Disturbing Content Becomes Normal, Should We Wake Up?!

URLs: From Nightmares To PTSD, The Toll on Facebook Moderators

Podcast Title: From Nightmares To PTSD, The Toll On Facebook Moderators

Channel: Fresh Air: NPR

A Bird’s Eye View

National Public Radio (NPR) : Fresh Air Podcast is an interesting take on things that should really matter to the listeners. The topic on Facebook Moderators needs some looking into from a humane point of view. I found journalist Casey Newton’s take on the issue was rather studied and walked the tight-rope of being level-headed on an issue which turns out emotional responses.

The Graphic Content in the Facebook and other social media channels are pre-checked and moderated before being visible to the general public. The person doing this task is known as the Content Moderator and Facebook employs Content Moderators to check these images. The podcast discusses about the various impact of being an content moderator overwork for long duration and over exposure to such toxic images leaves them in highly precarious mental health condition.

In My Humble Opinion

Ever tried reading a comics about heroes who are on the mission to save the world. Much of the world of images are created for specific impact. In the case of Comics the entire editorial team with graphic artists try to bring an experience to the table.

In the case of the content found in the SocMed Channels are subject to the aim of making an impact on the reader reason can be as diverse as the image itself. One of the most important thing in the face of such overload of images is that at some point we have become immunized to look at very disturbing images in our daily fast-paced life.

The brains takes in the images and the processing in the mental spaces are subject to so much distress and hurt. Over the time seeing pictures that are extremely toxic takes it toll on the viewer of the images. Just imagine if this simple image can create such an impact, then wouldn’t long duration of violent and harsh images whether real or made-up to create unrest is not going to help the innocent bystander Surfer on the net.

The fact that there exists a Facebook Content Moderator who nit-picks these content and only those images that have been vetted for the various violent factors and these graded images provided by these team of moderators are allowed airing time on the SocMed Channel of Facebook.

I remember seeing a very disturbing image of a child running away in mortal fear and in a completely vulnerable human condition. The video showed her running on the street in distress and seeing such an image of a girl child running déshabillé. Watching the young one, avoiding the man-made catastrophe, it was most disturbing to see. I saw this about 10 years back and it was part of the reportage of the war event.

I was distress and really worried to watch those images and spend a week feeling bereft and depressed with huge amount of shame on behalf of the child. News Reporting these days are peppered and salted with images of such violence and especially if there is a coverage of booming event.

This is one of the reasons that I don’t try to read news early in the morning and keep snacking on title but then even words bring with it violence which an escapist like me tries to avoid at all cost. I am usually creating words than seeing any image, and I keep off SocMed as far as possible. I feel we have come to a level of acceptance on violence and vile images that some level of violence, gory details are just basics now. I fear such compliance in the acceptance level of the reader and surfer. Then, we would get to a point that we would accept violence to be part of life visually. This then impacts the reaction of the emotions when the images get processed in the mental spheres of the mind.

Of course, people who do this job on a regular basis of vetting images are going to be far more affected. Their perception of reality will get befuddled in the constant exposure to violence of the visual kind.

It becomes all the more important that we find out where is our thresh-hold for tolerance. We live in AI and technology getting becoming so fast that we don’t forget the basic human virtues that needs to be extolled in our life. Moreover, you don’t want your Primary class teacher cringing, thinking of thier efforts to build human manner tables as a matrix in our emotional part of the brain and in our behavioral science; but to sadly find it to have gone awry.

Image Source:Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Lamb Followed Mary Swayer No More!

I have such fascination for Nursery Rhymes and Today quiet by chance I happened on the content on ‘The Surprising Controversy Behind “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”‘ I love the fact that rhymes are a fascinating expression of fun wordplay.

Even today, I’m an ardent fan of Lear’s works and Lemmerick is such fun. Today I was not up to rhyming and just ambled about on a supposition and the universal truth of pets who are risen in the farm for the kill and how the child in the family land with a new lamb every season and protected from the survival-based killing. But when the Child realizes it then, the Child-like innocence is no more much like the Halal lamb. Sad reality but the hard way but then, life is hard.

Here is my take on it rather off-key but my style.

