Literary Influx In Social Media
In recent times, the forms of communiqué have undergone a constituted metamorphosis. With the escalation of the ‘www phenomenon’ at whirlwind speed over the past ten years, a vista of possibilities unlocked. I call it the other form of 21stcentury Damien. Only the script has changed from the traditional 666 to www. With its several plusses, it is a tool yet to be handled adequately in a productive fashion. Whether Damien was truly anti-Christ, when the whole fable of The Bible was conjectured 180 years after death of Christ (vide The Christ Conspiracy by S Acharya alias D M Murdoch)in a Pagan format for political control in the name of religion, is a matter for appraisal in the light of new evidences. Without delving into the preached myth which mesmerised millions over centuries, not without bloodshed, the true form of Damien is yet to be ascertained in a new light, as of today.
Verbal literary discourse as in religious books, later scripted in a printed format became the linchpin of public didactics. Over years, it evolved almost one-way, with provider meting out a collection of prime stories to a section of the society in a panoptic printed form for the readers’ enrichment. Several epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Iliad, Odyssey, Epic of Gilgamesh etc followed. Like the Bible, some were scripted based on the propagated hearsay to a gen unacquainted with the original proselytization. It evolved, modified by those writing the printed format with their personal construal. Often it deviated from the original verbal version. The readers had but little choice of refuting its real McCoy served in printed salver. For centuries this remained the only avenue of delivery (not taking into consideration the rural tootles for smaller sections where literacy was an issue). For the illiterate, the village folklore iterated over generations as tales imbibed from their ancestors.
From writings on papyrus, inscriptions in places of worship, the printed version constituted the hallmark of legitimacy. It had its merits and demerits. It presented a stipulatory form to the readers with little chance of them to countervail, even if the material was false. Printed version remained the reliable proof for centuries despite its discrepancies.
Over years, in the process of evolution it underwent copious vicissitudes. With Keith Rupert Murdoch in 1952 changing the format of printed version with his News Corporation, its global expansion, questions on its equivocation were suppressed by those, who felt the facts were to be delivered for their advantage.
United Nations, ruling the global scenario after World War II, presented Hitler’s suicide, recorded in history, as the truth. Several books emerged, films made on this resolutely tailored slogan. Hitler apparently fled to Argentina, residing at Hacienda San Ramón, east of San Carlos de Bariloche. Later around 1954, he shifted to a remote, barely accessible area at the northwest of Lake Nahuel Huapi near the Chilean border in a Bavarian-styled manse at Inalco. He died on February 1962. Mainstream historians like Guy Walters contradicts its genuineness. Literature, often fiction, has a factual element. Who are we to believe? The historian or the exposed truth? Since history was then sponsored by United Nations for their prejudiced interests, it was projected as the history until the truth was exposed. Later evolving in literary, celluloid forms on their bigoted fiction.
If one were to believe the preached myth of the Gulf War by George Bush, Saddam Hussain had chemical weapons of mass destruction, again the perception would be biased. As good as crucifixion of Christ! A young boy from Jerusalem came to India via the silk route. Initially he was ousted from Puri by the Hindu pundits, later went to Sarnath, Sikkim, Nepal, Leh and Ladakh to imbibe the wisdoms of both religions for thirteen years. He returned with his sapient wealth to revolt against prevailing norm enriching people with the mantra of humanity, much to the ire of the existing rulers. He was evicted, returned by the silk route to Shrinagar with his friends and followers, to preach the essence of humanity in Rozabal, by the name of Yuz Asaf until his death at the age of eighty years. He was later depicted as the saviour Jesus Christ with a tale of his crucified death followed by resurrection. Medically hard to accept a person could die nailed in limbs, if one were to question the reality of The Bible, it seems more of a fable than fact. More so, by the so-called Jesus born without copulation from womb of virgin Mary. Now analysed, at that time Rome was in chaos. Romans worshipped the Sun God, celebrating Saturnalia (17thto 23rdDecember) which involved private gift-giving, week-long partying and a carnival air. Its concept coincided with the Pagan festival. To gain control of the chaotic Rome, a fable was yarned as The Bible, a character named Jesus depicted as the saviour, whose birth was made to coincide with the festivities of Saturnalia for wider acceptance, when, it was actually the 4thMay. The Bible was written 180 years after his so-called projected birth. So, through literature a canard became the established truth even with its copious loopholes(vide The Christ Conspiracy by S Acharya alias D M Murdoch).
Gautama Buddha, who after Enlightenment in Sarnath, preached his awareness to a Pali speaking businessman. He carried forth his doctrines south to spread it as Hinayana cult, without an iota of idol worship. The first book on Buddhism emerged from Singhalese arena. Later cornered by Hindu pundits, he took refuge in the kingdom of King Prosenjit in Sahet and Mahet on the banks of River Achiravati (known as Srabasti). Here he started preaching lounged on thousand lotus petals, sponsored by the king himself. To subsist in his kingdom, he had to adopt the sponsor’s views in line with the modish Hindu practice of idol worship. It later emerged as the Mahayana cult. In his twenty-four years of sermon there, by submission, he temporarily accepted the order of idol worship. Now, if the truth of literature were to be analysed, which teaching would be the right one – Hinayana or Mahayana?
