17 Shakespearean Insults We Should Start Using Again

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Away you three-inch fool!

This sentence is a vicious attack on a man’s confidence and in modern times it’d sound something like “Get out of my sight you tiny penis having chump!” Words can hurt. Sticks and stones will break your bones but an itty-bitty penis comment will eat away at you like cancer. If you’re looking to land a devastating blow, this is your balled up, brass knuckle decorated fist.

2. I must tell you friendly in your ear, sell when you can, you are not for all markets.

How cold blooded would it be to tell a friend to settle for whatever they can get. This is the same as saying “No offense, but you should probably date anyone who is interested because you’re not exactly a catch.” Ouch, you may as well save some syllables and say “Beggars can’t be choosers, ugly.”

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Rocket Science; How the length of a dress is inversely proportional to the ‘willingness’ to be raped.

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It has been quite a while noh?

Not long ago, I was conducting an open forum discussion with the students at the academy where I lecture in. Although the idea is to get them to speak in English, I usually get them to speak on sensitive issues of the society. It’s like pitting them against each other. But simply due to the sensitive nature of the topic, they come out talking (at least attempting!). On this particular day, I asked them whether a victim of a rape can too be blamed or not. Although I knew this was debatable, much to my own surprise, the response was unanimous. They all (both guys and the girls) ended up saying yes!

It got me wondering. Like, really wondering. How badly does our society consider a short dress (“revealing”, as they claim it to be) as a taboo? It bugs me, with all these so said development, shouldn’t we be more open-minded rather than being the opposite of it? Although we’re quick to point our fingers at the older generations in mockery when it comes to traditional relationships and the concepts of matching horoscopes and arranged marriages, some of the very same crowd seem to be pretty ‘narrow minded’ (I don’t see how the term ‘old school’ is of any relevance) when it comes to blaming the victim of a rape.

At best, what the likes of the frescoes of Sigiriya and historical notes from the recent history (even from the colonial times) suggest is that ‘revealing’ clothing were more common than it is now. So have we been going backwards instead of being more open-minded or is there really another reason to blame? It it really the victim’s fault that some dude got too excited and failed to keep it inside his pants? Should the internet be blamed? Should the education system, which closes all the doors leading to a systematic sex education be blamed?

Sometimes, answering certain questions really does seem like one heck of a horrible joke, doesn’t it?

Colombo-Katunayake Expressway be opened in September 2013

Please Sir, can I have some more Expressways?

Hello,

So earlier today, the second expressway of Sri Lanka was declared opened by the meritorious hands of his excellency the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. (There, I said it exactly the way a news-presenter on ITN news would have done!) While this is all very good, (although I have no reason to rejoice, non of the highways cater to my convenience!) I have a multitude of questions to raise!

First, it is no secret that all this rush completing the highway was simply because of the upcoming CHOGM. Yet, can it simply justify the inconvenience this caused daily to the thousands of ordinary passengers not driving Lamborghinis or Porsche Panameras? I myself has spent three hours travelling a mere 18 km by bus and 1 and a half hours by car. Would it have cost someone a limb to get this done over a reasonable period of time minimizing the chaos caused? Is it simply impossible to get someone with common sense to supervise the ordeals of the construction work? (Speaking of common sense, it has been well proved now that them traffic Policemen of Sri Lanka has an IQ well below that of a toddler! They seem to be operating with the firm belief that their job is to create traffic as much as possible contrary to actually reducing it!). Let bygones be bygones one might say. But the work of our next expressway, Kandy – Colombo (Yey! I can make it to Colombo in less than 15 minutes once this is completed!) has already begun and one can only hope that this, unlike that, will be done smoothly. But then again, our history of road construction projects precede all hope.It would indeed be almost a miracle, if such smooth work is to be true!

Again, having witnessed the opening ceremony, (I honestly don’t if calling that thing a ceremony is an understatement!) I can’t help it but to question, was that actually necessary? There were delegates from China, a country where everything is now made and who had also funded the entire project. I’m sure the lengths to which we went to exaggerate the opening of the expressway would’ve taken those Chinese fellows by surprise! Elephant races? Expressway walks? Music concerts? Gigantic cutouts? The cost incurred by those alone would have funded a refurbishment of dozen schools! When will our politicians learn to be humble and modest? Modesty can go a long way!  simple ceremony would’ve done the trick. but hey, if we don’t exaggerate everything, where’s the typical Sri Lankan touch eh?

Finally, I honestly don’t see this expressway helping the masses of daily commuters! 300 Rs for lightweight vehicles and 600 for the heavy vehicles! For a commuter by a car, who’s traveling back and forth 5 days a week, for weeks a month, the cost alone would amount to a massive 12000 Rs. So clearly, this expressway is aimed at the occasional users of the Airport and the incoming flocks of foreigners. While this is a massive boost for the tourism industry, this on the views of a common man, is yet another expensive utility. So far, no plans of passenger bus services operating in the highway for a modest cost has been announced and one can only hope that soon enough, there would be one.

