The Idea-smithy

Adventures of a Paper Plane Pilot



I Style!: Big Bang Srini

A crazy work day is made tolerable by a Vulcan salute from a Sheldon Cooper fan.

Big Bang Srini

This is Srinivas Kulkarni (better known as Srini and the inspiration for such Sriniisms as “A Srini in time saves mine” by SWLers). For his poker-face acceptance of my announcement that he was being featured on the style section of my blog and for free Quora tuitions, Srini gets my I Style! vote.

For any of you who didn’t get the reference (shame! shame! shame!), here’s the answer:

Also see a Quora question on RPSLS. And this is how you play Sam Kass’s ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock’:

  • Scissors cuts paper
  • Paper covers rock
  • Rock covers lizard
  • Lizard poisons Spock
  • Spock smashes scissors
  • Scissors decapitates lizard
  • Lizard eats paper
  • Paper disproves Spock
  • Spock vaporizes rock
  • Rock crushes scissors

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

Gillette Soldier for Women – Regressive & In Poor Taste

This ad by Gillette has been on TV for awhile now.

It started off with the intriguing ‘Soldiers wanted’. The build-up was great. And when it ended, I was groaning. Really now? We need to recruit men into ‘supporting women’? Like it’s a cool thing to do, not the have-to thing to do.

Worse, my overriding impression is that this is such a desperate attempt to cash in on all the hoopla around the Nirbhaya Delhi gangrape case. Very, very poor taste indeed. I mean, everyone and their sister and brother has felt the need to outrage and say something. Granted the numbers may have given this incident the required nation-wide attention that was long overdue. And admittedly the reportage on violence-against-women cases has snowballed because this news is hot, but what the hell, it’s getting people’s attention. I’m willing to be the realistic cynic in all of this. But hang a brand logo on that and attempt to ‘own’ the idea from a marketing standpoint and I’m sorry – you’ve alienated me.

Kiran Manral has a Facebook discussion going on this where she says,

“My issue is the throwing back of the debate into the ‘women to be protected by men’ category.”

Yes, that’s a valid thought. But it’s a whole other discussion that I’d get into if this were a short film or a Public Awareness video instead of a damn ad commercial.Atrociously poor form, Gillette.

* Also posted at XX Factor.

Jaipan ‘We Want A Revolution’: Regressive & So Bad It’s Good

This ad fell in the category I call ‘So bad it’s good’. What’s really funny is that it lasted so many years. I still see this ad on old movie VCDs and occasionally on the cablewalla channel.

If it ran today it would offend at least some of the following groups. The first two would probably be enough to take it off air:

  • Hindu fundamentalists: How dare they show people worshipping a mixer-grinder at a temple?
  • Muslim fundamentalists: How dare they depict a Muslim woman gambling?
  • Feminists: Why are even careerwomen & female college students shown getting excited over what is a completely domestic product? How does owning a mixer-grinder signify a revolution?

It hasn’t ceased to entertain, though. :-)

What I like best about MasterChef Australia

*Also served at Plain Salted.

Big Bang Theory quotes


Sony TV shows wrong India map

Notice something wrong?

The state of Jammu & Kashmir appears to be broken up into 4 parts, with a distinctive border from the rest of India.

This appeared on Sony TV (you can see the logo in the top right corner). Ignore the Airtel logo though, that’s just because this program was being broadcast through an Airtel set-top box.

Maps are symbols and important ones at that. Consider the fact that every single major war in the world has been rooted in a territory dispute, right from the Mahabharata to our modern day Indo-Pak tensions. We can’t afford to make a mistake like this one.

What’s more, as a major media channel going out to a wide Indian populace, what message does this send out?

Soap Rehash

Cougar Town is exactly like Sex & the City, except with a divorcee. They dropped Little Miss Muffet but she was probably on her way out anyway. Slut friend-check, over rational friend-check, female ‘jerk-man’ jokes-score!

* Images via Wikipedia

The Big Bang Theory Spiralling Downward

Image via Wikipedia

Season 4 of The Big Bang Theory is now on air, Star World. I’m not sure if I like it. The show does have some of most iconic lines on current television. The characters, particularly Sheldon Cooper, are going to stay in audience memory for a long, long time to come. And yes, having come to Season 4, it was probably time to try some new things. I’m just not sure whether these were the right things.

The show originally began with a format of 4 geeky guys and the hot girl who lives next door. With this season, there are three new female characters, two of them with romantic (!) associations with the guys. Penny no longer holds that position of power that being the only one of her gender brings. The thing is, I think Penny represented the viewer, the common non-genius person, the ‘Uhh…okay, genius. Real world, now!’ attitude to obscure science references. When she’s no longer center stage or even an equal player, what am, the viewer to feel? Of the other 3 women, one is a supergenius (a female Sheldon Cooper) and one is a hot Cambridge-topping lawyer. Who can compete with that??!

Then there is central point of the story that’s undergone a change.┬áThe funniest bits of The Big Bang Theory came from the ‘genius’ conversations with each other and with Penny. That strange, indecipherable world inhabited by superintelligent scientists, physicists and other scientific clergy made funny by the lovable characters – that’s what the show was all about. But with the new characters (all female), the show is suddenly about relationships (albeit geniuses in relationships). It’s not as bad as but I’m very afraid we’re veering the way of Friends, a show I never really liked. I don’t really mind relationship/dating sitcoms but we’ve already got Modern Family, Coupling, How I Met Your Mother, The Wonder Years and every other sitcom doing that.

To go back to the boys, I liked them as geekboys with zero lives. It was disconcerting enough to watch Leonard finally manage to hook up with Penny. Now we’re being subject to couple showering, marriage proposals, joint vacations – what??!! Is this the same geekboys we’re talking about? Gah, no!

Genius just fell into ordinary with this turn. Bring me back the geekboys whose lives revolved around XBox, Star Wars paraphernalia and comic books, please.

Ek Anek By Films Division

If you grew up in India in the 80s, you’ll remember this short animated film that would show just before the Sunday morning specials and on occasion, before the Saturday evening movie.

“Hind desh ke nivaasi sabhi jann ek hain.
Rang roop, besh bhasha, jaati anek hain.”

Maths (1 to many), sociology (group formation), management (organized effort) and national integration – that’s a lot of ideas to pack into 7 minutes. We’re not in a day and age that values the last idea very much. Here’s remembering.

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