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I’m sure you’ve heard this famous quotation many times in your life. It can be applied to almost any situation and has a real honesty about it. “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence”. Today, I’m talking about this from a relationship perspective. You know; when you have someone you thought was fabulous, things begin to die down and you think of the other guy or girl that you could be with. Well I’m here to explain to you why that isn’t such a good idea and my perspective on how life works in terms of male and female relationships.

I think the whole friendship routine between a guy and a girl is slightly unnatural and flawed. I mean this is probably hypocritical coming from me as I have a few female friends and I think their company is brilliant. But I mean, why do guys and girls become friends? We tend to favour people from the same sex as we have more in common, similar interests and a comparable way of thinking. With the opposite sex, I have my own theory on how and why it happens and I’m going to explain it now. When looking for a spouse; we have a psychological check list that needs to be satisfied before we consider a subject the one”. This check list is a number of necessities that we as humans require and if the person you just met covers around 70% – 100% of that list, you move in for the kill! Humans have an animal like instinct and often we don’t realise it because it’s psychological. When you meet a person, regardless of whether you have a spouse or not, if this new person covers 40% – 69% of your check list (yes that same check list you use for your spouse) they become friendship material. Gosh, it sounds a bit complicated and scientific doesn’t it? Let me be a bit more literal, I think your friends of the opposite sex have a good selection of qualities you think would be amazing in a spouse, but they don’t have enough, they’re just short and that is why you’re “just friends”.

Example, lets say you’re a single guy called Bob (I know, I’m so imaginative), you’re not really looking for a girlfriend but you meet Jane who is pretty darn amazing. She’s funny, cute, kind, intelligent, into fast cars like yourself, loves to party, all the good stuff. You think she’s incredible, so you ask her out and to your delight she says yes! A week before this, Bob met a girl who was chirpy, quiet and into fast cars, he did not ask her out but he got on well enough to be friends with her. Rewind further a week before that, Bob met a cheerleader (which he hates), who was pretty cute, and quite a nice person….Bob doesn’t even bother keeping in touch with her. This is what life is in real. More often than not, your closest friends of the opposite sex have around half of the things you want in a partner. Think of your friends, think why they are your friend and what it is that keeps your friendship going. I could prove this further by saying there are some friends who you rely on for certain things that not even your spouse can cover. This is because that 1% – 30% that they don’t cover, someone else in your life will. Ever been darn interested in a particular topic and your better half has little or no care in the world for it? Frustrating right? Why not talk to someone else about it? No problem, but whatever happens, do not speak to a friend from the opposite sex about it.

Let me explain. When you have just had an argument with your better half, the topics you argue about are often in regard to the boxes on your check list they do not tick. Example, Bob want’s to have a night in when Jane wants to hit a club and party the night away. The pair bicker, Bob complains that Jane shouldn’t ask this of him when he’s not into it and does not want to go. Jane complains that it is who she is and she loves doing it. They have a row, Jane storms out and Bob goes to sleep haha! This is where it gets interesting. Jane goes and meets her friend Jason….he is a DJ at a nightclub, she’s known him since school and he has a bit of a crush on her. They party the night away, he comforts her because she’s upset, and what is happening is that the one thing Jane is missing in her life, Jason is covering. He talks to her, dances with her, parties with her and suddenly Jane wishes Bob was more like him. Jane has a one night stand with Jason and now her relationship with Bob is damaged beyond repair.

You might think, good for Jane and Jason, Bob was a boring loser anyway. But, and this is where the quote makes sense, Jason has nothing else which interests Jane. She doesn’t see this while she is upset and wanting to party, but when she dumps Bob and goes to Jason, she understands the scale of the mistake she has made. You cannot give up something fantastic in your life, for one incredible night of fun, so many people do it and most end up regretting it. When you have relationship troubles, the best thing to do is take a deep breath, step back and maybe call someone who you think can calm you down and talk to you, preferably of the same sex! This gives you a chance to reflect on what you have and realise how special it is. Don’t jump over the fence and fill the small irrelevant gap that you think needs to be filled. The fact is, if you find someone in today’s day and age who gives you 70% of what you want in a spouse, you have in fact hit the jackpot. For those of my readers who have hit the jackpot, I congratulate you. Be good, don’t do anything stupid and cherish what you have. This is the Arainmunda, signing out.

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So who hasn’t heard the news? Barack Obama had a live broadcast in Washington to the US public and announced the assassination of Osama Bin laden. The news created a storm, American’s partying all night in celebration at the man’s death and I guess you can understand their jubilation. I mean this is the man they blamed for 9/11 and the killing of over 3,000 innocent people. But on hearing the news of his “death” in a highly secret mission on Sunday, I did one thing; laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of the story.

Now first things first, let me make a few things clear. I understand a lot of Muslim’s think Bin Laden was a hero, a martyr and a sheikh. The man as far as I am concerned is just another guy, was no sheikh and didn’t have an overwhelming knowledge of the Islamic religion. Some of his actions were ridiculous, some were brave and heroic, but no one should take this man as a role model or someone who they want to be like. You can’t as a young Muslim want to be apart of Al Qaeda and worship this man like he’s a saint, because he is not. He is just another man who has been accused of atrocities and has encouraged terrorism on several fronts. Do I like him? Not really no. So why did I laugh at the ridiculousness of the story?

Lets get some facts out of the way. Osama Bin Laden is the son of an extremely wealthy Saudi Arabian native. He (Bin Laden) had a fortune of around $300 million, had three or four wives and was literally living it up back in the 70’s. Imagine that? Imagine you were in his shoes for just a minute. You’re mega rich, you live in a palace, you have four wives, lots of kids and are living happily. Would you throw that all away and leave? Bin Laden did. He went to Afghanistan in 1979 because they were at war with the Soviet Union. He felt so bad for them that he went out there, fought the Soviets who were illegally invading Afghanistan and led the natives to victory. I don’t think people realise how big an achievement this is. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, even the USA were too scared to go in and fight with the Soviet Union. They were petrified of each other. The Soviet’s were scared of the US, and vice versa. So it shows outstanding courage for a 22 year old Arab millionaire to throw aside his wealth and fight for what he believes in. Not only did he fight, he led the Afghani’s to an outstanding victory, it was the ass kicking of all ass kickings.

