Of Earthquakes, Outrage and Ashish Nehra

January 19, 2011 at 4:31 am | Posted in Random Rants | 11 Comments
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So, an earthquake happened in Pakistan, last night. Tremors were felt in Delhi and Jaipur. As usual, I heard it first on Twitter. It was my third earthquake on Twitter. I remember messaging a friend in Port Blair about an earthquake last time, and then having to explain what is Twitter. Anyway, we digress. Well, two natural calamities happened. A 7.3 Earthquake occurred in Pakistan and Ashish Nehra scored the winning runs in a cricket match with a BAT and not a Ball.

As usual, we on Twitter were making fun of Ashish Nehra.  Hashtags and puns were flowing around. Even Murli Vijay had come to the party. And then the tremors happened. Twitter went through the usual cycle. Updates were coming in fast. Everyone was eager to know the amount of damage caused. Some people were really shaken up by the tremors in Delhi. I don’t follow a lot of people from Pakistan but I am guessing it’d have been the same there. And while all this was happening, some jokes on earthquakes flowed in from the usual suspects and many unusual ones. Outrage followed.

People were upset with the insensitivity. Unfollows, follows and blocks ensued. Also pouring in were sympathy tweets for Pakistan and Pakistanis. People were suddenly looking for their Pakistani followers and appeared worried about them. That is when my medulla oblongata malfunctioned and I posted these tweets:

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A lot of discussion followed. Insensitivity, opportunism and the price of being funny were discussed. I learnt a few things. Sadly, I missed the ‘How not to tweet when you are mildy outraged’ lesson. So I tweeted this:

 

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This didn’t go down well with a lot of my friends. Apologies. I didn’t word it properly. I’ll try and do that now.

I have a serious problems with sudden gushes of sympathy. I was #outraged when Aircel was screaming 1411 tigers in my face. I hate it when people are moved by numbers. A bomb blast happens in Pakistan every other fortnight. People die. Do you tweet on your timeline asking your Pakistani friends if they are ok? Just because the probability of some Pakistani(and I don’t say that in a J.P.Dutta fashion) who follows you dying in a bomb blast is mathematically less than the probability of someone dying/getting hurt in this earthquake? I didn’t stop there. Posted some more.

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My outrage was misguided, may be even unfounded. But I refuse to believe that every follower of mine who tweeted about the loss(am not really sure about the damages yet) of Pakistanis, was genuinely worried about them. And that is what boiled the blood. And the medulla oblongata. So I questioned. And like everything on twitter, a lot of us took it personally. They had my imaginary finger(not sure which one) looking in their direction, my bald head tilted towards them, my questioning gaze questioning(duh!) their emotions. A lot of them responded with logic. Some responded with smart-alec-ness. I apologized and made a run for it. Having @thecomicproject to talk to, helped.

I still believe that there is nothing wrong with joking about a calamity. If you can tolerate someone talking about Sania Mirza’s pubic hair, you shouldn’t have a problem with someone joking about a death. If you can tolerate the mention of the word ‘Chinki’ in a conversation or a joke, you shouldn’t really be outraged by hypocrisy. I personally believe insulting those who live is worse than insulting those who are dead. If you can tolerate one(or even enjoy it), you might as well take the other.

And that is all there is. My Wednesday is fucked and only I am to be blamed.

P.S.: Some people unfollowed me during this. I promptly went to friendorfollow and unfollowed them back. I understand your urge to unfollow. Had I been in your place, I may have done the same thing. I have a policy – I follow people because (a) I like their shit and (b) they like my shit(given they aren’t, for the lack of a better term, orkutias). The moment (b) ceases to be true, I don’t see a point in following you anymore. On an unrelated note, @daddy_san, @unnamedentity, @pranavbakliwal, @stupidusmaximus and @thecomicproject – I am glad that I follow you all. Thanks for driving reason in.


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