Showing posts with label Pranks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pranks. Show all posts

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Jokes Gone Bad [344/365]

Practical jokes are serious stuff.
They are intended to be humorous, but sometimes can go seriously wrong.

I'm sure we would have heard of atleast one such joke that went horribly wrong.
Today, the world heard of another practical joke that ended in tragedy. Of Indian-born nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

The unfortunate victim of a prank call made by Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who masqueraded as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. The voices were a poor imitation of the royals, but the damage was done. Ms Saldanha was found dead in her nurses' accommodation today.

What provokes anger in a sane person is how the radio station continued to play the prank call eight hours after news of the suicide was made public.
While the station promptly suspended the DJs who have not spoken 'out of respect' for Ms Saldanha, this incident has gone a couple of notches beyond comic relief.

Surely, the radio station did consult their well-paid attorneys before their elaborate stunt, but all sane advice cannot bring nurse Saldanha back to life.
A couple of months ago, I recalled how practical jokes can be cruel. Even demeaning and potentially traumatic. Today, the world saw the dark underbelly of practical jokes gone bad.

With the details of the prank call trickling out, we are now aware that nurse Saldanha only received and transferred the call to the ward nurse caring for the duchess. Apparently Saldanha was not reprimanded nor put through the wringer for doing what she did.
While I lament at the lack of a system that should have screened and filtered calls before being transferred to a patient of such a profile, I think what the world is really aggrieved about is the callousness of the radio station DJs and the management who have stood by their prank.

Nurse Jacintha will not be able to see the lighter side of this prank. Being the person that she was, I'd imagine she held herself responsible for the incredible mess. She would've blamed herself for transferring the call that resulted in so much fuss. But we'll never know.

While the radio station never meant for things to turn out the way it did, and may have just followed in the time-tested tradition of pranking, will it apologize for the insensitivity and the loss? It may bow down to pressure but never mean it.
Will this mean the end to all practical jokes in the media? Definitely not.

Was there a more sinister reason why she took her own life? Inquests will reveal that.
Was Jacintha right in taking her own life? I doubt.

Killing herself was such a cowardly way to go especially when she was as talented, as intelligent, as caring and as hardworking as her friends, colleagues and family say she was. Why didn't she think of the trauma and the loss that her family will suffer upon death?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All 'bout the Fun [24/365]

Do you like pranks?
Well, that depends. Are you the planner or the victim?

The most common prank that any of my colleagues could even think of would be hidding your cellphone, sending out hilarious dinner invite, or prank phone call thing.

Playing a prank on complete strangers is not something new. We've been seeing them on TV for ages now.
Now, when I am watching them the shows, where those random good people are being made the butt of our laughter requirement, are they going to be scarred?
Would they, if they encountered, the same situation laugh it off and refuse to help, and look for that hidden camera? Would they let you actually fall off the bridge just because they were traumatized being watching by millions on hidden cameras?
But like they say, it only hurts when you laugh.

I personally think playing pranks are cruel but then once in a while, we come across a prank show so hilarious that you'll even like it on FB! One such prank show is called the 'Benidorm Pranksters'. Seven seniors pranking complete strangers. Avenging all those other shows that prank on unsuspecting seniors, the seniors in BP kicks ass.

Indians are generally not known for the funny. Our wit is dryer than a prune in autumn.
But as if reading my mind, India finally got the funniest channel from the other side of the Pacific - Comedy Central.

Let's LOL to that!

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