Wednesday, January 18, 2012

on the subject of sex in contemporary India

The media focuses on sex, of course. It sells, reinvents, images, packages, airbrushes, objectifies, and does a variety of other things with sex. The media in India has been discussing it extensively, but only over the last decade or so. I'm wanting to see what some of this talk has been, so consider this a link-collection.

meena kandasamy, all you who make love to mannequins, Outlook, 26 Dec, 2011

why 'sexology'? why not just 'sex'?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Market Democracy

Where 'democracy' means that the people rule, or the majority rules, 'market democracy' means that the market rules. So if the market wants chick lit, the market will get chick lit. You know this because chick lit sells, so that must mean the market wants it.

There is no counterfactual: Does thoughtful, critical commentary that lambasts, say, the lack of quality in broadcast news sell? We don't know, because we can't try. There's the possibility that the publishing house is owned by the same people who own, or are 'good friends' with the new media house under criticism. So we'll never find out if a book that tells you how the Indian media did the mind-numb to themselves will fly off the shelves, or languish unregarded in corners .

But the reason given for not trying to put such books out  there for people to choose from is that 'the market' does not want thoughtful, critical, commentary on the media. 'The market' only wants chick lit, campus novels, and various other kinds of (let us say, to be kind) less-thinking reading. As some of my students pointed out last semester, there's no argument that Chetan Bhagat is India's best selling author, there's just a problem for young people wanting to read other kinds of material.

What much of the media in India has done to itself will take several tomes to record, and those tomes will, of course, fall prey to market censorship. But, thankfully, there is alternate media, and here is crocodileinwatertigeronland, telling you why you get that hollow feeling in your head when you open the morning newspapers:

crocodileinwatertigeronland on your morning paper