blogging gobbledygook and such

I was listening to the radio the other day. The station I tune it to all the time has a segment where the listeners can e-mail their problems and the deejays will try to fix them. (They also have another segment which can be pretty dramatic at times.) Previously, they’ve given a laptop to a girl who needs it for class, a haircut for a woman who needs a makeover, some expensive presents for a guy to give his best buddy who’s coming to town to visit. (I know, you’re thinking exactly how deserving are these people of the things they get from the segment? Not much, really. I guess the station in return gets an interesting story to put on air.) Not every problem was solved by material things; they even mediated a conflict between a daughter and her father who wants her to marry a guy who’s not her boyfriend, and between a woman and her boyfriend’s mother who had a misunderstanding over a flat.

The other day’s problem was sent in by an anonymous person, who has a problem about his/her friend’s body hair. The deejay called her up, explain the situation, and offered her a hair removal package by a beauty salon for free. Naturally, she was lambasting him soon enough before he even managed to utter the free appointment he had set her up with.

After that angry phone conversation aired, the deejay kept insisting and defending that this isn’t what he wanted, but rather what the anonymous person requested. Basically saying lah, don’t shoot the messenger.

I wonder, though, should you not?

Even though technically what the deejay is doing is essentially his job, by choosing that problem to ‘fix,’ isn’t he in a way getting involved? Maybe the producer chose it and not him. Still, it’s your job, you have to do it, so you are getting involved in it, aren’t you? If your job was just being a messenger, then you shouldn’t take it personally if the recipient of the message reacts negatively; rather, you ought to convey that reaction to the sender of the message!

I also have a bone to pick for that problem being chosen. While I enjoy this segment because it’s highly entertaining, I wonder if it’s morally ethical to put the ‘victim’ on air when he or she clearly hasn’t asked for it. You may have a problem with a person and have no qualms going on air, but about the person who’s deemed the ‘problem’? Doesn’t that person have the right to privacy, to have the conflict solved without the whole nation judging his or her actions? Sure, everything is anonymous, they bleep the names, disguise the voice and everything, yet there’s always that possibility you would be recognised by the nature of the problem, isn’t it?

And exactly how is that girl’s hairy body a problem to the anonymous person? So what if she looks ugly to you, anon? It’s her own body! Props to her for believing in what God has given her and even better, for believing in her own beauty! No matter how well-meant your intentions were, it’s her body; only she has the right to decide what she wants to do with it. It does not harm you (unless you’re so shallow that anything visually unpleasant to you is a physical harm in itself) or herself. She is comfortable in her own skin. You yourself said that you and your friends have commented on her body hair before and she was clearly not interested in doing anything about it. Why should you take it into your own hands what she should do with her hair and going public about it?

Gahhh, I’m quite riled up.

*

But if going by that train of thought, then I shouldn’t be enjoying shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and What Not to Wear, which suggest that these people have a problem and need to change their physical appearances to some extent.

Gahhh, maybe I should be mad at myself instead. 😛

*

Wait, isn’t that like personal blogging too??

Oh boy, am criticising what am practising! 😕

Comments on: "Of Shooting the Messengers & Airing Dirty Laundries in Public" (11)

  1. Yeah, I think talking to people on the phone when it’s not personal enough is not a cool thing to do. They can solve personal problems alright but they should draw a line when the person concerned asks them to do something about some other person who obviously is clueless and has every right to get angry. I don’t think mediating the conflicts between people is a good thing to do. Things could go horribly wrong and they could end up destroying relationships. Moreover, I wouldn’t wanna be the deejay because some angry person could just go ahead and get him killed. It can happen in India, dunno about Malaysia.

    When you’re blogging, you’re expressing your discontent about somebody but that’s fine. You’re not going ahead and asking that person to change the particular thing so the two things are different. That’s what I think and I think it’s right because I’m not too high on caffeine right now.

    sulz: talking on the phone about personal problems is fine in my opinion, but when you get a total stranger to say this to you (a total stranger who’s probably biased against you since he’s doing what your anonymous friend requested) on air, i think that’s awful! malaysians have this i’ll cross that bridge when it comes attitude and not prevention before cure kind. 😉

    yeah, you’re right, that’s what i’m doing. i’m not asking to change because i don’t dare to anyway which is why i’m blogging right? >.< lol.

  2. Well, I’m pretty sure such stuff happens on Indian radio as well. We don’t get many decent channels here in my city right now and so I don’t know much about it. Wait another couple of months and I’ll see.

