For a few days now, I had been a bit puzzled why people (quite a few of them) kept posting comments on the post before the one which they were commenting on. Today I realised this was because of the odd structure of the new template, which has the comments link before the post. And since my comment form is pop-up, there is no way for the readers to know they have opened the wrong form. So I have now made another copy of the comments link after the post. Hope this simplifies things. I know that in some posts the gap between the last line and the link is a bit odd. That’s to do with the paragraph formatting in the posts. I will be fixing it soon.

PS: I have fixed the font size of the template, as promised.
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 8:59 AM
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Dedicated to one particular person. You know who you are.

Me and my muse were sitting in my room one afternoon. We were both silent and sullen. She was smoking a cigarette, and I was ignoring her.

I was somewhat angry with her for having abandoned me for such a long time, so I had snatched at the smallest excuse to vent my spleen – I had shouted at her for coming in through the window, which always surprised and annoyed me. She had reasoned that since she was ethereal, there was no way she could ring the doorbell, but I was in no mood to listen.

My muse takes the form of a thirty-five year old lady with dyed hair. She hates speaking in contractions. She always holds her purse tight, because my dreams are in there, and the purse was once stolen, giving me a year-long Writer’s Block. She is rather nice, but she is prone to witticisms and aphorisms, and that irritates me sometimes. There was a time when she was a twenty-five year old punk rocker, but she decided she had to mature somewhat, without dropping the attitude. She used to try a French accent once in a while, but I’m really bad at it, so she stopped.

As I watched, she silently made her way through six cigarettes. (The smoke didn’t annoy me, since, technically, it didn’t exist.) Then she prepared to leave, just as silently, when I finally spoke.

“You don’t like me much, do you?” I asked.

“And what makes you say that?” she said, taken aback somewhat.

“You keep leaving me for such long intervals, and then you come back and act all moody. There’s no consistency in your behaviour.”

“That is not the truth. You are the one who is not consistent. My dear boy, I can only come when you make an effort to invite me. You much prefer to wallow in self-pity. It has nothing to do with me.”

I realised that silence had been preferable. It is never nice to hear the truth, especially when it is a figment of your imagination telling you.

“But you should realise that, and come anyway. See, whenever I am depressed because I am not getting any ideas – that is when I need you most, and that is just when you choose to go on long holidays.”

“I think you would rather depend on me than think for yourself. Maybe you are right – perhaps I do not like you.”

I thought about what she said. I said, “Ah.”

“I think I will come back when you have something more to say than ‘ah’. Here. Have something to tide you over.”

She took out a toffee from her purse and flicked it at me.

“Use this to think about things – perhaps about what you just said. Maybe next time I will give you a whole bar of chocolate.”

She left through the window. I took a deep breath. Smoke swirled into my nostrils, but smelled of nothing. I turned on the computer and sat in front of it all afternoon. Then I wrote this.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 10:01 AM
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From Arbella: England’s Lost Queen by Sarah Gristwood. Take note of when it was said.

I must shape my own coat according to my cloth, but it shall not be after the fashion of this world but fit for me.

– Arbella Stuart (1575-1615)

PS: Don’t worry, I won’t get into the habit of posting quotes. But once in a while doesn’t hurt.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 9:08 AM
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As the more astute of you might have noticed from the look (or from the title of this post), this blog now sports a new template, as well as a new name.

The template (called Connections) was downloaded from vanillamist.com, and adapted for Blogger by myself (it’s originally for WordPress). Took some work, but it was worth it, I believe.

The new title comes from a phrase that has been stuck in my head for a looooong time. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this movie, though.

I created the header after being frustrated with every image I tried. A couple of people tell me it’s good. Please tell me what you think.

The template is still in a state of flux, and I will be fixing things slowly but surely. So if some of you are using IE (creeps), and have the font size anything other than medium, you might see the text somewhat oddly. This will be fixed in the coming week. Have patience, or shift to Firefox like sane people.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 10:36 AM
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This is one of my favourite quotes. The last scene from the last episode of Blackadder 2.

