Crash Course in Pop Culture anyone?

October 14, 2007

So i was at purple haze in b’lore last week hanging out with me homies after a bit of shopping and found the place loaded with school kids and posers guzzling copius amounts of beer and trying hard to blow smoke rings. To top it all, the music was awfully loud, blaring through cheap imitation speakers of Indian make so you know it is just as harmful to your ears as gently placing them over a jet engine. If you’ve ever been told about “purple”, as it is affectionately called, you’d probably hear that its this mecca for all b’lore rock fans, where those long hairs and potheads hangout. Atleast that is the legened, in actuality it is just no where near that picture. I dont know how this place got that reputation, may be it was like that years back, but now its just a place where they keep playing ripped or illegallly downloaded videos on a big plasma screen which yuppies watch in awe as they discuss about their hot colleague in their office and things like that. May be I’m just exaggerating a bit too much, but i guess you get the picture. So after a while, after everything had settled down and our drinks were served, we quitely engaged ourselves on a myriad of topics such as music, politics, sex, movies, alcohol, college, more sex, and sometimes office humor. Suddenly there was a big cheer and people stood up and at once and loosend their hair in a flash like a samurai would draw his sword in a fight to death. I was quite bewildered by this whole ritual, when i quickly realised that it had something to do with the song that was being played. As my wittle brain processed each note of the song, bit by bit, there emerged a familiar pattern. Yes of course! It was our high school friend, metallica, who else could it be? It was that hard drinking metal band who sold more tshirts than albums. Nevermind, being a former fan of theirs, I quickly realised that it was a hit song of theirs that was being played which put those school kids and yuppies in a mystic trance. The ritual quickly then moved from the ‘wooo-hoo’ cheering phase to the hard head banging phase, where everyone competes for the title of THE hardcore metalhead in the scene. Now when the school kids start bangin their kids, the yuppies had to come up with something to counter that move, so they chose the insane air guitar act, where everyone tries to play the guitar with one hand on the air supposedly holding down some power chord while the other was picking on the imaginary strings with the beer mug. I was wondering whether, if left to myself, i would drink too much and join this bandwagon. Oh no, that shouldn’t be the case anyway. If my conscience every caught me socialising with those posers i’d be crucified the next day and cursed with a terrible hangover. But just when I was getting tired and irritated of the whole scene, I noticed one gentleman, not too far from my table, on his own trip. The first impressions you get is that he doesn’t belong to any class in this society. He sure wasn’t a school kid, judging by his acapulco beach shirt he definitely wasn’t a software yuppie and he definitely wasn’t our friend or even remotely associated with us either (the only other class left there) which made him an outcast among the the three tribes in the scene . Ofcourse he wasnt a person working there too, you could identify them with their uniforms. This guy, i believe, hailing from some tier-2 city in India (at this point you should know i’m extremely prejudiced against people who are not Urban), was trying too hard to impress the school girls and other women who were sitting before him, mostly them school girls i think. Now if he had banged his head, or started a moshpit or did something like that, i would’ve surely forgiven him, but this asshole was dancing like someone from the 80’s Disco Dancer movies. Awww! what an awful site to see! He would hold his beer with one hand, throw up his second hand and start waving it like Prince, you know that guy who was formally an artist, but now just a symbol. Indeed this guy went on to perform the infamous crotch grab, the twist, and countless other distinct moves that would make even a gay man look like John Wanye (the hollywood cowboy ladies and gentlemen). It sure was a riot for a good half an hour for most of us there. In trying to impress the women this way all he ever got was weird looks from them and occasional abuses by their boyfriends. The staff even warned that he move to one corner, but he wouldn’t listen to that. He continued his poor Michael Jackson impersonation till eventually his legs gave up on him. This whole act was pretty hilarious, soon everyone forgot about metallica and for a few minutes and focussed on the new rising star

