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27th March, 2006

Getting high on religion

by Rohin at 3:04 am    

“Hmm, looks like a nasty case of revelations. My advice - take a few paracetamol, have a lie down and whatever you do, don’t found any religions.”

Israeli and Swiss neurologists have diagnosed the children of Abraham as suffering from delusions, as they claim there could be a perfectly rational medical explanation for three world religions.

Moses, Jesus and Mohammed all experienced revelations on mountain tops, but the Jerusalem/Geneva team suggest they were probably just feeling a bit peaky and suffering from altitude sickness. The doctors state that a lack of oxygen can alter brain function in the temporo-parietal junction and prefrontal cortex. The same symptoms have been reported by modern climbers and mountaineers, including those who claim to be atheist or non-spiritual. When I say ’symptoms’ I didn’t really mean receiving commandments or anything, more feeling afraid; seeing a presence and lights.

Continue Reading...
Filed under: Religion, Humour, Science
24th March, 2006

Sikhs as bad as Irish

by Sunny at 6:07 pm    

In drinking excessive amounts of alcohol that is. The British Medical Journal reports:

34% of Irish men drink above the weekly recommended limit of 21 units of alcohol, compared with 29% of the general Irish population and 27% of the general British population. A similar problem exists in south Asian (Sikh) male migrants to the UK, where problem drinking is higher than in the Sikh population in South Asia and similar to that of the UK general population.

If anyone has access to the full article, please post it or email it to me.

Filed under: Culture, Humour
21st March, 2006

Scientist Speaks to Scientologists Stateside

by Rohin at 10:33 pm    

In my last post I promised an account of what happened when I was rude to some Scientologists, in light of Isaac Hayes leaving South Park as it had made fun of the religion. To give my posts some sort of coherence, I’ve decided to make a new one in order to avoid making any too long.

Following in the footsteps of two heroes, Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson, I set out to find some ‘only in America’ weirdness last month. I found plenty to gawk at whilst travelling through America’s heartland along Route 66 and across California. But hicksville, USA nor the insane world of Vegas have anything on Scientology when it comes to the weirdness stakes. First up was the Big Apple.

We were rather polite to the New York Scientologists (branch pictured above), probably as none of us had knowingly met one before. Oh you’re wondering about that time me and Katie Holmes- well, she hadn’t converted back then. I had heard much of Scientology was based on Hinduism and Buddhism and I went with an open mind. NYC was more of a recce. So when I got to the spiritual home of Scientology, Hollywood, I was prepared.

Continue Reading...
Filed under: Culture, Religion, Humour

Cartoons! Religion! Again! Oh and scientology.

by Rohin at 7:31 pm    

Now now, don’t worry - nothing more about those cartoons. I’m sure some of you have realised I’m a bit of a cartoon and comic fan. I have been planning on a light-hearted post about the religious affiliations of superheroes for a while, so imagine my surprise when Isaac Hayes quit South Park a few days ago and today TIME ran a story about comics in Asia. Excellent.

Therefore, instead of a succinct and pithy post about superheroes and supervillains, I present to you a rambling and tenuously-linked confusion of a post. Yes that’s right, I’m back.

After the jump is pretty pic-heavy, owing to the subject of the post.

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14th March, 2006

Mindless paranoia

by Sunny at 10:36 pm    

I read with much amusement last night that the departure of Sunday Telegraph’s editor Sarah Sands last week is being blamed on Muslims by some bloggers. The furore revolves around an article in the ST that carried plenty of opinion on Islam from a Muslim convert to Christinanity, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo. The article was recently taken down from the Telegraph website without explanation.

Needless to say such hysteria eventually reached Little Nazi Footballs, which is now busy informing the blogosphere that The Telegraph is also infected by their favourite word ‘Dhimmitude’. You mean the rag that published editorials from an anonymous Will Cummins comparing Muslims to dogs? Yes, infected, as they say. And who is to blame? Islamophobia Watch! That’s even more hilarious.

Rather than constantly churning this pot of conspiracy theories, I suggest the boys from IBlogA just throw in their lot with the BNP’s local election strategy. Apparently it’s becoming ‘too socialist‘. Having all the idiots under one roof would make them easier to deal with. This way is too confusing.

