Bad Journalism, Fake News, India, Mediocrity, Serious Writing, society, Thoughts

Hasan Minhaj Continues his Reductionist Diatribe on the Indian Elections

The Indian Elections got over a couple of weeks ago and the people of India voted the BJP back into power with an even greater mandate. So it looks like Hasan Minhaj decided to admit that he was in the wrong with his previous diatribe about Modi and the Indian elections. After all, the new episode is explicitly titled “Patriot Act Apology Regarding the Indian Elections – I’m Sorry I Did Not Listen”. But who are we kidding here?!!?  Needless to say, there is no apology anywhere – not even remotely close. On the contrary, what we get is another big dose of his reductionist observations that forms the fundamental basis for all his shows -including the first episode on the Indian elections.

His diatribe in this episode essentially boils down to the now predictable trope of pre-determining a narrative, selecting a few examples that confirm it, and then reducing the whole phenomenon to the simplistic narrative based on those examples. (You can see it for yourself in the video below).

His narrative here has been one to show that Modi is an evil/dishonest/incompetent person and the BJP is an evil/dishonest/incompetent party that would bring untold death and misery to everyone who is not Hindu. The examples he chooses to confirm this narrative are 3-fold.

First, he identifies 3 candidates who have either said or been accused of doing something wrong. So this way the entire BJP party is reduced to the alleged crimes of Sakshi Maharaj, Pragya Thakur, and one single quote from Anant Kumar Hegde. Of course, Smriti Irani’s massive victory over Rahul Gandhi is reduced to depicting Irani’s background of starring in a bad soap opera scene from eons ago. (Clearly Hasan doesn’t find the need to mention the years of ground work she had to do to get that victory, but I suppose that goes against his narrative….)

Second, he reduces Modi’s interaction with the press to his casual discussion with Akshay Kumar. I mean, the Prime Minister literally has a complete web page dedicated just to the interviews he has given to the press! (But hey, pointing that out would go against his narrative, so……whatever.)

And finally, he reduces the legitimacy of his critics to a high-decibel TV anchor and a few select Twitter trolls. And to top it all off, he tries to wash his hands off of anything and everything he has said by claiming “Comedians cannot swing elections”. (So there! Everything is forgiven and forgotten, right? )

In any case, let us not lose sight of what is fundamentally wrong here. Whatever we may deem to be unfair or incorrect on this one show is not and should not be reduced to just one person – a.k.a Hasan Minhaj. Yes he is certainly a part of it, but there is something more fundamental at play here. The simple fact is this:

In this day and age, no matter what the truth is or what is actually happening in a country, the power to set the preferred narratives lies in the hands of those who hold the biggest platforms. Comedians across the world are increasingly perceived to be those who can be ‘trusted’ to deliver unbiased NEWS (oh how ironic!). They are also being given increasingly bigger platforms to air their views to an increasingly growing (captive) audience. (This can be directly attributed to the complete death of quality TV news reporting, but that is another story for another day). And ultimately, it becomes a feedback loop with comedians becoming increasingly bigger personalities in the media ecosystem.

And this is where people like Hasan Minhaj come in. What he really wants to say in this episode is very revealing and crystal clear:

I have the platform, I have the captive audience. You don’t. No matter the veracity, I decide what narratives are set on my show. You don’t. I decide who or what is right and wrong. You don’t. And anything you say will be used against you and what you stand for.

Ultimately, in trying to respond to “desi trolls”, Hasan Minhaj has proved that he, in fact, is the biggest troll of all!

Advertisements
America, Bad Journalism, Dudeism, Fake News, media, Mediocrity, Serious Writing, Thoughts

What ‘The Big Lebowski’ Teaches Us About Media Bias

In one of the most enduring scenes that ever came out of Hollywood cinema, there lies a rather deep hidden meaning. It becomes painfully obvious once you see through it. And when you do, you will appreciate the script and the context that much more. The scene is from the movie The Big Lebowski and features Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.

