Thursday, February 17, 2011

Random musings – of anti feminist ads, valentine’s days and other nonsense

Ok…so many pet peeves…so little time…. Haven’t ranted in a while… today…taking the things foremost on my mind…one at a time.

·         “ladakh ki barfili wadiyon me hum teen akeli ladkiyan (in the frozen valleys of Ladakh, three girls alone) …we were lost”  …anyone else see the GLARING grammatical error and the problematic thought process here? First the grammatical….TEEN ladkiyan AKELI kaise ho sakti hain? It is impossible for three girls to be ALONE. By definition three people means none of them is alone. So, let me get this….this is the bharatiya ABALA NAARI (helpless woman) syndrome right? Women…even if there are three of them…are alone, and helpless, without a man to take care of them and protect them? Even if that MAN is a 14 year old boy….and the women are (supposedly) more mature 20 somethings….right? hmmm… and MAGGI is shamelessly selling its crappy noodles with this. And what REALLY gets to me is I am probably the only one whose teeth are set on edge every time I hear it (in my immediate circle at least)! Am I overreacting? Probably…. But I think it is symptomatic of how little things have changed in the India of feminism and women’s rights that copywriters come up with such a line, editors and clients pass it, it is aired, repeatedly, and no one even notices! “Must we take umbrage at everything?” I can hear the detractors moaning. No we don’t. me…I don’t care if we spell it wommyn or wimmin or just plain old women. I don’t care too much if someone calls me a poetess instead of poet (simply shrug and think they don’t know better). But this one grates on my nerves because of how subliminal it is. It is just SUCH a big example of the mental processes of the writer, as well as everyone else… YES YES YES it irritates me.

·         On another track… this V-day hoopla just seems to get more and more all pervasive every year. And I can’t seem to explain to most people (thank god I know some who feel different) why I don’t CELEBRATE valentine’s day. Theories range from me being a loveless/lovelorn bitter loner to being heartless…. And unnecessarily trying to be different. Whatever man. The way I see it… I would prefer to express my love for anyone… parents, brother, friends, significant other, child, every day of my life. Would also prefer the same in return. What’s the point of not acknowledging what someone means to you for the rest of the year, and then, on a day decided and hyped mainly by greeting card companies, deciding to buy flowers and chocolates? Flowers that cost about 20 times the normal price mind you. Why not just do nice things everyday? Things that don’t cost a shitload of money, but say very clearly and loudly…I care? Like a cup of tea at the right time, or doing the washing when she’s not feeling too good, or sharing a quiet moment, or holding hands in a sad film? One “gyaani” gave me the historical defense. There is a historical context to the day, to the celebration. That’s why we should celebrate. ….don’t necessarily see that…first of all, whatever historical context there supposedly is, is from an early Christian martyr ….relevance to moi in today’s day and age? also…there is no evidence that there is any historical fact behind the ROMANTIC associations of St Valentine of Terni. Most of the current legends about secret marriages and patronship of lovers seems to be either a product of Chaucer’s imagination (quite the imagination), or extrapolation by 18th century antiquaries. So….whaaat? I’d rather not make impossibly rich greeting card companies richer thanks. I’ll just say a quiet “love you” everyday instead.

·         With a five year old at home, I end up watching a lot of cartoons, as can be imagined. Hating, as I do, all kinds of things dubbed in Hindi, its painful for me that a lot of the cartoons are Hindi-dubbed, at least in the area I live in. I could switch language and choose the English versions, of course, but monkey kind of prefers the Hindi versions because she can understand all the dialogue, and until her English gets better, looks like I am stuck with this. It’s irritating enough to have Tom, Jerry, Bean et al spouting dialogues in Hindi. But what’s worse is things like Oggy and the Cockroaches, which in the original version has no dialogues whatsoever. In deference to the much lower IQ of the Hindi audience, or some such, the Hindi version comes complete with a voiceover and dialogues, forced into the action. And, to top it all, these are done in spoof voices which sound like certain ham actors of the Bollywood echelon. So…what is this about? Are we afraid that Hindi speaking kids are not smart enough to decipher the action from the extremely broad physical comedy going on, on the screen? Do we think they need a roadmap to find their own behinds? What? I just find it extremely patronizing and irritating. And what’s with these dubbing companies anyway? They can’t look up a dictionary if they r unsure of a pronunciation? Can we please not pronounce orchid the way it is written? It's ORKID you idiots…and its sets my teeth on edge to hear or chid or chid. And its Wilbur and Orville Wright… pronounced Or vil ….not or wi le. GOD!

·         And what’s with the movie channel subtitles these days? Is crap really a better word than shit? And how is intercourse a more polite/less vulgar word than sex? And does son of a witch fool anyone? And ass is just missing…so you smartass becomes you smart, hardass becomes hard, etc etc….that’s plain retarded man. Just bleep out the words and leave them out of the titles why don’t you? I can lip read them fine thnx…and I don’t have to spend half the time and attention of watching a serious thriller or drama laughing at your inane transmutations.