Category Archives: Rantings

Ford Airbags ad – hate it!

I hate most ads these days. The execution especially have become woefully bad. What might have seemed like a decent idea even till the storyboard stage, look disastrous post execution. 

The Ford airbags ad is one such (sorry, I couldn’t find it on YouTube). There are two versions of this. One in which a 7 year old girl sitting in the backseat of an Ecosport makes a sad face and says “Papa, our car has airbags in the front, but I’m sitting in the back”. To start with, the casting of the kid is really bad. Neither does she look cute, nor does she look approachable and cuddle worthy (sorry little girl). Which is what you need to pull off the ridiculous question she just asked her dad. The little devil basically assumed her dad is a jackass of a driver and going to plunge them to their eventual deaths, and then went ahead and deduced that he is somehow okay with killing her and that’s why he chose to make her sit all by herself at the back. And no, she didn’t ask this in an adorable and sassy way a 3 year old asks these kind of questions. Because she is a freaking 7 year old. I know it looks like I’m hating on the messenger, but I’m actually hating the entire messaging system. The next thing that happens is of course the dad says our Ford car has 6 airbags and you’re safe, which is the point of this whole disaster of an ad. How he does not start weeping in absolute agony over the realisation that his daughter thinks he wants to murder her is beyond me. The voiceover calms everything down by asking you to check the number of airbags in a car before you buy one. Acceptable.

There is another shorter version of this ad, in which the girl is shown in closeup and she smirks and asks my Ford car has 6 airbags, how many do you have? That’s it. However, in these 10 second the character, whose only claim to existence is that she was born in a house which could afford a fully loaded version of a car, essentially shows you the birdie and laughs at your poor ass for not being able to afford a better car. Your kid surely deserves to die.

Bad form Ford, bad form.

The copy-paste Generation

We are in 2016 right now. It has been close to a couple of decades since the Internet became accessible. And a few years before that the PC had become main stream. I am going to obviously talk about the title of this post, in this post. But I have to set this up a little more.

Humans have been copying for centuries. Whether it be actions, reactions, books, music, ideas, creations and everything else. Copying is coded into our DNA since the time we were primates. Most of our learning comes from copying. And most of our evolving came from understanding what we are copying and how we made the copied version better.

The propensity of man to imitate what is before him is one of the strongest parts of his nature.

Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics (1872)

Ironically, I copied that quote from a paper on plagiarism. I did it to add more gravitas to this post. Plagiarism comes from the Latin word plagiarius which means a person who abducts the child or slave of another, a kidnapper. The word ‘plagiary’ however, entered the English language in the late 16th century – recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1598. In summary, this has been going on since forever. The definition of any multi-cellular organism is that the cells essentially create copies of itself from one single cell. Heck, we are copiers at the cellular level.

Let’s come back to the 21st century. As the internet evolved from being available at a click on our desks to being available at a tap in our hands, so has the ease with which we obtain information. Today, anyone can write really good and insightful research pieces from literally our beds without opening a single fat book in cobwebbed libraries. In essence, not only can we retrieve loads of information extremely quickly, we can also possibly improve on it, add our personal brand of insight and then relay it further down to like-minded individuals who would love the added perspective. By now you can see where I am going with this.

Right now, we have reached a stage of such an information overload that we don’t even need to click, tap or call for any information. It is fired at us through multiple pages in multiple screens limited only by our internet data plan. These come in the form of long drawn thought pieces or just plain old rants written at the spur of the moment by someone expressing their frustration, lets call them manufacturers. The receivers who are at times meant to be nothing more than just plain readers, take upon themselves the mantle of co-thought leaders and propagate these pieces verbatim (lets call them resellers). The problem I have with this is, I find it hard to believe that in any text, which is more than 25 words long or more than 5 bullet points, there is absolutely nothing that the reseller disagrees with. They merrily copy and paste it, after all it just takes a few taps, and broadcast it to their entire known universe, literally.

