A long, long time ago, the first humans set foot on Earth, invariably stepping in sabre-tooth tiger poop, because the BMC was inefficient even back then. The human race then adapted and evolved from cavemen who asserted their superiority over their lesser brothers by bashing their heads in with a rock, to the more refined specimens of today, who have learnt to identify the weakest of the species based on the phone they use.
At the forefront of this phone snobbery are two major camps – the Android fanboys, who gloat about the superior tech that allows them to access weed and stripper-related apps, and Apple fanatics aka Mactards, described by sociologists as being ‘absolute tossers’. (There are also Blackberry fans, but they just sit around picking lice out of each others’ fur.)
Of all the phone snobs, I find Mactards most amusing. I’m not talking about regular Apple users – I mean the ones who make it a point to refer to their phone as their ‘iPhone’. The common noun is swept aside to make way for the Grand Proper Noun: “Call me on my iPhone”, “Text me on my iPhone”, “My pee-pee is smaller than my iPhone”.
This is about as classy as referring to yourself in third person. Would you like it if Ashish Shakya did that to you? Ashish Shakya most certainly would. Ashish Shakya thinks this is fun. Ashish Shakya is the son of God. Ashish Shakya Ashish Shakya Ashish Shakya. Oh, and in case you didn’t get it, Ashish Shakya.
This battle took on farcical proportions recently, when Instagram, so far an exclusive iOS app, launched a version for Android. For those of you who just woke up from a long coma, Instagram is an app that allows you to take pictures of your food, add various effects to them and then share them with other lovers of half-eaten-food photos. Mactards all over the world welcomed the Android version the same way you’d welcome the arrival of cockroaches. In your mouth.
I would totally understand if the Apple fanboy stand began and ended with ‘I’m better because I can afford to buy more expensive stuff and you can’t, nyah nyah nyah!’ That’s pretty much the cornerstone of capitalism, and it’s fine. But no; they act like they built their own devices from scratch. Dear Mactards, all you did was walk into a store and buy shiny things. You’re like a Gujju aunty at Tribhuvandas Zaveri. Get over it.
Another kind of snob I don’t understand is the Militant Meat Eater. Now I love a good beef chilli fry as much as the next guy, except that I don’t, because the next guy is the kind whose love for dead animals is second only to his love of spitting at vegetarians.
Go out for a meal in a mixed group, and there will always be that one idiot who thinks it’s hilariously original to go on about ‘ghaas-phoos’ for twenty minutes. I suspect that these repeated jibes have led to the rise of crazy vegetarians. Case in point: the Jain-infested areas of South Bombay, such as Walkeshwar, wherein eating meat in your own home can result in you being evicted. The trader communities that own the area equate meat-eating to some heinous crime, like murder, or paying taxes.
I’m a realist. I have no fantasies about living in a world where people aren’t trying to show off their superiority using any metric possible. Snobbery is an inescapable human trait, like lying, or watching sneezing cat videos. I just think it’s wrong to judge someone on the basis of their phones or dietary preferences. Why use cellphones or food as tools of hate, when you can judge people based on their spellings, honking habits or their belief in astrology? Feel free to send in hate mail if you disagree. Ashish Shakya will read it on his Android.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 15th April 2012. Cross-posted from here.)