Here is the context (SPOILERS ahead!):

The Dude has failed in the task entrusted to him by an old billionaire. The task is to deliver a large amount of ransom money in exchange for Bunny – the trophy wife of the said billionaire. He has instead lost that money and the old man castigates him for his ineptitude by showing him the consequences of his failure – which involves a toe that is  believed to belong to the said kidnapping victim. Disappointed with himself and worried about the victim, The Dude then ‘discusses’ the situation with his buddy Walter Sobchak. Here it is in full:

WALTER
That wasn’t her toe.

DUDE
Whose toe was it, Walter?

WALTER
How the fuck should I know? I do
know that nothing about it indicates–

DUDE
The nail polish, Walter.

WALTER
Fine, Dude. As if it’s impossible
to get some nail polish, apply it to
someone else’s toe–

DUDE
Someone else’s–where the fuck are
they gonna–

WALTER
You want a toe? I can get you a
toe, believe me. There are ways,
Dude. You don’t wanna know about
it, believe me.

DUDE
But Walter–

WALTER
I’ll get you a toe by 3 o’ clock–with nail polish. These
fucking amateurs. They send us a
toe, we’re supposed to shit our-
selves with fear. Jesus Christ. My
point is–

DUDE
They’re gonna kill her, Walter, and
then they’re gonna kill me–

WALTER
Well that’s just, that’s the stress
talking, Dude. So far we have what
looks to me like a series of
victimless crimes–

DUDE
What about the toe?

WALTER
FORGET ABOUT THE FUCKING TOE!

Essentially, the Dude has come to believe that the toe that is shown to him by Jeffrey Lebowski (the Billionaire) does indeed belong to ‘Bunny’ – the Billionaire’s wife – the apparent victim of a kidnapping. But Walter is clearly having none of it. He firmly believes that the toe is another in a series of ‘victimless crimes’ that are done by ‘fucking amateurs’! (Of course, in the end Walter turns out to be spot on!)

Which all brings us to a simple question.

Why did the Dude believe that the toe did indeed belong to Bunny? 

On the face of it, the apparent ‘proof’ consisted not of direct evidence of the identity of the victim, but instead consisted of an indicator – one which needs to be taken at face value without questioning in order to arrive at the suggested conclusion – that the toe does indeed belong to Bunny. It is this very ‘indicator’ nature of the evidence that Walter Sobchak questions and confidently declares that he could generate the same evidence by 3 o’ clock that same day (with nail polish!)!

The Dude believed the initial assertion (that Bunny was harmed because of his ineptitude in not delivering the money) not because of the ‘proof’ (a severed toe) that was presented to him. Instead, he started off by taking the initial assertion at face value without questioning, and then used the ‘proof’ to confirm this belief. The narrative was setup in such a way for the Dude that he just assumed the initial assertion was true and perceived whatever ‘proof’ he was then presented to simply confirm this assertion – even if that ‘proof’ was simply ‘indicative’ in nature.

Now where else have we all seen this? Where have we seen a topic being presented in such a way that it makes an assertion first and then uses primarily ‘indicative’ evidence to backup its claims?

There are a good number of ‘news’ websites and print media that utilize this very technique to sell stories and content. Many headlines from such organizations are usually articles involving a recent quote by a personality of some significance, or one or two facts that include numbers. This is then typically followed by a description of the context. But there is a sub-category here. This group of articles contain something more. It is usually subtle, but it is there nonetheless.

These articles contain a narrative that interpret the said development in a very specific way. And they do this not by offering any hard facts, but by providing evidence that are at best ‘indicative’ in nature. These articles usually contain a catchy headline that typically signals something to be feared or worried about. The article then starts off by repeating the assertion made in the headline in a more elaborate manner. Then it goes on to the actual quote or fact(oid) which typically forms a very minor part of the full article. Then the article attempts to reference previous similar developments in an effort to forge an apparent pattern – all spelling doom to varying degrees. Then the article goes on to make statements that involve the use of modal verbs such as ‘may’, ‘can’, ‘might’, ‘could’ indicating the possibility of further bad news. And then, finally, at the end of it all, to tie it all together (I had to obviously use the pun!) and to bring a sense of authenticity and confirmation to their idle speculations, they ‘reveal the toe’!

