Mare Of Easttown: A middling murder mystery, elevated by strong performances and good drama.

Watching Mare of Easttown is a lot like watching Broadchurch, both series are murder mysteries set in a small town, both have a detective that’s acquainted with everyone else in the town, and both have someone from out of town coming in to assist with the case, the similarities don’t just end there, but further elaboration would spoil some important elements of the story. This comparison is by no means to say that MOE is lazily plagiarized from the British television series, it is just that the similarities are quite striking that its hard to ignore, maybe these are common tropes in a lot of murder mysteries?

Mare of Easttown is a lot more darker in its tone, there is a sense of bleakness that dwells throughout the episodes, something which I think Mare of Easttown did a lot better than Broadchurch, this is partly due to Craig Zobel’s directing, and Kate Winslet’s exceptional acting prowess (I think her performance will definitely land among the Top 5 performances of this year).

One thing that this series did right was none of the characters in this series were written in such a way that they were prone to speaking ambiguously, or avoiding confrontation in order for the suspense to drag further, each episode ends with a strong cliffhanger and is acknowledged in the next episode without dragging it out for the sake of it, the episode in the penultimate episode, for example is as big a cliffhanger as a Game of Thrones cliffhanger.

However…there are some things at the end that stick out like a sore thumb, the writing in this series is prone to red herrings without any decent payoffs, this is something that I guess most viewers didn’t criticize because of its weekly format, a gap of one week between each episode must have left them less critical of such things (I had binged six of the seven episodes, and only had to wait a day before I could watch the seventh). There are parts where some of the characters overreact to certain things, or are deliberately furtive with motives that make little sense, the series even shows a scene with an exchange between two people crafted purely for tricking the audience into assuming something else.

Maybe upon a rewatch one could find more such things, I don’t know how things work in a murder mystery, but I personally don’t like it when red herrings do not serve any strong purpose to the story other than acting like red herrings. In the end, when the mystery is resolved you are left slightly impressed by the subversion of certain things, but are left disappointed with how you’ve been fooled in the previous episodes about certain things.

I suspect it’s hard for a murder mystery to maintain a strong ending when it peaks at its 5th episode.

(The fifth episode titled ‘Illusions’ has an excellent arc to it with ends a shocking twist)

Now, that being said, Mare of Easttown is by no means a bad show, it has well written characters, and interesting family dynamics, it explores the grief of losing someone in a fresh way that keeps us rooting for some of the characters even in their worst behavior; this is something Brad Ingelsby is notably good at, few days back I chanced upon Our Friend, a cancer-drama written by him, which I felt was an exceptionally written drama film, and is merely a little short of being a classic as far as the genre is concerned.

Maybe in the future, this writer will come up with something better written in the murder mystery genre, but until then MOE will be more of a good drama to me than a murder mystery.

Why Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ is a reminder that there is no artist like him in this generation

The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent lockdown impact on the world had left many media artists and live performers confused about their productivity within the confines of four walls; while many musicians, comedians, and filmmakers eventually adapted themselves to whatever technology had to offer to bring forth their art, some decided to either recede until things get back to normal, and some decided to proceed with their work by following necessary conduct to ensure safety; some even integrated the pandemic events within their creative work, in all three types of these works there’s a palpable sense of the restrictions which affected their output, but nevertheless because of the nature of the situation, we can’t help but be forgiving of the cracks that show.

When Bo Burnham made his surprise announcement about this special, I was pleasantly surprised but I didn’t find myself getting excited enough to watch it, maybe because it was mentioned as something that he had made during lockdown I assumed it’d just be him performing before a camera in his room; I was getting fatigued by the “lockdown” content so I didn’t give it much thought… I really wasn’t in the mood to see more scenes of unshaved beards, and brooding people staring out the window, to showcase their declining mental health.

