MCC’s Cul-Ah! 2011: ROFLMAO!!!

Before I say anything, let me get the context perfectly clear here. I am right now in the USA and have been here for the past 1.5 years. I woke up today morning and on my news feed, I saw that MCC’s Cul-Ah had been going on since Monday. This brought back all the nice memories of the Cul-Ah! that I had been to when I was in my PUC. So I decided to give it a read. This post is a result of the profound WTFness that I experienced subsequent to reading through those articles. READ ON…

For the uninitiated, Cul-Ah! Is the annual cultural fest that is conducted by Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, at their own campus. Usually they hold it in the month of January and this year too was no exception. This fest is considered to be one of the best fests in the city and is in high demand. (Hmm…I wonder why..). Perhaps the fact that MCC is a girls’ college with a continued reputation of housing the best chics  in the city has something to do with that popularity. Anyways, I got to know about this year’s fest through this and this article on DNA.

So this year, MCC has gone on and made the effort to theme their fest. The theme chosen is “ELEMENTS”. According to Andrea, general secretary of Mount Carmel College students’ union,

Our college is completely eco-friendly, and hence we came up with this theme. Considering that this year is the year of ‘biodiversity’, we have begun a number of campaigns in the college that encourage students to be more eco-friendly and to save the earth. For Cul- Ah, therefore, we chose the five elements of our planet to define and categorise our events.

The United Nations has this to say about the International Year of Biodiversity:

….that humans rely on the diversity of life to provide the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials needed for life… this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities, such as the expansion of cities and farming. International Year Of Biodiversity is aimed at raising awareness about the loss of animal and plant species and organizing action to halt it.

Looks like a responsible thing the fest organizers have done. Starting a number of campaigns and getting their main fest to be themed that way to create awareness for the ‘Year of Biodiversity’. Just ONE small problem I came across:

The Year of  Biodiversity was LAST YEAR, 2010!!!

Yes, yes..this is the point where you go WTF???!?!!!??

I mean, seriously, what were the organizers thinking? I can imagine people messing up on some small aspects of the fest, but screwing up the very premise behind the main Theme of the fest, now you gotta be really messed up to do that!

I am now trying to reconstruct the discussion that I believe, took place, during the planning of the fest (in 2010).

Chic1: Girls! We gotta do something different this time. Something that will capture the attention of everyone for a very good purpose.

Chic2: Save the Planet!

Chic3: Oh my God! That is soooooo original! Lets totally do it!

Chic1: Wait! Save the Planet doesn’t sound fancy enough. Lets give it a different name.

Chic2: Hey look! This year is ‘Year of Biodiversity’! We can use that as an excuse to get this totally original idea on to our theme! This is so awesome no??

Chic1 and Chic2: Yay! This is going to be the best fest ever!

Chic4 (with mega-inferiority complex issues): Excuse me girls… err..hmm… but I was just wondering.. ummm.. since we will be holding our actual fest, like, next year, you know, 2011, don’t you think we need to consider that also?

Chic1: Did we ask you your opinion?

Chic4: Err…I was just saying…you know, that you had to consider…

Chic2: Are you suggesting that we don’t know how to do this?

Chic4: I am sorry.

Chic3: Yeah! Who the f*** cares anyway? As soon as they see something even remotely associated with Save Nature stuff, they will think we are doing a very responsible thing.

Chic1: So where were we? Ah yes! So lets make the theme as those 5 elements that make up nature. Earth, water, fire, air and space.

Chic2: Oooooooh! I so love Captain Planet! Go Planet! This is sooo good!

*******************************

Moving on, we now come to the events. The events are categorized with respect to the different ‘elements’. Here is the idea behind the classification:

Fire will include high energy events like dance, mad ads and mock rock, whereas music and poetry are in the category of Air. Water, with its characteristic intelligence, will include events such as quizzes and pictionary that test your intelligence and creativity while events such as vegetable carving, cooking without fire and flower arrangement fall in the category of Earth.

And here is the clincher, really. If you were wondering what they came up with for the ‘element’ of Space, this is what the Gen-Sec, Andrea, had to say (brace yourself for the profound WTF moment):

All these events will be conducted in the element of space, which in this case is MCC.

