Things that pop on your face

Last week the social media was abuzz with the allegations of an advertisement video being racist. The advertisement is of Popchips snack that has Ashton Kutcher in four different get-ups. One of them has an Indian identity called Raj and he is a Bollywood producer. This has called for a racist allegation by an American of Indian origin Anil Dash and it ended up cooking up a controversy and the company finally pulled off the ad.

The whole drama has so much what-the-fuck-ness to it. I mean, advertisements always project stereotypes to sell the product and we do not always have a problem with it. Stereotypes are everywhere in the pop culture; be it commercials, cinema or music. Only when it goes over the top than usual that people notice and voice against it.

Anil Dash accused the video of being racist because the Indian character Raj is brownfaced and has a thick Indian accent(!). First of all, you would not take an advertisement such as this seriously. There are worse advertisements than this which project stereotypes in the worst manner. Second, there are other people being parodied in the ad, like a British youth or a Southern American hippie or a French fashionista. Southern Americans would have a better reason to complain because in American pop culture and Hollywood, they are always featured as homeless gypsies with a hippie lifestyle who live in mobile home parks. Or even Darl, the man with a fake French(?) accent have a good reason to complain because that is also a highly stereotyped version of men working in the fashion industry. Third, it is not wrong to feature an Indian brownfaced (a color which is generally associated with Asians) and with an Indian accent. So why would a techie like Anil Dash cook up such a controversy over such an ad? This guy is no dumb for sure, so what exactly could have happened?

Just after the launch of this ad series, the CEO of Popchips seems to have said “As a social brand, we’ve had a lot of social engagement. Now, it’s time to take it to the next level with an ad campaign that would provide more reach. [via]” Clearly, like with every commercial, they were looking for more reach. Shortly thereafter, Anil Dash popped up with his allegation that had supportive voices from an Indian origian rap group. Let us look at what Mr. Dash said about the company and it’s people.

The people behind this ad are not racist. They just made a racist ad.” If that is not enough W-T-F-ness, there is more. Mr. Dash spoke to the CEO whom he calls “sincere and contrite”. He also made a generous gesture that the comapny doesn’t have to pull down the ad but give an explanation of how the process failed. But Mr. Dash who lets the company go scotfree doesn’t forgive the person who acted in it. He said Ashton Kutcher should “personally apologise”.

So what does this drama tell us? The company wanted to get people talking about them and it seems that some people like Anil Dash helped them ahieve the goal of getting enough publicity. That is how people down here in India also got to know about Popchips. Without spending a penny on advertisements outside the U.S., Popchips is now a known name. They can launch any time in India now. Thanks to the social media.

By the way, before alleging the foreigners of being racist, Indians should have a look at their own racist/regional/casteist attitude.

And even more, by the way, why is Ashton’s video is called racist and Shahrukh Khan’s is not?

Adapting to the Indulekha model

Indulekha is a brand that has been churning out so many TVCs recently for their product range. The first series of their advertisements featured popular mini and big screen actors, which was followed up by another series that had ‘reality TV’ sort of feel to it. Their latest series even has a theme and name – uLkkarutthu – and contrary to the direct selling strategy, they have adopted a model that is ‘seemingly’ progressive and feminist in the outset but is pushing certain politics which seems to be the trick of new age marketers and advertising gurus to keep them in business. More on this advt in Kafila and Nalamidam. And do watch the first video of their series here before you read further.

I was thinking what would happen if other businesses have started adopting the Indulekha model. Imagine a barber who cannot afford to have men who do not cut their hair. This will certainly threaten his regular business. So what he really needs to ask for is business but in the new age, he cannot be too direct with it so he has to push certain politics to market his service. And here is what happens when he adopts the Indulekha model.

The Weekend Tamasha

Two news editors. One from the television medium and the other from print. One takes a chance at roasting the other, probably because he is from a different medium and is hosting a show on the rival television channel. The other gets defensive. He goes emotional about the ‘great’ thing he is doing, called journalism, and takes the chance to go overboard with his past stories of his adherence to the ‘truth’. One gets frustrated that the other is being given a chance in his channel to do a bit of marketing for himself and his paper. So the one also goes overboard and gives a few lines of marketing about his and his channel’s commitment in presenting the two views.

