Category Archives: WTF?
In a surprising development towards the end of yesterday, hundreds of reports from all over the world poured in claiming large masses of people going to depression simultaneously. The reason : Democracy – or more specifically the realization that it does not appear to be working.
It first started with people in Japan reporting en masse to psychiatrists and psychologists complaining about general depression and a growing inability to trust anything. People were seen making long lines outside pharmacies waiting to pick up their prescription medication to battle depression.
Meanwhile, many reports started coming in about similar developments in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Italy and a few other European nations. This was then followed by reports in the United States where millions of people were first confused if their depression was the result of the extended winter this year. However, after continuing to watch their preferred News Channel – Fox or MSNBC – just to see the ‘other party’ get thrashed, the people found their depression getting worse and ultimately attributed it to the failure of democracy.
Common questions the people seem to be asking all around the world included: “Why isn’t anything getting done here at all?”, “If a party is elected by the people, then why doesn’t it get to do anything?” “Majority means they should be able to pass all the bills right?”, “I thought Obama had won the reelection. But then why is he still campaigning against the Republicans instead of getting things done?”
Questions like these were asked repeatedly by people when journalists inquired about their depression and what they thought of the economy.
A worldwide survey had shown a few years ago that democracy was “The Shit, Yo!”. It was apparently not just a ‘good system’ of governance, it was also the ‘only system’ of governance. People all around the world appeared to agree that the United States was ‘just awesome’ because it kept bringing in ‘democracy’ to all those poor souls in the middle east who were ‘totally suffering without democracy’.
A noted commentator who has been supporting democracy setups all his life had this to say about the new democracies in the Middle East: “It’s cool yo! I mean, there are a lot more people getting killed, more religious persecution, more security problems, more economical problems, and on top of it all, nobody is able to do shit about it! But it’s cool because they have a democracy, right?”
Another pro-democratic intellectual
masturbator said this in response to all the increased violence and unrest in the new democracies: “Hey! At least now they get to feel awesome and brag to the rest of the world that they live in democracies right? I mean, now they actually have a RIGHT to brag and feel awesome! Yeah, take that Bitchas!”
Actually, this reporter was unable to find anybody who held anti-democratic views who could talk about the other perspective. Apparently, it was just ‘not cool to be anti-democracy’. Why? The only answer this reporter was given repeatedly to that question was “Because Democracy is the Shit, Yo!”
When more people were interviewed to hear their perspectives about why they felt democracy would not work, many of them echoed similar thoughts.
“I was told from my days in middle school that democracy is the shit. I never understood it back then but just thought it was something cool that everybody liked. So I began to trust it as well. But I just don’t see it working ANYWHERE.”
Citizens of India, the largest democracy in the world, were initially upbeat about the next elections so that they could vote the ruling Congress party out. But then they realized that even a different party would never be able to satisfy the needs and demands of hundreds of retards who will still be in the parliament- all thinking differently.
“The only thing that will continue for sure is the regular adjournments of the parliament sessions. No bills will get passed and no reforms will take place. Because this is democracy right? So you get to put down a bill just because it won’t help you win reelection.”
The only people who appear to be celebrating democracy and those that have not gone into depression are the folks who have been making their lives out of subsidy and welfare money from the governments. Social Security, disability, medicare, medicaid, unemployment benefits, you name it. People who utilize these welfare schemes appear to be extremely happy about democracies.
“I hope democracy continues. This way nobody will have the balls to take away my disability checks and Medicaid because if they do, I will vote for the other guy who promises me my free money. Isn’t that awesome? I hope the people in the Middle East also begin to reap the benefits of democracy soon. Go welfare schemes!”, said a 43 year old American who has been claiming disability checks simply because his ‘back hurts a bit when he tries to stand up’.
It appears that only people who work, making money and leading generally better lives were affected by the depression epidemic that has swept the globe. The poor who have been living mediocre lives through welfare schemes and subsidies appear to be more than happy to continue to live in mediocre conditions as long as they keep getting their free money that in turn supports their mediocre existence.
All the people living off subsidies and welfare schemes were of the strong opinion that ‘Democracy indeed is THE SHIT!”.
When President Obama was asked about this mass depression epidemic, he responded with a prepared statement with beautifully crafted sentences, messages of hope, general GOP bashing, and a lot of promises and by the end of his speech, people were so excited and enthusiastic that they seemed to have forgotten what it was that they had asked him in the first place.
The President did refer this reporter (who pressed him with the same question a second time) to the following video from The Dictator…..
…..thus missing out the whole point altogether.
In conclusion, it appears that Democracy is not just ‘The Shit’, it is simply SHIT.
In what could be the next biggest development in the history of football, ABSOLUT Vodka and UEFA have announced that the winners of the upcoming EURO ’12 and UEFA Champions League ’12-’13 tournaments will play ABSOLUT Football – a new brand of football that nobody has ever seen so far. This announcement was made on UEFA’s website and was confirmed by a spokesman of the Pernord Ricard group which owns the ABSOLUT brand.
