So I recently watched: The Big Bang Theory

That’s my spot!

You might say, so what’s the big deal in that? But the only deal is that I had stopped watching it after its 5th or 6th season because of forced laughter track and not so funny jokes, and had moved over to grittier shows involving 4 even nerdier and crazier boys (i.e. South Park).

But I resumed it after a gap of over 5 years and finally finished watching all the remaining seasons of the 12 seasons show.

I returned to TBBT as it was still the good old sitcom and it revolved around somethings I find interesting as a fellow nerd;

  1. Science (mostly physics because other sciences are boring)
  2. Comics / Superheroes
  3. A little eccentricity or awkwardness which comes out either like arrogance or creepiness, relatable right!
  4. The intrinsic desire to Mansplain things
  5. Creating such lists

TBBT was the first English TV show I watched which opened a box of so much other consumable content I used to find off-putting. It had many factors which most Engineering graduates would find relatable.

Despite all the tropes, if you stick with the show, it turns out to be the good old TV comedy which you can go back to.


Take offence, but politely

If I might, let me throw some light, from my side on this issue on our mind, far and wide, You may or may not take my bite into your stride, however I may add, this fad, kind of bad, is here to stay anyways till we realize that mostly all kinds of freedoms, come with a price. Nice? Read on but if you are looking for any surprise, there is none but you are already wise. This is about Freedom of Expression, an Utopian feeling which always stays in contention. While we act all up for that ‘FoE’ but it makes people less friendly and more our foe. Most of us, are anyways hypocritical and thus, we want our liberty all the while, while we ourselves stay in denial. That all is well and we shall raise our voice, as long as our havens stay safe and our steps have poise. The jokes you laugh at and you laugh at quite a few, work only when they are not on you. Your tantrums are pretty well known, you get offended on calling you anything, now please don’t moan or groan as you look to me as a person who is a grown up. Any joke made in haste, are often not in a good taste, but waste is your opinion or any reason on it, as someone else is getting splits because of it or may be even fits, if it fits.

Here’s my take on Freedom of Speech:

If you decide to create some content (in any form be it written, spoken or drawn) which doesn’t coincide with the usual[1] norms of the society, you are bound to get applause as well as hate. There will be many who will praise your ‘crossing the boundary’ and ‘pushing and kicking the envelope’. There will be many who won’t like it. You may claim that it is your freedom of speech and right to express (be it crass, vulgar and downright abusive or wonderfully created satire with wit and bit of double entendre which many aren’t capable of because it requires more effort). Now when you have right to express something (and serve it as comedy? Heh it is not funny though), you should expect retaliation and criticism of your work. It should[2] range from straight faced ridicule of the content and call it non-funny and not-so-awesome-as-people-claim to laughing it off as totally nonsense and in some cases getting very angry over it being non-funny and not-so-awesome-as-people-claim. This Anger[3] can sometime lead to people lodging complaints against you using the democratic way of using some Indian Penal Code law citing that your content hurt their feelings. Or, more importantly, it was not suitable to be shown in public. But, there will be a fringe group[4] which think they are beyond law and take it as their utmost duty to silence the creator by use of fear and may be violence.

While I am 100% totally against these fringe moral brigade who think this is damaging our culture[5], the other non-violent people who got offended have full right to be offended and lodge a complaint with the police. Now here comes the question of whether they are so offended that they got up, went to a police station and actually complained because someone created some content which they didn’t like. Unfortunately, we people do have such people. And they are in plenty. Their LinkedIn bio boasts of skills like Joblessness, Ability to take offense at almost anything, knowledge of IPC laws (appreciable) and free time.

So when you create something and people get offended, you should STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHT TO SAY STUFF and not delete the content out of fear while you yourself admit that nobody threatened you. If you are shutting down shop without giving a fight to the people who take your stuff to heart (and possibly to their grave or pyre), what is the point of pushing the envelope? Was that just a way to get quick publicity and establish brand name? The brand name which creates less intelligent stuff (some stuff is really very witty and definitely more intelligent than I can ever make) and more of crass, cuss word usage which can make you popular faster as compared to the other harder way for making it to the top by pure satire.

Then there are people who condescend you since you didn’t like the Roast. Well, to be fair to them, I need not waste any space of this blog, except this line, on them. 😛

One more thing… I want Freedom of Speech to be Absolute. But it is not possible. You cannot ever have consensus on everything, all the time. I am not being pessimistic, I am being realistic. In a country like ours which is so divided on so many lines, circles and triangles, it is next to impossible to agree on everything. The laws which currently exist, do exist because govt. can only be preventive. It cannot ensure your safety from violence all the time. This is a fact and you should know it. Plus, I also believe that our society is evolving, getting more open minded and it will surely be able to be more tolerant. Still, even after hundreds of years from now, someone somewhere will continue to feel bad because of you. If not anything, sometimes people’s faces or dressing styles can be offensive. Like someone getting their name’s embroidery all over their suit. So offensive I tell you. There is certainly a scope of getting our laws fairer. And making them more understandable and less fearful for cases like FoE. But I reiterate, the laws are for preventing bad things to happen. And if I recount human history, people have got offended usually on the basis of speeches and waged wars and what not.

