Although the title says beginners, it is not for those who have never rode a two-wheeler before. You can’t handle this.
Monsoon has come. Please read this for your physical safety and good mental-health.
Step 1: Escape the unknown
The path of least resistance does not exist. Although on normal days you’d follow what we call “kurukku vazhi” (the alternate route that you take that google maps doesn’t know), if you do that on rainy day you’ll find yourself pushing scooty through 4 feet deep water, losing your chappal and then crying the rest of the way home. Don’t try to be over smart. Follow wherever the traffic pushes you. It’s ok to be mainstream occasionally, to not lose yourself in the “main stream” of water.
Step 2: Always be the at the centre of the road
Let the cars honk at you, let the buses intimidate you with their large presence – but don’t listen to society. You do you, yo. If you go to the side of the road, then when cars overtake, it will create these HUUGE water waves that will splash sewage water all over you and then you’ll get plague. Why do you need temporary hypochondria during all this rain agony?
Step 3: Don’t overtake
You don’t have any head-losing urgency, whatever it is. When you happen to cross water-logged road, be a courteous driver and let the person behind you go ahead. Mostly, these people either know the route really well, or are even more suspicious and careful than you will ever be (because you let them pass and they don’t trust you), so they’ll find the best pot-hole less route and ensure that none of the following people in the road will have a “enge enadhu kavidhai” type incident.
- When you are waiting at the signal, feel free to swear loudly. No one can hear you
- You can also sing if you are getting irritated
- If you are wearing glasses, position the helmet glass at a 45 degree angle. This way you can have full visibility without having to look through the scratch marks on the fibre glass, also ensuring no water droplets reach your own glasses and mess up vision.
- Use the extra time stuck in traffic to create poems. Like Robert Frost, you can also have a magnus opus called “Stopping by traffic on rainy night”.
I’ll add more tips when I gain more experience points.
This is one of the cases where the name contains the true meaning; like literally con your life into believing it could be something else.
Retroactive continuity (retcon) is a literary device often used to say ‘Hey, we screwed up but here’s everything in a completely new light just to mess with you’.
Sometimes it’s a major re-imagining of pivotal characters like Alan Moore’s Joker in The Killing Joke or just the equivalent of a girl giving herself a perm for one day as is often the case with sitcoms. From ground-breaking to campy they have long since been a crucial part of pop culture.
‘Reinventing yourself’ I feel, is sometimes, almost a parody of retconning. Not everybody will be happy with it; it might get panned and be reviled in equal measure and the producers (parental units) are definitely going to give you a lot of grief about it.
But sometimes, life can derail and not be the same as the story you had envisioned. When this happens, some people choose to find familiar patterns to stick to in their lives, much like when TV shows try to find their niche crowd, quietly enjoying comfortable success. But the others try that elusive technique of successfully making something new which remains faithful to its origins. This could be an utter disaster (Ghostbusters) or beautifully preserved (Doctor Who); which brings me to the whole concept of ‘reinventing your own life.
To be honest, it doesn’t feel nearly as high stakes as altering a classic character backstory. Because, we all know the majority of the ‘new year new me’ stuff doesn’t last long. Sure it’s a nice idea to ‘start a spin class’. But once you realize how expensive yoghurt smoothies are, you’re back to lazing around on the couch with your cat the rest of the year.
However, I have a half-baked solution to this. One common trope of retconning is the practice of showing already established events from a new perspective. This doesn’t change what happened or how we feel about those events, but does give a deeper understanding and appreciation of the characters. In the same way that getting a pet, eating healthy or concentrating on your work is not suddenly going to change your core character, but instead, make you achieve a new perspective on things and provide marked additions to subtly enhance your personality and attitude.
So this year, why not do the same things you’ve been doing (let’s face it we are pretty much stuck with our habit repertoire at this time) but do them in an entirely new way. I for one, will not be mourning the failure of all the ‘too ideal’ resolutions but instead be grateful for this world and the people around and the experiences that changed me, for better or for worse.
In popular culture, retconning has toppled god level beings and made despicable characters humane. Giving second chances is way underrated. This year, I plan on having a surprisingly tender moment with someone I hate; my life will be like a TV show goddammit.
P.S. Yes, I procrastinate so much that I have published my new year post on march.
I recently watched Bo Burnham’s Make Happy and I swear I heard angelic vocalisation in the background at the exact moment when I realised I had stumbled on to something amazing.
