Unleashing the Outrage

Apparently some unfunny comic, Joel Stein finds himself on the wrong side of the desi outrage of the week. Couple of days ago, an article in Time mocking the heavy Indian presence in Edison, NJ made the rounds of the interwebs and got retweeted heavily on Twitter (redundant? Where else would anything get retweeted?) It still remains the Most Read article on Time.com eclipsing the teen sensation, what else, Twilight Eclipse. So you can imagine the dissemination power of mocking desis and I’m not helping either by linking to it. If you read it, it comes off as an amateurish attempt at humor and trying too hard to rankle an otherwise peaceful minority (with the exception of perennially offended Rajan Zed). I read it, said meh, tweeted the link, and moved on.

Time Popular Posts.PNG I thought someone clueless about satire, albeit lame, in India particularly at Rediff would get offended and unleash the infamous Rediff commenters but I had never imagined someone on this side of the pond would fall for it. Sepia Mutiny did, unfortunately. Anna’s rant was needless (and long) and even her fellow blogger, Abhi thought Stein’s article didn’t deserve a rant. The post has 292 comments as I type this compared to an average of about 30-40 on other posts on their front page. So I understand the need to, as @cgawker would say, outrage but there ought to be a deserving target for your outrage. Stein’s largely unfunny attempt didn’t even raise my eyebrows; so much for being ‘on the edge’. But I understand this is the age, albeit declining, of the pageviews where you must provoke or be over-the-top outraged to generate discussion. Too bad, it isn’t the Drudge type of racism.

On the other hand, read this reasoned rant (I use the term loosely) on Manoj Night Shyamalan’s latest to-be-flop movie, The Last Airbender casting decisions. Now that’s a protest I loved reading every word of; calm, direct, and backed with evidence.

Related meta-rant at Vantage Point.

3 Comments

  1. I started reading the article and couldnt get beyond 1 paragraph. Either he was that bad or my attention span didn’t last beyond it. Either case doesnt look I missed much :)

  2. I too was very surprised by Anna’s vitriolic outburst, and the way it was freely laced with expletives – all the more so because I have never seen her write this way. Stein’s article was lame,poorly written, thoughtlessly racist (though Anna herself admits she doesn’t think he is racist) and in the end, reflects badly on Stein more than anything else. But instead of ignoring it (or responding with the satire and contempt it deserves), I was surprised she chose to launch a tirade against it – she now comes off looking worse than Stein :(

  3. @supremus: You didn’t miss much but the article wasn’t too long compared to the rant against it.

    @Lekhni: She fell for the trap that I think Stein had intended all along. These magazines in floundering times are desperate for page views and hell bent on creating ‘nontroversies’. They indulge in the crap that they used to accuse blogs of; the least we can do is not succumb to their tactics.

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