Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Celebrity Bashing

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
With television and internet covering every move of personalities and commoners at the same rate, it has become difficult to separate the important events and nonsense.  Things are blown out of proportion, or continuously covered until the next incident happens.  Every opportunity that even remotely resembles a conflict or a confrontation gets blown out of proportion.  The latest incident involving bollywood actors and a businessman was sensationalized for days, and both parties claiming that they were provoked and the other party was guilty of enticing the fight.

It was a fancy restaurant to have guests of repute and importance, who were able to afford the expensive environment.  The place demanded affluence of the pocket but never of the heart or reputation.  Both parties could have avoided the confrontation at the late hour of the night, but they chose to use verbal abuse and fist cuffs to demonstrate the street fights, rather than cordial deviation of conflict.

One party asked for the CCTV footage to demonstrate the guilt of the party that started the confrontation, but the restaurant conveniently claims that it was not in place to give privacy to its guests.  It is the biggest farce of an excuse to either cover-up the incident or reveals the real culprit.  The restaurant should be held accountable for having equipment that did not capture the events as they unfolded, or having dysfunctional equipment in place.  The restaurant should have equipment in place to avoid such brawls and when they happen bring the guilty party to task so the next time someone starts a brawl or misbehaves in public places they can be held accountable for their actions.

Celebrities are as human as the people who make them celebrities.  They are not immune to insults or barbs when they are in public places.  They deserve the same privacy as every other citizen does, and they don’t need to be subjected to any abuse by the people around them, especially when they are in a restaurant or a place where they pay for services.  The expensive restaurants or hotels should provide the comfort of service and privacy to all, along with the ability to have a good time by all the guests.  People pay for high quality ambiance and service with these places and celebrity or no celebrity, when one can afford to pay for eating at the place they deserve the same attention.

It is expected that all these places have a certain decorum with people who attend the place, but they must be well equipped to avoid and personal confrontations on the compound and should have the equipment to capture any kind of altercations that might happen on their confines.  Not having the equipment or not having working equipment is never an excuse to provide the guests with adequate protection and security on the premises.  These places should publicize that they have the security equipment in place that is to protect the guests and provide protection, rather than invade into their privacy, and such equipment is to provide protection.  By doing so and clearly making a point of having such equipment as a protective environment, rather than an invasive process, the public places will be able to better serve people who are guests who are really innocent of provocation.

The media also should stop making a huge issue of just celebrities that get involved in altercations, as everyone gets involved in personal aggravation.  The constant attention to trying to make someone guilty should be avoided, as stop bashing the people who name recognition until they are found guilty of a transgression.  Make the places comfortable and also secure by having the proper equipment in place, not give excuses of equipment not working or not having equipment.

Having an environment that provides same level of comfort to all guests should be the most important aspect of stopping the celebrity bashing.  After all the celebrities are people who pay for the services as anyone else, and they don’t need to be abused for just getting out to town, and at the same time just because of their celebrity status they cannot abuse people who are around them in a common place.

The celebrity bashing is to an extreme by simply using an incident and trying to read into the psychology of the person involved, and trying to dig every intricate detail of the person’s behavior.  Whatever happened to the information prior to an altercation, and was it not relevant to the public to know about the celebrities’ background until a fight ensued.  The level of guessing and prying into the personal past and what transpired at the particular instance gets in such guessing exercise; it becomes such invasive and almost abusive process.

The celebrities should be given the same attention as any other citizen, and no conclusion should be drawn until the law takes its own course.  The places of public domain, especially when they charge a whole load of money to their guests should have the personnel and equipment that protects the privacy or their guests and also attempts to keep them safe.  The celebrity bashing should stop until the whole truth comes and the media should not try and becomes psychoanalysts.  Outside of entertaining people, celebrities are human and they should be afforded the same respect and privacy as anyone else in a public place.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Vasu Reddy from Chicago

There is no longer the need to advertise or promote your products, services or self these days.  As long as they are sensational and have 30 minute fame, they get quick attention from the electronic media and the Internet.  Do something outside of the box or engage in behavior that is unusual, you get instant internet audience, and then the large network of television stations that need to fill in 24/7/365 space on the air.  Until the next sensational happening occurs, the electronic media will hammer the incident as latest and greatest news and pound people until they get wary of listening to the same with variations on what happened and commentary on who, what, when, where and why, without any verification of facts, just a lot of speculation.  The story typically changes many times during the coverage and the commentary outweighs the news content.

