Addicted to 'violent porn'

What would you say if you found your 12-year-old watching people being beheaded, mutilated bodies and human beings, either dead or suffering? Or if your 10-year-old daughter demanded a breast implant? Or would you prefer your 15-year-old were part of an online suicide cult?

The latest entrant into the list of child predators – along with pedophiles and teachers who dish out corporal punishment – is the World Wide Web. According to a 1999 report published by the US Senate Committee, “by age 18 a child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence.” Through movies, television, video games, newspapers and the mother of all database, the Internet. Increasingly adults and children alike are getting addicted to violence and violent imagery on the Internet and the terminology being used for this addiction is 'violent-porn'.

How would you feel if one of your deceased relatives’ pictures suddenly popped up on a website that publishes real pictures of dead people, those in accidents, with mutilated limbs and suicide pictures taken from police files?

One such family wrote to a website claiming the site had put up a picture that showed the mangled body of their nephew, who had killed himself by getting in the path of a train. They requested the site to remove the picture. The website replied, “We ask that, in the future, this family conduct their suicides in a less public manner.” Sensitive, right?

Freedom of speech and expression are beautiful tenets of this modern world. But does it stop somewhere, should it? What is worrying – more than the presence of such sites – is the fact that it is the susceptible minds of children that are getting hooked.

Popular sites such as ‘Who Would You Kill’ and ‘New Grounds’ focus on killing off celebrities of your choice. The latter is the 12th most popular site for boys aged 11-12 years old. If it’s violence for the boys, it’s plastic surgery for the girls. The Daily Mail reported how a new Internet video game called ‘Bimbo’ has caught the fancy of young girls. Launched a month ago the game has nearly 200,000 British players, most aged 9-16 years.

What’s wrong with the game? Nothing if you see it as a spoof. But does a 9-year-old understand it’s a spoof when she orders breast implants for her ‘Bimbo’ or puts her ‘Bimbo’ on dieting pills? Is it all harmless fun or are we looking at a generation of young girls growing up thinking bigger breasts and a stick-thin figure are what they need and young boys learning to love violence and mutilation? Or are we all over-reacting?
Next Page >>> Who’s responsibility is it?


It’s easy to fall for fiction

VITAL STATS: Thankyou ALL for reading, Emancipation of Eve touched 50,000 page loads (currently the stat counter says 50,301). Last night, a total of 202 readers browsed through here. Sincerely, thankyou for your time...now if only you were to start sharing your thoughts, I promise not to repeat posts. :D

VOTE PLEASE: There's a new poll up on what looks best on Indian women, or what they look best without. I might write a corresponding post, I might not, but what the heck, it's fun. Do participate. And for those who have no idea what Indian women look like, type 'Bollywood' and click search on Google.

Talking to a friend the other day, we were discussing why a whole lot of Complete Package women – beautiful, intelligent, non-whiny, can make a man laugh, confident, knows her mind etc – end up falling for complete jerks. “WHY do we, who are supposedly intelligent, behave like gits when it comes to falling for the wrong men? We seem to choose them with alarming alacrity,” she said. I nodded fervently. “Are we stupid?” she demanded. I denied fervently. “Stop shaking your head at everything. How can an entire generation of intelligent women keep falling for the bad guys?” I perhaps knew the answer to that one… but decided to delve deeper into my psyche to understand better. The best way was to go through the fictional characters I have liked over the ages. Rather, the fictional characters I have FALLEN for. I REALLY liked those men. Naming non-fictional characters can get rather iffy no, what with my identity out and all?
My first book(s) were these Russian fairy tales that Dad got for me. Big books, hardbound covers, with sketches in ink on the cover and inside. All princes were unanimously called Ivan and I learnt pretty early on that beautiful women were supposed to have long, flowing hair, walk gracefully, talk softly and faint at the slightest provocation. I lacked in all spheres. But nonetheless, I have been in love with books and characters for as long as I can remember. However, I read stuff that will never have anyone calling me a voracious reader. :)
(Oh my god. I am watching /hearing Fashion TV as I type this and I just saw the nicest bum I have ever seen. Also, do notice, while the camera focuses on the crotch of female models in lingerie, particularly if its lace, they NEVER focus on a male crotch. No, I am not particularly interested, but dude, you cannot have gender bias when showcasing booty, ok?)
I wished I was a vampire so bad I nearly killed some people but the idea of drinking their blood put me off. Blood I don’t mind, it was my choice of victims. All because of vampire Lestat (no, I refused to see Tom Cruise in the role, he would have spoilt it for me) in Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice). What I liked? His love for corrupting power and the honesty that he knew he could be corrupted.

