Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Software You will copy with risks to penalties and criminal procedures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Affiliate Marketing

A new breed of pests has infested Bay Area. They will smile at you and try to pick random conversations. If you are holding a shower gel and wondering whether to buy it, they will tell you it smells heavenly. If you are at the grocery store, trying to steer your cart without hitting that crazy kid who’s running amuck, they will pop up to say ,’What a wonderful day’, and pick the kid you narrowly missed. If they recognize your mother tongue and have the slightest chance of acting parochial, they will. Then they will give you their phone numbers and ask you to call/meet-up. For a good number of times, you will believe it is their goodness of heart or your new make-up/dress /perfume etc. But soon, you will find them trying to convert you into a religion they so steadfastly believe themselves- affiliate marketing. (Other terms include multi-level marketing, pyramid selling, network marketing, referral marketing.)

You know where you have to buy stuff you don’t need to get into a network of people in a hierarchy of distributing profit which can never work if you know how to do basic Maths. Yet, a lot of people get sucked into it and try to ‘network’ with those people who believe in it.

I have had the privilege of watching legitimate, honest business startups spread wings. It takes years of commitment, a strong network of professional and personal relations capable of understanding their roles and fulfilling them, and more often exceeding expectations. A business build on the premise of exploitation seems unethical to begin with. When someone tries to pitch me a half-baked pyramid scheme, I feel like saying aloud, ’Don’t insult my intellect.’ But the best thing is to avoid such situations completely. It might actually work for someone, I do not know. But I am not a believer, so don’t make lame efforts to convert me- it is pathetic.

Suggested further reading:
The big, ugly affiliate marketing scam [Venture Beat]

Monday, July 16, 2012

Am I a feminist?

I have often been called a ‘feminist’ by people I know. What makes me a feminist? The fact that I never really enjoyed playing ranna-baati (kitchen) as a kid or thought I’d never fall in love with a man and become emotionally dependent on him- none of which matters now. Or that I abhor objectification, stereotypes and gender roles?

A new breed of female writers had captured the media attention when I was growing up. They narrated the stories of their childhood abuse and were called ‘feminists’. In reality, they were just unhappy people who refused to heal. Hating men doesn’t make you a feminist- it makes you, well, a misandrist.

When people talk of women’s lib, how can they not mention men’s lib? A patriarchal system imposes restraints on a man too. He is supposed to be ‘masculine’, hit birds with an air gun when he is a kid, be a bully and not help around the house, play soccer instead of talking piano lessons. A girl, on the other hand, should feed her doll all day long, be courteous, unquestioning and accommodating.

My parents always encouraged me to speak my mind- but the fact that sometimes it is just not worth it -is my discretion. I was given the same privileges as my elder brother was to pursue an education and a career of my choice. I had the freedom to choose my life-partner, as long as my family approved of him. Not because I was afraid to rebel, but because I thought I owed that much to them.

I was happy to see SlutWalk (a favorite of third-wave feminists), because ‘women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized’ is bull. It bothers me that victims of social crimes are further victimized by society, ‘She must have provoked them’. Received wisdom should also convey that you don’t really need to provoke the twisted – the best you can do is avoid them.

Am I a feminist? I don’t think so. I just have a system of beliefs which might get challenged, and I am sport any day for a reasonable debate. But don’t call me a feminist just because I think your wife should hit you back if you subject her to domestic violence.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Guwahati incident

This is a collage from the Facebook pics of Amar Jyoti Kalita, who led the mob that molested the minor in Guwahati. His passport no. is H6312911. Share as many possible pics you can and help the police apprehend him no matter what avatar he decides to assume. We may tolerate a lot of things, but public humiliation of a woman shall not be tolerated. And if this doesn't bother us, we are better off dead.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Duck Tales

For someone who grew up watching Duck Tales reruns, life was meant to be an adventure; traveling to new places and sometimes, finding it in your own backyard. They weren't ducks- they were just people who happened  to look like ducks. And the fantastic seemed so credible at that time that it was more real than the mundane world I had to return to at the end of the half hour.

Understandably, I was excited to find a collection of vintage strips by one of my favorite creators - Carl Barks(who created Uncle Scrooge). Hope I never grow too old for this.

Sometimes, when I have a difficult time believing, I go back to this, Calvin and Hobbes, Tintin- in fact anything that helps me remember that life is an adventure. Of course, I am living it, but there is a lot more to come and I will never stop believing.