This is more fun to watch if you couldn’t yet figure out what exactly is going on between our government and army, both of which has a leadership of saints of our times. My dear fellow Indians, eat this crap. You need it. For sheer entertainment or for your tea-time (or bar-time) intellectual vomit.

PS: If the video above doesn’t give you enough entertainment for the weekend, checkout how Hindutvavaadis are wasting their bandwidth to vote Modi to be in TIME’s 100 list and how liberals are trying to vote him out. If you don’t have any better thing to do on the weekend, you can join them in the game.

Responsible journalism – New Indian Express style

500 TN women workers rescued from Kerala border, said the news headlines of The New Indian Express daily on December 7th, 2011. Then it went on to say,

In one of the worst incidents of mob frenzy over the ongoing Mullaiperiyar dam safety row, nearly 500 women estate workers from Tamil Nadu were held hostage and some of them allegedly sexually harassed in Idukki district in Kerala on Monday. [link]

This is from the Tamil Nadu edition of the newspaper and reported by someone named Gokul Vannan. As expected, several attacks were followed and directed towards Malayalees in Chennai and Coimbatore. Many Malayalee shops were targeted including Joy Alukkas and K R Bakers in Chennai. Malayalee shop owners in Chennai and Coimbatore are feared for their lives. All because of the news that churned out from a rumor.

The ‘reporter’ obviously must be aware of the tension that exists between Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the name of Mullaperiyar dam. Water is a big issue for the neighbor and compared to an average Malayalee, an average Thamizhan has fairly good respect to women (this of course is valid as long as the women stick to the traditional norms – remember how actress Khushboo had a temple built in her name and then it was brought down to earth when she commented on pre-marital sex?). So any common man can assume the gravity of the issue when the news of Thamizh women being assaulted by Malayalees in the name of Mullaperiyar dam comes to the front. Then why can’t a ‘news reporter’ consider that aspect and treat the news right?

The funny bloody thing is that there was no such incident. There was no such report in the Thamizh and Malayalam regional TV channels. An activist online friend checked with several Malayalam and Thamizh news papers – including The Times of India, The Hindu, Dinamani, Dinakaran, Dinathanthi, Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhoomi – but couldn’t find any source that said so.

From his Google Plus page:

When I contacted Idukki Collector on this issue through a reliable source, I came to know that it was a full-length fabricated story. (Idukki Collector: E Devadasan, ph: 09447032252).

Later, I contacted a friend of mine who is the welfare officer of a tea plantation in Idukki. From his words, I could understand that about 95 percent of the people working in the plantations there were from Tamil Nadu who are still continuing their work.

When I asked about the report to my counterparts in Kerala, I understood that even the Kerala editions of The New Indian Express have not carried the mentioned report.

This is one person who took the effort to confirm the news using his contacts. But our national media houses, CNN-IBN and NDTV, did not take the pain to do a fact check and republished the story with crediting the source to Express News Service.

This is the sad state of affairs with our media. And not an apology, not a word, yet, from either The New Indian Express or from IBN Live and NDTV.

Jagathy vs. Ranjini – What’s missing in the debate

There has been so much fuss about veteran Malayalam actor Jagathy Sreekumar’s mockery of reality show anchor Ranjini Haridas on the grand finale stage of Munch Star Singer. The majority of the people who cheered Jagathy were Malayalee men, with a few exceptions from some ‘progressive quarters’, but both the “for” and “against” arguments have missed some valid points that Jagathy had raised. But let me clearly state that I don’t fully condone Jagathy’s ‘show’. There are a few things that I did not like about the way he spoke. But I totally agree with the core point of his speech, on which I will comment later in this post.

One thing I liked about the beginning of his speech was that Jagathy had congratulated the judges of the show for all the right reasons. He mentioned that compared to the judges of other reality shows, the judges of Munch Star Singer (singers Venugopal and Sujatha) were patient to correct the kids, without making fun of them to entertain the audience/viewers. Here, we know which show and to whom he was referring to. I haven’t seen any other popular celebrities speaking up against this on TV or in public except Yesudas (who once made a mockery of, whom I would call, “the Sangathy man”). But that is obvious, no Malayalee celebrity would want to offend one of the most popular TV channels in Malayalam. They would be risking some prime time TV appearance by this. So I think it takes some courage on  Jagathy’s part to say this.

