Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waka Waka

The comedian Dave Barry once wrote about the difference between men and women in the following terms (I'm recalling this from memory so it's not an exact quote). When two men bump into each other by accident on the street, the result is this:

Man A: Watch where you're going!
Man B: No, YOU watch where you're going!
Man A: Oh yeah?
Man B: Oh yeah. I'll teach you.
(they fight)

In contrast when two women bump into each other, it goes like this:

Woman A: I'm sorry!
Woman B: No, I'm sorry, it was my fault.
Woman A: What nice shoes!
Woman B: I got them on sale.
(they go shopping together)

As a paradigm of competitive vs cooperative behaviour this is unbeatable. Somehow it came to my mind yesterday when I happened to see the amazing video of Shakira and the South African band Freshlyground performing the FIFA theme song "Waka Waka". It opens with a goalie gearing up and facing a penalty shot, then cutting to Shakira in a grass skirt, looking fresh and vivacious and singing the song with four African women dancing alongside. Then it goes back and forth between scenes of men colliding, stressing, shouting and weeping over football, and women joyously dancing together to this delicious rhythm.

I wondered why they didn't just drop the football scenes and have everybody dance instead. So much more cooperative! Imagine if instead of football championships they had huge festivals (in places like South Africa) where everyone would dance and sing together. I'm sure a lot of people would love the idea -- but of course, men wouldn't settle for it.


Meta Dynamic Systems said...

Bull's eye - So 100% anti-men. Make sure that you are in અમદાવાદ (you may try seeking more elegant alternatives), 100% participating in the evenings (to very very late evenings) from October 8 to October 16 and you will be very lucky if you find men who are not...

Sunil Mukhi said...

Come on! I never suggested men don't dance, only that they wouldn't accept it as an alternative to sport... Well maybe they would in Ahmedabad...

Anonymous said...

When I was going to University in the US a few years ago, there was a large community of about 50 Indian students who mostly lived in a single community about a mile from the university. Typically, four students shared a two-bedroom apartment and men and women didn't share the same apartment (as far as I know).

Over the 2 years or so it was typical that the men living in the same apartment bonded and became extremely good friends. It was also typical that women living in the same apartment grew distant from each other and tended to quibble about domestic aspects.

It's the exact opposite of Dave Barry's point. Possibly the crucial difference is the domestic aspect, the fact that they were living in the same house. Women complaining about their roommates is very common. Perhaps it's because when it comes to her nest, a woman wants it just so.

B. SUNDER said...

I did not get this posting. Is there an apprehension to Shakira's Waka Waka moves around the event or some thing else?

Simply saying about the event like it was in 80s - 90s, will still bring the people to it, but I guess Multimedia brings more number of people. Hope you remember about the "korbo-lorbo-jitkore" of SRK during IPLs. Marketing gimmicks...

As a scientist, I rarely comprehend Marketing. Quality and sense should sell by itself, but people do not market low quality and non-sense, that means what is sell-able, same thing is sold with such gimmicks... That is world is actually divided into techies(read intellectuals) & non-techies for me. World of marketing is place created to create work out of thin air, as far as I understand and I think it is not necessary.

Anyway, FIFA with Shakira apparently has pulled less crowds this year as compared to 8 years ago of FIFA with Ricky Martin and his "Uns, dos, tres..."! A tip for marketing gurus from a Physicist... :P

Cheeta said...

For those of you who don't want to watch Shakira gyrating or hear her singing, try THIS version of a football song:

Lakka Lakka

(Now you have to admit that it's better to watch the football, yes? Aggression notwithstanding...)