Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Scandalous"

What is a scandal?

Dictionary definition:
1. a disgraceful or discreditable action, circumstance, etc.
2. an offense caused by a fault or misdeed.
3. damage to reputation; public disgrace.
4. defamatory talk; malicious gossip.
5. a person whose conduct brings disgrace or offense.

What is a scandal?

- Barack Obama’s aunt living as an illegal in Boston?
- Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand making idiots of themselves by making obscene phone calls?
- Some supermodel wearing footwear deemed unsuitable for her outfit?
- Celebrity shrink Raj Persaud admitting to plagiarism?
- Politicians who are open to being bribed?
- A woman who suffocated her 3-year-old son because he was an impediment in her social life?
- Celebrities who have affairs and break up theirs and others’ marriages?
- Prince Charles advocating people to “go green” while flitting about the world himself on private aircraft?
- Letting Robert Mugabe continue to rule in Zimbabwe, thereby condemning millions of Zimbabweans to poverty and misery, even though Mugabe is at least as bad as Saddam Hussein ever was, if not worse?
- Hate attacks by MNS followers on non-Maharashtrians?
- Asif Zardari becoming President in Pakistan?

What is a scandal? Any of these? Some of these? All of these? None of these, even? A scandal is only as shocking as people consider it to be, and something comes as a shock only if people are unused to it. Of late, nothing seems to faze the public any more. Nothing is shocking for longer than it takes to turn a page or flip to another channel or hop to another website.

Scandals don’t have a lasting effect on anybody – not the perpetrators, not the disseminators, not the public. Those who have been caught out doing something wrong are no longer ashamed of it – no, they just go on TV chat shows and become celebrities. The few who do face retribution usually bounce back and resume their former lifestyle just as if nothing had ever happened.

What is a scandal?

The fact that nothing is really a scandal any more. THAT is scandalous.


Lilly said...

Interesting thoughts!

B. Roan said...

All appear scandalous to me! BJ

Anonymous said...

Yes, apathy is indeed scandalous.

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

What you say is true.Life goes on. Scandals are more short lived now. After all so many newspapers, magazines, websites, TV channels and more need to churn out material every minute.