Wednesday, October 07, 2009

TPT, Facebook, etc.

1000 years ago people were aware that human beings loved to talk about themselves. People wanted to be heard, considered important, be valued and appreciated. Everything we do involves, to a certain extent, pretense. We pretend to be a certain kind of person or drop hints to make the audience form certain opinions towards us. Favorable opinions. Which is why Shakespeare, apart from saying "no god is equal to sabapathi", also said "the world is a theater". Humans derived pleasure when their deeds, virtues, and struggles were recognized, called out as great by a large group of unknown people. Yes! blogs are a great example of that. But first things first. In that order. For over 2000 years, it was hard for human beings to achieve this easily. You needed to be a great warrior, a king, a poet or a religious leader in order for people to sing praises about you and appreciate you. So essentially, only 1% of the entire population had their cravings satisfied. The rest were starved or simply resorted to singing their own praises to other unlucky listeners. In the early age instances of self-trumpeting (TPT) was rare as there was too much emphasis on humility etc.

After several thousand years of suppressed cravings, humans sprung a leak. In the 80s, some very sad parents vented this suppressed craving by relentlessly, ruthlessly and really tirelessly singing praises about their children. You could never shut those parents at all. They would go on and on about "my son is so awesome. he is class first, will get into IIT etc". Such parents exist today and can't stop yapping about their how great their 6 month old baby looked when it pooped.

Leaving parents aside, there are some luminaries we see everyday who innocently exhibit these cravings publicly. They remind us that this trait is present in all of us but it manifests itself in the luminaries because there is opportunity for them to display it. Take a classic example of 'Koffee with Anu' for instance. For a year she interviewed other people and allowed them to sing their praises and sometimes even sang their praises for them. But really what she was waiting for was a chance to speak about herself. She didn't really have an acting credentials or any other credentials, so voluntary praise wasn't necessarily forthcoming. So she did an anniversary show and got Prakash Raj to interview her, sang praises about her own struggles (which as expected very extremely trivial and told us what we knew already - that she was a moron). One should have expected this TPT from her because her cousin Suhasini, is an expert TPT. She inserts "when I was cameraman.." or "when I was god and knew everything under the sun" in almost every sentence she gets to speak on TV. The only reason why she has agreed to do the 'movie review' show is to tell us how great she is. The reviews are incidental and if she could she'd do without them.

Take Anuradha Sriram, the playback singer, as another example of humans displaying this trait. She reminds me of the time when Joey Tribbiani ( a character in FRIENDS who plays the role of an aspiring actor) gets to make a wedding dinner speech. Once he finds out that a movie casting director is on the table, his whole speech changes. He starts by saying a few words about the newly wedded couple and goes on to display range of emotions - sadness, happiness, shock, fear and ends with "as a person who can emote, fight martial arts and do partial nudity...I wish the couple a happy married life". His speech had nothing to do with the wedding but everything to do with showcasing himself to the casting director. Every time Anuradha Sriram talks on TV, it is about how great she is. Even when she is called upon to praise KJJesudas, she first praises herself, sings a note or two herself, and mentions a few irrelevant things about herself and in the end says "As a person who is so awesome I can say that KJY is sort of cool"

But praising children, getting on TV, talking to others about yourself requires a lot of work. Probably even talent. What about the average idiot who can't get on TV. Us? Where do we get to sing praises about ourselves. Enter facebook, twitter and blogger. Facebook is the subject of focus here. Facebook has removed any and all subtlety that was previously required to do TPT. It allowed Users to forthrightly say 'I am awesome, please know that as a fact'. The common theme among all facebook messages is "look at me, I am so awesome". 99% of status messages has people saying "I am soooo busy" or "Working like a dog" or "I am doing work and if I wasn't there an entire country of people would need to work for300 years to do what I do in 2 days" or "I jog 300 miles in 2 nano seconds" or "I lifted 3000 pound dumbells with my little finger". Some subtle people join the "Become a fan of 4.0 GPA" and others become fans of "high performing employees group".

Then there are these freakin' facebook quizzes that showcases unknown traits of the user. These quizzes are carefully designed to trumpet the User. You see a post that says "Margabandhu took the 'how long is your dick quiz' and the answer is '20000 million miles' " or "Vishwanath took the 'What kind of person are you quiz' and the answer is 'you are sensitive, awesome, great, fantastic, chicks should dig you, chicks should strip and surrender to your love'". "Ganapathi took the 'what kind of car are you' quiz and the answer is 'Ferrari, chicks should dig and dig and totally dig you'". Facebook is to satisfy the cravings of mediocre boneheads, who cannot and will not gain any sort of acclaim in real lives. It makes them feel that others will read their quizes and status updates and go "oh my god! what a fantastic supertastic awesome guy he is, i am a piece of dirt if front of him, i should go lick his feet". The correct quizzes these people should be taking are "Muthappan took the 'what fart smell are you quiz' and the result is ' you smell like fart after person has eaten 8 dhonnai puliyodharais, 8 eggs that have been spoilt and 2 kilos of potatoes'". Unfortunately those quizzes don't exist.

