24 September, 2020

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Blondes And “Cross-Overs”

By Ravi Perera

Ravi Perera

Ravi Perera

There is this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde   on the opposite bank. “Yoo-hoo” she calls out, “How can I get to the other side?” The second blonde looks up the river and then down the river and shouts back “You ARE on the other side”

To the confused public observing the endless cross-overs and cross-backs occurring in the political arena in the run up to the presidential elections it must be like chancing on a conference of blondes, in this very tropical country! Whether they stand on this or the other side of the river seems to matter little to our politicians merrily changing parties. The choreography of the drama has been now perfected down to the auspicious minute for the jump. In the opening scene, a few days before the main event, there are wild rumours of a cross over which is then strongly denied by the politician. Then suddenly the politician summons a media conference where he vehemently condemns the deviation from the accepted party line by his bosses and even alleges corruption among his former colleagues. He is then warmly welcomed by the recipient party, the ceremony often concluding with religious rites. This is soon followed by a counter conference of the “other side” (or is it this side?) alleging betrayal.

And of course, they all have “files” on each other. Where we would normally have “information” on another person, a politician would claim to have a “file”, somewhat in the manner that an illiterate would refer to a document. But to the politician it befits men of public affairs to seem more formal, to refer only to information reduced to writing and preserved in neat files. Besides, the image of a thick file, carefully maintained and safely hidden away, titillates the imagination of the public, long nurtured on a steady diet of thrills and spills of local tele-dramas.

Mahinda and MaithriOur politicians do not do things for selfish reasons. It is only us mere mortals who look for bargains; discounts and card holder dine free type deals that go to make ends meet. Going by the talk, their actions are motivated by higher motives, selfless lives dedicated to freedom, human rights and honesty in public affairs.

It is now becoming increasingly obvious that there is no real difference between the two sides. Where Sri Lankan politicians are concerned “history” ended long before the Berlin Wall came down. The Rajapaksa regime may have vulgarized the meaning of public life with motorcades, bodyguards, all kinds of benefits (which are generally extended to the family too) used freely to keep them in. But from long before the Rajapaksa phenomenon a particular homogeneity has been evolving among those in politics in this country. When elected, a person becomes a kind of commodity whose loyalty is available, if offered the right price. There is no ideology, it is all personal. This is still more so among the top leaders who have only personal interests and motives; the party, the philosophy, the finer refinements and traditions of politics, only secondary considerations. The theory of evolution and natural selection seem to have now asserted its immutability among our politicians too. Even in their appearance, demeanour and posture there is a remarkable sameness. A noticeable plumpness and a healthy glow of the skin distinguish them from the milling crowd. But most of all, it is the god of good fortune who smiles on our politicians most benevolently. More they serve the public, the richer they become.

Francis Fukuyama argued that with the coming down of the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the end of the Soviet era, Western Liberal Democracy would become the overarching universal ideology for the foreseeable   future. All political activity would take place within that larger framework. That may be true for societies that Fukuyama looked at closely. But here in Sri Lanka history has been dead long before all that! In our political culture there are no ideologies, policies or even ideas. No loyalty to a person, party or even the truth is called for. Whoever is on top will call the shots and the rest will adhere as long as benefits follow from that arrangement. There is no difference whether you are on this side or the other.

It is now nearly seventy years since we gained independence. A good thirty years of that were wasted on a civil war, which was a creation of an earlier generation of politicians. At no time in this long period ,whether before or after the war , have we reached the kind of growth rate that Asian Tiger economies sustained   in their rise to prosperity. On any economic statistic we are in the lower middle order, on an unclear path, towards an uncertain future. In the policies we follow there are only superficial similarities with those adopted by the Asian Tiger economies during their impressive rise. In a warped and confused appreciation of the conditions that enabled those nations to achieve success, our leaders seem to applaud their weaknesses, the authoritarianism of Singapore, the clannishness of Malaysia, and the corruptions of South Korea. While these nations are speedily addressing these weaknesses, we are   adopting them! Having no clear idea, we only talk in terms of some basic symbols of development; two lane highways, harbours and budget airlines, features which became standard facilities quarter of a century back.

Perhaps our politicians are smarter than it appears. They certainly think so. It is therefore not inappropriate to end our essay with another example of Blonde thinking.

A Russian, an American and a Blonde were talking one day.

The Russian said “We were the first in space”

The American said “We were the first on the moon”

The Blonde said “So what! We are going to be the first on the sun!”

The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads

“You cannot land on the sun, you idiot! You will burn up!”

To which the Blonde coolly answered “We are not stupid, you know. We are going in the night!”

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    When we are through laughing at the antics of these guys we will cry! A group of baboons is aptly called a ‘parliament’!

    • 0
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      Ravi Perera –

      RE: Blondes And “Cross-Overs”

      Can you make it a chapter on the Common sense pamphlet?

      Here is Something for the Medamulana Maras to”Enjoy” on the 9th of January.2015 while reading The Common Sense Sri Lanka 2014

      The Sinhala Subtitles are the Modern MaRa version of MaRa going berserk after losing on January 9, 2015.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IKHJG5ztL68

      What Hitler said in 1945 in German,and what MaRa is expected to say in Sinhala and with English Subtitles is given below.

      Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Sinhala?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YTePIi4arg

      If you have time, or your friends have time, a Tamil Subtitle and English Subtitle video should be produced and widely distributed.

  • 0
    0

    What a beauty of Sri Lankan politics?

