Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Faux pas.

Faux pas = (fashion) an error in style judgement; (social) gaffe, blunder, false step, embarrassing behaviour.

The Fake Steve Jobs ("Dude, I invented the friggin iPod. Have you heard of it?") http://tinyurl.com/2bockl reminds me for no reason at all of the fake Sachin Tendulkar, the fake Shah Rukh Khan, the fake Dev Anand and many other fakes scampering around close to home. They make a living and a career out of being someone else's faux avatar. To me, this tribe seems as nauseating and irritating as Austin Powers. FSJ is witty and funny, on the other hand. Unfortunately, on 5 August 2007, he was unmasked after surviving several attempts to find his real identity. New York Times Tech Correspondent Brad Stone must have left no stone unturned (pardon the pun, I just couldn't resist the temptation) to find who was behind the mask. http://tinyurl.com/yvcqlb. It turned out to be Daniel Lyons, Senior Editor, Forbes Magazine. Long before his FSJ incarnation, on 14 November 2005, Lyons wrote in his Forbes article (The Attack of the Blogs): "Blogs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo." http://tinyurl.com/68j5ry. Then why did he decide to join the mob? Maybe, he found the idea of writing anonymously too, too liberating and exhilarating. He indeed confessed that it was addictive. He even tried to relinquish it, according to his own admission, but just couldn't. His boss and Forbes publisher Richard Larlgaard saw his blog as "the most brilliant caricature of an important part of American culture that I’ve seen". In contrast, Joe Klein, the author of Primary Colours (1992), a roman à clef about US politics, was sacked by his the then employers, Newsweek, for not telling them he did it before telling the rest of the world. According to some, Klein is a serial liar. http://tinyurl.com/59m6ox. Be that as it may, even after the unmasking, Lyons continues to write under the FSJ id. In other words, he persists with a lie that, for all practical purposes, has now ceased to be anything but. Seems to me akin to a theodicean situation. This is a theological-philosophical polemic where the theologian-philosopher tries to reconcile the existence of evil and suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent God. In short, the problem or conundrum of evil. http://www.problemofevil.org/. P.S.: By the way, last month, FSJ featured a Prabhu Deva video clip on his website, asking someone from India to explain what was going on. He thanked the person who offered a detailed annotated explanation including the cultural context. http://tinyurl.com/5oqzg3. Very decent of the bloke, must admit.