As you are probably aware by now, Internet is the biggest commodity of our lives. In the last decade or so, many good things have come out of it, and we can only imagine how drastically it will change our lives in the next 20, 30 years. One of the best things about Internet apart from the YouTube cat videos, and illegal file sharing is the online review sections that you find on e-commerce sites.
The way it works is that you buy a product, use it, and you write a review. You need not be a professional reviewer of mobile phones, or a professional game player to write a review of that mobile phone or an online game. You can be a person who read nothing but Chetan Bhagat’s ‘books’, but you can go to Flipkart.com and write a review of Salman Rushdie’s
latest. So if someone else wants to buy that mobile phone or game or book, they read your review, feel your joy or pain, and accordingly make their decision whether to buy that product or not.
Also, there is no dearth of fake reviews on the Internet that want to make you buy stuff. But online reviews are spanning a very interesting new subculture of Internet. That of humorous spoof reviews. These spoof reviews are mainly serving three functions. Firstly that of providing fun to the followers of this subculture, that of giving an opportunity for
amateur comedy writers to show their talents, and more importantly letting people show their protest in the form of satirical reviews.
American Presidential candidate Mitt Romney found this the hard way. In the second Presidential debate, when asked a question about pay equality for women, he bumbled an answer about how he had ‘binders full of women’ brought to him when he was Massachusetts Governor. Enraged American voters took to Amazon to post spoof reviews for the product, “Avery Durable View Binder”. One reviewer who gave the binder only three stars wrote of his disappointment with the binder: “For any of you who might be considering, like me, purchasing this binder based on the reviews, let me just point out one glaring omission: while this is a lovely, multi-purpose binder, IT DOES NOT COME WITH WOMEN. Presumably one is expected to find women on one’s own, or contact
women’s groups who are supposedly eager to help stock your empty binder”.
While most of the two odd thousand reviews for this binder are scathingly satirical, many of the spoof reviews you find on websites like Amazon are just simple humorous takes on the products and are providing young comics with a ready audience which they would find hard to find elsewhere. This review for ‘Methylated Spirit’ is a good example. “From the moment you remove the cap you realize you’re in for a treat. This is a drink to enjoy with friends in a park. Highly recommend”.
The writer is a tech geek. Email: email@example.com