UEFA’s official website carried a new posting outlining the rationale behind the new legislation:
After an executive committee meeting of UEFA, it has been decided that the winners of EURO ’12 and Champions League ’12-’13 will be based on the ability of teams to play the ABSOLUT brand of football. The objective behind this decision is to provide fans and spectators all across the world the opportunity to watch the most entertaining brand of football ever played.
The UEFA executives concluded that all teams must raise their games to include more entertainment aspects into it. And, as currently, the most entertaining and exciting brand of football is considered to be Total football – born in the Netherlands and currently played by the likes of FC Barcelona – it was decided that in order to be fair to all teams, even those playing total football had to raise their games.
However, after further investigation by this fearless reporter, new sh*t has come to light. It appears that the UEFA executives had a very controversial motive behind this decision.
Most of them were unhappy that Chelsea FC won the UEFA Champions League, for apparently deploying negative (read extremely effective) tactics to secure wins against the likes of FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munchen. Sources revealed that the members refused to consider the inability – of either Barcelona or Bayern Munich – to finish even 5% of all the chances that they created as a sign of the weaker team. This, as compared to Chelsea’s almost 100% finishing record, appears to have had no bearing on the executives.
One of the executives, who wished to remain anonymous justified the motive in the following way:
How can you have entertainment when all you are getting from Chelsea’s tactics is a scenario when one team is constantly on the verge of scoring the decisive goal and the other team is defending for its life – suffocating and frustrating the attacking team- only to provide the most dramatic finishes in the history of the game? That Barcelona game might have given people heart attacks. But then since Chelsea had deployed negative tactics, this simply cannot be considered entertaining, right?
In a related development, Websters dictionary publishers have agreed to use the above executive’s quote to explain the words ‘retard’ and ‘hypocrite’.
Johan Cruyff, one of the most vocal protesters of Chelsea’s tactics – and himself an ex-Barcelona player who was also involved in the development of Total football – had a few thoughts of his own:
What is the point in having all these different styles of football – from different leagues in different countries all across Europe – competing against each other in one tournament? Teams playing widely different tactics pitted against each other in a game of football is completely pointless! There simply cannot be any value in doing this! Everybody should try to play the same type of football – the type that is played at Ajax or Barcelona.
I don’t know how this ABSOLUT football will work but right now, the only way to win a tournament and deserve it is by playing total football. Every other style of play is inferior to Total football. Even if other styles of football aim to exploit the opposition’s weaknesses, or even if they culminate in the most exciting games ever played, those styles are still invalid and do not deserve to be rewarded!
This reporter initially suspected that Mr. Cruyff could have been stoned when he made the above quotes. Turns out, this is how Mr. Cruyff is.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Pernord Ricard group which owns the ABSOLUT brand shed more light on what this means to the company and also about how this is going to work.
ABSOLUT Vodka is proud to be associated with this new chapter in the history of football, where ABSOLUT Football makes Total football absolutely obsolete!
The methodology of playing ABSOLUT football, inevitably involves the consumption of copious amounts of ABSOLUT Vodka. Following this, the players take to the pitch and the game begins. However, once the game begins, this style of football will now require you to make use of the players of not only your own team, but also that of the opposition’s. The players will bounce the ball like a pin-ball machine and make it go towards goal.
We are absolutely confident that ABSOLUT football will provide the highest amount of entertainment in the game of football. Of course, the best way to enjoy a game of ABSOLUT football is to be absolutely drunk yourself with our Vodka! CHEERS!
In what appears to be a follow up of UEFA President Michel Platini’s comments about video technology, a spokesperson for the governing body in European Football made the announcement in a press conference yesterday.
UEFA has decided to make incorrect referee decisions mandatory, effective from the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League and the Last-16 of Europa League. This ruling will be applicable to only these 2 tournaments this season. However, starting the 2012-13 season, all leagues and all competitions overseen by UEFA will be required to introduce mandatory referee decisions which are incorrect. This decision was taken up as part of our efforts to drive the organization along the ‘totally-not-ridiculous’ vision of our legendary President Michel Platini.
The vision that Michel Platini has for UEFA and European Football appears to have been indicated by none other than himself a few days ago when he made revelatory comments about the state of football and whether or not to allow video technology in it.
Video is not for football. Human (adjudication) is better. Football became popular thanks to its human values. If that becomes a commercial value, it will lose all its popularity.
Though his initial comments appeared to make his stand clear about use of video technology in football, it was nevertheless vague and unspecific about his vision for the game. This he clarified in his later comments as to what he believed drove football’s popularity.
Football has also based its popularity on injustices. You can remember them and talk about them in the bars. You can talk about 1982, France-Germany, it was an injustice like the hand of Maradona or that of Henry. The notoriety also comes from negative things in football.
