Tuesday 29 July 2014

"You'll never work in advertising again, Griffin"

I once made a living writing ads
As livings go it wasn't half-bad
'Cept for the suits
Who to tell you the truth
Often severely lacked gonads

Suits & creative: always antagonistic
"You guys are SO unrealistic!"
That's MBAese;
What it really means
Is "Creative are all bloody pricks"

Account Planning is (pause to wink)
A serious ad agency funtcionk
They do the stuff
That wasn't happening enough
I.e., occasionally think

Art directors are easy to find:
Their shoes are always well shined
Even if the work
Shows no signs of quirk
The attire? ALWAYS well designed

Ad film makers are (if 1 may bitch)
Always very very rich
Their lives are quite flash
They make lots of cash
I hope their undergarments itch

Media planning is a serious chore
Numbers & spreadsheets galore
Planners get paid
Though not often laid
'Cause sleeping with them is a snore

Copywriters wear capes & masks
They do all the crucial tasks
Save the planet?
"I'm on it!"
(Why yes, I wrote copy; why'd you ask?)

Clients hire MarComm double grads
Give 'em big cars & luxury pads
To write strat docs
Think out-of-the-box
But their mummies approve the ads

[The numbers link to the original Tweets that this post collects.]

Monday 21 July 2014

Hear O Israel

Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil, Hear O Israel:

We loved you, because you were the plucky underdog, building a nation in the desert. We wished you well, because over the centuries, so many had wished you ill.

After generations of persecution, of horrors beyond belief, we wished for you what we wish ourselves: peace. We wished you what you wished for: “Rain to your land, the early and the late rains, that you may gather in your grain, your wine and your oil.” “Grass in your fields for your cattle.”

Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil, Hear O Israel:

These things cannot be bought with missiles. These cannot be won with the deaths of children.

You will win this war. You have the power, the strength to extinguish those who stand in your path.

What you will also win for your children and their children and their children is the opposite of peace.

You will bequeath them fear, anger, terror. They will inherit sleepless nights.

Those you have bereaved won’t turn the other cheek. Those you have made homeless will not forsake revenge.

Sh’ma Yis’ra'eil, Hear O Israel:

We wish you peace. We wish you life. Don’t take them from others.

Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya v’chayim aleinu v’al kol yis’ra’eil.

V’im’ru: Amein.

May there be abundant peace from Heaven and life upon us and upon all Israel.

Now say: Amein.

Oseh shalom bim’romav hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu v’al kol Yis’ra’eil.

V’im’ru: Amein

He Who makes peace in His heights, may He make peace, upon us and upon all Israel.

Now say: Amein.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Wee, the Media

He wanted to make a big stink
About a politico-big biz link
His editor liked it
But the owner spiked it
And that's why journalists drink

At 9 pee em, with elation
We wait for today's sensation
We watch as he shouts
Waggles his fingers about
Heck, you wanted to know, O nation!

A young one with visions of glory
Filed an investigative story
"Let truth prevail!
Evil must quail!"
The editor laughed till he had a coronary

Oh you journalist chaps
With your idealistic crap.
The real world-changers
Aren't facing danger;
They're working with Team Apple Maps

The first draft of history, they said
As they put the paper to bed
Then polished their CVs
& sent feelers to TV
If only the world still read

The web is killing us, they say
Good content, but no one will pay
They mutter & splutter
Foul oaths they utter
Then they go surf Pirate Bay

On Twitter, they mourn the loss
Of journalism's ethos
"You no longer aspire
To truths that are higher"
Then they go back to watching BigBoss

His friends were worried: "I say,
Don't say that in public! No way"
His lips he pursed
As he wrote another verse
Nobody reads poetry anyway

In newsrooms home & away
One topic du jour holds sway
Not Ukraine or Gaza
It's something more taaza:
Which editor quit today?

NRI columnists are upset
They praised Modi skyhigh & yet
They're waiting & waiting
Pupils dilating
Waaah! No call to join his cabinet

When Big Media barons meet
Do they exchange fact sheets
Of mockers & blighters
& joke-making writers?
I hope they're not reading this Tweet

The Emergency: you may recall
Told to bend, they crawl.
Now we'll do better, yes?
Politician can't fetter us!
'Cause big biz has us by the..

[The numbers link to the original Tweets that this post collects.]

Sunday 13 July 2014

The itsy bitsy teenie weenie song

She was afraid to come out of the locker
She was as nervous as she could be
She was afraid she’d land up in the lock-up
She was afraid of the Goa Pee Dubyu Dee

“One, two, three, four! Showing body? Thoba! Haw!”

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, symbol of her own agency
It was her body, so she thought it was okay
An itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, ordinary flash of whimsy
But Mantriji said it would make men prey

“Two, three, four! Two-piece? Shee! Must be a whore!”

She was afraid to come out in the open
Sex crimes were because of her, see?
“Poor men can’t help gawkin’ and gropin’
And next thing they’ll do Ar Ay Pee Ee”

“Two, three, four! They raped because of what she wore!”

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, symbol of her own agency
A garment she wore ’cause she felt fine that way
An itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, ordinary flash of whimsy
But now Goa’s gorment was saying “No way!”

“Two, three, four! Western nangapan on our shore!”