Yesterday, I finally decided to watch it only because I had a bit of time I could waste before going to bed; about ten minutes into this and I had already begun cursing myself for my skepticism towards this special, it hardly took Bo Burnham ten minutes to remind you why he’s one of the most exciting artists of this generation- Bo Burnham uses his new found confidence as a filmmaker to complete use in this 90 minute special, the minimal one house setting, doesn’t hinder his performance in any way, in fact it only manages to make for a wholly unique “lockdown-influenced” media that could only be made by Bo Burnham as it complements perfectly with his style of art.

For example, the elaborate lighting effects that are a signature part of his stage performances and cannot be put together in a small setting are replaced with the use of projectors, cameras with various lenses, and comparatively minimal lighting set-ups; given the pre-recorded nature of this special, Bo also plays around with aspect-ratios, and zoom ins and zoom outs measuredly, there’s a small bit where he uses the 9:16 aspect ratio and dark lighting to satirize the ‘aesthetic’ wave that’s currently the buzz on Instagram, there’s an excellent montage that plays when he performs a song titled ‘White Woman’s Instagram’, a bang-on parody like this could only be possible when pre-recorded.

Inside has Bo Burnham shine again with catchy tunes and sharp lyrics that act as social commentary, however with respect to themes there’s not much that he explores considering how much the world has changed since his last special, he acknowledges that the special is “all over the place” and there are occasional allusions to the creative blocks that he kept facing by ‘Trying to be funny when stuck in a room’ .. this special covers more or less the same themes that Bo had covered in his previous specials, but in no way do they feel similar, as the approach to the themes are very different, take for example, the final song Hands Up (Eyes On Me) covers his anxieties of stage fear similar to Can’t Handle this Right now from ‘Make Happy’ but while Make Happy had grand lighting to elevate the song, Hands Up uses a projector, minimalistic overlay effects and a handheld camera to elevate his performance.

Inside, like every other special of Bo Burnham has a song about the growing attention economy and the dangerous consequences of social media on its users, this one too has an excellent number called Welcome to the Internet, which is probably the best one out of all the songs he’s made related to this theme.

Watching this special left me with an overwhelming sense of veneration for the talent that this man possesses, this man not only ideated something so unique, but even wrote, shot, edited, and set-up all of this on his own and yet managed to create something of such supreme quality; while many ‘lockdown-influenced’ products are seen as decent attempts, this man has made something that could arguably be even better than his previous works wihch was made when there was no pandemic to come in the way of his art.

One would assume that a five year break, an acting career, and directing a critically acclaimed film would make a diminishing impact on his original style, but Bo Burnham seems to have only gotten bigger and better, in fact he even sounds better, his singing skills have developed, he has explored more genres of music, (more noticeably a great use of synthwave) while still maintaining the same level of sharp wit in his lyrics… mind you, this is all done by him within six months, whilst ‘Trying to be funny when stuck in a room’ ..

Near the beginning he addresses the question about the relevance for comedy during these times through a song called Healing The World Through Comedy, which is a biting mockery at comedians, the relevance of comedians in this society, and the importance with which we view them.

All of Bo Burnham’s specials have never been too serious, they have always had a self-aware, zany, and ludicrous approach even when dealing with political or existential themes, somehow Bo Burnham has never fallen trap to criticism or ‘getting cancelled’, most comedians today are either fully involved with their shtick of being disappointed with the current “PC culture” or are ‘woke’ comedians who have resorted to ‘political correct’ comedy which they describe as “punching up and not down”.. Take for example, Sacha Baron Cohen, his first Borat film, and The Dictator would have run into many controversies if it were to be released in the present day, with the Borat sequel, you notice a significant shift in the way the film has been written, while its still edgy and maintains the weirdness of a Borat film, it’s a more culturally aware film that is aware of the risks of being “too edgy” in the current political climate.

Bo Burnham feels the same, it’s the same honesty of the skinny guy with the steadily declining mental health’ who lets himself become vulnerable in his art, and gives the audience the privilege to witness it, every special of Bo Burnham has had this theme where he acknowledges the questions that plague his mind through his creative process, by doing so his art feels more honest, and manages to influence us the way it does, this is a quality which I feel is rare among today’s mainstreams artists, any film, any song, I come across no matter how excellently made they are, it doesn’t manage to hit the way the work of an honest artist would do.