Through his later comments, Platini seems to be taking European football in a whole new direction – one which is aimed at increasing the popularity of the game. And he intends to take the shortest way to achieve that aim. In a subsequent press conference, the President himself spoke to reporters about his vision and how he plans to increase football’s popularity.
It is very simple you see. It is a lot easier to make something popular through its negative things. So, like I had said a few days ago, we need stuff to remember and talk about in bars. This way, the game can become more popular! And this is our main objective.
I mean, think about it. Instead of having just a few games here and there – spread out over time and geography – which have talking points, we intend to take it to the next level by requiring ALL European games to have talking points! How innovative and original is that! Think of all the possibilities that come with such a ruling!
There will no more be any favorites to win any match, let alone a tournament! There will also be an exponential increase in the level of competition everywhere. Suddenly you will find ALL teams fighting for the title. Isn’t that a dream come true for so many fans around the world – to have a realistic chance of their team winning a big tournament? With so much uncertainty and chaos, football’s popularity will soar!
And do you know the best part? This can serve as the perfect solution to all those big spending clubs who will utilize all the abundant loopholes to beat the Financial Fairplay rules! I mean, what difference will all that big spending on big players make if the referees (read UEFA) do not allow them to win matches?!!?
I am so awesome no??!?
Though we are yet to receive official reaction from the clubs and players, one industry which has voiced its opinion against the move is the betting industry. Spokesperson for the betting industry released a statement:
Though the intention to create a more level playing field is welcome, the betting industry cannot comprehend such a ridiculous and asinine measure to achieve the aim. The betting industry will run out of business if these rules are enforced because ALL teams will always have a 1-1 betting odds irrespective of whom they are playing!
ESPN’s (self appointed) Pundit Shebby Singh was talking to John Dykes about the drawbacks of the rule and pointed out the inherent flaw in its working.
What Platini is forgetting is that, even if he uses video replays, the person who will eventually make the call is still human. And he is always prone to errors. But if more wrong decisions can be overturned, then the game becomes clean while still maintaining the possibility of having ‘talking points at bars’ due to the human element involved in judging the video replay itself!
Also John, I would like to add one more point here. Platini is half right about the injustice meted out during the 1982 France-West Germany semifinal. In his opinion, the injustice was to France because the goalkeeper Schumacher was not sent off for breaking the jaw and spine of Patrick Battiston. However, the way I see it, the injustice was to the whole of European football because Schumacher should have actually broken Platini’s jaws and certainly his skull during that match, but he didn’t. That would have saved us all from this impending doom with Platini’s current position as President of UEFA.
Warning: This post contains stuff which may not exactly be kids’ material. I guess I am crossing a line here. But you decide that. You may also want to read this before you read further. And just so everyone knows, I am NOT married.
Neeraj began to reflect on his life so far. 28 years. That was how long it had taken him to get to where he was right now. He knew that number was far less in other countries. In a few moments time, it would begin. He thought about all the times he had fantasized this very moment. About what he would do. About whom he would be with. And there he was. His marriage had taken place a few hours earlier. This was his First Night.
It had been about 3 months since he said Yes to his parents regarding the girl. And now he was waiting for her. He had no idea when she was expected to enter the room, carrying that clichéd glass of milk in her hands. So he just sat there and looked at himself in the mirror. Donning a dhothi and a shirt purchased specifically for this occasion, he was told by his friends that he was looking smart. One of them had even gone further and told him that he was looking sexy. It had made him blush. But that was then. Right now, looking at himself in the mirror, it was hard to miss the nervousness in his eyes, and he immediately looked away. All the short time that he had been waiting, there were a million thoughts that had gone through his head.
This was definitely NOT the way his fantasies had panned out. Excitement, desire, lust, love and satisfaction – these had made their presence felt in his fantasies in varying degrees. But right now, in that room, he could only sense them on the periphery of his emotion. He tried to deny it, but he knew what he was feeling all along. He had felt it before – before every examination he had written and before every presentation he had given. It was Fear. Fear and nervousness. And he was about to panic.
The past week, Neeraj was frequently involved in a few specific activities, which during any other time, he would have considered lame. It was embarrassing but he had realized that he did not really have any other option. Studying in an engineering college where the male to female ratio was a fact worth ignoring had made it practically impossible for him to get a girl friend. Growing up in a society that had looked upon sex as a taboo had not really helped matters either. Simply put, one week prior to his marriage, Neeraj was worried that he would be an embarrassment during his first night.
Neeraj was no monk. He was well aware of all the things his raging hormones had led him to do over the years. He had watched his fair share of pornography during his college years. So he felt he had a decent idea what to expect. All the conversations he had had with his guy friends over the years came back to him while he was sitting on that bed. But the problem with all those discussions, he realized, was that everybody involved were inevitably virgins themselves and nobody had a clue what to expect when it actually happened.
