About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Big Brother, racism and violent anti-racism
Doesn't matter, because the perception of racism has led to riots in the streets by Indians who feel that their entire nation has been “insulted” (where did I hear that before?). As a result, of course, they started to burn the effigy of the show's producers. You know, the sensible, non-violent response to abuse. Hey, if Muslims can do it to flags all over the world, why not Indians? At least, this time, they are burning effigies, not some of their compatriots who happen to be women, members of a different cast, or believers in a different religion. That's progress, no?
A whopping 19,300 viewers have filed complaints with the broadcaster, which means that way too many people have too much time on their hands, or simply have their priorities a bit off, considering everything else that is happening in the world (including in India itself, of course).
Even Tony (the lapdog) Blair has been drawn into the controversy, as he had to respond to a formal inquiry in Parliament concerning the Big Brother incident. With predictable inanity, he responded by simply saying that "we should oppose racism in all its forms." Yes, well, I believe he lost only the votes of local associates of the American Ku Klux Klan with that one.
Of course, all of this is good news for Channel 4, since the controversy has caused a spike in the ratings (from 3.5 to 4.5 million viewers in one evening). Am I too cynical to suspect that perhaps Shilpa and her three co-celebrities may be playing an act simply to boost their own shabby game?