Friday, February 22, 2013

Same letter, different font

Q: How would Priyanka's character in this forthcoming production nuanced to be be different from all the other characters she's played so far?
A: The long-tressed perms.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lynch first, ask never

One misconstructed idea of democracy is that it gives opinions the weight of facts, just because they're held by the majority.
We see this in the weak defense Chetan Bhagat puts for his books’ literary value based on their readership numbers. Here, his argument contains its own fallacy, the fact that most of his readers are non-readers, and hence have no basis for judging a book’s literary merit, a fact he’s made a virtue of like his other mediocrities.
This example, of a mass of uninformed opinions mistaken for a gospel, is still innocuous. It doesn’t indict anyone, just gives too much credit where it isn’t due.

However, what seriously concerns me is this kind of verdict by polls, because here the ruling is against someone. There would be very few of us who would have any idea of what it takes to control crowds of such record-breaking immensities; and yet, here we are, exercising our right to pass judgment on the arrangements from many, many miles away, having ourselves never managed more than our brood in the zoo ticket line.   Next we will be commenting on the security arrangements of a visiting president, should a mishap occur.
Such armchair opinions are natural. We fear reality’s ambiguities, and hence need to have our fingers wrapped around everything we see and hear, to feel the reassuring closing tips of their conclusions – and, hence, most of us have strong convictions on who Arushi’s killers were, whether a particular person was culpable of taking a bribe or not, and whether the security arrangement of a city we have never been to, a crowd of magnitude we haven’t imagined, and having never managed more than 4 people, was adequate or not.
And CNN-IBN instead of collecting the hard facts from the ground and talking to experts who would know better, would smelt these shards of opinions into a sword of nation’s retribution, and publicly convict someone who might or might not have failed.
I have a poll for you – Is the CNN-IBN a credible news agency or a mass-media machinery posing as one?
Go ahead. You needn’t have even heard of the channel to bang the mallet of your verdict.