So in the week prior to his wedding, Neeraj had been forced to scour the internet for ‘educative’ videos and articles about the human female anatomy and about the very act itself. All that effort had left him fuming with embarrassment at his own situation. “This is not the way it is supposed to be” he thought. “The first night experience is supposed to be a memorable one, filled with passion and intensity. Instead I am just trying to make sure that I don’t screw it up! There has got to be something terribly wrong somewhere here.”
After 2 days of ‘educating’ himself about everything that he could possibly expect on that night, Neeraj thought about his friend Kiran. Kiran had been the only guy he knew personally who was a bachelor and who had done it. Well at least that’s what he had claimed. He vividly remembered that day when Kiran revealed that fact to his friends. Everyone of his friends was more excited than the other to hear the news! And Kiran was more than happy to describe in detail about his encounter. Neeraj remembered feeling sick as he watched all his friends vicariously feeding off of Kiran’s experience, fantasizing their own experiences in the process no doubt. But for some reason, Kiran never really mentioned her name, and after a couple of weeks, had totally refused to talk about the girl or the experience. This created strong suspicion among his friends and especially in Neeraj that Kiran had been spinning a yarn all the way.
But during that week before his marriage, in an act of total desperation, Neeraj called upon Kiran to ‘help him out’ as a friend. Kiran flatly refused to hold any conversation in that regard. “You got to figure it out for yourself man” was his only advice.
So the only thing left to do, Neeraj realized, was to get more ‘educated’. And so he had spent the remaining few days on the internet reading and watching. There were a few specific things that were repeatedly drilled into his brain. Foremost among them was what one article euphemistically called ‘arriving too soon.’ But sitting there on that bed draped with flowers and adorned with perfumes, there was something even more fundamental that he was worried about.
He was so damn nervous that he was worried if he would even be able to respond to her in the first place. What if he lost it when it mattered most? What if he was not doing the right thing? What if the Melty Man attacked?
He had the pack of condoms lying under the pillow. It was only the previous day that he had seen how a condom looked like for the first time. And it had taken him 4 trials before he figured out how NOT to wear it inside out.
“How the fuck did it all get so damn lame?” he had asked himself then.
He wished he had simply blown part of one of his paychecks on a hooker. At least that way he would know what he was supposed to be doing tonight. As long as he kept it safe, it could only have a positive impact. All this talk about the first night being memorable, sacred and the morally right thing to do was getting on his nerves. If anything, not having any experience prior to the wedding night was a recipe for disaster. He really wondered how many couples actually ended up doing it that night. The marriage ceremony is usually a pretty tiring affair. It would be no surprise if the couples simply went to sleep after that long day. Instead he was being expected to put in sufficient effort to lose his virginity while not embarrassing himself at the same time. (Or maybe the guy takes Red Bull before doing it, he wondered). Whoever made up those rules clearly died a frustrated and sadistic virgin, Neeraj concluded in frustration. He completely sympathized with all those people in the yesteryears who had no access to internet or any ‘educative’ material. At least he was better off than them.
He got up and began to pace the room impatiently. Where was she?
And then as if in response to his thought, he heard some loud giggling outside the door. The door opened and there she was. Roopa. Clad in a beautiful white sari, blushing with shyness AND carrying that redundant glass of milk. (Seriously, who in their right minds would even spare a thought to drinking that glass of milk? ) He gave her a weak smile and was surprised when it was returned with a weak and hesitant smile from her end too. And that’s when it hit him!
This was her first time too. And she was as scared and nervous as he was! Perhaps more.
And that helped him relax a bit. She came near him with her head bent down and slowly offered him the glass of milk. He promptly took it and kept it aside on the table. She then lifted her head and looked at him. And he could see the fear and nervousness in her eyes too. He helped her sit beside him and slowly wrapped his arm around her. It was then that he realized that he was actually shaking. He looked at her, smiled and said, “I maybe nervous. But I am glad I am the one who is going to see you like this the first time.” She blushed and smiled. Then, she appeared to muster up her courage and said, “But I need to let you know something before we do it. I hope you understand.” “What is it?” Neeraj asked, growing a little apprehensive. “Its nothing to worry. Its just that even though I have never been with anyone before, you may not find what you need that proves me to be a virgin.”
Neeraj knew what she was talking about. And he understood her completely. He had read about it online that women may not necessarily exhibit full signs of being a virgin even though they might be. So he immediately felt more relaxed and smiled at her. “Don’t worry. I understand.”
Roopa smiled, evidently relieved. She bent forward and gave him a kiss on his lips. Neeraj held that kiss for a while, with half his mind trying to fathom the significance of what was happening and the other half trying to judge how he was fairing at what he was doing. Then Neeraj knew what was going to happen and he switched off the lights.
