Monday, June 09, 2008

When mystical forces blow through Mohammed Asif's wallet in Dubai

By John Cheeran
It is quite amusing that Gulf News, a newspaper published from Dubai, has woken up from its slumber by carrying a comment piece in its sport pages on June 9, 2008, a week after Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif was detained at the Dubai International Airport for allegedly possessing an illegal substance.
And what a piece of juvenile journalism it has turned out to be!
The verdict from Dubai Courts is yet to arrive and Pakistan Cricket Board has diligently maintained that Asif will be presumed innocent until authorities prove him guilty. That’s natural justice, by any reckoning.
But Gulf News on June 9, by carrying a signed comment piece, has jumped the gun and proclaimed Asif was caught with drugs.
What proof the Gulf News commentator has to write so?
Let me quote from that piece. “But with his latest transgression of getting caught with drugs on his person he may have sold out to the mystical forces.”
My God! What does the writer mean by ‘drugs on his person’? Where has he learnt his English from? All along the wire agencies said that a substance was found in Asif’s wallet. And to use a generic word such as drug, in this instance, is outright lazy and unpardonable journalism.
And come on, how on earth you can write that by “getting caught with drug on his person” becomes selling out to the mystical forces?
First let someone enlighten the Gulf News writer on what mystical forces mean. Is selling out to mystical forces something bad? I don’t think so. Many mystics have done it and instead of condemning, we revere them.
It is quite true that juvenile and amateurish writers take refuge in grandiose words such as ‘mystical forces’ to sell their point. Choose your words carefully. Trafficking in ideas needs not glib words but education and willingness to learn, two qualities the Gulf News writer sorely lacks.
And when did smoking a joint become such a precarious issue, a fight between good and evil?
And mind you, the GN guy in his desperation to sound intellectual is trying to elevate a 25-year-old gawky athlete to Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.
And will you please tell me what rewards Asif stood to get through “his apprenticeship with this powerful moral force”?
A brand ambassadorship from Afghan poppy farmers?
So who is naïve? Asif, or the juvenile journalist?
Leave all that alone. I suggest that Gulf News writer should refrain from inflicting mixed metaphors on his readers. Again allow me to quote from the writer’s masterpiece. “The graveyard of international cricket is littered with many tales similar to that of Asif’s.”
Aha. How many graveyards have you seen that are littered with tales? Corpses, yes. Skeletons, yes.
But tales?
Come on, mate. You need to develop yourself. And I don’t know how many chances you have been given by life.

(Click on the below links to get a better understanding of the quality of journalism in Dubai)

1 comment:

renuramanath said...

Hi John,

Good blog ! I will add this to my blogroll.

A full analysis of the GN news article can make even a book, I think ! 'The graveyard of international cricket..', does he mean that only a graveyard remains of the international cricket ?!

John Cheeran at Blogged