This is precisely where the issue of sponsored literature in the form of slogan formed the anchor of evidence. It was later adopted by Rupert Murdoch in the media format. Tainting facts with slogan depending on the sponsorship. Print media thus transformed from a dependable way of literature to a gadget of publicity and slogan, in tune with the amount of dosh shelled for a specific intent. Mostly controlled by the deliverer, tailoring it to their ‘guidelines’ of the theme of ‘story’ (read propaganda) they want to yarn. Apparently authentic, it’s an eyewash to indorse the contracted slogan.
It took years for the consumers to understand the concealed shibboleth scheme. More they realised, more it fell into disrepute. The proponents under-estimated the intelligence of the readers failing to audit their credibility. It resulted in wrath regarding its authenticity, leaving no leeway for contradiction. Handing yet another powerful weapon to a bunch of dodgy people for endorsing their views and politicians for ‘brain washing’ the masses in exchange of substantial amount. Sponsored literature was slowly losing its foothold. The content often tainted with colours to harp the motto of the sponsors. It brought some inappreciable entities to limelight, bilking the developmental growth of a scrawny printed literature.
Amid the decay the internet started expanding with its social platforms offering a fairer playground to express opinion or contradict, in the form of Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn WordPress, Hub Pages, blogs etc. Printing costs soaring high, the format often not portable in bulk, the fonts not zoomable depending on insight, export costs etc all summed up to a new avenue of literature – the digital format, which gained popularity as eBook. With mobiles and tablets cheaper, internet easily accessible with increased connectivity, it soon became an avenue of literary output.
Not all could get to a publisher to circulate in either format even with their potential. Even if lucky, new authors wouldn’t have enough buyers to reach the mass. The easiest portal for exhibiting their works were the social platform, blog sites. At least, there were sure-fire readers. A relief for the lesser known, many with potential and quality. The problem lay in the content delivered. Since social media is an open platform, anyone can post anything – legitimacy unproven, often inferior quality, craps inclusive. Sieving the quality out of the lot becomes a major hurdle. No literary police to hold the reins. For the fluky, they might discover a diamond mine with new thoughts and ideas, often missing in cliché publications.
One of the main drawback is the issue of copyright. Each literary work stands at a high risk of being plagiarised, which happens frequently. Writings or poems in simple writing format run a very high risk. With modern versions of Adobe Acrobat, even a PDF file could be altered in Adobe. Less risky is the JPEG format though for those conversant could be easily Photoshopped. Who ratifies the legitimacy in a social media? The answer is abstruse. The recent trend seems to be altering words of an original literature and presenting as duplicator's own. Is it plagiarism? Of course, it is. Could it be proved in Court of Law? If astutely done, the answer would be an emphatic ‘no’. The intellectual right in most countries has an arbitrary definition in law often difficult to validate.
A literary creator has two choices – to leave his creations in coop of his home or exhibit it in social media for a widespread credence, accepting the risks of bootlegging. In other words, the moment the work is posted, he foregoes his rights for a larger audience. The audience in social media is colossal. Diverse, it’s almost out-of-the-way in printed or eBook format. The widespread reach without marketing gives the literature in social media a coercive viable substitute. So puissant that reporters even after their media publication, where readership is weaning, post their works in social media for a baggier audience. The crucial decision lies in this vital principle. Do I claim the literary creation as my own or do I freely distribute in social platforms forfeiting my exclusivity for a wider audience? Of the several, most would come to know the name of the creator with a trifling possibility of being plagiarised by some. Where spread of name is prime, the risk seems to be trivial. Many are prepared to pay the price for the meting out their name.
It poses a tricky issue. Do you want to be known or remembered? If popularity is the vital, social media literature gives wide exposure, as its free. Whether they read or not what is posted, is their obverse. Many would, some won’t. In a published book, where people must shell out the brass, unless the book has become celebrated or ill-famed, only a selected would buy to read. Readership would be constricted yet the authenticity of ingenuity remains. Popularity and quality have never been hand in hand. Anyone in literature needs to be focussed on precedence. Social media outputs need to be tailored to the relevant platform for a section of decipherer. People would only read that is relevant or of interest to them. Not what the author wants them to read. Isolating the target client, the literature needs to be tailored for that social group. Timing of posting is relevant too. None would read serious stuff during busy hours of a working day. Conversely, if it’s weekend, say Saturday night or Sunday morning, one can expect a high audience at leisure hours.
Literature in printed or eBook format has a published legitimacy. The validity of content in social media is often apocryphal. How to confirm its veracity? Revert to what already cited in books or follow the new trend hitherto unregistered? No way can the fidelity be affirmed. Googling would only lead to published citations. Where does previously unpublished literary article stand, if only extoled in social media? Many issues remain dubious.
