Other Men’s F⃥l⃥o⃥w⃥e⃥r⃥s⃥ ⃥ – BS

The following piece is a response to Sam Leith’s article ‘Other Men’s Flowers

Link here

Let me be clear on the onset that its not that I did not understand what Leith is trying to say in his piece, ‘Other Men’s Flowers’. Having said that, if I was the editor of New York Times, I would have agreed to give him that platform to publish his article only on one condition, that the title of his piece be, ‘Other Men’s BS’ because that is essentially what it is.

Now this may seem offensive or disrespectful, however I found Leith being equally offensive and disrespectful when he tries so hard to impress with his haughty and esoteric writing style only to project his ‘command’ over language.

Leith assumes that the reader knows who Cicero is.  He used words such as gnarly, seethe, alliterative, assonant, iambic pentameter, perambulations – and what was the point?

Here are few substitutes what could have perhaps made better sense instead:

Gnarly: difficult, dangerous or challenging

Seethe: churn, boil, bubble, forth, fume, rage, teem, swarm

Alliterative: repetitive

Perambulation: patrol, round, beat, tour, watch, guard,

I mean seriously, someone who already knows Cicero and “iambic pentameter” will have no need to read what Leith has to say, since their intellectual knowledge base would be way ahead.

Furthermore, what is the purpose of using phrases such as, “But, pilgrim, be not afraid” and “The trick, in a formal context, is to use it effectively”?

In fact, he exposed his shallow depth of understanding, meaning and purpose of language the moment he used the word “trick”. Think about it, when does anyone use any tricks? A magician uses tricks to enchant and mesmerize the audience with his ‘tricks’. He creates an illusion of something often by hiding something in plain sight. And Leith here is clearly suggesting the use of ‘tricks’ while communicating. What is his compulsion to create an illusion? Only to hide something in plain sight. And this exactly what Leith is doing, hiding his shallow intellectual grasp of communication by using obscure and ambiguous language.

The essence of language is to convey ideas and thoughts to the audience – in this case the readers – not confuse or complicate matters. Leith’s bio under the article describes him as “a writer and critic whose latest book is ‘Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric From Aristotle to Obama’”. And this is perhaps the root of his esoteric language style, since he is struggling too hard to impress upon the readers. Indeed words can be ‘loaded pistols’ and I don’t want to be in the line of fire of Leith’s pistol (words) neither am I interested in being his target (customer for his book) so he can practice his shooting skills. I would rather say miles away from his “loaded pistol”. It’s not very often that I judge a book by its cover, in this case however, I have made and exception and have judged a book by its title after reading a forgettable article by the same author.


Leith, S. (2012, September 08). Other Men’s Flowers. Retrieved March 18, 2017, from https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/other-mens-flowers/?_r=2

BJP rallies against ‘corruption’ after holidaying in Parliament

After the stalled Winter 2010 secession of Parliament. After significant issues, bills, debates and discussions not finding ANY space between the so called JPC or PAC argument , the BJP is now on a national “anti-corruption rallies” mode. While they did nothing (or could not do anything) against Karnataka CM after allegations of his involvement in land allotment scams, the BJP now perhaps want to get their feet wet to find out how much public support they have in the present situation. The rally in my view is their SPEEDOMETER, to gauge how their strategies have faired. Their strategies have paid off. Unfortunately, not as an effective opposition party but only as a political party who intends to gain momentum towards the power corridors. They could have easily gathered momentum and passed a NO CONFIDENCE motion against the present UPA government, ‘strangely’ the BJP did no do so. While maintaing their CONFIDENCE in the ‘corrupt’ government over the 2-G specturm allocation issue they now are going to rally around the nation to consolidate vote. Nice move. Here is how even a cursory glance of their strategy worked out. It all begins after allegation of 2-G spectrum comes under the radar.

1st : stall parliament, leading to:

2nd: important issues/debates/discussions/bills not being taken up, leading to:

3rd: not just financial loss from stalled parliament but also policy loss which is far greater loss than Financial loss.

4th: Bashing of the Congress over ‘so many scams’ helps sensitize voters against Congress, leading general public to imagine “the present Congress lead govt. is most corrupt”- another feather in the cap for the BJP.

5th: Generally people end up discussing fundamentally less-important issues, i.e. issues that are important but not as important as to affect millions. Keys issues such as education for all, employment for all, affordable housing for all, healthcare for all are virually never discussed leading to more actual decay in society.

6th: for the BJP, all of the above becomes another feather in the cap, if questioned, they will rhetorically say, “the Congress was in power. It is during their regime this has happened. It is because of their incompetence.”

My only answer to this flimsy rhetoric is: agreed that the Congress is most incompetent of all political parties, they have failed each and every Indian in all possible ways, however, if they are so bad, it makes the BJP even worse, because being the LEADING OPPOSITION party the BJP were not even able to do their job of being an APT checkpoint for the government. And, if the BJP handles their power as opposition with such incompetence it only confirms that they would perhaps be even worse  if in control at the Centre. If they cannot perform their duty as efficiently in OPPOSITION they are more than likely to out perform themselves if they become the ruling political partly. By being complacent in their role as an effective opposition party the BJP has outperformed themselves, worst than the present Congress lead UPA government. If the BJP could not LEAD from the back, as on opposition, can they ever LEAD from the FRONT? In order to be effective in POWER one has to be equally – actually better – in OPPOSITION, its no rocket Science!