That is all.

[1] Usual here means what most people are comfortable with and have accepted as normal. This again depends on context, place and mood.

[2] But in realistic scenario, it isn’t.

[3] We have a huge population so people who get angry in our country are in huge numbers as well.

[4] Totally jobless idiotic guys with no sense of humor at all. Not even sense of humor, but no respect to the law and order situation, or respect to anyone’s human right. Totally unwanted scum of the Earth and fully deserving to be sent to Kalapani for their whole life where they could mate with each other and overpopulate the islands and die of starvation. Or become Zombies, whatever and get extinct.

[5] Doesn’t exist. Please go and find a different country.

P.S: I am not at all fond of AIB sort of comedy. I find those guys ugly. Of course they are funny but I cannot watch them or hear them, in fear of getting totally bored. May be this is my confirmation bias speaking against them. But that’s how it works, right!

P.S.S: I got so much bored of this issue that I wrote another useless rhyme: http://toomuchgraphic.tumblr.com/post/109964186359/a-good-rhyme-nay

Humor is dying

They say that Print is dying. Which is technically correct, print has always been dying ink onto paper. But sadly, digital media is actually killing the newspaper. Not because everyone now has a mobile phone with Internet and everything is available online easily. But because the quality of newspaper hasn’t increased much and admit it, it is difficult to hold while you are on a commode, unlike your phone which is so easy (until it slips from your hand and…)

The print is actually dying faster nowadays because new age websites which present content in lists and bullet points have become immensely popular. Their motive is to break down the story into 35 points or average IQ of the reader (whichever is lower) to make people understand the point the news is trying to make. Now since I am a very happy going (jolly?) and optimistic person, I don’t like to read sad news only. Enough of killing, corruption, crimes against women and hatred against creed, caste or religion. I expect a piece which is full of satire, wit, and name calling of anyone with whom I don’t agree with. So to find genuine humor in a newspaper, either you have to read a Hindi newspaper where all news items are deliberately presented with a headline which unintentionally sounds funny, or you have to find lighthearted humor pieces online.

Online there were funny blogs and funny columns. Then there were sites like Faking News and Unreal Times, to name a few, which were doing a fine job but their problem was that people didn’t read anything apart from first 8-9 words which happened to be their headline. But they surely had wit and good humor if not the best. Then in the last couple of years, new websites came up which you won’t believe, that they could blow your mind the next minute you log onto them. I wouldn’t share their URLs because hyper-linking is endorsement but I will give slight hints which might appear as Buzzfeed and their desi copy paste jobs like scoopwhoop, etc.

Ok, serious stuff from this line: These websites present comedy (and sometimes pictures from email forwards of the late 90s) with lists and have GIFs or just normal photos accompanying the 2-3 word text. This is because pictures are louder than words, we all know that and editorial quality of such websites is almost zero, why write text when you can post pictures. One of the common topics they touch is nostalgia by posting lists of 298 things you could do in the 90s but cannot do now. Or 85 radio advertisements which people miss nowadays because they don’t listen to the radio much. Or 36 types of people who are sexist because 24 hours a day they all talk about 36 sized people. But the lists and GIFs or normal pics with 28 pt sized text in Impact font with a stroke of 3 pts. are just for distraction. The best part about them are the headlines. These headlines might make you cry or blow your mind or make your limbs dysfunctional. The template for these headlines is so brilliant that it can never go old.

Now my point is that such websites are killing humor, shamelessly. They are making a reader keep his/her brain aside and laugh where they tell them to laugh. There is no subtle hidden humor which can make you smile. They have content which begs you to LOL by reminding you 25 things you might find funny but they aren’t but since we have added GIFs of emergency cute animals in them, they surely have become adorable.The reader doesn’t have to implement even a bit of the gray cell to read some genuinely good stuff which doesn’t accompany any picture. (like this text, hehe). The attention span had already taken a hit by those 140 character websites and now the sense of humor or the HQ or Humor Quotient has shattered into 128 pieces which got mixed with the brain which had blown a while ago. I tried giving them some attention but couldn’t laugh at it, in the same way, I cannot laugh at sitcoms which have a laughter track in them. Where are the good old pieces which tingled your funny bone and also shared the horrific news by mellowing them down to the level of humor? What happened to subtle humor which changed your opinion about things without making you go through pictures which take a huge amount of time to load on your mobile if you are inside a loo and you have only 2G?. I hope people move over these lists and come back to the real deal of text and larger attention spans. Amen.

So, if you didn’t read anything above since there were no bullet points or ordered lists, the summary is this: Humor is dying. (Same as the headline. Did it blow your mind?)

P.S.: My last post on this was an NSFW comic. I loved making it because it incorporated elements from few of my fav. web comics. Though, most didn’t understand that. Can’t blame because you like spending time on 9Gag more than the sites from where they curate stuffs actually.

Featured Photo by:

Austin Chan