Ethnic Reality

There’s a black guy, a Chinese guy and a White guy sitting at a bar, talking about what they like about women.

The black guy says, I like women with a big ass.

The Chinese guy says, I like women with big tits.

They look over at the White guy and say what about you?

The white guy says, “huh? I was just thinking about how big your guys’ dicks are.”

SOURCE: r/hapas

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Hollywood Roundup XXXII

Criminal Minds S04E17: female African pathologist, S04E18: Afropean male upper chest nudity, S04E24: Japanese female pathologist, S05E06: East Asian female forensic pathologist, S05E04: insinuated sexual interest between grieving Afropean female and Afropean male agent, Afropean male FBI agent rebuffs a US European separatist in Montana when he talks about US government of US Africans calling it ‘conspiracies’, S05E14: hyper-heterosexualized European male (European females lust after him, European females sex him, impregnates married mistress, has wife and son), S05E18: hyper-heterosexualized Anglopean male agent (declares himself “a handsome Brit”, trained sniper, saves European female agent with whom it is insinuated that there is sexual interest), S05E21: Anglopean male detective is described by one European female as “arrogant, oversexed, egotistical…” and a “hot, British dude, with a sexy accent, badge and gun” by another European female, European male describes Afropean male detective as “muscle-bound, modern-day 007”, S06E04: Afropean female with European male sexual partner, S06E07: Three European males rape multiple European females, S06E08: Afropean female forensic pathologist, S06E12: Abusive European male academic married to Afropean female who commits suicide, has psychotic murdering male Afropean child, S06E18: Afropean female engaged to European male, Irish mobster, IRA terrorist, S06E22: Afropean male medical doctor.

Grimm S06E08: Female Afropean biochemistry professor, South Asian biochemistry professor.

The Magicians S02E04: Bisexual European male sexes European female and Spaniard male, S02E05: European male professor recalls his multiple sexing of students, European male sexes European female.

quantico-2-12Quantico S02E12: Insinuated that Afropean female has feelings for Latino European male, Chinese repressed homosexual marries European female, Chinese repressed homosexual tries to strangle European male who he blames for his sexual feelings.

One of Us (UK) S01E01: European male has an Afropean girlfriend who was raped by an European male.

AMREN 2014: Douglas Whitman

Douglas Whitman (PhD Entomology)
The Evolutionary and Biological Reality of Race
American Renaissance 2014

Whitman’s thesis: We can with high accuracy categorize people into races both visually and through software … thus races exist. Anyone who says otherwise is stupid.

It’s Nicholas Wade all over again.

Whitman uses two examples of how intuitive it is to categorize people into races.

wade 1wade 2Note how Whitman carefully selects only three human phenotypes to facilitate his confirmation bias.

Where would he place a brown Afropean? Or a pink Afropean? Or a dark brown Dravidian or Malay? Would he be able to visually categorize between a Southern Han and a brown Khoisan? What about a brown Aryan, a brown Arab, a brown Turk and a brown Latino? How does one scientifically determine where to lump and/or split?

But what of software? Is software not created by a coder who would input bias if he were looking for racial categories?

East Asians and Testosterone I

UPDATE: East Asians and Testosterone II

Hays (2011) states:

North Asians have lower levels of muscle-building testosterone than Europeans. Some Asian athletes have taken testosterone-like steroids as “a way of leveling the playing field.”

He provides no source for either claim. Mail sent to Mr. Hays on March 15, 2013 remain unanswered. Not to be outdone, Kelsey (2008) further states:

The reason basically for Asian men being more feminine in physical appearance is because of they produce more estrogen than men of other racial groups. Asian women are more feminine in appearance because they produce more estrogen than other women. This estrogen also influences personality and emotions this makes Asian men display characteristics that often are associated with women.

Some of the characteristics are they keep emotions hidden well meaning it can be difficult to tell when an Asian man is angry. The more testosterone a man produce the more he will show his emotions of anger, joy, sadness, happiness, etc. The less testosterone a man produces the more he is able to keep his emotions hidden.

But when he has kept these emotions hidden for a long time and bottled up whether these emotions are positive or negative when they come out they will manifest very strongly. The estrogen allows Asian men and women to look younger for many years example a 40 year old Asian man who looks 27 years old.

The claim of lower East Asian testosterone (T) levels is now a race realist marker of “race” or race difference. The European race realist asserts three main ethnic androgen hypotheses with some corollary hypotheses.

Main hypotheses:

  • African males have the highest testosterone level
  • European males have an intermediate testosterone level
  • East Asian males have the lowest testosterone level

Corollary hypotheses:

  • Indo-Aryan or South Asian males have low testosterone levels but higher than East Asians [despite not following from the main hypotheses]
  • Middle Eastern males have high testosterone levels but not as high as Africans
  • Indigenous American males have lower testosterone levels but higher than  Indo-Aryans
  • Latin American males have levels commensurate with their respective Asiatic-American and African admixture (for most instances, higher than Americans)

Data is available for each of these groups though lacking for Americans, Indo-Aryans and Latin Americans. The (general) race realist T-ranking from highest to lowest:

  1. African
  2. Middle Easterner
  3. European
  4. Latino
  5. Native American
  6. Indo-Aryan
  7. East Asian

BACKGROUND

To race realists, when East Asian males are passive, it is because they have the lowest testosterone levels which cause their genitals to be deformed such that they have the smallest lengths, girths, testicular weight and sperm production. When East Asian males are aggressive, it is because they are annoyed that they have low testosterone which causes their genitals to be deformed such that they have the smallest lengths, girths, testicular weight and sperm production. It is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ stereotype.

Trying to hide this behind a scientific veneer, Jean Philippe Rushton uses the incidence of prostate cancer to assert that since it is high in Americans of African descent, lower in Americans of European descent and lowest in East Asians, it is mainly due to testosterone differences. The problem is that he conveniently focuses on only three groups which he also conveniently defines. His “Caucasoid” grouping does not include Semites and Aryans. His “Mongoloid” group does not include Euro-Americans (Latinos) and indigenous Americans. His “Negroid” group includes US Afropeans but not Dravidians (South Asians) and those with Negrito ancestry such as Malays, which he includes in his “Mongoloid” group.