You know… if you really wanted to find an excuse to somehow include that 5th element, I am sure there was a less retarded way to do so. Let me reconstruct the discussion that led to this:

Chic1: Ok, now that’s a great idea. Year of Biodiversity, and ELEMENTS! I think we are onto something totally awesome here. Now how can we structure these events so that all the 5 elements are covered?

Chic2: I think the best way to do that would be to classify the events among 4 of the elements and treat the 5th element as something that will encompass all the other 4! I am so awesome no??

Chic3: So for example, we can put our events in Air, Space, Fire and Earth, while saying that we are holding our fest under Water. And then we can say that this is symbolic of how global warming is going to get all places under water soon if we do not do something about it! Isnt that a great idea? We can also use the Global warming excuse to put Fire as the 5th element saying we can die of heat and stuff.

Chic2: Oh my god!! There are so many options here! Lets draw lots!

********************

Ok. So enough with that. Lets now consider the actual events and their classification. Honestly, I really don’t know where to start. Fire is supposed to represent High-energy events? When exactly did rewriting a rock song in a funny manner (Mock  Rock) become a ‘high energy’ event? And so poetry and music events are classified under Air? Oh I get it! The vibration of air is required to create any sound and so music events come under Air. What about poetry? Oh I know! You need air to breathe while you create poetry! Epic!

So Water has ‘characteristic intelligence’? Hmm..lets see. Googling ‘characteristic intelligence of water’ yields results describing the Goldfish and the Portuguese Water Dog. I am sure the organizers found a way to link both these innocuous animals with their events. So quizzes and Pictionary are supposed to test your intelligence and creativity? Ok..so then why is the Kannada quiz in Air and not Water? You suggesting Kannada quiz does not require any intelligence or creativity? (Kannada Rakshana Vedike anyone??)

In fact, here is my alternate proposal for classification. Fire is generated by sparks. So a spark of the mind is related to the Fire element. Spark of mind also gives rise to creativity and intelligence, as seen in lit events such as quizzes and such. So classify all ‘intelligent and creativity’ based events under Fire. Then look for the real dumb and retarded events. Like Antakshari, where only the dumb get excited playing. You can classify such events under Water. Why? Because water destroys fire, the spark, the same way the dumb cancel out the intelligent!

“I am so awesome no??!!!?”

It is fairly obvious what has happened. The organizers somehow want to tag their fest with some kind of a socially-responsible message. And once they do that, they had to find ways to relate each and every event to the theme somehow. And so they come up with these ridiculous ways to connect their fest with the ‘Save the Planet’ message. And they know nobody is going to really question it or think too much about it as it is, by default, supposed to generate a feel-good factor. This whole thing, I have to say, is a perfect scenario to explain the idea of Subjective Validation.

Moving on, lets look at the Twitter account that MCC opened up to publicize and market their fest. Not a bad idea as a lot of people use Twitter and word gets spread around faster through it. There are 12 tweets in the account, the last of which was on Jan 3. Now I am not going to comment on the inefficient usage of the account. Instead, the followers of this account tell a very good story. (At the time of posting this) There are 21 followers, some of whose descriptions are as follows:

  • I’m a 17 year old girl. I Love Music. Met Jesus when I was 11. Living life in His grace and love. Servant, Daughter, Sister, Friend. =)
  • hi im **** a.k.a chikku.. im a huge fan of linkin park and edwars cullen.. i love playing different sports….well thats it for now… cya later……:-)
  • everything must be proportionate. your chicken and your rice must both last till the end. one must divide the bites of chicken evenly among bites of rice

No comments.

Well, I guess I am done with the organizers and the college. I have nothing against them really. I am sure they had a great fest and a lot of people had a good time. Come to think of it, I clearly remember to have had a memorable time when I went to Cul-Ah! 2003 edition when I was doing my PUC at St. Joseph’s PU College. But all that aside, I really cannot tolerate mediocrity. And hence this post. But I am not done yet. So far, I took care of the college. Now let me turn my attention to the newspaper- DNA.

Substandard or unethical journalism is something that really gets on my nerves. I have written about them before here and here. And I continue to see this even today. The DNA journos Merlin Francis and Vidya Iyengar have written the two articles that I have quoted here. In each case, I would like to know what the journos treat as their standard.

