Orientalism Within India and the World.

The orientalist view is very interesting to me, particularly how it affects the same people that the view is based on. Obviously there has been a false interpretation of South Asia and the Middle East conveyed to the western world that changes the way we perceive those areas, but that false interpretation also seems to affect the people who are the object of the orientalist view. This stems from the earliest form of British colonization in India and other parts of the orient.

This concept is illustrated very well by Roy’s ” God of Small Things” with the family because they are Indian, but they have British ties. Typically, we think about the orientalist view exclusively from the perspective of the western world, but we rarely think about how this view has affected the way Indian people view their relationship with Britain and the rest of the west. From the way it is portrayed in GOST, it seems like the British superiority view is perpetuated by the Indian people themselves. Because they have been conditioned to do things the western way when they were colonized so long ago, some are still set in these ways. An example of this is explicitly touched upon by Mammachi and Baby Kochamma. Both are Syrian-Christian, which is completely influenced by British missions and imperialism, and seem to cherish western values over traditional Indian ones. They encourage Ammu to marry a British person and forbid her from being with a touchable. The influence of British colonialism is so deeply rooted in India’s current culture and government, that it has even convinced the people at the bottom of the caste system that that is how it should be.

Orientalism is a word to describes a specific instance in history when colonialism affected the way the entire world views a specific place. However, the concept can be applied in a lot of different instances. It shows how we view any place that we have heard about, but are limited to our presumptions and internalized stereotypes. To me, a privileged person living in an an upper-middle class neighborhood, I have somewhat of an orientalist view on neighborhoods in Chicago that I’ve been told to avoid. I hear of stereotypes and less than credible stories to paint a picture in my head of what it is like, but to someone who lives there it might be completely wrong or distorted. I think it is important get a full story on something before you make judgments about it, and also try to be understanding of how systems of power can change the way we perceive others and how we perceive ourselves.


Daniel Dumile, better known by his stage persona, MF DOOM, is an American rapper/producer who rose ton popularity in the late 1990’s. MF DOOM is a masked super villain type character set on taking over the world of rap with his intricate rhyme schemes and dastardly deeds. Of course, Dumile is not actually a super villain, but rather uses MF DOOM as a speaker for his songs.

In the song “Doomsday” from his first studio album, Operation: Doomsday, MF DOOM demonstrates why he is the greatest super villain.

Bound to go three-plat

Came to destroy rap

It’s a intricate plot of a B-Boy strapped

In this line, “three-plat” refers to his record going triple platinum, meaning that it will sell over 3 million copies. DOOM coming to “destroy rap” means that he is going to take over the industry and destroy all the competition in his way. He is the “B-Boy”, which is simply a person associated with hip-hop culture, and going three-plat and destroying rap are part of his intricate scheme.

Rappers need to fall of just to save me the trouble, yo

Watch your own back came in and go out alone, black

Stay in the zone–turn H20 to Cognac

The first line here is almost like a threat to other rappers, saying that they should give up so he won’t have to go through the trouble of making them give up. The next line alludes to the idea that MF DOOM does everything alone, and possibly why he wants to be alone at the top of the rap scene. The first part of the last line, telling you to stay in the zone, connects back to the last two lines and essentially says just focus on yourself. The second part of the last line is MF DOOM comparing himself to Jesus! He is turning H20 (water) into cognac which is a type of wine. DOOM is somewhat of an egomaniac and constantly praising himself and his own work.

What the Devil? He’s on another level

It’s a word! No, a name! MF – the Super Villain!

The last two lines of the song are supposed to represent a 3rd-person point of view, as if someone is looking at MF DOOM and claiming that he is on another level. It is very fitting to use the phrase, “What the Devil?” because DOOM is an evil villain. The last line is still in a 3rd-person point of view and supposed to be a play on the the Superman trope, “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!” It is a great way to end the song as it provides a great contrast from super hero to super villain.

Doomsday, MF DOOM’s magnum opus, is nothing short of an exalting poetic experience. Also, remember – All caps when you spell the man’s name!

Has Meursault Always Been Like This?

After finishing The Stranger, I couldn’t help wondering how Meursault had gone so long without realizing how different he was from most people. He mentions that he could tell everyone in the courtroom hated him, and he said this with such surprise as if he has never been critiqued on his behavior or outlook towards life. If Meursault is viewed by the prosecutor and the jury as being soulless and lacking of all moral principles, then how has he gone on living his life as just another functioning member of society.

It is almost as if the moment the book begins, is the moment Meursault starts behaving like an existentialist. Meursault killed a person for almost no reason at all, and felt little to no remorse for his violent actions. How are we to believe that this is the first pointless/reckless malevolent action. In other words, how can a man who was deemed horrible enough to be put to death also live among other “normal” people undetected as a sociopath. Did nobody notice that Meursault literally does not feel empathy or emotional attachment to those around him? So the question becomes: has Meursault always been living as an existentialist regardless of whether or not he is aware of it? The question certainly seems open for debate, but I argue that yes, he has always had an aptitude for being present and accepting his current situation. As for his childhood, I imagine he was not as verbal about his views and did not commit any reckless acts that would cause others to notice his differences the way they do in the novel. Maybe he was able to stay out of trouble because “it just happened that way.”

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

What does it mean to be real? According to the concept of existentialism, all our material objects and worldly attachments are all mere illusions that cloud the true meaning of life. All these social constructs have been created through struggles of power and wealth and have been maintained in our society to control people. In the absence of some of these constructs, perhaps the world would be a better place, but is there not value in some of these things that Camus and other existentialists call illusions?

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you were to take the leap of faith and believe fully in the values of existentialism. You would leave the world behind and say goodbye to your family, friends, and possessions, and live purely independently. If you lived free of outside perspective and societal pressures, you would probably be happy. However, I argue that we have been conditioned to live in our illusion of a society, and the existentialist lifestyle would not be very appealing. Would the happiness come from working hard and living an independent fulfilling life, or would it come from the fact that you are not living in an illusion anymore. In other words, is it better to be blissfully ignorant, or suffering in a life that is real? In the end, if life is really whatever you make it to be, as Camus says, then who is to say which is the real world and which is the illusion.

The Matrix's Red Pill Is the Internet's Delusional Drug