Paradox Paradise

Would you still call it nonsense, if sense exchanges its meaning with nonsense?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What a show, uff!!!

We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself.”

- Christof, the character in the film, The Truman Show.

Reality, at times, is pretty hard to swallow. Especially, when it comes sandwiched between prime commercial airtime. Roughly about half of commercial TV programmes available on the box today are reality shows of one nature or other, not including the News.

If you are one who lives in this silly small world, you know what I am about to talk. It’s about the leggy lass, Ms. Shetty and the hullabaloo. For the last 15 years or so the needle on her weighing scale stayed stuck where it was. And we fondly called her a dumb damsel. And today, she stands tall, figuratively too for a change, as the courageous survivor of merciless racial discrimination. The Big Brother was watching; and the world was watching the Big Brother. It happens not in India, but in Blair’s land. No, not Eric Arthur Blair, the other one.

Fortunately, I don’t have access to cable TV. So I didn’t have to suffer the torture of listening to the panel discussions during News on the issue. I don’t read newspapers daily either, and I was saved from reading those silly news just below the dateline. Still, me too had to have my share. I heard people talking about it. I saw the headline while walking past one of the newpaper offices, on the display boad in front of their building. I read blogs with numerous outgoing links, and embedded streamed videos. And that presses open my big mouth.

The show, is claimed to be Britain’s most popular reality show, and is on for a few years now. The participants are auditioned months before, and are selected for the show with a fee that approximately amounts to Rs. 3 crore. I have no idea, whether each participant gets a fixed fee, or whether it’s negotiable as per one's celebrity quotient. The amount I specified, is what our Shetty girl was offered. Apart from the fee, housemates will be given shopping tickets, treats, and such. And the winners will win more money, of course.

Those were some simple reasons for a person, who thinks he or she is a celebrity, to appear for the audition. Now the winner of the show is the last person remains in the house after individual evictions that happen every week. Now, a participant cannot wish to have the other housemates around for long, if he or she wants to win. And arguably, this encouraged bitching with garnishes of style and fame is what keeps the viewers keep glued to the screen.

Now, the remarks which were celebrated as examples of racial abuse were really hilarious. One of them was the slang for female genitals, and I wonder since when it has become a racist remark! Of course, no one said of one shade is better than the other during the abuse. The next one was even more interesting. She was also called a dog! That was sexist, if not racist. Our poor girl was asked to go back to the slums she came from! How cruel was that!!!! Expecting a bollywood heroine who survived in the industry for nearly 15 years, and is known to do every trick to get her pay on time, to call a slum dweller!!! How can a celebrity in India live like million others in the country, in slums or mud huts? It’s beyond any sane person’s imagination. And we are talking about a reality show.

But I have found more interesting stuff about the show. It’s about the show, not about the participants. This year, the Big Brother’s house has a disorientating theme! The garden comes with otherwise interior furnishings like wallpaper, carpets, dining table, and even a chandelier. And there is faux grass in the kitchen, and garden chairs in the living room! Not disoriating enough? Don’t worry. There are 14 basic rules that every inmate should follow. And the first one is there shouldn’t any contact with the outside world. I assume they are talking about not having a TV. Housemates are allowed to carry a suitcase full of stuff, but that should not include books, or any writing material. So, if you are illiterate the chances to clear the auditions could be easier. One is not allowed to carry any personal medication as well. I think, that is meant to prevent the participants from sneaking in glycerine. The list of banned paraphernalia includes sane things like a musical instruments, radios, music players, calenders, clock or watches. And aslo mobile phones and gismos of same genre. That’s to avoid a fight over the features one has on the mobile telephony equipment they own, which might trigger violence in a mass scale. And if you didn’t get disoriented by these carefully designed evironment, Big Brother might use his reserved rights to expel you from his house.

At this point, I’m wondering what’s the job of a director, many associate directors, script writers and assistants in a reality show. If they have nothing to do, I would like to chose one of those careers. It seems pretty interesting. And rewarding too, I hope.

But why an innocent Indian girl? Because, there are nearly 2 million Indians, and almost same number of asians among the target audience, in UK alone. And I’m sure some audience survey agency have coned the makers of the programme with the report that the show doesn’t have right mindshare of this high potential retail customers. Yes, reality sucks. And at times, bites.

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At Thu Jan 25, 05:16:00 pm, Blogger dickiebo said...

I must confess that I do not watch this type of show but .......
Yes. Like everyone else, I've had to watch these incidents because of the furore.
My verdict? Forget about racialism. It was simply a question of "Beauty and the Beast". And I think we could all see which was which.

At Fri Jan 26, 02:00:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

dickiebo: I'm not worried about the beauty or the beast, or who win in their game. I'm worried about why a verbal exchange of two silly girls becomes an international issue, when real victims of the crime almost always go unheard. I see it as the media exploiting the half-blind, compassionate masses. This post was not against the practices of racism, but against that unethical practice of our mainstream media.

At Fri Jan 26, 02:41:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea..i 2 thought d same...y it has become an international issue?..now ms.shety is changing her comments too..

At Fri Jan 26, 02:44:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..happy 2 c ur blogs..gud 4 reducing ur interval between d blogs..

At Fri Jan 26, 03:47:00 pm, Blogger dickiebo said...

jg; I couldn't agree with you more.

At Mon Jan 29, 01:07:00 pm, Blogger shenoy said...

everything's entertainment nowadays. and the most entertaining? the news channels... who seem to be more interested in creating news than reporting it. In making issues out of non-issues. Taking up issue when there is none. I call it the My-news-is-better-than-yours mentality.

At Mon Jan 29, 01:34:00 pm, Blogger Amooma said...

i do chk old comments ( mail notification).
yup, vetti vetti nirathi ( sorry, murichu). manushyanu croos cheyyan ethra nerama edukkunne ennariyuvo?
manovishamam kondu ezhuthin poyatha.
keralathil ennaanavo vettimurikkunne? alpam developments....sigh!

At Mon Jan 29, 01:45:00 pm, Blogger Amooma said...

btw, no idea why the fuss.
international issue indeed!
side issue, HEADLINES TODAY, the channel, on the 27th ( i think) had a series of captions on the bottom of the screen : AB visiting temples; ab to be accompanied by wife Jaya; AB (ditto) son Abhishek; Aishwarya to accompany the Bachhans. Imagine!! yet another piece of news

At Tue Jan 30, 08:09:00 pm, Blogger Jubin George said...

reens, shenoy, amooma:
There are two facts as I see them.
1. Channels/newspapers can sensationalise an unimportant news, and they do it by discretion.
2. There's a huge population that loves that sensationalism.

Now, for the want of being called an individualist, I must not ask the media to patronise and guide the unsuspecting, ignorant millions. But I sincerely wish, they were a little more sensible, and responsible.

At Sat Mar 17, 05:14:00 pm, Blogger Amooma said...

hope for media sensibleness.
that was the first time i got irritated at a news channel . usually i get irritated at the ppl who put the news channel ( since i consider the tv for entertainment only and instead read the paper)

At Sun Mar 18, 12:41:00 am, Blogger Jubin George said...

amooma: The concept of 'Author is dead', is getting more and more important by new developments - social, economical, and technological. It's now not possible to ask people to write/express 'responsibly', but only to read/understand 'responsibly'.

At Sun Mar 18, 12:41:00 am, Blogger Jubin George said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


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