Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ban This Baby or Ban Baby Ban II

With Facebook and hundreds of other sites still blocked, these are some of the things that should actually be banned in Pakistan:

1. Blockades 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after every Tom, Dick and Harry 'VIP' passes through. I know the plebs are there to be abused but if you want to live amongst us then at least have the decency to not detain us whenever you decide to leave/return to your home.

2. At least half the local 'news' channels starting with the ones who played a slideshow of Shoaib/Sania photographs with romantic Indian songs in the background. (Gee-Oh I wonder who this could be?)

3. Men peeing on road sides in full public view. I can't believe this is still so common (As much as paan-spits along any appropriately placed structure it seems. Appropriate for the paan-chewer of course.)

4. Entertainment taxes. 65%? Really? (Having to pay PKR 500 each to take HRH to watch 'Alvin and the Chipmunks 2' is a little painful)

5. The Pakistan cricket team for toying with our emotions (No I still haven't recovered from our T20 World Cup semi-final defeat. Sniff.)

6. Politicians who don't have degrees but then suddenly do but don't actually but are still elected. Also politicians who lie, steal, cheat...(this one is pointless isn't it?)

7. Everyone who has a holier-than-thou attitude (that would help with population control too) To quote something I really don't want to - "Jiyoo aur jeenay do"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ban Baby Ban

As of now I cannot access Facebook or YouTube or Flickr. There are reports of Wikipedia, Google and even Blogspot perhaps being blocked in Pakistan. All instigated by a 'Draw Muhammad Day' group on Facebook.

Facebook: Shame on you. Despite the group being reported for inciting hate speech and racism you still did not block it (and from what I saw/read the one time I went to the page to report it, you'd have to be blind or not bothered to not have removed that page).

'Islamic group of lawyers' (who apparently raised the issue in the Lahore High Court): You did as expected.

Lahore High Court: You actually listened to the Islamic group of lawyers? Seriously? The Facebook block must be the quickest decision taken by you (Just wondering why you aren't that quick on rape/murder/robbery etc cases?)

As people on Twitter rant and rave (or in some cases pat themselves on the back with halo shining brightly overhead at a job well done, while naturally letting others who may not agree with the course of action taken know that there is something wrong with their level of religiousness or I quote what someone said to me 'maybe you need a refresh or restart on your emaan (faith)'), (yes I know that is an exceptionally long sentence but I'm ranting and raving here), I would like to know what exactly the LHC, the government and the PTA are aiming for? What are we hoping to achieve by shutting down all websites that have this objectionable material? Are we not ostriches with our heads stuck in the sand? Ignorance is bliss? Is it a case of 'See no evil, hear no evil'? But that does not mean it stops existing does it?

I would have thought there would be more intelligent ways of registering protest. Perhaps by urging Facebook users in Pakistan to report the group (Now we don't even know what's happening on it. Though I'm sure that group will appreciate the publicity we have provided them with). Or perhaps by contacting Facebook itself and telling them to do something about it. Or even by engaging with people on that group to explain what a Muslim's position is in this regard. Was it really necessary to cut ourselves off from the world?

So as farms and livestock die virtually (I may not like Farmville but I do feel for you Farmville inhabitants) and I shake my hand to subdue the itch to update my status or upload a picture of HRH, I would like to appeal to the LHC and the PTA to let us know what their thinking is behind this decision to so trigger-happily 'ban baby ban'!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tweeting Twits & My Twee Cents

4000+ tweets later, I have learned the following:

1. There are some very intelligent/interesting people on Twitter.

2. There are some morons on Twitter too.

3. You have access to celebrities like TV personalities, Hollywood/Bollywood actors, sporstmen/women, politicians etc who you would ordinarily not be able to address nor expect a response from

4. There are a lot of stalker/drooling fans of said TV personalities, Hollywood/Bollywood actors, sporstmen/women, politicians etc who think nothing of saying the silliest things in the hopes of said star replying to their 'I love you's' or 'Marry me's' 

5. Just because you exchange tweets with someone does not mean they will add you on Facebook

6. Some Tweeters will get offended and stop following you if you do not accept their Facebook friend request

7. Just because someone follows you and has replied to 2 of your directly tweeted questions does not mean he/she wants to meet/greet you in 'real' life. For all he/she knows you could be a serial killer/regular murderer/rapist or stalker.

8. There is a vast amount of information/news available to you according to your interests provided you follow the right people.

9. There is a lot of spam rubbish out there too.

10. You can get all the latest news from around the world from various sources. You can stop checking news websites for the latest happenings.

11. You will find 'profound' statements from sources such as pop stars, starlets, politicians and their cousins thrice removed (plus everything in between)

12. You can enjoy tweet-wars between rival politicians.

13. You might get stuck following people you wish you had never started following (if you are someone who doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings).

Bottom line: You will most likely be a stranger to whoever you start following or who starts following you i.e. I don't know you. I will not add you on Facebook. I will not give you my email address either. I also would not like to tell you HRH's name. So stop asking me.

I may do one or all of these things after I feel comfortable enough having established that you are not in fact a serial killer/regular murderer/rapist or stalker. But till then please don't ask.

I am prepared to lose a few of my 200+ followers after this (hoping they will be the ones I want to lose, otherwise there is always the Block option I guess).