Friday, June 02, 2006

Post Pending.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Sins of the Artist must not Stain the Art.

I’m sure you know at least ten people who stopped listening to Michael Jackson after his child molestation charges were brought to light. If you don’t know anyone like this, then you really need to get around much, because you seem to be living under a rock. But it’s the truth that a lot of people decided to boycott Wacko Jacko when they found out that he might be doing terrible things to little boys when they sleep. Why? It’s because they don’t want to support a star who indulges in such atrocious acts. This never fails to amuse me because it implies that they were buying his records in the past, not primarily to enjoy his music, but to support him financially. But why do they turn away when his songs play on the radio?

They also say that they cannot possibly enjoy the works of an artist who is such pervert. "I don't like his songs, he's so sickening". I don’t know how the quality of the song (that exists on its own) is affected in any way by the musician’s private misdeeds (that he may or may not be actually guilty of). How, for example, would Beat It be any different even if Jackson was really responsible for what he was accused of? Sure, you might get shivers when you listen to his voice, but that your own mind working there. Your own mind's fixation with the subject, that doesn't allow you to listen to the song as it is, without wandering into it's negative connotations.

Let’s say Jackson didn't molest boys until years after he sang Beat It. Does this mean that Beat It was a good piece of art before that, and suddenly became bad when he started having criminal desires? Questions like this leave me scratching my head because I am yet to hear a intelligible answer for it by those who claim to hate the works of certain people, solely because of the people, and not the works. This isn't something very new. It doesn’t happen just to Jackson, many artists have been victims to the wrath of this illogic. I'm sure that every group of friends has at least this one person who staunchly refuses to watch or listen to something because they heard something derogatory about the man who made it.

This intrigued me particularly because it shows how closely someone links a creator with his creation. But it doesn’t limit itself to creators alone. I know a staunch christian who hates Angelina Jolie's movies because she publicly announced she was pregnant with Brad Pitt's child, but refused to tie the knot with him. "I hate (Insert name of random beautiful celebrity), she's so dumb, such a bimbo". I hope somebody can explain to me, the judgment behind these boycotts, and how some people think that boycotting someone will make the situation better in any way. Is it supposed to be punishment, personal gratification or a counter attack to their sins? If so, please explain how. More people, than you think, have these kinds of preconceived notions; that a questionable personal life invariably leads to a situation where you must avoid that certain celebrities output, no matter how good the output is.

The most frustrating aspect of this whole issue is that source of the information, which led to the bad impression of the celebrity in the first place, might be untrue. But nobody pays attention to those little details, which is very unfortunate. "It must be true, it’s in print." "You're crazy Nish; the magazines can't just lie like that about such a famous person". Hello? Welcome to the real world. Newspapers and magazines can lie, have lied and will do so in the future. Sure, in most cases, it may not be lying, but misquoting and misrepresenting are two early tricks of the trade.

We, as people, feel the need to create out own opinions on things based on the information at our disposal, regardless of whether or not that information is 100% reliable. I don’t understand how easily we decide to become sheep sometimes, and how easily those sheep can make even stupider decisions. If you read that Bruce Lee had a gay lover whom he had killed to keep his secret, then it must have been so. If you read that Humphrey Bogart once horribly assaulted Audrey Hepburn, then it must have been so. Of course this also gives you ample reason to stop watching their movies, since not only is the information completely accurate, but also because such men could not, in any way, have made movies worth watching because of the corruption of their personal character. The critics are crazy... now just sit back, relax and wait for the guys in the white coats to come and get you.

Sometime, people tell me that I "just don’t get it" when it comes to these matters. They inform me that they're reasons for not liking Elia Kazan's movies because of his communist activities are perfectly valid. But I suppose it isn't always a bad thing, because actors like Robert Mitchum thrived on false stories exaggerating his crude exploits, to boost his bad boy image. But don't you think that denying yourself the pleasure of a movie or song; solely because you heard something about the person responsible for it is immature, stupid and unjustified?

If you still don't understand the inherent stupidity of the situation, and staunchly continue to boycott controversial artists, then you can beat it, just beat it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Through the Eyes of a Nihilist

NOTE: This article refers to the philosophical belief, not the Russian political movement.

Nihilism, as defined by Nietzsche and the Oxford dictionary:
1. total rejection of social mores: the general rejection of established social conventions and beliefs, especially of morality and religion.
2. belief that nothing is worthwhile: a belief that life is pointless and human values are worthless.

3. disbelief in objective truth: the belief that there is no objective basis for truth.

