Thursday, 31 March 2011

Editorial - April 2011


Editorial : Blogito Ergo Sum

Arunabha Sengupta

Mark Twain did once mention that laughter was the only effective weapon of the human race. And keeping that in mind, we had announced in our submissions page that the theme of the April issue would be laughter.

After all, it is the ability to laugh that separates man from beast. Not for nothing did Dante name his journey through Inferno and Purgatorio as the Divine Comedy.

However, the last three months have witnessed tectonic shifts in the plates under Japan as well as in the power equation of the Arab world. The modus operandi of the climate changes in geography and politics, and the
modern day refresh by refresh reportage of the same, have made us wonder whether mankind has not come up with more effective weapons since the days of
Huckleberry Finn.

 Arunabha Sengupta is the co-editor of Scroll and the author of three novels, the latest being The Best Seller 

One after another, governments have tottered, wobbled and changed. The revolutionaries have marched ahead, one hand firmly on the cell-phone button or the mouse.

When we turn to look at the Japanese situation, we find reports beamed through social networking channels or YouTube which transcend Reuters, Associated Press or CNN. Pictures and prose no longer seem to have the luxury of being edited by the discerning manipulators of awareness.

The tweet is proving to be mightier than the blast, posts and updates a significant step up from the fourth estate.

Or are they? 

Are we stepping into an information age when truth and merit hurtles through as packets of data past the citadel of power and power mongers? Is the Internet creating a dimension that is so unchartered that no one has a head start – the privileges of thought, voice and following stripped bare till the Davids stands shoulder to shoulder with the Goliaths? 

Or are we looking at sensationalised versions of a minor headway in the pages of history?

What does it mean for us authors? The independent ones without the editorial benediction of publishing monoliths?

We decided to look back and laugh at this epoch making era later on. For the time being we take a look at the events, questions and points of view regarding the unusual upheavals and upgrades.

And while doing that, we also try to find out how and why in the face of an open society and toppling autocracies, the all engulfing corporate environments remain totalitarian and tribal.

And since Mark Twain does mention that “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand”, we have sprinkled most of our regular features with a generous serving of humour.

Enjoy scrolling.

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