Thursday, May 15, 2008

News depresses me

News depresses me. Its content is either a mind boggling array of every atrocity conceivable to God and humankind, or the most puerile, dumbed-down, recycled entertainment scum imaginable.

Picture this.....
Shutterbugs' delight: Hollywood actor Eva Longoria (left) arrives with actor and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai to the opening night ceremony and the premiere of the film Blindness at the 61st International film festival in Cannes.

Next to….this:
Terror group releases video of Jaipur blasts: After the serial blasts in Jaipur on Tuesday that killed 60 and injured hundred other people, several news channels have received a video footage through email from a little known terror group called Indian Mujahideen.

What sane person, in his right mind cares a rat’s ass where Aishwarya Rai is when hundreds of her countrymen and thousands of fellow human beings elsewhere are devastated, left with festering scars for the rest of their lives?

These people whose lives have been whacked out of oblivion in an instant, changed completely and irrevocably, will never be the same people they were before. This morning when I woke up my first thought was as frivolous as wondering if I will get a seat on the train today. That’s how fickle the human thought process is. But the point here is not how callous or unthinking people can be, nor is it to slam the media for being the puppets miming trifling news that they have turned into of late. Neither is emphasis laid on grabbing a spade and rushing off to China to dig-out the destitute.

I’ll come around to what the point actually is in a minute, but first:

To be fair to the media, any entertainment news per se has a degree of empty-headedness, an attribute easily transferred to us once we open the entertainment section. If only to scoff at the excesses of the rich or the narcissism of the famous, we do devour, with unfailing appetite the rehashed trivialities fed to us day after day. I often wonder, if others wonder at the news worthiness of this unconnected uselessness called celebrities. Facts about complete strangers who just happen to be slightly better-looking than you or me are so not news, are they?

In the same way as the devastations cause a few shaking heads and tut-tuts for a while, the trivialities succeed in rousing a smirk or two. Then it’s back to the complacent, chalta-hai, when-will-I-get-a-raise daily grind we all live in, live for and can’t live without. The thought here is not to revolutionize or reinvent our attitude, it is to pause and think. If only for the extent of time it takes to read this. Look to the east, those thousands of homeless, displaced, shattered people with flat noses and slanting eyes filled with an emotion; anger, despair, hopelessness, I don’t know…. Courtesy- God.

Closer home contemplate a people rooted in history as a proud, fearless race and an exotic barren tourist destination today, think of their ruined businesses, torn limbs and the tourist influx that has every chance of becoming barren in the real sense of the word….Courtesy- Man.

Cynical, ranting, venom-spewing naysayers like me say, there is so much pain in the world. And it is so easy to inflict more. And so little goodness, equally difficult to come by. While the governments point fingers, and the police blames terrorists, media has a field day the minute news breaks and doesn’t give a damn the next and we, the common people sit on the fence and twiddle our thumbs, let us think. Painful as it may be…and no I am not talking about the fence, let us think for someone other than ourselves. Chinese, Rajputs, whatever. Think.

And you know what; I gave up my seat in the train to a perfect stranger.

1 comment:

ATKT said...

Great stuff...
who knows, I might give up my seat in the train too..!!
Great language..