Been a very long time that I have posted anything. Lack of time, too many things that I wanted to write about and a writer’s block… add them all up and that is the excuse… the real excuse.

Hopefully I will get regular again.

So coming to the title of the this post. I am not very good at coining terms but this one is kind of a mix of scavengers and avengers. scavengers for a cause is how I arrived at this term. I think it becomes quite evident as to where I am going with this post and I could stop right here but then, like I was telling someone the other day, very rarely are my posts less than 400 words.

We have become a society of Causvengers. Not because we believe in a cause but because linking up with a cause gives us some mileage and a traction in social media. From an individual to brands to corporates, we are constantly on a search. Is there any cause that we can latch on to… make it go viral.. have it trending.. let the data show how well we did. How many retweets… how many likes… how many shares… Once that is done, hunt for the next one…

This really is a cycle. Some start the trend… some ride the trend and create their own ‘followers’.

The single minded objective is ‘social visibility’. We don’t really bother about the cause once we have moved on… Just like the news channels of today. Arnab Goswami will rant about an issue for a few days or even just a day and then move on. It makes for good TRP.

Create a controversy… and there will always be people taking sides and keep the conversation going.

Often the governments do that. A mindless controversy to keep the attention away from real issues. Start a fire.. sit back and let the media and social media keep stoking the fire…

There will be enough and more causes to latch o n to.. and if there is nothing that quite fits in with what you want.. create your own…

Road rage killing? Road rage will trend for a while. Meat ban in Maharashtra? hell yes! now that should be good enough for a couple of weeks at least… Nothing ever gets achieved beyond a lot of hot air… the life goes on… Internet has not only cut down our attention span, it has also led to this ‘click happy’ activism.

So next time when your fingers are itching to click or tweet or share.. ask yourself why are you doing it…

And The Times of India Surely Sucks

Big campaign about completing 175 years and how it is part of the history. But if people at Times of India don’t watch it… they would soon be history (if not sacked already). The Picture is the proof.

Did Jet Airways sell it’s stake in Etihad or did Etihad buy stake in Jet Airways??

Who sold what? Or Who bought what?
Who sold what? Or Who bought what?

numbing of the mind

Or is it dumbing.. not too sure.

Yesterday, the city supplement of Hindustan Times had this poll result for the question they asked day before. It was about people’s view on actor Sonam Kapoor planning to buy a house in Delhi! One of the burning and life defining issues that people in Delhi must address. And guess what… People did! voiced their opinion! except for the 25% of the people who checked on – they don’t really care (how insensitive of them!) the rest were divided. I think 40% thought it would be awesome to have Sonam living in this city and the others said no.. we don’t need more celebrities. since the opinions seems to be divided, it will make Sonam reconsider her such momentous decision.

And this my friends is the state of media in this country. Be it Times of India or Hindustan Times (supposedly vying for top spot as they keep brandishing IRS figures), they are dumbed down to an extent that to rise again is well neigh impossible.

Now we know why Reader’s Digest has filed for bankruptcy. Nobody wants to read stuff which is not voyeuristic or titillating or gossipy or bitchy. They don’t want to read stuff that is motivational or inspiring.


The Times Of India does it again!

Way back in October of 2011 I had done a post with headlineTimes of India Sucks”. It is one of my most read posts with people actually doing a Google search about precisely what the title said. Strange though that no one at The Times has cognizance of such searches. Anyways that post was about the Social Impact awards and the front page had only the politicians. No one who won the award.

This morning’s paper yet again about awards. Headline – The Night The Sun Shone. Am not very good with grammar but something seems to be wrong with that. But that’s not the point of the post. The point is that it was the night that the power elite were moved by the heart warming stories of grit, determination and hope. And half the page had pictures of these power elite! Eh no pictures of the people whose stories moved the power elite! Only mentions in the article… Seriously! I think the editorial team at the Times needs to sit down and have a serious chat about where the newspaper is heading.

When I open the newspaper in the morning… The last thing I want to see is the so called power elite. Bugger all they have done for the country. What gives them the right to waste newsprint and my money that I have paid for the newspaper.

Where were these people when the Capital was on a boil last month? Hiding behind fences and security in the Lutyen’s Delhi.

And the Times of India has become good at pandering to their egos and its own ego too. All of last month and even know they go on and on about Nirbhaya – and not failing to mention in brackets that it’s the name given by the paper to the rape victim.

Media in this country needs to mature. Something that should have happened over a period of time. As one of the oldest newspaper in the country, Times needs to be about responsible journalism and not dumbed down banal stuff that one gets to see everyday.

Does it really matter?