First up, with Merlin Francis. This is the dude who has got the Gen-Sec of the fest to quote that the Year of Biodiversity is this year. And he just took it for granted, making zero effort to check the factual accuracy of what he was quoting in his final article. All he needed to do was spend 15 seconds to google ‘Year of Biodiversity’ and he would have everything he needed. But no! Why? Well, I guess the standards differ, don’t they?

And now, with Vidya Iyengar. Call me a stickler for accuracies, but I really have a zero tolerance for inaccuracies in newspapers. The Fashion Show event is listed under the category Earth in the article.

The theme ‘Earth’ will be reflected in a fashion show that will sport rich, Indian ethnic wear.

However, in the actual brochure, the event is listed under Fire. This may look extremely trivial to some. But there is no guarantee that the above line was not just made up to suit the article. Maybe it was the fault of the organizers who fed in wrong information to the journo. Or perhaps, the organizers messed up their brochure (in which case, I would not attribute any wrong doing to the said journo). But these factual inconsistencies are not excusable in any form.

However, there is an even more WTF thing involved in these 2 articles. The General Secretary’s name is said to be Andrea D’Silva as per Vidya Iyengar, while it is Andrea D’Souza as per Merlin Francis!! Now, seriously, who f***ed it up? Poor Gen-Sec. You have my sympathies!

And I guess I am done. I am feeling good. Having said that, let me also add that I would like to thank all those involved in this awesome mess for providing me ideal fodder for a  blog post! Please keep it coming…..

UPDATE: The MCC folks have left a few comments below (along with the inevitable brickbats). Read them for their response and how all the facts did NOT go into the newspaper article. Also, since I am exercising my freedom to criticize people here, I also realize that I am open to criticism as well. I will not be deleting any comments here, even if they clearly show me in bad light. I will probably not be responding to them.

 

 

 

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About Akshay N R

Civil Engineer by Profession; Dudeist by Religion. Also allergic to mediocrity.

Posted on January 12, 2011, in Arbit, Bad Journalism, Bangalore, Lame, Mediocrity, My sense of Humour, Nonsense, Rant, Satire, WTF? and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. I couldn’t stop laughing reading this one :).

  2. khushali P madhwani

    Hi anonymous,
    With due respect to your freedom of speech and ability to voice your opinion, the fest was conducted representing the batch and union of 2010-11, showing that it is ok to celebrate the year of biodiversity.
    Secondly, you cannot quote andrea without her permission on a public forum such as this. I’m afraid this could lead to a case of defamation.on the same lines, you cannot access anybody’s twitter account and quote their tweets..
    Please get this post of as it needs more substance in my opinion.
    Thanks,
    Regards,
    Khushali

    • First of all, let me say that I really appreciate your understanding of my freedom of speech. With regard to the year of biodiversity issue, people who read this post and your comment will perhaps see your side of the story as well. With regard to quoting Andrea, I am first of all not quoting her per se. I am only quoting her statement as it appears in a published newspaper. If there is anyone you would like to file a case for defamation, it would be the newspaper. There are plenty of blogs/websites which comment on people’s quotes appearing in the newspapers and other media. (Check out http://www.indiauncut.com for a popular Indian example.)

      And if we are not supposed to access someone’s Twitter account, then I believe the whole Sashi Tharoor’s Twitter saga would have also lead to a big list of defamation/privacy cases. Moreover, all the information that I have quoted here is ALREADY available in the Twitter public forum. And there is no restriction quoting material originating in one forum in another, as long as the link is provided to the original (which I have in every single case).

      Let me assure you that I am fully aware of my freedom and restrictions and this post is well within those boundaries.

  3. khushali P madhwani

    Sorry for saying anonymous.. Didn’t get your name right, akshay.
    Regards,
    Khushali

  4. Danielle D'Silva

    Hi Akshay,

    I’m the Gen Sec Andrea’s sister and our surname is D’Silva. Just wanted to clear the air on that.

