Its either black or white. Looking around I gaze with wide-eyed wonder at our obsession with the choices we have, even with people. I wonder what it is that makes people like this. Is it that they define themselves based on their choices or is it as simple as taking a higher ground with one’s choices, basically a caste system but one defined by what phone you use, what car you drive, which dosa joint you like better or even how much you obsess with Sachin Tendulkar.
1. A friend buys an iPhone and posts on FB about it only to be attacked by Android fans. But then any article on the iPhone gets attacked by Android fans. The amount of press generated by the antenna problem was simply mindboggling. Simply loved Steve Jobs’ respone – “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it”. A mail in an MS alias for just ‘Indians’ asking about iPhones gets attacked by someone who found it ‘deeply disrespectful’ to her. I ended up splurting out hot coffee onto my keyboard and spent the rest of the day cursing that mail.
Somehow I could understand the obsession with smartphones in the US. Its a deeply consumerist society no matter how much you try to make sense out of it. Loyalties are only to brands and nothing else. You could go on and pass enough links about their becoming more religious etc, but that’s more of something to fill their lives with which they can justify to themselves and others as ‘meaningful’. Somehow contrary to what others say and believe I’ve found society here as, if not more, insecure about being judged as any other.
2. An article on some Indian cricketer who is not SRT or any foreign cricketer who is considered ‘great’ gets published and millions of fans pour into it and soon it turns into a full-fledged war between SRT bashers and worshippers. Questions about his reliability in the 4th innings, how much of his centuries add value to Indian victories always come up when he gets out and when he does make sure they count they are brought up to answer all questions others throw up. The best thing is when you realize that you can take up either side and still come up with compelling stats to silence the other (which of course is wishful thinking as people on the internet can never be shut up!). But then, that also tells you something about the value of statistics in themselves. But then it also tells you that there is no point in arguing with such and you invariably shut up and say nothing.
3. Articles on Microsoft products(or Apple products or Google products) in tech blogs are usually followed by comments bashing the company and glorifying the other two. Although recently it has become more of a three-way war with fans usually sticking to just one company and fighting for it, united against one company is passé. It never matters that like in politics business makes for strange bedfellows and these companies themselves are willing to talk to each other and support each other’s platforms mainly because it makes sense to reach out and make money. But then, that’s why they exist don’t they?!
4. Rediff, however, needs a special place of its own in the pantheons of internet rage and the era of everyone-has-an-opinion-on-everything. Everyone is everyone’s enemy as comments fly on south Indian rice-eaters, Rajnikanth, AR Rehman being overrated and Illaiyaraaja being the one and only true maestro, ‘Porkistan’, cow-worshippers, and enough people taking the pain to proclaim that the quality of articles in rediff is abysmal and the author who wrote the article should stop writing.
5. And then there are the special kinds, like me. Grammar Nazis. Judging an article by its grammar is one thing, but writing pointed criticisms as to the grammatical errors in it and asking the author to stop writing is another. Of course such comments usually get moderated out in most news portals like ToI (which I visit mainly to evaluate their grammar, correct it and see that it does not get published!), but have seen sites like cricinfo keeping moderation strictly to content that has offensive words and trash-talk and not polite criticisms.
6. And the last one is of course dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavan vs those at CTR, Malleswaram. This argument, I’ve come to realise has less to do with the dosas themselves and is deeply rooted in the rivalry between Malleswaram and Basavanagudi. But then, has always made me wonder, why not eat at both places, now that they are no longer distant localities but as close as it can get?! Distance after all is also relative.
Oh well, that’s about all I had on the list. Have come to realize that if am writing just for the sake of keeping the blog going, the words just don’t really flow.
Guess am not the only one on that. But that’s what I have. Hopefully something big around the corner soon…