It was Neeraj who first came down in the morning at about 830. Almost everyone in the marriage hall were up and having their coffee. As he walked down the stairs into the main ceremony area where everyone had gathered, he had a bad feeling about what was to come.
It was his aunt who first spotted him. And as soon as she saw him, it appeared that she was saving up all her energy and enthusiasm just for that one moment when she exclaimed loudly at the top of her voice, “Hey look everybody! Neeraj has come down from his room! Come down Neeraj. I hope everything went well for you last night! How are you feeling today?”
Can somebody shoot this bitch?
He gave a weak smile, said I am doing fine and headed straight to the coffee serving area and picked up a glass of coffee. He looked around and found that a bunch of aunties were gathering in a place, as if planning to attack him with all their numbers. He immediately sensed danger and looked around. He found Kiran and Manoj sitting a few rows of chairs behind him and headed straight to them. The plan seemed to work as the aunties association appeared to stay down until they could capture their prey alone.
“Hey guys! Whats up?”, Neeraj asked.
“You tell me! You are the man! Everything went good?”, Manoj asked.
“Yeah man. It went good.” Neeraj kept his lie terse and to the point.
“Glad to know that!” quipped in Kiran and gave him a thumbs up.
Presently, Roopa came down and was immediately thronged by the aunty association trying to ‘ensure’ that their preparations for the room were ultimately conducive and helpful for the first night. Roopa tried to keep a straight face and just nodded her head in response.
“I do not want to be in her shoes right now” quipped Neeraj.
“No shit” Manoj agreed.
Soon Neeraj realized he had to go and just simply hang around with his wife. Otherwise everyone around were bound to infer that something went terribly wrong the previous night. So he went to Roopa, put his arm around her and held her close while talking to her friends. He faked a good smile to everyone, making them believe that he had just woken up from the most memorable night of his life. His parents seemed very happy to see him smiling like that.
Only the both of them knew what had happened the previous night. And he was already looking forward to Take 2. While he was smiling and talking to people, he wondered, “If all this waiting and saving it up for the wedding night is supposed to amount to a truly memorable experience, then this is the most embarrassing lie that is being passed down from generation to generation over the past couple of thousands of years. And the fact that nobody is ready to admit that it happened to them is only going to ensure that this continues in the future too.” He looked around himself at all the married men and women of all ages and smiled. He knew that all of them were no exceptions to what had just happened to him. And the schadenfreude suddenly made him feel good!
Manoj was keenly observing the newly married couple. Seemingly impressed by what he was seeing, he said, “Isn’t it so nice that a couple get to save themselves for such a long time just so can be with each other on the wedding night? That just seems so right.”
Kiran gave a small laugh at Manoj’s naiveté. He was looking at Roopa as she was posing with her husband for a pic for all her friends. He seemed to be lost in thought for a moment and when he came back to, he saw that Roopa was glancing nervously towards him every now and then.
That’s when he said to Manoj, “Maybe him.” He then raised his glass towards Roopa as she looked at him once more. “Not her.” And then he smiled as he sipped his coffee.
“Sheeeeeiiiiiit!” Manoj exclaimed softly.
Later, whenever Roopa’s friends asked her where she was looking in all their photos, she never really gave them a convincing answer.
Its been a while since I wrote anything about my encounters with alcohol. Its definitely not been due to a lack of consumption on my part. (Lets just think of what the sloth has come to represent and go on further) Instead, I have had some really interesting experiences with quite a few exotic alcoholic beverages. Of late, most of them have been with alcohol, in the form of beer.
Beer has almost become synonymous with male bonding over time. And by over time, I mean ever since I came to America. This may have something to do with the fact that beer is cheaper than water. And so, beer became the most freely and most frequently consumed alcoholic beverage. (So much so, I had totally forgotten the taste of good Scotch). Having pretty much exhausted all the cheap beer that America had to offer- the list going from Steel Reserve (the Old Monk of American Beer) to Natty Lite to Budweiser- I set my sights on trying out some beer that was actually good.
And so my first tryst with good beer came about in the form of Corona and the inevitable piece of lime. And it was goooooooood! A refreshing change from the banalities of everyday cheap beer. Then I went on to try the other standard well known ‘good beer’ brands: Stella Artois, Blue Moon, Guinness, Samuel Adams, George Killian etc. And every one of them was rightly classified under the ‘good beer’ category. But then, I eventually realized that most of these ‘good beer’ brands tasted more or less the same. Most of them were Lagers (except Guinness and Killian) and they tasted a little less bitter and had the same amount of alcohol. And so the alcoholic gene in me began craving for some better beer.
And in time, I had the opportunity to visit this nearby small town by name of Floyd. This town warrants an entire post dedicated to itself. It signifies everything that I had imagined in a typical American small town- cozy book stores where you find some amazing titles at cheap prices, a house serving as a coffee shop, a bunch of antique stores, bars playing live music from the local scene, beer stores selling hundreds of only the totally unknown local beers and most significantly: bars serving locally brewed beer.
