Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dude....

As some of you know, I've been writing Op-Ed columns for The Express Tribune. Most of my articles have been, well pretty shitty by my standards. I feel like I've been playing it too safe, and a lot of the humor I'm trying to put across didn't get conveyed properly.My fellow writer Sami Shah feels that since I can't use the word "choot" in any of the articles, I've lost my writing ability. He may be on to something. Which is why I return to my choot blog.

So recently I wrote what I thought was a fairly innocuous article regarding "burgers". If you aren't familiar with the term, a "burger" is a mildly derogatory term for a person who is Pakistani but acts Western, i.e. listens to only western music, wears only western clothes, watches only English movies and speaks only in English, usually with a heavy American accent. Anything labelled "burger" in Pakistan is deemed to lack credibility because it/he/she is "out of touch' with the "masses" and "elitist". With the growth of the Internet and greater exposure average Pakistanis have to the world, this culture gap seems to be closing.

I realize that I would be a poster child for the so called "burger" section of society, and I have embraced this label. I thought it would be pretty funny to write an article from the point of view as a burger being part of a persecuted minority. Now as most of you smart people know, this is an obviously ridiculous premise. So I decided to have some fun with it mostly poking fun at myself and people I know.

Here's the article

As of the time of this writing, it now has 83 comments

Holy fucking shit. What is wrong with people?

You mean to tell me that my dumbass article about BURGERS AND MAILAS got 8 times more comments than Talat Hussain's FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF BEING ON THE FLOTILLA where he GOT SHOT AT BY ISRAELI FUCKING COMMANDOS (I hereby will refer to Talat Hussain as "Flot-Zilla" from now on).

I sincerely thought I would get a couple of chuckles and the usual stupid comments from the readers who didn't get the joke. And sure it's the internet, people are born to be mean on it. But 83 comments? Its a tsunami of stupidity. Go ahead and read them, it'll make your head explode.

Sure I get some comments from people who appreciated the article for what it was, a light, brainless bit of fun. Sure some people just thought it was plain boring and stupid. Fair enough.
But MOST people decided it was the fucking coming of the Antichrist, accusing me of trying to incite class divide, being elitist, hating Pakistan, trying to keep the common man down, starting a war against Urdu etc.

Then there's people who claim to know me...."I used to think you were an OK guy OBA...until I read this article.....". What?? How did you think I was an OK guy? Because you read a bunch of dick jokes on my blog?

Then there's this gem

"the differenciation your trying to create is really making people like you not fit for this country,you are living in a bubble playing guitar in a studio or writing a blog sitting in your little box where you are unaware of the reality of 99.9999 percent"

Yes. Because real, patriotic musicians record music in a fucking wheat field using a water buffalo to do backing vocals. And yes, I stupidly write a blog in my little box, when I should be out, on the streets of Karachi with THE REAL PEOPLE dancing in my dhoti singing "Mein Bhi Pakistan Hoon" with my londa friends as we put our dicks in a plate of biryani.

I suppose I shouldn't complain because the article got a lot of traffic. But it's insane to see how people are getting so worked up over something as trivial as this. Yes I realize I'm a lightning rod for criticism (What?? A musician? Who thinks he's a writer? Well fuck him!!) but dude....?? People need to chill the fuck out.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a fight with my boyfriend because he thought your article was serious and I told him you weren't. I win. End of.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous anonymous too. said...

end of..relationship?

1:02 PM  
Anonymous M. said...

You have permanently changed biryani for me. For that, I hate you. *tries to shake the visual out of head*

Welcome to the world of journos/writers. People will never agree with what you say and they will (almost) never "get" it.

On a completely unrelated note: oh please PLEASE repeat your Best-of-the-90s/Torture-Sami "Manic Monday" show on City FM89! ;)

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Marium Peer said...

Welcome to the world of the average pakistani who will always want to pick a fight with someone/something and yes will almost never "get" it. I personally thought you article was funny and yes off track but who cares?? =)

1:18 PM  
Blogger ali said...

i really want to know what this comment was all about...

"Very Circumcised Mate"

1:23 PM  
Blogger Rafay Alam said...

Oba:

This has to be just about the funniest writers' reply that I've come across. As a fellow columnist (and comment counter), I sympathize entirely.

Sami Shah should wake up and realize that, in you, he's got some serious comic talent, choot jokes or not ;)

Best,
Rafay

1:42 PM  
Anonymous faizan said...