Then the mockery happened. What I didn’t like about that part was that Jagathy could have conveyed what he wanted to say in a better manner, without insulting the anchor who was standing next to him on stage. It is probably the Malayali male ego and jealousy of women who speak English, I guess. And it could be the same reason that the video of Jagathy’s speech is spreading across YouTube. Part of his speech was also taking a chunk of allowed time to elaborate on what would get him some claps. He also didn’t have to unnecessarily drag actor Jayaram into the issue. He could have spoken for himself.

But the main point that he raised in his speech is valid. Jagathy said that the anchors do not have the right to pass judgement on the singing/performance of the participants (and I assume that he did not mean to avoid encouraging/supportive comments). He said that is a bad practice and anchors should do just their job, of presenting the show well, rather than passing judgement. Evidently, he aimed at Ranjini Haridas and he is right at that too. This is what some of the opposing voices against Jagathy, feminists and ‘progressive people’ alike, fail to see.

Ranjini Haridas is as bad an example for an anchor. She has made unwarranted comments on the participants and their talent. In some cases, this has reached an abusive level. Read this post from Insight Young Voices.

The following is from a 2008 segment of the show. The compere, Ranjini Haridas is admonishing the ill-fated singer Somadas who had just delivered a supposedly miserable performance in the classical music round:

“The judges have been telling you to start learning classical music for the past 4-5 stages, but have you? You know that in this show we are not looking for a particular type of singing. One has to sing classical songs, songs with feel, there must be range, perfect pitching, will Somu fit in this would be a question in spectators’ minds. you must realize that you have reached this far not because of them [pointing to judges] but them [pointing to spectators]. It’s their SMS that has pulled you through from stage to stage. But this competition should be won by the best singer.”

Let’s check out another segment of the same show. This is from an elimination round in 2007. Of the two singers in the fateful danger zone, Thushar is a classically trained singer and the other, Sannidhanandan is not. One of the judges Usha Uthup comments, “This is the most extreme spectrum. On the one side Thushar and on the other extreme Sanni“ music and popularity.

The compere Ranjini adds: “Sanni has always survived the danger zones because of them, the spectators. Thushar is a strong singer and Sanni is a strong performer.” At the end of the show the compere addresses the spectators and says: “let music be the winner. You must vote for those who are competent.” And in a master stroke she makes Sannidhanandan reiterate that appeal. (Needless to say, both Somadas and Sannidhanandan never became star singers.)

After all these insulting and abusive remarks, Ranjini Haridas can’t get away with it just because she is a woman and gets support from the feminists. Note that in her reply to Jagathy Sreekumar, she hasn’t admitted her fault. She said as a professional she handled her job well that day without replying in the same coin or running away. That is an admirable professional quality of course, but what about the professionalism when anchoring a popular show like Idea Star Singer?

Jan Lok Pal – the interim FAQ

There has been some heated discussions in the social media about Anna Hazare and Jan Lok Pal bill. Even though I have written a couple of posts about why I do not join hands with Anna Hazare and the knee jerk activism of middle-class, I think a summary post will be good so that I can save sometime typing the same thing again and again, rather direct people with questions here. So here are my views.

Why are you anti-Anna?

Because the man has a dubious character. He had praised Narendra Modi for his ‘development’ work in Gujarat which is refuted by other Gandhians like Himanshu Kumar. In Anna’s words, the only thing that Modi has to do to become a 100% perfect chief minister is to accept the Lokpal system. Later he white-washed his own words though; by saying “I am equally opposed to any form of communal disharmony“. Remember, Hazare was talking about a chief minister who still refuses to take the blame for his alleged support to a massacre.

Anna Hazare has also openly supported the MNS chief Raj Thackeray. And you know who Mr. Thackeray is and what his politics are. Cunning old man did not forget to add his Gandhian thought that ‘but damaging public and national property was not right‘. Everything else in the MNS regionalist game seems to be good for Hazare.

Hazare’s ways are autocratic than being democratic. It is evident from the way he has modeled the fight against corruption. He pushed his own bill without coming to a consensus between the civil society members themselves. This kind of attitude that ‘only-my-draft-is-right‘ is fascist. I cannot trust a man like him to take up the leadership or to represent the civil society. Supporting a man like him can only invite grave dangers to democracy.

But Anna Hazare is a widely trusted man who has built a model village called Ralegan Siddhi.