And it was in a place called Dogtown Roadhouse in Floyd, that I had my first experience of some totally mind blowing beer. It came in the form of Bourbon Barrel Beer. Yes. This stout is actually ‘aged’ in used bourbon caskets. And it was god-damn good! Then I tried another beer: Hopsecutioner. As the name suggests, it is a treat for hop-heads. Not knowing what ‘hops’ even stood for prior to that, I drank it without the least idea of what it contained. It was extra bitter – the good bitter kind that is. And I liked it.
I would eventually go back to Floyd and try out more awesome beer. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Allagash Belgian White Ale- each made with a plethora of very interesting ingredients such as cherries, coffee, spices, dark chocolate etc. Needless to say, these beers taste like nothing you have ever had before. It is a memorable experience really when you first drink beer which was made with the intention of tasting good.
I later found that the international grocery store in Blacksburg (Oasis), has this geographically diverse collection of awesome beer. I also realized that being geographically diverse inevitably meant that the beer itself was quite diverse. The store thus has all kinds of beer. So much so, everytime I go there to buy beer, I have a problem of choice. The first time I did buy beer, the beer expert in that store suggested a Latvian beer: Aldaris Porteris. It is a malt based Baltic Porter with a chocolate and burnt caramel taste to it. Next time I went, there was a beer tasting session going on. I ended up sampling a few Irish beers- Smithwick’s and Guinness. Smithwick’s is a beer that does not use hops at all and so is hardly bitter for a beer. I ended up buying Shooting Creek’s Farmhouse Stout, another Floyd brewery product. It tasted similar to Aldaris except for the fact that the hops were more significant and there was a hint of maple syrup in it.
And so as is quite evident from my above mentioned experiences, I suddenly found myself drinking beer for its taste! Which got me thinking- WTF has gone wrong with me? I am not drinking beer to get drunk? Also, I am paying attention to the kind of beer that I consume and to how much I like or dislike that particular type. Lagers, Ales, Stouts, Porters etc, I have realized, have their own specific taste, primarily arising out of the brewing ingredients and processes. So next time you have beer with me, I might have a tendency to spoil the entire occasion by describing the beer with words such as ‘notes, undertone, after taste, cloudiness etc.’
In all seriousness, I have gotten quite interested in exploring new beers- not just for their taste, but also for their historical, geographical and brewing aspects. I can already see myself developing this as a hobby of some kind. And fortunately, I am in the right continent to be able to do so.
Which got me thinking, why Indian breweries fail to make good tasting beer? I am pretty sure that they do not lack the resources or the equipment for it. My only guess is that the demand is so damn big that the breweries do not really need to think of good tasting beer for making profit.
Oh and one very important tip for those who plan to drink beer to enjoy its taste. Always, drink from a glass. Never drink from a bottle. Drinking from the bottle masks so many fine aspects of the beer. Drinking it from a glass instead is the complete experience.
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
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.
I have decided to write a series of posts based on the idea of searching through some of the Indian popular news and gossip portals and summarizing some retarded headline. But this is already done in many damn places. So what I have decided is to include the even the best of the more awesome “comment section” featuring the most intellectually gifted that India has to offer! And of course add some “comments” to these “comments” myself! So here is my first in what I hope to be a long series of posts:
THIS just friggin’ made my day! All the stress of the past one week just seemed so damn distant after reading it! Mind-f***in-blowing!! Here is the headline:
“Govt banishes ‘vulgar’ shows to after-11 slot”
Apart from the total ambiguity, pointlessness and moral-policing involved, the interesting part is WHAT shows qualified as ‘Vulgar’. Get a load of this. So far, 2 shows have been categorized as ‘Vulgar': Raakhi ka Insaaf & Big Boss. Make no mistake. I have never seen these shows. But I am fully aware of what they are.
I am not going to pass judgment on the quality of these shows as I would prefer puking after getting drunk to watching these shows when I am sober. (Oh wait! I just passed some judgment there! Ah f*** that!)
Anyways, lets cut all the crap and look at some of the ‘details’ the news item.
The ministry’s order points out that show hostess Rakhi Sawant uses abusive language and participants in both shows “are shown quarrelling and hurling abuse at each other”.
So if quarrelling and hurling abuse at each other qualify as ‘vulgar’, whatever happened to MTV Roadies and the whole bunch of other shows? Ah well! Thats different isn’t it?? It is a civilized world this MTV and all. So lets not point fingers at them. Also whatever happened to all those “Debates” and “We the People”? There is definitely lot of quarrelling involved there. And surely more anger as well.
But nevermind all that! Lets just roll with some of the awesome comments that I found in that website on this article.
