'Chill uncle, it's easy to do!'

Oct 14, 2012, 08:28 IST | Rahul da Cunha

We're going mad. Seriously we are. I'm sitting in a caf � � The West Indies have won the T20 World Cup

The victorious team have abandoned their traditional free flowing calypso for a truly idiotic Korean move called Gangnam Style — a weird dance nestled clumsily between a Bruce Lee karate kick and a Messi dribble. Gangnam style has rocked our world. YouTube is out of control.

A rowdy battalion of teenagers around me are matching Chris Gayle, bounding around the café.

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

‘Why do you like it?, I ask one of the teenagers, horrified.

He looks at me like I’m Shrek.

“Because it’s so easy to do, uncle, obviously”

Another one condescendingly tells me, “Think of it like the Kolaveri Di of dance movements. Come dude, join in, even you at your age can do it”
I give him a dirty look.

First of all I hate being called ‘uncle’. And second, ‘easy to do”, what does that mean, “easy to do”.

Sorry, call me old-fashioned, call me out of date, but if a childlike tune like Kolaveri Di and a inane dance like Gangnam Style can get the millions of YouTube hits they have, we’re facing a true cultural crisis.

“Arre uncle, why are you taking this so seriously, just chill, it’s only a dance, ya.”

Easy to do? When did Led Zeppellin write songs so every guitarist could instantly follow Jimmy Page. Or Ravi Shankar thinking to himself, “Sitar in three easy steps”.

Just take dance. 1978. Saturday Night Fever. And John Travolta boogeying his way into modern dance folklore with The Bee Gees’ hit “You Should Be Dancing”. As teenagers we sat in a darkened New Empire, watching this magical man with his magical steps.

In Bombay discos, young hipsters would attempt his moves and end up with hip fractures.

Man, early Michael Jackson. No one dared Moonwalking, except Prabhudeva.

“Arre uncle, times have changed, in your time, everything was intense, complicated lyrics, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, as audiences we had to listen, watch, no involvement. Now it’s all inclusive’.”

“Ya man, who has the time for all that, he want a hit song for this week. By next week, we’ll be tired of this one…and a new one will come, today’s mantra is simplify.”

But when did simplify mean dumbed down?
And what about the artistes?They’re thinking, no pressure, no full album to write, one hit song is enough, one clumsy dance step, repeated fifty times is sufficient, easy peasy

When did we lose complex? When do we lose intricate ? When did we lose patience ?

We did we start demanding instant gratification?

When did our lives become Gangnam Style?

When did we become unplugged without the skill?

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper. 

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