Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Headlines Today's Rocks! For a different reason though! :P

A few posts ago, I mentioned my shift away from NDTV, of how NDTV seems to have lost it in the New-Age journalism where Style and chutzpah are the winning mantras. Well, it helps if you have red-hot Newsreaders, doesnt it?

I also mentioned I had shifted to other NEWS channels, most notably to CNN IBN and Headlines Today. "Headlines Today? That a NEWS channel eh?" - one might exclaim. Except they have the one USP no one can ignore. Atleast not the hairier sex. The USP is Avantika Singh, a kool looking chick who serves NEWS with a smile that could heal Israel and Lebanon! :P

Here is a link to some of Miss Avantika's pics while Newsreading and you can clearly see how much she (and us) enjoys her job! :-)

Keep reading NEWS Ma'm - you are a refreshing break (pun intended) to the monotonous reality of corruption, slease and grime that NEWS is comprised of these days. As they say, a babe in the woods - here, a babe in the NEWS studios! :P

Hair-Raising Issue : Balls to it!

"Oh My God! This is hard-work! I cant seem to bend without getting my trousers torn! Here they go - I have managed to SCREW the Pakis! Hell! They are clickin photos! Lemme pose for the cameras! I am gonna be FAMOUS!" - Darrell Hair

Darrell Hair seems to be in the midst of a raging controversy. Some have christened it as the "saddest and most serious" stand-off in Test cricket (Seriously? Oh No! I am gonna start crying!). Some have questioned Hair's hair-raising antics and have questioned the impartiality of his judgement. Others have laid the blame on Inzy's boyz. Things have gotten to a stage where the issue at hand seems to be completely lost amid layers of mud-slinging, accusations and counter-accusations. Its rightly said that when SHIT hits the fan, it rains more shit.

I, for once, question the sanity of all this mud-slinging. Who's to blame? Till yesterday, it was thought that Inzy and his boyz were right in taking offense of the 5-run penalty decision. They seemed well within their rights to protest by coming out a few minutes late. So, it seemed Mr. Hair was losing the argument, atleast in media columns.

However, in true Ekta Kapoor Isshtyle, Shahid Afridi played Komolika and added a sinister twist to the whole proceedings. He said to an interview to Times Now (that channel which survives solely because it lives off the TOI) that ball tampering should be permitted. He claimed that any and all Reverse Swing can ONLY be brought if ball tampering is permitted. He went onto say that it was a norm to keep players in the infield with long finger-nails for this very same purpose. He maintains that Pakistan wasnt the only team and accuses England of also indulging freely in this practice.

Now, who's to blame? The Umpire, who has got a dubious record of being a Anti-Asian racist? The Pakis whom, as far as we know, have never played fair (be it Cricket or Terrorism)? The ICC - because it chooses to blindly support the Umpires without having an open mind to Umpire criticisms? Or the Media - who as usual bloats up issues and makes it far more important than it actually is. I can already visualize Mr. Siddhu with his scathing criticisms and witless wisecracks on Darrell Hair, the ICC and the PCB on NDTV's cricket controversy. Mr. Sidhu, somehow feels that his wit is unmatched and his humour is unparalled. However, as we all will agree, those who agree with Mr. Siddhu are far and few. Namely, Mr. Siddhu himself! By the way, the program is another indicator of how bad NDTV has actually become!

But, coming back to the issue, I feel the blame is with the game itself. Somehow, I believe Afridi. I mean, if the guy is candid enough to admit to Ball Tampering, then surely he is speaking the Truth when he says that Reverse Swing just aint possible without some manipulation to Ball Dynamics. Mebbe, the ICC has to start revising archaic rules and make the game more flexible. I am not saying allow Ball tampering - You see I am not as naive and as tactless as Afridi to think that the world will allow cheating because it favours Pakistan. What I am suggesting is let us have a ball that ALLOWS Reverse Swing. Get the folks at Adidas to make us a heck of a ball. They did it for Futball with Microchip-embedded balls and hi-tech stuff. Now, mebbe its time Cricket should have a futuristic ball for its own.

In the end, you kind of understand why the Pakis are so sore over the entire thing. Its a case of Damned if you do and damned if you dont.