1. “There is no clearcut definition of VULGARE. . .jokes against handicapts? not respectful to elders? cheap erotic?. . .everything which is uncommon is vulgare.” —– Raj Kumar Daruwala
>> Dude I totally agree with you. There is no clear cut definition of VULGARE. In fact, that word just doesnt exist!!
2.” Both Channels are part of NDTV…which is run by an islamist terrorist and communist PRANAB ROY…………” —– Neohorizons
>>> Umm…Can I invite you to be the next Quizmaster when I want to hold a quiz?
3. “Ashmit the blue movie king is desperate to cast Pamela in his next blue movie along with her sister . Pamela aunty should send her secsy sister into Asmhit movie as Indians deserve to see better .” — Nautanki
>>> F*** me! Pamela is an Aunty?? Can I star as the nephew in one of ‘those’ movies then?
>>> Yes yes. K serials are so damn good that people should even emulate what happens in those serials. Then we will surely have a fully moral society. And perhaps make Ekta Kapoor as GOD. Oh wait! There is one more comment before I agree with you completely.
5. “I thought k serials were worse… People got married 20 times in it.. sometimme to brother of current husband and all that.. so much for incest” —– Ag
In response: “Do you know the definition of incest? In christianity incest is not allowed.” –Peter
>>>> Peter dude, you just opened my eyes! You are the epitome of all that is logical and right in this world. @ Ag: You win for the only worthwhile comment in the article.
Breaking News: India to start Kho-Kho WORLD SERIES on the lines of Baseball WORLD SERIES. Winners to be crowned WORLD CHAMPIONS.
In a major development to one of the few aboriginal Indian games that are still played, the newly formed Kho-Kho Federation of India had decided to conduct a Kho-Kho WORLD SERIES on similar lines of the Baseball World Series in America. The tournament will feature 8 city based teams which will be operated on the basis of a franchisee. The structure and the format of the series will be very similar to the World Series informed the President of the Federation.
The primary motivation for such a huge step was supposedly the frustration surrounding everyone involved with regard to the poor publicity and recognition that was offered to the game. A bunch of Kho-Kho enthusiasts decided to bring about some much needed change and so set about determining the best way to draw attention to the age old sport.
“We were thinking. What is the easiest and most effective way to publicize a sport that nobody cares about? The answer was not difficult to find at all! All we have to do is to become World Champions and then everyone will take notice of us and the sport will then grow!” said Kumar Vaidyanathan, one of the Kho-Kho enthusiasts.
When asked to elaborate further, Sai Kumar, another excited Kho-Kho player explained, “You see, this is best understood with an example. Do you know why Baseball is so popular in the US? It is because every year, one of the US based teams is crowned WORLD CHAMPIONS for winning the Baseball WORLD SERIES! This generates a lot of enthusiasm and excitement among its supporters and motivates the other teams to try for the position as well. This cycle keeps repeating and the popularity of the sport continues to grow- primarily because one of the teams in the tournament is going to be given the title of the World Champions! Similarly, we are going to establish a tournament wherein some 8 teams from various cities in India will compete for the title of World Champions! That way more Indians will take note of the game and it will get a much needed boost!”
When pointed out that you cannot become World Champions if only one country is playing in the tournament, Mr. Vaidyanathan replied, “That is the wrong perception! Look at the United States. They have so many games that are based on this format. Basketball with NBA, American Football with the NFL/AFL/Superbowl, Ice Hockey with the NHL, and Baseball with the World Series. In each case, the winner is treated practically as the World Champions!
You are asking me about the validity of this process? Screw validity! Just look at how crazy and excited the fans get when they realize that their city based team are the WORLD CHAMPS!! Even if they only beat their neighbouring city teams! Do you know how much this can do to Kho-Kho in India? So much revenue will come with increasing popularity and the sport will grow tremendously!”
“So you are saying that one Indian city based team will be crowned as World Champions because they beat another Indian city based team?” asked a curious reporter.
“Thats exactly how it works!” replied Mr. Vaidyanathan. “Just as is done in America, an Indian city based team is going to be crowned World Champions Kho-Kho for beating other Indian city based teams!”
“Yeah. I totally agree. The way the World Champions tag is justified in baseball is by saying that the best players in the world are playing in the World Series and hence they are entitled to the tag. Similarly, even we are getting the best players in the world to play in our tournament and we believe that the winners of this tournament deserve to be called World Champions!”, echoed Mr. Kumar.
Satish Rai, another Kho-Kho enthusiast quipped in, “Our players will eventually become as famous as Brett Favre, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. They deserve that much recognition.”
One reporter immediately stood up and asked, “Who the f**k is Brett Favre, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees?”
Satish Rai gave a mischievous smile and continued, “You see thats the whole point. Nobody outside the USA has any idea about the existence of Brett Favre, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees! But all these people are ‘World famous in the USA’! Same way we are going to create a tournament which is going to elevate Kho-Kho players who are presently in some gully or village to become ‘World famous in India’!”
