To be famous today, make sure you are bad or stupid (The Funny Side)
I told a friend that if he scrolled down to the very first Facebook post ever written he would win a prize from Mark Zuckerberg and hes been scrolling for three-and-a-half days now.
 
I feel kind of guilty but his family's enjoying the peace.
 
Life is full of new ethical questions triggered by social media.
 
Case in point: Police recently arrested a teenage girl for armed robbery -- and as she was being handcuffed, she turned and spoke some final words to her shocked father: "Dad, can you take a picture of this so I can put it on my Facebook page?"
 
Not a joke. None of this soppy "sorry I let you down, dearest papa" stuff. Instead, Josephine Garczynski, 18, was operating on a well-known internet principle known as "Pictures Or It Didn't Happen".
 
And it could be argued that she made the right choice: She achieved a measure of fame where she lived, in the US state of Wisconsin.
 
Wait a minute, I hear you say: Isn't it bad to be famous for saying or doing something stupid or evil? Ah, that's the mistake people make. Praise and notoriety both lead to fame, but notoriety is easier (and often more fun).
 
The same week, there was a news report from the UK which said that Nelson Foyle, aged 93, spent 80 years sitting on a barstool in a UK pub called the Dog and Gun. Now most husbands know that if we are 80 minutes late coming home because of a visit to a bar, we'll be in trouble. Our mistake is that our sins are not big enough. This guy spends 80 years on a barstool and he is internationally celebrated.
 
Of course, the ultimate example of this is the United States President. Many academics have pointed out that in 2016 Donald Trump was by far the most criticised man on Earth, by any measure -- and as a result, he is now the most famous and powerful human being on Earth, unbeholden to anyone (except his bossy wife Melania, who I guess is thus technically Ruler of Planet Earth).
 
The same thing happens in Asia. Rodrigo Duterte announces that he likes picking fights and shooting people, and the people of the Philippines promptly make him their overlord.
 
Old way of becoming rich and powerful: I need to achieve something good for humanity.
 
New way of becoming rich and powerful: I need to tell the media that I totally hate kittens.
 
Final example: There were large number of printings of the Bible in the 1600s, but only the 1631 edition is remembered. The typesetter left out the word "not" so one of the Ten Commandments is: "Thou shalt commit adultery." The church tried to destroy all copies but thanks to a certain type of deeply wicked type of human being ("male"), it became the most-sought after edition.
 
How do you start to become talked about? Give up Facebook for a start. But write the following post before you disappear: "Going on a date with a mysterious stranger. Will report back soon."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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    COMMENTS

    Vinay Isloorkar

    3 years ago

    Arundati Bhattacharya should be complimented for taking a principled and professional stand. The political class so used to throwing their weight should'nt be allowed to bully her. These perverse opportunists are only trying to milk the situation for political mileage

    Netflix plays big on India, offers OTT via top d2h, mobile platforms
    Aim to bring more locally-produced series and films to its Indian viewers, global internet TV network Netflix on Monday announced strategic partnerships with Airtel, Videocon d2h and Vodafone. The move is to offer Netflix services over the top (OTT) through these companies' direct-to-home and mobile platforms.
     
    "India is more movie-centric and among the top three markets in terms of mobile usage. We are investing heavily on content and will soon open an office in Mumbai," Reed Hastings, Co-founder and CEO of Netflix, told reporters here. 
     
    Netflix launched its service globally in January 2016, including in India. 
     
    "In 2017, we will work on making our Indian service better in every dimension. What's unique about Netflix is that we have got international originals and we will focus on premium content," Hastings added.
     
    With these partnerships, Netflix's critically-acclaimed programmes like 'House of Cards' and 'Narcos and The Crown' will be easily accessible to consumers across direct-to-home and mobile platforms throughout the country.
     
    "In the months and years to come, we look forward to bringing our Indian members more compelling stories from all over the world, an ever-improving viewing experience and incredible joy," Hastings added. 
     
    Bharti Airtel will integrate the Netflix app into its direct-to-home service throughout the country. 
     
