Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Somethin lil serious.....

Its really intersting to observe the impact of TV on kids. More specifically, south indian tamilian kids and Sun,Jaya blah blah tv.
They are of a special,rare and distinct breed of people who, at the approximate age range of 7-13, can comphrehend and explain the complexities of martial and extra-martial relationships, jealousies, crushes, heart-breaks without any difficulty whatsoever.
Cartoons, of-course, are lil kids' affairs. These kids render the ultimate service to their parents-narating scene-by-scene an episode that fate made their parents miss. They are excellent debatists-can tear their elder counterpart's views to shreds by their rhetoric appeal,emotional outbursts and colourful metaphors.And they know instinctively how human(older ppl) psychology works.
I dont think many, atleast in TN, ever wonder about this. People are just far too much involved watchin these super-mega serials, than thinkin how it affects the psyche. These kids, more often than not ,aren't duds. They ll sizzle acadaemically-They are smart, confident and they know it.Therfore, they'll leave little scope for complaint and ofcource elicit no worthy behavioral observation.And thats bad.really bad.
Ofcource those not performing well acadaemically are soon dismissed as the after-effects of ' bad influence' of TV, 'bad influence' of friends,blah blah blah. My point of contention is that both categories are equally rotten, but only not equally bright.
There wont be any difference in the outlook , individually,among people. The word 'outlook' is ofcourse very generic-but this nevertheless it can be characterized by a certain trait, which in tamilian lingo , is called 'samarthyam'.
I wonder if there is a proper equivalent word in English. Shrewdness probably is the closest.
'samarthyam' is a fascinating abstraction of many traits: one can get selfish, one can become street-smart, one might be observant, one can be shrewd, and still posses 'samathyam' . This fuzziness of characteristics is rendered completely unambiguous by tamil TV serials. They boast of characters who are living examples of ' samarthyam' Scheming villainous vamps and their associates have it in abundance. The damsel-in-distress initially posseses little quantities of samathyam, but when she decides to get even with the vamp....lo behold! we have perfect samarthyam again.
This trait, though subtle, reflects a lot on a person. It provides justification to be stingy, manipulative, unheeding, and emotionally inert. It sort of permeates to the last cell in the body, and in the broader perspective become ingrained to one's culture.
So much on samarthyam.
Coming to another equally less observed area of inculcating the art of decision making... its really fascinating to think about what all goes through your mind before you decide about something. Personally,I lay no claim to be a good decision maker. Infact, I have faced accusations of being indecisive. My tryst with this topic owes to book called 'BLINK' ... a best-seller, which basically focusses on a kind of decision making called the 'snapshot judgement'. Its claim is that you neednt be aware of all dimensions of a given problem to reach a decision. Your brain,unconsciously, does most of the tasks of abstraction.
Yet ,the brain most certainly ,is trained in a way to identify the right abstractions.
Dependence on emotion to human reasoning is well known. The emotional response to a given scenario is based on previous experiences-basically what our subconscious mind tells us. If kids are trained how to respond emotionally to a particular situation by seeing TV, then wont it, somewhere down the line, reflect on the basis of decsion taking? The decision might be just about anything... family conflicts, proffessional problems and there are gospels enunciated about this in TV. Arent we encouraging a culture of homogeneous mentality?
Hmmm.... so much on seriousness. Me got to have lunch.