Lamb of Mary Swayers

Thursday, 04 July 2019

Merriness of surfing with no care
Maybe for the one spark of clarity
Found a controversy in an old Rhyme
Fascination abound as to who wrote it,
At first, were they a Man or a Woman?

Left out in suspense but the backstory
Appealed to my soul, as I gobbled on
Mary had tended to young ailing lamb
And when it could walk about or so
The Lil’ one followed Mary everywhere
She went, in good faith did the lamb go.

Quite frankly the Halal being
Walks confidently that her
Mistress would protect, Bur sadly,
Our Mary strategically separated
Lamb was discretely mined
And the little one was mutton.

Was Mary at Fault remains
An ethical question follow as to
The adult-child interact
When a barbaric eating desire
Nullifies a child’s deep want
For a Lamb that unquestioningly follows.

Mary and Her Lamb lives no more
All that remain is the controversy sown
And poor Lamp who for the mutton show!
I wonder where did the courtesy of
Praying before you slay the being go
As Mary’s Lamb followed her no more.

– Srividya Suryanarayanan

Productive morning. Off to working on my Rhymes though they sound like lead ball in a wet grinder.

Image Source: Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

L’sLT Series | Yet Do Not Go Gently Through Life

I have been looking up poems from my past and remembering how it felt back then, and how it feels right now. Sometimes the understanding is varied. As a young girl, my understanding was different from that of my present-day mindset.

The poems were read exactly in the order they are listed below:

Death Be Not Proud – John Donne

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

Because I could not stop for Death – Emily Dickinson

At this point, let me stop and look at what I have collected so far. Let me take the poem in the order presented because there is a clear chronological logic to it. I read John Donne’s Death Be Not Proud, in my secondary school days. The fact that my school included the topic of death at a very early stage and partly the reason being that all parts of literature was never far from it. Take for instance, when children watched their pet breath their last right in front of them. These days you cannot protect the children from all the gory details of war and violence. Violence these days are a given. In that, when we speak of death and passing, the angle that needs to be taken is rather interesting.

Should death as a subject be introduced at an early grade? It is still a debatable question. But I feel death as a sensitive topic should be addressed early. Then I would give it a resounding, Yes! The more secular thoughts on the passing and coping with the passing is something that needs to be in the survival kit of each individual child.

The fact that each of the poet had their own way of looking at death; but then something else was also happen with the topic. By the time I reached the American poet’s version of His Majesty the Death, I had undergone much emotional changes.

John Donne’s version of what Death can accomplish is not so dramatic and back at that age it kind of gave a weird sense of pride that after the passing the soul will rise and live on. Though it was different from Hindu philosophy of circle of birth, death and rebirth, ad infinitum. I understood that maybe, yes, Death is not to be feared as much, since there was a next chance to make amends.

With this false bravery, I made progress in life, thinking that Death cannot outdo me. But yet there were such moments, when I felt maybe, I should rethink my concept of passing away and how we handle it.

Dylan Thomas also begged and beseeched his readers to not accept without putting up a brave-faced fight till the end. The various ways in which Death does challenge the human being until they are subdued to submission was explored, but the need, not to give up the fight till the last becomes an emphatic refrain with the nice touch of the Villanelle’s natural form.

A Villanelle is rather strictly structured, and the magic is in the refrain. Dylan Thomas uses it very beautifully to accomplish it. When the thoughts get grounded in the action that human take, then it becomes significantly important point to look out. Thomas’ version of how to fight it out and not be defeated in the hands of Death is a strong takeaway.

The strife and struggle that goes into the process of leaving this mortal world is something that Dylan Thomas brings out in his villanelle. I love this poetic form so much that I feel that one can get much out of those rhyming sequence. I have played around with this form for topics that were about hiding things and not giving up.

Surprisingly, when I reached high school and some American poets were also included in our repertoire of poetic studies, I first encountered Emily Dickinson with such pleasant shock that it was a new experience for me.

By my high school days, I would look upon poets and try to figure out their life stories. So, Emily was such a fascinating person and I liked the fact that she had characteristics that are close to my preferences in life.

The fact that Death gets invited into her very parlor for some nice tea and nibbling snacks kept a drummer’s beat in my mind. It is almost as if Death is a welcome guest, on whose honor the table of snack sits waiting to be attended to.