I really think we have missed out on the evolving part in all of this. Even our cells which copied themselves from our forefathers realised there wasn’t everything that was useful and discarded those qualities and learnt new qualities which are more relevant. We really have stopped evolving as far as our thoughts are concerned. I see the exact same message texted to me by 3 different people on 2 different platforms and I know for a fact that they are not the same people. Every one of us have different backgrounds and different upbringings. Even twins don’t think the same way as each other except in movies. Where have we lost our individuality? Even though I and my sister are separated by literally nothing but time as far as our lineage is concerned, we know we don’t think alike. Why would I assume someone who is in no way related to me, even though they might support the same team, player, nation or party as I, would by my thought-soulmate?

We don’t need any news filtering app controlled by media agencies or governments or political parties to tell us what we should believe in. All we need is our minds, a few intelligent searches and a few minutes to read. We can all make our own minds for ourselves.

The dangers of texting and driving [infographic]

 

It takes only seconds to send a text. That might not seem like a long time, but when your eyes are off the road and focused on your phone, the consequences can be deadly.

 

Don’t do it.

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Satyamev Jayate

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Above is a table of the donations received by Satyamev Jayate over 8 episodes. You can go to the above link to read all the data.

I kept saying there shouldn’t be more than 3 episodes in a season. Up there is why. Donations are paltry after 4 episodes.

And for all the discussions that it has initiated, Indians who will send an SMS costing 6 INR to reality shows, can’t send enough of them costing a mere rupee as donation. All of you who kept telling me it is a great show but never bothered messaging, you suck. I can say this because I sent an SMS any time I remembered all through the week. And I don’t even watch the show. I don’t need to just to donate.

You spend 100s on eating out, spend a few bucks on this. There really can’t be an easier way to donate.

It is a good show, if only it was allowed to be great. It never will be.

Earth Hour

It is 20.30 as I begin to write this and Earth Hour has begun. 

I fail to understand the concept of Earth Hour. I mean, I do understand the what and the why, but I don't understand why they are still keeping at it. It has obviously failed miserably.

The prime objective of the Earth Hour is to increase awareness and sensitize the populace regarding the damage they are causing to the environment. The objective is not to save electricity for one hour all over the world. However, what it has become, is a facade for pseudo-environmentalists to show they care. Earth Hour is to everyone, what a Toyata Prius is to Hollywood. Non-vegetarian Hindus all over the world pick a day of the week to eat only vegetarian food. They believe God will be pleased by this sacrifice they make. What about the other 6 days?

I take environmental damage very seriously. My friends and colleagues will vouch for my OCDish behaviour regarding this. I do my bit for the environment all year round. I honestly do. And it is not difficult. However, I chose this hour to switch on my laptop and write this post. I believe it can benefit the environment much more if even one reader gets inspired.

It looks beautiful when the Opera House in Sydney, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and other landmarks such as these participate in it. But has this served the purpose? Does the amount of energy and money used to publicise Earth Hour, generate an equivalent amount of return on reduced damage to the environment? I do not say stop this facade. I say find a better way.

Here is an idea for Earth Hour, don't tell people to switch of stuff at this hour. Tell everyone to switch on their laptops and PCs exactly at this hour and GOOGLE Earth Hour. Make Google show only pages about the Earth Hour for this one hour. Force people to read. Blanket all TV channels with hour long documentaries. Force people to know. Grab them and push it down their throats. Force them to discuss. It is the only way.

The problem with us humans is, we are not human enough.

Them

They flit around like butterflies,
Fortunately, they are as pretty as most too,
If they were not, God help them,
They would most likely be in the zoo.

If they mean yes, they say a no,
Sometimes they never let you go,
Most times give a high sometimes low,
Why, I wonder my head doesn’t blow.

Round and round the mulberry bush,
Twinkle twinkle little star; I know,
I don’t make any sense to you,
But try to remember, this is how they crow.

Their smiles, they light up the world,
Scowls, they fright down the world,
Words, they ignite the world,
Dear lord, this world, poor, poor world.

Mumbai Mirror teleports Ashwin

Mumbai_mirror

We all have seen, commented and made fun of the monstrous gaffes that Mumbai Mirror has made so often. Well, it simply cannot get any bigger than this one. There are currently two parallel test series’ going on. India is hosting West Indies and South Africa is hosting Australia. 

Mumbai Mirror obviously thinks Ashwin deserves more wickets than he is actually getting. So they teleported him to South Africa after the 2nd Test between India and West Indies and will get him back before the 3rd Test in Mumbai. Ashwin managed to take the wicket of Hughes. This error was in the print edition and still exists on their website.

