Sunday, 27 January 2008



by Remigius de Souza
24x7 ENTERTAINMENT EXPLOSION has reached the global dimension. Forty years ago, P S Rajan, one of the young architects in Ahmedabad, used to say, ‘in the Hell they are shown Hindi movies through 24hours’. We, then, didn’t imagine that Hollywood-Bollywood-Tellywood, and much more trash that takes place around, will be a 24x7 reality on the earth, here and now. Well, in the Hell as well as in Heaven everyone is immortal, therefore, must be thoroughly bored like people in the Industrial Civilisation.

A journalist from the US, probably from New York, I read somewhere some time ago, had said, ‘people want constant excitement’. Obviously, media has been obliged to provide it, and ‘discover’ more. And people fall for it until their senses go numb.

ET-IT facilitate this 24x7 entertainment explosion enormously through cinema, TV, computer, world wide web, YouTube, iPod, cell phones, and many more gadgets to come, and of course, print media. As I started browsing through the blogs I noticed this frenzy spreads through blogosphere. Entertainment, YouTube, Shopping etc. tags get highest ratings on the search engines.

Anything, and perhaps everything – fashions and fads, gadgets and products, from "deconstruction" by Derrida to Porn to war on insects (and humans) – invented in the First Worlds in the "West" or "North" reaches sooner or later to the markets in the First World in India and other countries in the "South" so it becomes global. The entertainment industry and tourism industry, i.e., leisure, are colonised by the capitalist consumerism to ‘commodify’ free time of the employed and the unemployed.

In India globalisation begins in the cities and spreads in the towns. What about the Indian villages? TV is a powerful medium for the illiterate and the marginally-literate, if thy have access. Perhaps, the farmers in villages of Vidarbha, Maharashtra, and other places, may forget their woes and stop committing suicides, or their suicide rate may rise on and on, after watching affluence, consumption and waste of resources in the First World India, but certainly not out of boredom. We heard that a guru was teaching tem ‘Pranayam’ – a breathing technique in yoga – on a mass scale; never heard about any results.

No, the farmers do not suffer perpetual boredom alike the urbanites. The evident disparity between their condition and the extravaganza of the First World India that is projected through, for example, TV, could only lead to their frustration and anger. Some day it may lead their tolerance of five thousand years of subjugation by the feudal powers to a breaking point to result in another epic war of Mahabharata. Thankfully, the majority in India do not have access to TV and education both.

There may be several such 24x7 obsessions in different fields, occupations and professions, from primary schools to politics, which turn them workaholics, or force others to be. There may be several reasons – psychological, social, environmental, economic or political. But there is certainly one reason. Lost in the modern urban jungle they are looking for their lost identity and community, or for intoxication, in the virtual world: everyone – the producers and the sellers as well as the buyers – are a bored lot.

© Remigius de Souza., all rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment