Posts Tagged ‘rants’

People say the weirdest things, don’t they? You walk into a clinic and the receptionist asks, “You here to see the doctor?” Now why would she say that? Why would I go to a clinic at five in the evening if I wanted to see the doctor? I’d walk across to the pub next door. I’m there to see the hot young intern.

“Hungover? Drank too much last night, eh?” How stupid is that? I’m hungover ’cos I didn’t drink enough. If I’d drank too much I’d still be happily drunk, now wouldn’t I?

Oh, and here’s one I got from some random guy on FB. “Hi, I’m interested in secret, safe sex.” Why would he write me that? What does he expect me to say? Well, good for ya. Let me know if you find out what that is? Interested in secret, safe sex, indeed. I’m interested in the toilet habits of ancient Romans but you don’t find me boring strangers with it, do you?

Well, creepy as it is, it is better than people who send you friend requests and won’t add a message. Then, just to be perverse, they won’t even have a photo on their profile. Or have a photo of their kid or the family pet. What do they expect me to do? Dude, your name sounds familiar, and the bulldog look is about right, but I just can’t be sure if you’re the guy who showed me his wee-wee when we were five?

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Not only do I disagree with you, I deny you the right to your opinion

My creative director called me yesterday to discuss a special episode for Gandhi Jayanti.  “Okay, how about something along the lines of Munnabhai and our protagonists discovering the importance of Mahatma Gandhi?” You can’t go wrong with that, I thought cocking a secret snook at S&P (Standards and Procedures is the censor board equivalent for television).

“Rediscovering. We don’t want it to appear that college kids don’t know who Mahatma Gandhi is,” she interjected in alarm. I know her rather well so I could figure out what was going on in her head. In her mind she was already seeing S&P yanking her top rated show off air, on account of a careless slip by a writer. Not to mention hundreds of khadi-clad protesters picketing and destroying her newly refurbished set.  

Which brings me to the subject of this column. Freedom of expression…er, lack of it actually. Everywhere (mostly everywhere) in the world now there are large clauses in constitutions that assure us of our right to free speech. And now, more than ever, we are on tenterhooks about what we say. We are so paranoid that we accept the risk of incoherent communication just so we can be sure that we don’t offend anyone.

It started with the substitution of man with person as a suffix, e.g., chairperson instead of chairman. No one disputed that. The list then went on to include terms like challenged to connotate disability or disadvantage of any kind, viz., vertically challenged instead of short. That was a stretch but we still went ahead with it.

But the latest list released by the British Sociological Association is just too much. According to the directive issued by them, students are banned from using terms like old masters and seminal on the grounds that they are sexist. Instead, the suggested term when referring to, well, masters is ‘classic artists’. Also making it to the illustrious list are words like immigrants, developing nations and black on account of being racist!

By failing to stick to the list you run the risk of being sued. But that’s for other countries. We, in India have our own way of dealing with subject matter we don’t like. Mob violence. Or should I say collective active demonstration of disagreement to be politically correct. See what I mean about incoherence? Don’t like Amitabh Bachchan’s views? No problem. Vandalise the theatre showing his latest film. That’ll show him. Decided that the scarves covering the faces of the blasts accused are decidedly Palestinian? Never mind. Make a noise, create some brouhaha in the media and maybe, just maybe, torch a police station or two? It is an effective deterrent. We were steering clear of anything even remotely disrespectful to Mahatma Gandhi, weren’t we?

As I mulled such and other deep thoughts, my creative director broke into my thoughts. “Are you available for a brainstorming session this weekend?”

“That’s offensive to people with epilepsy. The politically correct term is ideate,” I replied absently. Help!

You can read the article in the current (Nov) issue of Grazia.

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I’ve been getting a lot of hate mail and hate comments. You don’t see them because, of course, I don’t approve them.

I don’t understand this. I mean, I can understand it if your rant is against the book, because you’ve paid good money for it (assuming of, course, that you’ve bought it and not borrowed/pinched it). So if you’re feeling cheated, rave on. (Although, even there I’d feel better if the comments were constructive and not pure venom.)

But rants against the blog? Which is free? How demanding are we getting? I understand that your time is limited and if devote an ‘x’ number of seconds to a site, that is ‘x’ seconds less for something else that you may consider more worthwhile.

But, seriously, grow up. If you don’t like something, move on. That’s what I do. A couple of seconds of skimming tells me whether I want to spend more time on that particular site or not. I don’t crib about having wasted my time by visiting a particular site and then, contrarily, spend more time in leaving a hate comment.

At first I got a bit upset because I had made it very clear from the very beginning that:

  • A) There’s only so much gyaan you can impart on the craft of writing. As the end of the day you have to do the writing.
  • B) I use my blog as my morning pages as well. So there will be days when I’m not dropping pearls of wisdom.

But then I realised that this was their way, albeit a convoluted one, to get me to visit their blogs. There’s nothing quite like a little rant to get noticed, is there? Perhaps, something to keep in mind about when you’re writing your bestseller?

Here’s one I got on the book today. Well, it’s not on the book per se.

This guy wrote: Hi, I’m a fan of your book. Keep up the good work.

To which I replied: Thank you so much. One does aim to please

To which he replied: Hmmm, you sound rude and arrogant.

I give up!

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I had a massive scare yesterday. My computer refused to boot. This was disastrous. Like, on a scale of 1-10, it was a catastrophic 8. ‘Cos like all lazy creatures I hadn’t made a back up.

Everything was fine till about ten days ago. And then this ominous message about some Trojan horse started flashing on the screen. Pretty soon my pretty wall paper was gone, replaced by an ugly electric blue screen with an uglier yellow strip across it sporting an insidious, “Spyware detected on your computer.” I wasn’t wild about it. My Van Gogh replaced with this?

The message also suggested that I install and antivirus to get rid of the digital equine creature. I thought that was strange ‘cos I had some pretty kickass McAfee stuff, plus some AVG protection. Admittedly, the AVG 7.5 was a little antiquated and had been warning me about its imminent expiry for some time. I, of course, did little else about it other than murmur a something to the effect of ‘rest in peace.’ Come to think of it, AVG’s expiry coincided with the appearance of the Trojan horse. Am I being totally paranoiac, or is there a connection?

I would have done nothing about it, except the message about the Trojan horse irritatingly kept popping up every 20 seconds or so. So yesterday, when I read about AVG 8 freeware in the papers, I decided to download and install it. Only, once I installed the software, my computer refused to boot!  Apparently Grisoft aren’t joking when they claim that AVG 8 is the securest anti-virus software. The software is so secure it refuses even the owner entry into the computer.

Anyway, after an anxious half hour, I restarted the comp in safe mode and uninstalled AVG 8. I can once again boot my comp normally but the problem about spyware and the Trojan horse persists. Any solutions?

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