I feel like today’s popular comedians especially lack that quality, a good example would be the recent controversy of some Indian comedians getting cancelled for some jokes they’ve made in the past before they realized that the audience they cater to has gotten overwhelmingly liberal, and therefore they must evolve to those senses too, it’s like they are stuck in a weird place between being seen as intellectual or facetious, and as a result, most of the comedians end up having more or less the same style of comedy, to the point that they all sound similar, as if manufactured, there’s barely anyone who stands out, and those who do are mostly the ones that have always worked in the genre of anecdotal comedy like Abhishek Upmanyu, Anubhav Singh Bassi, Zakir Khan etc.

Internationally, I can think of Bill Burr, Phoebe Waller Bridge, Louis CK, who have an honest approach to the themes that they explore in a way that makes them relatable, Bill Burr is the only comedian who has gone on tirades about PC comedy, and still managed to come out relatively unhurt in his career due to the facetiousness and honesty in which he approaches the themes, Phoebe Waller Bridge, in Fleabag approaches the idea of guilt and self-hate with empathy, Louis CK too, addresses similar topics with his show ‘Louie’ and stand up comedy, he however got cancelled for different reasons (multiple accusations of sexual misconduct).

I do not mean to say that only honesty and vulnerability makes for great art, I only mean to say that in a world that is so obsessed with ‘content’, it is so rare for an artist like this to stand out in a way, not only in on a technical level but also to feel relatable.

Watching this made me wonder what the hell am I even doing with my life, knowing that a juggernaut performer like Bo Burnham exists who is so far advanced in his craft at such a young age, and I am about to finish my post graduation in a degree I have no interest in. Here is a man who didn’t let the lockdown come in the way of his art, used the limitations of it to a great effect, and managed to surpass his previous work.. (sure, having lots of money must have played a huge role in that) and here I am who has just been loafing around all my life.

Thanks for reading.

Victor.

Bo Burnham’s Inside is currently streaming on Netflix.

‘Man Seeking Woman’ : An exciting surrealistic comedy series you probably never heard of.

[To avoid spoilers as much as I can I am not going to divulge anything even remotely important to the story ]

A surrealistic comedy that takes a satirical look at modern day courtship

After getting tired of watching a slew of depressing dramas and conventional sitcoms I began looking for shows that were relatively unheard of, I got onto r/television, where I usually check out television news and discussions regarding shows I watch, I looked up the word ‘underrated’ in the subreddit and came across a few interesting titles like 12 Monkeys, Trial & Error etc. Man Seeking Woman was a series I decided to try out first because from the title, it seemed like an easy sitcom to sit through and it didn’t have too many episodes, I was also familiar with Jay Baruchel’s work in films so maybe that played a part in my decision; I hadn’t seen the trailer, nor had I looked at the description of the show, and judging by the title I assumed it was going to be a typical ‘Awkward guy having trouble finding love’ type of comedy, probably a longer version of Jay’s 2010 film ‘She’s Out Of My League‘.

But within about five minutes into the first episode, I was a bit puzzled about what was happening, after getting dumped by his girlfriend of four years, Josh Greenberg, the protagonist, a man in his late 20s is in a restaurant sitting before a ‘troll’ (in the literal sense of the word), owing to a blind date set up by his sister, it doesn’t end well, because of something insensitive muttered by Josh, and he ends up having to save himself from getting eaten up by the troll; later in the episode he ends up attending a party thrown at his ex’s house hoping to win her back, but to his surprise he discovers that she has moved on quickly and is now dating Hitler, who’s apparently still alive.

Lasting for merely three seasons, with ten episodes in each season, and every episode lasting not longer than 25 minutes, MSW takes an overfamiliar premise and treats it with a surrealist approach, there are instances and storylines in this series every millennial can relate with, like the anxieties that come up with sending a text to a person you like, or the paranoia that comes with dealing with a partner who has a suspiciously close friend from the opposite sex. In the former case, the scenario is dealt with a blockbuster Hollywood style meeting between high-ranking military officers facing a global crisis, and in the case of the latter, Josh has to deal with his girlfriend’s male best friend who’s an alien from Japan and has a body shaped like a mix between a penis-head and an octopus, and has penises for arms.