You should first read about how this so-called model village was built. I don’t see anything to model after a village where their moral was built on flogging and fear. I mean, even Adolf Hitler wanted to create a ‘puritan’ society based on fear and physical punishment and he had his ways to do it. Or even Narendra Modi had a lesson to teach people and now he is talking about development (no wonder why Anna supports Modi). Indira Gandhi had her ways to make citizens ‘responsible’ through Emergency. Ralegan Siddhi is a village where Anna ‘had the practical experience of need of force while implementing family planning measures’ and where there has been no grama panchayat elections in the last 24 years and no election to co-operative societies. That is not a model village, in my opinion.

Whatever his persona is, it was because of him that the government was forced to consider Jan Lokpal Bill. And you have to give him credits for that.

I will not. Because if he deserve any credit, it is for driving the movement in the wrong direction. Anna is an icon that was purposefully created by his team and the media. How many of us even knew about his existence in the last year? But then the media came and created a saint out of Anna. He seems to enjoy such publicity too. Then his own team started the beatification process. It grew up to a level where his own team members have said “ultimately, the power is with Anna, so whatever Anna says has to be accepted“. From then on it became a fascist, autocratic movement that can threaten the very basis of democracy.

But he had massive support of the people!

Have you ever thought about this sudden outrage of people, after all these years? Is it because the thought that ‘enough-is-enough‘ was sprouted one fine day? I don’t think so. Every generation is looking for some kind of revolution to take part. They want to witness something incredible in their life time and there could not be a better time than this season of revolutions world wide, especially in the middle-eastern countries. The youth, the middle-class and the national media were all missing this sort of fun and that is how Hazare, the mass icon, was born. You say ‘Anna is India, India is Anna‘. Anna alone is not India or India is not just Anna. India is you. And me. Us. Not Anna’s sole property.

By the way, a journalist friend from Delhi told me that Ramlila Maidan might have had just about 20,000 people at maximum and different media houses have added the numbers they liked, even to lakhs. And this 20,000 out of 1.21 billion people is called ‘massive support’?

But don’t you agree that the movement has made a change in the attitude of government towards the bill?

Yes, but it had the wrong nature and direction. And remember that it is only a small hurdle that is just passed and the time to rejoice is far away. I think this movement could have been driven in the right direction and still could make the change but the aggression of Hazare, his team, media, and the middle-class crusaders made it impossible.

You call it knee-jerk activism of the middle-class.

Yes, because I haven’t seen such enthusiasm of this so-called urban, semi-urban middle-class ‘activists’ changing their profile pic to Gandhi caps, defending Anna Hazare, or asking for their rights on any other issues of greater importance. They kept a criminal silence on several national and local issues and now they speak up.

People would speak up only about issues that they are directly affected by. Isn’t it justified?

No, it is not. Selective response is not a justifiable response at all. That is called hypocrisy. And the silence on the issues that people in your own or other parts of the country are facing, is criminal. To me, corruption doesn’t have a greater importance than north-eastern crisis or dalit/tribal issues or people being displaced in the name of development. The fact that Binayak Sen or Irom Sharmila doesn’t inspire you alone is proof of how you choose your icons or rather how you play into the hands of media and a group of people.

Are you pro-Government?

Yes, I am pro-Government but not pro-current-Government. I am also pro-Democracy. But I am not pro-Congress if your question was in that direction. You can do a search in my blog to see how much I have talked about the regional and national politics of Congress. You can start with searching the tag “congress party” in this blog.

Okay. So do you support the government draft of the bill?

No. Everybody knows that the government draft is crass. At the same time, I think there should not be a bad practice in place as a model for future agitations and protests. And in a democracy, consensus should be worked on first. Now there are four drafts in place (Jan Lok Pal, NCPRI’s draft, Loksatta’s draft and Bahujan Lok Pal) and the parliament should consider all four and act accordingly.

Well, that’s all I have to say about Jan Lok Pal for now.

Hazare, the Hero

Anna Hazare

When I made the blog post about “The Anna Hazare Show” (courtesy: Open Magazine) yesterday, my focus was on the hypocrisy of the Indian middle-class for being selective in their so called activism and it is being celebrated as the rightful political activism. As the day passed, more stories kept popping up, some of them from the yester years, and they point fingers at the man himself – Anna Hazare.

