20 June 2015

Intellectual Prostitute

John Swinton 

John Swinton (1829–1901) was a Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. He served as the chief editorial writer of The New York Times. He started a famous  American  labor newspaper called John Swinton's Paper, in the 1880s. Swinton also served as chief editorialist of the New York Sun for more than a decade.

Reproduced below is his toast.

"There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things." 

"If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, in twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job." 

"The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an 'Independent Press'!"

"We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."


Prostitute is derived from the Latin word prostituta
“ pro " =  up front or forward“
“ stituta “ = to offer up for sale

“ to up front for sale "

04 June 2015

Fools, Fanatics and Wise People

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wise people so full of doubts.

 - Bertrand Russell (Philosopher)


Shun fanatics and fools. Foolish people are everywhere and it is often possible to avoid engaging with them. Fanatics on the other hand won't leave us alone so they have to be coped with. Fanatics can be of many kinds, political, religious, nationalists, colour, creed, professional etc. I have no clue how to cope with fanatics. If you know how, then please let me know. 

Fanatics are normally people who know little and usually have experienced little or nothing. Using borrowed thoughts and feelings, fanatics tell others how they must live, work and play. All fanatics use the twin tools of fear and greed to influence if not control others. 

All truly great people reflect on their own experiences. They all eventually realise how complex creation is, how vast the universe is and how insignificant we individuals are.  One day they too discover like Socrates did,  "I know only thing, and that is, I know nothing".

24 May 2015

Let us pray

'When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. 

They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes and prayed. 

When we opened our eyes, we had the Bible and they had the land.'

  -  Kamau wa Ngengi  (Jomo Kenyatta)

Kamau wa Ngengi also known as Jomo Kenyatta was the First Prime Minister and President of Kenya

Quote often misattributed to South African Arch Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. 

Born 7 Oct 1931, Desmond Tutu is a South African rights activist. He received worldwide respect and appreciation for his humanitarian work and his opposition to apartheid rule of white men in Africa. 

20 May 2015

What is Politics?

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

 -Groucho Marx

01 May 2015

12 interesting ways to view Mumbai

Compliments of my dear friend, mentor and teacher Shri. MN Kumta

13 April 2015


Some people wanted to make some quick money, and hit upon the idea to have a Charlie Chaplin look alike contest.

There were many entries, and on a lark, Charlie Chaplin himself entered the contest anonymously. 
Well, what do you know? The experts on the panel of judges placed Charlie Chaplin fourth.


An expert is someone who is never in doubt but frequently in error.

Do not always go blindly by what the '**experts**' tell you. Be courageous to make your own evaluation and then make an opinion or take action. You might sometimes be wrong, but remember wisdom grows, from learning from our experiences.

07 April 2015

Is marriage good for men?

Socrates the great philosopher had a difficult marriage. 

A student of Socrates, desired to get married but was not sure what to do. So he came to Socrates and asked' "Master I wish to get married, will it be good for me?"

Socrates replied, 
"If you find a good woman and she makes you happy, then I suppose that is good for you. 
However if she does not make you happy, then you will become a philosopher, and that is not a bad thing".

It is said that, 

"A man is incomplete until he is married, then he is finished".