There are times when a poem can evoke images in the mind that is unique for each poem. In “Because I could not stop for Death” poem there is much that is happening which I didn’t find it in the early masculine expression to death. Somewhere there is a sense of gentleness in Emily’s version.

I am still looking out for a version of Death that is an equalizer. A more modern expression of death what it has to offer for a human being in the form of life. Somehow it is not even about living after being dead and I feel I am not that happy with the current affairs to wish to be born again. So, what should be the angle of a more modern and current version of Death which overpowers Dickinson or Thomas or Donne’s approach to the central figure called Death?

Of late, I am more mellowed, I am no longer the fiery poet who kind of thinks, that she can change the world with her words. I know the world will continue in its strides caring not for a single thing of any major concern. It is like the time has passed and the human being who watched it go by passively are none the wiser from those that actively participated in it. The passing of time is inevitable.

Death as a topic has always been my favorite. It is mysterious and filled with a unique quality of evading human understanding. Why would human beings be born and go through the various stages of life and undergo the varied aspect of life’s struggles and then, pass away? The Eastern theories and Western principles kind of clash and confront the understanding limits of this individual’s perception.

Desire to hold on to the memories of the time spent together is high, yet death dare not visit as John Donne says that after death I shall rise and be free forevermore. There was a huge change, in the way, especially the classic method of viewing death by the British poets. This stark difference in the American poets and British poets handling brings out the varied interpretation of death is the varied Indian spice of new understanding.

Life according to me is somehow filled with people, things and places. When in reality none of these should really matter, to begin with. Life is always is just about the Self – the indweller. I have had moments when I simply see things happening around me, as if in a movie theatre. I don’t know if that should raise a red card alert that the participant is no longer a participant, but merely an onlooker.

Sometimes the mind has its own way of handling sadness and despair. Some relations in life has certain special place in the human emotion and mental setup. Whenever I am very sad, I tend to create poetry that is fully loaded with heavily coded words. I am the only one who can Unicode it, pun intended.

I have learned from living that you should not give up and just let life happen on you. You should try to go out there and making little things of importance happen whatever be the outcome. The need of the moment is not to see your life as ending but beginning with a fresh start.

 

Image Source: Pexels.com

My Favourite Three Humourists

I am not talking Stand-up Comedy on current affairs who work as overworked social media propagandist and throw in a couple of cuss words and that is not humor for me. I am talking about supreme quality, a balanced, and a wonderful representation of a situation that brings out that human smile even when the person is super serious. That gentle smile is the one I am talking about in the word Humor.

One of the best things in my life was my English classes at my school. I woke up to studies only in my 5th grade when I began reading books on my own. Of course, it is a different thing that my 7.5 had just passed by and happier days were etched in the Indian natal chart. Somewhere there, I believe my sense of what is now my maturing humor’s birth lies.

Honestly, there is such great capability of being able to appreciate literature and love the way it goes into the spaces of the mind. I believe Humor is possible only when there is a great in-depth knowledge of the world and its natural ways.

That way there are specific essays by some people that I really love to reread as many times as I can. There are three writers’ whose works I absolutely love to read over and again. The three of them are

  • Charles Lamb
  • GK Chesterton
  • PG Wodehouse

All three of them are my super favourites and in their style of saying things has been my aspiration all my life. I still don’t sound good or even remotely fair. I am still a struggling artist who is grappling with her tools. I don’t have in depth relationship knowledge since all my time is spent with books and stories. I know the theories of it but then, I sadly am missing on the practical parts. So, I feel that humor is experienced from within and there is no huge laughter, maybe sometimes, but usually it is a gentle nudge of pleasant feeling that brings out the small smile.

Then humorous writing that can be one man’s nourishment while becoming one man’s punishment. I love big vocabulary writers and in that PG Wodehouse is such a wonder pot of a fascinating language workshop.

Humor has its own specific logical order since it permeates throughout my thinking process, I believe to master it requires a mentor who you can really rely on to be an honest feedback provider. Because of the fact that my humor is sometimes very dark but at the same time, I know that I like lighter wordplays too.

Jeeves who is a gentleman’s gentleman is such an exemplary English Butler that I am so thrilled to just read the novels of PG Wodehouse on the Jeeves series and those of Blandings Castle series. Somehow it never felt that I was reading another culture. The important thing that is required is to be really crisp and to the point. If you amble in the narrative of humor then, the punchline is long past miss punched.