If he were to have found a race realist revolutionary update to Darwinian evolution as he asserts, then he would have found that Arabs (Saudis, Omanis and Kuwaitis) also have very low prostate cancer rates and that Afro-Zimbabweans have lower levels of prostate cancer than Euro-Zimbabweans, Germans, Australians and US Europeans and a bit lower rate than the Welsh (Kehinde et al. 2005). Contra Eurocentric race realism, Strahm et al. (2009) states in referring to Satner et al. (1998) that:

Comparative studies of Caucasian and Chinese subjects living either in the USA or in China provided strong evidence that environmental/dietary, but not genetic, factors influence androgen production.

Miller et al. (1985) found that “[t]estosterone did not differ with ethnic group” when studying Trinidadian men of African and Indo-Aryan descent. Even among rapists and child molesters, most had normal T levels except for those who were the most violent. Rada, Laws and Kellner (1976) further states that:

There was no correlation between age, race, or length of incarceration and plasma testosterone level.

Rushton had previously proposed the ‘principle of aggregation’ where he would aggregate data to minimize bias. He is correct that data aggregation can minimize bias. He is incorrect in his poor choice of data in the first place (but I digress). Applying his own principle of aggregation, what follow is a meta-analysis of over 150 peer-reviewed articles on hormone levels in different ethnic groups to see if his hypothesis is correct (at least according to the available data).

RESULTS

T-resultsData sources available HERE.

CONCLUSION

proposedT-diffFrom the above tables, it is clear that the race realist assertion is incorrect, whether one looks at the 7 so-called micro ‘races’ or the 3 so-called macro ‘races’. East Asians were found to have the highest average total plasma testosterone (5,673 ρg/mL) followed by Africans (5,442 ρg/mL) and then Europeans (4,992 ρg/mL). Given that the sample size for Africans is smaller (N < 10,000), their relative position may change with more data. Nonetheless, the claim that East Asians have the least testosterone is not supported by scientific data. 

So ladies, if you want a high T male, go to the Philippines (8100 ρg/mL) and find yourself a malnourished, sexually active, 22 year old Filipino; 5 feet 4 inches, 123 lbs, poorly educated and making slightly less than $9 US monthly [Gettler, McDade & Kuzawa (2011)]. Even better, find an Egyptian.

[N.B. Values are liable to be updated if errors detected, self-analysis of data highly recommended before using this hypothesis]

SOURCES:

Gettler, L., McDade, T., and C. Kuzawa. 2011. Cortisol and testosterone in Filipino young adult men: evidence for co-regulation of both hormones by fatherhood and relationship status. American Journal of Human Biology 23(5): 609-620.

Hays, Jeffreys. 2011. Chinese People, Asian Physical Characteristics, Genetics and DNA. http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=118&catid=4&subcatid=18 [accessed: 2013-04-06]. | New link : http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat4/sub18/item118.html as of 2016-10-19.

Kehinde, E., Akanji, A., Mojiminiyi, O., et al. 2005. Putative role of serum insulin-like growth factor–1 (IGF-1) and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels in the development of prostate cancer in Arab men. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 8: 84–90.

Kelsey, Chance. 2008. Why Do Many White Women Not Date Asian Men? Chancellorfiles blog. http://chancellorfiles.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/why-do-many-white-women-not-date-asian-men [accessed: 2013-04-15].

Miller, G., Wheeler, M., Price, S., et al. 1985. Serum high density lipoprotein subclasses, testosterone and sex-hormone-binding globulin in Trinidadian men of African and Indian descent. Atherosclerosis 55(3): 251-258.

Rada, R., Laws, D., and R. Kellner. 1976. Plasma testosterone levels in the rapist. Psychosomatic Medicine 38(4): 257-268.

Santner, S., Albertson, B., Zhang, G-Y., et al. 1998. Comparative rates of androgen production and metabolism in Caucasian and Chinese subjects. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 83: 2104–2109.

Strahm, E., Sottas, P-E., Schweizer, C., et al. 2009. Steroid profiles of professional soccer players: an international comparative study. British Journal of Sports Medicine 43: 1126-1130.

UPDATE 2013-05-08: A blogger on the race realist AnthroScape blog states:

This PDF file is not to be taken 100% seriously. It obviously lacks measurements of free testosterone, which is arguably more important than total testosterone. Furthermore, extrapolating a table ranking ethnic groups based on testosterone levels is not the best idea, especially when there are different age brackets and methodologies of each of the studies to consider.

Comments:

  • There is no way of accurately determining free testosterone. Even if there was, this would also be irrelevant since bio-availability is prime. Since race realists use total serum testosterone, why is this an issue?
  • One cannot and should not compare different testosterone studies with different measurement methods. However, for the race-realist purpose of aggregating data, there is nothing inherently wrong with what the PDF file lists. If JP Rushton can use a few studies and make wild claims which are then used by the Internet-o-sphere, using 150 independent peer-reviewed sources with large samples is much more scientific than anything similar from the race realist community.
  • The PDF contains all of the above and has a long list of why testosterone measurements can be fickle.
  • Age differences will affect the results but healthy males should have negligible decreases. Assuming a 0.4% annual decline from 5000 pg/ml after age 40, a man at 80 should have 4275 pg/mL, less than a 15% difference if my spreadsheet math is correct. It would have been better to normalize for age. So while the tabled rankings is flawed, the point is that the entire issue is flawed as there is no standard measuring method in the first place. That race realists routinely use flawed data should be the issue but …
  • Do feel free to wade through the tables and references and normalize the data for methodology and age. Good luck on that though.

He further states:

I find it slightly odd that Indians have the highest testosterone levels, although it’s understandable because of the conditions they are living in. …… Social aggression, dominance and high cognition among men, especially visuo-spatial cognition, is correlated with moderate to high testosterone levels. Stress and depression are correlated with lower testosterone levels, as are personality traits such as submission and less aggression.

  • What conditions are Indians living in that make for higher T?
  • Western defined and rated social aggression and dominance will obviously down relegate Easterners. That is simple bias: stacking the definitional deck and insisting that everyone play by said deck.
  • What level of correlation is there? There will always be correlations but only if it is significant can such data be used.

