G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Greediest Generation has made Traffic Deadlier than Terrorism

Earlier I asked: “What is Deadliest at Pune. Traffic,Temple Queues or Terrorism?”

The answer still is: Traffic.

Black humour now has mushroomed on the subject. Times of India Mirror reported on Jan 1 2009: "Death has a five day week...almost". You are less likely to get killed on a Pune road on Thursdays and Sundays.

Not just that. Times of India reported on December 17, 2008: drowning,poisoning, fire, by falling, electrocution, lightning strikes, due to firearms are also deadlier than terror.

"According to the Planning Commission, the social cost of road accidents in India stands at Rs. 55,000 crore annually. This constitutes 3% of the country's GDP." (Times of India, December 12, 2008)

The cost of terrorism is certainly less than 3% of GDP.

Marathi news daily Pudhari पुढारी reported on Sunday December 08, 2008:

“Pune has 2400 (road) accidents in a year involving 450 deaths.”

Considering this stat, terrorism- even of the latest kind- is a side-show.

Shame on us! The Greediest Generation.

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN said in NYT on December 07, 2008:

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation,” that classic about our parents and their incredible sacrifices during World War II. What I’ve been thinking about actually is this: What book will our kids write about us? “The Greediest Generation?” “The Complacent Generation?” Or maybe: “The Subprime Generation: How My Parents Bailed Themselves Out for Their Excesses by Charging It All on My Visa Card.”

Our kids should be so much more radical than they are today…”

Should be.

But I don’t see them anywhere. Most of the middle-class kids I see are highly conformists. They want to drive their own vehicle- a big one at that.

Carl Sagan has said:

“…Some of the habits of our age will doubtless be considered barbaric by later generations- perhaps for insisting that small children and even infants sleep alone instead of with their parents; or exciting nationalist passions as a means of gaining popular approval and achieving high political office; or allowing bribery and corruption as a way of life; or keeping pets; or eating animals and jailing chimpanzees; or criminalizing the use of euphoriants by adults; or allowing our children to grow up ignorant.”

India is already guilty of “…exciting nationalist passions as a means of gaining popular approval and achieving high political office; or allowing bribery and corruption as a way of life …”

If Sagan were to be alive and visit Pune now, he would have surely included “keeping public transport paralysed while encouraging more and more private vehicles on lawless roads of Pune” to his list.



‘So do you fancy staying in and getting obese or going out and getting murdered?

The Spectator 2007

My caption:

‘So do you fancy staying in and getting obese or going out and getting killed on a Pune road while driving?’