Well, I've noticed that lavish praise is usually meted out to mediocre stuff while sheer brilliance doesn't get half the box-office. What does that tell you?
"This is very well-written. No one likes sad, intense stuff, anymore, no?" (I actually got this when I introduced Eliot to a half-wit.)
Or more simply, "Oh look at you, you look so good!" (Beat) "But why are your eyes all sunk in!"
I think people can't stand it if you look really happy or are really good at something.
Unless you are Aamir Khan. And after watching for the first time Tare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots in a span of a month (I'm very clever that way) I can quite concede his brilliance. Though to be honest, he doesn't look like a college kid, but suspension of disbelief is what theatre is about.
So since 3 Idiots is doing so well and Chetan Bhagat is not, I saw a lot of information on both everywhere I went. (And just for the record, Chetan Bhagat, your book, well, did you really read it? Do you like it? Really?)
Like in this recent article I read (The Instinct of Aamir Khan) cites Aamir Khan to be good and reasonably normal because Shah Rukh Khan speaks in the third person, Salman Khan is whacko, Sanjay Dutt may be a little mad, and Sunny Deol is so egotistic. Why? Why can't he just be good and reasonably normal? And who are we to decide what is normal, anyway? (But that's a different discussion).
And then I realised that's exactly how we are. So it's like this, it's very hard for us to praise something good genuinely and well for itself unless we put something else down.
You got to a party and this party is just so much better than the last one, no?
Oh yes, she's a good anchor. The other one had a weird accent.
A particular TV serial is good because the other one is just so bad!
And something most people asked me recently - Did you like America? Isn't it better than India?
How do you answer something like that?