    "Airtel has been a pioneer in bringing the best of global content and products to its customers. We are delighted to partner Netflix to bring their popular content to our customer on one of our key digital platforms," Said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel. 
     
    Netflix will also be integrated into the Videocon d2h set-top box, allowing viewers to instantly access Netflix by clicking a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control. 
     
    "We are delighted to have Netflix as a partner on our HD Smart Connect STB. This partnership strengthens our DNA of innovation by providing an instant TV screen experience for Netflix users in a seamless manner," added Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Chairman, Videocon d2h.
     
    In the mobile space, Netflix will partner with Vodafone on pre-paid programs and will enable payment integration, allowing Vodafone customers in India to pay for their Netflix subscriptions via their monthly bill. 
     
    "We are proud to be the first mobile partner of Netflix in India and look forward to offering its rich content to further delight our millions of customers", said Sandeep Kataria, Director Commercial, Vodafone India.
     
    Coming soon on Netflix will be Marvel's "Iron Fist" and new seasons of "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards". 
     
    Later this year, members will have exclusive access to Netflix original films such as "War Machine" starring Brad Pitt and Sir Ben Kingsley; "Okja" starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano; "Our Souls at Night" from acclaimed Indian director Ritesh Batra and starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda; and "Bright", starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.
     
    "Working with some of India's top artists, we cannot wait to bring more locally-produced series and films to our more than 93 million members households around the world," Hastings told reporters.
     
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

     

  • User 

    You hurt my feelings, now make me a millionaire (The Funny Side)
    Emotional distress is when you make a sarcastic comment on Facebook and every single friend thinks that's what you really think, and when you later point out that you don't actually advocate eating the unemployed or whatever, they think you are being sarcastic.
     
    So then you're in a bad mood and switch to your email and find this: "Dear Mr Columnist, how much are my emotions worth in major currencies at today's rates in various countries around the world?"
     
    The message from reader Agnes P.K. Ting baffled me -- until I clicked her link to a February news report: Police in the US just paid $885,000 to a pet-owner "for emotional distress" after they shot his pet dog. A second link led to a January report of a student who was asked to urinate in a bucket in a storeroom and received $1.25 million, also "for emotional distress".
     
    "Why do we work to earn money instead of just waiting until someone hurts our feelings and then claim compensation for emotional distress," Agnes asked.
     
    Good question. I thought the answer might be that these things only happen in the United States, a country which undoubtedly has a constitutional amendment saying something like: "The Right of The American People to File and Win Ridiculous Lawsuits Shall Never be Infringed."
     
    But I checked with a lawyer who told me that people make emotional distress claims all over the world.
     
    A teacher in the UK demanded compensation for being stressed out by kids and a court gave him 101,000 pounds ($125,000), before a higher court snatched it back arguing that "a person stressed out by kids" was pretty much the definition of teacher.
     
    A guy in India watched a really bad Bollywood movie called "Rockstar" in 2014 and demanded Rs. 50,000, which is about $750, "on account of mental harassment and agony suffered". Given that Bollywood movies sometimes run three-and-a-half hours, he may have underpriced the damage.
     
    In China, a man tried to sue actress Zhao Wei because her intense stare at the camera during a particular TV show caused him "spiritual damage". I can see how the attractive Ms Zhao could cause any male viewer to have significant non-spiritual thoughts. The courts eventually declined to hear the case, although if they had any brains they would have taken a week off to inspect Ms Zhao's videos as part of their "due diligence" process.
     
    Still, I can see why courts in Asia refuse to pay compensation to viewers aggrieved by shockingly bad television. TV companies would basically be paying cash to every viewer every day for every show. And however much they paid, it wouldn't be enough.
     
    Yet despite the rash of emotional distress lawsuits, let's remember that many claims fail. A colleague forwarded me a report about a woman who found her image was used without permission in a Chipotle restaurant promotion and asked for $2 billion. The courts recently ruled against her, but I think it was worth trying, just in case the judge had had a nice lunch and gave her a token $100 million to say sorry for the thumbs down.
     
    Meanwhile, if any judges are reading this, how much can I get for the emotional distress of having a sarcastic comment misunderstood? Millions, right?
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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