Sunday, August 28, 2011

Can you handle breaking news?


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I suggest you hold on to the chair and keep the door open when you read this post. When you fall off the chair, clutching your stomach and shake with laughter you might need help from your concerned family members. Cacofonix is back........

When we were kids, newspapers had 10 pages with very few ads, news on TV had 3 headlines with no  ad breaks.  We followed the News for things that were important.  Interesting.  Unusual.  A definition that has since been eliminated through a sustained conspiracy hatched by the media to propagate mediocrity and generate employment for shoals of people who think, if the plural of medium is media, then the plural of tedium is tedia.  Friends, bloggers, countrymen, with or without ears that could be loaned, let us bring News back to those good old times!  Let us save newsprint, ink, electricity, water, diesel, trucks, traffic, fresh air, paper wallah’s sprained shoulders, stray dogs, subscription fees, ground reporting fatigue, coffee and cigarettes and become carbon footprint champions so that our children can continue to enjoy Nature’s bounties the same way that we have done!  These would be “breaking news” under the new dispensation:
a)   Minister reads his own speech”:  Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna read his own speech at the United Nations session on global disharmony.  A visibly emotional Mr Krishna addressed the Press soon thereafter and thanked them for their continual support and criticism which made him adopt advanced techniques from yoga guru Ramdev and fitness guru Jane Fonda’s latest book, to revitalize him and get his many cells working again.
b)   Virender Sehwag scores runs”:  Sehwag was smiling from eardrum to eardrum on scoring 13 runs in the second one-day cricket match against Botswana.  The belligerent batsman, having scored zeroes in 13 matches on the trot, lending an altogether different meaning to the phrase “getting your ducks in a row”, suffering from impaired hearing after having a blast, literally, in front of Bose speakers at a loud nightclub, and having to hear his wife keep on shouting “you just don’t listen to me anymore”, could finally discern, faintly, the sound of the ball coming at him.  On asked if he was dissatisfied with his dismissal, he retorted “I was on 13, what else do you expect?”
c)     “Amitabh Bachchan to retire”:  Unable to keep pretending not to know ‘kaun banega crorepati?’, where evidently it was really only him, Amitabh Bachchan has chosen to leave the world of glamour and modelling and some acting, and retire to the Hills.  Pali Hills.  Where he has built a humble house with two bedrooms, one for him and one for Jaya, with Binani Cement and Jai Ambe sariya.  His bathroom has a separate closet for storing Laal Tail or ‘red oil’ which can be applied to his hair, or ingested or applied somewhere for vitality, depending on his mood or what he remembers of that ad campaign.    

