Who moved my 'journalistic space'? The Age of Twitter Set-ups

Why the hell is ‘journalistic space’* being taken over by micro-blogging? Why is it that when one person breaks wind there, a whole bunch of people queue up outside the loo?

Hmm…I had just finished my morning adulations, and ignoring the Toffee-nose of India (TOI), I went to the stapled sister. I like Mumbai Mirror. I like mirrors. Now, in the midst of all the light frothy gossipy stuff it mentioned a “corruscating review” about a recently-published “social Bible”. It did not specify whether it was the Nobu or the Antillia version.

What follows here is a reaction to the responses to the riposte to the review and the rejoinders to the remnants that remain of the righteous rumblings.

Since those who do not read my blog are not acquainted with those who do not read everything else, I will have to introduce the characters that are not there and what they did not do.

An author Soul Setter, henceforth referred to as Setter because I want to sound like a Goan, wrote a book, a social Bible, if you must, called 'Getting To the Top of ITC’s Everest in a Chartered Plane: Ten Rules for Being Moses'. The Setter has friends and clients. That is his business – to make clients feel like friends and friends become clients.

It is simple enough. Learn to get all the Gifts of the Magi without being Christ. Or, if the atheists prefer, how to lay eggs without being a hen.

A lot of people might have bought Setter’s book because they were friends and clients and wanted to read about how they were making people.

Then, what is the problem? Setter is popular among the television channels and is always on panel discussions. He is a marketing guy and many of the big companies would like to see him talk about the state of the nation while he is selling their soap suds and hotels.

According to my sources – okay page 2 of the paper – the Setter read that “corruscating review” and went into “an indignant, inelegant splutter”. Fine, the couple of examples I read weren’t exactly nice, but then wasn’t the review “corruscating”? Setter was blinded. Hurt. Setter could not control. Setter blurted out: “So @me-churma (name changed) reviewed my book for a magazine no one reads. Am not surprised! He is supposedly an unemployed economist for an unread mag!”

What followed is truly weird. A news magazine that we read for taped conversations, excerpts from the editor’s book (oh, no, will leave that for now), and four-page essays by Oliver Twist asking for more Mao jumped into the buzz. It went full-throttle into an excavation expedition and besides Shivaji’s personally autographed copy of Adil Shah's memoirs, they found tweets from the time of the Cripps Mission. Standing apart were those about the Setter controversy. It turns out that a month before the “corruscating review” appeared, Setter had praised the magazine – let us call it Craven – addressing its senior editor with the shining words: “and by the way I love the way your magazine CRAVEN is doing in the journalistic space*…super stuff…” (italics mine)

This should tell us that Setter is a bit displaced. He needs to shout, as he has done by typing the name of the mag in all-caps. However, I do not see any disparity in the two comments. He loves (or loved) the magazine in a confined space to which he supposedly has access (remember the chartered plane and all?). He is telling us that not everyone has that access. “No one reads” clearly means he is not No One; he is Someone. He is also hoping it goes unread. This is Setter Subconscious. The personal attack on the reviewer is because he assumed a slight directed towards him.

I have not read the book (extracts, yes), but did go through the review. It seemed like the reviewer went into the deep dark woods to figure out a bonsai plant.

The problem for people like us is that everyday we find little bon mots, and not all by bon vivants, which Setter claims to be, and we often do not know the context. Recently I came upon some exchange between the Diva and other divas about maids. Suddenly, out of nowhere, another best-sailing author’s name cropped up. Let us call him Chattan Bang. It transpires that he was being sarcastically awarded something for watching films with his maids.

Now, Chattan really likes films and his latest watch is The Dirty Picture: “The movie breaks so many new grounds, and opens the door for Indian biopics.”

If it is breaking so many new grounds, where will there be place for doors?

He is so taken up that he even gets patriotic: “Few Indians make me proud of being Indian. Vidya Balan is one. She isn't just an actor, she is an artist. Superb performance.”

I am told the boobs and midriff prosthetics are not made in India.

Then, this: “If a dog keeps on barking your name, he makes you famous. The dog, however, remains a dog.”

And the bark remains a bark, no?

Unless you have a dog named Google, like Setter does, who can find the doggie doo even in coruscating darkness.

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