Monday, April 27, 2009

Mind Googling achievements!

Where have all the book critics gone? Do we have any famous names in book reviews today? It was not so long ago that the world abounded in book reviews and critics showed the way to new literature. They were a fearless independent and entertaining bunch of people to whom I owe a lot for the mind boggling marks I got for my book review assignments. Copying and pasting is so much easier than writing your own review no? Besides the latter would involve reading the book brrrr

I come from the stables of a college with an English Department that considered Book Reviews to be the be all and end all of English education. Not submitting a book review was considered a sin graver then the Seven Deadly Sins and many an English Professor were convinced that such an act should be made the 8th Deadly sin by the Vatican. Thank god no Professor from my college ever became the President of India or the consequences would be catastrophic!

Minister: Madam President, here is the clemency petition of the terrorist who bombed the parliament.
Prof: hmmm the death sentence does seem harsh!
Minister: But Madam President he attacked the very seat of democracy!
Prof: True! But he did not kill anyone…
Minister: Madam President he defiled the shrine of our constitution!!
Prof: I don’t think…
Minister: Besides Madam President, he was notorious for not submitting his book reviews during English classes!
Prof (screeching): What!!!! Kill! Shoot him! Bomb him! Hang him! Maim him! Wait I will kill the $%#^&@ myself !!!!

Presidential guards rush to restrain the President!

If not submitting a book review was the 8th Deadly Sin then not submitting a Film Review after a Film Appreciation class was the 9th Deadly Sin of the college. While we hoped that we were shown movies like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, what we got was horrible art films that could render one’s brain geriatric in one film sitting.

Hero: But naught the air transfixed thine soul to me.
Heroine: Alas!

The professor who would be sleeping in her front seat would wake up when the snores got louder or someone whispered too loud. Her “ahem” would ring in class like a toy pistol in a war and she would be forced to bang the table to get our attention. As a punishment she would rewind the movie (groan) and we had to watch the horror show again.

Hero: It is but a folly to think that I entertained the very thought of humaneness!
Heroine: Perhaps the black clouds signify something…I can feel an imminent catastrophe in my bosom!
Class: *giggle*
Prof: What is so funny about a catastrophe of the bosom?
Class: ROTFL!!!

After the class settled the Professor would give us an inscrutable look and we cringed at the thought of the next Film Appreciation Class. This lady was formidable. Her collection of absolutely unfathomable movies could zap the brains of Einstein and render him stupid in seconds. One day she bought a movie on the angst of an Art Filmmaker (AF)!

AF (screaming): Ambiguity!!!! Ambiguity!!!! It will be my death! AARRGHH! AARRGHH!
Friend: Your obsession with the artificial construction of reality will be your doom!
AF (screaming): NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friend: Your inner psychological state should be portrayed with more subjective realism and it should be within the bounds of the narrative.
AFM: AARRGHH!!!!!!!!!! *Smashes furniture, vomits and then passes out*
Class: Duh!
Prof: Please submit a review by tomorrow morning.
Class: *gulp*

We were often subject to movies on social issues to “develop” our social consciousness and sensitiveness”

French Revolutionary: This is a prescient moment… it will forever influence the course modern societies in transition would follow!
Lady: The era of revolutions is nigh! This is a decisive event of our lives!
Girl 1: Why isn’t he kissing her?
Girl 2: I think he is a revolutionary.
Girl 3: LOL!!
Girl 4: he he that was funny!
Girl 2: What’s so funny!
Rest of the class: ROFL!!
Prof: For god’s sake what’s so funny about the French Revolution!!!!!

Thank god Film Appreciation Classes were few and we managed to put together a film project after carefully Goolging err I mean after carefully considering the message of the film, the director’s purpose or intention and the theme of the film and comparing other films from the same director/genre. :|

Now if you are wondering why I am looking for book critics …well…we have a book review contest in our Newsletter you see and old habits die hard. :(


Binny V A said...

Tell your prof that if he puts in films like 'Die Hard' and 'Matrix' he will get the reviews more easily. I don't even have to copy from Wikipedia to create a review of Matrix.

Kunjootty said...

Your professor really knew some excellent 3rd-degree torture mothods!! :-D
The only place where book reviews still seems to thrive is the Literary Review supplement with the Hindu!!
Every search for material on Google just reinforces my staunch worship!! :-) Google Devo Bhava!!

skar said...

LOL@ending and fenny@sound of toy pistol in a war =))


In those courses, did everybody have to review the same assigned book? If not, then you could've used the freedom to review some instruction manual,no?

Haarish said...

When I was in school we had a club called the English Literary Club where we had to writes reviews similiar to these. And, these were not novels, books etc, we had to review the teachers weekly essays on topics like Bonsai, Merchant of Venice etc. If you write them commending the teachers effort she'd be angry and if you happen to pick isssues with them hen she'd be VERY angry. so your terminal exam marks were propotional to her scale of anger!

