Let’s not fool ourselves, we can be foolish sometimes. Yes, even if you are the 99% kind or the engineer-doctor types. As if that degree which did not fit in the cupboard and is lying under the mattress can prevent those moments of wearing the dunce caps! And mainstream media, our favourite pass time (after FB that is) is putting that triangular hat on our heads when we least expect it. 7 ways you and I are being fooled by the mainstream media are –
Most of the people talking to us through the TV know us inside out, or so they want us to believe. From Sky Shops to Talk Shows, that man with an animated accent and that woman with a wig will have us believe that they have everything that we need – solutions for hail fall, tips for our love life, investment options and even precious gems which will change our life. All we need to do? Order Now or Stay Tuned! Hello? If everyone on TV started becoming the voice in our heads, what would become of us? Well, what has become of us – namely, unassuming fools!
One fine day, over much fan fare and cake cutting, all channels became 24*7 (Nothing like DD of yore which went to bed when you did.) However, what about the content? If only Life was that full of newness and all things novel! Action replays are not just part and parcel of sports kingdom but lots of other channels too. Tune into a news channel on a dull day or entertainment channel on a bright afternoon and chances are if there’s nothing new or breaking, you are either watching the 10 sec footage of a falling building since the past 10 hours, or film awards from a couple of years back. There, you are wasting your money and time, both!
Honestly, it seems more and more people are taking longer in the bathrooms. Look at the duration and frequency of adverts for a supposedly half-hour soapy show of crying women in the forefront and whimpering men in the background? Too long too frequent, at least 4 times per serial. Is this bladder trouble or simply your favourite program fooling you into thinking that you are watching it, whereas all the time, it is resting behind ad jingles. Yes, dear, you are paying to watch advertisements and enjoy loo breaks without bothering about the former or needing the latter!
Got a super big package for English movies? Have put the kid to sleep and ready to enjoy one, or many, with your spouse? Think again! Last we checked, Harry Potter was being magical on HBO at 11:30 and Jackie Chang was doing dishum-dishum at 12 am. This was to be followed by ‘Shrek’ at 1 am. Really! Either these movie channels want us to turn kids (or saints!) or they themselves have. Go watch those latest English flicks in the cinema hall. You are being fooled into paying for and watching animation in the name of ‘World Premieres’.
You must have heard what ‘India wants to know!’ on prime time. Yes yes, we are India. And they are going to tell us what we want to know, and they will make sure that after the big fight has subsided on the views hour, we really feel pregnant with knowledge. Mainstream media will pass off their opinion (or their editor’s, in case he is big!) as the people’s opinion, which we people will lap up and pass off as our own. And we don’t even need to bother to think for ourselves. Confusing? That’s the whole point!
Apart from the number of adverts dotting our newspapers and spotting our TVs, the products advertised are out to pin donkeys too. Use a certain cooking oil and your husband will become active, use blah deodorant and woman will fall on you, become fair and you can fly a plane, and the list is endless. I don’t blame this segment of mainstream media for using its tricks on us. After all, where there are people ready to be deceived, there will be an army of deceivers waiting to deceive!
Now, there is nothing real about reality TV shows, as controversies printed in our favourite tabloids will have us believe. She was asked to kick her there at that moment and he was supposed to come and leave the house pre-maturely since he took off his head-phones, or whatever, which was against the rules. Rules? Did not my teacher tell me that everything is fair in love and reality TV? Here you are, spending one late-night hour watching people pull hair and shout beeps, getting all emotionally charged and there – well, fixed from the start! On top of that, voting! Only Rs. 3/SMS. Dear Lord, reality was never so fixed as it is now, and neither was it so foolish!