Like most shows like this, it’s often the supporting characters that carry the show, in the case of MSW too, despite the wild scenarios that Josh faces, the constant people in his life, like his sister Liz, who’s an overachiever (played wonderfully by Britt Lower), his eccentric best friend, Mike (played by Eric Andre), and his peculiar parents – an overly concerned mother (Robin Duke) and shady but endearing step-father (played by Mark McKinney) are the ones that add a strong presence to the show.

Despite its light-hearted tone, the series doesn’t shy away from entering into uncomfortable territories in its most painfully relatable moments, but even these scenarios are dealt with surrealism and funniness, by doing so it helps the audience feel a little better about themselves and to have a laugh or two about their insecurities.

Personally, Josh has been one of the most, if not the most relatable character for me, so maybe my praise for this show comes from a bit of personal bias, you might not find the show to be extraordinarily great like Atlanta (another show that often enters surreal territory, but still tries to be realistic), or consistently funny like Schitt’s Creek, some of the jokes in the episodes are hit-or-miss, but it’s never not interesting, as viewers we are always left wondering what new crisis is Josh going to face in an episode, and what absurd scenario will he find himself in to deal with that.

Despite how much the writers like to put Josh through hell, (even literally in one episode) the show doesn’t like to indulge too much in ‘cringe’ situations, like Louie or Ramy, the characters in this show often find themselves doing things they are not proud of, but they are all well-intentioned people and are often merely victims of immaturity or circumstances which they realize by the end of the episode. A show like Atlanta, or Louie would push these characters to becoming increasingly dislikeable, to make the viewers increasingly uncomfortable, but after a point one can only take so much bleakness, especially considering the state of the world right now.

MSW is a show that came too soon and aired on a network that didn’t help much with its exposure, if it were to release today it would have been an instant hit, I am surprised it lasted for three seasons, as there’s very little discussion about in even on online forums, generally you’d expect fans of underrated series to be at least having small but active discussions on the internet, but this series sadly couldn’t even get enough exposure for that; one of the top posts in the subreddit for this series is a mod post made two years ago in capital letters “THIS SUB IS FOR A NOW ENDED TV SHOW, NOT FOR ACTUAL DATING”. The subreddit has less than 2k followers and the top “hot” post is a link to an article written five months ago.

The creator had planned to keep it going for another season which would be its last, but unfortunately the network abruptly pulled the plug on it after Season 3. Despite lasting for three seasons, the season three finale felt fitting for the most part, despite some arcs being left incomplete.

In 2021, four years after its last episode aired, it seems impossible for a revival, but if a large streaming site like Netflix picks it maybe it will get the viewership and love it deserves.

The first season is its least exciting season in comparison to the other two, but stick with it till the end, you won’t regret it.

Give it a try if you are looking for something new and exciting to watch, what’s to lose?

Thanks for reading.

Yours,

Victor.

I recovered from Coronavirus, but the ‘LongCovid’ still persists to unhinge my life.

5:00 a.m.

Firstly, I want to apologize if this rant comes across as tone deaf, because compared to what the people of our country are facing right now this is hardly significant. However, I do feel like I need to write this down because this is something that is hardly talked about, and although seemingly rare needs to be discussed nevertheless.

I tested negative on March 30th, however all of my mild symptoms had disappeared around the 10th day of my self-quarantine which was 26th of March. Throughout the quarantine period, I suffered fatigue, headache, body pains, random chest pains, breathing trouble, fever, and high pulse rate, but nothing severe enough to make me consider admitting myself into a hospital.

Although I tested negative, my chest pains kept occurring sporadically, and I felt exhausted merely by walking down or climbing up a flight of stairs, I was advised by the doctor to continue with my medicines, which were Vitamin Tablets. He said these pains will continue for about a month, and I have nothing to worry about and I must keep taking those tablets, and in case these pains do not go away I must contact him.

