Monday, December 27, 2004

NEO-phyte fundas

It is happening. Slowly, but surely. I can feel it. And it seems there’s no way I can stop it. I firstnoticed it a couple of weeks back. At first, I didn’tpay too much attention. But gradually, the feeling isbecoming more and more palpable. It’s probably likecocaine. Initially, you do it just for a lark. Butbefore you can realize what’s going on, it starts torun your whole life. Luckily, I don’t seem to be the only one affected, there are more like me.Sample this: “Just got back home - that the first thing i do is get online is probably not a good thing. will post more later.” This, from the blog of one of the youngest and funniest authors around at present and a compulsive blogger. And this: “Met Putu, who’s back in Delhi. We’re all such dour creatures behind our Internet identities… And of course, had the always-delightful company of Shrabonti, who, refreshingly, is just a real person, with no blogging alter ego attached.” This, by the way, is the prolific author of one of the most popular Indian blogs and a person whose writing stands head and shoulders above the innumerable journo/lit blogs littering the blogosphere now.
However, my condition doesn’t trouble me anymore, because I have found the Answer.
I know why you're here, Fellow Blogger. I know what you've been doing. I know why you hardly sleep, why you live (a part of your online lives) alone, and why night after night (and most of the time that you should be doing some productive work in office) you sit at your computer. You're looking for a forum (and an audience that will read your drivel). I know, because I was once looking for the same thing. And when (the Blogosphere) found me, (it) told me I wasn't really looking to produce great literature or stuff. I was looking for a space where I could get people to listen to what I had to say (something, I have been trying to do unsuccessfully ever since I got my first write-up published in the school magazine.) It's the quest that drives us mad. It's the quest that brought you here. You know this just as I did.The Answer is out here, Dear Blogger. It's looking for you. And it will find you, if you want it to.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Cutting edge stuff!

This blog is in very bad taste. Not only is it a very poor attempt at some pedestrian humour, it is also a perfect example of what someone with a lot of time and very few ideas can come up with. Anyway, since a public forum and a democratic setup (ah! the freedom that the Internet bestows on you to say any bloody thing you like) almost always provide a fecund environment for airing the vilest views, the most noxious notions and odious opinions (think Uma Bharti, Mayawati, Ashok Singhal et al), I decided to go ahead with it. The fact that the Eureka! moment happened today while I was waiting at the local Halal Meat Shop, and was informed later in the day by Jabberwock that the last shot had still to been fired on the plagiarism front, all contributed to what I am about to do now, that is, post this:
What is the difference between a butcher and a film reviewer?
A butcher just cuts. A film reviewer cuts and pastes.
There, I said it.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Big Blogger Is Watching

It’s all happening here in the blogosphere. Jabberwock’s Nikhatgate expose has set the cat among the pigeons. There has been a flurry of postings on several blogs, with the desimediabitch blog taking up the issue in a big way. And the way journalistic circles in the Capital are buzzing over the incident, there’s no doubt that it is bound to spill onto more mainstream media, like newspapers and magazines.
There are a lot of people who believe that the whole plagiarism thing is a non-issue here in India, especially when you grow up to jokes like this: “What is the Japanese slogan? You think of it, we will make it. What is the Indian slogan? You make it, we fake it.”
But, let me assure you that even in the “eenspaired” land of Bappi Lahiri it is a big deal, especially in journalism.
Last year, one pink daily went to town against a correspondent of a rival for plagiarising one of their stories. All this was done through the good offices of, the blogspot which had become quite a rage during its short existence. Things came to a head when word reached the editor of the newspaper in question, who immediately asked the offending correspondent to resign. In her defence, this correspondent had said that she had inadvertently ‘copied’ the stuff while Googling for more information on her article. However, her explanation did not cut much ice with the management and she had to go. A few days ago, veteran CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather was unseated over a controversial story he did on Dubya’s dubious National Guard service during the Vietnam War. This is what USA Today had to say: “Rather's departure could signal the rise and influence of politically motivated Internet "bloggers," who relentlessly attacked him and the documents that were used to back up his 60 Minutes story. Some political and media analysts have said the "Memogate" scandal damaged CBS News' reputation, especially among viewers in largely rural, conservative states — the network's core audience.”
While Rather’s was not a case of plagiarism, it was certainly not “ethical” journalism.
I think it’s time people read the writing on the wall or should I say their monitors: Beware Big Media, for Big Blogger Is Watching.

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