Filed under: Media, Religion, Humour
8th March, 2006

Hindu group calls to burn down Kellogs

by Sunny at 8:47 pm    

Not really, but some of them are really angry. Why, you ask? What did poor Snap, Crackle and Pop (pictured) ever do to hurt anyone? Or did someone get incensed after finding that Special K was absolutely crap as part of a healthy diet? Actually it’s more mundane than that.

The World Council of Hindus (aka the VHP) are pissed off after finally finding out that some Kellogs products contained beef / pork gelatine. It is “outraged” according to a statement I’ve received, and their representative said so on the Asian Network this afternoon.

Bastards! - a fellow vegetarian like me might think. Except the products already state they contain gelatine (no more (pop) tarts for you Gujrati uncleji!) and are “not suitable for vegetarians”. The VHP want better labelling, Kellogs say they can’t be asked. So those who do not read their food labels closely - you have been warned.
File under: ‘Another religious body trying to stir controversy to get noticed‘.

23rd February, 2006

Good Night and Good Luck

by Rohin at 4:05 am    

Farewell my Pickled friends, as the Interweb faithful say, brb. This is what I’m doing. I will try to drop in when I can and I shall certainly keep my eyes open for anything interesting to write about. I thought I’d sign out with something a bit lighter, but first the headlines:

Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka and the England team have got Delhi belly.
Al Qaeda’s next target identified.
Google Maps puts up new high(er) res images of the infamous Area 51, but Google Earth now less cool as 3D timetravel now possible in London.
Vegas casinos outsourcing to India (warning - shocking grammar in this piece).
Brokeback Mountain entitled ‘Faggot Cowboys‘ in Turkey.
Christians and Muslims kill each other in Nigeria, no one surprised.
Bullock racing, jumping cows, teeth pulling tractors - India’s rural Olympics.
New beer launched in Palestine, called Hamas. Explosive taste.
Christians feel left out, protest about cartoons.


And now our feature presentation:

TIME ran a piece this week entitled The Land of the Wedding Planners, charting the rise and rise of the mega wedding in India and amongst Indians around the world. Weddings, it seems, have become a field in which Indians lead the way. The country’s burgeoning middle class have embraced weddings as an opportunity to show off their often obscene wealth.

Continue Reading...
22nd February, 2006

Reformist Muslims announce Mohammed cartoon contest

by Sunny at 4:25 pm    

A group of progressive Muslims, annoyed not only at the original cartoons but also of the reaction afterwards, have announced their own contest inviting drawings about prophet Mohammed and Islam. They say:

As islamic reformers and progressive muslims, we believe that people should have legal right to express their opinion or dissent without fear of governments or mobs. In that regard, we applaud the people of Denmark for not censoring their media. History has proven that truth and justice cannot flourish in an environment of suppression and oppression. Though the cartoonists depicted and insulted our beloved prophet Muhammad, a figure that we consider dearer to us than our fathers and mothers, we stand by the rights of cartoonists to express their views.

Who said drawing cartoons was a boring business?

Filed under: Religion, The World, Humour

The gods don’t like skiing too much either

by Sunny at 3:01 am    

You don’t know what’s going to annoy the gods these days, honestly. A ski resort to be built in the Himalayas has come unstuck because the locals gods did not like the idea. Too environmentally unsound, an opinion poll of the deities declared, which is a good enough reason for me. [hat tip j0nz]

16th February, 2006

Different governments, different styles

by Rohin at 12:25 am    

Some people seemed to like the last cartoon I did (or they were being polite), so as cartoons are so damn popular now, I figured I’d do another.

Prescott & Cheney

Jon Stewart, Dave Letterman and co. have of course been having a field day with Dick’s tricks. But the biggest laugh I got from them recently was Stewart’s headline whilst talking about that cartoon controversy. It simply read:

Mohammed, mo’ problems.

15th February, 2006

Jews join holocaust cartoon contest

by Sunny at 6:02 pm    

Leslie Bunder reports:

A group of Israelis are taking on an Iranian newspaper which is running a contest inviting readers to submit cartoons about the Holocaust by saying they can do better themselves and inviting Jews around the world to take part.