The ‘toe’ typically involves a quote by someone directly unrelated to the actual development, but one who holds a position of some significance in some industry, academia or organization that would entitle him/her to have opinions on the matter under consideration. The bigger the said person’s significance/position, higher the level of authenticity that is perceived to be on the speculations. It is important to note that these quotes are not something that is made by these persons out of their own volition without being specifically asked for. This is almost always a situation where the quotes are actively sought out by the person writing the article, and these quotes are then included in the article to provide a sense of truth and authenticity (and general concern) to the speculative inferences/statements made preceding them. (They send us a toe, we’re supposed to shit ourselves with fear.) In a sense, the person writing the article has already built a narrative (without many facts to support them) and then looks for quotes from ‘experts’ or ‘analysts’ to corroborate the same. Of course, nowadays, these ‘experts’ are dime a dozen. (You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me.) So it is another question altogether whether every single ‘expert’ he/she contacts provides quotes that corroborate their narrative, or if he/she only includes those experts’ quotes that does corroborate their speculation.

**********

See this Dec 25th article on CNN Money about Brexit for a good demonstration of the above idea. Also go to this Dec 13th article by the same writer on the same topic where he appears to have some information that doesn’t necessarily support the narrative in the article in the Dec 25th article. Also observe how he has cleverly left out those pieces of information in the Dec 25th article.

***********

So at the end of it all, it is simply a case of the writer making an initial speculative assertion and then ‘revealing the toe’ to backup their claims. So the question you, as a reader, have to ask is, “Am I being presented actual proof based on hard facts, or am I being ‘shown the toe’?” If you suspect the latter, then you know the ‘news article’ is nothing more than clickbait garbage. If it is the product of actual investigative journalism, then you will probably see a lot more information in the form of hard facts backing up the said claims. It is up to you to actively seek out the difference.

In this day and age of information/noise overload, if you even mildly suspect that you are being ‘shown the toe’, then it very likely is indeed just garbage. You should then be wary of any article from that particular source of ‘news’. This is a very simple and practical approach to consuming news media today and to distance ourselves away from fake news, pre-determined narratives, and idle speculation masquerading as truth. And if enough people do this on a regular basis, then we might still have some hope left for humanity’s progress.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Fake Football News, Fake News, Football, My sense of Humour, Rant, Satire

Football Fan Wants All Teams to Play Attacking Football All The Time

Saying that he was bored to death after watching the Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea match, local football fan decided that he wants all teams to play attacking football all the time. He said that his decision was largely influenced by how Chelsea ‘parked the bus’ for the entire game and didn’t let Atletico Madrid score a single goal, thereby gaining a very valuable draw in the away leg of the Champions League Semi Final.

Football Fan deeply dissatisfied with Chelsea successfully parking the bus against all top attacking teams in Europe

“I cannot imagine how bad the game was. It was like watching paint dry. Chelsea just parked the bus and did not let Atleti to create any clear cut chances! They just could not breach Chelsea’s defense! That is just simply unacceptable from Chelsea! They should not be allowed to do that!” he said while expressing outrage about the scoreless draw.

The football fan now wants all teams to be required to play attacking football because “that is what is most entertaining and creates a lot of goals!”.

“It is not right to play a defensive game even if the team is playing away from home. Always attack attack attack!”

