Since my parents are visiting, I have been doing something that I hardly ever do - listening to Indian news channels. I generally find myself cut off from Indian news, of which I am not proud, but I am quite okay with not listening to the "news" which these channels have. The list of my grievances is long but they are certainly not particular to Indian news channels. I suspect that most (but not all) parts of the American news channels such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC are similarly garbage. However, till now I have not been able to find the non-garbage parts of the Indian news channels. Perhaps they exist -little unappreciated islands of good analysis and intelligent conversations in a vast stinking sea of loudmouths, idiots, ideologues and charlatans. Perhaps I have mentioned it before on this blog - there is nothing that I hate more than a group with an agenda. This includes but is not limited to groups based on religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations, environmental activism, and atheism. I detest how these groups completely consume an individual to the point where there is no individuality, no independent thinking left. There is hardly a human being left. All thought is reduced to "group positions" at which point all debate becomes soulless and automatic - fit only for a subhuman specie.

This is exactly how I find the news channels. Their entire effort appears to be to distill the world through a lens of their choice for the easy digestion of their non-thinking audience. The people obviously love it all because they are not too different from those who cheered in the Roman Coliseum not too long ago. In a group they find it easy to shed the thin veneer of civilization and turn into barbarians and savages, baying for the blood of those who belong to the other group. Convinced of the rightness of their own positions, they shout down those who disagree with them, feeling within them, I suspect, rage and animosity based only upon what is often just a difference of opinion. All while the news channels post increasingly impressive viewer ratings and the demagogues which they effectively employ gain power and positions.

It's a grim picture that I paint. Which is why I had taken a leave from all this some time ago. TV is unequivocally trash and social media is also garbage with no exceptions. While the former is a shameful exploitation of people's worst instincts, the latter is built exclusively upon what the lowest common denominator thinks is worthwhile - and this denominator could not be lower. Internet does offer some intelligent voices to percolate through if one looks hard enough and I try to limit myself to these. This is also my advise to those who wish to preserve their intelligence, sanity, and even humanity in this hyper-connected, hyper-homogenizing world.

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