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Nafisa Joseph, Alanis Morissette and Sheela Gowda
The symbols of cultural degeneration
Mind-numbing 'intellectuals', whining 'singers' and 'modern art' are its icons

Alanis Morissette

I do not care do dissect the whining which she calls singing or her popularity on that account. But there is something deeply disturbing about her lyrics, her lyrics betray the intellectual void of our age, a void which has been promptly filled by ideologies like Pragmatism, relativism and other half-baked trash-can compost material that passes off for 'thought systems' today.

Hindu philosophy

None other that Swami Vivekananda refers to Hindu philosophy as ethereal and points this out to be a major flaw and and also draws attention to another great flaw in the Hindu system of thought—the caste system. The fuzzy logic, all-embracing concepts like Dharma, and the vague language of the scriptures place, the task of philosophic discourse, on the interpreter, in Hindu philosophy. This is why Schopenhauer refers to Western philosophy as being intellectual and Hindu philosophy as being intuitive. Hindu philosophy 'lends' itself to an aura of intuitiveness because of incompleteness.

This is what appeals to Alanis

Tomes of Hindu philosophy with its meandering, obfuscating and contradictory content must appeal richly to relativists like Alanis because it helps her eminently in reaching conclusions she wants to reach—that reality is subjective and logic is arbitrary. With the smug satisfaction that such ancient and revered philosophies seem to say what she had 'intuited' all along, Alanis only moves further ahead imbibing ideas of other subjectivist philosophies like Pragmatism.

How do I say that about Alanis? Well, I don't say all this, Alanis says it herself in her songs. In one of her songs from the album "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie", Alanis is heard whining:

"Thank you, India,
Thank you, nothingness,
Thank you, consequence,
Thank you, disillusionment"

For Alanis, consequence determines morality, nothingness defines existence and it is disillusionment that makes success and achievement appreciable. For her, it is only possible to know entities and be conscious of them by the possibility of their absence and it is only possible to pass judgement on an action after observing its consequences. Which is why one finds her expressing gratitude to attributes as nothingness and disillusionment, attributes which have helped her, made it possible for her to 'comprehend' the world. And to top it all, India is sitting right on top of her list, receiving thanks from her.

The ways of dealing with a foreign culture

Stereotyping of a culture or nation, is one of the many ways by which a people deal with the judgements and decisions they have to make about that nation. If Indians deal with American culture by saying that all Americans are sex-crazed imbeciles, craving everyday for pornography and living on sleeping pills and incessant 'consumerism'; Americans deal with India saying that it is a land of elephants, snakes and monkeys where people worship idols of Gods all through the day, where sages, hermits and fakirs walk on thorns and fire and charm snakes and tame monkeys and elephants as hobbies. (India will soon become like this if people like Nafisa keep at their work).

If stereotyping of a culture helps a group of people deal with it, it only does that partially. The completing element here is—imitation. Mystifying aspects of Hindu culture like meditation, yoga, levitation, and Hindu Gods attract the West to India and 'mystifying aspects' of the West like capitalism and dollars draw the Indians to the West. Which is why there are branches of ISKCON in the US and which is why the 'American way of life' has such a profound influence on Indian urbanites.

Where does Alanis fit in?

Alanis Morissette is just aping the East, and interpreting Oriental scriptures to suit her mind. She is thanking India for all conclusions that she has been able to draw. Her thanks go to those who deserve it, her intellectual comrades in India. Her thanks go to the Indians who ape the West and the Indians who defend the Hindu scriptures.

Articles in this Series
Part #3. Who is Sheela Gowda?

Nafisa Joseph
Alanis Morissette
Sheela Gowda
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