How did he do it? You know they say war is about who has a bigger army, larger numbers and technology. But that doesn’t do it. What does it is a fearless nature. Even today you pick up a newspaper in the USA and UK, a few pages in you read “British and American soldiers die in Afghanistan”. Why do British and American soldiers keep getting sent back to their country in body bags? They have better weapons, intelligence, training, everything?! It’s fear. They have something in the back of their mind, a family to go back to, a nice comfortable home and friends. What do the Afghani’s have? Nothing. They have nothing to lose, most of their wealth has been stolen, their families murdered and slaughtered, they have nothing. So they go into battle thinking “I will reach martyrdom, I have nothing to lose, kill me at your own peril” it’s much harder to kill someone who doesn’t fear death. So this is one of the reasons Bin Laden’s army was victorious. Another reason is because he was trained by the CIA and armed by the US. This is a fact. The same country who are enemies with Bin Laden, trained and armed him. Oh the irony.

Now after this battle, years passed and Bin Laden was still fantastic for the USA, until he rebelled and wanted them to stop assisting the Israeli’s butcher the Palestinians. Fair enough, who doesn’t want that? Every year for the last 50, the UN passes judgement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They have a ruling which is something along the lines of “Which countries object to peaceful negotiation and equal split of land between the Palestinians and Israelis” and of the 192 countries in the UN, only 4-5 object! Only two of them consistently have done for 50 years and that is the USA and Israel. They talk about “War on Terrorism” but in actual fact, they’re the two biggest terrorist nations out there.

Now because the USA did not comply and continued to help Israel, Bin Laden grew furious and began to launch attacks on the US forces. He also encouraged terrorist actions on the US, which lead to people doing outrageous things to bring them down, it gave Islam a negative vibe. He was stripped of his citizenship from Saudi Arabia as a result and lived in Afghanistan for good. I am completely against acts of terrorism, especially when harming innocent people, so Bin Laden encouraging it is something I strongly disagree with. This is the point my admiration of Bin Laden ends. Yes he did good things up until the early 90s, but he went astray here and anything he did from this point just ruined the good work he did for Afghanistan in the past. I hate the US government, I hate the Israeli government and what they have both done to the Palestinians breaks my heart, but killing innocent people as revenge is hypocrisy for me.

So then 9/11 happens. They say Bin Laden is the instigator, with no proof whatsoever. Bin Laden releases a tape and Fox News and Sky News translate it extremely questionably and say he took responsibility. No he did not. He did not say “I planned this attack” he never confirmed such a thing. If you ask someone from Saudi Arabia to translate what he said, it was more along the lines of “I don’t know if someone in my organisation attacked the USA, but if they did, well done to them, I applaud them”. The fact he applauds the act is disgusting, but we are talking about a proud Saudi Arabian man who defeated the Soviets and wants the world to know when he believes he has succeeded. Well if it was him, why the hell did he not take credit for it?! Fact is, from the mountains in Afghanistan and with all of your assets frozen, it is extremely difficult to plan something as tactically perfect as the 9/11 bombings. We’re talking about a place with no internet, no mobile phone coverage, no phone lines, fighting and death all around and hostility amongst common people. It does not make sense for Bin Laden to have masterminded 9/11, this was too professional, too slick and too calculated an operation for a man in Afghanistan to plan. Who did 9/11? I have my own theories on that which I will not discuss today.

So he goes into hiding for a decade and then suddenly his death is announced dramatically on Sunday. Wow! First question I ask Mr Obama and his predecessor Mr Bush is, “The World Trade Centre attacks killed 3,000 people, how many soldiers of USA  as well as civilians from Afghanistan and Pakistan died over the 10 years you tried to capture Bin Laden?” and you know what, you can bet your ass the number is way higher than 3,000. Statistics suggest, the lowest possible number of civilian fatalities in Afghanistan in the 10 years since trying to find Osama Bin Laden is 11,042. That’s almost four times as many people as those that died at the hands of the terrorists who planned 9/11 and that is an absolute minimum. I can guarantee the number is a lot higher than this. But even if it isn’t, are you telling me that the blood of a US civilian is four times more precious than that of an Afghani?

The second question I’d ask is “How much did it cost to bring this man to justice?”. How much do you guys think it cost? I’ll tell you. The USA has spent $400,862,264,789 on the war in Afghanistan since 2001. I don’t know about you guys, but I actually have no f***ing idea how to read that number!? Is that $400 billion?!!!?! Really!?!?! So you’ve killed at least four times as many people as the WTC attacks and spent over $400 billion trying to find Bin Laden? Oh my word! They could have used that money to educate and train every Muslim in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Palestine to secure their future, keep them away from terrorism and make the world a more peaceful place? But no. They used it to make a crater of Afghanistan. What insanity.

The third question I would ask, only to Obama is “You were suffering your worse ratings ever, you were behind in the polls, you had the lowest support in US history for a President in his first term, is it a coincidence that Osama dies at this very point in time?” of course he’d tell me it is, but I know bullsh** when I see it.

Now let me discuss this whole Bin Laden being killed thing. The attack was in Abbottabad, and it was very real. But what I am about to discuss dismisses the possibility of Bin Laden being associated with it completely. Now for people from a western background it is difficult to explain how things function in Pakistan. In towns like the one in Abbottabad, the communities are very tight knit. When I visit Kashmir, almost everyone in the village knows my name, who my dad is, who my mum is, who my grandparents are, who their grandparents were, the colour of my underwear, my blood type…. you get the picture. They know everything! They are a real gossip group, they love to know everything. My village itself, is very similar to this one in Abbottabad. Very tight knit community, shops, and a random big house on the edge. But everyone knows who the house belongs to. In poor countries like Pakistan, people thrive on knowing the rich, they give them hope and something to talk about. It is absolutely impossible that no one in Abbottabad knew who the house belonged to! On top of this, Pakistan is packed with beggars. Beggars work very differently in the Indian Sub-Continent, in common villages, no one has a lock on their front door. You can freely walk in and out of anyone’s house in Pakistan, unless you live in a major city. So the way beggars work is, they step into your premises, sit down and refuse to move until you pay them. When there is a locked up mansion with only 3 people living in their and no one has ever seen them, less fortunate people will take over and stay there. People must have tried it! On top of that, Pakistan reaches heats of 50 degrees sometimes, and has extremely unstable electricity. Baring this in mind, you can imagine how hot it gets inside. Whoever lived in this house would have stepped outside to get air, it would be torture not to and since almost every single Pakistani house has a balcony someone would see him! This whole Bin Laden living in a mansion in Pakistan is absolutely lies. And if you think the Pakistani’s protected him, you’re even more deluded! We’re talking about a country where the average wages are $3,000 per annum, would they really protect a man who has a $50million bounty on his head and who the majority of them blame for their country being at ransom to the USA. They would take that $50million at the drop of a hat, believe me.

