Saturday, 15 July 2017

Home and some self-reflection

"Home is where the heart is". Whoever said that must have been the most loved man or woman in his or her time in the world because he definitely knows what he's talking about. After spending my time callously before my first finals and ending the year as a 'freshman' as they call it in the States, I came back home after being away for almost 9 months. But to be honest, and I know everybody says this, but it feels way longer than that. Meeting old friends, friends who I have known from Year 7 and spending time with them after so long made the occasion ever so special, as they are truly becoming family as each day passes. And of course, meeting my parents after so long definitely made me shed a few tears. As you can tell by the time I publish this blog post, it will have been the first one in quite a long time and it's all because I was busy having one of the best summer vacations in my life.

My first blog post in a very long time

Hi, Wimpy Asian here. I know it's been pretty long that I have posted anything, and in the meanwhile I have garnered some followers and if any of you are seeing this, then welcome to my blog. I know I haven't posted anything for a while. Well, I don't really have an excuse for that, I had all the time in the world after my exams ended and have been leisurely spending my summer vacation sipping ice tea in the comfort of my home back in Bangladesh. The blog was really an excuse to get away from my studies for my finals in the first year as an undergrad at City University, which I think I should've spent more time preparing for than blogging. Well, I always had to be the hard worker to get the results, and well... I didn't. My parents were disappointed at first, however they were comforted by the fact that my results were still 'first class', but they were expecting a bit more. I am saying all of this now because I have openly shared my convictions with the world. I mean, I know that this blog hasn't really gotten much traction in terms of traffic, but I stopped caring about that after I had decided that I would write this post

I guess we just need to get some of our thoughts off our mind, and sharing my stupid dreams and ambitions on the internet always helped me calm me down. I kind of realize now that I started this blog because I felt alone in this new environment by doing an undergrad abroad, something that I did not experience this summer vacation back home socializing with old friends I went to school with for around 6 years. Now that most of my closest friends have gone to pursue their studies in America, I am going to staying an extra 2 weeks alone. Maybe that's why I'm deciding to post all of a sudden.I guess people are very simple in that aspect, it's always the simplest of reasons why we do things

I know all of these thoughts are not coherent, but I my intention was to say that I want to try and blog more in the future, with whatever interests me. I have been reading a lot of books while I was gone, so hopefully, I will be posting a review of the 'Life of Pi' by Yann Martel pretty soon (haven't finished reading it). I think by now people would understand that if you want content from me, consistency will most definitely not be the 'it' factor about this blog. However, if I do post content, I will make sure that is "quality over quantity". I still do hope to entertain anybody who stumbles upon my blog and spares a few minutes to read what I have to say.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Why our generation has to stop being offended!

The generation I was born in, the 90’s we have had the best time. And I say it in the sense that we had the better part of the technological revolution, the birth of social media, and ‘smart’ phones that let us do, see and share anything we want with the world. And with that has obviously brought its own disadvantages. Before continuing any further, I would like to say that the world we live in is one filled with hate, and breeds contempt. Of course, we live in peaceful times but that doesn’t necessarily make us happy. One of the issues of that our generation has to face due to the rise of social media and global news deceptively presenting information which spreads like wildfire which leads us to being easily offended, and is something I wanted to discuss today.

Well you might ask, why is being offended a problem? It’s a problem because we get offended easily, and we think this gives us a right to position us as the victim to inequality. This is an outright, completely flawed concept and this mentality is one that has to be changed for the collective good of the society we live in. Yes, there are horrible, religiously offensive and politically incorrect jokes that will leave us infuriated, but that doesn’t give us the right to feel being ‘better’ than someone else. At best, tweets from an untalented comedian will give the rednecks small snort of laugher, but does not give someone the right to go after these people with a mob-like mentality on social media without the proper context. Context is also very important in determining what a certain person, and organization is trying to convey, and since the internet has become host to people with people with very little spans of concentration, the media  has changed their headlines to suit these people and thus has brought upon the ‘clickbaits’.

One of the reasons that we are negatively biased against a certain person or a topic of conversation that has been buzzing the internet is because of the media presenting hoaxes, scams or just deceiving the internet in the most dishonest way possible. Without the proper context, a certain phrase or sentence may be misconstrued by people and for the ‘quick buck’, the media will give the ‘juicy bits’ of the news and leave us feeling us angry, mad or even sad. A catalyst to these situations is the media who either overly dramatize the news, or who use deceptive clickbait titles, are worsening the situation to their profit. Being offended sells, and we have become pawns who are unwittingly exploited. At the end of the day, being offended is ‘our’ problem, not ‘theirs’.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War (2016) - Movie Review

Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, William Hurt

Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Synopsis: Political interference in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

Captain America: Civil War (2016) on IMDb
Review: WARNING – Spoilers ahead!
Where do I start? The whole movie was a rollercoaster ride that poses some questions in a world full of superheroes that not all things are ‘fine and dandy’ and that even heroes have to face the consequences when fighting the ‘bad guys’. To put it simply, the world owes the Avengers a great debt as they have saved the world two times (well from the two movies) from catastrophic consequences. But, the governments have decided that even though these heroes have done a great deal to save countless lives, in the process they have not been able to save everybody. This has prompted the United Nations to come to a decision that the heroes have to be ‘put in check’, and that their actions have to be monitored by a panel and not act on their own as a private organization.