He continues:

…. beard growth, penile size and body hair are indicative of the presence of testosterone (along with the genes which code for such phenotypes) but do not tell whether an individual has high or low testosterone.

I’ve studied human physiology and biochemistry for years so I know what I’m talking about. Genetics play a huge role in determining whether an individual has a beard, has a large or small penis and body hair.

  • Genetically, penis size seems to be determined by in-utero hormone exposure and concentration.
  • However, penile measurements I would say make a flaw in only measuring the outer penile length by multiple methods which differ considerably. If the inner penis is roughly the same length of the outer penis (Saladin & Miller 2004: 1029), then a porn star may simply be an average guy with more outer penis and perhaps, less fat pad and/or weaker suspensory ligaments (i.e. all current measurements do not factor in erection angle).
  • Until there are standardized ultrasound measurements of different ethnic groups, race realists are not being scientific in claiming that there are differences in penile lengths. At best, one may claim differences in perceived lengths, which is obviously unscientific and irrelevant.

Reference: Saladin, K., and L. Miller. 2004. Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. 3rd ed.  New York, USA: McGraw Hill.

UPDATE 2014-02-06: A blogger on PuaHate.com [dead link] states:

Found the site/guy who uploaded that chart.

Guess what…

Hes….

ASIAN.

https://ethnicmuse.wordpress.com/

Check his great wall of china background, check his posts, most about asians/asia related shit…bet he frauded the data.

Having a Great Wall of China photo and speaking about so-called Asian related issues does not make one an Asian. You are being presumptuous with only that data. If you can find any problem with the data please specify so I can update accordingly. Alternatively, you may perform a study for yourself and post your results for others to critique.

UPDATE 2014-08-31: A blogger named “Boss” from Sluthate.com states:

Europeans live longer and experience T decline. He could’ve limited his studies to account for age, but instead wanted to “aggregate” every study and then claim that it was impossible to do so. When you control methodology and age, this is what you get:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16332934

He quotes from the linked article:

In addition, the Swedes had significantly higher levels of serum testosterone, compared with the Koreans.

If you want to control for age, please do so for all the referenced populations. I don’t see how it is possible to control for age unless I have the original data sets but if you have a method, have at it. One article using two sub-populations do not indicate that East Asian have less T than Europeans as I indicated to a previous commenter.

He continues:

Of course, someone posted that as a comment and he brushed it off, instead referring to his contrived aggregate. Just took a look at that guy’s site. That guy is obsessed with the asian small penis thing. 80% of his site/blog is him discrediting medical studies that show asians to have small penises :lol: What a fucking pathetic loser.

Nowhere in my comment do I refer to aggregation. Aggregation is a race realist method that I am using to show that race realists don’t employ their own method properly. I also gave 5 possible reasons for the Korean/Swede T discrepancy. This blog does not discredit “medical studies that show asians (sic) to have small penises” since I know of no such study. If however you know differently, please leave links in the comments.

Another blogger at race/history/evolution notes blog has a review which views this post poorly. I expected something more substantive but it seems like the reviewer only read the comments and didn’t look at the PDF file which would have dealt with some of his issues. I really don’t understand the obsession over one study as if one study can ever be definitive. As for the contention that there are no studies indicating a 10% difference between East Asians and Europeans, I did find one age controlled study where the Chinese sample had 8.8% more total T, 11.4% more bio-available T and 12% more free T than the European sample. The Japanese sample had 10.5%, 5.1% and 6.7% more than Europeans respectively [Wu et al. 1995]. Wonder if race realists discuss this study, or perhaps they are too busy in celebratory dance around the Korean/Swede campfire?

UPDATE 2014-11-21: Blogger named “Bobby Corwen” from the MacRumors forum states:

But that article you quoted was in my opinion quite stupid because it didn’t account for ages in the groups and that testosterone changes drastically over the lifespans of humans.

Coming from a person of your wide intellect, I am honoured to have a post called “quite stupid”. However, can you quantify “drastically”? As I have stated before, the data does not lend itself to easy age normalization. If you want age normalized data, do it yourself. Clearly, you are most capable of doing so.

It was probably biased because it was written by an Asian man but anyway you’re missing the point, in that its about averages and patterns, not about absolutes.

The T values are averages and are your comments “probably biased” because you do not identify as an “Asian man”?

UPDATE 2015-04-12: Blogger Robert Lindsay states concerning the data in this post that:

The East Asian rates are no good. Yes their levels are a bit higher, but they also a higher level of some other hormone that makes it so they cannot use the higher T very well, so effectively, their rates are lower than Whites.

Lindsay clarifies in another post:

Young Black males have higher levels of active testosterone than European and Asian males. Asian levels are intermediate to Blacks and Whites, but Asians have lower levels of a chemical needed to convert testosterone to its active agent, so effectively they have lower levels. Androgen receptor sensitivity is highest in Black men, intermediate in Whites and lowest in Asians.

The problem is that this claim is based on a study (Ross et al. 1992) of 50 US Africans (i.e. Afropeans) and 54 Japanese. Race realists really know the scientific method. Additionally, this recent study shows HK Chinese having some 3% more bio-available T than US Europeans.

Another blogger named Tata comments:

East Asian men and women have more estrogen, the female hormone.

Estrogen is not a “female hormone”. Estrogen has a feminizing effect but males also need estrogen to function optimally. I wonder which studies were consulted to form a conclusion not found in medical books. I suspect I will be wondering for a long time.

Lindsay then comments further:

Further, the free T levels are:

Highest: Blacks
Mid: Whites
Lowest: Asians

It just so turns out that Blacks have the highest crime and violence rates, then Whites, then Asians. Quite a few people believe that Blacks have the highest sex drives, then Whites, then Asians.

Blacks have the largest sex organs and Asians have the smallest, and that once again lines up perfectly with T levels.

The evidence is looking pretty good, not only that, but there is a not of other evidence suggesting that indeed it is true.

Find a supposed correlation. Make widely applicable statements. Provide no data. Being a race realists seems to be a length engagement with delusion, fantasy and ‘scientific’ homo-erotica. Lindsay suffers from the inability to distinguish between a hypothesis and a theory and claims that his “research takes a lot of time“. No kidding.

