Error of Judgment and Judgment of Errors



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The prototypical Bindass dude!
The “prototypical” Bindass dude!

Image taken from: ‘What I am’: UTV Bindass’ new campaign speaks through voice of youth (click) at Campaign India Online.

Can you see the disordered person?

The dude trying to pass off as a doctor? No?

Oh, and before it so happens that the dude actually happens to be a doctor and not some wannabe punk, which it seems could be the case, and I have to suffer the blushes, let me tell I have no issue with how a doctor is being portrayed. What is funny, though about the entire photo is that, our prototypical dude seems to be trying too hard to appear bindass making him hardly look interested in treatment of the patient in the background, but ironically, the very same patient has played her part too well in looking moribund! So much so that she might die in a flash. Flash, as in, camera’s flash!

Anyway, the disorder I am talking of is “conformism”. Yes! Our dude suffers from it. It is a form of conformism – not even disguised well enough. In the video, his attitude reeks of “in your face”-confrontation (when there is no apparent need), and what his actual responsibility is, i.e., taking care of the patient hardly seems to be on his mind. This is that attitude that makes people conform to the image of a nonconformist (click). What an irony! Nonconformists also have prototypes!

Well, it is not a case that I have come across these portrayals of nonconformists for the first time. I came across the above photo and video after some “research”! I happened to travel in BEST buses in Mumbai after quite some time. And there was this hoarding that I had happened to see:

Just because I'm bindass doesn't mean I do drugs
Just because I’m bindass doesn’t mean I do drugs
Image taken from: UTV Bindass – great new ads! (click) at mumbaikar.com.

My first response was a zero decibel “Yeeeeeks”! I mean what is our dude even trying to prove? Oh, as the video dismisses the very idea of “trying to prove” something, it follows that I am asking the wrong question. My train of thought went thus:

If someone can undergo a whole lot of pain to get extensively tattooed and intensively pierced only taking after some other certified “bindass” celebrity, which I don’t know they do to what end, then certainly their threshold to experiment with drugs must be low. The thing about narcotic drugs is not that they are illegal, but they can result in self-harm. If someone could be a rebel without a cause to only not conform, the same impetus lies behind trying narcotic drugs and other substances that are not approved of by the society, like alcohol and nicotine. Likewise, an impetus exists to indulge in acts that are perceived to be despicable. So, though such a prototypical dude may not necessarily end up doing all of those things, the impetus to conform to an image of nonconformist, exists. So well, the proportion of such prototypical dudes who take to narcotic drugs or to smoking or excessive drinking must be higher than in those who do not try to conform to the image of a rebel. Is this supported by statistics?…

As I was thinking on these lines, trying to play out both sides of the argument in my mind, I saw another hoarding…

Just because I'm bindass doesn't mean I sleep around
Just because I’m bindass doesn’t mean I sleep around
Image taken from: UTV Bindass – great new ads! (click) at mumbaikar.com.

Okay, point taken! But which made me think how have the makers of the ad assumed to “sleep around” to be inherently immoral or reprehensible? Are they not rather reinforcing a taboo? No! I am not trying to argue out which is better – fidelity or sleeping around, but still, I expect better sense of ethical propriety off people pushing at the boundaries of contemporary societal standards!

By the way, the video I had linked above has this girl shaking away seductively, either: to her own ignorance that her dance is seductive, or maybe her dance is, you know as they say, *a celebration of life emanating from deep within*, something I am incapable of understanding. And I have no problems with it. However, attempting to seduce is again a kind of conformation! It involves doing exactly those things that the one you want to seduce wants you to do! But what is surprising is that the basic idea being conveyed is that – it is alright to be seductive, but not alright to have sex. What an exercise in redundancy! The real expression of freedom would have been, had the girl said – “I’m not interested in you, dude ‘cuz… (fill in with some “bindass” reason)! But no what she ultimately manages to say is just that I have a right to seduce you and not have sex, ‘cuz having sex is bad! And who decided “sleeping around is bad”? Of course, not the society but our bindass gang. And then I saw yet another board…

Just because I'm bindass doesn't mean I don't believe in God
Just because I’m bindass doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God
Image taken from: UTV Bindass – great new ads! (click) at mumbaikar.com.

I was just praying (to the nonexistent God), when the hell would these ads stop coming at every corner the bus turns? I can tell you, there are just too, too, toooooooo many of these ads. They just don’t cease peeping from one hoarding or the other. Yes, my mistake that I happened to look at them, and think about them, and now, that I happen to be bugging you reader blogging about them, but please try to understand: these ads are bright, gaudy and BIG! And well, I realized the reason is this (click):

The channel is spending Rs 3 crore on the campaign, spread across TV, outdoor, print and below-the-line (BTL) activities. It is concentrating on outdoor sites in cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru. It has also taken up space in dailies such as The Times of India for print ads.