  
d)   Members of Parliament are attending parliament”:  In an unprecedented turn of events, MPs of all parties are attending the winter session of parliament in full strength.  That too, without being whipped.  Inside sources revealed several reasons.  It is unusually cold in Delhi this time.  Several MPs were refused red beacons for their cars by the Home Minister, and this made it less fun to drive around.  Trips to places like Florida and Rio de Janiero for studying the effect of solar radiation on female breasts – important to India because of the impact it has on population growth – have been cancelled because of this stupid old man from Maharashtra who went on a fast.
e)    “Parliament has voted to reduce seats in parliament”:  Lower and Upper houses have taken a resolution to pass motion and send the Bill for President’s consent, seeking to reduce the number of seats in parliament from 545 to 47.  Members used data from the last ten years to conclude that, for all practical purposes, 47 MPs is all it takes to get business conducted.  The others are generally not present, and even if they are, generally have no clue what’s happening.  The poor sods hate it when they have to listen to endless debates, not to mention the endless walk outs, on stupid things like giving rotten food grains to the poor for free.  The salary allocation in the Budget would stay unchanged so that the salary of 545 people can now be shared by 47 people.  This will avoid salary escalation Bills to be brought in for the next two years at least, avoiding public criticism of their greed.  47 is also a nice number to commemorate freedom.
f)    Police caught red-handed refusing bribe in Gurgaon”: an assistant sub-inspector in Gurgaon has been caught on spy camera refusing to take Rs 300 as facilitation fee to clear a passport verification file of a puzzled citizen.  The ASI’s colleagues are worried.  However, sources reveal that the government is likely to institute a committee with representation from civil society to study and recommend salary correction for the police force through additional components such as ball pen subsidy, socks reimbursement, boot maintenance and liquor allowance.  All the money would come from product sponsors so that the salary hike does not burden the state exchequer.
g)   e-Bribe portal launched”:  Minister against Corruption, Sharad Pawar, launched the ambitious e-Bribe portal at a glittering ceremony last night.  Aimed at bringing in greater transparency and efficiency in the state machinery, the portal will allow citizens to directly deposit the facilitation fee (for more on F2F, please click) to designated account groups using simple drop down menus and pre-calculated amounts.  All contributions are tax-exempt.
h)   e-Commerce to eliminate Press tenders”:  the ministries of industry, commerce, law and communications have proposed that the practice of printing tenders in newspapers be discontinued forthwith.  The people who know the business get the tenders anyway.  The people who know the people placing the tenders get awarded the job anyway.  e-Commerce and e-Bribe portals together can eliminate these painfully ugly black-and-white monstrosities. Newsprint and paper savings are estimated at Rs 47,000 crores, to be put in a citation to be presented to Jairam Ramesh, one time environment crusader and currently co-chairing, with Digvijay Singh, a committee examining involuntary pedo-oratoryosis, commonly known as the foot-in-mouth disease.
i)     Celebrities to use brands they endorse”:  the beautiful people of tinsel town came together at an evening hosted by Cartier and took oath to actually use the products they endorse for at least six months before their ads come out.  It will allow them to live the experience and make it more believable.  For example, the camera can zoom in to show Saif’s grimace as he sips Taj Mahal tea or Amir Khan tearing his hair at the poor reception of TataSky or Salman’s pain down under at wearing Dollar Club underwear.  Or they will switch back to what they actually use and do a different set of ads for products that few people can afford to buy.
Well, if you still choose to suffer Breaking News the way you are doing now, and are happy about it, go ahead – I can’t stop you!  Who knows, you may even feature in Breaking News as a citizen reacting to Breaking News – “aap ko kaisa feel ho raha hai?”

56 comments:

  1. j.) Purba Ray writes one blogpost that doesn't make you tickle.

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  2. Very interesting, yes, breaking news are really breaking our heads day in and day out LOL
    If you can provide the connected links too it will be good
    Best regards
    thanks
    Phil

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  3. I remember an AajTak breaking news that AB caught a cold n they kept rerunning shots of AB from various AB movies...

    U said it... breaking news r hardly news nowadays :)

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  4. One of the best pieces of satire I have ever read. Take a bow, Cacofonix. I wonder why they always bash you up and bind you to a tree, the moment you open your mouth. :P
    You have given me inspiration to write again. Maybe one day, I would be able to pen down such well articulated posts. :)

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  5. a very very spicy post....
    yes, this has to improve, and i amsure it can improve in this way, if more people like you will write on these topics, and make people conscious..

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  6. That really cracked me up! Loved the suggestions for the Parliament and the members. And e-bribe was a masterstroke! Even Anna would be happy with the transparency :)

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  7. Haha.. Howlarious as usual Purba! :)

    Well, I loved it that you somehow made Mr Pawar, Minister against Corruption. He's probably going to be the one man who brings a huge wave of change, to defend the downtrodden, and bust the corrupt!

    :)

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  8. and in Sports history has been created today "Santa aur Bunta Chess khel raha ". short and dry this one.

    purba scores again.

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  9. Mangoman...I wish I had written this, unfortunately it's a guest post.

    Pzes...Sharad Pawar and his cronies have turned stealing into a fine art. Btw I haven't written this post :)

    RK...Purba doesn't score, the century was hit by Caco.

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  10. Lol, Lal tail for 'vitality'?:P

    Well, I hope to the love of God, that we don't turn out this way o_O

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  11. Brilliant, I say!

    However, considering your proposed changes, I chanced upon a bigger problem. What will a news channel show on non-breaking-news days? Don't reduce them to actual functional and informative channels. Please, don't!

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  12. Thankfully, I followed your word of caution...:)Police refusing to accept bribe must be Anna Hazare effect...Lovely read...:)

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  13. bas ji kya batayein itna feel ho raha hai ki feel ko sharam aa jaye :P Purba you are a rockstar <3 xx

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  14. An interesting wish list......Aisa ho to kaisa ho?