That was the last conversation I had with my doctor, and not much has changed since then. The fatigue has reduced a little, I don’t get easily tired when climbing down a flight of stairs (but to repeat the process in succession, however will have me faint).

But the occasional chest pains do occur at the most random of times, with a sharp wave of pain, my sleep cycle has been terribly ruined because I can’t get myself to sleep at nights, two days ago was when I had my first proper sleep in weeks, or else it’s just me staying up until sunrise and falling asleep at around 7 or 8 in the morning, which doesn’t last for more than three hours, and as a result, I have missed out on so many of my classes.

And when I wake up from sleep I am always met with a high pulse rate, sometimes reaching until 160 even when I am sitting idle; I also experience shortness of breath frequently, my lack of proper sleep has caused body pains, this unhealthy lifestyle has then contributed to me absolutely not being able to pay attention to anything going on in my classes.

My professors have been considerate enough to understand my situation and give me extensions for deadlines, attendance was never a mandatory thing, so it was never a compulsion to attend, however my absence from class is noticed, my lack of interaction is noted down by the professors who grade based on class interactions.

How am I supposed to explain to them that I am missing classes because I haven’t been able to catch sleep at most nights? How am I supposed to explain to them that I am sometimes so fatigued and breathless to the point that I couldn’t care less about what was being discussed in class? or sometimes even attend them.

I have gotten tired of explaining to people that I am not still COVID positive, but have recovered from it, and the after-effects are what are bothering me. But I don’t blame them for not being able to grasp it, because the after-effects of COVID-19 are hardly talked about, so it might not be an easy thing to grasp, moreover it seems like it’s rare (none of the people I personally know have spoken about it, I wasn’t even aware of it, until I experienced it myself)

The next time I ask professors for an extension, I don’t know what to say to them except that I am not feeling well, which has become such a common reason that they can hardly understand the severity of my problems.

Today, I want to attend a class that I will have at 9:30 a.m. in the morning, but if I fall asleep before that I might miss it again, and the professor would get mad, but understandably so.

The 30 days time period that my doctor mentioned to me will end next week, I will contact him if I am not okay by next week, albeit with the crisis that Hyderabad doctors are facing right now, I doubt he will be of any help.

I hope there’s at least some form of acknowledgement at least sometime in the future when there’s enough research done about this, but until now I will have to make do with an unofficial hashtag #LongCovid to term whatever I am dealing with now as, and it’s just not serious enough for professors to take notice.

Yours,

Victor

HOW DO YOU FOLKS MANAGE TO ENJOY BEING ON INSTAGRAM?!

Call it Internet fatigue or whatever but the past few days on social media, particularly Instagram has led me to seriously question if I am normal. I am not much of an active user on Instagram, but whenever I am, for some reason I feel like it is stuck in a strange loop, it’s the same events every time I login- I swipe through the stories, which are either reposts of memes I have seen, some ‘reels’ which are neither laugh-out-loud funny nor painfully unfunny, they are just the kind of jokes that make you look at them and half-chuckle in your mind, when it’s not reels that I am looking at, it’s some long rant about some controversy of the week which I will read and often times wonder why I bother wasting my time or I’d feel like I learned something and then forget about it the moment I swipe past. Sure, there are pictures and posts of my friends posting about what’s going on their lives, which I enjoy seeing, but looking at them also makes me feel strange about my relationship with them. There are people I haven’t talked to in a year, and somehow I am in their ‘close friends’ list. There are people I initiate conversations with but there’s only so much you can talk through apps, most of the conversations either end up with people ‘seen-zoning’ me, or merely ‘liking’ the message to imply that they don’t want the conversation to move forward, which I totally get. (Social media is hardly a place to have proper conversations).

To shake this weird feeling off I finally decided to look at my list of “following” and “followers”, and see if I can filter it out a bit. I realized that there are barely five people in the list that I’ve had a vis-a-vis conversation with in the past year, and at least ten people with whom I have Whatsapped a little, and the others mostly consist of faces I have briefly seen in my life, people who hate my guts, or Internet friends that I made on Facebook.