“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published,” said Amitai Sandy a graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing in Tel Aviv. “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf,” he added.

Fighting hate with humour - there’s no better way.

Filed under: Religion, The World, Humour
13th February, 2006

New guest blogger: Reformist Muslim

by Sunny at 3:18 am    

Without the fanfare, garland exchanging and trumpet blowing , I’d like to present Reformist Muslim, who will be guest-blogging on Pickled Politics for a month starting this week.

And while I’m here… it turns out Patels are not so bac- I mean conservative after all !

At a mass wedding last week 45 couples, including members of the wealthy Patel clan, swore “never to have a sonography (scan) to find out the sex of our children”. Describing the practice as illegal, they pledged to “co-operate with all activities to curb the menace of female foeticide”.

The decision of the Patels, influential in Gujarat’s diamond industry, to publicise the new vows was remarkable. The state now has only 878 girls aged six and under for every 1,000 boys.

First thought - a mass wedding… to save money? Need I say more? Secondly - boys, you can forget about going ‘back home’ to find a bride because there ain’t any left!

Filed under: Humour
11th February, 2006

Time for another riot?

by Sunny at 10:58 pm    

I hear some people aren’t too happy that PokerGuru has Guru Nanak (founder of the Sikh faith for the uninitiated) holding a deck of cards and promoting gambling. The website is part of London based PartyPoker. We do not advise burning their offices down, at least until a few letters of protest have been sent.

Filed under: Religion, Humour
10th February, 2006

Number of organisations exceeds Muslim population

by Al-Hack at 4:13 am    

The number of British Muslim organisations have officially exceeded the number of actual Muslims living in the UK this week, after a flurry over activity over the Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

The Muslim Action Committee (MAC), formed by a number of imams and the one that pushed the number over 2 million, said the existing numbers of Muslim organisations were insufficient to demonstrate the anger they felt.

“This is an outrage! Not enough Muslim organisations have signed up to our charter demanding action,” imam Abdul Malik told Pickled Politcs. “We had to form some more of our own.

“We have decided to take action by setting up committees to investigate each blasphemous cartoon, who will report to Council Responsible for Action on BlaSphemy (CRABS).” At this point the imam started scratching himself furiously.

The proposed name was initially signed off as British Islamic Group for Muslims Against Cartoons, until McDonald’s lawyers stepped in.

“What we are calling here for is more action! More Muslim organisations to tackle Islamophobia! Global imperialism! George Bush! Hillary bloody Clinton!”

At this point imam Faisal Choudhary stepped in. “The Jews, you see, they have organisations for everything. Dirty Zionists! Ach-thoo! We want to have more committees than them! Actually can you please delete that… errmm.”

He later added: “We have more affiliated organisations than the Muslim Council of Britain. Surely the government will have to listen to us now?”

It has been estimated by the think-tank ‘Think Islamic ThoughtS’ that by 2050 there will be a Muslim organisation for every citizen in Britain.

Filed under: Humour
31st January, 2006

I’m not a terrorist, honest guv!

by Sunny at 3:46 am    

Who knew sporting a beard could become such a political statement? On the right is Rajesh Thind (a friend), sporting a full beard and looking a bit suspicious with that rucksack because we know only terrorists want to carry them (specially brown ones). And all in the name of good television.

On Thursday you can catch ‘Travels With My Beard‘ on BBC Three, with Rajesh showing how things changed after he grew a stubble post-7/7. In an interview he said: “There were quite a few worried faces at White City for a lot of the time when we were making the film, especially just before going to Beirut to confront Omar Bakri Mohammed with a mannequin.” It should be worth watching for that alone.

