Friday, June 09, 2006

BLASPHEMY!

I was talking to four of my American friends yesterday, and it turned out that not a single one of them, yes, not even one, had even heard about Asterix or Tintin. The closest anyone came was my Turkish friend; apparently, Tintin manifests itself in Turkey as 'Tantan'. In any case, his childhood was wasted in football, swimming, and other frivolous pursuits, so he was too busy to read the titles.

My fork dropped when I heard this, I felt queasy and could no longer savor my Tuna salad sandwich.
What is the world coming to?? People not even hearing of Tintin and Asterix??

12 Comments:

Blogger gawker said...

Its not that popular here and if you read the American Asterix you'll know why. Why were you eating a tuna sandwich with a fork anyways?

8:46 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

I forgot to mention. It was the accompanying salad that I was eating with the fork.
So these guys have not even heard of the American Asterix I suppose...

9:17 AM  
Blogger Hirak said...

".. his childhood was wasted in football, swimming, and other frivolous pursuits ..."
Boo hoo!

9:57 AM  
Anonymous sumeet said...

i think "tan tan" is the french prononciation (the original one) of tintin...
i hate tuna btw ;-)

10:07 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

hehe...sweet revenge. anyway, MY childhood was not entirely spent in fruitful pursuits. so...

10:40 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Also, the above statement may be interpreted in a different way:

Football, and swimming are NOT the frivolous pursuits. It's only the "other" pursuits that are frivolous...

Ah the quirks of English grammar...

10:45 AM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Sumeet: Tuna is like India cuisine. I have realised that there are many varieties, even though for such a simple organism, one may thing otherwise. You have to find the right one. Albacore tuna, anyone?

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Neethi said...

Not that it is an excuse but this might explain the predicament you found yourself in.As a matter of fact,I asked my labmate the same question after reading your post.The answer was the same-never heard of them.Pls do read the link.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterix

2:26 PM  
Blogger Saket said...

That's really surprising. I never tried thus far but I am willing to wager the result will be quite the same around here. How sad.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Chetan said...

Probably French warriors is so much of an oxymoron for the contemporary Americans that they cannot digest the French 'taking care' of Romans. ;) In a way I am happy it isn't as popular. Some pro-war right-winger may have proposed a ban or worse still asked for the location to be renamed from Gaul to Freedom land. Come to think of it an Asterix parody with characters from the Bush administration might be quite entertaining.

On a serious note I think this has something to do with entirely different style of humour preferred by the Americans vis a vis the Europeans. I was watching Lock Stock and Two Smoking barrels, a British comedy film by Guy Richie, with two Americans and an Indian friend and the Americans just didn't get it. Me and my friend were rolling on the floor laughing at the phrasing of the dialogues, while my American friends laughed at lot points. THey said they found the dialogues too verbose and would have preferred pithy punchlines instead.

Try one other experiment. Ask your American friends if they like Wodehouse. Most of my friends said that they couldn't understand why he was so popular. I was so increduluous and heartbroken when I heard that. I mean I thought Wodehouse humour was universal.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Chetan said...

I forgot to add this...

tap tap tap These Americans are crazy.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

Chetan: I cringe to think of trying out the Wodehouse experiment, because like you said, I may be heartbroken. I have not read much of Wodehouse, but yes, I do believe that is humour should be universal.
I think Americans miss a chance to educate themselves about some good humour, by dismissing British humour as stuff and formal...if only they had more patience.
I appreciate both kinds of humour, but personally, I think I am more comfortable with the American subtype, perhaps only because I have been more used to it. That is what is happening to us; in general, Indians are being exposed far more to American humour than British humour through movies, TV shows, and books.
But there is no doubt that nothing can beat the understated British style.
Also, both American and British humour are self-deprecating, but I think that American humour manages to be self-deprecating in a more friendly manner, again maybe because its more informal.

tap tap tap...these Americans are woefully ignorant

Saket: Awaiting the California results of the Asterix/Tintin/Wodehouse experiment!

I think Americans really miss out on the puns and allusions in Asterix

10:38 AM  

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