The self proclaimed Bayern Munich fan then went on to give examples of clubs like Barcelona and Bayern Munich who generally have a lot of possession and are always shown to be attacking the ball. “I was always supporting Barcelona. They were my passion. But then after last season’s semi final when they lost 8-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich, I just started getting attracted to Bayern somehow. Now I just support Bayern. They are the best team in the world because they keep playing attacking football all the time! It is real great to watch them.” Digressing from the topic a bit, he then went on to criticize how fans who previously supported Chelsea changed their allegiance to Man City after City started spending and winning more titles.

Football Fan insists that is the only way to go and nothing else is acceptable

When asked to elaborate about why all teams should play the same style of football, he said “I mean, who wants to watch teams with different styles of football and hailing from different football cultures – aerially dominating, long ball tactics, physical game play, counter attacking tactics, extremely defensive formations stifling the opponent’s attack, parking the bus – pitted against each other? Really, who wants to watch those styles of play going up against each other? All I want to see is two possession based teams who pass the ball a lot and create opportunities from through balls or cut-ins. Everything else is just boring!”

He went a step further and said that the players should not feel proud if they win by playing any other style of football and that if a free-passing team such as Bayern Munich or Barcelona loses, they should always feel proud of sticking to their brand of football. “Take the Barcelona – Chelsea semi final 2nd leg at the Nou Camp in 2012. I am sure that at the end of the day, all Barcelona players and fans were celebrating with pride how they never abandoned their philosophy and played with it right to the end of them getting knocked out! Never mind the fact that with practically 100% possession in the second half, Barcelona were able to generate only ONE meaningful shot on target with those tactics. I am just proud that they kept maintaining possession and passing the ball around aimlessly while Chelsea did not give them even an inch of space for a through ball. Chelsea do not deserve any credit for their performance that day at all – even if it was with ten men”.

Football fan feels Torres’ goal against Barcelona should make all Chelsea fans feel extremely ashamed of themselves

Among recent games, he pointed to the way Arsenal lost 6-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. “Hats off to Arsenal for not at all changing any of their tactics or style of football while playing away against a top counter attacking team in all of Europe! Arsene Wenger deserves a lot of credit for sticking with his attacking free flowing possession based football away from home against Chelsea. The final score line doesn’t matter at all! The important thing is that Arsenal did not stop playing their brand of football right to the end. I am sure that all Arsenal players and fans were extremely proud about that and celebrated like they won a trophy or something!”

In the end, the fan said that tactics do not mean anything if it does not involve free flowing attacking football. “The only tactics that makes a game good to watch are those that get employed in a possession based attacking game. Everything else is just simply unacceptable. Shame on all the teams who employ other tactics to beat possession based attack minded teams! If you want to beat them, beat them with free passing tiki-taka football which is very impressive to watch. Otherwise, just don’t play and bore us with defensive displays stifling even the best attacking teams in Europe! That is just unacceptable!”

America, Arbit, Fake News, India, Mediocrity, My sense of Humour, Rant, Satire, US Presidential Elections, WTF?

Millions of people around the world go into depression after realizing Democracy does not work

In a surprising development towards the end of yesterday, hundreds of reports from all over the world poured in claiming large masses of people going to depression simultaneously. The reason : Democracy – or more specifically the realization that it does not appear to be working.

It first started with people in Japan reporting en masse to psychiatrists and psychologists complaining about general depression and a growing inability to trust anything. People were seen making long lines outside pharmacies waiting to pick up their prescription medication to battle depression.

Meanwhile, many reports started coming in about similar developments in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Italy and a few other European nations. This was then followed by reports in the United States where millions of people were first confused if their depression was the result of the extended winter this year. However, after continuing to watch their preferred News Channel  – Fox or MSNBC – just to see the ‘other party’ get thrashed, the people found their depression getting worse and ultimately attributed it to the failure of democracy.

Depression is the only consequence

Common questions the people seem to be asking all around the world included: “Why isn’t anything getting done here at all?”, “If a party is elected by the people, then why doesn’t it get to do anything?” “Majority means they should be able to pass all the bills right?”, “I thought Obama had won the reelection. But then why is he still campaigning against the Republicans instead of getting things done?”