UPDATE 2015-08-15: A poster using the name Strike_Team states on the Amren site:

There was a site that “proved” E. Asians, E. Indians and Egyptians have higher testosterone levels than whites and blacks, stronger sex drives, with those pitiful white males being the majority of viagra users. It was filled of course a lot of circular reasoning and misuse of data. But it was funny as hell to read the “research” and some of the self serving comments from Indians. They really are the most self aggrandizing people I’ve ever encountered.

I did not prove anything but would love to hear about this circular reasoning and data misuse.

UPDATE 2016-07-07: Return of Kings commenter “Jim Trompe” makes the following claim:

Asians have lower levels of Test(probably an advantage in an advanced peaceful civilization) which is why asian women generally are considered more attractive than asian men. When they looked at the bones of people in the Viking era, its difficult to tell the difference between men and women-high Test from constant warring.

When corrected and sent a link to this blog, he then comments:

If you find that persuasive, its because you didnt actually look at the studies hes referring to. Dead links, studies comparing rapists and soccer players(preselection bias). The guy claims to be an expert but doesn’t know what he’s talking about, for example this statement “Genetically, penis size seems to be determined by in-utero hormone exposure and concentration.” No its caused by Dihydrotestosterone, a direct derivative of Testosterone(Estrogen is another derivative). There are many areas where there are genetic or environmental problems that cause a reduction in the enzyme necessary for the conversion of T to Dihydro..for example the Huevos Doces in the Dominican Republic, they were actually raised as girls because their genitals were so undeveloped. Anyways obviously its going to be a heated issue, just like the “debate” about IQ, because no one want to be in the group that is unmanly or low IQ.

Mr. Trompe, exactly who is an ‘Asian’ and who determines such naming? What does having less T have to do with ‘Asian’ men being less attractive than ‘Asian’ women? To whom is this attraction so configured? The studies I used are not dead links, you can find them if you have access to journal repositories (Ebscohost, Jstor) or simply using Google/Google Scholar. This is an aggregate so bias would be minimized (or so race realists like to claim). I don’t claim to be an expert but if you show where I did, I’ll repent and remove the claim. Your focus on one of my comments in response to another comment illustrates that you don’t care to look at the main issue (T differences) but want to veer off into side issues and ad hominem. Is this because you don’t want to be in an “unmanly” group? You ask for sources but provided none for your own claim that ‘Asians’ have the lowest T. Again, is this because you don’t want to be in the “unmanly” group?

UPDATE 2017-01-27: PumpkinPerson comments:

And the person who created that table seems to have a chip on his shoulder because he thinks Rushton was calling East Asians feminine. But being low T doesn’t make you feminine; estrogen makes you feminine.

Rushton claims that “Orientals” have (i) the smallest “primary sexual characteristics” (ii) the smallest “secondary sexual characteristics” (iii) the least androgens and (iv) tentatively used Nyborg’s hormotyping which ranks “Mongoloids” next to androgynous males. I will keep that chip, thanks!

UPDATE: 2017-08-18: venturecapitalcat on Reddit comments:

… stop spamming this subreddit with your pseudo-scientific bullshit. This entire article screams that whoever wrote it has a tiny penis and is desperately trying to compensate by showing that he has a lot of testosterone.

This article was meant to analyze a race-realist analytic method, not to be a scientific article for peer-review and publication. As such, venturecapitalistcat clearly did not read the article. How then does he/she know the size of my penis and the level of my testosterone? Even if such were known, what does that have to do with the article?

Another commenter swampswing:

… this article just screams “I have a tiny deformed penis”.

Again, why is it that people divine small penis size when information does not conform to their social stereotypes? Whether speaking about me or the poster, such comments speak to the level of brainwashing in Anglospheric countries.

More importantly, theunstopable_cam states:

I’m pretty sure the media doesn’t spread lies about testosterone levels in pop culture.

No it does not but it spreads lies about penis size, influences desirability and props up certain ethnic groups.

UPDATE: 2018-05-31: vin on AnthroScape comments:

looked more into that site- it’s apparently ran by some weird fuck that has a problem with asian male stereotypes and is obsessed with asian stuff
just look at his page: it literally has the great wall of china at the top :lol:
https://ethnicmuse.wordpress.com

would take his data with a grain of salt

So if I list 150 peer-reviewed studies, extract the data, make multiple caveats and perform an analysis, I am a “weird fuck” with “a problem”. However, if you claim that “indians and asians” have the “smallest peckers of any race, and more feminine demeanors” without any peer-review validation, this is not a problem. Clearly, we all must bow to such a tour de force of logic.

Repost: A Dust Over India

| Thanks to the Robert Lindsay blog for the link |

As your plane descends upon New Delhi, a soft orange haze engulfs you, drawing you in. A cascade of shanty-towns drift below, clogged arteries of traffic dividing the landscape into innumerable scattered shards of populace. If you land in the evening, the haze throbs over the country with a dull glow in the speckled city lights. If you land in the afternoon, then the haze is a giant mass of incomprehensible dust — some amalgamation of smog, smoke, dirt, and fog — and no matter how far away you go, or how far you get, you never completely escape it.

I have been to 40 different countries. Yet India made the most indelible impression of any of them. And not for all of the right reasons. Frankly, it’s not a pleasant place to be. Anyone who tells you otherwise lacks perspective. India’s full of contradictions: horrors and delights, achievements and atrocities, often on the same city-block. And despite the immense history, the monuments, the spectacular sites of human ingenuity, one can’t help but ask themselves repeatedly what they’re doing there.

The first thing that strikes you about India is how dirty it is. In a word, the place is disgusting. All of it. The entire country. Never before have I seen mountains of garbage the size of a small house stacked on the side of a road, in broad daylight, in the middle of a city, repeatedly. Dumpsters tipped over and overflowing. Mounds of trash — wrappers, cups, papers, napkins, strewn all about, mixed with sludge from the soda and urine and spit coagulated from thousands of daily passersby.

