(published in) The Hindustan Times, 31 July, 2008
Posing poses, hiking haikus
While 'social porn'
is the latest fad, there
is a whole world
out there that swears
by the madness
-- and pithiness --
of onlike haikus
What do you think of the phrase 'social porn'? To give you a hint, it's one of the latest (well, a year-old) cyber development that has many up in arms. It is user-generated pornography – as against shot-in-the-studio porn – and is slowly, steadily becoming the next best thing after social networking. Why network based on hobbies when you can network based on your fishnet fetish?
Social porn is also the only development that has both feminist groups and the adult film industry people agreeing with each other: Both consider it bad news. If the feminists feel that 'social porn' will further encourage the portrayal of women as commodities (even if the women are happy posing for different angles?), the adult film industry is concerned that the commoditisation will not yield any moolah for them. For their respective reasons, both groups don't want 'social porn' to catch on. Fat chance given it's free and does not need downloads.
Other than social porn (sorry, family newspapers do not encourage porn-pandering so no links!) there's much else that's free on the Internet, particularly in the blogosphere. There is free advice on house-keeping. Or free music reviews, if you aren't already up to your ears with everyone and their grandpa dishing out what they think you should be listening to. Some people do it with style though. "It's not easy being a pretentious, posturing, egocentric, and elitist music snob. In part because there is so goddamn much popular music that it is hard to keep up," says Jason on Hipster Dork even as he takes a punch at Arctic Monkeys – and for those indie-lovers who gasped – at indie lovers.
If Jason's love for phrases like 'pleonastic pablum' put you off and if you are one of Those who insist blogging should have some meaning, some higher purpose, some greater good (etc, yawn, etc), check out Mad Haiku for a hard kick in the gut (or wherever else gives you the kicks). From a take on world peace, Pres Bush to erectile dysfunction, Mad Haiku has some, well, mad haiku on everything. It's best read under the influence of mind altering drugs, but of course you need a doctor's prescription for those. While the haiku's aren't recommended for sending to your girlfriend (unless she has a good sense of humour), you should try those on your boss (they never have a funny bone). Like the one on what the man in the moon really thinks: Full moon in the sky/ Beckons hauntingly/ Earth girls are easy!