The need for Political Correctness

The censorship argument just as the artistic expressions themselves needs to be politically correct – the position must spring from the point of raised consciousness where the needs of the times – taking into consideration various locations of exploitations and associated struggles for social justice – are well understood and articulated.

Michelle Obama and American Status Quo Action Plan

Michelle Obama’s convention speech has been both applauded and criticized for being too emotional. Those amazed at her love towards her husband have shed a tear or two, while the detractors are disappointed at her personal narrative lacking statistical substance. A critical inquiry would reveal that her speech was anything but emotive. It was a carefully orchestrated rehash of an old American fixation with individual merits, family values and competitive prosperity. Her speech was a blueprint for humanizing capitalism. It was a justification for the status quo politics that has uniformly strengthened a populist cry for American hegemony; decade after…

Oscar Awards: White Elephant in the Room

Its not about Viola Davis not winning the Oscar. What’s murkier is the psychoanalytic dependency of Academy elites on their colonial legacies: The Queen, the King and now the utterly despicable Thatcher! The rejection of “The Help” actually offers a timely insight: choosing between the white guilt and the white pride has not been very difficult; beckoning to the colonial era has been easier than reevaluating racist legacies. However, this is not the most crucial issue. The overwhelmingly positive obsession of the world with the Oscars is. Here is an award ceremony that is inherently Eurocentric and its recognitions have…

Of Occupy Wall Street :: Democracy, Free Press, Police State & the American Liberty Myths

“We own half the world, oh say can you see And the name for our profits is ‘Democracy’ So, like it or not, you will have to be free ‘Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys We’re the Cops of the World…” – Comrade Phil Ochs (1940-1976) “State Police Keeps Press Away; Arrests and Assaults Peaceful People” This is the Democracy that brings the likes of Bush and Obama to power. The Democracy that lets Democrats and Republicans contend with each other to run the American imperialism. The Democracy which exemplifies itself as the freedom forum to force its…

Occupy Wall Street: Challenges, Privileges & Futures

“One who tells the people revolutionary legends, 
and who amuses them with sensational stories, 
is as criminal as the geographer 
who would draw up false charts for navigators.” 
 – HPO Lissagaray, “History of the Paris Commune of 1871” (1877) The challenges to Occupy Wall Street are many. Some even more critical than the very issues the protestors are fighting against. Whereas it claims to be the 99%, yet the movement practices the age-old privileges of class and race blindness. Similar to most white liberal movements, the OWS is hardly inclusive of the people of color. Although the spirit is…

SlutWalk Must Evolve Into WomanWalk!

SlutWalk has turned out to be a phenomenal movement on a global scale, aimed at challenging rape culture, rampant sexual violence, victim-blaming and slut-shaming in our society. Historically, in the garb of tradition, culture and mannerisms, men have conveniently imposed upon women certain moral standards that upholds patriarchy, reduces women into objects of either desire, lust, or procreation while at the same time stripping them off their intrinsic and equal human rights as individuals who can object to such strictures as and when necessary. In so many ways, a movement such as SlutWalk is a vociferous expression of the radical…

Assange: Myths, Hypes and Truths

“All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.” (I. F. Stone) In many ways, Julian Assange is the “Izzy” of new journalism. Like Stone, Assange has not flinched from sharing uncomfortable truths that can embolden the people to fight the power. Stone used to prove why reporters were not supposed to be glorified stenographers; Assange likewise demonstrates how journalists are not meant to be subsumed under patriotic obligations. And like Izzy Stone, since Assange knows the hashish whereabouts, he must meet the shared fate: just as the former was…

David Letterman: Privileges produce Consensus

By Saswat Pattanayak (Written for publication in Women’s Rights NY) Contrary to mainstream media depictions, David Letterman did not have any affairs with his staff members. And contrary to liberal media apprehensions, the world does not need to be bothered about whether the incidents took place before or after his marriage. Letterman’s apologies to his wife on air are ridiculously unnecessary, and his failure to step down from his job after admission of guilt is soaked in implicit privileges. What Letterman has done is sheer abuse of his economic power and gender privilege. His unabashed claim that any disclosure of…

Roman Polanski and Euro-American Privileges

By Saswat Pattanayak It’s a deceitful media circulation which suggests that the American judiciary is going after Roman Polanski. The truth is it never has. Polanski is a filthy criminal who had raped a child and yet was allowed to let go by the American justice system for over three decades. And this time, he is merely a bone which Switzerland threw at the United States over its UBS catastrophe. As for Polanski, who has visited Zurich several times and never been arrested before, its going to be few wordplays around extradition treaties that will ensure his freedom while, corporate…