The initial bidding process for the 8 city based franchisees was largely dull as the format and the structure of the tournament didn’t strike a chord with businessmen. However, after hearing that the winning team will be given the title of WORLD CHAMPIONS, there has been a hectic bidding war between the business empires for the rights to own them.
One business magnate, who didn’t wish to be named, said “It is a very important thing this. It helps us to associate ourselves with a team that will be crowned World Champions! That is the pinnacle of branding for any company anywhere in the world! Of course Cricket is already a lot more popular in India. But think of it. Which company can associate itself with a team that can be called as the World Champions? Even the main sponsor of the Indian cricket team cant claim that as India have not been crowned World Champions since 1983. The IPL only crowns the winning team as IPL Champions. So this is a golden opportunity for any company to be able to sponsor a team that could possibly be called as the World Champs! No wonder there is so much competition going on for that.”
The Ministry of Sports also released a statement conveying its full support to the tournament. “We strongly support the idea that Kho-Kho become popular in India. This is a very quick and sureshot way of helping it gain more popularity-both in the short term and long term. In fact, the Government is now commissioning a committee to look into the possibilities of using the same idea for other not-so-popular games such as Lagori, Gilli Danda, Goli, Kunte Bille, Dabba ( a variant of Hide & Seek) etc. This will encourage children to excel at their sport with some kind of assurance that they can make a living out of it.”
SUPERSTAR Rajnikanth wasn’t available for comment.
All of us have our own addresses. If an Indian is asked where he lives in their city, the response ranges from Bandra to Basavanagudi, from Gurgaon to Gorguntepalya, from T.Nagar to Thodesandhipalya (Ok that last one was made up). And if you are familiar with the area given as a response, you ask “Where in Basavanagudi?” or “Where in Thodesandhipalya?” (You really dont have to answer the last one). And if you are familiar with even the second response, you keep narrowing the location until you have convinced yourself that the other person is your long forgotten neighbor.
However, in the USA, things, as always, are a little different. Say you approach an American living in New York City, one of the largest cities in the world. And you ask him where he stays in New York. The most likely response you are going to get is “Oh I stay in Perry Street” or “My house is on Graves Avenue” or “I live right by Richmond Lane”! You see, the address of a house in the USA has just two things on it that help you to locate it in a given city: the house building number and the street where the house building is located. Thats it! So in an area of about 800 square kms, all you have with you to locate one single house is the name of the street its on??!!?? That surely helps doesnt it??? Its equivalent to saying “My house is next to my neighbor’s house” or “I am my father’s son” etc. It doesnt tell you anything useful.
Yes we all know there is this invention called GPS which can take you from anywhere to anywhere with just the street name as input. But seriously, what if you dont have one? Let me elaborate on this a bit. Imagine you have just arrived in New York City and take a cab to get to your apartment. You tell the cab driver “Take me to 4800 Eastland Drive” and just expect to be dropped off in front of your house? Well if the cab driver does just that, then either he has an awesome memory or his house is within a 2 block radius of your house. But then what happens if neither of the above “totally-possible” situations prevail? Then I guess you have to start looking for a map. Imagine this. You are in a cab and the cab driver spends the first ten mins just figuring out which part of the city he is supposed to be taking you!
Not implying that this is the only way things happen around here in the US. But seriously imagine something like that happening in India. I mean, you go and ask a Bangalore Auto Rickshaw dude to take you to 8th Cross Road, WTF do you think he is going to do? Of course he is going to look at you like you were born a retard and stayed that way for good!
Perhaps one of the direct consequences of American addresses having such small number of characters in them is seen when you are trying to fill out a form online- like an application for the college, GRE, TOEFL or any other thing that is based out of the US. You see the website creators make this sincere and totally pointless effort to restrict the number of characters in which you enter your address. So when your address goes into describing just your house number and street name, there really is no problem. However, unfortunately for all us Indians, this poses a problem. Especially if your address involves your house name, house number, Cross Street number, Main Street Number, Layout, Stage, Near some landmark, Block and lastly Area name- as is the case with most Indian addresses- you are in for a small problem! And it is really amazing how I have learned, over the years, to express words in much smaller forms without failing to convey its intended meaning!
Getting back to ground reality, more and more people are having GPS in their cars and it is available for dirt cheap prices at WALMART. But that still doesnt justify having only one street name to describe the location of your house in a mega metropolitan city. ( You might argue that the Pin code narrows it pretty well but seriously who knows about the postal code apart from the post men?) I sincerely hope I dont have to go through any circumstances involving hunting for ONE street name amidst hundreds if not thousands in a city.
Feel totally free to get fully emotional and sentimental about the American address systemand pass judgment on my assessment of it- but make sure you do that on your own blog.