Saturday, October 29, 2005

White lies, black lies, grey lies.

'Sach bolte hain hum'
Yaar, but everybody lies - the media, the sources in the media, advertisers - just about everybody. Some people and organisations lie less, some like a particular unrecognised Business School lie a lot. I mean I lie all the time - here are typical examples
Friendgirl : "Where are you?"
Moi : "Just five minutes away" (When I haven't left office)
However the above example is a typical 'man' lie. A typical 'woman' lie is the often heard term, "Almost ready".
But both the above examples are situations forced upon us. Now if I was to tell my partner/spouse/friendgirl that I was actually at GK-1 when I am supposed to be on my way to Defence Colony to pick her up, all hell would break loose. You always have that secret hope that she might find a Cosmopolitan or something at the magazine stand and get engrossed in that while you try to break every single traffic law to try and get to Def Col Market is triple-quick time. But if you were honest, she would threaten to leave you for a better looking man (or something like that) and you would end up spending quite a lot of money wooing her back.
Ditto for when women say, 'almost ready'.
But when is a lie, a damaging one - a harmful lie - a 'black' lie? When it impacts the careers and lives of people. Say, I claim to be educated or have worked or taught somewhere, you know I can. I can claim to to be an Oxbridge graduate, no-one will check for some time right. Or pretend to be a Doctor. Or even a Lawyer. Who checks degrees nowadays.
These lies can damage lives, but because we treat lies so lightly, its no big deal, is iot. Whats the difference between a white lie and a black one. Little, if anything. A white lie for someone is someone else's black lie.
There are people who impart news nowadays who claim to have graduated from certain colleges when you know they haven't - or in certain cases you know that they are lying about their marks or degrees. But it is a white lie people will say, because it doesn't impact people's lives does it? True. I mean, what are my qualifications to write news, nothing in particular. Maybe the ability to store a huge amount of trivia and being a glib talker. God knows.
Now what about people who lie/make up stories on their blogs? Hey, it is not as bad as say the Times of India making up stories, or the pinkest paper lifting stories (or certain magazines run by people who work for a certain unrecognised business school which lift entire stories and data). They're white lies people will say. So bloggers often make up these fanciful stories of drama, trauma, sex and tragedy. Some of these stories we can see through (I'm a better liar than most, I can usually pick up bullshit faster) some we can't.
But I disagree. There is no white lie, or no black lie. Every lie is a grey lie. Some lies are greyer than others, but every lie is a shade of grey, because just like Black&White TV was always grey, life is the same. A multitude of greys. Lies are the same.


thalassa_mikra said...

Thank you for writing this K. I hope I'm reading this correctly in presuming which blog you are talking about. I was so furious with this person, and then this morning I read about the blasts, and it made me even more upset. People really love to hate Delhi

BJ said...

I think the media in India is like the media in Britain. As what the people believe is heavily influenced by 'the media', you really can see why politicians and business leaders feel it vital to control (as much as possible) the media.

Impressively, Faithless wrote a pop song about this very issue, called "Mass Destruction"