Make sure your child never reads Mumbai Mirror.

Cursory Rhymes

The_egg-man

Taking forward my earlier tirades/rants/memories of/from school, I am going to rant a little more. About pre-school to be precise.

Pre-school and primary school are usually considered to be the most important years of our education. This is where the building blocks are laid towards the formation of a lifetime of learning and character building. One would consider each and every word taught in these years to be thought out extremely carefully. Wouldn’t you?

Read the below sentence:

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top. When the wind blows, the cradle will rock; when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and down will come baby, cradle and all.

How factual. How practical. How real. I mean, this will be the exact sequence of events if the wind blows. We should teach our babies right at the outset that they should never tie a cradle to a tree top. Brilliant!

Let us observe another sentence:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do. She gave them some broth, without any bread, whipped them all soundly, and sent them to bed.

Another practical statement to make to kids. Family planning. Or else, you as mom will have to whip your kids to bed! Less said the better about this.

These are such incorrect things to teach babies. Stupid sentences made up just so that they rhyme! I have not even reached the real violent ones:

London bridge is falling down, Falling down, falling down, London bridge is falling down, My fair lady.

OR

Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water; Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill came tumbling after.

OR

Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run, see how they run! They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife; did ever you see such a thing in your life, as three blind mice?

OR the ever popular

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; all the king’s horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.

I did mention in one of my earlier posts, that we are taught too many impractical stuff in school. I now stand corrected. I mean, if we really have to make our kids aware of the violent and hurtful world, what better way to do it other than making up cute rhymes and make them learn it when they are 3 year olds.

I leave you with the cutest of them all:

Georgie Porgie, puddin’ and pie, kissed the girls and made them cry. When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.

Now you know what to blame for all things that go wrong with humanity.

 

P.S. Do notice the cartoon at the top by my exclusive cartoonist. Do give feedback. 🙂

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Help!

I have lost it!

I have completely and utterly lost the will to blog! Actually I am wrong. I have not yet lost the will to blog, otherwise I would not really be writing this right now. It is funny I said writing when I meant typing! Don't we do a lot of it? We say write a text message when we mean type, we say mail it when we mean e-mail it and many more such blasphemys' we commit!

Coming back to the point, I do not think I have lost the will to blog. Quite the contrary actually. I badly want to blog! Really badly! But somehow I have nothing in my mind that I can pen down (there I go again!). I have always wanted to write (yes, we will let it go now) about economics. I adore it! But it requires a certain frame of mind to make something meaningful enough. I do not have that frame right now. I want to write about ads and advertising, but the sheer disdainful quality of advertisements is absolutely mind numbing! 

Well, basically I do not have much to write about. And this is where the title of this post comes in. I do not expect actual people actually commenting and giving me ideas or suggestions, but I thought I should give it a shot anyway! Say what?

Using FB to create awareness

So today was a field day for anyone and everyone on Facebook! What with someone starting a meme about creating awareness for breast cancer.

I personally do not have any problem with this. It was quite a lot of fun while it lasted. But, I do not know how much this helped create awareness amongst the educated females between the age of 15 and 40 who usually use facebook regularly who are already supposed to know. I just hope it helped the cause more than it helped the guys. Not a bad idea for sure.

In fact, I would like to take this idea further and create awareness of a more serious problem. This might not kill a lot of people, but it can sure cause a lot of pain in the ass – quite literally. I am talking about digestive problems. So, all guys will now post the last thing that they ate or are currently eating as their FB status.

I know you would be saying that I am trying to make a joke out of a serious effort to create some awareness for a serious illness. But, am I not also creating awareness by making fun of it. If awareness is all that needs to be created, then this surely could have been executed in a better way! Instead of just telling people about the color of your undergarment, why not also post a link to a site which talks about breast cancer? I mean, it takes a lot of effort to post the color of your undergarment to your 300 odd friends. It is a personal thing of course. But now that people have done it, why be so discreet about the whole thing? I think everyone should have posted nothing but ‘Breast Cancer’ with a link! It is much less fun, but it surely will work better!

Ohh and finally, here is my effort to create awareness. Visit this link to know more about this serious illness. You don’t need to disclose anything to me.
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