The natural course of action would be to remove the people who hate my guts, but that felt weird too because if I remove them, that would seem like I am being salty, but if I keep them I’ll only be adding to their amusement, because I am pretty sure the only reason I am in their list is for them to judge me for the shit I post.

The five people I have Whatsapp-ed with and the ten people who I have met in the past year, couldn’t give two shits about what’s going in my life, so posting on Instagram seemed pointless too. So, I settled with reposting memes to amuse my followers, or by sharing the creative works that some of the people in my list post, at least my Instagram will be useful in helping them get more views.

But the uneasiness still didn’t leave me, I’d still feel clueless on the app. So, I went ahead and asked a few people (the same people I mentioned having been in touch with in the last year) about why they use Instagram so much, to my surprise even they complained about hating it and being left with a bad mood after using it, but they simply couldn’t stop using it. It is then that I noticed that Instagram had turned into one of those things that one does when merely looking away from something for a bit; before the Internet took over the world, people used to look outside the window for a few seconds when they briefly wanted to pause their work, or they would just stare at the ceiling, or simply sit idle, but today those habits are replaced with people picking up their phones to look at Instagram and guess what? It’s making them feel worse.

Sure, Instagram is primarily an image-sharing site, and with the growing numbers of influencers, and e-boys, e-girls culture, it’s bound to make some people feel insecure too, but that’s a discussion for another day.

What I am interested in is merely the act of opening the app when not even really wanting to open it.

I noticed that nobody really cares about at least more than half of the people on their list, and people barely notice what anyone has posted about their lives. Sure, there’s the occasional raised eye-brows if someone posts about something very significant, like someone doing exceptionally well in life, or if somebody got an atrocious haircut and doesn’t realize it, but the curiosity towards each other has only been limited to these levels.

Seeing all this reminded me of a quote that I once heard but perfectly sums up this current scenario, it was a quote by Sam Esmail, the creator of this amazing series called “Mr. Robot”, he said something like “Social media merely gives you the illusion that you are in touch with people, you see their names and posts on your feed and think “hey, I see their posts, I am still in touch with them” but that’s hardly a relationship…. it’s because of this behavior that a lot of us are aching from loneliness deep down and don’t even realize it”

Now there’s obviously a counter-argument to that, some people have strengthened their friendships online, some have even made friends online, but do these online relationships really fill the primal need for man to socialize? And I mean not build circles on social media, but socialize in a more raw form- like being close to people physically, experiencing their touch, the way the sound when they laugh, etc. Speaking from experience, my online friendships have been nothing but a fun ride, I have met some really amazing people online, I spend a lot of time on Facebook, but once the phone is kept aside, deep down the void in my “socialization meter” still remains, all the time I spend interacting with people online does make me feel good for a bit, but it’s more amusement than the feeling of socializing.

I feel like a lot of us today confuse this amusement with socializing, and this leads to an unhealthy coping mechanism like relying on Instagram to fill that void. Once I realized this, I deactivated my account. I am not saying I would never be back on Instagram, I definitely would (it’s next to impossible to completely avoid something that literally everyone in your circles are indulging in most of their time), but by then I would hopefully learn what to do with my account and not get sucked into the overindulgence that everyone else is engaging in.

I tried using Twitter, but the less spoke about that site, the better.

Until then I am fine with Facebook and Whatsapp.

I know that Facebook is also something that can be debated about and called as something as shitty as Instagram but hear me out here, Facebook is as much of a text site, as much as it is a site for pictures and videos. Instagram is primarily a site for images, and then comes videos and texts, so naturally a site filled with so many faces is bound to make you feel a false sense of connections with these many people. My social interactions on Facebook are next to none, there’s barely anyone posting about their lives, it’s always memes, or jokes, most of the people in my friends list are people who have no interest in anything beyond making jokes, the whole culture has such an ironic vibe to it that there’s barely any chance for even the illusion of closeness with one another.