    Who is our President? A LIER. ALLOW ALL CORRUPTED PERSONS ans CRIMINALS and MURDERERS IN CABINATE.
    Where in a country President openly accept that he bribed one person for a coffee? Do you know the price for the coffee paid? 100 million plus to all benefits of bribing from his ministerial posts.
    Where in a country Presidents brother openly accept that he asked his brother to prepare a false passport and false visa as a deplomat to a murderer who killed hundreds of Sinhalese police and hundreds of Sinhala and Muslim villagers. The person who travelled with false passport was arrested and jailed but he came back and our president not only made him as a vice president of his party and made him as minister and allowed him to get all benefits of bribe in the ministry and continue with murders.

    We should be proud of having a wonderful Buddhist Nation with such a wonderful Sinhalese culture.

  • 3
    3

    Mr. Ravi Perera, it was with increasingly deepening resent that I read your posting, which you call an “Essay”, where you seem to think that it is a very crafty and a smart idea to belabor the absurdness and stupidity of “Blonde thinking”. Do you also think that people of dark skin are less intelligent than white people (or vice versa), and that women are dumb compared to men (so they must be paid less and serve men)? Isn’t it these same stereotypical thought patterns, that sought any available avenue of demeaning others to loud oneself, calls a blnd person “Pottaya”, a person with a limp “Kora”, a person of Islamic faith “Thambiya”, a person of less than average height “Kota”? Try looking behind your own predispositions to identify where this primitive tendency is stemming from. I guarantee you that you will find it rooted in your own sense of inadequacy and insecurity. Why else would one need to talk little of somebody else to make his point in public and broad daylight? You punched off your stereotypical mindset to the stratosphere with the “Sun-landing joke” (Originally from the Reader’s Digest, which was supposed to be a dialogue between two politicians) to re-affirm your bottom line that people with white hair are a “dumb sub-species”.

    My wife of 14 years has blond hair by birth, she graduated at the top of her class from Harvard Law School (HLS), holds a master’s degrees in abstract mathematics from Princeton (Topology to be specific), presides over the court of appeal of the eighth circuit, and is very rarely out-plaid in bridge. She read Colombo Telegraph at today’s court recess, and just called me at work to let me know (jovially) about your fantastic piece of writing. However, Mr. Perera, she doesn’t think that you are an idiot, and hopes that you learn to overcome your stereotypical tendencies in a better future state of maturity with some education and exposure. I think you owe her an apology.

    Personally, I must inform you that as a Sri Lankan I am ashamed of your thinking, and regretfully wish to inform you that your stereotypical mindset isn’t worth a fart in the context of her sense of equanimity, equality, fairness, ethics, humanity, and justice. I would recommend that you review resources at United Nations Human Rights page: (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/Publications.aspx), which has a lot of information that you will find useful. “Right and Wrong: Basic Readings in Ethics” by Hoff Christina Sommers, also is a good read that I would recommend (hope you wouldn’t mind that she has blond hair).

  • 1
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    There was a very popular play in New York decades back-“Gentlemen prefer blondes”-Western humour is mostly tongue in cheek.They actually admire and desire blondes.

  • 2
    2

    The comment by Kevin Ranasinghe is quite absurd and spiteful. Blonde jokes and Irish jokes are very common but no one takes them seriously. There are very many smart Irish . Ranasinghe says he is married for 14 years to a blonde female who topped her class at Harvard University ,then has a master’s degree in abstract maths from Princeton university and is now presiding over court of appeal in the
    eighth circuit ! Wow , how come we have not heard of this Ranasinghe before . Such unusual eminence is very noticeable and gets spoken about. I hope he is truthful. Very surprising that being in such educated company Mr Ranasinghe has no appreciation of Blonde jokes , which are of course not to be taken seriously. Most intelligent people
    have a good sense of humour.Or it may be only a blonde would consider marrying such a dull person.

  • 1
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    Despite the diversion about blondes which are born of an outdated fancy for such crudely sexual jokes that characterise a certain section of male Sri Lankans, the central points of this “essay” have certain validity. Unfortunately, in his desire to crack the wrong jokes, he has led astray the reader from the messages of his “essay”.

    Looked at from the point of view of a Tamil or a Muslim, the Sinhalese politicians do not present any ideological plans about development or about solving the ethnic crisis, the twin problems that beset the country. Both are sets of weary, corrupt politicians whose progeny have behaved like princelings. Both are tied to Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism and do not have the guts to go against it. Both are sets of individuals backed by those with a violent past. The only different relates to external policy regarding whether China or others should be courted. Even the communists have lost their ideology.

    The Sinhalese electorate seems only to be interested in the mud-slinging and cross-overs that are taking place. Their only concern seeks to be who is more Sinhala or more Buddhist, who won the war against the Tamils etc. Even the younger leaders address only such issues, telling the poor Sinhala villager tall stories about his race’s glories and outdoing the IS in religious fanaticism.

    Is there hope for Sri Lanka?

  • 1
    0

    Ravi Perera, by now you should have realised that ‘Blonde’ jokes ae not only crude and cringe worthy, but also not understood in a country devoid of blondes, let alone dumb blondes. Don’t give up your Day Job, you are not a comedian.

  • 1
    0

    A very stimulating article. Yes there are no principles in our politics. Everybody after personal agendas. The humour brings out the stupidity of our politicians well. I can only say well done to a piece of writing , which is much above the stereotype we read everyday.

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