Friday, April 27, 2012

Matrimonial websites and me

I don’t want to be on an online matrimonial site any more.

1)    It’s insulting
2)    My father thinks that some guy who doesn’t have the time to write more than one sentence about himself is a good person to consider
3)    My family harbours some strange delusion that after the wedding things will just sort themselves out.
4)    My family also thinks that getting me married, also known as a wedding ceremony, is about all they need to do. Apparently anything more is no longer their responsibility, nor do they want to be held responsible for it!
5)    Marriage is the be all and end all of one’s existence is people are to be believed.
6)    I don’t see the point in it all. What is the significance of being married? I’m happy where I am. Yes, I’d like to move out of Chennai, but that’s about the only thing I would say is lacking in my life. I don’t see how marriage is going to make what I have now any better.
7)    There is also the distinct possibility that I have lost interest in being in a relationship. Honest. I mean, I don’t see the point any more. So far, I’ve been in relationships that haven’t lasted and have left me horribly disgusted with things. I don’t see how a man from KeralaMatrimony.com is going to change all that.

I am going to ask that my parents delete the profile and give themselves lesser things to worry about.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In crazy town, they publish BS

There’s something strange happening in the world of newspapers. People are not taking responsibility for their actions and are instead printing trite notes in their front page asking that the reader, who has already forgotten yesterday’s news, please forgive their oversight.

Now, I have a problem with this. As I do with a lot of things in newspapers considering that I was employed by one in the past.

Yesterday, the print edition of The Hindu published a jacket advertisement. Meaning their front page was not full of headlines, but a one-page spreadtouting the joys and auspiciousness of Akshaya Tritiya, that great gold lobby “festival” that the general public is taking way too seriously. This morning, for reasons that are best known to the new editor on board – Siddharth Varadarajan – The Hindu pubished a note to its readers regarding the advertisement placed in the paper.

Here’s what bothers me about that “note” – the editor thinks people are idiots, the editor thinks the readers of the paper are non-journos, the editor thinks his readers don’t know how money works in the world today.

If running a jacket advertisement disguised as a Hindu-backed news item smacks of insubordination of the newspaper’s editorial policy then I do believe that the company has not informed its employees of this hallowed policy. Unlike other organisations, The Hindu is one company whose employees know company policy and adhere to it or so is the inference one is to make on reading the editor’s note. What amazes me is the tone of authority, superiority and self-righteousness that comes across. It’s the kind of tone that sets  the stage for that perfect tight slap.

"Internal steps are being taken", says the editor – well Mr.Editor, I have a few questions:-

-    Is there no one in the marketing team, an employee who knows editorial policy perhaps, who could have alerted you about this content going to print?
-    Why the fuck weren’t you aware of the contents of the advertisement going to print? Aren’t you, as editor, expected to keep an eye on what I read?
-    Are you getting paid, as a company, to run that ad? [If Yes, then STFU. You’ve lose the right to be morally upright about journalism. If their money plays a part in your salary coming to you, then once again, STFU.]
-    Is this sudden assertion of power a result of the boardroom drama that was behind your election to this position? [If yes, then again, stop being indignant, you’re no different from the people who you’re publically picking a fight with.]
-    Do you think, publically outing the marketing and advertising desk is the correct way to do this? Why do I, as a reader, need to concern myself with your company’s internal issues? Don’t you think you are losing credibility as a serious publication by being so pedestrian about your internal conflicts of interest? Or do you think that informing a reader about these things makes you transparent?
-    What you are exhibiting is your position of power and how to misuse it. Yes, you are the editor, does that mean you will take up prime newspaper real estate just because you want to pick a fight? Wow. Classy.

I could go on, but I don’t think I want to. I’m pissed that a newspaper I respect is behaving like an immature child. Grow up and go to a conference room and sort your shit out! It’s far better than subjecting me to your company’s issues.