But, but, but…

Can we look at those ads, again? Please!

= =

Or in other words:

I do drugs = I sleep around = I don’t believe in God

This is so not acceptable! This is the worst form of religious discrimination possible. In India, every form of courtesy and reverse discrimination is reserved for the minority. Smaller the community, weaker it is; more vulnerable it is to bullying by larger communities. We, atheists are the undisputed champs at being the vulnerable. Now do not ask me what religion do I follow to be considered a “religious” minority! Just like how “zero” is a number (a fact invented by Indians), we atheists worship “No God”. And our God is bigger than yours, and mind you, it’s “all naturals” – without using any pills for enhancement! ๐Ÿ˜› Unlike your God, it has two words instead of just one. But now that I have established how proud I am of my religion let us get back to the point. Can you imagine the degree of discrimination used against us by the government! So much so that, everyone has to have a religion! Have you noticed, there are no options like “atheist” or “nontheist” in official forms? Basically, to not believe in the existence of a God is legally not possible in India (click)! Unless and until one converts to a specific religion, the religion of parents is automatically stuck to the child. And it remains stuck throughout life, and even thereafter because even their child will contract the same religion!

Anyway, was I too disturbed to see it splashed in a huge media campaign that atheists are (immoral) like those doing drugs or sleeping around?

Actually, no. I know this kind of prejudice against atheists does exist, not just in India, but even elsewhere. And I have even tried to refute the validity of this preconceived notion that fear in a deity prevents one from indulging in unethical acts. Here (click)

It is no wonder that believers do not believe something to be moral because God commands it to be moral, but rather they make their God command what they already consider to be moral! Read this interesting abstract from a scientific study (click), which derives its data partly from neuroimaging:

People often reason egocentrically about others’ beliefs, using their own beliefs as an inductive guide. Correlational, experimental, and neuroimaging evidence suggests that people may be even more egocentric when reasoning about a religious agent’s beliefs (e.g., God). In both nationally representative and more local samples, people’s own beliefs on important social and ethical issues were consistently correlated more strongly with estimates of God’s beliefs than with estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 1-4). Manipulating people’s beliefs similarly influenced estimates of God’s beliefs but did not as consistently influence estimates of other people’s beliefs (Studies 5 and 6). A final neuroimaging study demonstrated a clear convergence in neural activity when reasoning about one’s own beliefs and God’s beliefs, but clear divergences when reasoning about another person’s beliefs (Study 7). In particular, reasoning about God’s beliefs activated areas associated with self-referential thinking more so than did reasoning about another person’s beliefs. Believers commonly use inferences about God’s beliefs as a moral compass, but that compass appears especially dependent on one’s own existing beliefs.

More about related ideas and arguments can be read here – My Imaginary Friend (click).

But then, if anyway I have been clubbed together with “immoral” people, why not use this license to be licentious! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ummm… drugs and sleeping around sounds fun. Prick-ing around is allowed, but no piercing around, okay? This is no immoral indoctrination, just a note to the self. ๐Ÿ˜›

Well, that was my 2 pence-worth angst at 3 crore (30 million)-rupee-worth ad campaign. I am so happy to be not bindass, and this conformist with broken sense of morality, but at least intact skin! ๐Ÿ˜›

—–
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And then I had seen another hoarding, and the only thing that caught my attention in it was:

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

The Architecture of the Indian Constituency

My first (zero decibel, again) response was – “What the fuck…”, which of course amounts to nothing! “…How could someone with so bad an English design a hoarding meant for promotion to be read by so many people!”. Then a conspiracy theory occurred to me, and I sincerely wish the theory to be true, which being: that it was a clever ploy to convince the “majority” that the Dalits have been so marginalized, that they cannot draft a single simple proper sentence in English! They need education. And they need it fast! Truly, reams of written word could not convince me about the need for reservations in educational institutes in India (click) the way that one sentence on the hoarding did. I do not know, which party’s politicians’ woeful condition of English the hoarding was attempting to advertise, but I suspect, it was the guy with the power of “ONE” (LS seat)! You know, that certain Republican Party of Certain Republic?

—–
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Anyway to end this post, I leave you with an excellent piece of original research, telepathy or clairvoyance [Hey, I don’t know more difficult English words than these ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ] or whatever you may call it (click) by a senior “journalist” Kuldip Nayyar (click):

The murder of police officer Hemant Karkare, who was probing the Malegaon blasts, was the doing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or Bajrang Dal.

And no, this statement does not appear on Wikipedia (which I have actually found to be quite reliable in being balanced), but the noted reliable and verifiable source, that is, Dawn (click), “Pakistan’s oldest and most widely-read English-language newspaper”.

Enough reasons to sigh in days to come. *Sigh*

Related blog post by G Saimukundhan: Guide to Dudehood (click).