So it’s literally impossible he lived in this house, and now what about the attack? First they say a helicopter landed on his house, then they say it landed on a field, then they say they found him in a room and he refused to surrender, then locals say the house was shelled and set on fire from outside, then one helicopter was shot down, but then it wasn’t? It get’s worse, they expect me and every human being on the planet to believe, that Osama Bin Laden, a man who has been in hiding for 10 years, who was a skilled fighter (he knew several martial arts and could murder you with his bare hands), trained by the CIA and a certified killer, expert of weapons (especially explosives and the AK47), 6’7 in height and has been at war his whole life, could not hear helicopters come to his house (when people 6km away heard them) and did not think to grab his gun and start shooting? And him and his henchmen who were equally as skilled as him, could not injure one American? Again, stop with the bullsh**. And even more, they say they respected Islamic traditions and buried him within 24 hours, at sea haha! Oh gosh, so they suddenly respect Islamic rulings and buried him ASAP because they didn’t want to offend the Muslim world?! I have relatives who’s bodies weren’t released until weeks after they died in the UK, because the NHS wanted to do tests and autopsy’s , but suddenly the USA gets a heart of gold and want to respect the Muslims? You wanna know how you can respect us? Get your backsides out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, out of Pakistan and stop supporting Israel in their continued massacre of Palestinians. We ask for nothing more.

So where do I think Bin Laden is? This might shock you but I do think he is dead. He must be, the facts point to his demise. But he can’t have died on Sunday, it’s not possible. Let me present the evidence to you, his allies said 6-7 years ago that he was extremely ill. More than that, they say he had failed kidneys, and this is when the US still thought he was in Afghanistan. It is near impossible to find a dialysis machine in all of Afghanistan, let alone in the mountains where he was! And even if he had a dialysis machine, where the hell would he plug it into? A rock? And even if he did find a magic power socket to plug it into, he’s in a country where the electricity cuts off for several hours a day. On a battlefield with USA and UK bombing all of Afghanistan this man survived with failed kidneys? Forget his kidneys for a second, even a healthy young man would find it near impossible to survive in these circumstances! Let alone a 60 year old man, who’s aged, old, ill and needs new kidneys. This was 6-7 years ago. But around 3 years ago Benazir Bhutto said on live TV “Osama Bin laden is dead”. This woman was Prime Minister of Pakistan for around 8 years and is known to have good intelligence sources in the Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani regions, if she says he is dead, chances are he is. And she wasn’t the only one, The President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai also made this statement and said he had died a long time ago. Furthermore, the heads of most Islamic terrorist organisations have stated several times, Osama isn’t part of operations any more. They never said he died because it breaks the hearts of young terrorist wannabes across the world. But believe me when I say he’s been dead for years. Evidence points to the fact this whole mission was a sham and evidence points to the fact that Osama was dead years ago. Why pull the stunt then? The USA knew he was dead as well, I can guarantee that. They did not confirm his death because if he is still alive, it gives them a reason to stay in Afghanistan and continue to butcher innocent people. Now there are several reasons why Obama could have announced this. (a) Because they have another country to attack in Libya and a whole lot of oil to gain there, plus Qaddafi is a maniac terrorist figure to last for the foreseeable future. (b) Because Obama is suffering in the elections. (c) Because they want a reason to bully another Muslim country in Pakistan into doing things they don’t want to. Or (d) Obama wants an exit strategy in Afghanistan. It could be one of these reasons, it could be all four, I will trust those reading this article to use their own brain, do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Don’t believe the hype. This story has been littered with so many lies that we need to seek the truth for ourselves. Arainmunda, signing out.

Jorge and Alexa Narvaez

I consider myself a mature and hard working guy, with a dedicated nature and one who can set an example to youngsters and give them guidance. However, I often don’t act my age and skiving work and going through the internet looking for humorous viral videos is one of my flaws. I watch vloggers, am quite keen on the YouTube community and sites like FailBlog. From watching these vloggers and YouTube channels I have had some huge laughs, been inspired and sometimes just gotten ticked off. One of the channels I follow is =3 by Ray William Johnson. He’s a young, intelligent and humorous guy who is fast becoming one of the most famous people on the internet. He started his show =3 , as a politics vlog and then it slowly changed direction and became a comedy show reviewing viral videos. He was an impressive “15th most subscribed person globally on YouTube” around a year and a half ago and now it’s just a matter of time before he takes the number one spot. Not only that, he has other channels that include comical music videos that are flying up the YouTube rankings and currently more popular than his =3 show! The guy is a machine, and what’s sensational about him is that when he reviews a video, it will have around 100,000 views, once he’s done reviewing it, they tend to sky rocket and go well beyond this, one has even gone on to around 40million. See below for a typical episode of =3.

Ray William Johnson isn’t the only person on YouTube I follow though, probably my favourite YouTuber is a 24 year old Australian girl named Natalie Tran. Her channel, named CommunityChannel is just awesome. Her show consists of her speaking about the day to day activities of life, offering her take on certain things and making you laugh out loud at her realness! She is absolutely hilarious, mocks herself like no one else and is just hysterically funny. See below for a typical CommunityChannel video.

Humour is great, but sometimes when I’m down or when I need something to cheer me up, humour doesn’t do it. I mean jokes just aren’t as good when you’re depressed right? If I were upset I’d want something to touch my heart in a special kind of way, not an episode of =3 or a CommunityChannel video, with respect to them both. Enter Jorge and Alexa Narvaez the adorable and lovable father-daughter duet. You know, words can’t describe how touching and magical their videos are! I bet they could even make the hardest man say “awwwwwww” and they’d do it with ease! What makes them so amazing is the sweetness of their relationship and how they enjoy what they are doing so much. They look like they love each other like a father and daughter should and when you see how rude children are to their parents these days, it’s even more touching. This beautiful double act actually got so famous they appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and well done to them because they deserve all the credit they receive. I’ll end on this, anyone who thinks Alexa isn’t one of the cutest things ever, must be mentally disturbed! See below for the video, check some of their others and enjoy. Arainmunda, signing out.

Pregnancy and the bump

So the weather has been pretty fabulous in the UK recently. We’ve been treated to temperatures of 20-25 degrees centigrade, which for April is impressive! With good weather in the UK comes a lot of people flaunting their physique and flashing that skin. The problem is, the British and Irish aren’t accustomed to the sun, and what happens is they end up going pink! Brits don’t tan well you see, but it’s all good as I stay away from beaches and the parks I visit tend to be plentiful in space, no pinkness can bother me there! I do feel for the Brits though. I mean, I’m Kashmiri, therefore permanently tanned and when sunlight hits me, I tan even more! If I could, I’d share my colour with all the less fortunate pinkies, I know they’re itching for a tan more than I am anyway!

So it’s a wonderful day, and I’ve just played a good session of badminton in central London. Walking back to the station I notice a pregnant lady walking past! She was wearing a short, tight white top and half of her bump was visible. I always have a sense of joy when I see a pregnant lady, especially on London Underground where I jump at the chance to offer them a seat. The whole nature of pregnancy is beautiful, but do you know what ruins it for me? When people show their bump in the flesh and think it’s natural or normal.