[The Hindu]

Friday, April 6, 2012

Observations

Just another one of my lists

-    Boys’ jeans are breeding grounds of yet-to-be-discovered toxic chemicals. They are an ecosystem unto themselves. My brother’s jeans are one such example. According to him, the thought of washing jeans is rubbish. I don’t get it. Are all men like this about their jeans? Why is washing jeans such a strange concept to them?
-    24-hour news channels have the world’s worst spell checks. Every ten minutes, if you are patient enough, you will spot one really “DUH!” spelling mistake. These errors will make most people cringe. Including the ones who think “okay” is spelt “k”.
-    Weekend non-stop viewing of Asianet and Surya TV is a living-outside-Kerala Mallu thing. All my mallu friends report instances of such behavior on behalf of their parents.
-    Come Dine With Me on BBC Entertainment is by far the most hilarious programme on TV.
-    I’ve discovered that I don’t mind being unemployed and shit broke. I’m not doing anything productive with my time. AT ALL. It’s scary and fun at the same time.

That’s all I can think of at the moment. To say. I have more time to blog now. And I will be posting more regularly.

Also, Happy Easter to everyone celebrating it. I wish someone’d buy me an Easter Egg. I want!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Do you speak-uh English?

English is my first language. I like it. I read English. I speak English. I write in English.

When bad English is spoken or written, my nerve endings transmit pain signals to my brain and then turn themselves inside out, creating a kind of pain implosion in my body.

I feel entitled to being exposed to good quality English [especially the English where the spellings are authentic – realise, analyse, tyre, cheque, colour, litre, etc.]

The Indian English media unfortunately does not want me to watch advertisements in which people will not say “my hairs are so soft”; to read newspapers where “I” will not appear in lowercase when referring to an individual writing in the first person; where news anchors will not come up with atrocious things like “Coalgate” for a scam.

It seems as if I am doomed to be exposed to rubbish English at every turn.

Then there are the subtitles on cable TV. You either use dashes for a curse word uttered on screen [it’s been muted anyway, so it makes no difference if you replace it - subtitling “jerk” for “son of a bitch” doesn’t work, the audience isn’t illiterate!]

To make things even more brilliant and exciting for me, there are the teenagers in this country who speak in a language that even aliens can’t decode because it is that strange. It’s some form of unpunctuated, nuance-less tripe that passes for English because, well the people speaking it have either had shit English teachers, or believe that they are the guardians of the language and all other versions are bullshit.

I could tear my hair out!

I cannot tolerate bad spelling. I cannot tolerate illogical sentence construction. I cannot tolerate language that’s been butchered because people feel that they speak the right way.

Coming as I do from a linguistically diverse country, the English that I believe in is the standardised version that ye olde colonisers gave me. I find it impossible, therefore, to account for dialects in the English spoken in India. Yes, I mess up the pronunciation just for fucks. That’s a one-off thing. I’m not a linguistic prude. But it bothers my brain when people who come from so-called good schools speak in shitty English and think they’re right. I want to give them all a lesson in grammar!

But then it occurs to me, that there is no point in it. These poor children are being taught by people who claim to know the language well. The problem is with the teachers and parents. When no one ever corrects you, then you spend your entire life thinking that your version of things is the right version. When your parents, your first language teachers, don’t correct your shitty English it's not your fault. But you are about 500 different kinds of fool/idiot for thinking grammar has no role in language and that English as a subject is a waste of time because it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things when you are an "aspiring Engineer or Doctor".

However, if you are the type that has spent its life ‘mastering’ the language, you assume that the next best thing to do with your time is to become a ‘creative writer’, following which you commit endless acts of violence against the language and murder it in ways I don’t want to get into because it’s depressing and it makes me angry. Once you are a part of the media that people are exposed to, you subconsciously correct their good English into your bad English and torture the language into a sad, miserable and painful death.

So, this is a note to say thank you murderer / butcher / horrible communicator. You've achieved with your shitty English what I hoped to achieve with my better English - linguistic domination.

I hope you accidentally fall off the roof of a building and just die. Because there is no justification for your existence.