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  15. :D And then there should be award ceremonies for the best breaking news in various categories!!

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  16. Not to forget the jingle of ' Jaise Chai ki liya toast hota hai, waise har ek friend zaroori hota hai.... jingle between the Breaking News regardless of the channel you choose, hijacking the thunder!!

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  17. Hahaha, There was one which was beyond my imagination.

    India was the first nuclear power, from the days of Ramayana. They ran the story for about a week.

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  18. Breaking: Cacofonix has now taken over A-musing, for an all cash deal, the worth of which remains undeclared (rumored to be in billions). With bated breath we watch what will happen next. Will Cacofonix now take over the popular A-musing or will together with Ms. Ray break all boundaries of satire. Dekhte rahiye - only on ^*&^ exclusive. We will be back in 2 minutes. :-)

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  19. this was easily the most hilarious blogpost Ive read today... Sigh.. If only they'd actually reduce the Parliament to 47, we'd actually get some work done.

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  20. I should not have read this one while in office.

    But I did it anyways, in-spite of the warning :D :D :D

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  21. Adding few more breaking news ;)
    1.Rakhi Sawant quits TV shows
    2.Rahul decides no more reality village shows.
    3.Arnab Goswami did not talk for five minutes.
    4.Ramdev drank pepsi
    5.Anna had a buffet.

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  22. e-Bribe portal? Bwahahahaha. Given the standard of breaking news now-a-days I think my tolerance for bullshit has increased exponentially. And nothing can surprise, shock or disgust me any more.

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  23. hahaha... good one.
    scarcasm, wit and laughter combined :-)

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  24. Well the Hindi channels should call it Todti hui khabar...e- bribe portal sounds interesting.

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  25. I wouldn't be surprised..if some of them indeed became breaking news in the few years time...

    I heard one about Ashwathama zinda hai...which went on for some time...Oh..I miss being in India now...there is no entertainment in news.. ;)

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  26. Only 47 MPs? That means lesser Lokpals as well! Is it a Congress strategy to face that fasting old man?
    Well, 47 MPs sharing the budget for 545 - seems to be more real!

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  27. @Phil - the only link is embedded in the e-Bribe bit, taking you to my first post a year back
    @R-A-J - hope AB got over his sniffle!
    @Snow Leopard - of course I blush a deep purple at your una'bash'ed praise
    @Chetan - I could try and take a diploma in journalism and give it a shot
    @zephyr - I have only the good of the nation at heart. Thankfully, there is so much to write about!

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  28. @Priyanka - it was an effective ad, if I remember 'Lal Tail' even today!
    @Kartikay - non-breaking-news days could feature items like diet tips from Jayalalitha or spoken English classes by Mamata Di
    @Saru Singhal - I actually had an ASI not even suggest money. We talked about his family. He has two daughters he had put through college, one practising law, the other teaching in school. I felt proud of the fellow.
    @Chintan - sorry to appropriate the rockstar title from Purba. Hope she doesn't mind.

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  29. @Ayyangar, Seeker of Equanimity, Peenuts - Thanks :-)
    @Aativas, Pythoroshan - If there is enough support, we could get the 47 MP idea across to our law makers. I don't mind e-Fasting.
    @Kunnu - Truth can be stranger than fiction in our land!
    @Alka - love your hindi translate!

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  30. @Giribala - of course we will have awards. Presented by Bengal Potteries, for that breaking connection.
    @Rahul - shouldn't it be chai ke liye biscuit?
    @Bibek - the trouble with nuclear is that it is an anagram of unclear
    @Mayank - Cacofonix is woefully sloth when it comes to writing. No worries, Ms Ray will continue to rule!

