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Post-Brunch Intelligencer


Midmorning ramblings on the state of the species

Tapas for Brunch

Posted by Nath at 4:44 AM
There several unrelated things I've been meaning to write about, so I thought I'd dump them all in one appropriately chaotic post.

First, I'm sure you've read about the vast amounts of aid the world community sent the US in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, from Hungary's $5000 to the UAE's $100 million. This, in itself, is a good thing. What I want to know is, where were all these generous donations when a thousand people died in the Mumbai floods a month earlier?

Honestly, I'm also not sure it even makes sense to give away money after disasters like these. I can understand interest-free loans, I suppose – perhaps a government can't muster enough cash at short notice to buy the clean water and blankets and such people tend to need when a region is in chaos. But in the long run, does a few million dollars really matter to a country that can afford to spend $100 million apiece on these? Is there some hidden logic behind all this, or is this whole thing just a show of knee-jerk sycophancy?

Second, NDTV has an article about how the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) accused India of having a hand in the August 17 explosions. I'm a little suspicious of this article – partly because I've seen little mention of it elsewhere, partly because the quality of online news often leaves much to be desired. Mostly, though, it's because it seems so ridiculously implausible that anyone would come up with an accusation like that.

Speaking of the quality of online news, here's another example of the sort of thing I'm talking about. The article was shot down the next day. When a newspaper puts colourful pictures of elephants on its front page articles, I simply get annoyed. But when a paper takes a piece of information, misinterprets it, sensationalizes it, and then reports it as fact, I get worried.

You might have noticed that all my examples seem to come from one newspaper. Unfortunately, the problem isn't so localised. I've only linked The Hindu so much because I subscribe to its RSS feed, and thus get to see most of their mistakes. The Hindu isn't a worse news source than average; that's why I don't get my news elsewhere. I've seen this sort of reporting all over the place; that's what makes it a cause for concern.

Finally, on a lighter note, I just got back from watching Serenity. It's really a pretty entertaining movie, though not without its implausible moments (it's a Space-Western, for crying out loud!). It's nice to see anti-heroes (anti-villains?) who actually act, well, anti-heroic from time-to-time; most of Hollywood's anti-heroes are distinguishable from regular heroes only by the fact that they tend to scowl a lot more. Overall, I'd say Serenity is well worth watching whether or not you've come across the equally entertaining TV series it's based on.

Comments:

Posted by Blogger Atanu at 27 October, 2005 04:22:
Hi Nath, you bring up a very good points in connection with Katrina and aid from various countries. Some time ago, I wrote a piece which you may like to read called Charity Begins at Home.

Keep up the good work.

Atanu




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