I’ll probably split opinions here, but I’m of the view that when a lady is pregnant, cover the bump and keep it covered. Showing it off to the world destroys the beauty of it and always leaves me wondering “where shall I look?”. I mean staring at it is rude, and then not looking at it is difficult since it is so out there. What put me off this more than anything was that the top she wore was absolutely not designed for someone pregnant. It was a tight white vest top that appeared to be forced over her bump and just did not want to stay down. Predictably, as she walked the top would slowly roll up, and low and behold her gut would then be on display. This woman in particular is not the only culprit and celebrities who do model shoots in their birthday suit while pregnant make me cringe even more! I don’t care if you’re Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria, I don’t want to see you in nude shots with your bump! It destroys the beauty of pregnancy and makes most people feel squeamish.

Pregnancy is amazing when women wear simple clothes. Those typical pumps they wear so their feet don’t swell, the simple white bottoms that go loosely around their waist, the warm coloured top that goes comfortably around their bump and is accompanied with a cardigan to help the mother and baby stay warm! I mean they do need to stay warm right? JM said in her immortal words “She’s gotta keep the baby warm and protect it from the draft!” I couldn’t have said it any better! So I ask pregnant women out there to cover your bumps, dress modest and inspire other women to have kids of their own with your beauty. This is Arainmunda signing out.

Who remembers the early days of Napster? The controversial P2P software that allowed people to share media. What was so controversial about it? Well back then it’d cost around £12.99 ($15.99 for anyone state side) to buy an album produced by a popular musician. Napster eliminated the need to pay such a ludicrous sum and gave us music lovers the ability to share any songs we had for free. The process was dead simple as well. Open Napster, search for a song you want, double click to download, wait 15 minutes for it to arrive and then listen to it till your ears bleed! Though Napster was taken to court and at the wrong end of numerous lawsuits, the music industry was hit hard and has never been the same. Other companies like Kazaa, iMesh, Morpheus and Limewire came along and took it to a whole new level. Not only did these four encourage P2P networking with audio, they introduced it for images, ISO’s and video so now any kind of content produced could be illegally downloaded. It got worse, torrents came along and changed the way P2P worked, enabling you to download full albums and huge files. People could search for a host of films, download through the night and then by morning watch all their films guilty free.

Original Napster

The first version of Napster I used. Who remembers this?

I think almost everyone (myself included) has been guilty of media piracy at some point. I mean can any of you guys honestly put your hand on your heart and say you haven’t downloaded something for free that you should be paying for? They say it’s the same as going into a store and stealing a CD, but is it? I for one think the prices some of these artists, studios and producers charge for their music or films is daylight robbery in it self. £12.99 is far too much for an album, but downloading it for free isn’t fair either. So what to do?

Enter iTunes and Spotify. The former allowed one to enter their store, log in with their details and download songs for as little as 59p (69cents in the USA) and this did encourage a lot of people to stop illegally downloading songs. iTunes is doing extremely well and is the market leader in selling audio, especially full albums. Spotify was slightly different and had a fresh new approach to music. It allowed you to register, search their site for music and then just listen as much as you want. Both iTunes and Spotify are legal and they both bought normality to the music industry, yes you still had a huge number of people downloading for free, but the number was dropping and it seemed a balance was struck.

However the normality that we thought was coming, took a massive blow last week. Spotify are cutting back the amount we can use their service. They’ve halved monthly usage from 20 hours to a measly 10 hours and it doesn’t stop there. That new tune you heard that you wanna slap on repeat, well Spotify will put a limit on that so now you can listen to a track a maximum of five times! Five times? I don’t know about you guys, but when I quite like a track and want to listen to it non stop, it takes me at least 50 times to get tired and move on, not five! This at a time when Apple have hiked prices on iTunes up to around £1 ($1.29). So basically the guys at the top of music industry are laughing. But when all is said and done, this isn’t good for them because what does this do? It pushes people back to music piracy, the one thing the music industry has been trying to eliminate for the past 13 years.

A lot of people have been looking to blame Spotify for the cuts, but they are reportedly making losses of £16.6million a year! They are busting their gut to get free music out there for the world, and are suffering massively from it, they can’t be expected to do this and make such heavy losses. They must look out for their interests, make money and run a sustainable business, and we should support them in their bid to do so. What the music listening public and the record labels need to do is work together to bridge a gap between free music and paying for songs. But it’s such a difficult balance to strike, just how do we come to a conclusion in this?

I think the only way to resolve this is for a balance to be struck on the price songs are sold at and a kind of alternate to radio for the internet. Radio is cool, but with songs being chopped up and DJ’s finding the need to yap over the top of them, they’ll never be as popular as music based on the internet. Spotify offer a £9.99 a month service which allows you to listen to unlimited music completely ad free. I personally think this is a bargain and that people should take this offer, I mean you pay up to £70 a month for Sky TV and you can’t control the content on your HD box, but with Spotify and music you can, so why not? I personally think it’s ideal and a good way to put Spotify on the map for their efforts to lower the price of music. On the iTunes front, we need competition for them. We have Amazon who also sell songs and albums but competition in prices and encouraging the big companies to keep them low would be massive for the music industry and could potentially strike the balance we need to halt piracy. If they lower their prices to the original 59p or if they had three songs for the price of two, it’d be much more fair on the consumer. Music is a product, but it isn’t something we should pay large sums for.

Alternatively iTunes can continue to raise prices. The music industry can stay greedy and keep conning us. Their loss, piracy it is then. Arainmunda signing out.

The hooked trout

I read an amazing quote today which I loved and felt the need to share with everyone. It goes something like this.

“When a trout rising to a fly gets hoooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freeely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.” – Karl Menninger.

Now I have no idea who Karl Menninger is, what he does or if he is still alive! But he really has hit the nail on the head with that quote. I read it and immediately could relate to what he is saying. You often look at the people you love, they are struggling massively with something and you yourself just don’t see what the fuss is about. The free fish will look at the hooked one and think “That is easy, I could get out of that predicament with no issues” but could it really? Likewise when I am in a predicament and people look at me thinking “what is the fuss…just do this”, no sir it just doesn’t work. My heart and brain function in a certain way and I struggle to deal with certain issues. I wish I could, but I’m no Superman. On a pretty depressing Monday morning, I feel like I’m on a hook, I hope I can wriggle free and move on but right now I’m struggling. I hope everyone who is stuck on a hook like myself, can wriggle free, put to bed any issue they have and be happy. On that depressing note, this is Arainmunda signing out.