One of my secret desires as a writer is to be a humorist on the above three writers’ cadre. Charles Lamb’s essay The Dissertation on a Roasted Pig is one of the best and I fall in love each time I read it. The way he describes the pig and the pig roasting history is such a pleasure and treat to even a staunch vegetarian like me. The inference was funnier because it has some amount of sadness attached to it.

Now that I call humor since it brings out the human aspect of a person. Humor also speaks for the quality of life of the people and society at large. That way I believe G K Chesterton is another favourite of mine. His political essays are more commentary on the social lifestyle structures found in the various people and their behaviour that GKC observed. The most important thing that I need to understand as someone who is just learning to write, is that when you aspire to be a humorist then it becomes important that you place yourself in the human situation and not balk from it.

That way my experience in life is limited, and I need to open up to my community that is there in my flat that I live and maybe make new friends, both the art of friendship-making is pretty much a Herculean task for me. But one can assume that one has understood the situation and work out the relationship. The art of bonding in humor takes synching in humor.

Sometimes I connect with people’s humor, and sometimes I don’t since it was out of my signal range. No neural network connectivity simply didn’t support that mismatch of software and hardware. Then it becomes all the more important that the command on the language become very stringent so that the humor comes out naturally instead of being forced.

My aspiration is still alive even today when I read humorous piece of creative fiction or creative non-fiction. For instance, the humor that I have grown up with is wordplay and slanderous potty jokes that grannies just enjoy saying. They are so familiar that the sentence is not even completed, and the listener immediately gets it.

If I should dare say that I may have to labour with love on my humor and then I say Love’s labour is lost and found.

Image Source: Pexels.com

 

Outcasted Life in Colors of Social Inequalities

Book Title: Two Leaves and A Bud

Author: Mulk Raj Anand

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy: Amazon

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Mulk Raj Anand’s style of writing sets the reader to think deeply and it also evokes a reaction from the reader. I read this book as part of my Indian Writing in English course, in the second year of my BA (English Literature). It is a fact that English Writers of Indian origin spoke of highly serious topics such as caste and social discrimination. Or it could be that the choice of Writers were the ardent freedom struggle activists. Some Writers used humour while some believed in holding the note of deep contemplation in place during the course of their narratives about the British rule in India.

It was almost like Gangu’s the protagonist and his family’s troubles were never ending and the way out of the situation does not seem available anywhere. In that way, the plot’s moment of happiness was also colored by the protagonist’s non-achievable delusion of future happiness. While reading Anand’s work, I felt it, that it was a rather overload of sadness which kept lining the story from start to finish. It was never dropped even during those small happy moments in the life of the major characters. In this Anand reminded me of Charles Dicken’s writing keeps making things harder, especially to find even a moment of joy in any described situations in story.

The Story in a Nutshell

A Farmer of Amritsar who has lost his land to the moneylenders is forced to move out of his familiar hometown to an unfamiliar state in Assam where he struggles in the pathetic condition to just live one day after another with his family being safe. What happens to his family and to him in the new place and how the contractor just painted a life of prosperity which turned to nothing but a mirage of horror.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I liked the intensity with which Anand wrote this story. There is no rest from the constant feeling of desperation and desire that something good would happen makes a refrain in the mind’s of the reader; but then, there were no breaks. The strength of a human’s mindset of hope that keeps ebbing and flowing through our being is reflected in Gangu and his family too. But eventually, reality strikes and everything is just darkness. I also liked the flow of words when I read it and it felt like I was living in the British rule era.

What I disliked was the few characters major evil ones, but they were the plot progressing villains who were the catalyst to moving ahead of the story. But I think if you can make some character to be hated by the reader, then the readers are invested in your story and the protagonist.

That way, this book had a lot of interesting paragraphs where the author’s ability to describe the scene and emotions of the characters comes out very well. This novel was very sad and at the end of it, you are happy because it was a definite tragedy and it is a little over the top with injustice hanging on the hinges. But then, it kind of opens up the mind’s eye towards what could possibly be the reason for the existence of such discrimination and why is that the fellow human beings do not have the basic rights in their life and working condition.

