I read so you don't have to: A week of mockery

This is the week we learned that the ‘softer’ side of Pakistan can be quite harsh too.

Nadir Hassan July 01, 2011
This is the week we learned that the ‘softer’ side of Pakistan can be quite harsh too. A much-hyped movie has been mocked more than loved, we love our iPads but don’t know how to use them and continue to mock ourselves.

Sure, there is good news coming out of the country but it is so scarce and so unimportant amid the general gloom that we’d probably be better off just ignoring it altogether.

So let’s take the bad with the worse and have a cynical look back at the week that just passed.

(June 24 - July 1)

Best of the week

1. Bol movie review (Hamster’s Shorts)

If early reviews are any indication, Bol is a deeply flawed movie that tackles lots of ‘important’ themes, which makes it ripe for mockery by those who enjoy pointing and laughing. None will do it better than Hamster’s comic strips, which is surely more entertaining than the movie itself.

2. Nasir Jamal – Murders of faith in a land of violence (Dawn)

We all know the situation in Balochistan is terrible but very little about exactly what is happening. This brilliantly-reported piece shows how the Hazara community is being targeted in the province.

3. The Sarri-alist Movement (Facebook)

The Surrealists have nothing on the Sarri-alists. Think of this as a repository of all the jokes that are so painfully terrible that you laugh at the person who thought they would be worth telling rather than the jokes themselves.

4. Democracy “Just OK” revenge – better ways available as well: Bilawal Zardari (Roznama Jawani)

Pakistan’s best satirical news site strikes again. Start with this new entry and then slowly make your way back, savouring each perfectly-landed jab at our country’s politicians and people (no, politicians aren’t necessarily people).

Worst of the week

1. Goodnews.pk (Goodnews)

What does it say about Pakistan when we need a website which purports to collate all the good news about the country yet is updated only once a week and has items like “Pakistani students shine at international event”?

2. Pakistan’s tweeters take on the state (New Statesman)

After the list by Foreign Policy and The Express Tribune’s own Trib140, it’s time someone said enough. Very few Pakistanis are on Twitter and those that tweet regularly mostly limit themselves to snide remarks, rooting for their favourite sporting team and ganging up against outsiders. If this is the vanguard of the county then we’re already doomed.

3. Wajid Ali Syed – Pakistan’s Urban Metamorphosis (Huffington Post)

This may be one of the oddest pieces ever written. It starts with a factually dubious proposition that a majority of the country supports the ‘Islamists’, moves on to blame (I think, it’s hard to tell with this piece) that on rural-urban migration and somehow shoehorns Chandrgupta Maurya into the discussion.

4. Pir Mazhar scared of iPad after PA fiasco (The News)

We don’t need no education minister. At least not one who either watches videos of dancing girls on his iPad or has no idea how to operate one but still owns it because he thinks it makes him look cool. Money quote, “He said he was extremely disturbed over the episode and he did not touch his iPad for two days.”
Nadir Hassan An Islamabad based journalist who tweets at @Nadir_Hassan.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Mahmood Mirza | 13 years ago | Reply Hi Nadir, The Good News is a small project that grew out of our inability to find out about the neat things Pakistanis are up to. The media does a pretty good job of scraping all the filth from around the country, and packaging it for prime time. And why not, media is big money business. Ratings matter, and crap sells. We're not competing, we're just scraping some of the worthless goodness left behind, and posting it in our blog. To us it doesn't matter 'how much' good news is out there (or not) for us to collate and broadcast. We're not claiming to be a gauge for how "good" Pakistan is. We are a couple of working professionals in Karachi, doing this on the side; and glad to see that people continue to struggle, strive and excel and sharing what we can with others. You might feel this deserves a spot in your "worst of the week" section. Tom Wright of The Wall Street Journal thought otherwise: http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/07/01/good-news-pakistan/
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