I guess we have a huge army of analyzing minds present in our country who spend a lot of time in understanding and dissecting current events. Most of the “discussion” is futile, because it is done by hypocrites who wouldn’t risk their necks to provide help and support when it was actually needed. I have managed to classify them in various layers on the basis of source of information feeding to their interpretations of an event. At each level, the discussion or comments follow a reckless pattern and are useless in alleviating the real pain present in the society. I am calling them smart asses, and by that definition, I have become one of them as well, on probably a different level, by writing this piece. At the center of  making too many smart people around us is the communication revolution through internet and ironically, smartphones.

On the heels and wheels of the rest of the world, life has changed in India as well. But I don’t want to reserve my treatment to India in particular, because people are getting connected in every part of the world. It has helped the common masses to discuss more, to share more, to experience more; the anguish, the pain, the happiness, the frustration that plagues a region or an individual. And frankly, this has done wonders; Tahrir Square is an example of that and to any of those reading this piece in Egypt, please take the title as my bow and a salute. But in most cases, throughout the world, and amid all the sharing of information over the social media, the backdrop of hypocrisy has prevailed. In this case, all those people over their keyboards, both in hardware form or in software form, form layers of being a useless pile of smart asses with their pattern of comments. I want to explore those layers, through a series of recent incidents that have taken place in India and in some cases globally.

Before we get down into analysis, let us define a smart ass. A smart ass at a level ‘n’ is a donkey, which feeds on the grass that was created at level ‘n-1’. And it is a special donkey, which creates more grass for the next level of donkeys to chew. Now, this must look slightly weird as it conflicts against natural order. But then, the grass and donkeys are just metaphors. I took the liberty of calling all those bright minded democratic people in discussion as donkeys, because they continue to repeat the same cycle of response which doesn’t do anything to make things move on the ground. They access the information which is available to them to create their own versions of events, or theories behind an event, and ultimately sleep over them to catch the next 9AM shift. Through the communication revolution, their analyses is propagated to higher layers.

Smart Ass Level 0: The creators of grass

This is the lowest level and there are no smart asses, by my definition, here. Most of the people over here are either misguided or a criminal by force or choice. In a generic spectrum, this layer comprises of those who disrupt the equilibrium of social harmony. A rapist, a terrorist, a hate speech maker, etc. should fall into this category. It can also include whistle-blowers, or an unwarranted raid of CBI. Basically, in this stage, an event happens which just triggers all the layers of the hierarchy to use their smartphones and smart brains. The miscreants over here, do not usually follow a pattern. Attacks and mishaps in society are largely unpredictable and asynchronous. CBI, however is a different case in India and you know what I mean if you have seen the news over the last week.

Smart Ass Level 1: The first responders and the shit hits the fan

When an event is triggered by entities of level 0, there are a few, who respond the first. Mostly, it is the political class which fuel the assembly line of creating more and more people in this hierarchy. In some rare cases, however, the media may arrive first or people like Robert Vadra may have the privilege to call the citizens of India as mango people and the vision of freedom fighters as a banana republic. This is how shit hits the fan: Through an obscene understanding of the situation. A bill over anti-rape law was recently being discussed in the Indian parliament. It sought stricter punishments to those who stalk women. And the analysis by Mr Sharad Yadav, generated the grass for the next level with his comment, ” Who among us has not followed women in their time?.” Politicians have a marked behavior of being escapist and self-centered in any situation. If a scam is uncovered, it must be attributed to the policies of previous governments. They always create laws which protect them from prosecution. Visionaries like Abhishek Mukherjee, Mamta Banerjee or Asaram “bapu” or the lawyer who is defaming the Delhi gang-rape victim to defend his clients, have continued to deliver shocking statements and generate more and more fodder for the next layer occupied by the media.