At some point in our lives, we all need to understand and accept one fact of life: The world is bizarre, and the best we can do is adjust to it in our own unique way. We must understand that this is the primary reason for the creation of rules, religion, virtue, purpose and the concept of a family. Man did it to cope with the madness of the world he was being confronted by.

Nature declared a law that called itself “survival of the fittest”, prevailant in every domain except man's, although it does get the better of him sometimes. Man saw how imbalanced and corrupt this law could make him, and created laws and society, in order to surpass the barbaric values laid down by nature. To protect the weak, he created virtue, a belief which showered praise on the strong, who helped others, and criticized the fittest who fought only for themselves (“selfish”). Nature showered, upon man, the fury of thunder, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. Man coped with it by creating religion, attributing these incidents to works of higher beings (good or bad, depending on the faith). He created a system of faith that instructed him to pray to these higher beings to keep him safe from their wrath.

Nihilism, to me, is this recognition that these value are man-made, and not the objective truth. Virtue and rules are not principles essential for life, but merely figments of the imagination. They do not exist and there is no actual gain, apart from whatever we imagine, to be reaped by upholding these ethics. A man who has no ethics is not a beast or a scoundrel; he is simply one who is living the way nature intended him to. Morality, chivalry and generosity are all terms that were coined by men later to sustain himself; they are not in-born traits, by any means.

All forms of rational thinking will finally lead you to Nihilism. Take the life around you. Ask yourself, honestly, how much of it is logically necessary for you to exist. How much of your feelings are products of your upbringing and social influence, and how much of it is your base, primordial instinct? Man created ethics, rules and culture to further himself, to make himself superior to the beasts. But as we progressed, this became a hindrance. The rules caused disagreements, and often, in the name of ethics, hampered our development because it was no longer socially acceptable to act according to our instincts. Society had already laid down a set of rules by which we were required to behave. We became sheep who could think, but who shepherded themselves.

Nihilistic thoughts can get you in trouble with just about everything, especially authority. Because it recognizes authority as nothing more than a manufactured boxing glove, it has neither contempt nor respect for it. Think about it, what is authority? Is it not a set of stronger powers trying to impose their will on you, for what they determine is "your own good"? It's just a dignified, organized way of bullying someone less powerful than you. Take schools, parents, governments or priests, it’s all the same thing.

Nihilism still remains a vastly ambiguous belief, because of the way the term originated, and because of the differing implications that it holds. I just know what I believe, and it corresponds closely to one of the nihilistic schools of thought. I completely agree with the three principles that I have listed above, because they illustrate the inherent banality and insignificance of our lives and society against the backdrop of a universe that transcends time and space. Social norms and immorality are two lost words in the face of Nihilism.

Of course, in order to maintain a society that can be lived in (for whatever it’s worth), one must obey certain laws and observe certain rules. But I’d like to stress that these laws are followed for the sole reason of avoiding all-out chaos, and not out of ethical compulsions. Though it would be self-defeating for Nihilist to adhere to the norms of society, but that is a price that must be paid for living in an environment that does not support your beliefs.

The existence of an objective or absolute truth has also been termed a falsity by Nihilism. How do we define the perfect truth? All things that one person see's as red in color, may be blue to another, but they both refer to it as the same color since that is what the light reflecting from the objects tell their eyes and, in turn, their brains. Everything that we see, smell, taste, hear and touch are all dependent on the accuracy of our senses. What makes you so sure that the entire world is not an illusion, and that you're not trapped in an Alien Concentration camp right now, plugged to a hallucinogenic brain clamp, fooling your senses? You could be living a dream.

It is this declaration that we know nothing for sure that endears Nihilism to me. It has a sense of the "so what?" attitude that can cause many ripples when applied to our lives. Ultimately, we are limited by both our beliefs (that were created by early society in attempts to preserve themselves, but have been subtly backfiring on us) and our senses (that hold complete control over us, not vice-versa). Nihilism declares that both these aspects of our lives (beliefs and senses) hold no concrete proof, and therefore, no meaning.

So please, the next time you declare that you know something, or that you believe in something to be right and virtuous, just keep me at the back of your head.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In pursuit of a soul

All my previous articles were statements, not ponderings. I believed in something and wanted to express myself. I wanted to tell people what I felt was the truth and what I felt was not. But regarding this topic, I’m as lost as anyone else. I have no answers, no remedies, and that worries me. This is because the truth about the soul would be the key to the truth about everything. It could be the solution to the mysteries of existence, the future, love, death, everything. A vast range of thinkers, from philosophers to crackpots to writers, have analyzed the entity repeatedly. Since I consider myself a little bit of all, I want to delve into the topic and try to grasp some answers. As I write, I will try to come up with theories and ideas. But sadly, like most secrets on life, it would be impossible to obtain the perfect truth. We can come up with suggestions, not explanations.