    And yeah, you got the gist of the thing, clever gal. 😀

    sulz: haha, someone’s itching to get out of the house. 😉 somehow, i don’t think you’d be listening to radios once you get to the city!

    and are you planning to stay up all night??

  3. Hey sulz, just wanted to let you know that it looks like my blogroll got scraped. I think you posted over at the scraping sight thinking it was me. I’m still a one blog guy.

    As far as the question posed in the post: If you are an unwitting pawn in being a messenger, then no harm no foul, but if you seek to agitate and exacerbate, then you are just as guilty.

    sulz: yeah, i only realised after i submitted the comment, haha! 😳 when it comes to blogs, you can be ‘promiscuous’ in that sense. 😛

    yeah, you’re right. i hope i would remember that if someone tries to make me a messenger.

  4. Wouldn’t all that problem solving in terms of the physical be more like a palliative than an actual remedy?

    sulz: excuse me? i haven’t graduated from college yet. 😛

  5. Reminds me of some blog where I had heard a podcast- Some lady made the VJ call up her husband and reveal his affair with another woman. And you can understand what happened next…LOL.

    I don’t get this concept of calling up radio stations and declaring personal problems. Do these people really think that the VJ really cares? He’s just doing his job. I wouldn’t want to even talk about my problems to someone I don’t know!

    sulz: i guess different people have different ways of solving their problems. some don’t mind strangers butting in; some don’t feel the same way. but yeah, i would never ever go down that path. i don’t want to be revealing my problems to someone who thinks it’s trivial and may make fun of it behind my back later!

  6. Dj’s are famous for those types of stunts. Sometimes they are funny and sometimes get stung on the things they do.
    I can see all the sides of the issue and would generally side with the person called. Of course it is there right to just hang up the phone when the DJ’s first identify themselves.

    As to body hair. No Comment!

    sulz: yeah, but strangely many don’t hang up right away; it’s probably the initial shock.

    as for the comic strip, personally i think it’s grosser if he didn’t shave. 😛

  7. Sulz:

    Those of us, who have worked in close proximity with people, who had terrible body odour or halitosis, have probably also felt the urge to ring up radio stations. As a related aside, I watched Liar Liar for while on TV yesterday too.

    It is not abotu dirty laundry – it is about how the rules of society require us to lie constantly and innovatively to keep relationships smooth. Surely honesty should be the foundation of friendships and relationships? Well it seems not.

    As the messenger – usually acting for myself – I bring up difficult things with people all the time. Most of them appreciate the fact that I bring up something they are not even aware of, rather than choosing to laugh behind their backs as most do. Some do not like feedback of any kind. The latter drop out of my life. Too bad – all laundry eventually gets worn out and goes to be recycled, no?

    sulz: well, i guess if they weren’t aware of it they might appreciate the heads up if you mentioned it kindly. 🙂 it would be utopian if we could be honest all the time, but i think that may actually cause more problems in relationships!

    i guess it’s how you convey a message which is of sensitive nature to the recipient, and how open-minded is the recipient. 🙂

  8. Excellent point by Shefaly – I’ve had that same situation happen with a lady I used to work with that had a serious B.O. problem. If I had brought it up with her, chances are she would have hauled me down to Human Resources for harrassment (that was her typical style whenever she felt unliked). So what to do? Sadly we never found out a way to do anything other than rudely asking “anybody else smell that foul stench” in her presence. It was unbearable to have to sit near her. Sort of like wild raspberries, onions, and doritos all mixed together.

    Even worse was when she would sit near us at company functions, as you just know someone was going to mistake the aroma as coming from me.

    Thanfkully she left a while ago. B.O. is a huge pet peeve of mine since I have a rather strong sense of smell. Some folks think I’m nuts (Amy in particular), but I can tell you if it’s going to rain or snow by smelling the air.

    sulz: yeah the b.o. people are kind of foul to be near with. i guess in this kind of situation, either you bear it or risk wrath! 😉 or maybe send her an anonymous petition and a bottle of fragrance. 😛

  9. my mild dyslexia strikes again. “thanfkully” = thankfully.

  10. Haven’t graduated? Don’t worry! You’re not alone! 🙂

  11. Is it more humiliating to have that kind of thing brought out in public in your country…….I mean is it a cultural thing there that women should be hairless?

    sulz: hmm, not really i think. just the usual hairless armpits; the western standard. i guess this girl was exceptionally hairy, which is natural because asians are supposed to be biologically hairier than their western counterparts anyway. just that we conform to standards, so… 🙂

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