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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Subbudu - A critic

A very worthy must watch documentary about this unique person.

 Preferably those above 50 years associated with Carnatic music or lived in Tamil Nadu between 60 to 90s.  
He represents a personification of candidness, conviction, courage and an uncompromising attitude.

One may not agree with all he says or all that he wrote. But he cemented the role of critic very well in music circles which were otherwise only wallowing in reciprocal praising and self congratulatory patting.
More importantly he also infused the need for necessary changes in tune with times without diluting the intrinsic quality.

Besides he always harked on the necessity of musicians and Rasikas to aesthetically appreciate the nuances of classism and also be updated on other aspects of life happening outside beyond getting cocooned in ritualistic traditions but insisted on retaining the classical aspects of music intact.

Even in my school and college days when I used to read him and later on when I  bumped into him in personal conversations twice he emphasized two things- come what may stick on to the essence of whatever you do/review and go ahead and say boldly and loudly what you feel with conviction and good intention and it does not matter how the other person takes it or interprets it. In way he was always hinting an attitude imbued with high egoism born out of conviction and care for standards like I often say 'those who like/understand what I say rise your hands and others please raise your standards'.

Here in this video those who have never come across his sharp tongue on various issues go through it even more sharper than his pen.

Of course he had such a huge impact and no one questioned his knowledge though they may have been hurt by his incisive criticism and sometimes unwarranted off the track pungent comments not in good taste.

In this video he rips apart the music academy hypocrisy, the migration of NRI audience, caste dominance, money and many more in his own style.

Though I would personally  prefer delivering a more refined and diplomatically worded criticism camouflaged as suggestion because pricking the pride of any performer be it a child, cook, artist, scientist, dancer may result invariably in rough reactions  which they may openly manifest  or fumble with silent sulkiness or feeble frustrations all of which create a overall negative impact.
Passion bridled with moderation is better received and also motives interest, involvement and attempts to understand otherwise it may create impact but may not be long lasting or motivating.

Unbridled passion can sometimes act like an inebriated individual out of control.
In The science behind “Everything in moderation” by Alan Cohen
“We’ve all the heard the famous quote “Everything in moderation, including moderation” (attributed variously to Oscar Wilde, Horace Porter, and Petronius), and it probably strikes most of us as good advice. Of course, we can’t apply it too broadly: certain things are better in less than moderation (cyanide and genocide, for example) while others should be taken in more than moderation (walks in the woods and Cirque du Soleil performances come to mind). But is there any real reason to believe the principle is more than an old wives’ tale?” and some also say this saying on moderation is from  Buddha, contained in 2,500 year old religious texts pre-dating Petronius by 600 years, carved into temple walls 100 years before Oscar Wilde was born

The gems from Oscar Wilde
 “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
“To be great is to be misunderstood.”
“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”
“To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.”
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
“I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.”
“Talent borrows, genius steals.”
“Life is too important to be taken seriously.”
"Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected."
“Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.”
“I have nothing to declare except my genius.”
“There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about.”
“I was very much disappointed in the Atlantic Ocean. It was very tame. I expected to have it roar about and be beautiful in its storms. I was disappointed in it.”
“Niagara Falls seemed to me to be simply a vast, unnecessary amount of water going the wrong way.”
“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”
“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”
“Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.”
“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.”
“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

16th topic Media & Cultural Studies looks scary because present day main stream media has neither values nor knows anything about culture nor do they bother to study any subject .

 So best option is to encourage a mush room of non controversial and non confrontational multiple social media networks, if possible webcasting portals, small newspapers, if possible some TV channels etc with very attractive educative and science based programs, all types of entertainment from across the globe and intersperse the programs with cultural values, ideas, concepts etc that you want to impart without hurting and antagonizing any one or any group.

There are many subtle and discrete ways of doing things rather than rushing in blurting brash comments on media networks who will selectively cherry pick some words and zoom and blow them out of proportion.

17th topic is interesting but then writing involves  passion but that must be toned well with  certain amount of moderation to ensure long term sustenance in literature or to become useful manuals of reference for various circumstances and situations in life with  long term value like some scriptures, well documented concepts, speeches, thoughts, ideas, philosophies etc

On the whole for the benefit of those who cannot attend please try to post if possible both videos as well as texts/scripts of speeches

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