Saturday Assortment: An Interesting Link, Albie Dog Videos, and a Poll

Good news! I finally figured out how to load videos after the WordPress update! Also, Ticket posted an interesting link related to critics and celebrities, so I’m putting that up. And I have a fun silly poll for us too!

This is a link to an article about criticism in American pop culture. Which I’m not really “up” on. But it made me think about how Indian and American internet culture and criticism diverge. (link here)

Western film criticism went from superficial summaries in the 20s and 30s to serious in depth writing in the 40s-50s-60s to the growth of different fields of analysis and whole schools formed to teach people how to watch movies and other popular culture in the 70s and 80s and 90s. And only then did movie reviews move online, a small step to the side from where they already existed in newspapers. They became more casual as people and communities grew up around loving various genres and industries. And then, after all of this, twitter arrived, and youtube, and instagram, and podcasts, which allowed criticism to break free of long form writing where it had lived for close to 100 years.

In India, all of this happened simultaneously. Film criticism appeared at the same time as social media and without the slow growth of a background of critical technique and understanding both within the audience and within the critics themselves. And on top of that (and if I had read “The Argumentative Indian” I could speak about this in greater depth), the Indian style of presenting an argument is more aggressive and filled with absolutes than in some other cultures, which makes it harder to deal with art which requires an acknowledgement of varying tastes and interpretations. And there is the complication that pop culture has a clear class relationship and the critical class is not general the same as the class that watches movies. Which hasn’t been true in America since the 1920s.

I don’t really know what to do with all of this, besides pointing out that the same reality of the internet allowing commenters, twitterati, celebrities, and professional writers to have the same voice is true in India and America and has lead to this tipping point of criticism losing it’s meaning, but EVERYTHING ELSE about the two situations is different. It’s interesting to think about, isn’t it?

Now, much more fun to talk about, at least for me, Albie Dog!!!! In video form! Here he is playing with his new toy and then sneezing.

Here he is getting the zoomies and running across the room.

And finally, a poll! I still don’t like “Talia” as the portmanteau for “Tiger Shroff-Alia Bhatt”. Here are some alternatives:

  1. Tiglia
  2. Shratt
  3. Bhoff
  4. Alger

Which do you like best?

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10 thoughts on “Saturday Assortment: An Interesting Link, Albie Dog Videos, and a Poll

  1. That makes sense because I basically never agree with or have any use for either Western (non-academic, so journalistic) criticism, or Indian journalistic criticism, but in entirely different ways. But I never understand what it is that doesn’t work for me in either, when academic scholarship and blogs work fine for me.

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    • I stopped reading reviews in the west when the reviewers I trusted the most kind of disappeared. Ebert died, so that’s no one’s fault, but there were a lot of others that bounced from outlet to outlet until I lost track of them, or just seem to have stopped writing all together. Which is maybe what that article is getting at, the intelligent complex writers got scared off after film criticism turned into something everyone thought they could do and do better. At least that hasn’t happened in India, but instead it feels like the best writers are getting lost in the shuffle of everyone else.

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  2. “Film criticism appeared at the same time as social media”- what makes you say that? Critics such as Baradwaj Rangan, Shubhra Gupta etc were writing thought provoking pieces at least since the early 2000s or late 90s even. In fact their lament was that print media was not giving them enough column space.

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    • Yeah, that’s pretty much the same time, if you compare it with serious film criticism in America hitting the mainstream and raising to a new standard 40-50 years before social media. When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, we got 3 different newspapers every day and each of them had 2 dedicated movie reviewers writing long form reviews. I was curious, so I looked it up, and Baradwaj Rangan wrote his first review in 2003, before that he was 100% a journalist, no writing on film at all. Which isn’t just about him, but more that it wasn’t until 2003 that a newspaper said “hey, we should have someone writing high quality English language film reviews” and asked Rangan to do it. And then a year later Facebook launched, and Whatsapp a few years after that, and twitter, and so on. There was hardly time for reviewers to gain a voice and an audience before social media exploded.

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  3. *grin*…I like “Bhoff” because it sounds like the French “bof” which means “whatever” 😉

    I wasn’t even aware that film criticism is such a ‘new thing’ in Indian cinema, so thanks for enlighten me.

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