 After it was all over, I began to wonder why such a person, if i could call him one, would go to such great lengths of disgracing himself just to impress some women whom he knew for sure would care less than a grain of sand for him. I concluded that his objective was not at fault here, after all everyone at some point of his/her life everyone would’ve tried to hit on someone of the opposite sex (or the same). Therefore it was his method or the means that was at fault. That poor asshole dint know what to do when he saw those pretty ladies at the bar so he quickly drank couple of beers to get the courage and thoroghly embarrassed himself by showing off his “talents”. Just then I got another one of my famous ideas, idea #4543. It goes something like this, “wouldn’t it be amazing if there were some crash course in pop culture for such outcasts of society? Wouldn’t that help bridge the divide between the weirdos and the common man?” Think of it, Mr.Despo there could goto such a class, learn about the basics pop culture, from music to movies, books to art, you know just the basics that would get him through everday situations such as impressing a bunch of women in some random bar. The classes would start early in the morning the with a course on music ranging from elvis to linkin park. Songs would be played and each student would be picked randomly and asked to indentify the artist or the song and ranked accordingly. In the afternoon there’d be screening of famous movies, not those indie art house ones, but more like the pie movies, the die hard action sort of movies, just to get the students in the groove. Additionally one can opt for a complete package which would include books, aka Tom Clancy, John Grisham types, each with detailed explanation of plots (as if they require any explanation) and may be some basics on art, rebellion, clothing etc. By the end of the month, the course would’ve transformed this hunchback of Notre Dame into more like your average metallica listening, tom cruise movies (with subtitles, ofcourse) watching, cheap converse imitation shoes wearing DUDE. Then he could be cast back into this society with confidence, reborn, to finally carry out his job of impressing women (still cant think of any other purpose!) without the need to embarass himself in the process. Isn’t it time, someone looked at this issue and came out with a solution for it? I bet there will be lots of people willing to pay for this kinda service. The first step, i reckon, is to atleast publish a ‘How to be cool’ series of books, tailored to the Indian audience and I can promise you that it would be a sure top seller in the ‘Self-help’ section. Come on now, honestly, would you not buy a copy yourself?

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8 Responses to “Crash Course in Pop Culture anyone?”

  1. shama Says:

    Oh man I’d rather be at the dentist then at one of those kinda concerts. Seriously I think most Indian rock fans are major posers. If I hear about one more guy going on about Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden and Fucking Metallica, I have no idea what I’ll do. There is soo much more music out there people need to diversify, or at least petition music channels to play a better selection.

  2. mark iv Says:

    the idea needs a lot of fine tuning. id be a major competitor to ur ‘pop-trainin-business’ if i claimed u dont need to even KNOW the music to hit on a pop culture lass…

    but my condolences wit the dancing guy…. i can understand, and perhaps even sympathize wit the guys in a large group of GUYS, wit one too many drinks, makin a fool of themselves dancing (in worse situations perhaps even singing)… but solo performances, esp on arrival with ladies is terrible…

    as fate would have it, women, cute girls and foreigners are perfectly legalized to make a fool of themselves. it is jus the patta patti undrawer wearing masses who have to face the brunt of our ego!!!!

  3. swamygee Says:

    @shama : Very true, people need to diversify their music tastes here. But there are major obstacles in India, the apparent makeover of bollywood as the bridge between western coolness and indian values, which in truth is actually a big pile of shit, tricks a major propotion of the people from the non metros (the tier 2 cities) into thinking that bollywood is the epitome of coolness. The bollywood and the other regional film industries are dominated by a few music “directors” who virtually hold a monopoly over the music scene. The virtually play it safe by concentrating mainly to produce commerical hits. On the other hand the metro kids are stuck with mtv and its clones who not only keep playing the bollywood music but also the same old maiden, metallica, or dirty gangsta rap! Kids these days dont have much choice here… the picture is reminiscent of the 80’s america when mtv was just starting out..and teenagers BADLY Wanted their mtv, or were just brainwashed to think so! Mtv to me was the coup de grâce to good music, it was after the bith of mtv that artists decided to concentrate more on their image and videos instead of their music itself.
    @Vikram – I defnitely agree with you on the girls gone wild part. Yeah its sad to note that a girl has the right to get drunk and get stupid while men essentially are looked down upon when they try to do the same. But its a part of the society we’ve come to accept. Nothing can be done there i believe.

  4. Guru Says:

    ofcourse, I wud get one if something like that is published out.

  5. MD Says:

    good stuff dude! Are you writing any music?

  6. Hakuna Says:

    1. Music is not confined to rock.

    2. Arguendo (1.), rock fans of urban origins with pants hanging from their pelvis as though by a whisper of a prayer are not automatically classified as cute.

    3. Seen ‘Hitch’? A viable profession for the talented lot eh? Interesting…. 🙂

  7. swamygee Says:

    @hakuna
    This post is not about just rock music but pop culture as a whole.
    “Hitch-ing” is not a commercially viable option and having despos as clients is a total headache. On the other hand writing a book as mentioned above is so much more economically viable.

  8. hsinava Says:

    I agree.Pop culture is a shite.A very painful sticky shite.


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