2.12.08

Disjointed emotions/ What else is left to say?

Any attempt to post feels as if doing so is more about our words than their lives.

But the need to rant and hand-wring and pontificate - all uselessly - keeps battering at my skepticism of there being any use in giving in and doing so.

I give in. I do so.

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On Saturday, when everything was coming to an end, and the TV channels were still behaving like idiots, a lovely little way of getting back at them - and perhaps, slightly preventing irresponsible reporting - occurred to me.

We organise a group (through blogs, word of mouth, whatever) a large crowd who will go and try and interrupt every broadcast that shows 'live' action which potentially threatens the lives of others.

Just land up behind/next to/in front of the cameras and start shouting. Something like 'SCUM!' would do for starters. Or maybe just start ullulating. Anything to distract attention and stop the morons from blathering on. All while wearing bright red tshirts (so that if the cameras did capture the scene, it would appear fuzzy and make their broadcast look less professional (yes, I know, very petty)).

If it even threw the reporters off for 10 minutes, it will be worth it. And if it really worked, we could maybe have a live on-air argument with that annoying woman where we can tell her just how stupid she (and her ilk) are being,

And what's the worst that will happen? A fistfight with the media as they protest against our behaviour, and claim we're violating the freedom of the press? You know what, haven't had a scuffle in years, and oh wait, the freedom of the people comes first. Or maybe the cops will start arresting people for disturbing the peace? Fine. We'll sue them. And get media coverage.

I'm serious about this.

I only regret I didn't think of it on Thursday, and try and get whoever was in the city to do something like this. It'd at least be better than sitting in front of the TV, cursing the lot of them.

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Ennui does not equal resilience.

Having to work to earn money to live does not equal 'spirit'.

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I feel tempted to blow all my money on spending the next few weeks flying to wherever my friends are and shaking them till their teeth hurt, for joining one of those Facebook groups. And shouting at them.

Oh yes, well done! You have virtually announced to the world that you won't take this lying down/that the city will fight back/you will send a strong message of defiance to those who would bring you down. Yes, now all the people who hate you/your religion/your city/your country's progress will realise how silly they are, and come begging for forgiveness. Yeah people, that's it! They may be cold enough to gun down unarmed innocents, but they will shake and scurry because you e-slapped them. Solid.

.....
I can understand the rage and the frustration and the sense of helplessness. The need to vent. To do something. Anything. But I'd rather do something, some very little thing, even if it just means going and drinking a cup of tea at the Sea Lounge so that the Taj has a little more money.

I'm not even going to go into how joining such groups, and only joining such groups, is a smug cop-out. I'm not going to go on about how I can't - and haven't ever - seen the point of things like this (beyond the hope that with enough people getting together, some real dialogue and action might happen). I'd just wish they'd join some groups that actually try and do something. Like this one group a friend of mine has formed, which is trying to help people do something with Teach for India.

Things like that may be small, and may take a while, but at least they're doing something. How is putting a candle in my window going to help anybody - unless I bought it from a candle-hawker outside the Gateway and helped him make up for some of the lost revenue of the past week?

No wait, why waste my money flying around the world to shout at them. I'll just virtually sigh at them in disappointment. I might even tsk them.

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I'm trying to think of any other major city, in an at-peace country, which has seen experienced anything remotely as public as this in the last, oh, two decades. Yes, cities have had bombs and planes and revolutions, but this....


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The whole thing just keeps working better in favour of the guys who did it. After all that they did, we're left with one guy whose testimony to rely on, which means you can't compare stories between two of them to see if they match (not that they wouldn't match, seeing how thoroughly they'd been prepared).

And I bet their leaders are smiling with all the war talk. Two countries, both of whom have suffered internally, prepare to get violent externally because of trouble caused by groups they have no control over. And this talk is creating more chaos and uncertainty within, for these same guys to exploit further. And meanwhile, everybody forgets about Afghanistan.

Exactly what they wanted.

Yippee-do-dah.
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Three questions :

1. If the media were talking to guests hidden in the hotel rooms, why weren't the police (to update them, to advise them, to get more 'on-location' information from them)?

2. Do our fire rescue teams not have one of those cushion-things that allow people to jump onto? Wouldn't that have been considerably quicker than using that crane?

3. Could we make a legitimate legal case against the media for endangering lives; or, Who wants to sue the shits out of India TV News Inc?

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They say India is under siege, and everbody worries how it will cope.

And I think of Beirut, and Jerusalem. And of our own parents four decades ago, frantically taping up windows to the backdrop of those scary sirens, and then huddling together inside, carefully parcelling out food, and wondering what else would there be less of on the next day.

People adapt.

8 comments:

Space Bar said...

Yes! I've been alternately pissed off and entertained by all these facebook groups and email forwards and smses doing the rounds.

and you shoulda thought of that earlier. i might even have taken a train (got off at VT) and ullulated behind the anchors.

Shefaly said...

Your questions:

Three questions :

1. If the media were talking to guests hidden in the hotel rooms, why weren't the police (to update them, to advise them, to get more 'on-location' information from them)?

Ans: Because the media were keeping their phones engaged?

2. Do our fire rescue teams not have one of those cushion-things that allow people to jump onto? Wouldn't that have been considerably quicker than using that crane?

Ans: The firefighters stood around for quite a while before they started sprinkling water. Meanwhile Krishna Kumar's family burnt alive. Shobha De may have partial explanation for this delay - no water pressure (Serious - I saw one of the live NDTV interviews).

3. Could we make a legitimate legal case against the media for endangering lives; or, Who wants to sue the shits out of India TV News Inc?

Ans: Unlikely. And if you do, you will probably have grandchildren before the case comes to court.

On the rest: I think joining FB groups at least as inane as saying one wants to go to Sea Lounge for a hot or cold drink. It is charred and FUBAR. Go to Leopold's instead - it is open. :-)

Further, not all are sitting around. We talk and write and hold vigils because symbols are potent and potentially inspiring.

Some of us in London have been working with grass roots democracy organisations in India for many years, not without success; now we are stepping up our efforts and giving more of our time and money.
If you are interested, let me know. Yes, we may be idealistic fools but it is better than hand-wringing and getting upset, no?

km said...

A fistfight with the media? Now there's a GREAT idea.

"ullulated behind the anchors" - HA HA HA.

Mudra said...

I hate those Facebook groups too. It's unbelievable that they actually give some people a sense of havign done something.

At some level, in fact, I think it's their way of dealing with it. Join a Facebook group and forget about it. Because by showing your solidarity on a freakin social networking site, you've fulfilled your duty as a citizen of the country, right? Crazy.

??! said...

Space/Mudra:
I guess we could go on about it - but that'd just be another waste of time, no?

Space/KM:
I think the ullulating sounds more and more appealing.

And yeh, I was cursing myself for not thinking of it earlier.

Shefaly:
It is charred and FUBAR
Is good point. I should've clarified "after it re-opens".

About the groups, I'm all for them if they do something. The one you've listed on your blog does not come in the category I was referring to, because at least people are meeting and discussing ideas and doing things. It's these sign-up-profess-outrage-and-do-nothing groups/emails/texts that I dislike.

And I like idealism, especially the hopeless types.

brinda said...

damn! like space bar, i too wish you had thought of that earlier... would have definitely added to the ullulating

HP said...

"Or maybe just start ullulating"

LOL !

the kind of "news" these India TV guys show.... shows what the public wants, doesn't it?
tho i'd like to believe they're right about the 'pralay' coming in 2012.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

You make several points here - the Moronicity of the Media, the Futility of Facebook etc. - and I agree with all of them.

In other words, a post from me would be redundant. Thanks.

J.A.P.