Despite the drawbacks highlighted, it gives a podium for new thoughts and interactive discussion, missing in printed or eBook format. Anyone could contradict the author, either with his personal gen or with info from the net. If most people, groomed by canonic texts and net search, concorded earth is flat, the modern Galileo would be at a loss to affirm it’s round. Ambiguity remains as in other formats. Only a healthy discussion might enlighten a neutral reader whose literary argument is to be accepted. This was amiss in literature in printed or eBook format, thereby promoting impartial insight.
The technological and internet boom has brought data to our finger-tips, the truth is ‘you can imbibe from the internet what is already fed in’. Creative concepts are not always available in internet. Most relish in vomiting info on the net. Paucity of ingenuity in that milieu is often obvious. Genius’ can’t be cultivated in familiar grime. Only shift from stodgy gives the creative ingenuity. The spur, which is out of the blue, is a gift of God – one which perceives two entangled snakes as double helix, is the dream to be later established scientifically and technologically. In a social milieu that spur might spark, either to be followed by the creator or imbibed by someone else and pursued to staggering heights.
When history is written, who attorns the genius? Raman Effect discovered by Dr K S Krishnan, an associate of Dr C V Raman, was nullified when Dr C V Raman walked away alone with the Nobel Prize disregarding his revolutionary contribution. Till this date very few know that Dr K S Krishnan discovered it when Dr C V Raman had given up after 72 hours. Physics is abstract. The ideas, truth and laws of physics are independent of passion, sentiments, emotions of human beings. But physicists who deal with those principles are humans full of all mortal emotions, sentiments, greed, lust for fame. No point evading the veracity. Such incidences would happen again and again. In the rat race for fame, people only remember who can elbow in. The truth is often obscured by other components.
If a verity can be wangled sapiently, in literature there is ample scope. In literary world ideas are stolen, garbled in many circumstances. My published novel Dekha (In English The Vision) had been plagiarised on several occasions by film directors, claiming the story their own. Other than the first one, which slipped my attention before release, I had been successful in halting the other releases. Only to face again another bout of plagiarism by another film director, despite its content being off the social media. Intellectual copyright remains a prime issue with no patronage unless ‘published’. In social media it’s vulnerable, not accepted legally. Though date and time stamp are accompanied in all postings, don’t know of any law to endorse its validity.
An element of commerce is furtively creeping in the social posts and blogs. Pay for what you read. More the people read, more the rewards. It’s still in the hands of a crowd, who yet don’t know to respect it. The drawbacks of these platforms may not be apparent, but stealthily an element of commerce over quality runs as a sea puss amid the flamboyant exhibitionism. It raises a perilous issue, whether quality could be maintained amid commerce. ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’was written by William Wordsworth, when in poverty living in a shack in Lake District. Eternal creations aren’t allied to commerce. Whether these blogs would remain as epoch creations, time can only decide. As of now, it is a wild conjecture. When the website portals are withdrawn, both precious works as well as craps would be wiped out, never to be found in net domain. The literary efforts would go down the gutter without leaving its relics.
Religion, science, history, ideas have all been recognised through literature. It might be biased, sponsored, manipulated, plagiarised or concocted. If that evidence is lost, be in printed or digital format, the cogent evidence is lost.
The social media though ten years old is a tool still at its trial stage. An efficient platform, it could be utilised for expression to a larger fraction accepting its pitfalls.
Amid the disputation of a doubtful medium, a directive Pole Star of future needs to be identified. The tussle between Geocentric and Heliocentric would always be in dynamic equilibrium drawing a poise in arguments. It is equally important for a defiant, like Prometheus or Promotho, to kindle an ailing humanity out of eddies to ascend above the cliché norms, like a phoenix. As much as it took two thousand years to acknowledge the myth of The Bible, it could take years for a modern Galileo to establish the earth is round. The preached anti-Christ (vide The Atlantean Conspiracy by Eric Dubay)as mentioned by the 666, may be the true alien Christ than the projected myth dominating for centuries. Time has come to audit bygone sponsored dubitable literature. Until its true nature is conceived, it would be foolish to attribute any vanity ventures as one of tomorrow.
My personal contention is of the several forms of social platform, the twitter (not literary) would stay to connect with unacquainted or those without known contact. LinkedIn would remain for the employment and business seekers. WhatsApp as free medium for messages, photo, video exchange. WordPress, Google Blog, Hub Pages for literary, photo-essay output. Facebook like Orkut would die its natural death due to loopholes in legislation in a mixed environ without a focus, except business. Time only could validate the authenticity of my speculation. Until then let’s keep the conjectures aside to see the authenticity of any venture.
It is the longevity on a stable foundation which carves the path of future, one which can transform a coal into a glittering diamond, prime and sustaining. The rest would fade with passage of time. No matter how far technology progresses, it cannot supersede a dream like Pushpak Rath,later factually established as an aeroplane. Facts can only establish the authenticity of a conceived speculation. It’s this rock foundation, which form the bonding of a literary relationship between deliverer and consumer outside multifactorial cacophonies.