This was the most powerful force of all. This was what made everyone want computers. Nerds got computers because they liked them. Then gamers got them to play games on. But it was connecting to other people that got everyone else: that's what made even grandmas and 14 year old girls want computers.
After decades of running an IV drip right into their audience, people in the entertainment business had understandably come to think of them as rather passive. They thought they'd be able to dictate the way shows reached audiences. But they underestimated the force of their desire to connect with one another.
Facebook killed TV. That is wildly oversimplified, of course, but probably as close to the truth as you can get in three words.
This half-hour of madness in Lahore has far-reaching implications…Increasingly cricket will be limited to what the camera shows and what the commentator says. If they can fight their way through all the advertising! I fear cricket watching will become clinical rather than innocent.
Ultimately though, cricket is only a tiny part of the reality of our existence. Like the movies, if more strongly, it can allow us to escape into our little cocoon for a few hours. But thereafter we must emerge and place it in the context of our times. This is a time of extraordinary hatred and violence, of tearing apart rather than stitching together; of grown-up men fighting like neighbourhood kids but with weapons that can maim and kill. The sad reality in our part of the world is that we have far too many people to police and far too few that don’t need policing.
These groups seek not merely the destruction of India, the death of infidels (be they Hindus, Jews or Christians) and the forcible departure from Afghanistan of Western troops. They seek, effectively, the destruction of Pakistan and its reconstitution as an Islamist state in which the steel of shariah comes down hard on the necks of unbelievers, in which secular practice is anathematized, in which women are subjugated to an extent even greater than their present unhappy state and in which nuclear weapons are–finally, by the grace of god–in the hands of true believers.
Mohsin Hamid, Pakistan's finest novelist, wrote a book recently called The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Nice phrase, that–catchy, and poignant. But Pakistan today is a land where fundamentalism is not reluctant. The men who murdered in Mumbai, who sprayed innocent sportsmen with gunfire, are Ardent Fundamentalists. Blazing fundamentalists. Vehement fundamentalists; fundamentalists now beyond the reach of reason.