Hot Air

It is now fairly well known around the world that if any huge object were to be put into outer space with the help of Hot Air, Pakistan is the country that has the potential to do it. Scientists and deep space researchers have even gone as far as to suggest that this very planet, complete with the large number of idiots it houses, could be lifted up to areas beyond the known galaxies. What is this miracle fuel and how come we have it? These are questions that obviously arouse great interest.
Hot Air, say the experts, is produced in its purest form when a bunch of morons loosely catalogued as Homo sapiens choose to babble on and on with an unending stock of platitudes and nonsense of a very high order. It is also produced when an entire nation – size matters – such as ours decides that it will live its life pieced together by well-used clichés.
Singly they may not make much of an impact but when over 180 million folks throw them about in carefree abandon, things happen. Experts believe that this is not another nonsensical theory but the real deal and is but to be expected from a nation that is running its vehicles on water, its economy on black money and aspiring to be the Taliban’s best friends. Walt Disney had it right. Looney Tunes.
Those few amongst us who may think this is all poppycock need to understand that the widespread use of clichés is so lethal that North Korea has sent an envoy to check them out. Clichés are actually essential for a country that is living in self-denial because among other things they cover up embarrassing facts.
The Taliban will be taken to task is only to cover the uncomfortable truth that we are all scared of them. The big bad wolf looks like a mouse compared to this lot who think that displaying severed heads is kosher.
Clichés and platitudes – first cousins – prop our flagging values and deflect from the truth. Thus, there can be no crime if it is not heinous. All acts are dastardly. Apparently you cannot take action (read: no action) unless it is dastardly. Culprits, bless the boys, are constantly being threatened by any number of idiotic officials that they will be brought to book.
In Pakistan’s 60-odd years no one has seen the book but that really does not matter because they have neither seen good governance. No one is above the law, says another popular cliché – and that is correct because anyone who is lawless, is below it. Good old miscreants, says another hot air release, will not be tolerated.
So what? ‘Pakistan’s sovereignty is not to be tampered with’ really means it can be freely tampered with. Many others support or crumbling edifice. Law and order of paramount importance. The guilty will be punished immediately (that means never). No one will be allowed to tamper with the lives of the people – other than the thousands who are dead and gone. The nation is on the verge of a takeoff. So is PIA and we know what that is.
Wait for the good news. BB’s murderers are known and their identity will be revealed at an appropriate time (which time will never arrive). Those who have looted the country will be made to return every single paisa. This is really funny.
The Taliban cannot be trusted and talks with them are the only way forward. Bring snake antidote along. The economy is turning – anti-clockwise you might add. Lives of the common folk will be improved – in about a million years. Drone attacks are an insult to our nation – we will get insulted daily many times over.
Such is the sweep of the clichés that most common utterances of the day now find a cosy home within the fine-toned and completely meaningless clichés. Even denials in the face of overwhelming facts look more and more like well-worn-out clichés. The armed forces are ready to lay down their lives and are ever vigilant. The Shaheens were fully alert the night the US Navy Seals waltzed into Pakistani airspace. There was no security lapse at the Karachi naval base and everything was normal. Osama, who? Never heard of him.
When an entire country is in a state of denial, hinged together by such sterling qualities as lies and clichés, it starts to ferment and bubble and turns frothy at the top. Nature, which both abhor vacuum and people whose profession is to lie, must then react and all that nonsense becomes a mass of seething energy. Were that to be directed at getting rid of the corrupt who have put even termites to shame, it would be another matter. Sadly, instead of turning this into dynamic energy, it is allowed to do mischief.
Pakistan, of course, has not yet gone into outer space – though the nation is quite spaced out and could technically launch a probe or explore the galaxies. One fears for the galaxies, of course, but man must move on. It could also implode and consume itself thus getting rid of itself, bizarre as that may sound. Neither will happen obviously, life being life.
The lies, deceit and treachery will continue unabated because we all accept that this has to be our destiny. Those leaders who appear on the national scene from time to time or the real power-brokers – the cane-carrying strutting top brass – ensure that the rotten system remains rotten and we, the hapless folks, lurch on from one day to another, sometimes foolishly hoping and at most times convinced that this is it.
Add to that the talk show hosts. Here is a tribe that needs to be put on a slow leaky boat to China but of course no such thing will happen. The thing is that clichés conceal the truth. Hidden behind its imposing width even a squirrel can roar like a lion. Every time this nation has reached a point where a turn might still have saved it, it has been waylaid by the armies of mediocre men and women with shallow and ignorant thinking being their hallmarks.
If these represent ‘public opinion’ what else is left is a question that some people ask. It was Edward Said who said, ‘why doesn’t anyone speak the truth?’ and like the jesting Pilate did not wait for an answer. Therein lies our sorry existence. I say let’s go and infect Neptune.