Now, a corpse, physiologically, has the same essential body parts as we do. We must be aware that the quality of a corpse’s components can be brought into question since it was the corruption of these that might have led to death, in the first place. But still, some kind of energy used to inhabit it, giving it life. It is an energy that has now ceased to exist… or simply moved to another location. There was something sparkling beneath, a force that connected the organs together, gave the body a personality, emotions and cognition. It is this force that we often refer to as the ‘soul’. This is what gives birth to the idea of the self, that which calls itself me.

We must first make up our minds on how to define the soul. Do we look at it from a material perspective? Is my soul a part of my body, like an invisible heart, that collects memories and thoughts, constructing them into feelings? Or does is exist on a completely different plane, a large sea of energy that every individual draws from, animating himself, spurring his body to life? I think it could be a little bit of both. Certainly, the same type of energy runs through us all, but seems to exist distinctly in each person. But what could this energy be? What I say could seem to be greatly metaphysical, but there are vast leaps in science and philosophy that we are yet to make. The spirituality of today could be the science of tomorrow. Many religious and ideological explanations of the soul have been provided by various sources, but none can claim to provide an infallible definition.

Plato split the soul into three elements: The mind (Logos), the emotions (Thymos) and physical desires (Pathos). While this definitely does not take into consideration the form of the soul from a spiritual point of view, it appeals to me as a viable explanation of the way in which the soul works. What are we, after all, if not physical bodies made up of our thoughts, feelings and cravings? Plato states that all three parts play vital roles in making us peaceful and balanced people. This theory also satisfies me because of its psychological profoundness. Anybody who observes people closely, on a personal basis, will agree with Plato’s principles.

Our memories, imagination and dreams exist on a completely different plane. They are not tangible, but we know that they exist somewhere out there, like a one-man internet system. Do they go away after we die? Or do they stay there, waiting to be given form again, waiting to be plugged into another server? Once the soul is found, is it possible for it to be lost? If there is a soul, and it is untied to the physical body, then does it die along with the body, or continue to exist? Personally, I think it remains. The physical body dies because of various reasons, all of them physical. Either it is gravely injured or damaged by diseases or dies from other reasons. But surely a force, a soul that is connected with the physical body, but not dependant on it, will live on.

However, I believe that all life forms are inherently connected in some way. Since I’ve already described life as a form of energy, I will state that the same force that gives life to a dog is what gives life to us as well. This could mean there is some large source of that energy somewhere out there, that powers every life that is born, and either sustains or absorbs the energy when a life form dies. This huge mass of energy could be anywhere, around us, in our butts, in the center of a sun, inside our bodies. It could be that which we refer to as GOD. The energy, after death, could either return to the original source, or continue to drift around on its own. This could imply immortality, or the utter unimportance of an individual when faced with such a large entity encompassing all of us, whichever way you look at it.

Buddha said that the soul, like everything else in the world, was a force that was constantly changing. There is no fixed sense of the self, it remains in a never ending state of flux. The recognition of this everchanging situation would lead to liberation from pain, misery and greed. Hinduism gives a vastly different, but somehow similar explanation. It teaches that the soul or Atma is indestructible, going through many cycles of existence before cleansing itself of it’s sins and becoming one with God.

To me, the distinctly different ways of approaching ethereal matters like this have become clearer in the past few days. There is the material approach, which I prefer, which tries to look at the soul as something that can be described by words, can be understood, maybe even harnessed. It is the only way to truly discover the point of having a soul. However there is another approach that we cannot totally write off; the spiritual one. The soul could be the creator’s way of making life a part of himself. To make sure the soul returns to him after death, to differentiate it from his inanimate creations. The soul is life itself. It may not be a form of unknown energy; but the autograph of God himself.

Whatever, your belief, the soul is one of the few things that remains a subject of great interest, even though there is not an ounce of infallible proof to its existence. Many scientific tests have often claimed to found traces of the soul, but their credibility is highly dubious. But those of us who believe in it (or at least some form of it) can say it is a self aware, delicate substance particular to a unique living being. The truth is out there, but certainly not for us to find right now.