DPhatsez said...

'catastrophe in bosom'? Oh permit me, fair maiden!(i take her in my arms and draw her close)to ease thy trepidation! Come, let us seek, within each other.. (zzzzzzzzz...)
Sorry that MnB novel review is popping up in all the wrong places :)

For a refreshing new take on Teachers pls catch my latest post. I guarantee at least a smile :D

Amal Bose said...

ha ha..
finally found a benefit of studying engineering.

themargi said...

You can still google.. err read some tome and disect it!!!

silverine said...

Binny: Wish she would let us choose films!

Kunjooty: Thanks for the tip!!! And I agree, google devo bhava!!

Karthik: Depended on the Lecturer, some let you choose from a collection of books while some gave you a title!

Haarish: Thats sad. Such a lot of Googling err reviewing going to waste!

Arun: I did read it the day you posted and found it really funny! :)

Amal: Glad to be of help! :p

themargi: The ones I found now are well...very obviously not written by me! :(

thomas said...

I would've loved to be in a film appreciation class or book review for that matter. I can safely assure you it's much better than engg or science, at least in my perspective. :) Perhaps we could've exchanged places.....if only...*sigh*

Nice title. :)

Thoorika said...

film appreciation classes and book reviews??? viscom student huh???

Amey said...

What is so funny about a catastrophe of the bosom?"Of" or "in"? Either way, that phrase is a catastrophe...

Wanderlust said...

A course which makes you watch movies to pass exams !!! The very thought is utopian and so brought down to reality by such professors !!! Nice one. Thanks a lot for the link by the way.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

the cut and paste culture used to drive us crazy - we've tried ever so many methods to prevent-even threatened to sue for plagiarism:-)

did you pick up the honest srap award from this site?

Ordinary Guy said...

LOL!!!!!!! at copy pasting!!!

same applies for films as well!!!

thank god that i did have that kind of prof.........

silverine said...

Thomman: Try writing a review till your hands bleed and the Prof shakes her head saying you haven't got it right and you will thank god you took Engineering! :)

Thoorika: Film App was part of Communicative English!

Amey: LOL!!

Wanderlust: Grass is greener... :) Your post was awesome!

KPJ: We never plagiarized from anyone in school or college. The thought never crossed our minds. :) Thanks for the award, will do the tag soon!

Ordinary Guy: And to 'coding' also I heard! :)

Useless Bugger said...

Nice post, Silv. Made me think...

In today's times, if you are a movie reviewer, your life is made extremely easy, thanks to the abysmal quality of films made. The time has come to throw the film review tutilege from college out of the window...if you are a movie critic these days, you just need one word in your vocabulary - Bullshit.

Viewing public : "How was the movie" ?
Reviewer(replying): "Bullshit"

Even being a book reviewer does not need much skills, I dare say.

Bespectacled literary public: "Should I buy this book? So what was the best thing about the book"

Reviewer(replying) : "The paper smells nice and the font type is good" !!!

P.S : Is bullshit one word or two?

Abhi said...

Film appreciation shows? OMG. Can't imagine such a thing happening in my college days. We had once a drama where Princi and a few faculty members acted and it was filled with sound effects from the students in the audience, commenting about the way princi was acting on stage like "Ayyo princi kollele".

BTW ur prof's reaction was awesome to the plea :D

Raven said...

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Anyway do check out this article i wrote .. and let me knw what you thought abt it ..

Machiavelli said...

good timing

Rajlakshmi said...

"'catastrophe in bosom" ... hehehhehahha... that was so funny...
wonderful read... hope you will get a book reeview somewhere... that is the last thing I ever read... and Art film!!!! God save me !!!!

lovely post :D

Australopithecus said...

hehe, luckily we only got to see fun movies, like Olivier's Hamlet. It was fun, we had a great time making cheap comments and whistles. Of course we got chewed out by the headmistress and the principal.. so it was.

Anonymous said...

Girl: why arent they kissing?
Girl2: i think its coz he s a revolutionary...

book reviews? oh we too had 'em in our viscom classes... bt it was way different for us... we had a ball watchin our teachers shift in their seats while screening many 'uncensored' movies like 'the english patient' fact when the prof asked one o the guys to fastforward 'the' scene, he actually 'shushed' the prof nd resumed watchin... guess our profs were the ones who got tortured in this whole film review affair

nice post!!:)

Destiny's child... said...

agree hands down....copying n pasting is so much easier....

silverine said...

Parikshit: :) Valid observations actually! Wish we could get away with that.

Abhi: LOL!! I can imagine that show! :))

Raven: Thank you! :)

Machiavelli: :D

Rajlakshmi: :)

Australopithecus and onethoughton: You watched such nice movies...sigh :( Me was not so lucky!

destiny's child: You bet!! :p

gayathri vishwanathan said...

hahaha too good...I guess i better become a book reviewer or a film critic or any damn reviewer. Easy money. no skills, and loads of entertainment