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Terror Tactics

(Dear terrorists... Enough now.)

Rohan JoshiAt the outset, I’d like to congratulate the people who carried out the bombings in Boston and in Bangalore. You have succeeded in your mission, assuming that your mission was to ensure that all advanced alien life ignores us until we’re extinct and only cockroaches and the non-biodegradable bits of Shilpa Shetty roam the Earth. If I were an enlightened alien life-form, like ET, Spock, or Rahul Dravid, and I had to sell Earth to a prospective buyer, I don’t think I honestly could.

Yes, great location, and yes, 5,490,232,704,000,000 square feet of space (super built-up) and yes, you get thousands of dolphins. Free. If you buy now you get a panda with your booking deposit. But unfortunately, like the flaw weavers put into an otherwise perfect carpet, the planet also has humans on it. And the problem with humans is that you’ll be sitting at home one day, and one of them will attempt to kill you in a horrible way. For any aliens who may intercept this communication, understand this. Humans kill other humans for several reasons;

1. Someone wrote a great piece of fantasy fiction thousands of years away, and well, you know how geeks get about this stuff. (“NOOOO BUT IN THE BOOK TYRION LOSES HIS NOSE. WHERE’S MY VEST?”)
2. A female said something that was not “Yes master” to a male.
3. Someone has tried and failed to covert you to their way of thinking. So they must now convert you into little pieces.
4. Tuesday.


With FBI releasing photographs of suspects in the Boston bombings (below), now is a good a time to contemplate the fact that terrorism isn’t the sole preserve of brown people. PIc/AFP

All those reasons have one thing in common; they’re not very good. And now, with the events in Boston and Bangalore, we’re faced with the specter of one of our favourite ways of killing people; terrorism. In our brief time on Earth, human beings have created many daft things like stuffed toys, earphones that tangle up if you so much as look away, and Kardashians. None of them are stupid as terrorism.

Terrorism is an exclusively human problem. Dolphins and bonobos have sex for pleasure, but humans are the only species that engage in terrorism. It may or may not be a coincidence that we’re also the only ones that have religion. You will never see a cat fly a plane into another cat. This has never happened. If it did, it would get eleven billion hits on YouTube, but that’s a different conversation.

I’m sure terrorists want something. Whatever those things are, I’m also sure they’re important. Maybe they want to be heard. Maybe they don’t want to be shot at anymore Maybe they want the Delhi Daredevils to not be such little girls. The problem is, now you’ve turned me off. I no longer care what you want. I’m not overtly inclined towards listening to people whose first instinct in an argument is “You know what’ll solve this? Hellfire.”

Terrorism allows the actions of the few to bring judgment on the many. The FBI released photos of the suspects in the Boston bombings revealed that the bombers may, for once, not be brown. It may seem petty to bring that up at this point, but given that initial reports after the bombings were quick to paint the suspect as being brown, it’s massively pertinent to stress on the fact that they’re not. Now is as good a time as any to contemplate the fact that terrorism isn’t the sole preserve of brown people (something that people conveniently forget). Al Qaeda was formed in 1988, but the Nazi Party in 1920, and The Ku Klux (latin for “If we wear bedsheets, they’ll think we’re badass” Klan in 1865.

So whether you’re white, brown, yellow, black, or whatever colour Lady Gaga is this week, I don’t care. If you’re a terrorist, I urge you to stop (Wouldn’t it be awesome if real life worked this way?) Do something respectable with your life, like cooking crystal meth or joining Indian politics. My point is, give it a rest; some of us actually like this planet. It’s hot, and dirty, and there’s too many vegetarians for my liking, but it’s home. This is our backyard, this is where we live and play, and we got a good deal on the superbuiltup area. So bugger off, dear terrorist. You’re a bully. Whether you’re a bully in a government suit, or a bully in a cave in Afghanistan is irrelevant. Nobody likes a bully.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi

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