Oscar Wilde said "How strange a thing this is! The priests tell me that the soul is worth all the gold in the world, and the merchants say that it is not worth a clipped piece of silver.” I think we can all understand his dilemma there.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Other Side of the Coin: “Legalize Drugs”

I started my blog six days ago, and my nonconformist articles on this blog have already gotten me tons of hate mail from religious web-rings, environmental communities, semi-scientific groups and ‘normal’ browsers. I mean this as an observation and say it without an ounce of shame or pride. But this is, so far, the riskiest topic I’ve chosen to post here. Not because of its philosophical or ethical implications, I couldn’t care less about those even if I tried. But because of the legal and political undertones that people might think it contains. I’m calling for a legalization of drugs, a plea that is not as abominable as you might think. It throws up both problem and solutions, but I feel that most of the problems can be contended with. I am not alone in this view, there are many who share it.

So before I start, let me announce that I am against the use of drugs, having never tried it nor having any intention to do so in the future. However, before you make the mistake of assuming that I’m a decent and respectable man, let me add that my aversion to drugs has nothing to do with the moral stances against it. I oppose it solely because of medical reasons. It’s the last thing I need working against my body, already poisoned by an overdose of meat, oil and sugar. So this article is purely a work of my reason, and not my desires.

Drugs have been the bane of society in recent times. Dealers form a large chunk of the criminal element in society, and the effects it has on the body can be devastating. It often forces people into crime, in order to keep up their drug habit. Governments spend millions detecting, apprehending and imprisoning all those involved in the manufacture and sale of drugs. However, it is already obvious that prohibition of drugs will remain a utopian fantasy and that in practice, it is a flawed system. We have made drugs illegal, only to have the negative effects pile up on each other. What was a problem became a menace, the already hostile dogs became rabid. Drugs sales are never stopped, they just become more expensive. Our laws are yet to put a stop to it.

The legalization being suggesting here is a process where the government makes the sale of drugs lawful, and thereby begins a safe system of regulation, that they keep a tight rein over. This would allow the government to treat the drug problem as one of a medical nature, than a criminal one. Rehabilitation clinics can be better controlled, as most addicts refuse treatment solely because of the fear that a legal punishment will be imposed on them, they are after all criminals by law. Even if the only person they physically damaged is themselves.

I believe that if a man wants to destroy his body via drugs then he bloody well has the right to do so. After all, isn’t that the point of freedom? To do whatever you want as long as it causes no harm to other people? This raises the point that almost everyone’s death and drug abuse has an indirect effect on others like family and friends. But if this person abuses drugs despite those people, then they’re not exactly pouring their love into the right wineglass. Sorry, I can be brutally cynical like that, but I feel it’s the truth.

I’m no bleeding heart liberal, but I don’t see any sense in prohibiting the consensual, personal usage of drugs when other common causes of death like overeating, alcohol, excessive tobacco consumption, guns and extreme sports are legal. I mean, it’s his body, he should be allowed to do what he wants with it. Deny it as we might, reports of drug use saving people from suicidal impulses are aplenty.

Most drugs that are prohibited today were once used for medical purposes, and the limitation imposed on cannabis by the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937 was even protested against by the American Medical Association because of the potential medical uses that it was being harnessed for. I have heard that some drugs are still discreetly being suggested by doctors for medical purposes.

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, not because they were hungry, but because it was forbidden. An increasingly amount of people I know consider the usage of drugs to be one of the “cool” things to do. Sit around, smoke up, and relax. While I consider this a waste of time and money, I know many who disagree with me. A large part of the appeal stems solely from the fact that drugs are illegal and outlawed. While this might be hard to believe, it is the truth. Ask around a bit, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

One of the biggest problems of drug abuse comes from the fact that it is a taboo topic. Information about it's consumption is extremely limited, often leading to disastrous results. Those who have their hands on drugs do not know the potency of the substance in their possession, and do not know how much to take safely. I read that heroin users sometimes unknowingly inject brick dust, into their bodies, which had been used to cut the heroin. If drugs were legalized, then the government could keep a hand over the quality of drugs that were being manufactured, and also educate the public on what amounts were overtly harmful. The Dutch Government have had exceptional success in this matter.

It would also, technically, be cheaper for the government to manufacture and control drugs than to spend exorbitant sums of money to catch illegal drug dealers and spend even more keeping them in prisons. More money could be spent on other issues that need to be tended to. The legalization could lead to a shift in the focus, allowing the judicial and legal forces to focus on far more dangerous threats like murders, rapes and terrorism. I’d also like to add that many terrorist organizations enjoy a great deal of profit from the illegal drug trade.

