Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thinking alike in the times of IPR

This post is probably coming too late. At least by six months. This is no opinion, but only an observation that I found very interesting.

Two ad campaigns that looked almost the same. Both titled 'Nature and Science'.

I noticed the Fiama Di Wills ads first. On hoardings in Delhi. It showed some plants growing in chemistry lab glasswares, and said Nature meets Science to give you gentle and effective care. (Fiama Di Wills is a soap/shampoo wing of ITC India. Deepika Padukone was one of their brand ambassadors).

Later I noticed another ad, in which there was a poorly animated robot and a grass-man as bodyguards to a school kid. I was wondering why the glassware gave way to a robot, but then I realized it was a Bournvita ad (Cadbury's).

It was interesting to see these two campaigns co-exist, in times when Intellectual Property has become obscenely imperative.

The Fiama shampoo bottles still carry a 'Nature & Science' logo. I guess the Bournvita bottles would be boasting of it as well.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beyond Violence and Non-violence

I feel bad I did not know about Balagopal till now. And I feel good that I got to know about this person now.
"K Balagopal (10.6.1952 - 8.10.2009) was a Indian civil rights activist and lawyer who was known for his work on the issue of civil liberties and human rights..", says Wikipedia.

My friend Bobby wrote on a mailing list, remembering Balagopal: "He dealt with victims of violence with uncanny sensitivity, the police and agents of violence with firmness and the media with tact."

Here is an article by Balagopal, Beyond Violence and Non-violence:

"The public arena is witness to dispirited discussion of the ineffectiveness of people’s movements, which are at the most able to slow down things, and nothing more. The discussion often turns around violence and non-violence, not as moral alternatives but as strategic options. Those who are sick of sitting on dharna after dharna to no effect are looking with some envy at violent options, while many who have come out of armed groups find the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) fascinating.

It is good that there is some openness in the matter now, for dogmatic attitudes have done considerable harm.." [You can read the complete article here]

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sorry, Tarantino

Inglourious Basterds was released today in cinema halls in India. Being a big fan of Quentin Tarantino, I went and saw it on the first day, and was hugely disappointed.

It was a good entertainer -- a typical Hollywood one at that -- which glorifies America/Americans. Like Independence Day, or even like James Bond movies. It is also a plain revenge movie. It does not really have anything that makes it special. Not in its content, not in its presentation. I wouldn't mind a 'plain' revenge movie from Tarantino (he has already done a lot of experimentation with presentation in his previous films, so it is ok if he just wants to tell a linerar story). But when the 'heroes' are Americans and also Jews, and when it comes out in 2009, I find it very very American and very very Israel.

The film also glorifies all the cruelties done on any German, and the audience is thrilled at every such act of cruelty on screen. There were people who said this is an intelligent film that makes fun of the war films and what not. I do not find much difference between them and Hitler (character in the film) watching German soldiers' war heroics on screen and saying this is superior filmmaking.

Sorry, Tarantino. You are better remembered for Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Or even for Death Proof. Or that one episode of Four Rooms.