The burqa ban

It’s been in the news for quite some time and it’s created a storm across the world. On July13th 2010, France became the first country to impose a burqa ban which forced any Muslim woman (who wore one) to be arrested, fined and potentially take citizenship classes. The ban it self is supported by the majority in France, a poll carried out by Pew Research Centre suggested that 80% of the country were behind monsieur Sarkozy. The ban didn’t kick in immediately, they gave any Muslim who wore a burqa eight months to get adjusted before the law came into force properly. For those of you who don’t know what a burqa is, let me explain. It is a loose garment that is worn over the top of normal clothes and designed to hide the figure of a woman. It would cover your hair, arms and legs. This part of the outfit is called a jilbab and is a very common over garment worn by Muslim women across the world. If you were to go to east London, Luton or Bradford you’d find thousands of people wearing this part of the outfit. It’s massively disliked by the vast majority of British National Party, English Defence League and UK Independence supporters and even some Conservatives aren’t too fond of it. But if they dislike that, then the veil attachment which makes the jilbab a burqa will be something that particularly disgusts them. The purpose of the burqa is that it covers the face of the woman so that no male can gaze their eyes upon her except (a) her husband, (b) her father, (c) her grandfather, (d) her brother and  (e) her maternal or paternal uncle. The hijab (headscarf) and jilbab are also designed for these purposes, but the burqa is seen to take it to a different level by many across the globe. They can have different designs and be any colour, though they are typically plain, simple and black.

First of all, before discussing the moral and legal issues surrounding the burqa ban and whether it is right or wrong, let me give you my opinion on the burqa it self. As some of you may know, I’m a devoted Muslim and take my religion very seriously. I believe if you wear a burqa in a western country such as France, USA, UK you are putting yourself at a higher risk than you realise. The purpose of the burqa is to protect a woman and keep her secure and they definitely work. Think of rape, when was the last time someone was raped wearing a burqa? I mean from a rapist’s point of view, it’s just not worth it. Get through the veil, then the jilbab, then you have the clothes that are underneath! A rapist wants an easy target and a woman wearing a burqa is not. Furthermore the rapist cannot see what this woman looks like and immediately any attraction would be extremely limited. So does the burqa work? Whether people like it or not, the answer is an emphatic yes. Statistics prove it does, logic prove it does and ask anyone who wears one if they get stalked, harassed, sexually abused or assaulted, I’m certain the answer would be no. But, and this is a big but, does it protect them from these people any more than a jilbab (burqa minus the veil)? I don’t think it does. I think that in western countries, the jilbab and burqa are equally effective so that there is no need to wear the latter unless you really want to. Also, if you wear a burqa you are likely to draw more attention and hate from racists and fascists than you would if you wore just a jilbab. I think when you weight up the pros and cons, in a western country a jilbab is more appropriate for a Muslim woman who wants to cover up. In an Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Yemen, a burqa is common and therefore makes sense, but the west you’re probably better off with a jilbab. This however is purely my opinion and I could be horrendously wrong. Furthermore I have no issue or problem with anyone wearing a burka, everyone should be free to do what they want and wear whatever they like. My sister in-law wears a burka and never has it changed the way I see her, speak to her or in anyway hamper our relationship. So that is my opinion out of the way, what about the law in France it self?

This problem Sarkozy and the rest of France have with veils must be terrible you say. Think of all those veiled people walking around Paris and scaring away tourists and honeymooners, it must be awful for them? Well of the 62,616,488 people that live in France, it is estimated around 2,000 people wear a burqa. 2,000 people! That is 0.003% of the French population. So there has been debate, outrage and hatred towards a small group of women in France, most of which will be devoted housewives and never go out much anyway? That is absolutely absurd. They talk about it like it is a world wide issue that needs to be addressed and when you examine the details it is a minuscule amount of the population who are supposedly harming the heritage of France.

Coming back to Sarkozy the man who was so passionate about imposing the rule, just what type of person is he? I am not a fan of him and think the guy is a joke. He’s so self conscious and concerned about such irrelevant things in life that it makes me think, how on earth he became President of such a major country. When he has photographs taken with a group of people, he’ll purposely make sure they’re shorter than him and when he goes on stage he has a step up on the podium. He’s only 5’5 which is no big deal I mean hey, genetics are genetics and not everyone is blessed with height. The idea is to embrace it and be proud of who you are. The fact he is insecure about it and is leader of a country is preposterous. You need a head strong leader who doesn’t give a damn what people think and is fully focused on his job. Further to this insecurity is the colour of his hair? To me it says a lot when a man approaching his 60’s dyes his hair to appear younger. So let me get this straight, your face looks like a worn out leather belt, but your hair is suspiciously brown. I know I’m talking about appearance only here, but it boils down to the same thing, if you are insecure about your height and hair colour, then you should not be in charge of nation. You might say “everyone is human and has insecurities” which is true, but then they should be worthwhile ones. George Bush was a dimwit who created his own words but he didn’t appear to have any major insecurities. Back to Sarkozy, what further fumes me about this guy is probably something that winds up women too. Two failed marriages and each time he was divorced he went on to marry someone younger. When he divorced his second wife Cécilia Attias , he proceeded to marry someone over 10 years younger than her, and she was previously a world famous fashion model. What I don’t understand with him and Silvio Berlusconi (the Italian Prime Minister) is they had life long partners who looked after them, stuck with them in their battle to become leader of their country and then they’re kicked to the curb, divorce papers are filed and a new young model (or several in Mr Berlusconi’s case) come in. It says a lot about Sarkozy’s character that he is this shallow and when you couple this with his insecurities what you have is a man who in my mind should be addressing his personal problems before stepping up to try and run one of the worlds most powerful nations. He’s been involved in affairs, public scandals and like most politicians around the world, is a huge hypocrite. He was quoted in Saudi Arabia saying Islam was “one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has known” and then two years later bans a garment that is authentic to that same religion, if you really think it’s so beautiful Nico, why are you banning something Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged people to wear?