The legalization would also lead to the collapse of the illegal drug trade, and the drug ‘cartels’ which form a strong component on criminal society. Most people are willing to pay high prices for drugs, even dangerous ones, because cheaper, safer recreational drugs are unavailable. If the government manufactures and regulates its own substances, then the cartels would invariably be weakened a great deal. We all know the rise of Al Capone and organized crime during the Alcohol Prohibition era, and the subsequent ceasing of these activities when prohibition was removed.

Legalizing and regulating drugs would initially lead to an overblown consumption of these substances, but in the long run, might be the correct step in controlling the drug problem. After all, alcohol and many weapons are also easily available, though they are just as harmful. Everyone knows what we're doing right now to control drug traffic isn't working, and a radical change is called for.

Many people might be horrified at my suggestion, but I will leave you to consider Milton Friedman’s words: “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That's literally true.”

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Study of the Offensive

A friend of mine declared today that she was officially sick of the word “f*ck”. She was sick of what it meant, how it was being used and the complete apathy that many people now adopt towards it. In other words, she didn’t want to hear that f*cking word again, it was too repulsive to be tolerated by sensible minds, according to her. Just hearing the word in the middle of any sentence would make her wince. But this piece isn’t about her; this isn’t about anyone in particular. It’s about words, and why on earth some people get their panties in a knot over them. F*ck isn’t the only target of these politically correct debaters, it joins a very prolific faction including retarded, c*nt, arse and fag. If you’re devoutly religious, throw in devil and hell as well.

Before I start sounding f*cking crude, I’d like to make something very clear. In my opinion, there are two situations in which a person can get offended by words. The first scenario is when a certain term is aimed at a person, implying that he/she has a connection with the word, that perhaps that person can even be defined by the word. The other scenario is when the word is just said in the middle of a random sentence, perhaps to describe an object or a situation, and our sensitive person gets offended by the use of the word. I want to establish right here that I have a problem with people who get offended at the second scene, not the first one. I’m sick of this fussy political correctness.

Example of the first scenario: “You’re a mother-f*cking son of a bitch”.
Example of the second scene: “This mother-f*cking traffic is being a real bitch”.

Word: “a meaningful sound or combination of sounds that is a unit of language or its representation in a text”. That’s the dictionary definition, and I doubt if anyone can put it better than that. It’s a collection of sounds, which are given meaning. So I honestly can’t understand why some people get so disturbed by the mere mention of certain words. Of course, it’s the meaning behind the words that disturb them, not the word itself. But that brings another question to the platform; why don’t these same people get as insulted by words like death, disease, famine and torture? Sure, they may not be fond of such words, but do they cringe as hard as they do when hearing words like fag and c*nt?

I think it’s a shape that society molds at a very basic plane. Words like death and disease, are heard often, they’re socially accepted words in our vocabulary and are not kept taboo from children. You heard words like those in textbooks, and mainstream television, and it remains the formal word to describe the intended meaning. I mean, there isn’t any polite, politically correct way to say death, after all. But c*nt is just the crude way of saying vagina, likewise, retarded: mentally challenged, fag: homosexual etc. Society, and the social use of the language itself, decides which word is acceptable and which word is not. If something has a semi-negative/ embarrassing connotation towards it (vagina, sex, anus, homosexual) then the colloquial words defining it is often abhorred by others. They claim the slang terms (c*nt, f*ck, arse, fag) are “repulsive ways of saying the word”.

Yes, in most cases, overt use of these words often points to a poor vocabulary on the speaker’s part, but I think it is very unwise to hold it against a person, especially when the words are not being sprung forth with malicious intent towards anyone. “This mother-f*cking traffic is being a real bitch” bears no ill will towards anyone, except the situation of the obviously painful traffic-jam, but I know plenty of people who will grimace at the face of these words. They will recoil, simply because it contains those words that society has attached a negative stigma to, blissfully unaware that there are words with far more objectionable denotations, that these people are undisturbed by.

Religious reactions to offensive words can be the most illogical of their kind. Blasphemy is one of the taboos of most religions, but I honestly found the thought of people getting irritated by it quite funny. I mean, if you’re so sure that someone is blaspheming, and that it’s wrong, then why aren’t you sure that he will soon be given his comeuppance by your boy in the sky? Why do you feel the need to let your nerves sizzle over it? We surely have bigger problems in life to worry about that someone's offensive language.