Now she’s afraid, this new India’s daughter
“She asked for it I say, what to do?”
What if Muthalik was prowling and caught her?
The Ram Sene would beat her black and blue

“Two, three, four, patriarchy is the law!”

It was an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, symbol of her own agency
That she thought she had a right to display
An itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, ordinary flash of whimsy
“Shut up woman! It’s our world! Obey!”

(First the lock-up then a blanket ban)
(No more women on our sea shore)
(We learnt it from the Taliban)

Yes, there isn’t any more


This is the end
Hold your scalp and count to ten
Feel your comb move, and then
Hear my hair fall again

For this is the end
I've combed and brushed this moment
Comb-over time, can't grow more
Taken away, it's stolen

Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald
And face it all together
Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald
As hair falls
As hair falls

Hairfall is where we part
Our hair but then it parts
From us and clogs the drain-hole
Got a trichologist's number?
Can you give me a name?
Yes I'll give the devil my soul

Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald
And face it all together
Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald
As hair falls

Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald
And face it all together
Let the hair fall
When it tumbles
We will stand bald

There it goes, it goes
On its way out to sea
I know I'll never be thin
But the lack of keratin's
Lovely strands atop my crown
Makes me feel really down
Gimme a hat my friend
And we'll stand....

Let the hair fall, when it tumbles
We will stand bald
And face it all together
Let the hair fall, when it tumbles
We will stand bald
And face it all together
As hair falls

Let the hair fall
We will stand bald
As hair falls

(Sorry Adele)

Monday 7 July 2014

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Last week saw much indignation from Tendulkar ‘fans’ because Maria Sharapova, in an interview, admitted to not knowing who the cricket legend was. Sharapova’s Facebook page was attacked, and enough Tweets to sink an armada were launched. Who the #### was she? What had she achieved that could compare with Tendulkar’s sacred divinity? How could she not know who SRT was? Dammit, there he is in the Royal Box! Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Take a breath. Pause. Sit down. Put down that smartphone.

Ask yourself, can you blame Sharapova? That young woman plays at the top, or near enough, of her sport, which, as anyone who has played any sport with any degree of perseverance knows, takes a lot of gruelling, concentrated effort and eats up a large slice of one's time. So she, perhaps, isn't the best-informed sports star around; everyone can't be Rahul Dravid. And she's not alone. You know Virendra Sehwag, right? Arguably the most explosive batsman Indian cricket has ever seen. Who’s got a few achievements under his belt that even SRT didn't crack, like two Test triple-centuries, including the fastest ever, the highest ODI score, the fastest ODI century by an Indian. A friend on Facebook reminded me that that Sehwag, an Indian, a cricketer, an outstanding Indian cricketer, didn't know who Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy were.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Anyway, if achievement in one’s own sport is what earns one the right to confess ignorance of another sportsperson, Sharapova isn't a ‘Greatest Of All Time’ candidate mentioned in the same breath as Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King or Steffi Graf just yet, but she’s got some solid credentials. She's been world Number One, and she’s got a career Grand Slam behind her, which is nothing to sneeze at. And she’s doing quite well on the earnings and world fame fronts, thank you very much. And yes, she has a few years left in the sport for sure, injuries permitting, so she can aspire to GOAT status.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Sachin Tendulkar certainly has a very special place in our cricket-loving hearts. And the debates about whether he or Donald Bradman was the GOAT will, no doubt, continue long and fervently. But, because the little big man played a sport only a handful of countries play with any degree of seriousness (and one practically unknown in the world’s biggest market for sports, the USA, and one that’s played in only a few of the countries that play the world’s most popular sport, football), as much as we idolise him, we cannot realistically expect him to be a household name outside the cricket-speaking world.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Look at the other side of the coin. We in India are as ignorant of many other sports as this Russian in America is about our world. Could the average Indian sports fan (or, hey, Tendulkar himself) pick Derek Jeter out of a line-up? Or Peyton Manning? How about Floyd Mayweather, a world title holder in five boxing weight divisions, and undefeated as a professional? Or Wladimir Klitschko, current world heavyweight boxing champion? He’s been champ for eight years now, and is the second-longest reigning heavyweight champ ever, behind only Joe Louis. Do we know a thing about gorodki? Or sambo?

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

Fine, fine, let’s leave all that out of it. Let us concede, for argument's sake, that, never mind apples and oranges, Sharapova’s achievements in tennis are not in the same league as Tendulkar’s stupendous achievements in cricket and that her knowledge of the world isn't what it should be.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

There’s this, dear Tendulkar-bhakts.

Tendulkar has ascended to Himalayan heights in cricket. He played at the top level of his sport for a truly epic length of time, starting earlier than most and carrying on longer than most. Some of his records look like they’ll never be broken. His place in the sporting pantheon is secure. For all practical purposes he is unassailable.

Saaachinnnn! Sach In!

But when you say that if Sharapova does not know who he is, it is a grievous insult, then you’re saying one of two things (or, perhaps, both).

One, that your own life is sad and you have nothing else to bask in but the achievements of Sachin Tendulkar. Any slur on him, imagined or real, attacks your own self-worth.

Two, if all his legendary career counts for nothing without affirmation from this 27-year-old Russian tennis player, that must mean that you think that Sharapova is greater than Tendulkar.

Are you sure that’s what you want to say? Join me now: Saaachinnnn! Sach In!