Questions like these were asked repeatedly by people when journalists inquired about their depression and what they thought of the economy.

A worldwide survey had shown a few years ago that democracy was “The Shit, Yo!”. It was apparently not just a ‘good system’ of governance, it was also the ‘only system’ of governance. People all around the world appeared to agree that the United States was ‘just awesome’ because it kept bringing in ‘democracy’ to all those poor souls in the middle east who were ‘totally suffering without democracy’.

A noted commentator who has been supporting democracy setups all his life had this to say about the new democracies in the Middle East: “It’s cool yo! I mean, there are a lot more people getting killed, more religious persecution, more security problems, more economical problems, and on top of it all, nobody is able to do shit about it! But it’s cool because they have a democracy, right?”

Another pro-democratic intellectual masturbator said this in response to all the increased violence and unrest in the new democracies: “Hey! At least now they get to feel awesome and brag to the rest of the world that they live in democracies right? I mean, now they actually have a RIGHT to brag and feel awesome! Yeah, take that Bitchas!”

Actually, this reporter was unable to find anybody who held anti-democratic views who could talk about the other perspective. Apparently, it was just ‘not cool to be anti-democracy’. Why? The only answer this reporter was given repeatedly to that question was “Because Democracy is the Shit, Yo!”

When more people were interviewed to hear their perspectives about why they felt democracy would not work, many of them echoed similar thoughts.

“I was told from my days in middle school that democracy is the shit. I never understood it back then but just thought it was something cool that everybody liked. So I  began to trust it as well. But I just don’t see it working ANYWHERE.”

Citizens of India, the largest democracy in the world, were initially upbeat about the next elections so that they could vote the ruling Congress party out. But then they realized that even a different party would never be able to satisfy the needs and demands of hundreds of retards  who will still be in the parliament- all thinking differently.

“The only thing that will continue for sure is the regular adjournments of the parliament sessions. No bills will get passed and no reforms will take place. Because this is democracy right? So you get to put down a bill just because it won’t help you win reelection.”

The only people who appear to be celebrating democracy and those that have not gone into depression are the folks who have been making their lives out of subsidy and welfare money from the governments. Social Security, disability, medicare, medicaid, unemployment benefits, you name it. People who utilize these welfare schemes appear to be extremely happy about democracies.

“I hope democracy continues. This way nobody will have the balls to take away my disability checks and Medicaid because if they do, I will vote for the other guy who promises me my free money. Isn’t that awesome? I  hope the people in the Middle East also begin to reap the benefits of democracy soon. Go welfare schemes!”, said a 43 year old American who has been claiming disability checks simply because his ‘back hurts a bit when he tries to stand up’.

It appears that only people who work, making money and leading generally better lives were affected by the depression epidemic that has swept the globe. The poor who have been living mediocre lives through welfare schemes and subsidies appear to be more than happy to continue to live in mediocre conditions as long as they keep getting their free money that in turn supports their mediocre existence.

All the people living off subsidies and welfare schemes were of the strong opinion that ‘Democracy indeed is THE SHIT!”.

When President Obama was asked about this mass depression epidemic, he responded with a prepared statement with beautifully crafted sentences, messages of hope, general GOP bashing, and a lot of promises and by the end of his speech, people were so excited and enthusiastic that they seemed to have forgotten what it was that they had asked him in the first place.

The President did refer this reporter (who pressed him with the same question a second time) to the following video from The Dictator…..

…..thus missing out the whole point altogether.

In conclusion, it appears that Democracy is not just ‘The Shit’, it is simply SHIT.

Alcohol, Chelsea, Fake Football News, Fake News, Football, My sense of Humour, Rant, Satire, Serious Writing, The things that happen only to ME..., WTF?