    Agreed last year was the Year of Biodiversity. These girls did not overlook the fact as you have wrongly and blatantly pointed out. The thing is Cul Ah was scheduled for December 2010 and everything was planned and the decor and themes etc well under way. But the college suddenly decided to shift it to January 2011 as they wanted the Bangalore University colleges to be present as well.
    So since they were almost at the finish line with regard to details of the event, it was no point going back to the starting point, right?

    It is sad that you are sitting on another continent criticizin the efforts of 20 year old girls who are doing way more than what kids their age are capable of. Some appreciation is due since the fest was a success! (Maybe your next post could be about that)

    I am all for giving opinions but do so when you have solid background and know both sides of the coin to back it up. But when you are thousands on miles away you cant have access to even half the details.
    Since I have been there through every stage I can say that you are picking on the pettiest of issues and evidently have tons of time to have done so! Which brings me to my last question….

    Are you employed?? You seem to have a lot of time on your hands going by all the research and investigating you have done.

    But thanks for the interesting but not at all insightful read!Have a good day!

    Regards,
    Danielle

    • With regard to the Year of Biodiversity issue, it is good you are clearing it now. But this still means that the newspaper quote was with incorrect information. Wish this clarity was available in the newspaper article.

      And having organized many fests myself, I know how much effort goes into this. The point of this post is not direct criticism of the organizers. It is to point out the redundancy of applying a ‘theme’ to a fest and trying to tie in all the events to fall under it.

      And I have indeed mentioned that the fest is likely to have been a success with lot of people having a good time. (In fact I have mentioned even I had a good time when I went to it in 2003). Also, I would suggest you contact the journalists who wrote that article and printed the surnames wrong. If it were me, I would have personally made sure of that.

      And with regard to my employment, let me just say that if I want to write something, my employment status doesnt make any difference at all. I will always find the time for it. Also, I really appreciate the fact that you haven’t gone all sentimental while commenting.

  5. I personally know the organizers,
    Trust me on one thing close to 90% of your facts are worng. If responsible journalism is what u preach i suggest you practise that.
    drop me a mail at:
    galadrial@gmail.com
    I’ll gladly explain why the ‘bio-diversity’ thing that u take as a joke is relevant!
    Please note: the fashion show event is differnt from the fashion team of MCC walking the ramp! The home teams never participate they are on a non competititive basis.
    IF YOU REALLY WANNA TRASH A FEST i suggest you trash ypur non existant Joseph’s fest!

    • Oooooh! I was so waiting for a “I-am-so-pissed-off-that-I-will-trash-Josephs” comment. But seriously, never give out your email id in the standard form on the internet. Please read the previous comments as well.

  6. Well honestly none of us are juvenile enough to sit and make this an argument about hatin jpsephites or not cuz we’re on very favorble terms with them. I suggest sitting Far FAR away from home like Danielle says you keep the critisism of stuff not concering you to a minimum.
    Undeniably u have the skill to write make it constructive… as far as this piece goes it seems more like cheap publicity for yourself than anythign else.
    Just by transhing something that’s kinda popular in my eyes falls as a rather deperate attempt to be noticed.

    Either way the problem with DNA has been sorted out.. and inspite of calling them an unreliable apaer u using them as a source for your entire post come as quiet a hypocrytical act..

    Anyway, keep writing but for the fun not to put other down….

  7. The very FACT we’re all posting is that U HAVE GOT YOUR FACT ALL WRONG!!!!!
    We’re just being polite

  8. A real nice way of getting yourself some publicity… Way to go….

  9. About MCC being the element of space,we might as well have used your head (it’s clearly empty, in case you did not get that)

  10. Dear Akshay,

    How dare you belittle these girls and their hard work? This college has given us luminaries like Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma. And what’s wrong with celebrating a 2010 event in 2011? Didn’t they award the Ballon D’Or on Jan 10th when the year ended 10 WHOLE DAYS earlier?

    And how could you steal her tweets? From a public profile? The cheek! You remember what happened to Tharoor?

    Did you know that you’re not entitled to an opinion if you live in another continent? Yea. That’s why stupid people should stop commenting on the freaking English Premier League. Like one North London club beating a Yorkshire club makes a difference to a wanker in Basavanagudi.

    I would have attended the fest but there was a Justin Bieber special on VH1 that night.