This is where I just have to say that Marvel has done a terrific job on foreshadowing this conflict from ‘Age of Ultron’ as Tony Stark feels that his ever deepening guilt from his creation was bound to destroy the world, where in the beginning sequences of the movie an elderly woman’s son was killed by the rag-tag action that happened in Sarkovia sometime prior to the movie. This guilt is what makes Tony feel so strongly about the need for the Avengers to be under control, so that innocent lives are not lost in the blunder of their own mess. However, Captain America, on the other hand, has seen that government control is not safe, with had happened from World War II with ‘Hydra’ and after being unfrozen from the ice how ‘Hydra’ had lived on secretly within S.H.I.E.L.D. This was a fantastic set-up for the conflict between the two.

In a fictional world with superheroes and supervillains, and although the movie doesn’t take it too seriously upon itself, brings the concept of liberalism and totalitarianism which had spurred the conflict between the two. But to quite frank, the two sides leaders’ Captain America and Iron Man, were never really portrayed as friends and more as comrades, but comrades who respect each other a lot. When Bucky had somehow became intertwined into this mess, Rogers just couldn’t help and watch his childhood friend and somewhat idol get tossed aside. Thus, the conflict between the two group of superheroes was more of an emotional conflict, as Tony felt as if own creations had only deterred the world of being a better place and the good Captain believing that ‘the safest hands are our own’. Vision addresses this elegantly:
“Our very strength incites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict... breeds catastrophe.Supervision is not something to be dismissed out-of-hand.”

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The demise of the music industry: my opinions on mainstream pop

I am not the one into delve in controversial topics like these as I have always hated confrontation and conflict (that why I’m a ‘Wimpy Kid’) and most certainly hate the dirty politics back home in Bangladesh where the two political parties are always at each other’s throats literally. The strike in Bangladesh carried out by one of the political parties in November had ruined my chance for a retake exam which had basically ruined my future prospects to a certain extent! But that is not what I’m here to talk about, today I want to talk about the demise of the music industry, and this is supported by fall in revenue by big labels scratching their heads due to the increased availability and reach of illegal streaming content.

The quality of music has dropped. I may get hate for this, and I know that people will have different tastes and will like different genres, but even a person who likes the same genre as me may think the music industry is flourishing – producing the best music he has ever heard and it is continuously getting better. But that’s not me. To clarify, I am going to talk about the mainstream music that usually topple the Billboard Top 10. And I must say, it is going downhill. I must admit, not ALL songs are bad, but the majority aren’t that good either. Now, as a reader, you may say that, “well Wimpy Kid just listen to what you like and stop complaining about it!” Trust me I wish I could, but I am not complaining about the state of the music industry just because of my own personal opinions, but that, in terms of social media portrayal, the ‘get rich or die trying mentality, and most and foremost the constant sexual appeasement for men, is what is horrifyingly wrong.

Firstly, I would like to talk about the quality of music. When I say quality, I mean the sophistication of lyrics, the songs having an ambiguous meaning so that we can interpret the meaning ourselves, and the level of thought, energy and ‘soul’ that goes into writing the music. And if you look at the newest top hits for the last maybe two years, you will find a steady trend that most music is not written by the artists who perform the songs themselves and that the main motif consists of ‘getting money, bitches, and sex’ in a nutshell. This is not my definition of music. Don’t get me wrong though, songs including these ideals can be good – but they hardly are. With a few exceptions in my eyes like Coldplay, Adele and maybe Charlie Puth, most of the songs that are topping the charts are electronic dance hits, which to be fair, is not proper ‘songs’ in my eyes at all. The importance of beat over melody has also reduced the quality of songs in general, as the greatest songs in general have had an equal footing in harmony, melody, rhythm and – in my mind the most important of them all – lyrics. Artists also probably do not have more ‘soul’ in their music due to hiring songwriters, their own personal talents may not be able to shine due to lyrics not being written from their own personal thoughts, which I think is what makes great music. Trending icons nowadays have very little to no personality and I think this is because of the desperate need for fame, but not for the reason of sharing one’s thoughts to the world. Record labels are also to blame as by trying to ‘play it safe’ they have reduced their credibility to nurture actual talent. This has all culminated into a huge mess and due to these qualitative factors about the industry not being taken into account, the financial side of things have suffered as well. I’m not saying that good music has to be at a certain sophisticated level, but a certain degree of thought and passion has to go into making songs. Catchy dance tunes are not going to cut it, and this can be seen even from a financial perspective:

Friday, 29 April 2016

Real heroes: the ones that need to be appreciated

“Real heroes don’t wear capes”. I have heard this being said time and time again to symbolize the flourishing support of the justice system, the small businesses in the economy, and in general, a little pat on the backs to  ‘the little guys’ as a whole. But to be honest, do we really understand the meaning of such a phrase? The amount of work that these people do and the little amount of appraisal they get – in both monetary and mental terms – in comparison to the level of effort they give is astonishing. In recent times, for example, police in the US have been ridiculed with a mob-like mentality, their faintest mistakes have been nitpicked and media have reported incidents in a deceptive manner. A couple of days ago, a cop was questioned to have killed two girls due to a police chase gone wrong. What the media didn't report was that - surprisingly - is that the girls had hijacked a car and due to them driving under the influence, they skimmed into a pond where they had drowned. The police officer had followed the rules to the book, but since the media had not read the police reports carefully, they were asking ridiculous questions to the deputy who had been involved.

