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Hannah Arendt’s 1961 essay “The Crisis in Culture” suggested that a “market-driven media would lead to the displacement of culture by the dictates of entertainment.”
That 1961 essay is getting realised at present in India, at least. The whole landscape of Indian media looks like a criss-cross of open sewage lines full of shit bursting at every joint running from everywhere to everywhere.
Though there are some silver linings but they are lost in, what we technically call, a spiral of silence. In the presence of such dark clouds and such dirt-laden rains, what will a glimmer of that silver lining do when the general mass is enjoying the natural shower.
The picture is not very good to look at. May be, the apparent impression on the mind is pleasuresque but larger picture is painful.
The biggest brand (we all know who) which has surpassed the popularity of all the others is making a mockery of journalism, both print and online. The ‘vulgarity’ of content selection reaches its limit and surpasses that every month.
The word ‘vulgar’ does not amount to the content with vulgarity, sex and sensationalism but it goes beyond that. The selection of news itself is filthy.
Market-driven media: Vanishing line between news and entertainment
A whole generation has grown up reading a newspaper which doesn’t mind being vocal about ignoring the difference between entertainment and news. I vividly remember a quarter page advertisement (image below), in retaliation to The Hindu ad campaign, the newspaper brand went on to say that the baby of Aishwarya Rai is no less important than Vice-President of India.
This pity and shameful situation becomes apparent when our generation thinks the same way. But it’s not their fault. There is a big man sitting in a chamber deciding what to sell, and that sells. That sells because it is from a brand that is tonsuring a big mass by pleasing them.
The problem is: instead of enlightening and informing, media is busy giving pleasure.
The man at the helm is akin to the pied-piper of Hamelin and the readers, rather consumers, are the mice who are all jumping off the cliff because it sounds good. This man is very shrewd and it appears his ambition is to harm the country’s conscience by the slow poison of his marketing strategies.
The news site which gets hits at par with the New York Times has promptly dedicated a big space on the homepage to the entertainment section which can be classified to soft porn and yellow journalism in its prime.
Write provoking headers questioning the senses of individuals, “Is it possible?”, with a deep search engine optimised story to gather the searching mass, and you get the maximum hits.
Reader is equally delighted to see the bikini clad images, the so called ‘oops!’ moments of wardrobe malfunction, hottest girls going nude on magazine covers… on the mainstream media site.
Seldom one finds a good write-up from one of the columnists. Instead of having some thinkers and experts to do the editorials, there are celebrities! As if celebrities are the greatest thinkers on policies and public matters!
What can one imagine of this mass! God save this country from the brutal claws.
Their logic is simple: we give people what they want. The truth, however is the other way round. You are giving something which people should like because they don’t have a choice.
You attack the teenage mind with the semi-nude images in your paper and the website; you distribute paper free of cost in colleges and so they fall in the trap. You mould their brain before they mature and condition them according to your taste. Then you stoop lower and lower to sell and attract them.
And you succeed. Why? Because there is no one else which can fall so low. Then you justify that we give what they want.
As Mark Twain writes:
We are discreet sheep;
we wait to see how the drove is going,
and then go with the drove.
And it is you who decides how the drove should go!
Is it not your responsibility to shape the opinion in a better way and raise citizens who think on their own rather than looking to their left and right when asked to give their opinion on political crisis or even about what game Dhyan Chand is associated with!
Is it not your responsibility to forget about your staggering profit for a few months and engage the mass to the socio-political issues of nation?
Is it not your responsibility to promote good education to enhance the education system rather than printing two pages under your campaign to promote your brand in the garb of corporate social responsibility?
The sheepish mass has lost its potency as a whole and is dormant like the inert gases of Group Zero. They are highly receptive but unreactive. Unless they find a cause fashionable enough they don’t get into it.
The ‘fourth pillar’ is fashionable to hear but is hollow and, perhaps, non-existent. The few rods of the pillar which are trying to keep it standing are limited to a few readers.
Overall it’s a very sad situation for India and we need to throw a big hammer with our collective force in the face of this Goliath. This Goliath needs to fall and David again needs to win. We are the hands that should hold the hammer.
(The views expressed are author’s personal.)
By- Digital Hub
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Require a Wig
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In today's society, the wearing of a hair wig has become more common. A hair wig is an easy method to alter your appearance at any time you wish quickly. Women are more drawn to these wigs since they can change their hairstyle with ease. Wigs are usually worn by those who have shed their hair or those who wish to alter their hairstyle to be fashionable.
Human hair wigs on display at a store Image source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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Human hair wigs have many advantages:
Human hair wigs last longer than synthetic ones
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Human hair wigs are costly
While you can find numerous styles of synthetic wigs, but there aren't all fibers produced in the same way; for example, wigs that are costume-related for Halloween are typically made of lower quality fibers, which are expensive and appear to be the hair wig. For Halloween parties, this is okay, but for everyday use, you'll need a wig that looks like it's been growing around your head. On the other hand, contemporary synthetic materials utilized in top-quality designer wigs look highly practical for those who want to look realistic.
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The prestigious British-based, Booker Prize, is one of the most prestigious and acclaimed awards given annually to the best work of fiction. This award is given to a work of fiction which is primarily written in English language and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland by the writers of any nationality.
This year, six authors were nominated for their work of fiction, and the winner will be announced on the 3rd of November.
The books which were shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2021 are:
1. The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
British-Somali writer, Nadifa Mohamed's novel, 'The Fortune Men', is a chilling reimagining of Mahmood Mattan's story. Mattan, who is the main character in the book, was a Somali seaman who was wrongfully imprisoned and executed for a murder in Wales.
2. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
Pulitzer-winner, Richard Powers' book is a story of a young astrobiologist, who is in search of finding life on other planets, and his troubled son, Robin. The book is a mixture of sci-fi and family romance. Interestingly, this is Powers' first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2019.
3. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
This book is about the lives of pilot Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter, who was a troubled Hollywood actress. In the 1950s, Marian embarked on a journey to travel the world but then disappeared without a trace. Fifty years later, Hadley is drawn to play Marian's character, which indirectly leads her to probe the mysteries of the latter's life.
4. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockdwood
This is the first book by the American poet and memoirist. " 'No One Is Talking About This' is like a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature," reads the book's blurb. This book was also one of the finalists for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction.
5. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
The Sri Lankan author's book tells the story of a young man who travels to Sri Lanka's war-torn North. The story deals with the themes of loss, longing, the legacy of war, and how it affects everyone. The author had earlier won the DSC Prize for his debut book "The Story of a Brief Marriage".
6. The Promise by Damon Galgut
Damon Galgut is a South African author. In this book, the author pens down the story about a white South African family living around in Pretoria, and the crisis they face during the last few years because of apartheid.
Today, 17 September,marks the 133rd birth anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura, who was a Japanese scientist, and worked extensively on decoding the nutritional value of green tea.
Tsujimura spent her early career as a science teacher. And, in 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at the Hokkaido Imperial University, where she began to analyse the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms, in which she was very much interested.
After a few years, Tsujimura transferred to the Tokyo Imperial University, and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, who is well known for his discovery of vitamin B1.
In their joint research in this area, it was revealed that green tea contained significant amount of vitamin C, which is the first of many, yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea.
Later on, in 1929, Tsujimura isolated catechin, which is bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year, she isolated tannin, which is an even more bitter compound. All these findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis– "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea", and through all this hard work, she graduated as Japan's first woman doctor of agriculture in the year 1932.
Moreover, Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first ever Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at the Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in the year 1950.
Even today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr. Michiyo Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City.