    Regards,
    Concerned Teen

  11. And your from this college aren’t you? http://crrescendo.blogspot.com/

    Hahahahhahahahaahahhahahahahahahahahahahah

  12. Not a concerned teen (thank god)

    To concerned teen.
    What is so funny about the mentioned blog “crrscendo.blogspot.com” ? Care to point out please.

  13. The writer of this blog studied at NITK. That’s why I shared it.

    And why don’t you want to be cool like me yaar? You don’t like Bieber?

  14. Hi Akshay,20 something guy who has of late become obsessed with the ideas of Reason, Irony and the Redundancy of Hope,

    I do like to eat my food proportionally. In fact, I like it so much, it might be a problem. If my food is not eaten proportionally, I get angry. Just as angry as I get when people take things completely out of context to make it look like something else all together. I don’t have to justify my bio on twitter. And you don’t have the right to use it the way you did.

    To even allow yourself to use some 100 characters of something random, quirky and unusual that I wrote about myself as an in depth judgement of my personality, an example of just how stupid I am to be following Cul-ah on twitter, you’ve completely disregarded any credibility you might have had before.

    I’m from mounts, and pissed as I am about this article, it just might have worked, if you hadn’t taken that extra step and tried to be just a little funnier than you already were. or weren’t being.

    So what say you let me be obsessed with proportion, and you continue being obsessed with irony, reason and pseudo intellectualism, shall we?

    P.S.: I was just kidding when I said your article just might have worked, it was pretty much a flop from the beginning. I suggest you practice in a notebook before you put it on the web.

    • It is interesting to see the kind of judgment you have assumed that I have passed on your personality–coz in truth, I have only mentioned NO COMMENTS. Unless of course, you consider ‘Living in God’s grace and love’ or ‘being a fan of Linkin Park and Edwars Cullen’ as stupid.

  15. Funny post! I couldn’t stop laughing 🙂 Reading comments from disgruntled fest organizers/supporters was even more funnier.

  16. Not a concerned teen (thank god)

    Alexis D’Souza :
    I do like to eat my food proportionally. In fact, I like it so much, it might be a problem. If my food is not eaten proportionally, I get angry

    I think Ms. D’souza needs to eat a proportional plate of “UNDERSTANDING” with an adequate sprinkle of “SENSE-OF-HUMOR” over it. Enjoy.

    Bon apetite

  17. Akshay,
    I understand the sense of humour you have attempted and the implications that were made when you posted those three bios. ‘Look guys, these are 3 of the measley 21 followers Cul-Ah has on twitter, – no comments’, don’t turn it around and point fingers at me. Saying ‘no comments’ doesn’t make it all okay, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you did not intend for those bio’s to look the way they looked.

    Not a concerned teen thank god, I do eat a lot of things, but mockery, no thank you.

    Akshay, what upsets me the most is that you spent a lot of time on research, trying to make this article as solid as possible, which is the best thing you can do when you write. But why would you want to take this much time to do something so negative? To trash and make a mockery of an event you probably went to years ago, an event that people work really hard at? I wish you would have used your evident skill and intelligence as a writer to have maybe balanced this article out a little bit. Oh well, next time, hopefully.

    • Isnt it so easy to get upset about someone poking some fun on something you have worked so hard on? However, if this served as a basis for not allowing people to write satirical pieces about anything anybody ever worked on, then where is the sense of humor on this planet?

  18. this is effing hilarious dude. i can’t ROFL as im in lab, but i’m bursting with giggles.
    how worked up these kids get… kids these days, i tell you.

    • Woah! You finally broke the trend! All this time, I inevitably found all girls despised this post (irrespective of their affiliation to MCC) while all guys liked it. Wait..hadnt you posted a long time back that your blog was recognized as a ‘male’ blog by some AI software? 😛

  19. bwaa now even i want some 16-17year-old trolls on my blog! so entertaining!

  20. Landed here from a NITK tweets list. Truly entertaining post right from the beginning. Only wish it was about a fictitious college fest so you wouldn’t have gotten all those brickbats. Hope to see more such posts from you..

  21. Am I the only ex-carmelite who laughed out loud, reading this post? These kids I say!

  22. Jerk. It was the most fun my friends and I had the entire year, way to try to put a damper on something you were too old to attend

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