10 February, 2005 at 05:32 Leave a comment

On Disillusionment (as a function of Misfitness)

Many people I keep meeting randomly have always almost quipped that I am quite an unappreciative and disillusioned person. The first one is probably true. I do not see anything in my world that worhty enought to be appreciated. Most of you know that I am not a beauty fascist. But as long as we have people buying stuff because some celebrity endorses it, this will be the case. The second one is probably quite interesting because I was quite an inquisitive can curious person for the better part of my insignificant life (and which is why I could come to this booey place) and took an active interest in things but recently I have become quite disillusioned. Let me see what has been happening recently –
1) We were trying to make a short film. It was quite a simple minimalistic thing we were trying to do. Make a film out of photographs and we needed one model to be photographed. We could not do it in a University with 17000 students a majority of whom are vain and raised to be so
2) Just submitted some cartoons to student newspaper (and departmental newsletter) and they replied that they have a staff cartoonist or something to that effect. How can a student newspaper have “fixed” positions? That totally bemused me
3) I was also part of student theatre and even with the presence of students who study theatre for a degree, I just could not get them to do anything original like we did in India. Well we tried. Everything play here is an adaptation or a spoof or full of cliches and the “professional” attitide they seem to embrace is a contradiction of attitudes
4) Let us see if politics is any better. That is sheer optimism but no matter what we try to do, the first thing we hear from the powers that be is that “we will set up a working committee”. If there is so much ‘work’ being done, why dont we see anything at all? This is a basic defyment of physics
5) As for other things like activism, sports, seminars etc. the lesser said, the better. It is all full of cliches, empty slogans, lot of noise, disorganization, inefficiency, prejudice, capitalism, self-importance (like the QMU TV room getting converted to a lounge for the board) and so on and so forth. Maybe this is all because I am a misfit
6) But the one that beats them all and convinced me otherwise and inspired this post is a mail I got from a lecturer in this department today. He sent it to a few of us doing this subject as lab demonstrators/tutorial asking if any of us are available to teach tomorrow. I cannot do it as I have a deadline to meet but apparently somone could and so did reply to that mail. When I apologised to the lecturer saying that I cannot do it (a simple subject addendum in the email saying, “cant”), I got a reply saying not to worry and that someone else has contacted of being available. Now let us say that I was the person who had the time. Let us also say that there are a few others who were able to do it. If I mailed back to the lecturer about my availability I would probably do a reply-to-all so that everyone else knows that the offer has been taken. That would save the others from not only mailing on their own but also people who are unavailable, not to feel guilty and mail the lecturer. Also imagine the slew of emails, the lecturer can avoid managing. Without a reply-to-all, he would have to answer all available people who mailed him and also to unavailable people. It is just a senseless waste of time
So, you see, that whoever mailed to the lecturer (and probably others who mailed) have got to one of the stupid and careless individuals (for computing scientists) that can ever be given as a specimen(s). That a few of them are on scholarships funded by the state in some way (while I have lost mine due to an admin/financial goof-up) is not a very flattering account of the funding body. I am thrown into such a group and identifying myself to the sort of etiquette I am cultured with, I am quite a misfit in this community. Not that I am smarter or something but this just does not feel right. My theory is that disillusionment is a direct product of being a misfit in the community one finds oneself in. Ummm… rebelliousness could be different. It is about unaccepting the community but certainly in more simple mathematical terms we can write –
D = f(M)
where, D=disillusionment and M=misfitness
The interesting part is that misfitness is not a beheld-in-the-person thing. A community can decide if an individual is a misfit. Either case, the result is disillusionment. For example, bloats who do not like football are usually those who tried it but could not cope with it. Fat, ugly commoners think every slim, beautiful person is dumb. Pedestrians who cannot ever afford to buy a Porsche or even ride in one say it is European trash. Ordinary laymen who cannot understand a painting say it is like child scribbles. The poor think that the rich CEO’s are overpaid and unethical. The apiring nobodies just believe that the famous celebrities and sportsmen are not happy. The tone-deaf who cannot appreciate Opera say that they cannot understand why the singers are all crying. We can go on but there is just one more that students who cannot do a cost-benefit analysis and think are manipulated to say that whatever anyone does is wrong and that it is cool to be cynical.
All the examples are instances of the D=f(M) equation. If an individual feels one is a misfit, then disillusionment, irrespectively illogically follows.

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