No, the WTF moment didn't happen because of the video itself. But because of series of insignificant events that transpired over the last 36 hours.

I get an invite from youtube user 'Kandibanbala' to view his new video (embedded above). I don't know Balaji so well. I have seen some of his videos before and left a few comments. I've had an impression that he's a professional editor/film-maker who has worked in ad films etc (just an assumption). I think he sent me the invite just because I've left some comments before. I don't see anything else to it.

So I go see the video and get a "hmmm!" feeling. Not too impressed, but I say "it's alright". Then I start thinking why the video didn't really appeal to me, for a couple of minutes. Then I leave the following comments. (Italicized parts are those that I had to delete because of character limit.)

Comment 1:
Good skills, but the freestyle tri-hop/house moves get a little monotonous after a while (I understand, there's only so much you can do on the streets). And I would have liked it better had there been lesser focus/emphasis on the abstract 'fusion' moves too. Are they supposed to convey something?

I like the "curious indifference" of the people in 56", 1'22", 2'2" 3'20" etc.

Comment 2:
Problematization: Although, probably, unintended, there's some exotification of the 'tilak' and the "classical" dance moves as done by a white man. Celebration of the "global culture" that has subsumed the white man in the brown wilderness; providing him with a "rich and colourful" background for his performance. Invariably evoking this feeling, "wow! Isn't it cool that a white man (wearing a tilak) is so elegantly(?) fusing hip-hop and classical dance moves in front of all these people? Cha sooper pa, pul arikudhu po!" - emanating from good old self-imposed orientalist condescension:
White man speaks Tamil - vaaaaah!
White woman learns kalari payattu - vaaaah!
White man loves "Indian food" - vaaaah! and more.
I might be reading too much into things, but what is a white man's "classical dancing" supposed to mean when "Chennai is on the move"?

Comment 3:
My second comment might rile a few/many viewers here who might say "dei romba peter udadha" or "dude, don't look at everything so negatively, learn to enjoy art" or some nonsense like that.

So here's the disclaimer: one probletamizes things so that the hidden layers embedded in an art form (or any representation) is/are better understood before it's consumed a certain way.
That the creator himself/herself may be unaware of what it represents is irrelevant because the product itself communicates independently.

Comment 4:
This video works mostly because of its editing and music. Good job on both areas. Thanks for the video.

--end of comments--

This was yesterday (Jan 8, 2008). I was quite critical because, as I said earlier, he seems like a pro (of course, the problematization would apply for an 'amateur's product as well). I check today to see if he had replied any of my comments. I stop for a moment to make sure that I've landed in the right page. Yes. I don't see any of my comments. All of them have been deleted. WTF? (yeah, this is the moment).
I thought, "if you cannot take my fucking comments, why fucking invite me?" (ok, that sounded a bit like Chimbu!)
But seriously, the comments, I think, aren't that disrespectful or snappish; a bit detractive, may be. So if he didn't want to reply, the least he could have done is tell me that he's going to remove the comments. At least I wouldn't have had to retype the whole thing (here). adhellam illa, mayiru he has just removed it. People, don't pull these kind of stunts. It's beyond annoying.
Now the page is squeaky clean: hours and hours of work 'appreciated' by a few as "nice job" etc. That's probably all he wanted to hear. Well, whatever.


Subhash said...


ball-less prick.

Anonymous said...

such a jerk!

Or maybe he has a reason to do this. like have it reviewed by someone who could determine his career.

Anyways teaches to keep your critical views to yourself or your audience. :)


Suresh said...

{{Anyways teaches to keep your critical views to yourself or your audience.}} - No kidding!

Subhash said...

anyway write something about Harbhajan singh racism please. Lets have some fun.

Suresh said...

I left some comments in what is now a "highly viewed" youtube video -- that one in which Gavaskar skewers Ponting. I had my share 'adi thadi' there. But yeah, these were my conclusions:

Australian cricket team is full of assholes with few exceptions. Ponting has always been one and he outperformed himself in the Sydney test when he sat high talking about his "integrity". maannangatti!

Regardless of whether umpires were directly responsible for our defeat, they made the match really infuriating to watch. So Bucknor's removal, if nothing, will at least keep that irritation away in future matches.

Calling a black man monkey: racist Remember that WI players were constantly called 'gorilla' or simply 'korangu' when they toured us in 94? I don't know about you, the kids, including myself, in my school constantly did. Even the most hated Pakis were never called that.
So this whole explanation that "monkeys are worshipped in India", "monkey is a word meant to mean silly/playfulness" etc., is total BS. I don't think Harbhajan was trying to worship or tease Symonds for being silly on the field! ennangada dei?

Did Harbhajan call symonds that? No reliable proof but was "found guilty" anyway. Like they say in movies, "indha case court'ku pona Symonds kovanam kilinjirukkum".

BCCI's interference: they better have. Or people would have asked Sharad Pawar "nallaa thinga mattum theriyudhilla?"

Indian media: they have nothing better to do anyway.

Indians burning effigies: as long as they aren't burning banks and post offices.

Bloggers: angst and irritation caused by the umpires for the most part. Ponting's "integrity" probably made it worse.


Hawkeye's take on this issue reminded me of Uncle Ruckus from 'The Boondocks'.

I enjoyed 'ip' aka 'k' aka 'babu's "let me show you who's the pro here" kind of technically domineering, deliberately complexified logical rebuttal to Bharath's attempt at the same.

Subhash said...

The match happened a couple of blocks from where I live. Although I didn't watch it, I was sucked into this controversy as every Indian would eventually be by jeering aussies when I was playing tennis.

I find the whole racism issue funny and unnecessary. I don't remember the racism thing about WI players, I may have joked about it though.

Actually Harbhajan has a good case for mounting a defamation case against Ponting, Symonds and Procter.

Suresh said...

{{Actually Harbhajan has a good case for mounting a defamation case against Ponting, Symonds and Procter.}} - I think so too.

aditi said...

Nice blog! You're sense of sarcasm blended with your cooking videos=amusing to watch.
Keep up the good work!

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