Breaking News: Winners of EURO ’12 and Champions League ’13 to play ABSOLUT Football

In what could be the next biggest development in the history of football, ABSOLUT Vodka and UEFA have announced that the winners of the upcoming EURO ’12 and UEFA Champions League ’12-’13 tournaments will play ABSOLUT Football –  a new brand of football that nobody has ever seen so far. This announcement was made on UEFA’s website and was confirmed by a spokesman of the Pernord Ricard group which owns the ABSOLUT brand.

ABSOLUT End Indeed

UEFA’s official website carried a new posting outlining the rationale behind the new legislation:

After an executive committee meeting of UEFA, it has been decided that the winners of EURO ’12 and Champions League ’12-’13 will be based on the ability of teams to play the ABSOLUT brand of football. The objective behind this decision is to provide fans and spectators all across the world the opportunity to watch the most entertaining brand of football ever played.

The UEFA executives concluded that all teams must raise their games to include more entertainment aspects into it. And, as currently, the most entertaining and exciting brand of football is considered to be Total football – born in the Netherlands and currently played by the likes of FC Barcelona  – it was decided that in order to be fair to all teams, even those playing total football had to raise their games.

However, after further investigation by this fearless reporter, new sh*t has come to light. It appears that the UEFA executives had a very controversial motive behind this decision.

Most of them were unhappy that Chelsea FC won the UEFA Champions League, for apparently deploying negative (read extremely effective) tactics to secure wins against the likes of FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munchen. Sources revealed that the members refused to consider the inability –  of either Barcelona or Bayern Munich – to finish even 5% of all the chances that they created as a sign of the weaker team. This, as compared to Chelsea’s almost 100% finishing record, appears to have had no bearing on the executives.

One of the executives, who wished to remain anonymous justified the motive in the following way:

 How can you have entertainment when all you are getting from Chelsea’s tactics is a scenario when one team is constantly on the verge of scoring the decisive goal and the other team is defending for its life – suffocating and frustrating the attacking team- only to provide the most dramatic finishes in the history of the game? That Barcelona game might have given people heart attacks. But then since Chelsea had deployed negative tactics, this simply cannot be considered entertaining, right?

In a related development, Websters dictionary publishers have agreed to use the above executive’s quote to explain the words ‘retard’ and ‘hypocrite’.

Johan Cruyff, one of the most vocal protesters of Chelsea’s tactics – and himself an ex-Barcelona player who was also involved in the development of Total football –  had a few thoughts of his own:

What is the point in having all these different styles of football  – from different leagues in different countries all across Europe – competing against each other in one tournament? Teams playing widely different tactics pitted against each other in a game of football is completely pointless! There simply cannot be any value in doing this! Everybody should try to play the same type of football – the type that is played at Ajax or Barcelona.

I don’t know how this ABSOLUT football will work but right now, the only way to win a tournament and deserve it is by playing total football. Every other style of play is inferior to Total football. Even if other styles of football aim to exploit the opposition’s weaknesses, or even if they culminate in the most exciting games ever played, those styles are still invalid and do not deserve to be rewarded!

This reporter initially suspected that Mr. Cruyff could have been stoned when he made the above quotes. Turns out, this is  how Mr. Cruyff is.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Pernord Ricard group which owns the ABSOLUT brand shed more light on what this means to the company and also about how this is going to work.

ABSOLUT Vodka is proud to be associated with this new chapter in the history of football, where ABSOLUT Football makes Total football absolutely obsolete!

The methodology of playing ABSOLUT football, inevitably involves the consumption of copious amounts of ABSOLUT Vodka. Following this, the players take to the pitch and the game begins. However, once the game begins, this style of football will now require you to make use of the players of not only your own team, but also that of the opposition’s. The players will bounce the ball like a pin-ball machine and make it go towards goal.

We are absolutely confident that ABSOLUT football will provide the highest amount of entertainment in the game of football. Of course, the best way to enjoy a game of ABSOLUT football is to be absolutely drunk yourself with our Vodka! CHEERS!

