Its become a fashion these days for our dailies, weeklies and all manner of printed press to feature regular articles focussing on the glitter, the glitterarty and how the rich-and-famous live or should live. The printed material ranges from glossy centrefolds carrying full length articles on the latest upper class hang-out spots, to various looks you must sport with the 'must-have' wardrobes, shoes, makeup, jewellery, motorbikes, cars, cell phones and various accessories to be acceptable in these rarified zones. While most serious and mainstream newspapers attempt to sneak such material in to increase readership, others are directly catering to wannabe-rich phenomena or atleast a wannabe-rich look alike phenomena-forget news reporting, responsible journalism. Thus recently Outlook magazine offered a complimentary copy of a magazine called 'Envy' which focussed on those immensely out-of-reach objects of desire that could make an owner worthy of 'Envy' by a common man. Since when has it become cool to be 'envied'? or is promoting 'Envy' in line with keeping the corporate sponsorship happy and a frenzied consumersim booming? Yesterday 'Deccan Herald' an old Karnataka daily in English has come out with 'Hi-Life'- a free glossy supplement to show us what we are missing out on if we cannot afford 9 lakhs for a pen!!
As the world approaches Environment Day, it occurs to me that the very sector to which our media caters is also the sector that consumes most, pollutes most, produces most non-recyclable garbage. There is an overall correlation between the ecofootprint and the wealth of a nation. A look around seems to confirm that the same trend probably applies within nations, neighbourhoods, communities.
So why is the media promoting acquisitiveness and selling consumersim as a recipe for happiness? What if we all desired, could afford, and accumulate all this stuff for envy. Is there room on Earth to keep it all-for a possess and perish syndrome?