I’ll conclude with this. Can you imagine if the Saudi King visited France? It’d be amazing. King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz (with a suspiciously black goattie) would arrive with one of his wives and she’d be in a burqa. Oh…wait, she’s gonna be arrested, fined and given citizenship classes isn’t she? What is Sarkozy going to do in this scenario? Seriously? Is he going to force his wife to remove her veil? Will he call the police and have her arrested? What will he do!? It’s obvious isn’t it? He isn’t going to do a damn thing. I mean King Abdullah is a big fish and if you mess with him, things aren’t going to end well for you. We’re talking about the man who controls around 80% of the worlds oil, we know how important that is to the west. So if King Abdullah’s wife can walk around in France without a burqa, why is it the 2,000 Muslim women who actually live there can’t? The law is a sham. It is controversial, fascist, entices racial hatred and is bullying the minor burqa wearing population of France into leaving the country. It’s okay for a woman to walk around in a skimpy bikini in Paris, in fact Sarkozy will probably be checking her out, but if she’s wearing a burqa it is breaking the law. There is something seriously wrong with a country that doesn’t mind semi naked women walking around but makes it illegal to be fully covered. I could discuss this further, but the more I do, the more my blood boils. Mr Sarkozy and the supposed 80% of France who support this law need to take a good look at themselves, sort their morals out and stop picking on such a small number of people who aren’t harming anyone. The most worrying thing of all is that, most of the time racist and fascist people tend to lack intelligence and blame others for their shortcomings in life. This burqa ban is being applauded by intelligent and educated people. In October 2010, a 60 year old French lawyer racially abused, assaulted and then ripped off a 26 year old innocent Muslim woman’s veil in a clothing store. What right does this narrow minded cow have to do such a thing? In the aftermath of this attack, both women were arrested, neither were charged and the old hag was lauded as a national hero. Let me tell you guys something, and if anyone in France is reading this, even better. If England bought in such a fascist law, and a woman who committed racially motivated common assault was propelled to national heroin status, I would pack my bags and leave. No if’s and buts about it, I’d leave. And I really think those 2,000 burqa wearing Muslims and their families should do the same, because they are fighting a losing battle. On that slightly depressing note, this is Arainmunda signing out.

This probably isn’t a post that the majority of you guys will enjoy reading, but I love discussing things that inspire me. On Saturday, I had an amazing day at my friend’s house. We had a thoroughly enjoyable birthday get together with a barbecue and lots of random shenanigans (as always). I got home at around 3:20am and wanted to go to sleep, only I knew I’d have to wake up to pray at 4:40am. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a devoted Muslim who prays five times a day, so given the fact one of the five was timed for around 4:40am, I decided to stay up an hour and twenty minutes. Problem is, I was seriously tired. I mean I’d been up on Saturday since 7am, I’d played badminton for 2 hours, been at a barbecue stuffing my face all day and was in my room with my bed calling me at 3:20am, that hour and 20 minutes of staying up was going to be difficult.

I climbed into bed, sat up and figured I’d watch TV but I notice my Sky box is actually recording something already? Really? What on earth did I set to record at 3:30am on Saturday?! I switch to the channel in question and it hits me, boxing! I’ve never discussed boxing on this blog, but it is without a doubt my absolute favourite sport, I love almost every aspect of it. The passion, skill, dedication, aggression and the glitz and glamour that comes with it. I love all sports but I think that boxing is cut from a different cloth. I mean athletes train to be fit right? Then they use that fitness in the sport they’re trained in? But do they do that while getting punched in the face? Boxers do. This is what makes it the most difficult sport and this is what makes me love it. No diva shit, no showing off with no reason. These guys get punched in the face all year and the majority of them are more humble and likeable than the footballers of the English Premier League! Boxers have a hard life, only a really small percentage of them make it and earn real money. Of the ones who earn real money, too many of them end up in unfortunate circumstances. With slurred speech, brain damage, no friends and no life. Heck look at Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Remember they had their infamous ear biting fight? They were both massively successful boxers and multimillionaires, especially “Iron” Mike! Now they’re both broke and Holyfield is still boxing at the age of 48 just so he can pay his child support bills. A sad future awaiting you is common in boxing. You do get the happy endings as well though. There are plenty of boxers who are retired and happy now, just look at “Prince” Naseem Hameed and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. They’re both fat little men, they’re enjoying their retirement and imagine they made a boxing come back? Those podgy bastards would be heavyweights! Haha!

Prince Naseem (Before/After)

Before and After. Looking good Prince....errrr not!

Ricky Fatton

Ricky..err Fatton?

So the fight in question was between Erik “El Terrible” Morales and Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. In case you’re unsure who these guys are, Erik Morales is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He fought in the lower weight classes through the 90’s so won’t be someone who casual fans will know. He (like most Mexican boxers) has a really small frame and in his heyday fought at 122lbs and 126lbs. That’s pretty small for a guy and I bet a lot of women weight more than that! There is a lot less money and glamour in boxing when men are small, people tend to think it’s all about the Middleweights and Heavyweights, but it really isn’t. The lower weights are more often than not, more exciting and fun than the heavier ones but they just never got the recognition they deserved, Prince Naseem changed that. He made a lot of people take notice of the lower weight classes, with his brash character and arrogant manner. Manny Pacquiao then took that to a whole new level with his success, but people don’t realise guys like Erik Morales paved the way for the likes of Pacquiao to do what they do today. In fact, do you know who the last person to beat Manny Pacquiao was? El Terrible himself, Erik Morales! Morales gave Pacquiao a real lesson on how to box and sent him back to the Philippines with his tail firmly between his legs. Of course Pacquiao bounced back and beat him later, but Morales has become a shadow of his former self. Morales fought 57 times professionally and 114 times in the amateurs. That is a long, tough career and it was to get worse fighting one of the worlds deadliest boxers in Marcos Maidana. This tough son of a gun is one of the most ruthless fighters of the modrn era. He’s from Argentina and has the nickname “El Chino” because he looks slightly Oriental (“Chino” is Spanish for “Chinese”). Maidana was the guy who recently fought Amir Khan and almost had him knocked out on his feet in the 10th round, Khan looked lost, his senses weren’t there and he could easily have lost right there. Maidana is a beast, no doubt about it.

So on one side you have Erik Morales, a guy who spent most of his career at 122lbs and who had fought 7 or 8 times too many. On the other side you had the young hungry beast Marcos Maidana, who is at the pinnacle of his career, fights at 140lbs and punches like a mini Mike Tyson. Absolutely everyone wrote Morales off, they thought he wouldn’t last 3 rounds with a guy as vicious as Maidana. Not only did he last the full 12 rounds, but he gave Maidana a trip to hell and back in the process!

From the opening bell, Morales got hit hard in the eye. Oh my, it was pretty gruesome, he had a lump the size of a tennis ball! It was if someone just thumped him in the head with a sledge hammer. I think this happened around one and a half minutes into the fight, I was literally cringing and hiding under my quilt at the thought of one of my favourite fighters being knocked out so badly and getting life long injuries. His eye was completely swollen shut, from round 1 on, he’d have to fight with his left eye only against one of the toughest meanest men on the planet. You might think I’m exaggerating how bad his eye was, but see below for proof!

Erik Morales Eye

Yikes, it gets worse every time I see it!