These people work to protect us, some officers working ridiculous hours and get paid a below average salary. This, however, is an issue that is being constantly talked about, but my opinion is that the economy is organized in such a way that we have given more to the ‘value added’ to tertiary services such as giants like Microsoft, Google, who make billions, but we cannot bear to give a few extra cents to FairTrade suppliers so that farmers can have a subsistence living standard to raise their families in a relatively better environment.  Granted, that the entrepreneurship skills of the owners of these companies is letting me use Microsoft Word to type this, and Google-owned ‘Blogger’ to be able to share my ideas. But that is not the point I’m trying to make. The reason why I am bringing this to light is not to degrade the importance of modern technology and other tertiary services in our lives, but to illustrate the state of the world and that we cannot let it to continue in this way. A thousand years ago, these companies would not matter, but as in Economics we get to know that to survive there are three basic necessities: food, water and shelter. And in that time and age, people who could cultivate food, knit clothes and make homes were the real heroes: people of action who actually cement the foundation for the pillars of life. This may sound overly-dramatic but it is the truth. As the human race has learnt, grown and evolved we have taken advantages of even the most basic things that would leave our ancestors amazed, like the wheel and fire that we take for granted and have learnt how to ‘thrive’ and not just ‘survive’.

My conclusion is that we have to look at the declining importance we give to people who give us our food, people who risk their lives to defend the nation so that we can sleep peacefully at night, and the people who work tirelessly day in and day out in a questionable work environment to make clothes you have on your back. The economic system fails to address the needs of the people who are actually the people who have skills that are necessary to ‘survive’ It is true that being human will lead us to creating technology as ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, but we have to also take a step back to look after the ‘little people’ who do these things for us and have to accept the fact that they are being under-appreciated. I’m not asking for a standing ovation - that doesn't give these people a better life - but it is necessary for us, as human beings, to look after our own and that’s why we should. Because at the end of the day what are we if are not human?

That's it from me, I just wanted to share my thoughts about this as I have been thinking about this for the past couple of days. I probably won't post regularly in May because of my final exams. But if you like what you see, please follow  the blog or on social media!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Waiting - a short story

Waiting – a short story

Waiting. She waited for him and she knew that he would come. No matter what, he would come. They said that after the war, they would meet at their favorite coffee shop where they first met. He was a decorated marine in her eyes, and an American hero for all she knew. He represented the pique masculinity and the gleam for his shining teeth would make her heart quiver. But apart from his physique, she fell in love with the man he was at heart, and it wasn’t the love for his country that made him so emotionally desirable; his genuine kindness towards others around him is what sparked her interest in him. Even though she didn’t know him well, that scrawny middle-schooler would always stand up for his friends when they were getting bullied. He usually would’ve ended up getting beaten to a pulp, but he would still stand up for them. But the thing that really made her fall in love with him is the fact that he never made a scene if he was bullied and used to shrug them off like it wasn’t anyone’s business. That’s what she loved most about him, and although they may have not spent as much as time as they would’ve liked, he was – and always will be – her cornerstone.
It’s funny how things would work out in the end. She wouldn’t have, in a million years, thought that she was the man for him. It was not until a fateful encounter between them in a coffee shop where he worked that he had finally had the guts to ask her out. And she was so glad that he did. His father was crippled, which had made money sparse within the family so he had to get a job to help his father have a somewhat decent lifestyle. This only made her love him more.


Pearl Harbor was a navy ship that most marines would be proud to work on as an American soldier, protecting the nation was a matter of pride. But to him it didn’t matter, at least not anymore. The bombardment of planes, destruction, and injury was not he stood for. His vision of protecting his country seemed more heroic when looking at the posters ‘America needs you’. It was only when you are on the battlefield that you realize that it is the most cowardly thing governments can do; perilously putting the innocent in risk for feuds that don’t matter. This is what happens when one man thinks he is above all else and has the power to command thousands and million troops with a slight nod of his head. That is not justice, and that definitely is not what the founding fathers were hoping for. “War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace”. Indeed, whoever said that was absolutely right. This is not justice, just torcher.

But that didn’t matter. Everyone was too worried about surviving the genocide, hoping to dear God that they can see their children, wives and girlfriends one last time and tell them ‘I love you’. So did he. It was kind of funny, he knew these were his last moments, and even if he did survive, the hell he had experienced would never be erased from his memory. No one wants to live with the pain he had experienced and no one should. It was ironic how his girlfriend had made him origami crane before he had left, a kind gift cultivated from the culture from a country he was aiding to destroy.