Satire

Comedy

I love satire. It exposes the hypocrisy in a comic may that is intended to make the audience laugh and at the same time make them acknowledge the problems in the society. Satire is a very popular and powerful tool used by comedians nowadays in a very effective way. Especially in t America this is very highly evident. I have never seen any country’s politicians being made fun of at the level in which American politicians are lampooned. Comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert has made a fortune out of making fun of News Media and Politicians. Although most funny and comic people or comedians are mostly liberals, they are quite honest about their jokes. They make fun of anything that’s funny and stupid, and expose any follies in the society. The comedy programs which mostly make fun of conservative politicians almost had a field day when shocking revelations of Anthony Weiner’s extramarital relations went viral. Anthony Weiner was one of the most liberal politicians in Congress. Recently I saw same trend with the healthcare.gov website which was heavily criticized poked fun at by the comedians all over the TV and internet for being inoperable for months after the law had come into effect.

 

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Just Random Thoughts

It’s difficult to write a blog when you are full of random ideas and none of the ideas are far-fetched enough to be complete and can be written down on a piece of paper in an organized fashion. I have too many distorted and vague ideas in my mind and a lot of them are criticism of the current society which is another reason why I’m so reluctant to express them and why it’s so difficult for me to write a blog.

My mind is always obsessed with current conflicts and how to make the world a better place however when I think deeper I realize that this issues are way out of hand, way more stressful than I perceive it to be and at the end of the day all I want to do is live a happy peaceful life and forget about rest of the world. My intentions and ambitions are very contradictory to my thoughts and my hopes. This is what perplexes my life all the time. I want peace and prosperity in my personal life but all I think of is how can there be peace and prosperity for everyone else in the world. One thing that’s clear by now is that not all people can be happy and prosperous, and it’s not just hard work and endeavor that plays a part in deciding people’s future, it is also luck that plays a very important part. If you think about working hard, I think the richest people work least hard when it comes to hard physical labor. The owners of Walmart hired Mike Duke as their CEO for 20 million dollars to run their own business. They are so reluctant to work that they don’t even want to run their own company. On the other hand people who work on construction sites and corporate chain stores like fast food shops and supermarkets work for more than 50 hours a week and are paid less than 8 dollars an hour for all their sweat and labor. So I think there should be more balance and social justice in our society to remove the misery and horror of the hard working, working class people and reward them some other way if not financially. The one way of doing this is by providing them with benefits like health insurance and subsidized college education for their children which will lift off some heavy burdens from their already burdened shoulders.

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Whats up with America

I was shocked to learn that United States is the only nation among the 1st world countries which doesn’t have a publicly funded healthcare system for all its citizens and residents. It’s also one of the few countries in the western where higher education is extremely expensive. For example in Germany the per semester fee for a public four year university for its citizens is only 60 Eur or 82 USD whereas in US the per semester fee for a public 4 year college can be at least up to 5000 dollars. It’s quite funny when politicians here in the US talk about American Exceptionalism while in reality these politicians are nothing short of unexceptional. While Europeans government spend less on healthcare per capita, they have almost no health insurance bankruptcy and all the people are covered by either an insurance company or the government’s healthcare program. This is known as Universal Health Care which is technically an extended version of Medicare in the United States. If America has the highest GDP and one of the highest per capita income in the word, certainly more than most countries in the Western Europe including Germany, France and Britain why can’t government provide Universal Health Care to its citizens or provide almost free or subsidized higher education to young people like Germany or Britain does. Newly graduated college students who are already burdened with student loans also have to deal with the burdens of finding a new job and now since the inception of Obamacare they also have to either forcefully buy insurance from Government’s marketplace or pay a penalty to the government for not acquiring health insurance. This seems a little too harsh on young people or newly graduated college students as the people who voted for Obama were mostly between the age group of 18-29. In contrast in Europe students hardly need to take loans to attend college as college fees are highly subsidized or almost free and they already have healthcare so they don’t need worry about that either.

Although US is considered richer than most developed nations in the world it’s unfair to citizens when polls and research show that people in the other 1st world nations live longer, happier and healthier. While Europeans spend more money on Education, Healthcare and welfare, America spends more money on military, foreign aid and warfare. A big problem also lies with the tax system of the country. I think the top one percent who owns over 40% of the country’s wealth should pay a lot more taxes than they do now. The war on drugs and war on terror has also been nothing more than failure. The trillions of dollars spent has been more like wasted. Despite spending so much money, the distribution of drugs and spread of terrorism has not reduced one bit. In my view to stop drug abuse government should look ways of treatment and regulation instead of war and prosecution. Because widely used drugs such as marijuana is illegal it creates a highly profitable black market for criminals. And for this reason the crime related to these drugs is never going to stop. And the best way of providing safety and security to American people form terrorism is by heightening border security and make wider background checks before letting foreigners enter the country. The current initiative has not only increased the spread of terrorism but a lot of locals who were mistakenly bombed for suspected of being terrorists by US drone programs and military intervention have lent their support to these terrorist organizations.

American politicians have always clouded their mind thinking about rest of the world before think about their own people and more importantly the people who voted them into power. They are always intervening in foreign disputes and screwing everything up which eventually ends up the waste of trillions of dollars and the ones that have to pay for their foolishness are the American people.

