Under the sun

Saturday, June 30, 2007

In Defense Of Fanaticism, Veri, Bhakthi etc...

The recent weeks have seen a lot of posts by bloggers concerned, irritated and baffled at the extent of 'fanaticism' exhibited by Tamilians. The release of Sivaji signalled the conglomeration of all real Rajni fanatics and also other wannabe fanatics who have no idea of either fanaticism, TN or Tamil films before 2004. While i salute the former, i have nothing but contempt and condescension for the latter wannabe heroes and heroines. Fanaticism, unlike what many bloggers and North Indies journalists believe, is not the sole domain of Rajini fans. They weren't the first, they won't be the last and they certainly cannot claim to be the 'best' in that category, going by the parameters of hardcore fanaticism. TN is not alone when it comes to fanboyism. Our Telugu manavadu have more theaters and its not a surprising sight to find many of them going to watch a film without even brushing their teeth. Coming back to TN, we know how it works - hero worship, politics, icon obsession etc. Its part of our "culture" (whatever crap that means). It has always existed and has been part of our lives. Infact, many of the wannabes have always been in awe of these real mad fanboys.

This being the context, why should we react any differently now? What did the real rasiga kodigal do wrong this time? Why do their activities evoke disgust? The trouble is, the real culprits are not the fanboys themselves but the blood sucking, unprofessional group of grown up jokers representing the media. Its the media which propagates myths and lores which sinks in easily in the minds of the gullible wannabes. The stifling hype and coverage reeks of a complete lack of perspective and screwed up priorities. Yes, it sells but then we know whom to blame now. NDTV, IBN etc don't know shit about TN or TN cinema. They just echo the myths propagated by the local media and their local correspondents (who again are merely echo chambers). They wouldn't have seen or heard about DCR, MG, FH etc in their lives and yet they would run a story on Vijay being the biggest BO draw after Rajnikanth. Among the insignificant but true details echoed by the media on Sivaji, a lot of lies were also propagated by the media (vernacular, national and international). Just because of the widespread and relentless coverage shown by these parties, TOI and Behindwoods gained credence and became benchmarks for information accuracy. Myths were taken for granted by people who were otherwise keen critics of typos and other harmless mistakes in leading newspapers. All thanks to our media, who fuel the multiplex wannabe crowd, who again fuel the media.

According to them, fanatics = Rajni fans. If you observe, you can see that the real fanatic is illogical, but generally consistent. You can understand what he looks for and what he likes and what he does not. It is the elitist, urban wannabe kind that comes up with hate comments in blogs which commit the cardinal sin of rightly calling Sivaji a crapfest.

It is the same wannabe who resorts to world cinema names-dropping to counter arguments against his/her Thalaivar. Real fanatics who do 'andhar' in theaters don't disturb you. OK, you don't get to hear the dialogues in theatres but that should be fun even for the most hard-nosed kind. They live their lives and do their thing. Its a passion for them. Just like we can't justify many of our passions, they can't explain this to somebody who doesn't understand the context, somebody who hasn't experienced it. They don't use internet. Its the wannabe proliferation in the internet, multiplexes and Bay Area theaters and the conglomeration of the dumbing down media pigs which sickens and disgusts.

NDTV-um internet links-um paarthu valarndha balagInamAna koottam.

Fan-a potta odane summa kulirudhu illa....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oru Cooli-yin Kumural

Life at work is stranger than Dilbert. I've always read Dilbert more seriously than most others would. To me, it was not merely a wickedly funny cartoon strip. It was a reassuring reflection of cubicle life and the comforting feeling that throughout the world, there are Dilbert's all around, just barely keeping their sanity amidst the Wally's and PHB's.
However, not even all my reading of Dilbert could prepare me for the events of the past week at work. The deadly combination of stupidity, dick-headedness, arrogance and authority became even deadlier when "management" chipped in to support that combination against reason and good hard facts. This is how abused Indian wives must be feeling in their "pugundha vIdu" amidst hostility and bone-headed authority. When you lose all hope and resign to futility, Dilbert phenomenon takes over and leads to a state which knows no joy, anger or sorrow. Just inertia.

Update: Bad writing has resulted in some unexpected reactions! The post has made the matter look more serious than it actually is. Coolies are generally not important enough to be drastically affected by these matters anyway :)