Fake Football News, Fake News, Football, My sense of Humour, Satire

Breaking News: Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets reveals being Bullied as a Child

In an emotional interview to a local TV channel, Sergio Busquets confessed that he was constantly bullied when he was a kid and that the bullying hadn’t stopped even to this day. Speaking a few hours after helping Barcelona secure passage to the semi finals of the UEFA champions league, Busquets appeared to be well in control of his interview until the host asked him for his thoughts on the criticism he gets for allegedly diving at the slightest contact.

Busquets throwing himself to the ground

Busquets’ immediate response was to go silent for a couple of minutes on live television. And when the host asked him the question again, Busquets simply broke down and cried in front of the cameras, much to the astonishment of the gathered audience. Eventually he composed himself and confessed in detail about how he was bullied since the time he was a small kid and how that had affected his life.

The only things people see are me diving and falling to the ground easily, and holding my face or some other part of my body in pain. What they don’t know is what makes me do all that.

You see, ever since I was a small kid, I have been bullied, beaten up and pushed around every single day. So much so, I had to come up with something creative to solve my problems. So when I was about 11 years old, as soon as I saw my classmates or anyone else coming near me, I began to automatically throw myself to the ground, start rolling all over the floor pretending to be in agonizing pain! I was essentially victimizing myself for others to see, with the hope that they would show some pity and go away feeling that they had achieved what they wanted without having put in much effort!

And thankfully for me, it worked! So every time I saw someone approach me, I made it a habit to simply throw myself to the ground, hold my face and scream out in agony! And they usually walked away, pitying me, and without bothering me much.

After watching me do this for a few years, my mentor told me that I could make a living out of doing that. In other words, he said that I could play football for Barcelona! He said he had been doing it for a while now and that there was room for more. His name is Dani Alves.

Dani Alves has been the single most influential figure in my life. He taught me how to make all the throwing-myself-to-the-ground act to actually amount to yellow and red cards for the opposing team and penalties for Barcelona. He really makes it look so easy! I am completely indebted to him for everything I have today. He has been the perfect role model for me!

But in all seriousness, every time I see an opposing team player come near me,  I get scared and I feel that the bullying is inevitably going to follow. THAT is why I throw myself on to the ground and pretend to be in so much pain. And if, as a consequence, it means that my team – Barcelona – get an advantage, so be it. I mean…did you see what happened today? The ball wasn’t even in play when I went to the ground. Puyol simply shouted that someone was behind me and I was so scared, that I automatically fell over! The rest, they say, is history!

Following this emotional confession from Sergio Busquets, the TV host went on to shake Busquets’ hand to offer him some comfort. But as soon as the host reached out his hand, Sergio Busquests did a back flip and threw himself to the ground clutching his ankle! It later turned out that Busquets had actually injured himself while doing the back flip.

Following this emotional interview, Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona head coach, admitted that he was aware of the situation with Busquets and that he had given Dani Alves full freedom to train and mould Busquets into becoming another Alves. He also shed light on why Busquets could never do the same at a different club.

Barcelona is in a very unique position to develop and nurture such talent. We have so many things going our way for us. For instance, we play the most attractive football in the world, we have the best player on the planet and we have the best youth system in our club. Not only that, we also sport UNICEF logos on our shirts. I am not sure what it is but I have been told it helps us to get a soft corner from UEFA officials.

So what this means is that we can hide Busquets’ style of play amidst this big facade of beautiful football and UNICEF logos. And we still get the officials to help us out every now and then! No other team can boast of  having the ability to do this! Players like Busquets and Alves would be red carded every single game they played for diving, if they played for any other team! But that will never happen in Barcelona!

But seriously….what IS this UNICEF and why is it on our shirts?

It remains to be seen who will be the next person to come through the ranks of Barcelona with the ability to get the opposition teams the most yellow cards.

Fake Football News, Fake News, My sense of Humour, Rant, Satire, Serious Writing, WTF?

