Monday, July 16, 2007

Stuck in a moment you can't get out of!

Why does this man insist on writing on music? And music that people really don't care about. It is almost as bad as his insistence on writing about Chinese food. Writing about music during the 'i' generation is a bit silly. I really don't want to know about an album that was made when my parents were teenagers. Heck, this sort of writing will alienate the newly-literate English speakers that the 'media' is targeting. There is a lot of good music from the 1965-1972 period where a substantial amount of writers think music began and ended. Take a recco from a poor blog writer - listen to Amy Winehouse and Pop Levi. Music hasn't died, it has just gone onto my iPod.
Anyway, that isn't the point of this post. I've had a couple of strange conversations with friends in the profession, and the theme is the same, the lament about where on earth Indian journalism is headed. Honestly, I have no answers to that to that question, but the rise of the 'Yo!' generation in the profession is fascinating to observe from my perch in the middle of the pile. And that is just TV. Print is a different ballgame altogether, and I'm not cribbing about bad copy. I'm fairly fortunate that most of my colleagues are people I can communicate with, even if it is talking about cellphones.
But the direction that journalism is taking is fascinating in some ways. If you watch any of the Hindi news channels in the afternoon - they are more entertaining than putting on Star Plus. India TV is like a daily soap opera that even Ektaa (she has two a's or is that three?) could not think up. At a fairly 'reputable' channel, one complaint a friend made was "The boss can't keep his zipper up, so you have a lunatic 26-year old running the show", and that has obviously led to a lot of the smarter people packing up and packing off.
It is even crazier sometimes at Press Events where everybody rushes for that 'one' bite and everybody misses the point. You sometimes wonder whether some news organisations, particular smaller, newer ones are becoming little more than repackaged Press Release shops. But what can you expect when things are growing at the pace that they are. Have we come to the nadir and now the only way we can go is up? I would like to believe so, but I don't think that will happen until a couple of organisations go under.
And deep inside, and this is despite the pathetic numbers I see, I really hope that the internet changes things for the better. I'm not saying that the internet will be a panacea for the Indian media circus. But, it might just change things for the better because of the way the internet is. But more on that in my next post.
EDIT : To quote The Economic Times recently...
"Jack Kerouac would have loved it, his typewriter being punched furiously but without the manic energy of drugs and jazz. The beatnik would have got the whole book just being on the roads of Delhi. The kill-a-day Bluelines and ramshackle DTC would have substituted for the terrific energy, and Delhi hapless people, at the mercy of the buses and government, would certainly have given the poetic push. And the honking cacophony of statements - by people, bus owners, government - would have equalled riffs of jazz. On The Road put together in Delhi."

This has to be other than the occasional article by a certain S.P in a certain magazine got to be the most fantastical opening paragraph I have read in years. Now, keep in mind the article is about Delhi's public transport system, how Jack Kerouac got involved, I still don't know. I don't know if this is someone trying to impress the world, but the article was a goddamn Page 1 anchor! Not an inside page hidden article.
I must starting smoking pot before I read the morning papers at this rate!

13 comments:

Bonatellis said...

do you see his (the new writer on music) series on Discover Travel & L?
A recent one on Rajasthan's palace-turned-hotels was more on his attending Mayo College and how he used to hob-nob with the nobility at some point in his life!!! That's taking "self-importance" to a new level !!!

thalassa_mikra said...

Awwwww, cut the Vee some slack. He's just trying to relive his bachpan ke din when he had more hair on his head and less lard in his gut.

Speaking of his writing on Chinese food, I read one of his Brunch pieces which said that London was the home of innovative Chinese cuisine (also mentioned New York in passing) - the kind you cannot find in mainland China.

This is patently absurd. For one, there's lots of innovation in Chinese food taking place in mainland China right now. Check out this blog for some pics of that -

http://chaxiubao.typepad.com/chaxiubao/

Second, innovations in Chinese food follow patterns of Chinese migration, not the Vee's notions about London as the centre of the culinary universe. So it is Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore that have the most innovative Chinese food right now.

London and New York are the home of old-school of Anglofied and Americanized Chinese food.

Anonymous said...

The Vee's aforesaid episode on Rajasthani cuisine was as vapid as it gets. The producer and the writers are as much to blame as the Vee.

The is the other food show on CNN-IBN which is equally useless. Tries too hard to copy Kunal Vijaykar's show on TimesNow.
Bah, all these people could take some lessons from the south Indian channels on how to produce an interesting shows that hold audience attention.

Anonymous said...

Wow i didn't know that his tv shows are hated more than his writing. I don't watch much tv but i have to agree that the v's writing has gone limp.
he really used to be good but now his writing feels like it could use a pill of viagra or two. Sad because i used to like him.

Anonymous said...

Really, let the old fart be....
though I do wonder why nu-age music is left to the inner columns of supplement papers...
By the way. any clue why Vikram Sood is not writing anymore. I really enjoyed his detailed columns in echtee. Thank god some1 compiled them here: http://soodvikram.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

NEWSFLASH!
Blogdom's old nemesis IIPM's delhi campus has been sealed >:)

Anonymous said...

Jefferson Airplane?!!! Has the man ever heard of Floyd? And just because a bunch of people still think so, Sgt Pepper is the greatest album ever. Hmmm. Much as I admire the Beatles, I can't listen to them much anymore, especially after listening to Floyd and Nine Inch Nails. Their music is a bit dated now (not all of it).

Nice blog, btw.

- badindianmofo

Anonymous said...

Don't you know - he is the Anti-Floyd when it comes to music.. he said so himself in a column some time ago. Floyd is soooo.... cool/

Anonymous said...

hey, off-topic quiz question:
What's a Jefferson Airplane?
(no, honey, not the band that's still battling with trademarks over their name but what does JA mean? Anyone?)

Anonymous said...

child, you may not want to read about music of your parents' generation but there are people from that generation who may want to. or are you saying that we don't or shouldn't constitute a readership at all?

Anonymous said...

A Jefferson Airplane is a clip made by splitting a burnt-out paper match up to the head, putting the joint in between the split sections of the match, and holding the match by the end to smoke the joint or pass it to another.

K said...

Too many Anons, but anyway. I'm not saying people should not write about old music. Heck, I spent two years in Residence listening to the Stones, Floyd, Led Zep, The Doors etc etc. In fact, I was also stuck in the 1965-72 rut, but that said, informed writing on classic music is a different ballgame. I know enough people, many of them very senior journalists who know a hell of a lot more about music from the era, and reading people write about music beyond things you already know about would be great. I mean, tell me about The Festival Express or the fact that it was Dylan who gave John and Paul their first ever joint or the fact that the White Album was probably better that Sgt Pepper's...
But why new music, because HT and Mint are stuck in old music and they are missing their readers completely. I'm not saying fill your pages up with pictures of Mika singing love Today, but new rock - Jam Bands at Bonnaroo and more. I'm not against the article per se, I'm just against the amount of drivel I'm always being fed on the fact that new music sucks.
Maybe it would have helped if every music writer gave a sworn statement that they have done at least five hits of acid and have smoked pot on a regular basis before they write about music. That should help!

GBO said...

Actually, a Jefferson Airplane is an A-320 which is almost a Virgin but not really owned by Richard Branson, OK?

Now YOU tell me what "Never ona Sunday" is, please?