Like the dust, the garbage never ceases. And along with the garbage, there is an unending stream of humanity. It is impossible to spend a full day in the middle of a major Indian city without lobotomizing yourself trying to figure out where the hell all of the people come from. I’ve been to Hong Kong. I’ve been to Manhattan and Beijing. I’ve been to Mexico City. And the swarm of humanity crawling through India’s cities is unparalleled. There’s no comparison. Many streets more closely resemble a bee hive than a functioning human society. When I flew into Mumbai, there were homeless people sleeping on the tarmac. Take a moment for that to sink in: the city is so crowded and disgusting that people decide they’d rather sleep on the airport runway.

And that is the second thing to strike you about India. The poverty. It is legitimate take-your-breath-away poverty. Like the kind you see on TV charity ads but far worse. And far more real. Limbless men stewing about in their own feces. Emaciated children playing on a piles of garbage. A man with his leg literally rotting off to the bone, maggots and all, laying on the curb. It’s everywhere. The amount of suffering is indescribable. And it is unceasing. After a couple days, I was excited to hire a driver to go to Agra because I figured I’d be able to see some countryside and escape the stench and horrors of the city. But no. The entire four hours between Delhi and Agra was an unending stream of people, garbage and cars, with billows of dust drafting in our wake the whole way down.

My initial reaction the first few days was pure shock. But it quickly evolved into anger. How could a place like this be allowed to exist? How could normal people walk around with a clear conscience with so much shit and squalor festering about them? I felt indignant. Where was the social accountability? Where was the charity? Where the fuck was the government?

I’m no expert. And god knows my own country has plenty of problems. I’ve been to plenty of developing countries and seen plenty of poverty. But this was something else entirely. The sheer magnitude, more than anything, wrought a deeply emotional response out of me.

For the first time in my life, I finally grasped what inspires people to drop everything and move to a dirt-hole in the middle of Africa and start feeding people. When confronted with that much suffering, it seems insane NOT to do it. People like Mother Teresa or Princess Diana or Bill Gates didn’t seem like such foreign actors anymore. I could feel what they must have felt, even if just for a moment. With my driver taking me on a full-day trip to Agra, I watched the endless poverty scroll by like a demented video game. I had an overwhelming urge to stop at an ATM and withdraw 25,000 Rupees and start handing money out to people at random. I started doing the math in my head. That’s roughly $500. I could hand out $25 to twenty people. $25 could probably feed these people for almost a month. How much of my monthly income would I be willing to give up to feed 20 people each month? At what number would I no longer be willing to do it? At what dollar-amount did my morality begin and end?

The numbers began to make my head swirl. I was calculating my personal morality. I felt pathetic. And powerless. Like Oscar Schindler at the end of Schindler’s List sobbing that his gold ring could have saved one more Jew, self-pitying yet noble at the same time. That Big Mac I had in the airport could have saved one more Indian! Damn you, value meal!

Things only got more surreal from there. At a security checkpoint a kid brought up a real live cobra to my car window, scaring the living shit out of me and my fellow passengers. He then asked us for a rupee. We didn’t give him one. In another scenario, a Swedish girl in the car with us mentioned she should have given some starving boys her box of cookies. When we asked her why she didn’t, she calmly replied that little boys shouldn’t be eating cookies, that it’s bad for them.

In a Pizza Hut, every table had its own waitress. When I ordered hot wings as an appetizer my waitress duly congratulated me on making such an excellent culinary decision. Seriously. That’s what she said. As I looked around the restaurant, I saw each table occupied with fat, well-dressed Indians. I was reminded of the line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

“He must be a king.”
“What makes you say that?”
“He doesn’t have shit all over him.”

In Pizza Hut, the Indian people did not have shit all over them, therefore I assumed they were kings. That and they all conspicuously had their Blackberry’s out for one seemingly nonchalant reason or another, silently bragging to one another across the restaurant between garlic sticks.

Meanwhile, out the window in front of the restaurant, a homeless boy (covered in shit) was attempting to pry open a boarded-up hot dog stand, presumably to find some scraps of food left inside. Stray dogs licked their open sores nearby. Trash milled about, blown by dust. And we, the fat, rich kings of Pizza Hut had our appetizers congratulated by personal staff. The mind boggled. The contradictions mounted. My cognitive dissonance flared. When the manager came by to ask me how I was enjoying my meal, my first thought was “This is fucking Pizza Hut. What’s wrong with you?” But I didn’t. I smiled and said “Fine, thanks.”

But the bizarro world of India didn’t always lead to anger. It could be charming as well. At the Taj Mahal, I was approached by an Indian guy my age who asked me to take a picture. I said sure and reached out to take his camera, assuming he wanted me to take a photo of him in front of the monument. But instead, he stepped away from me, pointed the camera at me, and as four of his friends surrounded me and draped their arms around me, snapped a photo. Minutes later, a small family of four requested the same. And then another family, but this time just me kneeling with their kids. Then a group of teenage boys who wanted a picture with my tattoo. As a tourist, I became part of the tourist attraction myself. Here we are at the Taj Mahal. And here we are with a white person. And here’s little Sandeep flexing his arm next to the big white man. Soon a crowd had gathered. Many of them hung around, nervously trying to speak English with me. Some of them simply stared for minutes on end. All of them beamed smiles of excitement.


The dust pervades every city and town, some with a smoggy golden hue, others with a gentle grey haze. It cakes the cars, the streetlights and the dead stray animals. It scratches at your throat and turns your snot black.

Indian culture itself is quite disorienting. The people can be incredibly warm and hospitable, or cold and rude depending on the context and how they know you. The conclusion I eventually came to is that if they already know you, or if they’re somehow benefiting from you, then they can be incredibly warm and open people. But if they don’t know you, or if they’re trying to get something out of you, then they are a prickly, conniving bunch.

The local I got to know the best was Sanjay, the 20-something year old who ran a hostel I stayed in. He had studied in London and been all over Europe so he was fairly westernized. He and I would stay up late together drinking cheap vodka regaling each other with our travel stories. There was little else to do after nightfall in India but get drunk. And little felt more appropriate.

But what Sanjay told me about Indian people is bizarre but true. He said Indians will rarely, if ever, resort to violence. As a foreigner, you never have to worry about being robbed, or having a knife pulled on you, or getting beaten up by a gang of thugs and having your kidney carved out of you. And this is true. I’ve been to many shady parts of the world. But never did I once feel unsafe in India. Even late at night.

