Thursday, 23 January 2014

Arnie and the Artist

Yesterday evening turned out to be a most distasteful one among many that I've had watching the Newshour. Arnie was interviewing Vishvas and the same was dominated by questions relating to his past career as a comedian and stand-up artist. Arnie had a lot of pointed questions about what the nation wanted to know, relating to the artists’ body of work.

It seems that Mr. Vishvas had made jokes on ‘sensitive’ topics like racism, sexism and religious fervour and admitted to them with the defence that they those comments were made in humour and as part of a script during a performance. It is therefore to be understood that they were not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings.

But, the Hand, finding no other reason to find fault with the Sweeper politician, had raked up his past and brought to light the blasphemy that he engaged in during his many performances as an artist. And Arnie, in all his wisdom about what the people of the nation want to know, engaged in a dubious and baseless debate about how a politician of his standing (which is none at the moment), could pass such remarks. This, despite the fact that Vishvas apologized on national television for inadvertently hurting anyone’s sentiments.

He also went on to add that though he had apologized, it did not mean that was wrong. He quoted many famous artists who had done the same and then reiterated that it was done in good humour and as a comedian only. But Arnie boy, adamant as ever to prove himself the advocate of the people, public prosecutor supreme and all knowing journalist general of the nation kept trying to shout him down and absolutely refused the defence of poetic licence.

Poetic licence, as given in the Oxford Dictionary:

[The freedom to depart from the facts of the matter or from conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect.]

Poetic licence, as given in the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

[The right assumed by poets to alter or invert standard syntax or depart from common diction or pronunciation to comply with the metrical or tonal requirements of their writing.
The term poetic license is also sometimes used in a humorous or pejorative sense to provide an excuse for careless or superficial writing.]

Now what part of that was not clear to Arnie, I know not. And though I believe his research team to probably be one of the best in the country; I’m disappointed that he would go out of his way to sensationalize something that the media might rather stay aloof from. At this point, I may even say that the channel may be compromised because of the way they have gone after an artist, instead of questioning the politician.