Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spare Me: 5 Annoying Things That Have Got To Stop

They say you can't have too much of a good thing. (Or do they say the opposite? I'm not exactly sure.) However, this is far from the truth, which I discovered through careful scientific experimentation. (Just the other day I almost died by chocolate overdose. It was awful, and my love for chocolate did nothing to alleviate this.) No, there is such a thing as overkill, and it is prevalent in almost everything you can find.

So as a public service, I would like to list the top 5 things that have lost their once grand appeal because of trying too hard, for too long.

1. Beyonce

Look, I get it - she's the diva of all diva's, she's the original independent woman, and the only real talent behind Destiny's Child apparently. Yes, she's a great artist, and she is married to Jay-Z, thus sealing her status in the hip-hop pantheon. She's curvy and proud of it, and is an inspiration for girls of all ages.

But enough already.

Honestly, when Beyonce went solo and started belting out these raspy old-school beat hits, it was a breath of fresh air and something so unique in the modern hip-hop scene. But it's become so repetitive, so fast. Drum beat, weird dancing, a few horns in here, something you can repeat while shouting along, ("Single ladies, single ladies...", "Lemme upgrade you, lemme upgrade you..", "Halo! Halo! Halo! Halo!", "Who run the world.. GIRLS! Who run the world.. GIRLS!", "Get me bodied, get me bodied, work your body, work your body..!"), and some awkward pictures to promote the single, usually with Beyonce contorted like a pretzel while wearing 21inch heels.

Contortionist Beyonce
Crocodile Hunter Beyonce

White Beyonce on Skates

The throwbacks have been done to death Beyonce, it's time for B to find a new beat.

2. DSLR's

Thanks to advancements in technology, professional cameras are no longer restricted to the wedding photographers and those old antique photo-studios where married couples and all the entourage vanish in to after a wedding. No, now you can own your very own DSLR, if you're willing to spend upwards of a small fortune. 24 megapixels? Yes! ISO 12800? Um, sure! DIGIC-4 image processor? I.. err.. I think so. F-3.8 to 5.6? Of course! Wait, does it come with flash?

But now we have itty-bitty teenagers, with their overly-generous parents, lugging around high-end DSLR cameras bigger than their heads so that they can take pictures of their house parties and upload all 600 of them onto Facebook. Just to justify the expense though, they take a picture of something not completely in focus and a bit off-centre and they call themselves photographers.

It has to stop. I vote the photography club of Sri Lanka issue licenses to people who are actually interested in the art of photography only, and no one else. Anyone without a license gets their DSLR confiscated and given to more deserving photographers who don't have pockets as deep as your daddy's. In exchange, you get one of these.

You're welcome!

3. 'How I Met Your Mother'

For those who haven't watched this show, the premise is simple. The narrator, in 2030, is telling his kids how he met their mother back in the 2000's. However, the narrator (Ted) never reveals to us, the audience, who the mother is, instead telling us a series of seemingly unrelated events, including all the escapades with his friends and potential love interests etc, leaving the audience wondering who this wonderful lady could be.

The first three seasons are excellent, filled with witty humour, enough intrigue to have people guessing and second-guessing the identity of the 'mother' while weighing potential scenarios where characters we liked could somehow fit the subtle clues left through each episode like breadcrumbs leading to the fabled 'mother'. Internet forums for the show were flooded with 'conspiracy' theories.

Then it started going south.

I love the whole concept of a love story in reverse, and it is true that the characters are well drawn up and are very interesting. However, HIMYM is now on it's 7th season! Yes, seven years of watching Ted get with several women, learning several things about himself and life along the way, and never quite meeting 'the one'. Seven seasons of average to above-average side stories involving the other characters who, in the grand scheme of things, the audience is not that interested in. I get how the networks wanted to stretch it out as long as they could, and it seems they have set season 8 as the final season, but for the love of all things, expecting viewers to stay engaged in this bizarre 'mystery' for seven whole years is pushing it into "Lost" territory. I predict a massive, massive let down next season.

End it. Now!

4. MBA's

"Sure, anyone can spend 3 to 4 years learning and studying under the guidance of a faculty of trained, experienced lecturers, while completing regular assignments and exams! But why have you not done a masters?"

Remember the time when getting a degree was a big deal, irrespective of what it was in? No, neither do I. That's because it was way before our time, before college degrees became as impressive as your birth certificate. Nowadays anyone can get a degree, and as a result, degrees are no longer held in as much esteem as they once were. Sure, they're enough to get you a job, in some cases. But what then? Limited or no chance of climbing the work ladder, because you've not got the magic letters after your name - MBA.

Doing an MBA used to mean you were interested in running a company, or staring your own business, or something along those lines. Now, however, every Tom, Dick and Harith is enrolled in a weekend class to get a 'speedy MBA', that is, an MBA from a 'reputed' foreign university in only a year instead of two. Without exaggeration, at the moment there are 8-10 people in my company enrolled in an MBA course. What makes it worse is that a majority of them are lost regarding their coursework, and regularly use unfair means to complete assignments, projects and even thesises.

So where does all this end? You suddenly have a load of executives, assistant and deputy managers with MBA's, all from the same place, all at the same time. So once again, prospective employers look at all these qualifications and ask you this:

"Sure, anyone can spend 20 hours every weekend for a year on classes, assignments and exams while working 5 days a week and fulfilling work obligations! But why have you not done a Ph.D?"

MBA students - if you're not genuinely interested in being a Master of business administration, then please just stop.

5. The Kolaveri Di songs

I'm not even going to bother writing a brief intro about this, because you can't possibly have not heard this song.

After taking off in India, the song went absolutely, madly viral in Asia, spawning multiple versions and takes on the song, including Punjabi versions, female 'response' versions, kid versions, rap versions, the Hitler version, even a Sinhala version which I've heard but couldn't find.

I just don't get it. Sure it's one of those songs that get stuck in your head, like every other rubbish song that you hate. But people are gushing over it, praising the musical genius behind the simplistic rhythm and lyrics. Just the other day someone in our department played it on loop for an entire day! I call people for work and the song is their caller tune! Even our telecom provider Dialog started offering it as a downloadable ringtone. Whyyyy??? Make it stop!!

Aptly, Kolaveri is supposed to roughly translate to 'murderous rage'. That is the only thing about that song I understand.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Step Away From The Computer.. Slowly.

We are living in a very technologically advanced age, and we should be grateful for that. Here I am, blogging on my laptop, while in the background I'm live streaming an NBA game happening across the world, listening in on thousands of peoples instant reactions to the same game via Twitter, sharing my opinions through my smartphone while on the go - and this is all rather low-tech by today's standards. Just the other day, my twitter feed suddenly erupted about some basketball player performing an insane dunk in the game. Literally 5 minutes later, the video had been uploaded to Youtube and I was able to see it for myself. Five minutes!

You can check it out here by the way; quite aptly known as "The dunk that broke twitter".

We're starting to see things in real life that have only been imagined in movies and science fiction. Fantasies which were once envisioned for decades or centuries in the future are being tentatively showcased at expos in Korea and Japan as we speak. Just ten years ago, it would have been almost impossible to imagine the technology that is now available at my very own fingertips.

But with every giant step for mankind, there are the odd negatives.

We can all agree that the internet has radically changed our lives, be it in the form of entertainment, information, research, networking or communication. But thanks to the internet, how many of us go to the library anymore? In fact, it's not just educational reading that has suffered; nowadays reading a book can take what is now considered an ungodly amount of time, especially since we are used to short and sweet bursts of information through internet reading.

In fact, the attention span of the average individual has drastically reduced in the recent few years. Even watching a full length movie is a chore, because we're so used to 30 min condensed stories in the form of TV shows on-demand. Writing emails are laborious tasks, especially since a simple 'poke' on Facebook or a short "Whats up?" on someones wall would suffice. Reading newspapers are just so complicated. I mean, how do you hold all these sheets of paper together? Argh, it's SO much easier to just click links! As for actual letter writing? Who does that anymore? I know some people who were incredulous that the job they were applying for required an actual snail mail letter instead of an email application.

This really annoys me. It's almost as if no one has the patience to do anything even remotely time consuming. We plan our trips so that we're back home in time for our favourite show. We are appalled that some actions in life require actual physical interaction, such as bank transactions. Exercise is too much work. I mean, 6 months for a 6 pack? Please - everyone is looking for how to lose weight in 3 weeks, how to get a beach body in 15mins a day, and how to get in shape by sitting on the couch and letting a machine vibrate against your pot belly.

It irks me. I was reminded about my Malaysia trip last year, where we pretty much backpacked for a week. Being cut off from the internet and luxury in general was a pleasant break. I sat with my two friends late into the night, talking and laughing more than I had in years, mainly because I had never taken the time to do so while in my routine-filled life back home.

I recommend that we all try this every now and then. No, not go to Malaysia and go on 3 day hikes. I mean, take a time-out from our speedy lifestyles and just find the time to relax and reconnect with the physical world around us. Talk to people, read a book, go for an actual walk instead of running on a treadmill. Get some fresh air.

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