BUT, Sanjay said, an Indian will lie to your face. He’ll say anything to get what he wants from you. And most of them don’t see it as immoral or wrong. So on the one hand, they won’t stick a gun in your face to take your wallet. But they’ll hand you fake business cards and offer to sell you something that they don’t actually have, so that you’ll voluntarily empty your wallet to them on your own accord.

And I have to give them credit, they’re really convincing salespeople.

In Agra, our driver brought us to a handcrafted rug shop. Inside the shop I immediately knew what was coming: a “tour” of the rug factory where we would be cornered (literally) and pitched to buy one. I had seen this before in other countries and here I saw it coming a mile away. Yet the man came across as so unassuming, so genteel, so incredibly polite, it was impossible to not be won over. He showed us the individual thread counts of the rugs, how the rugs are meticulously woven by hand. He showed us how they design the patterns on elaborate grids and then translate them to their wooden weaves. He then took us downstairs, gave us beverages and launched into one of the most impressive sales pitches I’ve ever heard in my life. The man should be selling luxury cars in the United States. By the end of it, I was busy deciding which rug my mother would like the best. After some gentle bargaining, and some friendly gestures, I made the purchase and arranged to have it shipped to her in the US.

It was about an hour later in the car when I realized what had just happened. The elaborate setup. The way packages with American addresses had been set out just right for us to see. The pictures of “satisfied customers.” I knew what they were, and they were good. My stomach dropped. I’d been had. My mother would never see that rug.

But with only a couple hundred dollars lost, I got away fairly unscathed. An 18-year-old Canadian kid staying in our hostel got taken for thousands of dollars. A couple Indians stopped him on the street, and with perfect English convinced him they worked for a travel agency. They then led him to their “office,” where they handed him “brochures” and “planned” out over a month’s worth of traveling and lodging, telling him the entire time that they were getting him the best deals and that they would pre-arrange every relevant tour. By the end of the hour, he had spent close to $2,000 and felt good about it. By the time he got back to the hostel his face was white. He realized what happened. He asked Sanjay about it and Sanjay told him to immediately call his bank in Canada and cancel the card. Tell them it had been stolen. There was no trip. No lodging. No travel agency. Just two Indian guys with silver tongues.

The scams aren’t limited to high-end tourist items either. Pirated DVD’s that don’t work. Taxis that let you off at the wrong place. Hotels that add suspicious “fees” at the last minute. You get harassed constantly on the streets: vendors following you for half a block trying to hock their useless shit to you. Luckily, I learned long ago the perfect remedy to street touts: iPod + sunglasses. Crank that shit up to 10 and just keep walking. What you can’t hear or see can’t bother you. Would-be harassers and hagglers bounce off you like flies.

But, to be fair, many Indians will go out of their way to be honest with you. There were multiple times where I thought the guy had asked for 50 Rupees when he had actually said something else, and instead of taking the extra money he gave it back. Or like the time a taxi driver offered to show me a famous Minaret for free, for no other reason than because he was Muslim and thought I should see it. Or the kid in Gaya who rode me all the way back to my hotel on the back of his bike, for no other reason than he was excited to practice English with me. Or Sanjay, who on our third night drinking together, surprised me with an entire home-cooked meal made especially for me. Or my tour driver, who after dutifully driving us around for over 13 hours straight, teared up and hugged me when I gave him a 50% tip.

Like anywhere else, Indians aren’t all good or bad. You simply get more of each social extreme. It’s unpredictable. Not to mention emotionally draining. The constant need to be on-guard is taxing on one’s psyche.

In Bangalore, I snapped. My taxi driver from the airport “forgot” to turn on the meter. Realizing this, I watched his odometer and counted the 30 kilometers we traveled. When we arrived, he tried to charge me for 50 kilometers. A shouting match ensued. I threw the money for 30km at him, grabbed my bag and walked into my hotel. He followed. He began pleading to the hotel clerk that I had refused to pay and that his price was the appropriate price. Now, with four people watching, I pulled out my laptop, connected to the wireless network, loaded Google Maps, and showed him that it was, in fact 30 kilometers from the airport to the hotel. My hands were shaking with anger by the time it finished loading. Luckily, he took my money and sulked off. At the door he turned around and said, “But you need to sign the receipt.” I shouted back, “Go fuck yourself.”

I moped into my room, frazzled and bitter. After almost three weeks of dealing with such nonsense, I was reaching my wit’s end. I would not be surprised if I ended up punching someone over something menial soon. I lost it with the taxi driver. And when I did the math in my head, it was just $4. I freaked out over $4.

Luckily I was leaving soon, heading to Singapore in a few days, back to civilization. I laid out on my bed, took a deep breath and opened my laptop. In the inbox was an email from my mom: “Thanks for the rug, I love it!”


In the northern foothills of the Himalayas, the dust morphs into an awkward haze. It sticks to the horizon. Trash still permeates the small villages, although in smaller heaps, many of them charred from their daily burnings. The beggars seem less down-trodden. Cows sprinkle the roadways in between tuk-tuks and overflowing caravans. For the most part, the crowds have dissipated.

India attracts a wide variety of spiritual-seekers, lost western souls criss-crossing its geography in search of meaning or of themselves. India is the cradle to two of the oldest major religions in the world: Hinduism and Buddhism, both of which, unlike their western counterparts, focus predominantly on a first-person perspective of spiritual development. Having been interested in Buddhism for over a decade and having spent much of my college years meditating and attending retreats, my interest was piqued by the plethora of ashrams, gurus, and Dharma groups available.

The reality was a let down. There’s no other way to describe the phenomenon other than what it is: spiritual tourism. Which is somewhat of an oxymoron, especially in Buddhism. And also disheartening as it falls victim to the same scam-inducing practices as India’s other tourist markets. Scattered around places like Bodhgaya and Goa, flyers are shoved in your face, street peddlers try to convince you that they can take you to the best ashram in town (as if there’s a “best” way to do yoga). Some even promise enlightenment… for 10,000 Rupees a week. Now, I’m sure there are legitimate and profound retreats and ashrams in India. But the whole process felt cheap and inauthentic.