And as for Whatsapp, I am sure the day I abandon the app I won’t just lose contact with the five people on Whatsapp, but also another five from the people I have met face-to-face recently.

Such is the influence of social media in our lives, one can’t even fully get rid of it.

Even making a call is something that’s supremely weird to most people these days, and I am guilty of it too sometimes, and I fully blame this on how accessible social media has made communication.

There are some friends I’d like to randomly call on the phone but doing so would only strain our relationship if anything, they’d consider me a weirdo for not just texting them.

Thirty years ago, if you’d randomly call an acquaintance on the phone, or send them a mail, it would be considered endearing rather than weird, but in today’s world we are so fatigued by this ‘false-socialization’ that we sometimes wait hours, days, even months to open a text from a person that’s hanging around in the chat box simply because we just don’t have the energy to have a conversation.

I know I might be seeming like a strange hybrid of a hipster and a boomer, by romanticizing the old-fashioned ways and blaming today’s culture, but that’s okay. This was a rant, and I feel good after letting it out.

If you are reading this, I hope you take something from it, and if you read it, and it made you think, and then you forget about it the moment you close the tab, I wouldn’t blame you for it. I get it.

Yours,

Victor.

The blog is ‘official’ now. (I guess).

This post is just an attempt to restart my blog, I deleted my old posts because I wanted a fresh start. If you are one among my ten benevolent followers you might have noticed the slight change in the website address. You can now access this site directly by typing my name and adding a ‘.com’ to the end of it instead of pulpymasala.wordpress.com.

And as you can notice this blog is still a work in progress in terms of design and customization, so sorry if the design and layout feels a little weird, I figured I’d fill this blog up with a couple of posts first and then think about the look of this blog, that way it’s also a more accurate way to know what the blog will look like, because it’s difficult to gauge the design when there’s no posts.

I bought this domain because this way the blog feels professional, and it also works for me as a smack in the head to take this seriously and push me to write. It’s almost 3 a.m. as I am writing this, I had been feeling low yesterday because my classes were supposed to start, but my department postponed it to the 20th, they did however send me a couple of documents and called it a ‘welcome kit’ so that it would seem appealing, but no matter how you disguise it it’s still a bunch of PDFs, and Word documents which instantly triggers memories of past trauma with online classes and loads of assignments. This ‘welcome kit’ had course descriptions of the courses I will be having in my first semester, and a PowerPoint presentation about the grade allotment system, the ppt was made with red color and bold font, this was either tone-deafness by whoever made it, or a sick way of making us feel more intimidated about the grades.

The courses that were offered to me this semester seemed fine, except one course which is Audio/Video production, the course description mentioned the need for a laptop and mobile phone, and also described the things that are supposed to be taught to us, and these involved camera angles, video editing, audio recording and shooting. This annoyed me further because this whole course is the kind that requires practical experience, and teaching that doesn’t involve someone instructing you through your laptop screen. This is making me wonder if this whole course is going to be slapdash, because pandemic has terribly messed up traditional classrooms anyway, and this is the kind of course that can’t really be taught online, is my department merely trying to rush through the semester? And if this pandemic situation gets worse, is this going to be the case with me for this entire academic year? or worse will my entire postgraduate experience will be done online? Maybe I am sounding too entitled, but it’s so sad how people getting into new universities or colleges are missing out on the ‘fresher’ experience- a new place, new people, new experiences. With this pandemic, it’s just going to be the same boring bedroom, but new faces, and these new faces will be of new professors, who are well, still professors. There’s barely going to be any interaction with new batchmates, everyone’s already too tired of online conversations (or is it just me?) and online conversations are no replacement for real life interactions.

If there’s one thing I am seriously hoping would occur after this pandemic is for people to finally get tired of staring at their phones and finding interest in socializing with people in the old school and natural way – vis-a-vis. Which is ironic because the department I joined into is about digital media and that’s basically a subject on what and how to keep people hooked to their screens.

Anyway, I will keep you posted and will let you know if I come across anything interesting.

Thanks for reading! and Welcome to my blog (again!).