So yet again media created the hype and then moved on.  The whatshisname ex cop who was the breaking news or the unbreaking news has disappeared from the pages of the newspapers and from the channels. I don’t remember his name and I bet many others also do not remember.

Shiv Sena got some mileage with all  its empty threats and helped MNIK (ever noticed that most of Karan Johar movies get into these short ones so quickly) enough for the producer and the investors to start thinking if they can beat 3 Idiots. Sometimes I wonder if this whole shindig about not letting the movie release was a marketing gimmick… a la Wag the Dog… Media went to town.. Kabir Bedi was pretty much saying the same things across channels. Some wierdo from Shiv Sena was fighting with him with pretty much the same language across channels… And yeah Rahul Gandhi got some great mileage too (I bet he has got some very sharp PR brain managing his perception strategy)

The whole thing about racism and attacks and killing of Indians in Australia and threatening postures by the government… seriously if they really want to protect Indians… how about protecting them first in India itself! there are worse attacks that happen on Indians in India but these attacks are more often than not two column articles on the city page or sensationalized on Aaj Tak or India TV… nobody cares

These stories and many more… they happen and disappear.. catering to the shortening attention span of people who are logged in to digital media – channels, websites, social media networks… Media moves on because we move on. We don’t have the time or the inclination to stop and ponder…

Been reading yet another book by my favorite author Mr Michael Connelly – The Scarecrow.  Jack the lead character who works with LA Times is getting pink slipped because we now consume news as and when it happens.. in real time and correspondents who are expert in uploading the story instantly are the ones who run the newspaper… The depth be damned… its all about getting the two lines in right now… Because that is all that is read. (people actually spend more time reading the status messages on facebook and twitter than reading newspaper)

Wonder how the scenario would be ummm 5 years from now… all the day’s news crammed into character lengths less than 160 characters?

I am now probably old school who likes to read and read in depth and not 160 characters. I don’t want to just read the scroll at the bottom of the screen about whats happening in the world while the images on the screen are something really meaningless… Wonder if there is anyone in the media who wants audience or readers like me? I guess not. Because they are chasing the mindsets that are driven by status messages… videos and downloads…

So nope it doesn’t really matter what me or people like me think. We have stopped being the target audience probably 5 years back…

News and lives of people have just become a snippet to be addressed and archived…

But seriously… what’s wrong with News Media???

The prices of all essential commodities are through the roof. Common man is suffering big time.

The current government is going to complete the so called 100 days (or has it already?) and what have they got to show?

The economic situation is bleak. People are still losing jobs or living in a state of disguised unemployment (working but not getting salary on time)

Corruption reigns everywhere


How can anyone be interested in a politicial party which is on death bed and waiting for the plug to be pulled?

Do the news channels seriously think that a billion plus population which is trying very hard to make a living is interested in what Brajesh Mishra said… or the book by Jaswant Singh… or the fact that he has been sacked from the party… or what Advani said or did during the Kandahar hijacking… or What Sardar Patel did or did not do in 1945????

Seriously… who cares. If anything, the only people who would really care is the current government. They must be happy that the spotlight is not on their failures to govern and deliver on the 100 days promise.

Let me give you an example of how news media has become completely blind to what is happening to the people. This example is apart from the tripe that we get to watch on TV or read in the paper.

Few days back on BBC (one of the most respected news channels), towards the end of news, a guy joins the two who were reading the news and discussing the current events. This guy gives the latest unemployment figures in England.. which by the way have gone up. A min of that… and while he is still talking about the figures… the woman anchor asks him… “So what is your favorite cocktail?”. The guy wants to complete what he is saying about the unemployment and he is again interrupted by the male anchor asking about the cocktails.. because they want to move to this competition that is happening in England somewhere about the best bar tender!!!! Wow… talk about dumbing down and being callous.

Somewhere in an effort for increased eyeballs, viewers and readers, news people have forgotten what their profession is all about… WAGs are not stories… Salman Khan interested in buying an IPL team is not a story… Harbhajan Singh in his humvee is not the story.

Get real… get accountable… make the government accountable… Terrorism is here to stay and we would never be able to combat it or control it because when dealing with fanatics is not easy… So get rid of those stories about who gets Interpol red flag or how the government was right about Hafeez or whoever… Tell me why are the prices rising and what government is doing to bring down the prices.. Tell me why my money is not enough today for even the basic essentials… question.. interrogate… grill the government.

Stop wasting your time on the inconsequentials.

Unless the news media is also part of the larger political strategy to keep the common man away from asking these pertinent questions and bombard him with trivia and make his mind numb!