Filed under: Media, Humour
26th January, 2006

This list-mania is out of control…

by Sunny at 3:47 am    

Although this is a political blog, Nosemonkey has tagged me (grrrr…) and therefore I must oblige with this useless list of things.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die
1. Own a house with a jacuzzi
2. Take over the world
3. Learn to drive
4. Start doing meditation
5. Have a threesome
6. Buy a tropical island.
7. Take over the world

Continue Reading...
Filed under: Uncategorized, Humour
25th January, 2006

Lads magazines ‘come’ to India

by Sunny at 4:45 am    

It promises Indian men “100 things you never knew about women”, and its sold 80,000 copies in ten days. I never knew Priyanka Chopra was that hot there. Anyway, the lads magazines have started arriving in India and no doubt a silly conversation will ensue about the growing degradation of culture.

“Where are the VHP protesters burning copies in the streets?” asks Maxim editor Sunil Mehra of the BBC. That’s a point. Where is the bloody moral police? Or maybe they’ll come when Playboy does.
I would have preferred Mallika Sherawat to be honest.

18th January, 2006

Muslims doing it behind closed doors

by Sunny at 6:02 pm    

Brian Whitaker wrote a hilarious piece in the Guardian yesterday on the Islam’s increasingly confused relationship with sex. As he notes, “Unlike Christianity, which tends to be squeamish about sex, Islam has a long tradition of talking about it openly.” What that means in practice, combined with the globalised nature of the internet, is that every next imam is issuing fatwas online with sometimes conflicting advice on sex. For example:

Delivering a fatwa on oral sex, 79-year-old Dr Qaradawi describes it as a disgusting western practice, resulting from westerners’ habit of “stripping naked during sexual intercourse”. But he continues: “Muslim jurists are of the opinion that it is lawful for the husband to perform cunnilingus on his wife, or a wife to perform the similar act for her husband (fellatio) and there is no wrong in doing so. But if sucking leads to releasing semen, then it is makruh (blameworthy), but there is no decisive evidence (to forbid it) … especially if the wife agrees with it or achieves orgasm by practising it.”

On this issue, Dr Qaradawi’s views are more permissive than those of several other clerics on the internet. One states that oral sex is definitely forbidden, adding that “this hideous practice will draw the anger of Allah”. Another, asked if oral sex is permitted, replies: “I don’t know what is oral sex, please define it.”

All this is peanuts to Hindus of course, who wrote the definitive book on male-female sexual relations - i.e. the Kama Sutra. In fact Hindu mythology is so open about sex, as I’ve noted before, that the big poems of the Ramayana and Mahabharata openly use very sexual terms. Wish I had more time to research this properly, heh.

Another point to note is that both Islam and Hinduism are very decentralised with regards to religious edicts, unlike Christianity and Sikhism, so you inevitably get a whole range of opinion on what is and isn’t acceptable. Personally I think that is better than just having one person legislate what is right or wrong.
Thanks to Leon for the tip.

9th January, 2006

Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

by Rohin at 4:48 pm    

The BBC reports:

Stonehenge, the FA Cup and the red Routemaster bus are among England’s most popular icons, according to a new poll. But what do the choices say about the English? And what about the rest of the UK?

To John Major it’s warm beer and cricket. To the Sun newspaper it’s Jordan’s chest and chicken tikka masala.

Apparently ol’ Blighty isn’t such a United Kingdom. /shock. Scotland, Wales and Ireland have their national identities clearly defined.

Scotland: Headbutts, haggis Loch Lomond, Edinburgh Castle
Wales: Leeks, Charlotte Church, Sheep Severn Bridge, Millennium Stadium
Northern Ireland: IRA, leprechauns, liver cirrhosis The Giant’s Causeway

But Inglande is all confused. A Portrait of England is a two year, one million pound white elephant which seeks to find the things the English cherish most. The first round of shortlisting, drawn up by professors and academics (i.e. normal folk) includes Alice in Wonderland and the SS Windrush. People were not eligible and as such, Diana, Churchill, Newton and Zippy were not on the list. Most shocking of all - no PUB!

Continue Reading...
Filed under: Culture, Humour
5th January, 2006

Gorgeous George

by Rohin at 10:14 pm    

George Galloway is in Celebrity Big Brother, the ultimate in shit TV! So is Faria Alam, so that’s another reason I’m entirely justified in postin this here!

DISCLAIMER: I’m not watching it, I’m on the phone to my girlfriend, who is keeping me posted. Honest.

Filed under: Culture, Humour
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