Until another event happens, the story will stay on and will be clearly highlighted for its duration.  There are so many cameras and reporters around the place, with so many channels trying to fill-up airtime, it is impossible to stay focused on one or the other channel, or one or the other story.  The stories disappear as quickly as they get flashed.

Not too long ago people had to wait for the new paper to be delivered to read about the news and mailman delivered letters and cards.  One generation ago, hot news was flashed on radio and television sometime during the day, and people turned into the airwaves for updates, and eagerly waited for new papers to be delivered.  The news readers made great use of the limited time they had to communicate the events of the day and highlighted only the major happenings.  The news papers were through in their print reporting and commentary.

We no longer verify or validate the news, just post it to the electronic media and if it turns out to be false or inaccurate, just retract it with an apology or simply delete the content online so people who are reading or listening get the glimpses of truth and fiction, and corrections as they unfold.  There is no challenging what people say or post online, as the information is more and more graphic each day.  Just simple disclaimers are attached to absolutely unverified information, or call it breaking news and developing story to cover the urgency of reporting whatever is available to sensationalize the issues, and as they unfold use the unverified information as shield to reporting.

The latest fad has been following social networks and using individual updates as breaking stories.  Facebook, Twitter. And many online exchanges are regularly used for individuals posting updates and pictures of themselves to share with their friends.  For celebrities and wannabies the social media is also an outlet to garner publicity.  Use of social media has become so epidemic, every instance you get some sensational posting from one place or the other and becomes hot topic for a few minutes until the next sensational word or picture comes out.  So much so even the real news magazines are following these sensational stories to keep their readers on their own space.

There are real stories and real news that gets mixed in with sensationalism and often obscures the news verses gossip.  The focus is now on having as many people visit the web link or channel and only way to keep them interested is to have some spice in the coverage.  No forbearance on the viewers that could be children and young ones who will be looking at the unwanted sensationalism.  There are no filters or censor that can control the traffic on the internet, unless you start to invest in extraordinary measures to protect the home networks, and even if you do, kids are smart enough to workaround any such measures to get to where they want to on the net.

While access to information and cost of communications have become minimal, and access to people and information almost at will, it is also quite invasive and overbearing.  We continuously get informed of something or the other and continuously get called irrespective of the hour or place.  So much for telecommunications advances and information technology both this will probably become more and more invasive, until one turns their mobile phone off, shut the computer down and switches off the television.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Holier Than Thou

Vasu Reddy From Chicago

Since PV Narasimha Rao’s government at the Center, every government seem to be embroiled in some scam or the other.  Every government has been under the scanner for irregularities and misappropriation of funds.  The cost of elections also has been going up with each election cycle, and successive governments have engaged in behavior that is not befitting a democratically elected government.

Democratically elected government’s definitely spend election money to get messages across to the population and promote their programs as the best option available for the country each time an election is held, and certainly the candidates and the parties that are contesting need to raise money to promote their messages.  The creation of political parties, political funding and promoting the agenda is all a democratic and transparent process which is simple to manage and has a process of money and message management.  The global democracies foster in open elections where every party and candidate has equal opportunity to present and promote their messages and the people decide who they would like their representation from.

No democracy is a ticket for embezzlement and stealing from the public and government coffers by electing individual for a certain amount of time, just because people believe in the message and elect the individual for a certain period of time.  The last few governments in New Delhi have gone to great extent in creating and fostering massive amounts of funneling of public resources into private and individual coffers, just because the people elected were placed in position of decision making and creating the environment for embezzlement of public resources.

Granted that the system’s created by the elected officials allowed for such loopholes leading to the scams and embezzlement, the systems should also have been practical in approaching the rules set by the same to monitor any discrepancies in implementation of policies that should be in public interest.  Even the individual push to a truly transparent and public interest policy has been difficult to be upheld in the center and also state and local levels of administrations.  A push for ombudsman failed at the gate and only had a short life, and fizzled out when it came for vote in the parliament.

Scams are not limited to the center but each state and local levels are also heavily involved in creating their own money making process at the expense of public policy and benefit.  All most all the state governments are embroiled in some controversy or other, and it always leads to money making by people in power.  Just that each successive government has gone with greater and greater schemes to siphon the money into a few pockets.