The human’s rights are violated in the working condition of the plantation at every given point. This leaves a sense of constant injustice which becomes a given fact of the contracted workers’ life. That sense of injustice and inequality really gets to you when you read this novel.

My Opinion

The fact that I had to read this novel as a compulsory novel of the Indian Writing in English paper, I felt a sense of dark brooding when I read it. I don’t pick books which are unhappy, but then being socially aware is also part of the deal to read up books that are written with sadness in it.

I do want to read up literary works of Indian Writers, but their grammar is so hard and that of the Wren and Martin variety. But then you have rare thoughts of progress and advancement from these Writers which moves one’s sense of right. But I was someone who enjoyed styles of varied kind. If I read for a specific time a specific style, then, I tend to be able to pick it up.

Like for instance, there was a time, when I kept reading Shakespeare’s plays and landed up being able to read like natural English. I side poetry more than prose. Anand’s prose was one such pleasure to read, but the subject left me depressed and a little disappointed about the inequalities in a society of that time.

The people who live in the delusion that all is well and continue life in stupor, sometimes need to get their jolt in novels such as these. The novel brings out the oppression in plain statements and in turn showing this mirror of society the reader is not given any space to escape. I believe if the book does that to you, then you are reading an exceptional writer’s work.

Image Source: Amazon Online

L’sLT Series | Finding Peace In Confusion and Cluelessly Figuring Out

So, a few months back in December 2018 I believe, that all channels were advertising for channel selection and TRAI rules and regulation. I, for my part, was sure cool, I could see it and there was so many an actor explaining it. But for me, I was clueless, I only understood that I had to pick a family pack or Mera walla pack. Guess what do I do, I wait for these guys to call me and ask! Urgh! But no one called and one fine day channels started disappearing. I am in like ‘where are my channels?’ – a questioning mode, while I am looking on clueless as ever?

This led to a fictionalized mixed reality of creative non-fiction which of course I am enjoying writing. I do not have anything against anyone, but just that when procrastination leads to a mess eventually which becomes harmful for the procrastinator. These last-minute rescue decision-making has become a way of life for me, which I am trying to change. But sadly, not even the 48 days or oru manadalam (Ayurvedic time duration of a medicine course) practice seems to be working.

So let us talk about doing the right thing at the right time is the wise thing; while a right action, if delayed then, it is not the right action at all. Most of our life’s situations are time-bound and some require an instant decision, while some can afford to be thought over before arriving at a decision.

So why is taking a quick on the spot decision is so vital? My life is filled with decision taking on a daily basis and it is nothing different or unique about it. But over the years, I have started to learn how to take the decision not just for me but on behalf of others too. There are moments when I want to chew on a decision like a cow’s cud process time, but then time is premium so some decision is taken on the spot.

When you take decision for yourself and if things go wrong despite one’s best efforts, then it is easier to just tell ourselves that we will live with it. But when the decision is on behalf of others, then I become super conscious of the extent of responsibility that lies on my shoulder.

There are moments when I freeze while taking a decision, then it starts the chain of events and choices. The postponing of decision-making has a huge impact on a later date. In my earlier days, I was such a free spirit who never thought again of any decision, made a choice and then move on, was my attitude. Even today, I have that free-spirit surprising me with its presence. There is much that is mysterious in life among them is my logically processing to a decision.

I always keep thinking, that should one take the instincts’ hint or think it through logically and then take a decision? A Egg and Hen question. My twisted logic series is a different track altogether, maybe should be another of this series entry. So, for instance, there are moments when I am completely in swirls of logic because I think in circles and it can be very tiring. I love to keep pondering and if the material I am pondering on is literary then, I am super happy.

For instance, when you need to take a decision on a text, even though I don’t know it that well, it seems easier to decide, but not with live people. But I have improved by far in these many years of experience with collaborating with people. Honestly people are far more fun and you learn with them too. I still feel that taking a decision on behalf of others is very super tricky. But then, if we must, then we must. The rule of my thumb is to make sure it is for the common good for all involved.

Eventually, the act of decision making is sometimes art and sometimes science, but then also an experiential learning that grows the being and the spirit. I wish there were some quotes to give away as I think of all these wonderful things about decision-taking the swamps around my thoughts. Life is about upgrading non-stop and don’t settle quickly.

Image Source: Pexels.com