Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

It's Thanksgiving

'It’s Thanksgiving — a day when we remember God’s provision for the pilgrims who risked everything to establish a place where they could live in peace without fear of religious persecution. But I think it’s also a good day to take time to contemplate the things we take for granted in our lives and to thank the God who will allow our hearts to beat 100,000 times today, even if we never — not even once — think about it. O Lord, our Lord,    how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants,    you have established strength because of your foes,    to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,    what is man that you are mindful of him,    and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings    and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works…

Sexting & why Teens do it

So what does latest research tell us about 'sexting'? That 1 in 4 teenagers do it, and they sext despite parental monitoring plus the risk of getting a bad name or being blackmailed.

Behavioral influences emanate from the socio-cultural environment. The reference groups that populate and influence behavior shift over time. Meaning a normative reference group like the family for a child, gets pushed aside as an influencer of behavior once the child reaches his/her teen years. Its friends and peers who take over from the family as influencers. That is when sexting starts. The disregard of risks of sexting may partly be physiological. Hitting puberty brings in its wake social and emotional changes. Teens look to greater independence, enhanced social contact with friends and peers, and in rash ways.

Sexting pops up both as an indulgent act of risk-filled independence, and an enabler of sexualized social contact. Its now wonder then teens take to it.

Understanding shifting referen…

Feminists, Leftists, and the crucifixion of Tarun Tejpal

First things first, so the dimwits get it. Tarun Tejpal deserves to be punished if he is guilty of his alleged misdemeanors, without exception.

The feminist-leftist cacophony that we have been witness to may on surface seem like a quest for justice, but if you dig deeper you will uncover something starkly different. In fact in my book, the desire to see Tejpal crucified under the garb of upholding women's rights is probably as dangerous as the alleged crime Tejpal is being charged with.

Feminists have an agenda, as do leftists. Feminists, (like the Joker who wanted to see the world burn) want to see men burn. Spiting men is right up on the 'to do' list of feminists. Leftists on the other hand bay for Tarun's blood because they see him as a betrayer to their cause. Tarun sold out to the bourgeois. How dare he do that after having sworn allegiance to the leftist-socialist cause?

Truth be told, those in the media and politics, and others including feminists and leftists …

Consumer socialization of Jaden starts from me, his Dad

Jaden blurts his dislike for vegetarian food to the party hosts and we are left embarrassed. We would have preferred if he quietly left the food alone without an expression of distaste. Back home, we firmly tell Jaden to be careful about his utterances in public, especially those that may be perceived as rude.

Added thought on Jaden's public articulation has left me a li'l unsure on what's best when it comes to exhibiting personal preferences. Should it never be articulated in public, or is it about articulating public disagreements in a non-threatening manner? Meaning Jaden can say he doesn't prefer a certain food, but has to say it in a manner so as to not displease his hosts.

As I grapple with what's best in such situations, one thing is crystal clear, and sure to me. Jaden was articulating publicly what he picked from me. Here's the truth. I can't get myself to like vegetarian food. What's more, in some way I even think vegetarianism can be equated…

The 'Knockout' Behavior

Any planned act by a person has as its immediate precursors an attitudinal setting, and an assessment of outcomes. Meaning, planned behavioral exhibitions happen because the people behind the behavior are 'inclined' toward such exhibitions, and also have taken into account the 'payoffs'.

The punks who take to 'knockout' are vermin who are comfortable with violence. They also get a pleasure out of the misery of their victims sans any fear of punishment. The vermin sit pretty with violence because they have been raised in homes where violence is condoned. They probably have had violent fathers who beat up on their mothers. Or fathers who took to crime. Plus they probably have never been disciplined growing up. And even if they have been, its been done all wrong.

What completes the flowering of such punks is a liberal culture that holds no one responsible for their actions. Liberals are deviants who believe in relative morality. Relative morality flows from godle…

Great Service is about Social Intelligence

Q. I have an experience to share; this happened to me on Monday. I visited after a long while, a kirana store I used to buy daily use stuff from. The kirana shopwala Anna (storeowner) remembered which brand of nicotine I preferred, even though I had gone to him after a very long time. Next to Anna's shop was this huge building that had come up recently, sporting a new coffee shop.

I decided to give the Cafe' a visit. The coffee was good, but one thing that irritated me was the constant query by the service guy on how the coffee was. He kept asking about the service delivery and about possible improvements he could bring about.

From his point of view he was giving me greater consideration as a customer, but I felt irritated by the extra attention. I for some reason believed he was doing this to convince me I am a valuable customer, and not necessarily because he was interested in what I had to say. I have had similar experience from other outlets too.

The humble kiranawala Anna …

Climbing the 'Desire Ladder'

For Jaden its no longer about just standing ground and holding his own. He now needs to spar and score, over me. Like this morning when he was set on pointing out my siding with Thor wasn't at all smart. Especially since Thor was being pitted against his favorite, Krrish. Tell you what, my gut tells me our li'l back-and-forth this morning wasn't about either Thor or Krrish. It was about Jaden showing me he can go one up on me.

Standing ground is slowly giving way to needing to score over. As for me, its time for a shift in stance.

