good luck, then? Had they received something for nothing? No, their problems had just begun. What were they to do with their plastic wash bowls? (All of them were brown incidentally, for the assistants did not have sufficient initiative to distribute a variety of goods to give verisimilitude to the performance, not even to the extent of giving out differently coloured bowls.)

They milled around the counter in a bewildered fashion, clutching their bowls in one hand as if they were hats they had just doffed in the presence of a master. Some took them to the counter opposite to hand them in; some just waited until I had gone away. I would have taken a photograph, but I remembered just in time that these people were not participating in this charade from choice, that they were victims, and that – despite their expressionless faces and lack of animation – they were men with chajusong, that is to say creativity and consciousness, and to have photographed them would only have added to their degradation. I left the hardware counter, but returned briefly a little later: the same people were standing at it, sans brown plastic bowls, which were neatly re-piled on the shelf.
I also followed a few people around at random, as discreetly as I could. Some were occupied in ceaselessly going up and down the escalators; others wandered from counter to counter, spending a few minutes at each before moving on. They did not inspect the merchandise; they moved as listlessly as illiterates might, condemned to spend the day among the shelves of a library. I did not know whether to laugh or explode with anger or weep. But I knew I was seeing one of the most extraordinary sights of the twentieth century.

I decided to buy something – a fountain pen. I went to the counter where pens were displayed like the fan of a peacock’s tail. They were no more for sale than the Eiffel Tower. As I handed over my money, a crowd gathered round, for once showing signs of animation. I knew, of course, that I could not be refused: if I were, the game would be given away completely. And so the crowd watched goggle-eyed and disbelieving as this astonishing transaction took place: I gave the assistant a piece of paper and she gave me a pen.
The pen, as it transpired, was of the very worst quality. Its rubber for the ink was so thin that it would have perished immediately on contact with ink. The metal plunger was already rusted; the plastic casing was so brittle that the slightest pressure cracked it. And the box in which it came was of absorbent cardboard, through whose fibres the ink of the printing ran like capillaries on the cheeks of a drunk.
At just before four o’clock, on two occasions, I witnessed the payment of the shoppers. An enormous queue formed at the cosmetics and toiletries counter and there everyone, man and woman, received the same little palette of rouge, despite the great variety of goods on display. Many of them walked away somewhat bemused, examining the rouge uncomprehendingly. At another counter I saw a similar queue receiving a pair of socks, all brown like the plastic bowls. The socks, however, were for keeps. After payment, a new shift of Potemkin shoppers arrived.

The Department Store Number 1 was so extraordinary that I had to talk to someone about it. But the young communist from Glasgow to whom I described it simply exclaimed: ‘So what! Plenty of people go to Harrods without buying anything, just to look.’ Nevertheless, I returned twice to Department Store Number 1 because, in my opinion, it had as many layers of meaning as a great novel, and every time one visited it one realised – as on re-reading Dickens or Tolstoy – that one had missed something from the time before.
Department Store Number 1 was a tacit admission of the desirability of an abundance of material goods, consumption of which was very much a proper goal of mankind. Such an admission of the obvious would not have been in any way remarkable were it not that socialists so frequently deny it, criticising liberal capitalist democracy because of its wastefulness and its inculcation of artificial desires in its citizens, thereby obscuring their ‘true’ interests. By stocking Department Store Number 1 with as many goods as they could find, in order to impress foreign visitors, the North Koreans admitted that material plenty was morally preferable to shortage, and that scarcity was not a sign of abstemious virtue; rather it was proof of economic inefficiency. Choice, even in small matters, gives meaning to life. However well fed, however comfortable modern man might be without it, he demands choice as a right, not because it is economically superior, but as an end in itself. By pretending to offer it, the North Koreans acknowledged as much; and in doing so, recognised that they were consciously committed to the denial of what everyone wants.

But the most sombre reflection occasioned by Department Store Number 1 is that concerning the nature of the power that can command thousands of citizens to take part in a huge and deceitful performance, not once but day after day, without any of the performers ever indicating by even the faintest sign that he is aware of its deceitfulness, though it is impossible that he should not be aware of it. One might almost ascribe a macabre and sadistic sense of humour to the power, insofar as the performance it commands bears the maximum dissimilarity to the real experience and conditions of life of the performers. It is as if the director of a leper colony commanded the enactment of a beauty contest – something one might expect to see in, say, a psychologically depraved surrealist film. But this is no joke, and the humiliation it visits upon the people who take part in it, far from being a drawback, is an essential benefit to the power; for slaves who must participate in their own enslavement by signalling to others the happiness of their condition are so humiliated that they are unlikely to rebel.