It is very difficult to make a distinction between what is stupid and what is not. You may think that getting wet in the rain is a wonderful feeling. Some other person may feel that it is a stupid thing to do, as it makes us fall ill. The battle is never-ending. So, keeping aside the contraries for sometime, let us focus on those ridiculous trends, songs or events, which should have never attained a cult status but have somehow managed to make the mark. When it comes to putting the blame for such misadventures, it is us who are bound to be burdened for assigning such undeserving glory to these things. Certain concepts stir the imagination of the people and end up being a run-away hit, despite their lackluster and mundane content at times. What matters at the end of the day is how much has the thing managed to strike a chord with us as there are no clear cut formulas for success. Much of the hype and craze is created when something unprecedented is brought to the palate. Even if they are silly and do not make sense to the ‘learned’ lot, they do create a lot of buzz for themselves among a huge chunk of the population. As they say ‘Any publicity is good publicity’. So here I present 10 stupid things that we made famous.
10. Animal print dresses
Under most circumstances, this gamble of flaunting an animal print dress may fall flat on its face. The most surprising part of it is that wearing animal prints have been hailed as a path-breaking statement by many stylists and fashion magazines around the world. No matter how much innovative thinking has gone into designing it, either as a gown, a cocktail dress or as jeggings, the attire eventually ends up looking as if you have wrapped animal skin around your body. Most people fail to carry the ‘wild’ look as it has been termed as and look like escapees from a zoo or a jungle. Why rob the poor animals of their humble robes, when you can just have yours?
9. 24 hour news channels
Be it a CNN or a BBC or Indian channels like Times Now and NDTV, they churn out news every minute. The term ‘Breaking News’ has been abused to its zenith and every significant or insignificant piece of news is projected as the most important news of the day. Yellow journalism has shifted the focus from real issues and for the sake of having content to run the channel 24/7, any matter can be glossed over and sensationalized for mere TRP s. The News of the World phone hacking controversy in London came as an eye-opener for the world of journalism. The 24-hour news channels are famous because we love dramatic presentation of facts, even at the cost of the real issues being diluted.
8. Curse words
It is cool to swear. You may agree or disagree with it but you cannot deny the fact that curse words have seeped into our consciousness knowingly or unknowingly. We use words like F**K, A***H**E, B*T*H and many others at the drop of a hat. Even if we do not mean harm and have no intentions of venting our anger on somebody, we end up incorporating these words in our speech. Sometimes, it is often a sign of affection to call somebody a b*t*h. Every generation has got its own fancies and being a member of that generation, I will not try to be preachy and take a high moral stand. Nevertheless, a stupid curse word has gathered enough momentum around itself to remain in vogue.
7. Why this Kolaveri Di?
This English song in a tamil accent, sung by south Indian actor Dhanush became a rage in the year 2011. In a matter of quick succession a number of versions of Kolaveri Di surfaced in the cyber space. Mainsteam hindi channels started airing this song and it went viral like never before. The song began to be used with certain modifications for campaigning purposes of political parties and was also used by the Kolkata traffic police in their advertisements. With a total number of Youtube views of 70,283,119, the song managed to surprise everyone with its quirky lyrics and catchy tune. There was nothing spectacularly different about it and hence, can easily be counted as one of the many stupid things that made it large, despite criticism
6. Marrying and finding best friends on reality television
What is the similarity between Paris Hilton of the west and Rakhi Sawant of the east. Well, both of them announced that they would be building relations on television, in front of numerous cameras and in the public-eye. Paris Hilton’s My New Bff began with the mission of Hilton finding her best friend through reality television. Contestants competed with each other, vying for her attention and finally a winner was chosen. The show continued for consecutive seasons and people lapped it up with much enthusiasm. Rakhi Sawant and others went a step ahead and wanted to find life partners through reality shows, toeing the lines of most of the scripted daily soap operas. Putting their sensibility and aesthetics in the back-burner, people remained glued to their television sets, while the mockery played out on-screen.
5. Oppa Gangnam style
Gangnam Style was the 18th pop single by Korean singer Psy but it managed to set such an overwhelming benchmark of popularity that his earlier songs could never achieve. On the outset, the song as well as the music video comes across as lame and uninspiring with Psy doing a crazy but unconventional step. The famous step in the song which almost resembles a person twirling a piece of rope and jogging simultaneously, found a massive audience and the step attained iconic status. Regular people as well as celebrities started to emulate the step and at the same time, Gangnam style became the most watched video on Youtube with a total number of views of 1.715 billion.
4. Numerous facebook trends
Most of the facebook trends have hardly sustained beyond a month or so. Some of the common facebook trends have been that of creating bitstrips/animated characters, anonymous confessions, confession pages, innumerable memes, besides the regular activities of uploading pictures and updating statuses. These trends can be seen as smart marketing gimmicks to retain the user’s interest in the website. Nothing is stupid when it becomes famous and the transition from being stupid to being out-of-the-box is a smooth one eventually.
3. Valentine’s Day
14th February has become one of the most anticipated days of the year, thanks to the concept of Valentine’s Day. If we try to unravel certain historical events then we will know that Saint Valentine suffered a gruesome death on 14th Feb after being imprisoned for carrying out weddings of soldiers, who were forbidden to marry. His great sacrifice for the cause of love began to be celebrated as the day of love and the idea took prominence during the middle ages, initiated by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the present context, Valentine’s Day has been reduced to mere commercialization, prompting love birds to woo their partners with expensive gifts. It is more about flaunting than about love these days. Love can be celebrated everyday and not just be restricted to 14th February.
2. Superhero flicks and their similar themes
What do Superman, Batman, Iron-man, Captain America and Spider-man have in common? Yes, you have guessed the obvious. They battle the mighty villains and save the world from their evil designs.They also have either been blessed with superpowers or have super-gadgets by their side, as in the case of Batman and Iron-man, which make all of them a greater mortal than any of us with Batman being my personal favourite. All of them rescue their respective damsels in distress, barring Batman, who has got an equally competent bat-girl/cat-woman by his side. They try hard to keep their private and public spaces apart and avert a collision of their two worlds. The only difference among them perhaps is that each of them comes with a different past-life experience and have their own share of hurdles. Now the question that pops up is why do we keep watching these movies that are like old wine being served in newer bottles? The answer is that we love watching these larger than life characters do things that we can never imagine of doing, even if they are repetitive and monotonous.
1. Apocalypse- The supposed end of the world
21st December, 2012 was meant to be the last day for living-beings to take cognizance of their worldly existence. There was a hullabaloo all around and those who believed in the prediction wanted to treasure their lives to its zenith, till it lasted. Astrologers from across the world huddled to come up with their own interpretations of the terrifying prediction that was made by misconstruing the Mayan Calendar. People started guessing how a post-apocalyptic world would look like and even apocalypse parties were thrown in some parts of the world. The 2009 sci-fi movie ‘2012’ helped the idea of a possible apocalypse to gain momentum and the frenzy continued till the 21st of December, 2012. NASA too jumped into the bandwagon to dismiss talks of a possible apocalypse. Thankfully, the world did not end then but the stupidity that many of us exhibited regarding it will go down in history.