Smart Ass Level 2: The analysis and the experts on TV

Have you seen the circus of the media when Indian cricket team wins or loses the match? I am waiting for the day when they would provide breaking news and analysis for every over of the cricket match. This layer is comprised by the control freaks like Mr Arnab Goswami who has, to his great pain, allowed others to create controversy. But he exacts his vengeance by not letting them speak. So, do you think he is generous in giving others a chance to do something? I am not very sure, but let us come back to issue of the first layer of futile analytics. Most of the analysis is a waste of time. The breaking news has more reference to “your favorite news channel” which broke the story than the content really.  In case of a political event, the media will draw numerous parallels across governments in various states to countries and keep the common man saturated. The media is like a ruminant, which swallows the event and then sits while staring into its own shit and chewing the swallowed food over and over. It is ground and fed to the audience through visuals, various vignettes, animations, and in the lack of content, just repeated many times over.

Smart Ass Level 3: The social media fanboys and the candle light bearers

The pattern in previous levels is largely predictable, even if the events itself are not. From this level, things evolve in a different manner. Because, politicians mine shit in the political field, and media over their databases to produce an interpretation of the core issue. But the common people over facebook or a news page discussion uses his own grievances to interpret and link various issues to the triggering event. The basic agenda — open my new smartphock, and post anguish, shock, dismay; whichever emotion suits you. I really wish it had lacked hypocrisy. People wouldn’t risk helping others in pain, but they can always carry candles as some torch of justice to various places. People sweep through channels and read alternative versions of the issue to develop their own theories and remedies. At this layer, the real event has the capability to mutate and become something else. Rumors are spread and the core event attracts more and more issues. After the Hyderabad blasts, when the news was reporting the consistent failure of intelligence agencies, there was a visionary over the web complaining about the apathy of government towards its citizens. He criticized the blasts and the government in a line and then drew a parallel to crowded local trains of Mumbai to go off for a rant for next 6 lines of his comment. This is just an example, if you read the comments section of a match report on goal.com, you will know what I mean. This mutating discussion starts to carry the weight of multiple issues, and effectively waters down the event which had triggered the frenzy. The weight becomes too much and the verdict is declared. The media (previous layer) is a dog chasing sensation, and the entire system is flawed. Let us not berate the common man for saying that. Mr. Rahul Gandhi also came to same conclusion about the system.

At this level, the hypocrisy and nihilism inside the self-centered souls of human beings ultimately supplants the many techniques to bring about a change with hopelessness. They have found the media, the politicians, the miscreants all hopeless. Gang-rape stories and terrorists plots exist every minute of our life. A complicated soul cannot just abandon its life and strive for a political enlightenment and thus, every thread of analysis breaks down here. But there are few, driven by misery and pain than having a photo or a smart post on facebook, like those in Egypt, who are the smart ones to find meaning and motivation in all that criticism. Rest of the crowd, regardless of the validity and the significance of discussion, are asses who consume and transmit the information across levels.

Smart Ass Level 4: The intellectuals

This layer is interesting because the behavior of social media joins the subject of discussion. If there were only a few making statements in the media or newspapers, thing might remain in control. But with the social media, there are a lot of comments which a common man listens to. Very soon a person can see a pattern of accusations spread throughout the chain. At this level, people try to display some kind of vision with diplomatic statements. The general pattern is to criticize the miscreants, accept that the system is flawed and there is a need for change, and claim a higher level by criticizing the over zealous nature of the social media. They discuss how reckless political class has become, how bitchy the media has become and the savage turn that has been taken by the society. They are analysts of analysts of analysts of responders of disturbing events with the motivation to organize the stupidity. Naturally, they are on the top of the hierarchy.

Smart Ass Level ……. 47

But they are wrong. At next level are people like me. I usually don’t comment and I have been away from this self defined smart ass tag. But in fairness to everyone mentioned in this post, I should take the tag as well. Because, I am bored of the cycle of event, analyses, more analyses, hate and love over social media, and the intellectuals and experts. I have found a pattern in them with my own study to create a new level of smart asses. Soon many would join me at this level as well because patterns would arise among those intellectuals as well who attempt to organize people in being useless and stupid. There are many engineers like me who would have seen this pattern of taking a moral high ground. Try not to join me and do something good for the society. Be smart, not an ass.