What irked me from the beginning itself was the photo shown above from Anna Hazare’s fasting stage (courtesy: another blog). When I saw this photo, I felt that the so called Gandhian is reinstating the pseudo-nationalist concept of the nation as a religious symbol. The goddess with the India flag. The so called Bharath Matha that all the hardcore and softcore Hindutvavaadis have perpetuated right from the old days. The same symbol that sent M F Hussain in exile. But I didn’t write about it because his cause seemed more important at that moment. But then comes the following.

At first Anna Hazare was in praise for Narendra Modi. He said the Gujarat model “[…]should be emulated by all other chief ministers. I am saying this on the basis of the kind of works Bihar and Gujarat CMs have done in the field of rural development“. We have heard Modi being praised for “development” a lot but hear what another Gandhian, who is less famous than Anna Hazare and has spent 18 years working with tribes in the troubled Dandewara region of Chattisgarh, has to say. If Anna Hazare was garlanded by the media and several VIPs came out to support him, Himanshu Kumar was treated a bit differently for his work. When he took up the human rights cases against the police and the notorious Salwa Judum, his ashram was simply wiped away.

He spoke about how ‘Golden Gujarat’ is not so in tribal areas and in the villages of the state. He said that it is the Gujarat govt. that is now engaged in building dams in a river downstream and diverting the water to Narmada and industries around Miyagam Karjan and Ankleshwar. The fact that this will displace over 150 villages, does not bother the government.

Well, Hazare did not stop there. He went on to say this – “I have described these chief ministers as good only partially. I will call them 100 per cent good only when they also accept the Lokpal kind of system.” So the only thing that Narendra Modi is lacking to achieve the 100% good ranking by Anna Hazare is the acceptance of Lokpal system and nothing else? Later when his statement became controversy, the good Gandhian added what his non-Hindutva fans needed – “I am equally opposed to any form of communal disharmony“. What a good soul!

Manu Joseph, editor of Open magazine that published the infamous Nira Radia tapes, wrote something that the media bandwagon wouldn’t dare say. In his article aptly titled “The Anna Hazare Show“, Manu wrote this –

But what kind of man is he, really? Haima Deshpande, a senior political writer with Open, has met him several times. About 10 years ago, when he went on a fast to protest against corruption in the Maharashtra government, Deshpande covered the event. She was a bit surprised when he said that he wanted to end his fast because journalists from the English media were finding it hard to reach his village. He wanted to end it on a Sunday.

“Two reporters told him that since the Pune Cantonment elections were to be held on that Sunday there would be no space in the newspapers. So it was mutually agreed between the journalists and Anna that he would give up his fast on Monday at 1 pm.”

And that was what he did. Now, the media wants a revolution and there is a good chance that Hazare will not disappoint.

But that is not all. Hazare had sympathy for the MNS chief Raj Thackeray during his campaign against non-Marathis. But as usual, the media icon Hazare did not forget to mention that he did not support “everything that Raj Thackeray does”. But still not a straight forward “I-condemn-the-MNS-violence“, but merely that “If violent means are adopted by MNS, it will not be in interest of a united India.” If violent means are adopted – as if that is something he never heard of them doing.

That is Anna Hazare for you. The new Gandhi of the Indian middle-class. Well, you get what you ask for.

Redefining entertainment digitally

[This is my fourth article for My Smart Life, an initiative by Nokia India that features guest authors from various walks of life who have made use of technology and social media in their work and life. Go to the website to check out rest of the articles there.]

Why would you go to a video sharing website only to hear music? I mean, you have so many music streaming websites and the quality of the audio is pretty much good there but still I see so many people accessing YouTube to hear music. Perhaps it is because over a period of time, YouTube has become the complete online entertainment channel of the world. You need to hear music? Go to YouTube. Need to watch comedy? A television show that you missed last night? A movie snippet that you would want to keep watching again and again? A live show recording? There, you have it all on YouTube.

It is quite interesting to take a look at how the traditional entertainment forms have made way to the new generation digital entertainment media. There was a time when a television set was a rarity. If there was one family that had a TV set, all other people in the neighborhood would go there to watch Ramayan, Mahabharath or Chitrahar. I’m sure many of us have such memories from those good old days. It was a good social experience back then. Many people in the neighborhood came and spent time together, discussed the news as they appeared on TV, or talked about music or movies while they watched it together. But the personal space and privacy were seriously lacking. With the increased purchasing power, people started buying their own music system and television sets. This paved way to have entertainment at the privacy of home space. But the revolution in the entertainment media did not just stop there.