I wished I was sporty. I was always more into academics than sport, except for carrom and badminton (was school champ in grade 9 and all, heh) Er, this is a bit embarrassing, but I really liked Joe Hardy… yes, the younger of the Hardy Boys’ brothers. He loved trouble and always got into trouble. This when I used to bunk school and sneak into the library. Nearly had an accident when I read the one in which the two are F1 drivers and I wanted to race my dad’s Maruti 800 on Sikkim roads. My date with danger ended when the driver complained to dad that I was threatening him.

Then there was Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain), he is/was soooo cute. I really wanted to run wild with him and Huck Finn and not study and go looking around at what others were up to. Sigh. That was about the time I developed my Math phobia. Anyway... And Tom didn’t leave Becky alone in the cave to die, did he now? Alas, can’t say that about the men of today. Hrmph.

Robotech - The Marcoss Saga had this character called Zor Prime. I remember vaguely but he had a definite evil streak. More than a streak. I flunked for the first time in any exam – it was early semester, Physics – because I was watching him, two back to back shows the previous evening.

I hated Stephanie Zimbalist. Because I loved Pierce Brosnan aka Remington Steele. Don’t remember much in terms of his qualities but dude, he was too tasty to look at. He had a quick mouth and quicker brain. (Btw, Miss Teen USA looks older than me. Ha.)

Wolverine. Oh Wolverine. And that’s completely due to Hugh Jackman. That brow, chin, chest, pecs… those arms. Ooooof. And the fact that you cannot tame him. Aaaand, dear Hugh majored in journalism in college. GRIN. Somehow I've never liked any of the Spiderman, Batman variety…just don’t like men in masks.

Jack Sparrow, TOTALLY due to Johhny Depp. Wouldn’t kiss him though. Or maybe I would. But would be a mad adventure with him for sure, life that is. And of course the fact that he has no conscience.

Somehow, all the fictional characters I liked - except perhaps Tom Sawyer - all either had shades of grey or were completely black. Why did I like them then, as a youngster and even as I grew up, even when I could see they were negative? Perhaps they resonated with me? Or because none of them were EVER guilty about who they were or what they did? Now that I'm thinking about it, all these men/boys/characters had a hidden 'good' in them too. The term I believe is anti-hero. Moral of the story? Women like bad boys hoping there's a good side and wishing that their bad boy will be good for them and yet retain the badness. Women don't like heroes or villains, it's the anti-heroes. Moral of the story 2: Am no different from a whole lot of silly women. Damn.

PS: I enjoyed researching for this one, especially stumbling upon Robotech and Zor Prime as I had forgotten the name of the show. If you've got the time, check out the Wikipedia links, some interesting stuff there. And a sincere thanks to those who fill out the info on wiki, tis good.


Keel(ing) Haul: Why ‘foreign’ girls are easy (prey)

