Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meta - What does this mean?

The Hindu has this movie reviewer by the name Bharadwaj Rangan, who along with the venerable Nirmal Shekar kind of embody what the Hindu is all about. Serious writing from people who take their jobs seriously, with the one fallout being that often they take themselves too seriously and end up reminding us of Clevinger (go on, look that up. An article about writers from the Hindu where I do not show off that I read a lot. Now that would just not be fitting, would it?)

Recently, Mr Rangan has been on a Meta-binge. Now I am not implying he has binge-ing on himself, but that he has been using the term Meta for every single movie review. May be he has a wager on or something. Mr. Rangan has called the following movies meta - Jigarthanda, Kallapadam, Utamma Villain, Kathai Thiraikadhai, Enakkul Oruvan.  About Enakkul Oruvan, he says

But in Enakkul Oruvan , which is about the blurring lines between Vicky and Vignesh, this portrayal results in some interesting (if inadvertent) meta-commentary. 

As much as the film is about Vicky and Vignesh, it also functions as a chronicle of Siddharth’s attempts to be seen as the actor who’s more than just the Kadhalil Sodhappuvadhu Yeppadi guy, the Rang De Basanti guy. Make-believe spills into reality in more ways than one.

The movie is said to be meta because it is interpreted as a narrative on Siddharth's acting career by Siddarth. You could not make this up. It is a reasonable assumption that Siddarth or the movie director did not think along these lines. These are the times when one wishes that the writers at the Hindu felt a little less pressure to revel in the beauty of their own insights. 

Any and all self-references are not meta. Otherwise, every Rajnikant  movie would be Meta.

Anyway, this made me think about all the Meta related terms that we could coin. Have a go at these, let us see how much you can score

Let us start with a simple example - 
While having a cone icecream, your tongue accidentally touches your finger. Therefore you get a ___ taste. 
Answer - Metallic

Scroll down for answers

1. Labeling every digital footprint with your own name in the hope of being scrolled
2. Some dramatic change in the path to self-discovery
3. Using onself as a figure of speech to draw an analogy 
4. To grow as an individual by looking inwards
5. What do we call the process of speaking to oneself in Hindi throughout? 
6. If self-loathing reaches a point where one hits oneself, this would be?
7. What branch of engg does start to hate one self

1. Meta-tagging, 2. Metamorphosis 3. Metaphor 4. Metastasize 5. Meta-bol-ism 6. Meta-physical and 7. Met- allergy (although I cannot think of any branch of Engineering where one wouldn't hate oneself)

Jokes apart, I would rather have writers who take their jobs seriously, than those who dont. This is why I still subscribe to the Hindu. I just hope that the people at the Hindu read this quote from Thomas P O'Neill - "Take your job seriously, but dont take yourself seriously." 

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