Children tried to sell marijuana around yoga retreat centers. And it was apparent why: the dreadlocked, tie-dyed, mid-life-crisis’ed Western clientele who streamed through enthusiastically buying from them told you all you needed to know about the scene. Two westerners I spoke to in Bodhgaya, where I considered sitting in on a retreat for a couple days, told me that they had never meditated before and were excited to learn it in India. When I mentioned that one could learn to meditate in 10 minutes at home to see if they actually liked it, they replied, “Yeah, but it’s so much cooler to do it in India.” My mind’s eye could just see The Buddha face-palming at that statement.

One girl tried to brag to me that she had had visions of Krishna in the northern mountains and that she thinks she may convert to Hinduism. When it came out that she had been smoking local hashish every day for weeks on end, I pointed out that these two things may not be a coincidence. She didn’t like hearing that.

Perhaps it was my own arrogance, but it saddened me. My belief has always been that spirituality is something that is experienced personally, not measured, compared, or quantified. Meditating on a loud bus in Chicago can be just as profound as meditating under the Bodhi Tree itself. In a religion whose whole belief system revolves around impermanence, unattachment to the material world, and equanimity, making a 4,000 mile pilgrimage to a tree in the middle of Nowhere, India, for bragging rights seems, well… counterproductive. I can see the interest historically, and perhaps emotionally, but spiritually, there’s not a whole lot of difference. And so as I passed the flyers, and the hippies with their braids and skullcaps, it became harder and harder not to be a little bitter. I understand that pilgrimages and capitalizing on your most holy site are pretty standard for all of the world’s religions. But I guess in my mind I held out hope that Buddhism was different. And actually, Buddhism IS different. Its the followers who aren’t.

(Or maybe I just don’t like hippies.)

But I can’t help but feel that the volume of poverty in India is related to the solipsistic tendencies of the religions based there. I also can’t help but feel that foreigners regularly mistake being pushed so far out of their cultural comfort-zone as some sort of spiritual experience. When the human mind is presented with paradoxical conditions, it usually reacts with inexplicable feelings and often invents a supernatural explanation for them. And India is rife with paradoxical conditions.

The most beneficial effect of traveling that I’ve found is that it forces you to become more confident and independent in a million, tiny, unnoticeable ways that add up to a great, noticeable whole. The more difficult and exotic the culture, the more it challenges you, the more it engages you on an emotional level, and the more you grow in intangible and personal ways.

Perhaps there’s nothing inherently “spiritual” about the sub-continent, it’s just the most extreme cultural experience a westerner can subject themselves to and as a result grow from.

Every country we go to, our natural inclination is to search for some kind of greater meaning. “China’s finally making the leap,” or “Latin culture is exceedingly passionate,” or “Corruption dominates Russia,” — all of these trite little platitudes that we bring home with us and spill amongst our friends and loved ones to show that we did something significant, that we learned something interesting. This is where I went. This is the meaning. All in one or two sentences.

There’s no single sentence for India. The place is a fucking mess. And it’s the only country that I’ve ever been to where I left more confused than when I arrived. My search for meaning came up empty time and time again.

One day in Bodhgaya, a small town of maybe a few thousand people, I ate at an outdoor restaurant in the town square. Beggars, shirtless children and cows littered the square, along with a few assorted street vendors. I had just returned from touring the temple built for the place The Buddha had become enlightened. Looking out over the town square from my large plate of curry, I watched the beggars stew about, completely ignored by the townspeople. By this time my search for meaning in this land had become frantic, and my emotions fried. I looked at the mound of food before me. It had cost $2.50 US dollars and could feed multiple people. I called the waiter over and ordered another one.

The two nearest beggars were an old man and woman together, huddled on the ground, clothes tattered, white hair and beard matted and dirty. They looked up at me with their emaciated arms outstretched in cups, the same cupped hands one would use to drink from a river. Their eyes sank into their sockets. They seemed to look beyond me. I put the second plate of food down in front of them like a pair of dogs. They looked at it wide-eyed for a moment, and began shoveling the food into their faces as fast as they could.

Curry dripped from the man’s beard. Rice mashed into his black fingernails. Bits of chicken spattered on the ground below them. I stood there watching for a few seconds, expecting something. What? I don’t know. But I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel like there was some purpose to all of this. That I could walk away with something important from my whole experience.

But instead I felt helpless. It was like I had just put a band-aid on the Titanic. He’s going to go digging through garbage again in a couple hours. He didn’t even look at me. What’s the point? Obviously, I’m no Mother Teresa. And it’s just as well, Mother Teresa couldn’t save this society from itself. Sometimes human systems become so large that they hurt people, not by design, but by inertia. And it’s beyond any of our ability to grasp, let alone control.

The townspeople had seen what I had just done. And within seconds, a boy approaches me and asks me to buy him a soccer ball. I tell him no and begin to walk away. He follows. Then another man comes up wanting to sell me pirated Bollywood DVD’s. I also tell him no. He gets upset, “You give food to a beggar, but you won’t even buy a DVD from me? Why not?” He felt like I committed some terrible injustice against him.

A crowd was beginning to form around me, looking for handouts. I quietly put on my headphones and sunglasses, turned my iPod up to full blast, and walked through the dust.

Source:

Manson, Mark. 2012. A Dust Over India. http://postmasculine.com/a-dust-over-india [accessed: 2012-07-10].

East Asian Development

From the so-called East Asian Tiger economies to present day so-called manufacturing powerhouse China, there is always a need to look back at nations and their development state to accurately chart national progress. Hong Kong was not a wonderfully developed nation 50 years ago but British investment and imperial dynamism created the spectacular metropolis.

The Business Insider has published photos of early 1970s Hong Kong:
What Hong Kong Looked Like 40 Years Ago and is well worth the view.

