Friday, August 12, 2011

Positive thinking is fine. But, good grief, this is ridiculous.

“The actions of the few are not a true reflection of our city. This, what you see here, is our London. Communities coming together to clean up, reclaim, and revive the neighbourhoods they live and work and live in.

”Let it be shown that the positive action all over the city far outweighs the destruction.”

(Opening statement at This is our London

Sorry if it sounds like I’m sneering at the great tragedy that the UK is suffering at the moment. I am not. It’s only that I’m disturbed by the pompousness and the sheer naivety – nay, asininity – of the opening statement – not to mention the bad grammar (“the few” instead of “a few”; actually “quite a few” seems more apt given the situation). I guess that, in the great hurry to put the website together (“in just 8 hours”, according to the AdAge Global, a cub got the opportunity to display his/her wit and wisdom in the opening salvo – most likely, without proper guidance and quality check. What resulted was: “This is our London (in denial)”.

What was intended to be conveyed, I’d guess, was along these lines. Our city is in the throes of a serious crisis. There is a lot of death and destruction in many areas. Yet, there are also isles of hope springing up in the midst of the chaos: spontaneous acts of generosity and ingenuity by the city dwellers coming together with an abiding faith in the community’s future.

Reading the intro made me cringe also because it reminded me of something that keeps happening back home. The loose talk about “the spirit of Mumbai” that is bandied about in media and public for a every time the megapolis faces a crisis makes me want to puke too. Good grief!