Hahahaha... I missd your last three articles, AND Talat Hussain's. For some reason I just didn't get them on my facebook feed of Express Tribune...will catch up now.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous sadsid said...

comeon u got 83 ppl talking about u. remember there is no such things as bad PR. wats worse than ppl hating u , ppl not knowing u.

now for some heavy duty serious bullshit- most bloogers r doing terrible on ET. bloggers r not used to the limited word count& usually hav their best ramblings edited out which probably kills the article.

also just becoz ur writing for a daily doesnt mean u hav2 be all serious & messagy. They got on u on board coz they like the crap u write. u need to write abt what u know best - being a struggling band here in pakistan. the serious/society sarcasm slots hav already been filled up. the struggling band niche is vacant. do u really need a neon sign to figure that out?

come on get ur aunty on at ET, its about time. dont give up yet, not with ur Coke studio performance rite around the corner.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

Hey I'm the one who has been trying to convince Oba to do a live reading of his blog posts.

His use of "choot" is liek Anne Rice's uses of "preternatural".

Wait. I don't think that came across as a compliment.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Alpha Za said...

Well, you seemed to have hit a nerve, and take the truckload of comments as a compliment.

It was a really funny piece.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous GossupGurl said...

"But it's insane to see how people are getting so worked up over something as trivial as this." It's ironic that by the end of this post you're guilty of the same thing.

Some totally unsolicited advice:
CTFO. As the vocalist of a band that has pretty much made it big (re: coke studio post below), do you really give that much of a shit about what some anonymous person thinks of your writing? Some people might not get your humor or your music and some people might get it and just not like it and will make public declarations to that effect. So what? I understand that criticism can be hard to take but you don't have to take all of it so seriously. There's always going to be someone who thinks you're not good enough or fundamentally disagrees with you. It shouldn't always matter to you though because you can't please everyone. So focus on the opinions of people that matter, focus on the positive feedback and maybe next time try to ignore or laugh at the hate mail. Don't take it so personally, it's totally not worth it.

And who am I (to be dishing out this uncalled for lecture)?? That's one secret I'll never tell ;)

xoxo

3:09 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Oh wow. Some Angry comments, nevertheless, funny as hell.. especially the part about "Raising the prices" ... Generally I jump to Pahari as a counter measure

3:21 PM  
Anonymous csi said...

you should stick to the blog.. that's your signature writing style.
there should be no reason to compromise and tone down the writing to please a newspaper audience or anyone else, if they can't handle it then it's their problem. Or maybe come up with a completely different style..

i mean this post is so much better than the original 'burger' article.
over there you come across as a pseudo-intellectual airhead, who absolutely has to have an opinion on everything. the writing also seems a bit forced and trying-hard-to-please type.

but that's just my opinion.. hope it's taken in the right spirit.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Three said...

urmm...what exactly are you getting worked up over? You wrote an article that targets most of the people who use the internet in Pakistan- youngsters either 'mailas' or 'burgers' and its not unusual that they will have something to say about it or that this kinda article will touch a nerve:S Writing is like a piece of art, like music, you write what you think while people perceive it in a million ways, after all it wasn't an informational piece was it? Just some useless ranting. So people missed on the satire and got worked up, so you miss the whole point and write a post which TOTALLYYY kills my appetite for biryani henceforth:( that is depressing.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous ishma said...

um...marry me?

7:43 PM  
Blogger kiarichiki said...

Hello,Nice blog It will be more awesome if you change the template of your blog,Just a suggestion :D

8:59 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

Dude! Up to 106 comments at last count!

Just for some perspective though, NFP's last piece has...wait for it...275 comments.

http://blog.dawn.com/2010/06/10/man-bites-dog/

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous too: Naa man.
Just your usual man/woman struggles.=P

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dunno, the fact that you couldnt get the humour across is more a failiure on your part than everyoneelseintheworlds-es. That was rather a clusterfuck of an article and the fact that it lacks a punchline makes it rather hard to laugh at, so i dont think you "get" what people meant when they said it was a waste of time. they meant there was no point and it was a waste of time. dont clump eighty howevermany people together into the retard pen please. that would be elitist.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whiny bitch...own up to ur fuckup...its hard to chill out when the supposedly educated amongst us dish out this chicken shit..however this article is funny..maybe its cause express doesnt let you swear..yea ur writing ability is severly limited or lets say 'retarded' when you cant use choot, and have to eat boryani without dick!

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there's a problem with your humour dude...the article is a forced piece of writing and is extremely unfunny.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous I Come In Peace said...

Haha funny shit dude, but more importantly, I'm glad I finally found you and your band. I once saw a pretty goood band cover "Rock The Caspah" on I think Aag TV and I was like "wtf, good pakistani band with a good singer that has an ACTUAL accent!" so needless to say, I was really impressed and yeah, you guys are doing a great job man, I'm really looking forward to your Coke Studio song, I'm sure its gonna be a bomb. Oh, and being a guitar fan, I really love the way you rip through those licks man. Conservative "guitarists" may disagree, but fuck man, you have that grooove [oh yeah, I forgot to mention I'm a musician too, just a slightly dormant one]

Khair, all in all, you have a great band, and I'm hoping this inspires a new age in musicianship in Pakisan [not every good musician has to be able to outrun Jesus "John" Petrucci on a scale lol]

Oh and lastly, as an ex - overseas Pakistani, I agree with a lotta what you say, and damn man, I love Pakistan but the unintentional comedians [roughly half our population] here are toooo much. Being out in Pakistan is way too funny [especially when equipped with those "Pakka" cigarettes haha]

Peace

2:22 PM  
OpenID ayeshaakif said...