So it was looking like a formality. Maidana beating on Morales, bullying him, dishing out punishment and simply making him look his age. Then suddenly, from rounds 2 till 10, Morales just found something. I can’t explain what it was, only he can, but he started hurting Maidana, hitting him with smart accurate punches, coming up into his face and bullying the bully. Maidana looked completely stunned. In rounds 7 and 8 in particular, Maidana was back peddling, trying to get away from the “has been old man” so many labelled Morales. He fought with his heart on his sleeve, fantastic determination and amazing skill, what more can you expect from this humble and talented warrior. By round 8 I was literally jumping up and down shouting “knock him out El Terrible!!!” as if my cheering would inspire him to do so haha! Fortunately for Maidana, Morales got tired in the last few rounds and this allowed “El Chino” to do more damage in the final stretch. By the time the fight ended no one knew who had won, it seemed too close to call and I had no idea who would get the decision. In the end, Maidana prevailed by a close margin, but many boxing fans (reporters and experts included) thought Morales had sneaked the victory, or that at the absolute minimum it was a draw. I was bitterly disappointed, but overjoyed at the same time. I mean almost everyone wrote Morales off, but he defied the odds and critics to put in a performance most of us could only dream of, and he did it well past his prime. Before the fight he asked the media “am I the only person who thinks I can win?” it was greeted with silence, and perhaps a lot of people would have laughed at the idea of him getting the victory. He may not have won the fight, but he sure as hell won the occasion and who do you think is laughing now?

When I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep, I was too excited at what I’d just witnessed and I pay tribute to Erik “El Terrible” Morales. The guy is an inspiration for everyone and let me tell you why. In life you have your critics, you have people who laugh at you and say you don’t have the ability to pursue your dreams. There are people who dismiss your accomplishments and try to put you down whenever they can, sometimes they have reason to but even when they do, it’s a rough feeling. However, if you get upset about it or give up, those critics will have won. Prove them wrong. Prove them wrong with determination and heart. Prove them wrong because no goal is impossible and even if you think you’re not good enough to do it, give it a shot and you might just surprise yourself. The outcome of this fight didn’t go Erik Morales’ way, Maidana won. But in the future when we look at history, people will remember it for Morales defying the odds and proving us all wrong, not for Maidana winning. This should be a lesson to all of us, sometimes losing gives us more opportunities in life than winning, the most important thing in life is to try as hard as you can. The sky is the limit. Arainmunda signing out.

Erik "El Terrible" Morales

Erik "El Terrible" Morales, living legend.

Advertising dominates the world these days in more ways than we realise. There are so many different places it can be exploited that you’ll be hard pressed to name a day where you have not been exposed to it. Take Google, there isn’t a fee for using their search engine, so how do they pay their bills? One word, advertising. That has, is and always will be their main source of income. Heck they’ll even pay you to advertise for them. Think YouTube? All those annoying adverts before videos, they didn’t exist until Google bought them out. I’m not being critical or bashing Google here, anything that involves me not paying them and a blue chip company footing the bill is ay okay with me!

Where is the limit though? Recently TV advertising standards dropped when the government changed rules on product placement and increased the minutes per hour that broadcasters are allowed to show commercials. It won’t be long before you’ll see close up shots of Simon Cowell drinking Coca-Cola on UK X-Factor. Product placement is something I’m not a huge fan of, but damn does it work. You often find yourself watching a film and suddenly you see a familiar logo…it just stays on your mind. I watched a film called Chocolate over the weekend and after it finished, all I could think about was “damn I need some new Converses“, advertising is such a powerful tool. However, even though product placement is getting to a ridiculous point, it’s not even this I have a major problem with. I mean we are in control of our actions and if a Thai girl wearing Converse trainers in a movie leads to me spending money on my own pair, that is my own decision.

What I have a problem with, and a lot of people will disagree with me, is the placement of women on billboards, posters, shopping bags and other items so that it’s there for all to see. I mean over the last couple of days I’ve been in quite a few designer stores and seen numerous forms of advertising. Everything printed with a woman’s face or body is extremely sexual. I was in Guess three or four times recently, and oh my you need to see their standard carrier bags. To you guys it might not be such a big deal, but below is what I was forced to walk around with for around 2 hours:

Guess shopping bag

Attractive lady, but is it necessary?

You tell me. Would you feel 100% comfortable walking around with this in any particular environment? If you do, fair enough, but I’d like you to explain why! The other side of the bag has the following:

Guess Shopping Bag

The other side of the bag complete with Anna Nicole Smith.

A question I ask you is, would you mind if a 5 year old was exposed to this sort of thing? Neither woman is overly revealing, this much I agree. Heck looking from my office window I see more skin than on this bag. Does that make this bag okay though? You have a double sided carrier bag with two different women in very sexual and revealing positions. Ladies reading this article, how often do you strike poses like that? A lot of arguments are that seeing skin is natural, and nothing is more beautiful than a human being in their birthday suit. I disagree completely and believe with a passion that there are limits that are being broken without any sense of sorrow. Is it natural for a youngster to see a woman dressed in a skimpy outfit? Not really no. Is it natural for a youngster to then see that same woman giving him suggestive looks, absolutely not. If you believe that to be true, then go flash the next youth you see and report back to me on what the outcome is.

Probably the worse of all advertisements I’ve seen so far though, is the Miss Sixty poster. Who has seen it? It’s plastered all over London Underground and I’ll be shocked if you use the tube and haven’t seen this ad in particular.

Belen Rodriguez - Miss Sixty

Not overly revealing, but is it acceptable?

This one poster I have seen more than my mother in the last week. I can actually tell you the absolute minimum I will see it on a day to day basis. At Walthamstow Central I walk past this poster once and it is displayed in every single station up to Oxford circus (10 times). Here I will walk past this poster twice, before boarding a train and seeing it another 12 times. I then get off at Waterloo station walk through a tunnel and see it twice more. 26 views of this poster on my way to work, and the same amount of times on my way back home. So I will see this poster an absolute minimum of 52 times a day until it is removed. I don’t know about you, but I think that is ludicrous. I may not be a youngster, but I don’t want to see it 52 times in my day! Heck once is enough to give me a bit of a fluster haha! Again, she isn’t revealing all that much, but does she need to? The position she’s standing in and the look on her face is SO suggestive. Her name is Belen Rodriguez and she is an Argentine model and show girl. She clearly doesn’t mind her figure and suggestive posing being plastered over London Underground and she’s probably getting paid millions for it. I must sound like an old fogey here, but where has everyone’s morals gone? There was a time when stuff like this wasn’t allowed to be shown in environments where kids could be around, those boundaries have broken. It’s not just disheartening to someone who has views and opinions like me, what about all the women in the world who are shown something like this daily reminding them that they’ll probably never look that good. To top it off, half of the picture is modified and airbrushed, just how will women feel when they’re sat on a train next to their husband/boyfriend and they jump off to see them staring with great pleasure at this Miss Sixty poster, eyes firmy fixed on Miss Rodriguez’s behind? A sense of insecurity and a feeling that “If I want to keep my boyfriend/husband, I need to look like that”. No ladies, no you don’t. Yes Belen Rodriguez is quite a looker, yes her posters might make us look up once or twice, but you have no business trying to compete with an airbrushed model with no morals. You are who you are and that’s why we love you. Don’t change for shit. Arainmunda signing out.