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Veronica Franco: One of the most celebrated courtesans of all time

 In 16th Century in Italy there were two types of Courtesans. One of the types were those who had high standards, high intellects and the other was the type of lower category with no intellect whose simple goal was to make money by trading sexual favors. Veronica Franco was a courtesan of the former category. She was highly intellectual and although she made a living as a courtesan, her intellect at that time and era were as good as an well educated noble man. She was one of the decorated courtesans of those days and was mentored by her mother another highly intellectual and successful courtesan. She was married to a wealthy physician but the marriage ended in a rather unwanted sorts and to fend for herself and her family she was serving wealthy men of Venice as a courtesan. By the age of 20 she was one of the most popular and respected courtesans in Venice and with her intelligence, strong personality and sexual skill she quickly rose through the ranks and even had a brief romance with King Henry III of France. Unfortunately her success was not to last long as the plague broke out in Venice in 1575 which lasted for 2 years and like many other wealthy citizens she also fled the city. She came back in 1577 and defended herself in an inquisition for a witch craft trial and all the charges were dropped. But that trial had already done enough damage to her reputation. She published two volumes of poetry one in 1575 known as Terze rime and  another one in 1580 known as Lettere familiari a diversi. Her last benefactor Domenico Venier who had helped her defend herself in front of the inquisition died a few years later and she was forced to move to a poor neighborhood inhabited mostly by lower class whores. She died at the age of 45 in relative poverty and obscurity.

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Renaissance

The cultural movement that began in 14th century in Florence sparking artistic and scientific innovation all across Europe is known as Renaissance or “the Rebirth.”  This is one of the turning point of Western European and global history which links the middle ages to modern era. The movement was started under the patronage of Cosimo De Medicci who wanted to heighten the prestige of his family “The Medici” by patronizing and financing some of the greatest works of art at the time. This movement turned into a revolution when the explicitness and sheer creativity of raw art and the truth discovered by science and technology began challenging the power and authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

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The Medicci family was a Florentine family who had no nobility in their bloodline. They were merchants who used to sell wool and later became bankers. A string of good investments and luck made them one of the richest families in Florence and Europe. With the help of newly possessed wealth, they started setting up ambitions which was only achievable by a noble family at the time. They used the power of art and culture as a show of their power and wealth to rest of Florence. In the process began a patronage of some of the finest artists and thinkers of that time. This patronage would eventually start a revolution in the fields of art, philosophy, science and self-awareness most of which were influenced from classical Greek and Roman thinkers.

Humanism, which is the study of ancient Greek and Roman intellectual teachings was used to a great extent by the Renaissance artists.  By 15th Century republican elites of Florence and Venice and the ruling families of Milan, Urbino and Ferrera employed humanist scholars to teach their children the humanist philosophies and classical studies of the ancient Roman and Greek mythologies. They were convinced studying humanism was a part of learning classical morality which could help their children to write elegant letters, propaganda and give them and intellectual skills to smoothly run the administration of a government. By the 15th century infiltration of humanism in the fields of art, literature, religion, politics had started to change and reshape the culture of Europe.

In all renaissance can be seen as a movement towards the more realistic and secular way to understand the real world which was by large influenced by the humanism from the classical antiquity. Many historians see it as a bridge that links the medieval world where people ignored the truth of nature only to be blinded by faith and belief and the modern world where human beings have taken the help of science to unravel and question every faith and belief that not yet proven.

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Why does a revolution occur?

Over the years social scientists have put forth many theories for the occurrence of revolution. It’s almost certain that a revolution occurs when people get upset with their government. But is there any country in the world where you can find that people are actually satisfied with their own government. The simple dissatisfaction, frustration and distrust turn into utter hatred at the point when they reach their threshold which eventually kick-starts a revolution.

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Revolution derived from the Latin word “revolutio” which means  “turn around” is the forcible change of power or a social order in  favor  of a new and better system. Aristotle has described in two  ways:

  •   Complete change from one constitution to another.
  •   Modification of an existing constitution.

Revolution has occurred throughout human history and vary    widely     in terms of its methods, duration and motivation.  Sometimes it is the  complete overthrow of a government and the  establishment of new      constitution like the French revolution in  the late 18th century and  other times it is to fix a certain  problem in the system or constitution  for example the civil rights  movement in the US in 1950s and 60s. Some  revolutions are slow but sweeping which goes on for centuries and change the whole social order for e.g. Cultural Revolution, spread of new religion etc.

Many ideas have been put forth by analysts but the most important factor of a revolution is considered to be the economic position in a country and the strength of its government. Although economy cannot be ignored in a revolution, it is not the sole factor. Race, religion, culture, denial of rights, corruption can also greatly contribute to the ignition of a revolution. Trotsky once remarked that if poverty was the cause of revolutions, there would be revolutions all the time because most people in the world are poor. What is needed to turn a million people’s grumbling discontent into a crowd on the streets is a spark to electrify them. Another important factor along with discontent is the vision of how people’s lives are going to be if certain changes are made or the whole system is transformed. Eric Selbin a political science professor believes that the power of cultural factors such as storytelling and the use of symbolism also plays a significant role. He say stories give them the imagination and ability to envisage the transformation of their world and their lives. It also feeds them the much needed inspiration to be at odds and even triumph over a military might.

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