Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Importance of being Dumb

Excerpts, again, from a Stephen Fry book:

Setting- A boys' dressing room

"Let's beat the shit out of him", said Sargent, advancing.

"Now, I warn you", said Adrian, "if either of you touches me..."

"Yes?", sneered Jones, "What'll you do?"

"I shall sustain a massive erection, that's what, and I shan't be answerable for the consequences. Some kind of ejaculation is almost bound to ensue and if either of you were to become pregnant I should never forgive myself."
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Humour at its very best. The pinnacle as far as clever retorts go. However, one does tend to wonder whether this would work in real life. Would waving a red flag in front of an advancing bull, in the hope that some sort of reverse psychology would come to your rescue, work? I think not.

What is required in such situations is a pretense of dumbness. Stupidity. Lack of intellect. Here are some reasons, in case you are one of those people who don't accept things without questioning:

1. People like to feel superior. In one go, you make them feel good about themselves, and also lure them into underestimating you.

2. It doesn't require much to act dumb. Infinitely less resources than is required to act clever. The constant pressure of having to come up with witty retorts, of having to cite sources- all these are thankfully absent. A vacant, lost expression is the most you'll be called upon to produce.

There are situations in which cleverness will impress. And then there are situations where the weight of your cleverness will be a deadweight, dragging you down into the river in which the mafia of the envious will undoubtedly dump you.

To conclude, in such cases, there is no other purpose to being clever than to arouse envy. Being dumb, on the other hand, precipitates pity, underestimation and a superiority complex, all of which can be, in the right hands, put to good use.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Importance Series

I hope, for your sake, that you have read Oscar Wilde. More specifically, "The Importance of being Earnest". I know I have used this space to conjure up several dishes all of which waft to you the aromas of the literary genius of Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry. I wish I could scream "No more inspiration. From now on, I shall be completely original, maybe even original to a fault". But things being what they are, and my insecurities being of an embarassingly massive proportion, I shall continue to plagiarise and to spew out recycled humour.

Back to where we started. The Importance of being Earnest. Thoroughly and shamelessly inspired by the title, I've decided to start a series of ruminations on the people around us, and various characteristics of theirs. Oh, yes. I will be henceforth gunning for the post of Headmaster of the Cynical School. The blog reviews till date have not been encouraging- Salman Rushdie got better reviews from fundamentalist Muslim groups- and hence, a change of strategy is definitely called for.

So. Coming soon. The Importance of being Dumb. Wait with bated breath. Actually, just wait. Please?

These Lives and Times of Ours.

When he was in school, he didn't know she existed.

When he went to college, he saw her and he knew Lust.

When he started talking to her, everyone said it was Love and he believed them.

When he married her, Convenience became the third bed-fellow. It did not hurt that she was rich.

When they had a child, he thought, "I don't love her. But I don't mind having her around". And Lust turned its head towards greener pastures, to be found on websites and in movies.

When the child grew up and left them alone again, a mild dislike bordering on hatred made itself felt all around the house.

Now, he just wishes she was dead.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When I did What, and How I felt

I don't know. I really don't. People write about what they did, when they did it and how they felt when they did it. Now, I really don't mind that. Not if you are Indiana Jones. Or someone who leads a life that at least aspires to be interesting. To anyone else, I must, with a heavy heart, administer the poison cloaked in the form of the following words. "No one particularly cares. Deal with it."

There are people to whom things happen. Interesting things. Unfortunately, these people are rarer to find than a verbal-diarrhoea-free-person in law school. There are some of us that take our pitifully ordinary lives, the mundane things that happen to us and try to sensationalize it. Good job, I say, as long as it's sensationalized well.

But ordinary happenings written about in an ordinary way is beyond pissing off. If pissing off is a pool of sludge, such writings to me are the micromini particles in the nucleus of a bacterium that inhabits the very bottom of the sludge.

I could, of course, refrain from reading these it-happened-to-mes. But I do like to fancy myself as someone whose opinions count and as we all know, having at some point of time been one, the lot of such an important person is to criticise and to, occasionally, give a pat on the back to the critiqued. Give them hope so that they continue to come up with fodder which the critic can, with a vengeance, chew and spit out disdainfully. Besides, I'm utterly, completely, embarassingly jobless. I am.

My first ever rant. Going against all I stand for and am. I'm sorry.

Here's hoping that it doesn't become a habit.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Self (Realization+Pity+Depreciation). Apologies.

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The story of my posts. And of my life.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Age of Cynicism

In my life, peppered as it is with the black grains of experience, I have, after having given considerable thought to the nature of our lives and times, come up with two observations which scream 'erudition' (and to the discerning reader, 'pretentious, wannabe intellectual') from every available pore. These are:

1. The greatest distinguishing feature of our generation is the urge for instant gratification. We want all of it, and we want it now.

2. The greatest tragedy of our age is mediocrity. Our mediocrity has crept upon us with the cunning of a fox (to borrow from Blackadder) who has been the Professor of Cunning at Oxford. There are depressingly few exceptional people among us.

Mediocrity has engulfed our lives and we have become as comfortable with it as a lawschoolite is with the word 'hegemony'. At this juncture, irrelevant as it is, I would also like to admit that law school has added to my daily vocabulary words such as hegemony, arbitrary, nepotism (and) et al. In fact, all the words which make us sound more intelligent than the average law student. This is, I believe, law school's greatest victory. But, we have strayed far from the flock and we should now return to it, lest it grow bored and jump off a cliff.

As was being spouted, mediocrity. Mediocrity and the urge for instant gratification can be a combination deadlier than George Bush and brains. While the best the latter can achieve is world domination, the former can lead to an emotionally dead world, only seconds away from the setting in of rigor mortis. It can lead to the birth of cynics. It can lead to disregard for and suspicion of everything. It can lead to an existence bereft of feeling, beauty and belief. It can lead to people wishing that the world had ended when they were still the germ of an idea in their parents' minds as the first drops of alcohol which initiated the series of events that ended in the backseat of a car (forgive me, I am a westernised being and totally taken up by the sex-in-the-backseat idea!) were being poured. It can lead to many things, and not one of them will be worth the bytes it takes up in cyberspace.

It is impossible for everyone to be satisfied at the same time. Some people are more mediocre than others and we must bide our time. Instant gratification, perpetrated by our consumerist culture, is not something that can be extended to all spheres of life. So we shall wait, like good children, for Mother Life to serve us our supper. And be all the happier for it.

Even a foolish man is allowed one attempt at being intelligent. I believe this was mine.

Guten tag to you, too.
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