Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Wednesday, February 15, 2006

defending the tv

by E.R. Ronney

Television is evil. They will tell you that television is more evil than a bunch of hell spawn monkeys doped on cocaine and stuffed into a room full of priceless antiques. Well, they never really said exactly that but something to that effect. Yes, they say TV is evil incarnate. Who are 'they' you wonder? That is explained in full graphic detail in another article. For this purpose suffice to know that 'they' consist of people who feel that the truth may be in there in that tiny glowing box. They fear that the truth will be accessed by those who are better kept in the dark. Yes, 'they' are the parents who do not want to talk to their children about birds and bees. They worry TV will teach the kids too much about birds and bees which is true.

'They' are also the politicians, business people and other individuals who prefer to keep their activities under wraps. Television has a habit of unwrapping that wrap.

TV may be called evil but it also goes to its benefit. After all is it not the inquisitive nature of people to follow that which is forbidden or taboo? That makes people want television even more. It is as if it has a mysterious hold on us. It makes you wonder that just possibly there is a god of television just like many believe there are gods (and goddesses) of war, famine, love etc. How else can you explain the power that a simple box has over us? Heck, in present times the box has become streamlined and flattened like a Mr. Olympia tummy in the form of ultra thin flat panel plasma displays. The god of TV becomes all the more powerful in this form seducing more followers by looks alone.

Television supposedly gives birth to violent degenerates. Shucks, we can be violent degenerates without the help of an electronic box. We are much more capable than given credit for. But seriously, violent degenerates existed long before the device was ever invented. Cue all the raiders and ruthless rulers who raided and ruthlessly ruled nations with blood. They had no TV. They had live action plays where kids called Romeo and Juliet ended their life in violence. No television there either.

Cavemen who could not speak spent their time violently throwing around stones till some of them sparked and created fire. Violence is thus ingrained in our molecular structure. You cannot blame TV for that. It just helps to show how violent we can really be.

Someone's father once argued that if Newton was watching TV at home he would never have been hit on the head with an apple and never have discovered gravity. I would say he would have been sitting under the tree with a portable unit and would have been molested by an apple anyway.

There's no end to the lambasting of the beloved device. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there is an evil boy called Teevee who watches (you guessed it) TV all day and is punished as an example.

Homer Simpson is a famous TV character who has many famous inane sayings. One of them goes very much in defense of the television and its supposed perils. He says that TV is the only form of education we have. And where did I get that choice piece of info? Straight out of the TV itself.

The opinions expressed are to be taken lightly without too much fear of moral decay.

The opinions expressed are to be taken lightly without any thought to litigations, hitman contracts, and other harmful reactions toward the writer.

Cupid is On Fire

by Shabnaz Rashid Diya

Quite honestly, Valentine's Day is the most unappealing event of the year under my set of definitions. It hardly interests me, but with such 'intense love' in the air, the temptation of making a mockery out of it was irresistible for me.

With another 14th of February comes another fresh 'horde of lovers', desperately trying to make one day out of 365 days in a year a little less miserable (or as they put it, a little more 'special'). However, when I look at it, it seems nothing more than a fantastic day for Hallmark and Archies, paid e-card galleries and any gift shops out there. The best part, it happens every year and with it, brings more couples and a lot more money.

You might be wondering what my problem is if card stores are making more profit than usual out of the stupidity of youths for a particular day. It is not about the business inside card stores that I find so peculiar; rather, it is the fact that love can be both bought and sold that makes me wonder.

I have seen different forms of commodities being exchanged for a few extra bucks, the obvious examples being education (compliments to the increasing number of 'English-medium' schools and coaching centres popping up like mushrooms from nowhere) and honesty (ranging from the highest officials in government 'services' to the underpaid employees in small offices). 'Love' has not been a recent addition to a longer version of this list, but it is about time somebody speaks up about how easy it is becoming for transaction in the general 'youth' market these days.

Ignoring for a second about the predefined, 'bookish' terms used to describe this particular feeling, what immediately comes into focus is the modified, simpler, 'practical' and 'more suitable' interpretation of it. The slightest fluttering of the heart which stays for longer than a week and perhaps, if 'unlucky' for more than a month, seems the precondition of 'intense love'. Added to it, the desperation to see and be with him/her, the constant urge to satisfy desires, the 'almost perfect' smile or the 'nearly heavenly' figure seem to be the assured steps towards a successful relationship. Or, as I like to put it, the next big steps in retaining your interest for a few more days after 6 months (I apologize if I counted too many days). The gifts, cards, phone calls and cell phone bills come with it like a compact package, and “bingo!” you are expected to be both lucky and happy.

What further annoys me is the ease with which our 'prospective' couples exchange the three most-commonly-used words in English vocabulary. It does not require a second thought, a few more days or a bit of honesty. It comes out as simply as something like, “I don't feel like studying” (and there yawns the speaker, wearing the typical bored expression). The flexibility with which they give up their dignity and sanity and after a few weeks from an 'unexpected' separation, the comfort with which the memories evaporate or pretend to be without influence is what comes with the compact package of 'love'. It is almost a routine, with minor changes. The 'best' part is that you can buy it and you can sell it all it requires is peer pressure, dishonesty and lack of self-respect.

Then again, you wish it were so simple! Love, in my experience, is by far, the most complex emotion that works inside the human heart and mind. Ofcourse, when I am saying this, I am referring to the 'uncool' love that people read in books (don't rely on movies they are pathetic). It takes a lot more than just the fluttering of your heart to make it real. It is about being a little less selfish and a little more caring; it means few sacrifices and many more compromises; it is being inspired by the same dream and giving up whatever it takes to make it happen; and most importantly, it is about trying to correct mistakes and being a little more perfect as a person for your beloved.

Undoubtedly, my 'uncool' definition of 'uncool' love will be very much contrary to the cooler, simple versions of it. With perfect consideration, I will allow Hallmark and Archies to carry on with their Valentine's Day business strategies; the fools make bigger fools out of themselves and waste another day. This article, however does not include exceptions (where true love does occur and do last), for exceptions are never much fun being the topic of discussion. I don't think this article will be anything more than entertainment, although my intentions were a bit of self-realization on the readers' part. On that note and with little hope, I am eagerly waiting to watch Cupid's wings burn down to ashes, soon.


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