Monday, June 7, 2021

No place for introverts?

You know, there is such a lot about the world that I never could understand. (A pity, for it keeps me blathering continuously on this blog? If you are that bothered why don't you go over to that Facebook ad there for shaving creams?) Whenever something gets discussed, there is an officious nincompoop who proclaims, "Them are the rules." The point that WHY 'them' should BE the rules clearly does not cross his mind. And then there are those who say, "Everyone does it", as though THAT makes it the right thing. In my experience, this phrase is used almost exclusively to justify something wrong. ("You are fudging your expense account." "Oh! But everyone does it.")

Then, of course, there is the 'It may be in the rules but it is not in the spirit' things that pops up every now and then. It has always perplexed me as to why someone ALLOW the doing of some things IN the rules which are immoral to do. Experience says that it is ALWAYS the other way around. There are things that may be MORAL to do but contravene the rules. AND, quite often, rules tend to be IMMORAL in what they force people to do because rules tend to favor the rule-maker and not necessarily the ones who have to live by them.

Around this time I expect the more astute of my readers will have guessed where I am heading. (The non-astute would have, as usual, jumped off to that shaving cream ad after the first paragraph, anyway.) Yeah, this Naomi Osaka affair of not giving post-match interviews.

You know, in the days gone by when I used to watch cricket on TV, I was not aware that I was watching the match impatiently, waiting for it to end so that I could hear Azharuddin mumble at the end in reply to questions. For me, it was the post-match interviews which I was impatiently waiting for to end so that I could see the highlights package. To find myself SO at odds with today's world where, apparently, the post-match interview is all-important for the sport to attracts viewers...

But, then, Youtube also seems to be caught in the same time-warp like me. I mean, they are still stupid enough to show, almost exclusively, clippings from the largely irrelevant tennis action of the past and barely anything from these all-important interviews which, apparently, is such an important reason why tennis is such a much-watched sport.

True, spice is added to the game when the sportsmen are personalized. You hear of a Kumble bowling over after over with a broken jaw and you start watching him with new interest. You hear of the technical soundness of a batsman, the flamboyance of another, the obstacles a third had to work through in order to get to where he was and the sport becomes all the more interesting to watch. Yet, you know what, if all I learned of Tendulkar had been from HIS post-match interviews and if post-match interviews were ALL that would make me watch the sport or respect the sportsman...well, 'God of Cricket'?

I shudder to think of where it is all heading. If your skill in sports is seen as merely the certificate that gets you to go on that all-important interview (Much like your degree certificate is mainly a passport for you to attend a job interview) and it is the INTERVIEW that is the touchstone of whether you belong in that arena and deserve prominence in it...I mean, is it all "Yeah, fine, you can PLAY the game. But can you TALK it?"

So, if you have a Lara or a Tendulkar who is too shy to handle media, you'd rather dispense with them for someone with the gift of the gab more than any gift with the bat? A Nadal or a Federer is useless for tennis if he breaks into cold sweat at the thought of facing a crowd? (Yeah, yeah, I know all that 'if he can be so courageous as to play with a sprained ankle, it is nonsense that he cannot face media' sort of shit. Well, a soldier who can face death can break-down in the face of a cross-examination in court. Courage in one thing does not mean courage in all things.) Looks to me like, if you are an introvert, the world thinks that you should be in self-effacing jobs that do not bring you into any sort of prominence. No matter how much of a genius you have for jobs where you are in public view.

And, you know what, there were some arguments which really put the icing on the cake for what I had started feeling ever since the advent of social media. You know, the 'You are being paid so much for that only' argument. So, the bulk of the money that sportspeople get is for the purpose of giving interviews, then. Which, I suppose, satisfies the need to people to talk about the person's life and moods rather than her game.

I HAD always felt that. That 90% of the world's GDP (Yes, the percentage is drawn from studies conducted in the all-famous WhatsApp university)  and, therefore, 90% of the world's resources and efforts are being put in towards satisfying ONE major need of people. The need for...