Skip This, Watch The Virgin Suicides Instead

Our old old dear dear friend idoubtit suddenly seems to show a glimmer of recognition of, to have cracked the doors open a smidge to, notions that the news media are not all they appear to be and that what they report is not either. Huzzah!

What’s she actually asking more of now? This story on the English site of Dainik Bhaskar that reports that pubescent girls (and at least one boy) in Madhya Pradesh have been setting themselves on fire and so dying, and a prevailing story round Indore and environs is that ghosts are telling them to do it.

idoubtit’s to-be-expected roundup?

A paranormal power? A pathetic excuse. Were these troubled teen girls? FAR more likely. If this is a trend, it is a very scary one. There is not enough information to know if they had family trouble or mental illnesses that were left untreated or some other real life cause for their desperate acts but the fact that this is treated without addressing material causes (at least in this source) is very disturbing.

Were they troubled girls? Fucking DUH! They fucking killed themselves, up to 20 of ‘em. Family trouble, mental illness or some other “real world” cause? Shit, lady, I’d find no fault if you wanted to ask questions about broader social conditions and the plight of young girls and women in India (connected to specific historical circumstances). The point is, wow! you’re actually asking questions for a change.

That you imply that actors and other observers are oblivious to such possible bases is the height of conceit.

But, congratulations, idoubtit, you’re on the verge of the full blowed realization that culture/religion actually says something about the “real world.” But here’s a bit more pointed advice, like my previous commentary, that might help you into the room with the rest of the thoughtful who actually pursue questions, who actually try to interpret the world in a coherent meaningful way on the basis of such data.

First, and this is just stylistic advice. Ditch the emotive editorial language and whatnot for fucking already.

A paranormal power? A pathetic excuse.

The question mark (I’da called it a rhetorical question, but since we’re dealing with two incomplete sentences here, that’s not entirely accurate) is a rhetorical device best employed by professionals, please don’t try this at home.

Is “pathetic” a modifier you really wanna use to make your point? Pathos here there surely is. Why undermine the glimmer of empathy you’re experiencing by a term that means lame in common parlance? No matter, I’m used to that out of you – curing it overnight seems unlikely.

“Excuse.” Also not a good word. Now that you’re intellectually on the verge of asking after coherent fulsome explanations, you need to be careful with respect to such vocabulary choices. You’re this -> <- close to suggesting that the paranormal thing is expressive of something in a larger social world, don’t sneer at the fact when you (and I) live in a world in which that kinda thing is not regularly culturally operative.

It’s not an excuse (pathetic or otherwise).  Cummon, you’re halfway there. Culture both reveals and occludes. Recognize that, refine the way you deal with it, and you just may get all the way there.

Alright, maybe you’ve taken my grumpy old professor’s suggestions constructively so far. This is proly gunna be a little harder for you to swallow.

Let’s look at this “real world” you speak of.

Imagine for a minute that from, not so much a god’s eye view (a whole other problem of yours that we’re not ready to tackle headon) but as a view entailing, well, everything yours entails, you suddenly find yourself observing a social situation in which the assumptions, possibilities, language, other cultural junk, etc. built into life are almost completely Other than your own. Honestly, how do you make any given state of affairs, set of events make real sense?

When you come from a world wherein a cherub of a hillbilly child whose claim to, uh, fame consists of the made-for-television construction of her family’s tossing her into cattle auctions for judging such sub-adults, plus more carefully constructed peering into the lives of such a calf and her cow, is popular entertainment, can you honestly say you belong to a real world or one that is objective enough to render judgements on social formations elsewhere?

I’m really not trying to poison your well here. Go all Pomo. But let’s make it clear. Poo-pooin much if not all of culture when we encounter it, with a sense we stand completely above and apart and superior, is at best fraught.

Moving on.

My goodness.

not enough information to know … treated without addressing

Your source might not be telling you a full story? Endulge me whilst I say … didn’t I fucking tell you so! Repeatedly! In several ways (including the comment of mine you wouldn’t publish, justa be a bitchy blogger)!

I don’t mean to apologize for Dainik Bhaskar (= Daily Bhaskar, the English page, = “The Daily Sun”). But you have consistently, and here also, refused to acknowledge the built-in shortcomings of the sources which you broadcast and upon which you offer passing shots.

Be human, and an educated human at that. You are in a complex web of translation and interpretation. But, that you pretend otherwise, like you have up to this post, like you do to degree in this one, is fucking vulgar. Again, by all means, if it hasn’t been made clear so far, bring every one of you naturalistic assumptions to these issues and events, but don’t let that shit blind you to the theatrical way that others under no pressure to accept your naturalism act out all the social stuff of their lives, for better or worse. Til you can explain your way out of your culture, which gave us Honey Boo Boo, I don’t think you oughta be tsk-tskin the matters like for which I’ve been calling you to task.

Finally – praise Jeebus! You suddenly seem to have got religion with respect to the fact that media don’t tell you a full story about any set of events. But now you’re overcompensating – you surely realize that if you let these seeds of doubt grow to fruition, your whole doubtful news enterprise collapses under its own weight, don’t you? Don’t fear, if you simply take your sources for what they’re properly worth, you can keep on keepin’ on. Just stop the shit I’ve been buggin’ about, ask good questions, and you’ll be fine. No, strike that. Just stop reporting and fucking commenting on shit you’ve no capacity to fathom!

very disturbing

Not as disturbing as your past broadcasting of similar stories, with your unreflective snark, refusing to ask questions and refusing to recognize that these mere specimens of journalism point to far more dynamic things beneath the surfaces they consist of.

Go figure. Journalism, like the culture it belongs to, both reveals and occludes. It’s not disturbing; it’s part of the very structure of the material your soapbox is built out of.

Still. Cummon in to the room where ppl actually think about all such things. I’m inviting you, intellectual vampire that you are. I’m just hoping that in future you’ll not suck the life out of any more interesting and complex cultural phenomena. But maybe you need a new blog since with the post in question you’ve established, if you hadn’t already, that “Doubtful News” is redundant in name, not to mention full of complete crap in substance.

***

BTW, idi, as far as I can tell the story isn’t translated. It’s written in a form of Indian English, the kind of English many North Indians speak and write in, with its own syntax, idioms and vocabulary, and often clipped in journalistic prose (“cent percent” = 100%). And so it’s devoid of the error which you claim. As for thanking me for this bit of cultural sensitivity training? Mention it not (even though fortnightly you are eating my brain).

But since most of us in the Commonwealth are an apologetic lot: one lakh, one crore(!) apologies on behalf of all us colonials who are not writing American. But come on, you’ve got to love the coloUr in it. Chintzy, I know, can make me spit on my chemise sometimes. Anyway, I must make a move; I’ve got to shift out of my pyjama now and be going to the Home Hardware godown for some plumbing supplies.

But again, mauf kejiye.

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