Note1: TPT refers to Thar Perumai Thanigachalam. 'Dabur' from OSU was the first ever TPT the world has known.

Note2: The scope of this post obviously includes blogs, this blog and its author. It is uncool and pointless to restate the obvious that I draw from my own experiences while writing this post.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok. I did not read the post. I just skimmed through it, You could hit a century here. :-)

-G.

Anonymous said...

//Note2: The scope of this post obviously includes blogs, this blog and its author. It is uncool and pointless to restate the obvious that I draw from my own experiences while writing this post.//

With that note your chances of a hundred have diminished rapidly.

I saw two posts in facebook recently celebrating the ensuing weekend.

I was like ada rama...

Reagrding the quizzes..have to say they are kind of addictive.. I'm one of the TPT's when it comes to quizzes so won't comment on that..

-G.

Sreekrishnan said...

blogger twitter and facebook status are designed to do that isnt it? I never twitter, never update facebook nor do i write blogs often - but those sites are precisely designed to do trumpeting. announce to the world on what you are doing !

Olaranumnu thonitta olaridanum !

The best part is when you update a facebook "What a lovely morning - i got up so early for once" and 10 or 15 people will "like" your comment. interestingly you cannot "hate" a comment. i always wanted to do that !

its just matter of time before every one gets bored about it coz they barely create an impact in life !

PS: my new found place of interest is your comment space. i learn a lot not from your post, but from your comments ... Katrathu Blog alavu kallathathu comments alavu ! Mahan Hawkeye Mahan .. lol ! its turning up like that Rediff Comment space..

manuel said...

Million thanks for this post :)

alpine path said...

Totally Lol! Esp the one with "8 dhonnai puliyodharais, 8 eggs that have been spoilt and 2 kilos of potatoes". Enna combination ithu? Yuck! :D

catch22 said...

How true! Enjoyed reading the post. One of your best posts..

rads said...

heh, nice rant. Ive been meaning to do one on fb and the idiotic quizzes people not only take but insist on publishing so every other unfortunate moron who succumbed to being their friend there is also forced to look at it.

There are a few I've "hidden" - helps a great deal sanity sakes, though as bloggers I suppose we are really looking for any kinds of fodder to make a rant. Right? :-)

Anonymous said...

so true and one of your best :-)

http://www.globalnerdy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/future-man.jpg

namratha said...

If someone is not using Twitter,Facebook,etc, then is he better than a person who is using these?

Can I take this as a conclusion from this post?

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why ppl have to take the pains to go update their status to say they r busy, obviously u found the time to do this, how busy can u really be?

Anonymous said...

Dei naaye - nee mattum unnoda lotha US cricket exploitsa mattum blog eluthuva... Adha Facebookla eluthina unaku Fartinga?

Poda ngoyango.

Anonymous said...

"sabapathykku veru deivaam samaanam aagumaaa..."

dude...awesome song and you reminded me of it. eppadi yow indhapatellam therinju vechirukke... super apppu..

blackaccord said...

TPT ellarum blog/facebook/twitter ezhudhaalam... aana blogger/facebook/twitter ezhudharavan ellam TPT illai...

When I was young, I used to read the Hindu Editorial column though not regularly.. (Disclaimer : This is a not TPT statement) It was one column which would express the opinion of the editor on a social/political issue more than conveying the news about day to day happenings.. I feel the same about some bloggers (you included) who happen to be good writers not just relaying the obvious news to us, but rather opine on the news and add their own 2 cents....Problem is some of them over do it and some of them are dumb and stupid..

வெங்கிராஜா | Venkiraja said...

Must link this post to twitter and share it on FB.

Anonymous said...

yarupa athu DABUR...

OSU NA OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY ILLA OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY...

IYER...

Valli Doll said...

LOL on FB quizzes. There was spoof on Ramayana for Facebook and the comments. I really hate the fact that we cannot dislike a comment. But, I will link this blog in Facebook and see how many ppl like this :P

Jean-Pierre said...

Taking a break from the insanity of francophone central African blogs, I stumble upon this jewel! Well, I think there's one positive thing that can be said about Facebook. It helps parents keep a tab on their kids; kids who'd be so dumb as to enlist their parents in the crowds of their "friends." My 19-year-old daughter has hundreds of "friends" and is shocked at the paucity of mine (less than 10). And she's the one who literally "forced" me into facebooking... Recently, she moved to Scotland (I'm in Washington, DC) for college. The album of her pictures chronicling her first two weeks in college she posted on Facebook were all set at bars and "watering holes." Shocked, I wrote this comment: "I don't see any picture of the library. What does the library look like?"... To which she answered: "I dunno where it is" with the addendum of the emoticon for "lol"... I'm seriously considering quitting facebooking!

TTM said...

This comment:

http://tinyurl.com/yfysapw

Srikz said...

viru sehwag is another...in his cricinfo interview he would've mentioned 40 times how he hit those two 300s.
Although what hawkeye says is true & not to mention quite funny, it is what it is...that's human nature. we like to be loved. and some clever people realized that & made facebook & capitalized & are making a lotta money now. on the other hand there are a lotta weirdoes out there who commit suicides cuz they feel like losers. may be some of them got on facebook, made 300 strange friends & got to say how great they are. may be some liked their posts, may be some even posted comments of kudos...may be, it saved their life. also, those 'dick 2000 m long' quizzes are very good timepass when there's nothing to do!
two sides to every argument...everybody's right, nobody's wrong!