When in power the government is funneling the money into their pockets without abandon, and next government coming in starts to dig into the action of their predecessors, and will unearth the irregularities and start to which hunt the previous administration to either push them into oblivion and jail, or demonstrate that the previous administration was corrupt.  At the same time they will begin engaging in greater siphoning of resources into their coffers.  Granted that the cost of elections and promotional activity is expensive, the money siphoned is never used for electioneering, always to the benefit of individuals and typically moved out of the country and never entering into private or public sector investments.

In the current environment the government itself is not even waiting to go out of the office and chasing its own tail by identifying and going after their own party men who are scamming, and this is a phenomenon that is unlike the previous governments of chasing down the past.  It is now and current government identifying their own party men and brining them to task.  Everyone pleads innocent until they are somehow or the other linked to the embezzlement, and everyone pleads ignorance when the scams surface.

How difficult it is to create public interest policy that fosters openness and corrupt free environment?  If the elected government itself is sending its appointed ministers to jail, then who else but the entire government is at fault.  A political party cannot simply claim that its own elected and appointed ministries are conducting massive fraud or embezzlement without the consent of the party chiefs.  Even if party chiefs say that they are unaware of the scams and are not involved in the process of scamming, they are responsible for actions of the party men, and cannot simply say I did not know, or I am not a party to it.

There are no holy cows in the process, as the party of elected officials and their chiefs are responsible for the actions of the party men.  They are not innocent or ignorant of the scams, as they are not ignorant of the election process, money management, party mandates, or decision making of the part men.  There is no such thing as an individual scam as the magnitude and scope of decision making is across the board and everyone is responsible, whether or not they are directly involved.  The responsibility lies with the entire government; both elected and bureaucratic.

The public should hold every government accountable for all its actions and not just listen to the rhetoric of the elected representatives.  Each government must be accountable for all actions of all the party men, and should stop pointing fingers at one or the other.  There are no holy cows, except that the individuals involved should be responsible and not be left out as outcasts, who are acting alone as they are never alone in scamming a country.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

When one starts to believe in what is believed to be true despite the reality, it begins to sound as if the person is telling the truth and emphasizing the details to start repeating the same until presenting the details as truth, irrespective of what it is.  People really make things up to suit their personal agendas and start representing the same in great detail and start to believe it as the truth and also start representing things in great detail to others to make them believe that it is the truth. The age old saying that truth is easy to say and no need to repeat or remember when truth is stated, but when someone wants to make themselves believe what they are saying is truth by repeatedly making the same statements until they start believing that what they made up is true, it starts to fulfill their own ego.  People go to great extent to represent their version of events as truth and start believing in the nonsense as truth.

Great deal of attention is paid to public and private statements made every day by politicians and public figures.  There is emphatic belief in the statements they make each day and start representing their version of statements as they deem fit, far from truth or reality.  Politicians deploy this strategy often and try to convince their audience of their moral and ethical stances, albeit farcical.

Often when people are covering up or simply lying they tend to makeup instances of their virtuousness and constantly remind others and themselves of how correct they are and how they represent commonsense and righteousness.  Far from truth will be what is being constantly repeated only to emphasize nonsensical statements for others to listen to.

The constant banter from politician’s everyday around the world on how they represent the common man and the values of the people is not only far from what they believe and sometimes they themselves may not believe it in private.  These are statements that have no personal philosophy or commitment to the causes, simply for people to hear again and again and believe that they represent the good of common man.

When such banter is directed at individuals, they become ridiculously one sided and farfetched.  The language and context is always far reaching of the truth and unabashed and unreal, but the person receiving it will have no option but to listen open mouthed and would never have the ability to counter the nonsense or retaliate to such untruths.  But such outbursts happen often and without provocation, and cannot be defended.

Both in the USA and in India such self supporting speeches have become more and more common and very public.  Although the facts support otherwise, the person delivering them is oblivious to the facts.  The media dissects them and backs up with the reality of the issues and people just move on, but the person who is making the statements doesn’t seem to be phased by the facts, but will continue to put context to the accusations, still trying to justify them as facts.

The bickering and banter goes on until one or the other gives up and backs away from the debate or argument.  This is true of the politicians or people in real life.  It is impossible to debate the untruths as there is no justifiable reasoning in debating them.  Once someone starts to fulfill their own prophecies and start to believe in them, it is impossible to make them believe in reality.  Only when they realize the truth, if at all they ever will, is when the realization comes in, and at that time it is probably too late to face the facts.

Past Perfect

Vasu Reddy from Chicago It has already happened. Past is already on the books, recorded, and can’t be changed.   It ...