Ii's Air Guitar Time!
Be blown to smithereens by the sheer awesomeness of the event: Air Guitar World Championships. Yes, my dearies, we indeed have a platform to show off our spectacular air guitar skills. The event kick started in 1996 as a part of the Oulu Music Video Festival in Finland. The organisers initially considered it no better than a joke…a side attraction at the most (talk about disrespect). As one would expect, the event ended up being much more popular than their music video festival, which we obviously don't care about. Of course, now, the organisers have changed their tones. We now hear them saying things like "Wars would end and all the bad things would go away if everyone just played air guitar” and “The winner of the Air Guitar World Championships has the duty to spread the good message of air guitar playing and thus promote world peace”. Yeah, makes no sense.
Yours truly will be more than pleased to whack off the heads of those smart-alecs who think this air guitar business is ridiculous mumbo jumbo. Do you have any idea how competitive this event is? Do you know for how long many of the challengers have been in the circuit? Yes, you read that right, there's a circuit.
Before the event the air guitarists partake in workshops on how best to simulate picking motions; they even attend lectures and see demos from the masters of air guitar. Shaking your head lamely and randomly strumming an invisible guitar will not get you anywhere, since you will be judged on the following criteria: Technical Merit, Stage Presence and Airness. Allow us to show you how to conquer all these skills.
Technical merit refers to the ability to pantomime the actual playing of a guitar; fretwork, chords solos and technical moves are more important than you may like to believe. Stage presence, as the name suggests, is all about the rock star charisma; it's about rocking the stage and entertaining the audience and radiating confidence. Airness is about successfully giving a performance which is unique and more than just a simulation of playing the guitar; creativity is the word, people. To have any chance at participating in the event, you have to nail all three skills. To fully understand what the judges are looking for, check out videos of previous AGWC events on Youtube. Since points are awarded for technical merit, you need to know at least the basic guitar chords; again, the great web can help you with that. Once you are ready to hit the stage, pick your song and work on your performance. By the way, your routine has to be high energy material: jump about, throw in a few kicks, do some cartwheels…okay, maybe not cartwheels, but you get the general idea. Not to mention, get a dhishting dhishting outfit to make you look (if only slightly) like a rock n' roll demigod.
The competition starts off with the Qualifying Round; each contestant is required to perform one song of his/her choice within a time span of 60 seconds. The ones who move on to the Grand Final will need to perform two songs in two separate rounds. Again, the duration of the song has to be 60 seconds. For the first round, finalists perform on a song of their own choice; for the second round, the contestants need to perform on a song which they will hear just before entering the finals.
That's all fine, but how do you participate? While contestants from the 17-country AGWC network (which includes Japan, Australia, Germany and USA) can qualify through their official National Air Guitar Championships, the rest of us pitiable folks need to register for the Oulu Qualifying Round by sending in a registration form and paying a registration fee before the deadline. This year, the event is probably going to be held during 25th -28th of August; the dates have not been confirmed yet.
There's still a lot of time left so start practicing, for air guitar is no child's play. Plucking erratically at the obviously nonexistent six-strings is not enough. What, not interested? Hmmm, I suppose I should have mentioned this earlier: the winner gets a tangible, brand new electric guitar. Now that is sweet.
There was a time when people would feel honoured and special when they had been mugged. They always had a story to tell; one that would integrate newer and newer elements every time it was told. But call it the effect of globalisation, economic recession, capitalism, global warming and what not; the muggers are getting a bit reckless. These days the probability of getting mugged increases manifold. Here are a few suggestions for surviving a mugging. But always remember, your life is more important than your possessions.
Prevention is better.
Victims say that in few cases another rickshaw or CNG auto overtakes the one you are riding and demands an apology from you for spitting (or littering) on him. NEVER argue back. This is one of the worst situations one can be in as there is hardly any way of going around them.
There is another ingenious process where a group of young people surround you and ask you quietly to act like their friend and give them your cell phone. My suggestion is, when you see shady looking individuals, get down off the pavement and walk on the road for a bit.
Always try to have a companion and avoid dark alleys and poorly lit streets. Walk in a steady pace close to the curb and facing traffic. If you think someone is following you, then cross the street and/or go into any nearby buildings.
You can conceal your belongings by carrying a slim purse with a strap that goes across the body or hiding the purse inside your jacket. We teenagers move with our bags most of the times and it can be very effective in hiding your money and other stuff. Muggers aren't really fond of books.
Approach any CNG auto or taxicab that agrees to your request instantly with caution. I am not saying that every other driver is linked with 'molom/oggan parties', but it never hurts to exercise caution.
Walking while listening to your iPod or radio isn't a good idea. One vital sense is always disrupted and you get targeted by muggers as well as become prone to road accidents. Keep your senses open, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Carry as few bags and as little money as possible. A big amount of cash shows up in your face and body language.
Walk confidently with your head up. Always maintain eye contact. A mugger is less likely to attack someone with a swagger. But this 'look' in the face is not exactly available to everyone. It comes from the heart (LOL). Be brave, dudes and dudettes.
When you do get caught
Request the mugger not to apply any 'molom' or 'moricher gura' on your eyes. These aren't life-threatening but hurt like hell. Tell them that you won't shout and see where they are going.
It doesn't work well for many but large, tall guys can act tough and pull out names and references out of nowhere to intimidate the muggers. But this is not advisable as the attacker(s) themselves can be even tougher.
Unfortunately the current state in this country isn't so fine that we can strut around without any fear. The muggers and snatchers are getting inventive day by day. Most carry firearms and/or knives and are life-threatening sometimes. Learning martial-arts and other self-defence measures is very helpful but you shouldn't rely on them unless you are very confident in your ability. Just let go. Because your life is more precious than any of your possessions.
“Save Galib”: A Plea For A Life
Title Galib is only thirteen years old. He is a student of class seven in Khulna Zila School… or so he was until a tragic accident in October 2010. While out on Tiffin break he was run over by a motorbike. He's been in coma ever since. He received serious injuries to the brain. The doctors said that an approximate Tk.25 lakh was needed for his treatment. That was two and a half months ago. His family had already spent a lot of money for the critical treatment and was about to give up all hope of ever seeing their little boy smile again. That was when something unexpected happened. Galib has a sister Tamanna, who studies in the Marketing dept. of Dhaka University. Tamanna's friends have come forward to help this little child fight the near-impossible battle of life and death. You can help save Galib, even the slightest show of your goodwill can help bring this child back to normal again. The students of the Dept. of Marketing, DU, have arranged a cultural programme on the 25th, 26th and 27th of January at DUS, DU. Also there will be “A Charity Film Festival for Galib” at Bangladesh Film Institute.
Here's the schedule:
Tickets are Tk.50 each and they will be available at the venue before each show. On the 31st of January and the 1st of February, another film festival will be held at TSC. For any information, please contact: Shahadat Hossain :01716382554, Razu: 01922240519, Sourav: 01710275617.
You can also send your donation to this account :
By Raisa Rafique
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