Laila said...

First of All, Anu Haasan is NOT a moron. She is filthy rich, has a Masters from BITS Pilani, has been the Executive Producer of several TV shows and a Movie, an Actress, and is an Entrepreneur (manages her own chain, Splash). So, UM, NO SHE is NOT A MORON....
And No, just because someone has a Facebook does not mean that they will no accomplish anything in life. Mani Ratnam's son got established as an author at the age of 16, and he has a facebook. Several Tamil Actors like Trisha have facebook. It's just that facebook is a New thing, and the vast majority of people who use it are younger than 30- and the primary purpose of it is a pass-time and networking tool. SO, yeah, people take stupid quizzes--and if you don't want to know about their results, then don't read about them. Clearly you have taken such quizzes, and done a fair bit of facebook stalking like the rest of us, or you wouldn't even know that such things existed!

ttm said...

disagree with Srikz...Sehwag is simply not that kind of guy, he cares zilch about statistics. He didnt even know about the world record when he got at 410-0 against Pak 3 yrs ago, didnt worry about going for a 6 @195. He doesnt give a damn about public opinion or he wont bat that way ;)

Anonymous said...

good going hawk.. your note 2 severely dwindled ur century hopes... che.. lol

-G.

ms said...

how come you don't have a problem with twatter? facebook is such a dinosaur now. strangers just demand to be included in your friend list-like some one on the phone pestering you.

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

Hawkeye,

The quizzes are very stupid. I ventured to ask a few of the junta and most of them said they are taking the quiz to see how stupid it can be. But I agree about those statuses which say "I did naalu aalu velai at work" kinda posts - which makes me wonder how they got the time to put that status update in Facebook. And add to that 'laauvv' kodumais - kuchy-kooing with Kuppatha(Kuppusaamy) - romba theva naatuku?

Anonymous said...

Most interesting comment in this post was one which ended something like...

"..Problem is some of them over do it and some of them are dumb and stupid.."

Anu Hassan, Anuradha Sriram are all morons...konjum 'Tamil stereotype-kku migaraaga irundhutta pochu...hawkeye'kku porukkaadhu'...Is it really so difficult to be objective in judging a person..for that matter, does one really need to be so judgemental? Having an opinion is one thing, being an opinionated boor is another...Nalla maattukku oru soodu...

- Just another web trawler

Anonymous said...

just another web trawler,

why would hawkeye have a bias against these cine artists unless they are his competitors or have not paid back some loan due to him?

why do you think he is not "objective" here. i think they are genuinely irritating. thats my opinion, what should i do to make it objective?

Anonymous said...

by "they" i meant anuradha sriram, sugasini, anu hasan etc

Anonymous said...

Anons,

My psy advisor says that two human being see one thing in 2 different ways and there would always be bias in anything a journal author/psychologist etc writes/says coz he's a human first then only he's so and so. Hawky is no exception :)

-psy

vigneshjvn said...

FB quizzes are arguably the biggest scourge upon this planet now. More views on that here and here.
The post was rambling, but good nonetheless. Looking forward to more posts about your Hero, that vote illaada nai and the carpool guy. :P

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% on Suhasini and Anuradha:) But Anu Hassan paavam...to be included in their midst!

RK said...

The tagline of this blog reads -

"I am the essence of overconfidence! I am speculation, adventure; the spirit of pursuit; the stag howling for its winsome yet anonymous mate. I am the love call of evolution; the perfume and color of the flowers as they offer their pollen to the gentle buzz of the bees. I am sex itself, gentlemen. I am life. I am appetite!"

Unfortunate juxtaposition much? :P

Also, TPTs need to die...

Ganesh said...

RK,

Seems like you didn't notice note2.

And.... wasn't the point of the post that all humans were basically TPTs. So do you want to die?

Savitha Vinodkumar said...

Definitely one of ur Best!Should say I'm a fan of urs:)

vinodh90 said...

great blog...nice to have stumbled here. And i agree with a few other comments in that Anu Hassan must be excluded from that list. And come on, twitter asks this fuckin 'what are you doing' and FB says 'whats on your mind?'. it's for people to TPT, deal with it.

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye,

On a separate topic. I think you might want to respond to this.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/tamil-nadu/chennai-madras

I'm not sure how to reach you. So I am posting it here.

-MS

Anonymous said...

anu hasan is kinda' cute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzuJy6B250Q

Someone said...

I didn't have much time to read everything, so i chose to read one paragraph (this is the first time i'm visiting your blog).. and when I read the statements //"As a person who is so awesome I can say that KJY is sort of cool"// I literally laughed about the way you had said it. you write well.. really well..!! (just talking about your writing style ;-) )

Anonymous said...

I dont agree with u totally in anuradha sriram case..she does her job wid great enthusiasm and that looks like she is a tpt (not saying because of being a diehard anuradha sriram fan....)