Sample pics:

Repost: Reflections on India

|| Thanks to the Blograju (Celebrating Insensitivity) and Jewamongyou (Race realism, libertarianism and Jewry) blogs for this link ||

If you are Indian, or of Indian descent, I must preface this post with a clear warning: you are not going to like what I have to say. My criticisms may be very hard to stomach. But consider them as the hard words and loving advice of a good friend. Someone who’s being honest with you and wants nothing from you. These criticisms apply to all of India except Kerala and the places I didn’t visit, except that I have a feeling it applies to all of India, except as I mentioned before, Kerala. Lastly, before anyone accuses me of Western Cultural Imperialism, let me say this: if this is what India and Indians want, then hey, who am I to tell them differently. Take what you like and leave the rest. In the end it doesn’t really matter, as I get the sense that Indians, at least many upper class Indians, don’t seem to care and the lower classes just don’t know any better, what with Indian culture being so intense and pervasive on the sub-continent. But here goes, nonetheless.

India is a mess. It’s that simple, but it’s also quite complicated. I’ll start with what I think are India’s four major problems–the four most preventing India from becoming a developing nation–and then move to some of the ancillary ones.

First, pollution. In my opinion the filth, squalor and all around pollution indicates a marked lack of respect for India by Indians. I don’t know how cultural the filth is, but it’s really beyond anything I have ever encountered. At times the smells, trash, refuse and excrement are like a garbage dump. Right next door to the Taj Mahal was a pile of trash that smelled so bad, was so foul as to almost ruin the entire Taj experience. Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai to a lesser degree were so very polluted as to make me physically ill. Sinus infections, ear infection, bowels churning was an all to common experience in India. Dung, be it goat, cow or human fecal matter was common on the streets. In major tourist areas filth was everywhere, littering the sidewalks, the roadways, you name it. Toilets in the middle of the road, men urinating and defecating anywhere, in broad daylight. Whole villages are plastic bag wastelands. Roadsides are choked by it. Air quality that can hardly be called quality. Far too much coal and far to few unleaded vehicles on the road. The measure should be how dangerous the air is for one’s health, not how good it is. People casually throw trash in the streets, on the roads. The only two cities that could be considered sanitary in my journey were Trivandrum–the capital of Kerala–and Calicut. I don’t know why this is. But I can assure you that at some point this pollution will cut into India’s productivity, if it already hasn’t. The pollution will hobble India’s growth path, if that indeed is what the country wants. (Which I personally doubt, as India is far too conservative a country, in the small ‘c’ sense.)
More after the jump.

The second issue, infrastructure, can be divided into four subcategories: roads, rails and ports and the electrical grid. The electrical grid is a joke. Load shedding is all too common, everywhere in India. Wide swaths of the country spend much of the day without the electricity they actually pay for. With out regular electricity, productivity, again, falls. The ports are a joke. Antiquated, out of date, hardly even appropriate for the mechanized world of container ports, more in line with the days of longshoremen and the like. Roads are an equal disaster. I only saw one elevated highway that would be considered decent in Thailand, much less Western Europe or America. And I covered fully two thirds of the country during my visit. There are so few dual carriage way roads as to be laughable. There are no traffic laws to speak of, and if there are, they are rarely obeyed, much less enforced. A drive that should take an hour takes three. A drive that should take three takes nine. The buses are at least thirty years old, if not older. Everyone in India, or who travels in India raves about the railway system. Rubbish. It’s awful. Now, when I was there in 2003 and then late 2004 it was decent. But in the last five years the traffic on the rails has grown so quickly that once again, it is threatening productivity. Waiting in line just to ask a question now takes thirty minutes. Routes are routinely sold out three and four days in advance now, leaving travelers stranded with little option except to take the decrepit and dangerous buses. At least fifty million people use the trains a day in India. 50 million people! Not surprising that waitlists of 500 or more people are common now. The rails are affordable and comprehensive but they are overcrowded and what with budget airlines popping up in India like Sadhus in an ashram the middle and lowers classes are left to deal with the overutilized rails and quality suffers. No one seems to give a shit. Seriously, I just never have the impression that the Indian government really cares. Too interested in buying weapons from Russia, Israel and the US I guess.

The last major problem in India is an old problem and can be divided into two parts that’ve been two sides of the same coin since government was invented: bureaucracy and corruption. It take triplicates to register into a hotel. To get a SIM card for one’s phone is like wading into a jungle of red-tape and photocopies one is not likely to emerge from in a good mood, much less satisfied with customer service. Getting train tickets is a terrible ordeal, first you have to find the train number, which takes 30 minutes, then you have to fill in the form, which is far from easy, then you have to wait in line to try and make a reservation, which takes 30 minutes at least and if you made a single mistake on the form back you go to the end of the queue, or what passes for a queue in India. The government is notoriously uninterested in the problems of the commoners, too busy fleecing the rich, or trying to get rich themselves in some way shape or form. Take the trash for example, civil rubbish collection authorities are too busy taking kickbacks from the wealthy to keep their areas clean that they don’t have the time, manpower, money or interest in doing their job. Rural hospitals are perennially understaffed as doctors pocket the fees the government pays them, never show up at the rural hospitals and practice in the cities instead.

I could go on for quite some time about my perception of India and its problems, but in all seriousness, I don’t think anyone in India really cares. And that, to me, is the biggest problem. India is too conservative a society to want to change in any way. Mumbai, India’s financial capital is about as filthy, polluted and poor as the worst city imaginable in Vietnam, or Indonesia–and being more polluted than Medan, in Sumatra is no easy task. The biggest rats I have ever seen were in Medan!

One would expect a certain amount of, yes, I am going to use this word, backwardness, in a country that hasn’t produced so many Nobel Laureates, nuclear physicists, imminent economists and entrepreneurs. But India has all these things and what have they brought back to India with them? Nothing. The rich still have their servants, the lower castes are still there to do the dirty work and so the country remains in stasis. It’s a shame. Indians and India have many wonderful things to offer the world, but I’m far from sanguine that India will amount to much in my lifetime.

Now, have at it, call me a cultural imperialist, a spoiled child of the West and all that. But remember, I’ve been there. I’ve done it. And I’ve seen 50 other countries on this planet and none, not even Ethiopia, have as long and gargantuan a laundry list of problems as India does. And the bottom line is, I don’t think India really cares. Too complacent and too conservative.

Source:

Kelley, Sean Paul. 2009. Reflections on India. http://rupeenews.com/2009/12/reflections-on-india-by-sean-paul-kelley [accessed: 2012-06-26].