Hi OBA like they call you. I normally wouldn't care about you or your music or whatever you feel like writing in a very elitest newspaper but I think I did feel very strongly about your article "I'm a burger and proud of it" which is why I can't hold back. I have a few points:

a) using the word "fuck" 20 times in your blog only makes you sound very stupid. To make your point, you don't need to swear.

b)I went to a convent school and belong to a family of very serious writers and poets- I happen to be a non gossip girl watching, shalwar kamiz wearing girl but I can speak English better than a lot of burgers I know and understand Bertrand Russell and also enjoy Bollywood. So you see, only the burgers don't speak English and the educated community doesn't include just your so-called suppressed minority.

c) Urdu is a very rich language and has some great history and literature to speak of. Not knowing it isn't sexy.Seriously.

d) I understand your intention was "humour" but it was very cheesy humour and it is perhaps more the fault of the publication than yours to have printed it.

e) In a country where 40 % of the population lives below the poverty line and every other minute a woman dies of childbirth and well the other great stats that we have, do you not think some of the responsibility lies upon us? Nobody's telling you to go dance on mey bhi pakistan hoon. You have this great chance of reaching out to people- and all you can fill up your article space with is that crap? Not impressive sweetie. At all. And the swearing makes it so much worse.

I hope you can realise that if so many people felt bad about it, there must be something in what they have to say.

Best,

Ayesha.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because real, patriotic musicians record music in a fucking wheat field using a water buffalo to do backing vocals."

I LOVE YOU hahahahahah HOW do you come up with this stuff?

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OBA, the chunts who took your Tribune article to be an accurate depiction of your viewpoint really need to consider lobotomy. I mean, seriously?! I enjoy a good HUM TV show as much as Gossip Girl, but just because I have more people to discuss Serena's stupidly with than Ayesha's latest dilemma, doesn't mean that I shun all things desi.

Effing retards.

Power to you dude!

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I read it. No, I'm not offended. However, do I find your article an utter piece of...wait for it..."fucking crap? Yes, pretty much. Why? Firstly, its not so much the content as much as it is the style. So, you thought I'd touch upon something that could potentially stir up controversy and that would not only give me attention but credibility. HAH. Neither was the article funny nor witty. It was horribly written and if anything its a waste of paper and trees for that matter. I'm a procrastinator who's time is spent indulging in worthless activities and even I could have spent the two minutes I took reading your piece of rubbish to better use. Burger or not, you're definitely not a writer. And yes, I get to criticize and so do the rest because you choose to publish your crap. Peace.

2:05 AM  
Blogger RandomRambler. said...

"Kion keh burger bhi kabhi bun kebab tha" -genius. haha.

One of the reasons why I think you invoked such conflicting reactions among people and such a huge response to your little rant (no offense) was because it's good to hear about a "burger's" problems as opposed to the Israel-Palestine issue. It's like a breath of fresh air from the usual articles on poverty, corruption, economic turmoil. That said, I've been stereotyped as a 'burger' a few times. Even by my own family. But I've realized that it's alright. And I've tried to get my hands on a crap load of Pakistani plays. Though, honestly, there's nothing better than a guy who'd be as enthusiastic as me to watch a Shahrukh Khan movie. (And they still call me a burger =/)

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Ifrah said...

I feel for you Mr. Akhtar.
You've been grossly misunderstood, taken far too seriously and all the while managed to tap dance on (and simultaneously poke) an array of uppity nerves. And THAT, more than writing with with a tongue (hopefully your own) firmly in your cheek, takes skill. Kudos, big ups, grand slams and marshmallowsx to you.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rota kiyun hay yar chill maar. barey baray sheshron mein choti choti baatein hoti rehti hein ...

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shopkeepers raise there price, that part was funny, begining was good too. I am a first time reader of ur blog but i found it cool, apart from the fact that some of the words used in it are un-proper but still, no harm done.

7:24 PM  
Blogger sameena said...

that article had a great start, i found it pretty amusing.

9:34 PM  
Blogger sameena said...

that article had a great start, i liked the funny aspects of it a lot.

9:35 PM  
Blogger sameena said...

but jokes apart, dont you think when people know who you are, that means when you are a celeb, things go easy for you? for example if you were a nobody i dont think that article of ur's could have got published that easily because i know a person or two who are fond of writting aswell but since no one knows them, people dont give a hoot to their writtings

5:53 AM  

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