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10 thoughts on “Error of Judgment and Judgment of Errors

  1. Apt observations .The media and in general the society have a ill-defined and outdated code of conduct . Most people, most of the time, accept because it is convenient to accept than to question the validity of reason.

    Regarding the religion column in the forms , I guess it only refers to the faith our parents believed in or practiced without believing.child of Hindu parent is more appropriate phrase than saying a Hindu child.but who cares ?

    If you ever happened to get some affidavit or stamp from court after name, father’s name and age there will be a mention of caste , I really fail to understand what role has caste got to play in legal documents?

    When we accept the ways of society we adopt ourselves ridiculous way of life.

  2. I liiiiikkkkeee!!! So first of, practice what you preach – in that, write something controversial so we can have virtual verbal debate! ;P
    Unfortunately, on this post, which by the way, I thoroughly enjoyed reading, I did not find any points that I disagreed with….however, I did not read through most of the ‘links’ attached so maybe, at a later day, I shall find something to argue upon! *hopefully*
    Like that link to ‘reservations in Indian education’ looks promising – although I don’t know the context! Anyway, just dropped by to say really nicely argued post – and I like the flow you built between posters and religion! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. u sure do cover a range of topics in one post!
    n u got all that from an ad? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    ps: i wish i could say something more intelligent than what i have mentioned here…but just realized that i actually don’t have an opinion here! so kindly adjust ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. @ Sunil:

    Yes, blind conformity is disgusting, and when it comes repackaged as needless deliberate attempts at seeming different, it becomes all the more unbearable.

    The caste aspect for reservations is one thing, but it reflects poorly on the World’s largest democracy if those running the country cannot realize a simple fact that some people just would not belong to any religion! Religion is not at all as indispensable as oxygen, for instance!

    Thanks for the comment.

    @ Tumultuous Suspension:

    Thanks! Now I remember you had pierced some body part of yours at 4 AM, right? Tell me honestly, what did you feel reading about what I have written about body piercings? ๐Ÿ™‚ And well, that you happen to be in agreement is flattering. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep coming. TC.

    @ Tarun:

    Who said “research” can’t be entertaining! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Am glad that quite a few people found the entire campaign as crappy as I did. Was worried if I was being too much of a nonconformist in not liking the campaign.

    Yes, that “not sleeping around”-part was funny! Don’t know what kind of intellectually deficient people make such ads. But then, a lot many wannabes even get carried away by them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Anyway, these ads serve as filters – I can make out who is what kind of conformist. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @ Anonymous:

    Welcome to the blog, and thanks for commenting!

    In all honesty, I am curious who you are. You get the distinction of being first anonymous commenter on my blog who is not a spammer nor has indulged in flaming. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yes, believing in God, being afraid of him/her/its ire, and yet doing drugs and sleeping around, assuming God does not approve of those things, does require some courage!

    Also, the very short sentence you have written is so similar to the way I write. That makes me doubly curious about you. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Take care, and hope, you will keep dropping by.

    @ blunt edges:

    Finally, finally! So here was a post that was not embarrassing for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to know there was not lapse of communication this once. And, finally welcome to my “main” blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Take care.

  5. And one more thing, while my stay in Sikkim, I met the punks and rawkkers there, who are blinded by the mind pollution created by the Bindaas, Roadies, and so called fkd up reality shows.
    Such shows r clear Mind pollution, back biting, on-screen-bitching and all those mdfucking stupid acts, which young lil punks take as cool behavior

    P.S: For your comments, I stopped analytical writing long back when I was in my college, may be m Atlas Shrugged or may be I see humor in every thing
    But soon m startin off with school kids, attitude sesions and all the stuff, so that they can atleast knoe what they like and what they want
    will need ur help for sure
    \m/

  6. Sniffs! I pierced my nose at 1:00 AM prior to an exam, myself, and I do not believe in idol worship, and I have no problem with people who do drugs and sleep around! ๐Ÿ™‚ So. I concur with you in principle. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I made up some freeeeeeeeeeee time to read this one. This was one heck of a neat observation and analysis. I completely agree, no room for debtes ๐Ÿ™‚

    There are other TV shows like Splitsvilla, Roadies and others where they tend to project today’s youth as aggressive, outgoing, upfront; being these are not wrong…but they are manipulated in a negative manner.

    I really liked your take on ‘sleeping around’. Seems that few people have that stereotyped thoughts which are strengthened further due to ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

    Good one.

  8. I am glad I got to read this post of yours. The advertisements did not appeal to me at all. First, the wording ought to be more positive. For eg., I am bindaas…and I believe (in God/etc). Or ‘I am bindaas.. I don’t do drugs’, instead of ‘Doesn’t mean I Don’t do’. You see the negativity there? Good post, Ketan!

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