Breaking News: UEFA to make Incorrect Referee Decisions Mandatory

In what appears to be a follow up of UEFA President Michel Platini’s comments about video technology, a spokesperson for the governing body in European Football made the announcement in a press conference yesterday.

UEFA has decided to make incorrect referee decisions mandatory, effective from the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League and the Last-16 of Europa League. This ruling will be applicable to only these 2 tournaments this season. However, starting the 2012-13 season, all leagues and all competitions overseen by UEFA will be required to introduce mandatory referee decisions which are incorrect. This decision was taken up as part of our efforts to drive the organization along the ‘totally-not-ridiculous’ vision of our legendary President Michel Platini.

Michel Platini - explaining his vision for European Football

The vision that Michel Platini has for UEFA and European Football appears to have been indicated by none other than himself a few days ago when he made revelatory comments about the state of football and whether or not to allow video technology in it.

Video is not for football. Human (adjudication) is better. Football became popular thanks to its human values. If that becomes a commercial value, it will lose all its popularity.

Though his initial comments appeared to make his stand clear about use of video technology in football, it was nevertheless vague and unspecific about his vision for the game. This he clarified in his later comments as to what he believed drove football’s popularity.

Football has also based its popularity on injustices. You can remember them and talk about them in the bars. You can talk about 1982, France-Germany, it was an injustice like the hand of Maradona or that of Henry. The notoriety also comes from negative things in football.

Through his later comments, Platini seems to be taking European football in a whole new direction – one which is aimed at increasing the popularity of the game. And he intends to take the shortest way to achieve that aim. In a subsequent press conference, the President himself spoke to reporters about his vision and how he plans to increase football’s popularity.

It is very simple you see. It is a lot easier to make something popular through its negative things. So, like I had said a few days ago, we need stuff to remember and talk about in bars. This way, the game can become more popular! And this is our main objective.

I mean, think about it. Instead of having  just a few games here and there – spread out over time and geography – which have talking points, we intend to take it to the next level by requiring ALL European games to have talking points! How innovative and original is that! Think of all the possibilities that come with such a ruling!

There will no more be any favorites to win any match, let alone a tournament! There will also be an exponential increase in the level of competition everywhere. Suddenly you will find ALL teams fighting for the title. Isn’t that a dream come true for so many fans around the world – to have a realistic chance of  their team winning a big tournament? With so much uncertainty and chaos, football’s popularity will soar!

And do you know the best part? This can serve as the perfect solution to all those big spending clubs who will utilize all the abundant loopholes to beat the Financial Fairplay rules! I mean, what difference will all that big spending on big players make if  the referees (read UEFA) do not allow them to win matches?!!?

I am so awesome no??!?

Though we are yet to receive official reaction from the clubs and players, one industry which has voiced its opinion against the move is the betting industry. Spokesperson for the betting industry released a statement:

Though the intention to create a more level playing field is welcome, the betting industry cannot comprehend such a ridiculous and asinine measure to achieve the aim. The betting industry will run out of business if these rules are enforced because ALL teams will always have a 1-1 betting odds irrespective of whom they are playing!

ESPN’s (self appointed) Pundit Shebby Singh was talking to John Dykes about the drawbacks of the rule and pointed out the inherent flaw in its working.

What Platini is forgetting is that, even if he uses video replays, the person who will eventually make the call is still human. And he is always prone to errors. But if more wrong decisions can be overturned, then the game becomes clean while still maintaining the possibility of  having ‘talking points at bars’ due to the human element involved in judging the video replay itself!

Also John, I would like to add one more point here. Platini is half right about the injustice meted out during the 1982 France-West Germany semifinal. In his opinion, the injustice was to France because the goalkeeper Schumacher was not sent off for breaking the jaw and spine of Patrick Battiston. However, the way I see it, the injustice was to the whole of European football because Schumacher should have actually broken Platini’s jaws and certainly his skull during that match, but he didn’t. That would have saved us all from this impending doom with Platini’s current position as President of UEFA.