Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stuck in a hole

How closed is the American mind?
No, don't misconstrue my question. The Americans are quite open-minded and liberal in varied areas of relationships, traditions and culture. But how come they know zilch about what is happening beyond their four walls?

None of the news channels talk about international issues unless it relates to the American army elsewhere. It doesn't matter if Chile and Liberia elect their first woman presidents. The matter of high priority is what Isaac Mizrahi did to Scarlett Johansson.

How long would it take to include just a line about what's happening around the world in between those traffic updates and the rescue of a cat caught on the roof in Hudson? Or maybe I am watching all the wrong channels :(

I met this nice American and we were discussing movies and I said I love Clint Eastwood movies. Eyebrows raised, he exclaims, "So they watch Clint Eastwood movies in India too?" :-O
Why is that so hard to believe? In fact, I feel even a B-grade Amerian movie star has a small fan following in India.

I still remember the conversation I had with the infamous college senior Mr.W. He was treating us, his juniors, in C'not to a hot afternoon lunch and he entertained us with his anecdotes from working in Sweden. (Or was it Switzerland?) One of his colleagues, a French dude apparently said that they (the Europeans) are scared of him, the Indian. Why?. "Coz you guys know not just your history but ours too". How true! :D

Guess I rambled off track too much. What I wanted to say is, it doesn't hurt to know about your neighbours. Even if they lead boring lives without dishwashers :)

12 Comments:

Blogger Anyesha said...

Now, now...I take great offense at your last line.I can think of Indian lives dulled by lots of things like Ekta Kapoor and her saans bahu sob stories, boring mantries and their dull, unimaginative scams, lack of good booze or the absence of premarital sex etc. etc. In this dreary landscape the absence of a dishwasher actually adds a sheen to our lives; if we had it there would be no VIM tikia and shiny bartan ads on TV, if we had it we could not entertain ourselves on lazy afternoons by squabbling with our maids, if we had it we we would be boring like our first world friends!!
Anyhoo enough nonsense...nice post. Though I have had my fair share of ignorant South East Asian natives. The US was a shock after the relative insularity of BITS as I had to come to terms with the intellect of the average desi here. I shall stop before I stuff my foot further down my throat and have people baying for my blood.

4:35 PM  
Blogger RS said...

You've been tagged - to save the earth :)

7:29 PM  
Blogger piggy said...

Globalization has hit them too. Now they know that there is some civilization beyond the atlantic and pacific - Everyone knows B'lore now.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Me said...

If u have noticed in most of hollywood movies abt terrorism or missiles or comets or meteors et al.. every part of the world would be destroyed but they wud save the world right when its the american time.. like Armageddon.. seems funny that the world starts and stops with the US of A. Mebbe somebody shd educate them abt unknown frontiers and beyond the boundaries...

10:54 PM  
Blogger Kaskuss said...

Hi Kumari,
I have observed the same issue which you have put across. The American media does not involve a lot of global news. It is mostly limited to and sometimes very very limited to the crimes taking place in the US and the US military. We now watch Euronews which covers global news. Even in India, whether it is the Doordarshan or Sun TV, the channels always allocate atleast 10 mins for global news. Maybe the US channels should take a clue from Indian channels or from your blog and my comments :-)

10:12 AM  
Blogger dinesh said...

Good post !

And no, you're not watching the wrong channels. The contest between top two teams in baseball in this country is called "The world series" and likewise for basketball as well. And even when it comes to world news, there's not much information, except when there's a vested ineterest there, like an afhghanistan election that went well etc. Like you say, there's more information on a cat in hudson (no disrespect to the cat and its owners :)) than a tsunami in asia ! Maybe it's all one big marketing ploy that's beyond our comprehension !!

10:24 AM  
Blogger IBH said...

well ! well! there! someone is really talking abt what Isaac did to Scarlett Johansson! :) I guess am watching the wrong channel too :)

I had similar experience..but my 'Spanish' Dentist (with a very SPanish accent)baffled me by his, this question:

"How come you guys speak good English..Is English taught in India.."

I was like hellooo!!!

I am a huggeee Stanley Kubrick fan...and i get the same response too when I say this :))) so i guess it is their ignorance that is pitiful!!! very true! "stuck in a hole" :)

11:13 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

totally agree.....and like someone mentions the "world series" is just an example of what their "world" comprises of. And the news is usually local news...the world news is news outside the local area but other parts of the US.

11:27 AM  
Blogger karthik durvasula said...

I agree with your post, yet have to say that it may be just one side of the coin.

isn't it also possible that the american people couldn't care less for the outside news - so when they become reporters, presspeople... they don't bother about the world beyond? - why talk about something in which people are generally uninterested (it sounds almost crude that people could be so, but actually i think it is perfectly natural).

3:10 AM  
Blogger Primalsoup said...

And one thought, ‘Knowledge was Power’ and what not?! :)
Being pre-occupied with self, can eventually prove to be dangerous, no? Or may be not, who cares about the world-out-there?!

12:14 AM  
Blogger jax said...

Lol..so right!! Even Canadians for that matter. Their news headlines, sports section, editorials and page-3 are all splashed with NHL news!

But we are slowly catching up here. Aamir Khan's wedding to Kiran rao and the IISc shootout incident were discussed in the same breath on CNN IBN.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@All: Sorry for the late response. been caught in nothing and then the moment passed :(

@Anyesha: Oh yes, am glad we have the tikia ads to entertain our dull lives. But I guess their attitude helps them so who are we to grudge them :)

@RS: will get to it ma'am :)

@Piggy: I guess they know Blr mainly bcoz it is associated with the city that stole their jobs.

@Me: They do know that other ocuntries exist but they couldn't really be bothered with them :(

@Kaskuss: That's like asking for heaven on earth :p

@Dinesh: Maybe so but then again they do find out about a poor boy ina village in MP if they set their minds to it. I justc ant fathom that kinda zeal :(

@ibh: hehe, you need to watch E more :)

@M(TSU) : Very true.

@Karthik: That's right but doesn't being uninterested in sth that could affect you mean a sign of weakness??? Didn't they learn it the hard way???

@Soups: i guess it's better not to care too much :)

@Jax: They never talked about my wedding. SO there, they aren't that open :p

12:42 PM  

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