The question used to be “do you have an online profile?” but that question is horrendously out of date. The question now is “how many profiles do you have?” because lets not kid ourselves, Social Networking has taken over our lives. The fact there has recently been a film based on Facebook called The Social Network and it was nominated for countless Academy Awards speaks volumes on how popular online profiles have become. There is another film called Catfish which has a lot to do with social networking too, but admittedly I haven’t seen either film. So where and how did this whole thing begin?

Who remembers their first email account? And the first time they went into a chat room? Oh my gosh I remember. My first account was with AOL in 1998. My user name was crazyav, yikes the thought of it is making me cringe!!! What did I do on this account? I was only 12 at the time dammit, what networking does a 12 year old need to do? Well in the early days I’d go into a chat room and be like “hey asl” to any random girl. And it was the same old shizz! “Hi, 19, female, California”, I mean this was AOL, almost everyone was American back then! “What do you look like?” I’d say all so eagerly. “I’m blonde, blue eyes, 5’6, really hot”….which means she was a brunette with brown eyes 5’3 and a bit podgy, but naive little arainmunda always believed them. They’d ask me, “asl and what do you look like”. What do you think I replied?? “12, male, London and I’m a paki with brown hair and brown eyes” or do you think I straight up LIED and did the same thing as her? Yep, you’re right, I LIED! What was my description back then? GOD it makes me cringe so bad. I’d say I was 6’2 even though I was about 5’3. I’d say I was very athletic, well…on the PlayStation I was. I’d say I was handsome, well…I might have been a little cute, but if anything I was ridiculously goofy. I said I had blonde hair and blue eyes, but that’s a given isn’t it? Everyone had blonde hair and blue eyes on AOL from 1995-2000! I said I drove a Porsche because I got 1502 in my SATs and my parents gave it to me as a gift. I didn’t even know what SAT’s were, but I knew 1502 was a high score! The only reason I knew was because (my then idol) Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell got the same score! I lied so much I made Fletcher Reede look like a trustworthy guy, and that was my warm-up act. I’d chat for an hour or so, then get bored and find someone else to talk to, same description, same lies, same 12 year old misbehaving. I mean can you imagine me with blonde hair and blue eyes? God, that’d be scary, I can see it now….

The horror!

Good look for me no?

It’s okay, stop hiding behind your chair, sit back on your seat and worry not. In fact scroll down so you can’t see the horror of what a blonde hair blue eyed arainmunda would look like! Now where was I? Oh yeah, so after the whole AOL craze some years had passed and I began to be a bit prouder of who I was. Not only that, the typical rich white internet user sterotype had died down. The online craze was spreading across the world. Common folk could now use it and it wouldn’t cost £50 a month like it used to, thanks mainly to Freeserve! Now that there were more ethnic minorities and a less racist attitude on the net, I started telling people who I really was, relief all around! Still did the chat room thing, but sometimes I would just go into a forum looking for trouble! I’d go into a KKK chatroom and be like “F*** all you wannabe Casper gaylords” then I’d proceed to rant and rave, before I’d run out of energy and leave haha! Those were the days. A shy 14 year old asian kid who had a regular life by day, was an internet troll by night!

Then the social networking craze took a turn with the introduction of FacePic and FreindsReunited. Who used FacePic? Do any of y’all remember it? If you didn’t use it let me explain; it was like Facebook, but the original. It had everything you could possibly need to network, heck…my brother met his future wife on FacePic!!! As for FriendsReunited, that shizz was no good. You had to pay around £30 a year to have a proper account? Really? £30? No wonder it failed. Some time later Hi5 and MySpace kicked in, and this is where things really got going. Social networking was becoming fun and I met so many people on both of them. I remember on MySpace, someone added me randomly from Kenilworth, I had no idea where that was when they added me and I accepted thinking who is this? They then dropped a comment on my profile saying “hi u alrite? im bored?! up to much? luv me xox” I had never met or spoken to this person in my entire life, yet the first message they dropped me was as if they’d known me for years!!!! Completely bizarre! We were friends for a while, but it slowly died down for various reasons. Hi5 was even better, it was there that I first gazed eyes on my woman. Quite strange now I think about it.

Then came Facebook, I was the first amongst my friends to join and I persuaded them all to jump on the bandwagon. It was and still can be so much fun. But it’s fizzled out somewhat? Why? Is it that social networking isn’t fun any more? Am I just growing out of it? Or is it privacy issues? I’m pretty sure it is the latter. What gets me is, back when I joined Facebook, it was only the cool cats who were on my friend list. They could see my life on Facebook, I could see theirs. But when Facebook relaxed the restrictions on who could join, it became a lot less fun for me. It used to be university students only but now if you’re a hobo on a street corner you can join. And of course, everyone has a right to do what they want, participate in what they want and become a member of any society they want, but one of the reasons I loved Facebook was because it was a youngsters only zone. And not just youngsters only, intelligent youngsters only. Now I sound pretty ignorant and I’m not implying that intelligent youngsters only exist in university, but from a social networking perspective it was such a good way to filter out the weirdo’s and oldies. Now I find myself on Facebook, with three fresh pot cousins, my mum, several aunts and uncles all on my list! It won’t be long before my 100 year old grandfather takes an interest in my Facebook! Now I’m not saying I don’t like some of those people being on my list, I enjoy seeing their pictures and being able to keep in touch with many of them. But suddenly I feel like my youthful private life is under constant scrutiny. My trip to Scotland for example, I loved it, but I know several aunts will be raising their eyebrow knowing I went there because a special someone lives there. People are too assuming and critical. They won’t know any details on what I did in Scotland, but they’ll assume I was up to no good, they’ll then spread lies, Chinese whispers will prevail, and I’ll come home from work one day with my dad saying “I heard you went to Edinburgh, got married to a white chick, drank whiskey and assaulted Alistair Darling“! Then when I tell him none of that occurred, that its all lies, he’ll believe me….but he’ll still have that image painted in the back of his mind. This is my beef with the Facebook revolution. The problem is, Facebook itself has become quite an important aspect in my social life. Leaving something I joined and have used daily since 2006 is no easy task. So what will come of my predicament? Who knows. Arainmunda signing out.