However, the drama has concluded and the curtains have been closed. How this highway would fair is for time to tell. Nevertheless, here’s a sigh of relief forgetting the countless hours I’ve wasted as a commuter because of the expressway work.

Till the next time,

Ciao.

teaching_english-300x208

A for Apple, B for Ball and on it goes.

2006-06-08-Relevance-in-English-teaching-226

Well, hello!

During the time spent, between my last post and this, I accepted an invitation to teach on a part-time basis at an English Teaching Academy. Having taught before at an International school, I thought this wouldn’t be a biggy. Was I wrong? YES!
(Have I, by-the-way, expressed my burning desire to dramatically ask someone “shall we begin?” like Benedict Cumberbatch does in Star Trek Into Darkness? No? Okay! Well now you know! Quit complaining! Jeez)

Anyway, first day at work and I walk in completely unprepared, assuming that I’d nail it. Like I always have. Who I encountered as my students, took me by one heck of a surprise. Seated in the front row was three little monks. Aged 15, 12 and 11 as I later found out. Sitting next to them, engaged in some serious conversation  with the very monks was a another kid. (probably plotting their plans for world domination! Kids, you never know!) As found out later, he’s aged 16, Muslim and no longer schooling.  The back row had another four. all of them adults. Aged 23, 25, 26 and 32.
What did they have in common? Financial hardships and a remarkable will to learn.

Teaching them was hard. Why, I had to teach the same thing to a group of individuals whose methods of understanding things taught and the time taken to understand what was taught is different to one another. And I couldn’t leave anyone behind. Everything took time, even simple concepts like vowels and opposite words .  It was tough, and it took me almost 16 hours of lessons to get to the basic concept of Simple Present Tense. Anyway, what I saw above everything in them, which at one point made me question myself, was their will to study.

One of them adult students, had obtained a bank loan to procure the necessary course fee. This entire course was more or less like an ultimatum for him. Learn it, find a decent enough job. As I noticed, he’s the one who’s most dedicated out of the bunch. It made me question, why did I not do this much, or in my case, not even half as this much when I was doing my A/Ls?

The answer was pretty simple. I never paid anything  for my education. (Despite the fact that my parents spent something close to half a mil in fees for individual tuition and what not over the course of 3 years.) We have free education in the country and I was fortunate enough to attend a well reputed school with all sorts of facilities. I passed my A/ls, but with what I got for my O/Ls, everyone was expecting more. (what a joke, noh?). Although I am an undergrad now in a foreign university by means of a local affiliated center, I failed to achieve the highest or, to be fair to my self, I didn’t do my very best.

The thing is, we never really appreciate what we get for free. We’re all so very eager to grab it, (We Sri Lankans, tell us  something is being given away free and no matter what cheap and ridiculous thing it is, we’ll kill to get our hands on it! Bleh) but never to take proper use of it. Unless we’re one of those similar to my students, unless it’s an ultimatum, unless it’s not something  we can fail at, unless our future depends on it with no other option to turn to, we won’t commit to it. Tsk, I type this now but give it a week, I’d still be fooling around at college, skipping Tort Law lectures and playing carom in the college cafeteria. When we’re one of those, who has more than just one thing to lose, we’ll always be like this. And now, I really don’t know upon whom I should pity. Them students of mine, for their misfortunes or us, for catering to the whims of the pathetic.

Till the next post, stay safe.

And may the force be with you.

Batman/Buperman #68 comic book cover art by D.C. Comics

Why Benedict Cumberbatch will anyway make a better Batman than Ben Affleck.

benedict-cumberbatch-on-star-trek-and-star-wars-interview-134458-a-1368275069-470-75

Hello there,

I was bored. In fact, I still am. Hence, there I was, pondering random mysteries of the universe while stroking my marginally visible beard (unfortunately, I was forced to take a trim yesterday. Sigh) and all of a sudden, I was re-reading some of the comics I have and as I often find myself doing, I was reading The Dark Knight Returns, yet another classic work by Frank Miller, who is one of the best Batman writers for DC and IMO, the best so far. I couldn’t help but to think about all the hype with the upcoming Batman – Superman movie in 2015 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975590/) and the uproar with selecting Ben Affleck as the new Batman. Well, here’s my thoughts on the subject and in case if he proves me wrong, this blog post would do well to remind me that I have thus made a fool of myself!

Anyway, why most people wouldn’t want Affleck to be Batman is simply because he’s being judged with his performance in that god-awful Daredevil movie. To be fair to the outcry of the many, it really was a bad movie. While Affleck did an excellent job in directing Argo and an okay job acting on it, things are high stakes when it comes to this. If you thought The Avengers was huge, well, this movie is going to be bigger. The bond between The Man of Steel and The Caped Crusader, the finest friendship in the world is finally going to be unraveled on the big screen. If this isn’t exciting, nothing is!

Anyway, the rumor is that Frank Miller himself is going to be consulted for the movie and the story is set to be adopted along the lines of The Dark Knight Returns (TDKR). (http://www.comicvine.com/the-dark-knight-returns/4045-55703/) If this is true, hot damn, we’re all in for a treat! And in my opinion, if that’s going to be true, here’s why Affleck is not the man for the job.