Oh wait.. the vocalisation was in the show.. If that doesn’t pique your interest..
I’m not doing this very well. Makes sense, cause a grand total of one person I know watched it.
But since I’m like 10% more eloquent in writing, I’m hoping I can convince you and our two readers to watch this perspective changing work of pure art.
Wow I feel myself getting hyped just writing it
OKAY HERE GOES
‘A young comic challenges the very form of stand-up comedy’.. maybe I should first explain the traditional form.
It’s when someone comes on stage and rants for an hour about everything humanity has to endure in order to live in our outrageously comfortable first world lifestyles and by doing so hopes to find a connection with their audience who despite wanting to feel unique feels a quiet sense of relief that they are not alone in feeling that airplane food is really inedible.
Bo Burnham raps. And sings. And interacts with voiceovers. About irony and love and depression.
Basically, watching his show will make you laugh and cause your weekly existential crisis to arrive a bit early.
I’m kinda mad that I can’t quote some of the exemplary lines from the show or go into detail about each of the segments cause this is probably the only stand-up routine that should not be spoiled
Bo Burnham with his conveniently alliterative rap name was a child of the internet, but proves he can tackle all-encompassing critical points of culture. All of the segments are genuinely funny in an understated way and even as he proclaims they are discrete, they all come together in a breathlessly beautiful way and perfects a new genre for mainstream stand-up comedy (his previous special ‘what.’ introduced it and it’s brilliant)
The show itself is technically marvelous. The professional lighting and the perfectly choreographed sequences with inherently hostile voice-overs elevate his content, his pithy narrative ability and his singing voice which were already pretty amazing to begin with, resulting in a layered and complex performance
In his quest to escape the comfortable boundaries other comedians set up by being ‘relatable’, he makes a show about performing.
But like he says at the end, we’re all performers; capturing everything through pixels and constantly seeking validation for said performance by others and ourselves. We are the audience of our own carefully curated show and the ratings in the form of likes and shares measure our self-worth and decides whether our show gets cancelled or picked up for another season.
Yes, he’s a child of the internet but he resents everything it has become.. this theme was explored a little bit in his previous specials but in this one, he abandons the subtext completely and literally spells it out in the most honest monologue at the end
And yet as he expresses anger at how ‘Lip-sync battles’ and celebrities playing ‘Pictionary’ is capturing our valuable attention, he acknowledges that he’s no better as his whole show is designed to do the exact same.
He points out that just because he has the self-awareness to admit the flaws in his material doesn’t mean we can let him off the hook
When he laments about the entertainment industry, social media and how celebrity culture is moulding our generation into personality-less drones, he does so with such remarkable passion that you get this weird feeling of hope that maybe there is potential for the tide to turn.
Shows and performances are designed as a form of escapism; an evening where we can just laugh and let go of our fears. Bo Burnham however shines the light (sometimes literally) on humanity’s weaker moments, so that when we do laugh, it’s almost always tinged with self-pity and also through a sense of connection to this flawed persona on stage as he promises you that you can never escape your inner demons.
It’s still very funny though. Really.
He switches between humour and thoughtfulness at dizzying rates that at the end of it you are left feeling emotionally exhausted and hitting the replay button.
At the end of it all, you’re just left with one question.
Are you happy?
drop with a clink into the tumblers of my heart
As I convulse with the sudden temperature change
Drops emerge as tears from my eyes
Escapes from my mouth as dry sobs of hopelessness
The laws of thermodynamics
Will bring the warmth to my soul again
I went to the library, dozed off while reading haiku. Woke up to find I’d written s’more of my own.
I am lost without you
While I try to find the root of 2
Yesterday’s brewed coffee
Lies stagnant in the corner of the room
You invade my every thought
My desperation is supplemented
by the guilt of not studying
I just want some college to take me
Please… just please TAKE ME
Every Sunday I cry
For the lost weekend when
I didn’t meet you
I didn’t even open my books
You are the tab that’s always open
I leave my laptop on sleep
While I sleep
You watch over me
As I raise a bleary eye in the morning
I hate myself.
I keep thinking it’s my fault
That I didn’t pay attention to you
I still don’t
Don’t punish me
I prayed to God the other day
I pray to you every day
You are the only thing
That I believe in now
Please believe in me in return
I swear I’ll study
There’s too much for me to say
In my SoP
Every time I think
I need to pee