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  31. @Samadrita - e-Dakshina for our temples next. e-Deodorants to send out to friends who need. I got my next post idea!!
    @akanksha - get a handle next time. For your chair I mean.
    @Lakshmi Rajan - you meant 'Arnab Goswami did not scold for five minutes'? He goes hammer and tongs at everyone "Are you saying, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, that you have no idea, no idea at all, that the bugging devices put in your ministry were useless because no one could figure out what you were saying in any case? Are you saying that? Please tell us, the nation is waiting to hear from you"

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  32. wow...hilarious all the way...and yes, i also so miss the good old Doordarshan days and times when news was not shrieked at on you just because it was from the spot of action and said in that hurried/emergency tone as though the reporter was risking his life for it...

    and super lol at the dig at Amitabh Bachchan and the crorepati bit...and thank god we did not get freedom in 1969...that would be some number then, commemorating for;-)

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  33. I'll tag mangoman on this :)

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  34. and if all this happens then soon India will be re-known as Bharat, the land of golden birds. :)

    Weakest LINK

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  35. lol... I would definitely definitely subscribe to this newspaper! :)
    These days, my morning chai feels like a toothless, sugarless experience with depressing news to read along with it.

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  36. India has great potential to rise up from where it currently is. While this development is shaping up, what would give it a boost to a brighter future is originality, says Rajni. Click here to find out more http://bit.ly/n9GwsR

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  37. India has great potential to rise up from where it currently is. While this development is shaping up, what would give it a boost to a brighter future is originality, says Rajni. Click here to find out more http://bit.ly/n9GwsR

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  38. plural of tedium is tedia-haha rotf so much on this that almost missed the rest of the post-which was hilarious btw!

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  39. Absolutely Marvellous....Can you send me your breakfast menu ( pure vegetarian )please and see If I can get any where close to you in putting thoughts to paper in a hilarious fashion which knows no bounds...
    Great..Great...Great..wanted to write it down 47 times ...but shall spare it for future....

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  40. lol...that reality isn't far...
    people find it strange that i don't read newspapers...they wonder how can i live without it...:)

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  41. @suruchi - naughty girl!
    @aakash - ?
    @rachit - hum ab sunehri chiriaghar se aapko dikha rahe hai, live...
    @ambika - dunking tiger glucose biscuit into your tepid morning tea?
    @rajni - will check out your link. serious?

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  42. @confusedyuppie - if folks in Flanders rise in revolt, we may also get two Belgia
    @rajesh - you folks are really making me feel good..the veneer of modesty is fast peeling off..
    @sub - not reading newspapers is great carbon footprint stuff...but you may be missing out on Dennis the Menace..."Dad, what time is it by the clock? The big hand is on 6 and the small hand is on the floor"

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  43. Well written M'am.. it tickled a lot..!

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  44. And a very Happy Birthday to you!!

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  45. Salman wearing dollar club undies..I don't think so..lol

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  46. Really funny... Especially the SM Krishna one. :D

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  47. Breaking News " Minister's vehicle crashed unto a pig " .

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  48. Raghu...Its a guest post, the credit goes to Cacofonix

    Girabala...Thanks :)

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  49. eBribe is really a whacky idea!! Definately breaking news, that channels can gloat about for days at stretch! Wont it be so cool if we pay bribe annualy as Facilitation fee, and get freedom from long winding queues and crowded counters - :)

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  50. I'm not so sure, I mean there was a lot more filtration of news back then, which meant that somehow something could fall through the cracks. In today's polarized, 'something for everyone' type of media, even though there's more shit to shovel, the truth is that important stuff comes out. By recognizing that media outlets are corporations with their own allegiances, we can understand and control for conflict of interest in reporting. Most importantly, today's news media reflects today's consumer India. If the majority wants sleaze and sensationalism, that means there's a market for that, and someone will (and should) fill that gap.

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  52. @ana_treek: yes, you can readily imagine salman's face if someone tries to make him!
    @jose: i left out his encounters with the Pak foreign minister
    @gsquare: now, now, you mustn't leave out the cows
    @gautam: i dare say my idea presaged narayana murthy
    @liberalcynic: Moot point. Instead of the media pandering to the lowest denominator, could they actually shape popular opinion through meaningful journalism? Would their revenue model suffer if they try this? Maybe another post some time?

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  53. A-mazing and A-musing .. really good article

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  54. :P ... As usual howlarious .. he he.. Not sure if anyone of us reading this post would feature in breaking news one day, but your blog certainly has chances of featuring in one ;) :P ..

    "Heavy demand for purba's laughter therapy, even in Yamlok!!" by IndiaTV :P

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  55. Purba / Cacofonix,

    How very true! I too had written a post on Media antics some time back.

    Take care

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