The Batman in TDKR (at least in the comic) is considerably old and is coming out of retirement type. But since no movie is the exact same of a book, it’s safe to assume that this wont affect anything much. Nevertheless, above all, non can expect a “shall we play some Foosball” kind of chemistry between the two heroes right from the inception. So Batman can be Supes’ wing-man or his nemesis For all we know, just like how the original comics of TDKR was published, in 3 copies, this movie can go on to be a trilogy. Or better yet, a tie in or a prelude to a Justice League movie. Nevertheless, for all of these movies, there’s one thing in common for Batman. He’s the bad-ass in all of them. And bite me, but I fail to see how Affleck is exactly that.

Daredevil himself is a dark character, feared by the criminal scum. Truth be told, in the movie, all Affleck managed to do was to give butterflies to Jennifer Garner. Call me a pessimist but I don’t see how Affleck can be the Batman that’ll stop Superman if it needs be. I don’t see how he’s the kind of person who’d get the caped crusader up and running to make the Man of Steel his “little bitch”. Then again, not much can be done now, so only time will tell.

Anyway, what’s the alternative? I’d pick the ever so charming Benedict Cumberbatch.  Here’s why.

First and foremost, drop the mental image of Cumberbatch from Sherlock. keep in mind his charisma and his behavioral patterns but ditch the image of the tall detective with messy hair in a funny hat. Let’s take Cumberbatch from Star Trek as Khan, the genetically engineered one-man-army! That, is exactly the kind of dark aura Batman should posses in this movie. His deep voice and that commanding charisma, with a little more muscle on the man looks good to make him Superman’s bane. In Sherlock he proved himself as the Mr. Punchline, something along the lines of that will do well to portray Bruce Wayne, the spoiled billionaire playboy.  The following two links will prove my argument as to how swift the emotional transition of Cumberbatch is. Here’s he being the trusted ally and the dangerous villain. Mind you, unlike other superheroes, Dark Knight is not a man of mercy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuX5nw0rzVc

And then there is this,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnZJjNjMg98

I don’t know about you, but having been a fan of Miller’s dominant Dark Knight, who on many a times made Clark Kent look like a big wuss, Cumberbatch in the second video is exactly what I see as the new Batman, playing out logically and yet making sure he’s on top. Gives one the chills noh?

In Affleck’s defense, many people have pointed in out that he’ll be playing an assisting role while Henry Cavill will be the main attraction. What makes a movie, a good movie is when all of its elements fit perfectly like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. An assisting role, if played poorly will only downgrade the movie as a whole. And in this case, in a movie like this, one can only hope that it’ll not be the case. Anyway, choices have been made and press conferences have been held. One can only wish Zack Snyder and David Goyer all the very best and keep our fingers crossed.

If all else fails, and if there indeed is a Justice League movie, here’s a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as The Martian Manhunter.
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May the force be with this movie, and the rest of you!

Sherlock: The precaution of a good coat (and a short friend)

Originally posted on Metro:

There’s nothing like an iconic silhouette...

There’s nothing like an iconic silhouette… (Picture: PBS-Hartswood Films/BBC)

It’s one of the most iconic items seen onscreen in Sherlock. If only it was easier to find…

From the very beginning, BBC Sherlock had a very specific visual iconography that instantly set it apart from any previous incarnation of the great detective. Chief among that was the look of its protagonist, with the slightly unruly mop of hair atop Benedict Cumberbatch’s head in counterpoint to the long silhouette of a heavy overcoat.

That coat, the Belstaff Milford, is actually the sole piece of costume retained for the character from the original 2009 Pilot episode, as chosen by original costume designer Ray Holman and kept on by Sarah Arthur.

Amended with distinctive red button holes to add a splash of colour, three coats were originally purchased for use onscreen, one for Benedict Cumberbatch, one for stunt work, and one in reserve…

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Arrow Season 2: ‘Lost’ Oliver Found, The Flash as Fanboy, ‘Olicity’ Chemistry and 3 More Teasers

Originally posted on TVLine:

Arrow Season 2 Spoilers

Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell (Photo c/o Amell’s Twitter @amellywood)

When The Flash’s alter ego Barry Allen makes his entrance on Arrow this season, he’ll make fast friends with the vigilante’s crew.

“He has a very easy relationship with Felicity, because Barry’s a forensic scientist,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed during TVLine’s visit to the CW hit’s Vancouver set. “He’s young and a little socially awkward, like she is. So there’s a lot of fun with that.”

PHOTOS | Fall TV Spoiler Spectacular: Exclusive Scoop on Arrow, Plus 44 Other Returning Faves

Played by Glee‘s GrantGustin, Barry is also a bit of a fanboy when it comes to the hooded crimefighter, despite the fact he’s a very “different character from Oliver.”

“He comes to Starling City, and he says to [Felicity], ‘I heard the vigilante saved you. What’s he like?’” previews Kreisberg. Being in the hero’s orbit…

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