The BOSS pattern

Popular blogger makes a post on a sensitive current issue.

We’ve seen that.

487 (when I saw it) fellow bloggers respond.

We’ve seen that too.

485 of them misunderstand the post.

Oh yes. Sounds familiar.

Out of that lot, 400 assume the author’s intentions and respond violently to statements that the author never made in his post.

Ahan. Oh yes. Seen that.

So in the interest of brevity and pointless generalization, I am going to call this the BOSS pattern, a very Indian behavorial trait where readers mostly miss the point and aggressively search for potential insults to one’s language/religion/films/culture. The pattern also ultimately results in the author’s question not beind addressed at all. By the 400th comment, the discussion has mostly veered in the general direction of the canines.

So, what did our sample author really want to know?

Explain the Rajini phenomenon. How does a single man’s mannerisms, stunts and gimmickry sustain a movie? Why is a man with such limited acting talent more popular than somebody like Kamal Hassan.

And this, is my response.

I have no clue. But, since I am in the business of showing jilpa, it is my solemn duty to try anyway.

Rajini is not an actor. He is the Tamil collective conscious. He is the symbol of most of our fantasies and he makes them come true on the silver screen. What’s more, he is an ordinary looking, shy, tongue-tied human being who metamorphoses into this stylish icon who, for the 150 minutes in the theatre, trasforms us all into heroes. He is what all of us believe we can be. His patent ordinariness only enhances our hopes. He is not even of Tamil origin, and that adds to his pan-dimensional appeal, because when we see Rajini, we don’t bother with narrow district level, language and caste level identities. His non-Tamilness gives us a sense of universality. Of course, he is not of Amithabh or Kamal’s calibre when it comes to acting. But we are not talking about acting here. One will not understand Rajini unless one moves past the definition of cinema as merely being an art form. Rajini’s cinema is the collective Tamil dream. Of course, it’s often times corny and childish. Dreams often are. But it’s not accurate descriptions of reality that we (rajini fans) as an audience seek out. Kamal and Amitabh are artistes. Rajini is an icon. Rajini plays out my fantasies. And he is just like me – an ordinary, not so good looking and not so intellectual layman. And the reason a lot of us react so immaturely when somebody criticizes him is that we take it to be a insult on ourselves. Kamal is so beyond us in looks and talent. But when Rajini makes his appearance on screen, every viewer sees himself manifested in him. That, is what all the hysteria is about.

I could, of course, be totally blathering, but blather is what this blog is about.

Oh. Might as well pimp technorati when the going’s good.

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