Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Notes from America...31st may 15

31st may 15
in view of climate change, extreme climate, geological changes...risks of most places in the world have increased. the recent increases in snow storms in the east coast of usa, drought in california, floods in texas...generally used to make me pessimistic about long term climate stability in usa. i used to think that perhaps for indians like us india is perhaps better especially where i am living now ie bengaluru. but the recent heat waves in india, pollution in the cities and lowering of aquifer levels have made me think otherwise.

for the first time i feel, chicago could be one of the best and safest places in usa and maybe in the world. chi has lots of fresh water, its away from the east coast storms, tornadoes of mid plains...though it has harsh winters, still i feel its the best bet in usa. maybe if my daughter and her family stay on here it would perhaps be a good choice in these uncertain times...and a more terrifying future...

24th may 15
one of the main reasons why america has become the most influential country in the world over the past 50 years or so is due to the set of factors listed below. though china and india dominated the world in terms of gdp (together about 50% of global gdp) for about 1700 years since birth of christ, still they could not dominate the globe to the overpowering extent usa has because they did not have the support of the same factors which usa had.

  1. lead the world in innovation. hence all the applied products were sold across thev world.
  2. most of the biggest brands came out of usa like coke, levis, microsoft, apple, and so on.
  3. hollywood movies mesmerised the world through their broader appeal even though european movies were superior in content and style.
  4. rock and roll music conquered the world spawning rock based local music all over.
  5. with aid of satellites tv broadcasting reached all corners of the globe. 
  6. marketing and advertising reached their peak in usa since the 1950s.
  7. the internet also emanated from usa, hence its stranglehold upon the medium. 
  8. with nuclear superiority became the world's policeman. 
  9. since it was the richest country, it became the dream destination to emigrate to. 
  10. its fast food like mcdonald's, pizzas, burgers become most popular all over.
  11. its large cars since the 50s influenced car designs all over excepts europe.
  12. its computers and laptops were the first, mainly through microsoft's windows and office software, though now many other countries have excelled.
  13. perhaps the most tectonic product to set the world on fire was apple's iphones and ipads which their pioneering touch screens have set the standards. 


15th may 15
today the influence america has on rest of the world is beyond all imagination. its very difficult to separate what is not american in most countries. americanism has intertwined itself into the very entails of each country. in any sphere you select, there will be some link to usa. Some of the major reasons why us is such a dominant force in the world whether all countries like it or not are:

  1. 140 years of continuous innovation in all spheres which has ensured that the products are now sold in all countries 
  2. complete dominance in armaments whereby it is the largest seller of arms in the world except one or so odd year. 
  3. entertainment also is the biggest influencer. hollyhood had shaped most global cinema. 
  4. IT industry hub is in us. all the top companies are american like apple, google, microsoft, IBM....
  5. it has the highest representation in the fortune 500.
  6. it has the largest space research set up NASA, 

it is a veritable power house which sets the pace of economic development,


12th may 15
since 2010, this is my 7th trip to usa in 6 years visiting my daughter and son-in-law in chicago. most of the time we are perched up in their 41st floor apt in downtown chicago next to the river and near millennium park. our main objective is to visit our our only child. even she had been in timbuktu, we would have still visited her religiously once ever year or more.

only because it happens to be the imperial united states it provides me an opportunity to observe the greatest ever empire for the past 150 years from close quarters. we are lucky we stay in chi town downtown one of best places in world to stay. the people are multi cultural and extremely polite.

its not that i like living in cities having lived in large indian cities since the age of 9 months. but am fairly trapped in cities since my wife is gotten used to large cities. now in fact want to go back to my roots in the ancestral village in odisha.

and now my daughter having being brought up in the downtown of Kolkata wants to continue the same in chicago and inflict the same on her daughter born this year and hence our rather long visit of almost six months.

this particular trip though i was busy with the coming of my granddaughter, i was reading daily the wsj, one of the finest newspapers ever. got sucked into its groove and enjoyed it immensely since it vibed with my research bent of mind and synched with my psycho intellectual world view.

basically i have been an american from the early 60s hearing paeans of  usa from a close uncle of mine who stayed with us. soon i became a kennedy fan. was deeply affected by his assassination. cried. it was indeed camelot for me the first family of us. next the hero worship focussed upon robert kennedy. another part of me died when he was assassinated in 1968. a hollowness permeated my life. my american dream was shattered with the blood spattered body of bobby kennedy.

by 1970 after school, one was sucked into the sweet wafting smoke out shiva's chillum from the cosmic crushed leaves of ganja. its was the height of the anti establishment movement in us and first gen of flower power youth from america flocked into india and kathmandu. it was indeed the age of hippies and beads experimenting with mind bending herbs, opiates, chemical like amphetamine and acid. blowing out ones mind each day was the sole purpose of existence. subjecting the soulmind to the most severe contortions of the space time continuum was the motto of our group...brothers.

along with this intense self realisation process, there was a parallel intellectual development which questioned all existing mores and conditioned lives of parents and money based social hierarchical structure. gurus who lead my life were alvin toffler, ronald laing, beatles, bob dylan, john lennon, traffic, manfred mann chapter III, andy warhol, jrr tolkien, grateful dead, ken kesey, jean paul sartre, albert camus, allen ginsberg, carlos castaneda, woodstock, hitchcock, steinbeck,

shoulder length hair was an index of commitment to the revolution. six acid trips took one where few dare to trod...time stretching towards eternity...dalian face, melting scenes...swimming through complex music of manfred mann chapter III...snakeskin garter...et all....a staunch anti establishment american. that is how effectively us has americanised the world. levis, coke, larger than life cars, rock music, hollywood, gangsters....the list goes on....

to be continued.... 

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