Queen Bess: And me ... did you miss me, Edmund?
Blackadder: Madam, life without you was like ... a broken pencil.
Queen Bess: (confused) Explain ...?
Blackadder: Pointless.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 1:00 PM
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Yesterday, through DesiPundit, I happened to read this post, which was in reaction to the reaction over ‘the Maureen Dowd article’. (I’m too lazy to try and find a link to it – I think there’s one in Uma’s post on the subject.) I found Dowd’s article boring, and my reactions to it are few, but Amardeep’s post interested me due to its title: Are Male Feminists Necessary? The post is very interesting, and worth a read, although I agreed with little of its content. The author never actually answered his title question, at least not directly, so I thought maybe I could talk about it, being a ‘male feminist’ myself.

First, we need to examine the question itself. Necessary to whom?

For most male feminists themselves, becoming a feminist has nothing to do with necessity. They disagree with the current conditions of/attitudes towards women, and agree with feminist opinions. It is simply a matter of ideology.

So anyway, are they necessary at all? They are useful, for one very depressing reason. The sad fact is this – male feminists are useful in either converting other men, or getting them to empathise with feminism. Why is this sad, you ask me? It is sad because, for most men, a guy with feminist opinions has more credibility than a woman with feminist opinions. The very simple, and extremely faulty, reasoning for this is that of course women will have feminist opinions. There are two kinds of men who think this: the ones who think that women’s opinions matter less than men’s opinions, and the ones who disbelieve women because they figure that everybody complains about their lot. And if there are men who are interested in it, despite the fact that it doesn’t ‘affect’ them (which is certainly not true), then it might have some legitimacy.

Michael Moorcock, a self-declared male feminist, once wrote an introduction to a book called Bird of Prey, and the introduction was also published in his own book Casablanca, where I read it. Bird of Prey is based on a play about sexual abuse. The book and the play were written by Steve Tasane & Carly Dreyfuss, and Tasane played the lead role of a female child in the play, in a desperate attempt to get the male-dominated world to notice the theme of the play.

So maybe we are necessary for now. But we’re hoping for a time when we aren’t. But that is the goal of feminism in general as well – to render itself unnecessary.

----------------

The comments to Amardeep’s post were almost as interesting as the post itself. One particular chap, Qalandar, made some good points, and then said the following:

by way of anecdote, I have learned over the years that my dating prospects increase in direct proportion to how “normal” (i.e. non-feminist) I seem to women

which interested me because I have had some confirmed non-feminists say to me that the only reason I call myself a feminist is that women like me better because of that. I can’t say it affected my dating prospects, but that is mainly because I have none.

In reply to Qalandar’s comment, however, I am inclined to agree with this comment, although I myself wouldn’t have used as many question marks:
On a lighter note, what kinds of women are you dating Qalandar????? They would rather have you normal than feminist???? And they come from this planet I take it????!

What do you think? Women and men, please tell.

PS: By the way, I also have some thoughts on the fact that we have to keep calling ourselves ‘male feminists’ rather than simply feminists, but more on that later.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 9:40 AM
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Tee-hee. (link via Vulturo.)
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 11:54 AM
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In the most deliciously silly incident I’ve heard all week (yes, it’s been a lean week), Nicholas Cage has named his kid Kal-El. (He did it a while ago, I heard of it this week. Damn, my network always misses the important stuff.)

Now, as legions of comic book fans dance around naked in the street chanting, “We rule! We rule!”, it is a time for quiet contemplation here at the Bidikar quarters. Poor chap, is what struck me first. The kid, I mean, not Nick.

There is one upshot to this business, however, and that’s the fact that Kal-El will be idolised by his mates from the age of 3-8 years. But after that, God help him. And there is the sad chance that some of his friends might persuade him to jump out of a window, and then he will be, as we Python fans might put it, an ex-Kal-El.

But the good thing is that in a few years’ time he will be able to legally change his name to Clark Kent. And then he’ll be rid of the name of his silly parents. Or he might just turn out intelligent (however unlikely that might be), and persuade his dad to send him off the planet in a tiny space-ship, so that he will be far away from the bullies of his future.

But till then, we must stay quiet and wait. Perhaps next week we might hear of someone naming their kid ‘Dennis’. (Oh, you don’t think that’s funny? You really don’t know much, do you?)

Note: To that rare unfortunate soul who hasn’t understood a word of this – please visit this page.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 9:35 AM
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