The ICC must wake up from its slumber and rise over petty politics (In times like this, one is reminded of that Stalwart called Jagmohan Dalmiya. hehe.) and make the necessary changes that lift the game from obscurity to popular appeal. Not that I care one bit - Cricket is a 19th Century sport for me and I cant figure how it manages to get 1Billion people all worked up. Right now, I am just soaking up all the drama thats happening. Its one great Opera to watch! At the cost of an archaic, silly game ofcourse! :-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Log onto!

A bit of an Odd Match, dont you think? But then, I guess, Opposites Attract! We can christen this as the Match made in a Sudanese cave!

New York: Al-Qaeda chief and the world’s most dreaded terrorist, Osama bin Laden had a crush on singer-cum-actress Whitney Houston and wanted to make her his wife after killing her husband Bobby Brown.

Sudanese poet and novelist Kola Boof (37), who claims to have once been Osama's sex slave, writes this in her autobiography - Diary of a Lost Girl.

“He told me Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He would say how beautiful she is, what a nice smile she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American culture and by her husband - Bobby Brown,” Page Six quoted her as saying.

According to her, Osama often talked about killing Brown, and couldn't stop talking about his favorite singer for whom her had “lofty plans”.

But, she adds, the 9/11 terror mastermind hated Whitney’s hairstyle, saying. "Why do you wear your hair braided? Only monkeys did that.”

As he had a liking for the white skin, Osama was also dismissive of black women.

According to her, he used to say to her: "African women are only good for a man's lower pleasures. What need do you have for a womb?"

Here's the SOURCE of the above article.

What can one say? The world is truly a crazy place to be at the moment. On one hand, you have the descendant of an ape being incharge of the World's greatest super-power, on the other, you have a pseudo-religious madman who talks about makin love to Whitney Houston, when he's not inciting yougsters to bomb themselves in a bid to attain salvation! What a world we live in!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Death of NDTV?

Trouble seems to be looming at NDTV, as the company deals with both low profit-margins, increasing operating costs and a diminishing viewership. Could this mean the end of the road for Prannay Roy and his channel? I mean, the company reported a net loss for the last fiscal and doesnt seem to be doing all that well. I mean, is it only me or is it the entire country that has stopped tuning to NDTV for the staple English NEWS on TV? If TRP ratings are anything to go by, then CNN IBN seems to be holding the English NEWS media by an iron hand.

The NDTV that I knew atleast, died long ago, when Rajdeep called it quits. That day, I knew that the company had lost a very valuable asset. Rajdeep has done just that. Somehow, the myth of the One-Man TV Empire isnt a myth anymore. His departure has proved to be the nail in the coffin for NDTV's downward spiral into oblivion.

The sort of NEWS that they seem to be delivering now make AajTak seem tolerable! Its a sad testament to the level of incompetence and/or lethargy shown by NDTV's creative NEWS team, if ever it exists. I once used to like this channel. It used to be an unbiased, issue-driven channel - it still is in many ways. However, where NDTV has lost it is in NEWS packaging.

NEWS and TV Media have become so much more about packaging these days. Its kind of sad - this stress towards stylization. But in a way its good to see Indian channels matching Western standards for NEWS etiquette. The downside to all this, however, is that channels must not only cover NEWS, but do so in a stylized manner. This is where NDTV seems to have lost it completely.

It is sad to see a NEWS channel that prides itself as having "experience", showing such a complete lack of understanding to today's changing NEWS market. NDTV must change or it must perish. I am betting on it perishing. Though, for once, I am praying I lose the bet.

Caption Post 1 - Inzy's day out

My caption :
Darryl Hair : "Mr. Inzamam, you seem to have rubbed the balls too much - all three of 'em. This one needs to be replaced. The other two need inspection."

Suggest some more captions/possible dialogues!

Gunners deliver a whimp as EPL kicks off


Arsenal Manager Wenger seems to be upset with the slow start that his team managed against Aston Villa, here at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners fought the fixture in a newly-constructed Emirates stadium and that must have been all the more encouraging. However, in what was a dull, lacklustre performance, they almost conceded the game to Aston. It was some brilliant play from Theo Walcott, with a superb finish by Gilberto Silva, who saved the Gunners the blushes. Theo was the only redeeming factor along with the stadium itself. But a few more such performances and people wont be queueing up outside the Emirates Stadium.

As a Gunner, I found it a little difficult to "celebrate" EPL's return with a forgetful result like that. The Wenger Boyz have to lift their game and start showing some more teeth and width in their attack. And Lehmann must learn to stand his line and not go for the ball at the drop of the hat. Till next week and another round of Gunning, bbye ....