Advertising is a powerful tool. It can exhilarate, educate, strike a debate, titillate and definitely irritate. As far as irritation goes, the prize goes to the latest Vodafone ad – four generations in a family end up singing kabhi kabhi mere dil mein song – which puts my hair on edge. I hear it and my synapses short circuit themselves.
Or maybe it has something to do with Vodafone: I have been suspicious of the company ever since they took over Hutch and put that cute pug in a kennel. While the Hutch ad touched many hearts – what with the little dog following the little boy, stumbling over steps, sleeping in his bed and all – the Vodafone version gave me nightmares. So here was the faithful little pup looking for its master, searching, seeking, hopelessly lost…
And what happens next? His master deserts him and he ends up in a kennel. Chop, chop, finito. Downright despairing and should have warned us of what to expect from Vodafone: Bad connectivity, bad customer service, bill goof-ups and fraud and too many calls from too many people on all bad times. Anyway.
As much as I love good ads and will watch them without changing channels –compulsive-channel-changing is anyway a man-disease, they just LOVE pushing buttons me thinks – bad ads seriously put me off. Like the stupid ads on sanitary napkins that show women having this sudden urge to perform furious acrobatic feats just when they are having their period. Dude, it does not happen, even if said napkin is more comfortable than your girlfriend’s bosom, there is something called period cramps. Had even written a post on stinky pad ads (pun unintended) three years back – called the Period Piece – you can read it here.
Ads are powerful because they have the ability to influence thinking. Whether you buy a product or not, ads leave behind an impression. Or create and propagate one.
So it’s somewhat disturbing when driving down the road you see a billboard with an Indian guy posing with two semi-nude women, both ‘white’ chicks. Turn a magazine page and you will have another ad with a woman suggestively licking an ice cream, again a ‘white’ chick. An advertisement for a deodorant where miraculously the guy gets many girls after he sprays himself (er, with the deodorant that is); the girls are all skimpily clad and white.
Or for that matter event invites on Facebook. ‘Come to the expat night’ at so-and-so place and the invite-image is that of a white girl’s torso, lots of thigh and cleavage. Or profile pictures and party pictures where most DJs will be seen posing with ‘expat’ girls; most of them white, drunk and showing skin. Or the photographer who pastes his ‘work’ on the Funwall: “My job is to click beautiful women” his message reads. All pictures are those of anorexic, suspect-age (under 17) ‘models’, all white and barely clad. The venerable Amitabh Bachchan does a music video (Eer, Beer, fatteh anyone?) and shimmies with white girls. Akshay Kumar’s videos from his fun movies have ALL ‘foreign’ chicks in negligees and negligent clothing. WHY just the white girls? I have white girls as friends and most come from families that could have been mine. I also know Indian girls who do things that would put a whole lot of ‘coloured’ (and I mean other colours than brown) to shame. So while certain Indian ads and movies promote the ‘white girls are easy’ image, our glorified item-girl Shilpa Shetty becomes the epitome of Indian womanhood. Ah what grace, what beauty, what culture.
Even as I am writing this piece, there’s a news flash on my computer: Three Indian Army officers detained in Kinshasa, South Africa for the rape of a woman. Meanwhile the investigation into the Goa murder of 15-year-old Briton, Scarlette Keeling continues… Apparently she was into drugs, sex and a ‘fast’ life: Recipes for asking for rape and murder if you ask certain Indian authorities.
(News update: The army officers have been cleared of charges. News report here.)
CNN-IBN’s prime time show, Face The Nation, posed the question: ‘Are foreign tourists victims of an image trap’? The survey result: 94 per cent said yes, and 6 per cent said no. Meanwhile officials and ministers say that foreign tourists coming into India, especially women, should be more careful. “There are women lying naked on the beaches”, says one minister. Since Goa does not have nude beaches perhaps that is pushing the limit. What about bikinis and beachwear? Won’t saris in the sea/ocean cause more drowning? What about the women who are molested even when they are NOT in beachwear?
What ‘image trap’ are we talking about? Is it against white women? Skimpily clad women? JUST women? Is it the advertisers and movie industry that are promoting this? Or does it have to do with the fact that you can do anything to any woman and it will become prime time news and nothing beyond that… because we always end up blaming the victim? She ASKED for it? It’s not just India or Indian ads and movies. Check this ad (now withdrawn) by Dolce & Gabbana. Women, kids and dogs sell products. Apparently even gang rape does.


Hari Puttar and the Deadly Fellows

Our story is the final chapter in the long-running battle for supremacy between good and evil and is based in the clandestine media school, The School of Plagiarism and Bitchcraft. Our protagonists are final year media students there and are forever embroiled in a war to either become a Jhola Journalist (those who supposedly uphold truth) or a Suspect Stinger (those who uphold everything but the truth).
Bumble Bore: Is the Head Of Department and a committed bachelor who is only too ready to commit if he could find a lady to marry. He upholds honest journalism and has done One Brilliant breaking story in his career - that no one has in fact read - and ever since, has only spoken about That Big Story that he did.

Hari Puttar: Our hero, an orphan who lost his parents rather tragically, who is basically honest but has a talent for lying that often forces him to misquote people in his stories and 'break' false news... for the greater good. He also has a glad eye for ladies and a very dark, secret...He also has a weird birthmark, a huge, bright, red bump (aloo) on his right temple.

Raman Wadhwani: Hari's best friend and sidekick. He too has a glad eye for the ladies... but they are always way older than him.
Harmanpreet 'Harmi' Kaur: She is a girl and is a friend to Hari and Raman. She is very intelligent, but unfortunately, her intelligence is only restricted to understanding gossip about celebrities.
Mini Wadhwani: Raman's sister and Harmanpreet's nemesis. Mini is an aspiring model and thinks that looking good in a situation is the most important thing.

Val Thockeray: Our villain, the ultimate media magnate who wants to create the ultimate TV channel that will relay whatever he wants to relay. He has no ethics (of course!) and believes, "Either get the story by hook or crook, or create the story by hook or crook." He is personally responsible for slandering many Important People and spoiling their lives by printing lies about them. Now he wants to recruit all top students from SPB and use the Power of the Press to change things to his ways.
Seriously Black or Bhoot Uncle: He is Hari's long-dead godfather and often appears to him as the friendly ghost who advises him on all things sundry. When he was alive, he was an ace crime reporter, till he was framed in some false sting operations and had since been named, 'Seriously Black' by the press...

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