The arrival of digital entertainment media has completely redefined the word entertainment. It took out the time and space restrictions of entertainment and put it on-the-go. So if you are bored when you are boarded on train, you could just switch on your iPod or Zune and hear music or watch a movie. With the newest mobile phones like Nokia E7, you wouldn’t even need to have a separate device and can do it all on your mobile phone. Just imagine how the features of a smart phone with a 3G connection could change your access to entertainment. You wouldn’t even need to store music or a favorite show episode on your device because you would rather connect to Internet from your mobile phone using your 3G connection and would have effortless online streaming of entertainment.

Digital entertainment mediums have not only changed the way people watched videos, but it has also helped creative people to come up with fresh new ideas, present it before people and become online celebrities eventually. One good example here would be Rocketboom. Rocketboom is a video blog with daily news snippets with a touch of humor. It was started out in 2004 and now reportedly has 400,000 video episode downloads a day. With just three people, a small room, a video camera and an unconventional, creative approach, see how far they have gotten.

Well, this is not just about pre-recorded content. Now there are several websites like Livestream, UStream etc that offer live video streaming. YouTube last year had launched their alpha version of live streaming with Rocketboom with live comment option. So now you don’t have to scream “Hey, run and switch on that TV fast! I will miss that breaking news” because you could just go to YouTube on your mobile phone and watch live news.

Just imagine what this whole thing could mean in the future. You will see many citizen powered media channels, giving you fresh and original content with an unconventional touch. This will eventually force the established media houses to seriously think about revamping the way they present news and entertainment. Set top boxes and DTH could be a thing of the past since Internet TVs are already out in the market and the pre-recorded material could be broadcast through channels like YouTube. TV channels could directly charge the customers for a particular show, an episode, per day or per month basis. Movie channels could be a thing of past too, when the studios would directly make the films available online and can charge the users. They could even generate revenue by making half portion of the movie streaming for free and then charge the viewers to watch the rest. This would put the deciding power to the people and could even put a stop to illegal online video streaming.

The result is more power to the people. More fair business. And a better world.

Social media revolution?

You know, at times I feel that we are taking ourselves too seriously. By us, I am referring to the blogosphere, twitterati, facebook and such social media platforms. I do agree about the good things that social media can do in our times, but I think sometimes we stretch this pride too far. One recent example is the change in the ruling system of Egypt.

Many people attribute the victory of Egyptian struggle to social media. But I don’t really get it. Were those people who marched towards Cairo actively participating in social media? How many of the Egyptians who live in Egypt have an internet connection or a smart phone? What help did social media do that the traditional wall posters or leaflets couldn’t do in this struggle?

Revolution can only happen when people actively participate in it. On the road. Many of the people whom I have seen participating in such struggles or agitations locally have come from the offline socio-cultural groups. Most of them seldom use Internet. Just clicking on a ‘Like’ button in a Facebook page or RT-ing a tweet would only make it armchair solidarity and nothing else. It would be interesting to take the statistics of how many of this “I Support!” guys have actually went on street for any such issues. Just ask these social media evangelists to participate in a local meeting to protest the arrest of Binayak Sen, for example. The first question from them would be, “you think I have nothing else to do with my life?” or a comment like “our people are too much politicized and there is too much unemployment that people go to these stupid meetings“.The same lot would be eager to register their protest on other issues by clicking a Like button in Facebook or by changing their Twitter profile pic.

I recall this funny quote I read in a friend’s FB page – “I don’t understand how Tunisians got their freedom without me filing an e-petition or changing my Twitter profile pic!“. That’s how we have become a socially concerned social media generation.

Also read – The myth of Egypt’s butterfly revolution

Perks of brahminical upbringing

Hrishikesh Kanitkar has a calming presence on his surroundings. The way he bats, the way he leads his side out on the field, the way he stands in the middle, even the way he answers questions from the media. Everything he does is composed and collected, the mark of a traditional Konkanastha Chitapavan Brahmin upbringing.

From Abhishek Purohit, of ESPN Cricinfo. Offered without comments. (bold emphasis by me)