On the other hand, I concede that words like nigger and fag can also be particularly hurtful. But I feel it has a valid impact only when it is being wielded against the target group (blacks and homosexuals). Making fun of an obviously straight friend for being a fag isn’t as distasteful as you might have been brainwashed to think. But if you chastise a gay man for being a fag, now that’s something else. That’s spiteful territory right there.

I write this article, fully aware that most people will not be able to relate to it. There will always be those words that you will be disturbed by, no matter how much logical thinking you can inject into your own thoughts. Some words just strike a nerve deep down, that can be very hard to place, and hence remove. This is the primary reason I have censored the more objectionable words here like f*ck and c*nt. But still, the next time you make a face while someone swears uncontrollably, just ask yourself what the big deal is.

Remember, it’s the intent that matters, not the word.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Burdened by birth; the nuisance of being a twin.

According to Roman mythology, the city of Rome, home to one of the greatest civilizations of it's time, was founded by Remus and Romulus. Born in the city of Alba Longa, they were sentenced to death as babies, but were shown mercy by the henchman who was ordered to kill them. He placed them in a cradle, and sent them down river where a she-wolf fed and raised them, until they were ultimately discovered by a sheperd who took the babies to civilisation. Both the babies grew up to be strong, intelligent and political. They conquered armies and dethroned the king of Alba Longa, but when the time came to create their own kindgom, they disagreed on the details, and Romulus killed his twin brother to found Rome.

Every man with a twin brother will see this story in a strikingly different manner from the rest of the world. To others, it is a simple story of power drunk fratricide, brothers killing each other to usurp power. But to twins, it is a story of our vulnerability and our invincibility. The brothers, while working together, were supreme and indomitable. They shared a bond that could not be breached by any outside force, but were contantly battered thanks to internal demons. To have a twin means to have an ever-dependent ally when you most need one, and a spirited enemy when you least want one.

As a twin, you quickly begin to realise that the world sees you in double vision. You are not a person, you are a part of two people. Consider yourself a component, never the whole structure. My brother and I looked alike, not too identical, but a fair share of people racked their heads over our physical similarities. We were also very similar in mannerisms and behaviour, although I now realise it was more because of the effects of living in the same house, and recieving the same stimuli, as the other. We were mostly recognised as the twins. Be it teachers, relatives or strangers, the term twins was stuck on us like an unwanted appendage.

It can be very confusing to suffer that form of identity loss. You have exactly the same friends, watch the same movies, you grudgingly admit that you have more in common than not. It happens to be the kind of frustration regular people can never understand. You slowly start to wonder whether your place in the society which you were a part of, be it a school, or a house, or a playground, would be complete without the other person. The both of you can be good at different things, bad at different things and recognised for different things. But ultimately you're both twins, and that is your cross to bear. Your activities are always compared to your twin's, its like the world think you live your life just to parallel the other person. A friend recently asked me if my brother also maintains a blog, since we're twins and all. Yeah, like blogging is some kind of genetic trait.

My brother and I were so subdued by this situation in our lives that we both did our best to lash out in different directions, something we have, so far, been rather successful at. Of course being twins, you invariably share traits and passions. We both love movies, but different kinds of movies. We both do a lot of writing, but in completely different genres. But I suppose we are a unique pair, and we share an animosity towards twinhood that few other siblings seem to express.Not all twins feel the same way about the situation. But sometimes, I see a fatigue lurking beneath their eyes, as well. Their minds might have been trained to accept their condition, and they remain blissfully unaware of a life forged through any other means. The gratification of being twins can also be achieved through other affectionate siblings. But the anguish it causes stems from twinhood, and only twinhood.

I did not choose to be a twin. It was imposed on me by nature. Now, I am in no means trying to insinuate that it was a painful experience, far from it. But the truth is that even most of the pleasures of being a twin arises from the painful fact that you are two people trapped in similar bodies. There is an ache for every joy that twinhood brings you. You are unique because you have a twin... but so is this other boy over here, your twin brother. The world sees you as being special because of your duality, not your individuality.

I have heard, numerous times, that every untwinned child has at one point or another longed for a twin. Some vision created by the idea of having a talking mirror image appeals to the people. Of course, like every fantasy, people only look at the bright side of their broad wishes. They can never understand the turmoil a situation like that throws up. But I know that every twin in the world has also wished to be alone. Wished to be unique. Wished to be referred to as him, and not them.

Remus and Romulus together conquered the small kingdom of Alba Longa. But it was Romulus, and him alone, who founded the mighty Rome.