26 Dec

Isn’t it sad/ strange that no matter how hard you try you can never find proper reasons for what you feel about things until you spend too much time researching it, or looking into it, or thinking about it.

For example, at age 13 or 14, the main reason I stopped going to church, before I read enough and learnt enough, was simply that I was bored beyond belief with sitting in Church. I didn’t want to wake up early on my one free day and go do something that I did not feel the need for. There were a few priests who would give interesting sermons that wasn’t full of scripture, but largely, it was dull crap, told in very bad grammar because the priests were generally newly converted transfers from somewhere in nowhere. I don’t want to sound snooty but if I am to wake up on a Sunday and go somewhere, whatever’s happening there better be interesting and well-spoken. And once the two priests who were sort of good at talking left the church my mother was taking us to, I really got bored. It was only much later that I came up with proper reasons like God Doesn’t Care or God Doesn’t Exist. And even today,I would actually still go to church only to make my mother happy (we’d both know it wasn’t sincere but she’s still prefer that), if only it wasn’t so boring.

Moving on, I was talking about how I feel or believe things first and then see if they can be justified. If they are, I start thinking it instead of believing, which is far more fun. If not, I stop believing. I really believed John Lennon was akin to a messiah/mahatma type figure before I realized he wasn’t. Damn reading – never leaves you believing.

Anyway, I was watching Jon Stewart on Youtube (again) before I finally understood why I adore him. Firstly, he is surprisingly smart, and very cute. Second, that stuff I was talking about in the last post, about hype being created about a lot of stuff that doesn’t really matter, eventually that’s what he was talking about – misinformed public. About people just joining in a protest with no knowledge of what the hell they’re doing. I hate to sound like I’m quoting people I dislike, but it’s way too much like cows being herded. I would have no problem with the entire population of this country joining in the lasher’s protest if they KNEW what they were protesting for. Right now, I can give an educated guess that less than ten percent of the people who are so keen to join in actually knew what the Lokpal Bill said, what the Jan Lokpal Bill said, and why they prefer the latter. Then it would be possible to have a debate, or an intelligent conversation about it. Right now, it’s just all of them screaming without any basis.

Stewart simply speaks against the basis on which so many people decide to belong to one side or the other on an issue. I’m generally of the opinion that the media has to be appreciated in many ways. It is important to have a free press. But the way in which it has reported on this thing is a little blasé. I’m not asking for editorializing on everything, but isn’t the reason people study journalism so that you can do research beyond what someone is saying and looking like? All I’ve read is ‘This I what Team Anna says’ and ‘This is what the Government says’, and even worse ‘Anna seen tearing up’ or ‘Anna beats Katrina’ (that last one was about him getting more Google searches. I was initially scared he’d recommended lashing her too. And it’s a scary situation when people want to know more about this from the internet of all places than they want to masturbate).

No effort is made by the media to confirm either of these opinions, to base them on facts, i.e. look at the Lokpal Bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill, assessing how they’re working in different states, finding out for themselves about the CBI, NGOs, different classes of employees, and most importantly, since this protest is all about the common man, how much it would actually help the common man? I have my own opinions on the latter, but I wouldn’t mind at all if it were disproved by facts – not by the collective anger of the masses, and not by beliefs, but facts. Edward R. Murrow practiced a more responsible journalism on the basis that if digging a little deeper than just the surface in order to bring the truth to light is editorializing, then so be it. Only Murrow did it responsibly – actually bothering to go places and find facts instead of sensationalizing the smallest things to fill up the time slots. Stewart says it over and over – the media is not going to give you any of the important information you need before you make up your mind. Just go to the source, understand it, and then take your stance so you can defend it properly.

And while I can understand how someone with an empty stomach and a family to feed can only express anger at how a government has failed him, the people using Google are not hungry, angry people. These days I don’t like to endorse most of my dad’s quips, but they’re just rebels looking for a cause. And while they are allowed to be silly in this way if they want – the gift of freedom of expression – it is ridiculous that the Parliament or the Government should feel threatened  or blackmailed simply because of the numbers, when most of the ‘numbers’ don’t have a clue.

In the end, what with BJP endorsements and the strange appeal an old vegetarian teetotaler seems to have for the youth, and all that goes with it, this whole movement just seems like an easy piece of meat for the media and for people who like to shout, to sink their teeth into, ignoring almost everything else. You really don’t have to do much work when you simply stick to holding debates that cover the same points day after day, do you? Laziness.

Now that I think about it, that’s probably what I’m doing too, although I’m a blogger with very little attention and zero responsibility. I can say Gandhi was gay and I still don’t have to defend it. Regardless, I will try my utmost to write about something else next time.

–          Billy


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