Consumers climb the 'desire ladder' the way Jaden got from his need to stay his ground, to his desire to score. At first for consumers, its about getting to their 'object of desire'. Its about coveting the brand and exhibiting their identity through it. Once that's done, they soon realize they need to now score over their fellow consumers. After all it isn't just about an identity, its about having one that puts them at t…

Why Bata will go down, and McDonald's up

We go to two Bata stores to pick footwear for both Jaden and Brooklyn. We encounter the iconic pathetic customer service that Bata stores are famous for. The store personnel didn't care a whit about what we were trying to find. I wasn't at all surprised. After all, what more can you expect from the likes of brand Bata?

We then stop for a bite at McDonald's, and we enter a different world altogether. Great people, great service. Though the store did not have the toy Jaden wanted, they were nice enough to guide to him another, which he was okay with.

Its a pity that the hellish pre-liberalization era in India allowed the likes of Bata to spread their stores around the country unchallenged. Its a pity that this brand enjoys scale efficiencies the others can't yet match, and so are able to sell at prices others need time to get to.

Socialist India gave consumers hell for their money. A liberalized India gave us the likes of McDonald's. May the latter and their breed, …

The Danes are the happiest, and its bloody scary!

According to Meik Wiking, director of the Happiness Research Institute, a Danish think-tank aiming to improve the quality of life in Denmark and abroad, the reason why the Danes are the happiest of people on planet earth is because they have a high degree of financial security. if the Danes lose their jobs, they get financial support from the government. If they fall ill, they get to go to hospital.

Despite the high taxes they pay, Danish citizens get a security net in return that gives them subsidized childcare, and unemployment insurance that guarantees eighty percent wages for two years. But the key factor that differentiates Denmark from similar Nordic countries is that there's greater social kinship that leaves them happier.

Wow.

This must be as perfect as a society can get. And it can only get this way if you pay the government enough to keep you and your neighbor carbon copies of each other. Never mind what the both of you do to earn your keep. You and he have been 'culti…

The Left, Right, & Single Ladies

It’s a culture problem. Single women look to government to be their man, but what kind of men do they see in the world? Culture certainly does not criminalize the one-night stand or the random drunken hookup. They’re actually somewhat celebrated, and what our current (creepy) Uncle Sam is apparently concerned about is making sure to enable all women to be promiscuous without responsibility.

And is that what you really want, ladies? Do you want to be able to sleep with whomever you want and have zero consequences? Is being “sexually liberated” really on your to-do list or among your life goals? Really. Really?! What are you, a dude? (Sorry, but everyone knows that “playboy” is a term almost of endearment, whereas the female equivalent is such a foreign concept that it’s nonexistent.)

It’s also a myth that the right makes this their agenda. Isn’t it always the left who is obsessed with “reproductive rights,” abortion, and birth control, making the GOP the enemy? The truth is that it’s the…

Shweta Menon & the Diktats of Collective Cultures

It was only a matter of time before Shweta Menon withdrew her complaint. Where 'collective cultures' reign, individuals (read, you and I) don't stand a chance with their representation/s. If by any chance you (or I) do decide to go out there with a individualist stance, it must first pass the collective's approval. If it doesn't garner the collective's nod, and you decide to still be out there, get ready for a bout of character assassination. The collective will soon deem you as unfit, and banish you from partaking in their 'glorious' culture. Which pretty much is a message that you need to back off or else!

Shweta Menon took the cue, and dropped the ball.

You see, Shweta needed to pass the collective's scrutiny and get her character certificate before she was stamped as qualified to go to court against the alleged perpetrator-party. Never mind Kerala being the most literate state in India, the diktats of a collective culture that is part and parce…

Miles to go for the Indian Husband

My agreement with Lavanya's description of 'good men' in India comes with exceptions. That's because one, Lavanya misses out on what's 'really' important to wives in India, and two, she sugarcoats the Indian husband's weakness as his 'nesting in family and community'.

A 'helpful' Indian husband works only as a 'hygiene factor' for an Indian wife. That is, a lack of such 'help' may pull the wife down, but a presence is never a motivating factor. So what is the 'motivating factor' that can give the Indian wife a high? A husband who can stand up and be his own man (read, stand up to his mom when she is in error, and side with his wife), one who can and will take to his individuality sans any familial ties.

Check the commercial above (watch the husband for the nano-second he's on) and you'll know what I am talking about. The Indian husband stays in the shadow of his mom most of time. He isn't yet independ…

Lying & Barack Obama make natural bedfellows

Barack Obama is another matter. His lies are not mainly for self-defense (although Benghazi has elements of that). They are lies of ideological volition. He lies to get his way. And he does it so well, with so much seeming earnestness — as in his umpteen (and continuing!) pronouncements that no one would lose their health insurance or personal physician from Obamacare, when, it’s now clear, he knew all the while this was utterly false — that his behavior appears almost sociopathic.

In other words, to Obama these are not really lies, because he has no values, religious or otherwise, that make them so. This is more than just the prototypical Marxist ends justifying the means, but I will come back to it in a moment. First, it’s worth noting that sociopathic lies — or lies that even tend toward the sociopathic — can be immensely destructive to humanity. In the not-so-distant past, and in the present as well, they have created situations of extraordinary violence and mayhem.

So how does he d…