The Stupidify Spell Has Been Cast. Can Brains Fight Back?

Stupidify Spell Hits TV ViewersA commonly used spell in the Harry Potter books is “Stupefy”. When a wizard says the incantation, a jet of red light flies out of the tip of the magic wand and if it hits the target, the recipient gets stunned and knocked out of his senses. I am unsure of the date and time when it happened but sometime early in this century, I am sure that not “Stupefy” but a “Stupidify” spell was fired through TV screens across India. The spell dulled the senses of all who were hit and since then all those stupidified have been running on minimal grey cell usage. One of the obvious effects of the Stupidify spell is a complete failure at keeping ones brains switched on while in front of a TV screen. I believe that even I am regularly under the influence of the spell. So in this brief interval when I do not feel all that stupidified, I am writing to let the world know of this sinister spell.

Considering that the majority of TV audience is believed to have been stupidifed over the past decade, the The channels only dish out content that’s been proven to be safe viewing for the stupidified. So channel 1 to 20 have either a movie awards ceremony or a song and dance movie playing, channel 20 to 40 are discussing whether Aamir Khan is number 1 or Shahrukh Khan. Channel 40 to 80 have Saas-Bahu serials running. The Saas-Bahu shows are particularly ‘stupidified friendly’ as they show every shot thrice to help the stupidified understand the story. The story is kept the same across all channels and languages. They also highlight all important story portions with a background track which goes something like “Dhadadan Dhadadan Dhadadan…”. If you just watch all these “Dhadadan” moments, picking the story is simple enough even for stupidified souls like me.

Channels 80 to 100 have reality shows going that try to force the viewer’s heart to send text messages and pay millions to the show producers and the mobile companies. Brain usage here is limited to copying the numbers on screen and then managing to press them on a phone.

Channel 100 to 120 have a strange but simple game running all day. The presenters keep looking at a number on a screen. When the number increases they ask all viewers to be happy and excited. When the number goes down, they make a glum face and ask all viewers to be sad and worried. The presenters who can provide a good believable reasoning for any random movement in the number, are generally considered the best.

Channel 120 to 140 also show a similar game but instead of looking at numbers on screen, the presenters here look at dates, cards, charts, parrots, books, sky, planets, buildings, gems, etc. and then tell viewers when to be happy and excited and when to be sad and worried. This game is a bit tougher on the presenters as they not only have to provide believable reasoning for any random or coincidental changes but also have to provide what would seem like solutions. Considering the wide spread effect of stupidify, all these channels rely very little on a person’s ability to use his brains.

Stupidify wouldn’t have been as lethal if it had only affected TV viewing. The spell has led to a overall slow down of all abilities of individuals and particularly children. So sports grounds have barely the same number of people as a decade back, even when the overall population of the city might have increased ten times. This has occurred as the Stupidify spell is especially harmful to children. It makes them too slow, occupied and fat to be able to get to a sports ground.

In case of the Harry Potter series there’s a group called ‘The Order Of The Phoenix’ that fights evil and tries to save the world. Similarly, some smart men and women across the world continue to work hard, to try and rid humanity of the numbness inflicted by Stupidify. They try to leverage arts, science, sports, technology and every other way to try and make people think. One such attempt has been to provide ingenious mobile communication tools and oceans of knowledge in the form of computers and the Internet. However being a clever and mutating spell, Stupidify has adapted to the challenges posed by computers and the Internet. So Stupidify uses the Internet to popularize video games and websites that ensure that the user spends 100s of hours on the Internet and on computers without any grey cell wear and tear.

The group has even coined the term “Brain Cooling” to refer to the effects of the Stupidify spell. Some recent studies show that “Brain Cooling” will have serious effect on humanity in the long run. With humans opting to use less grey cells, some experts even suggest that humans might soon start reverse evolving and might actuallly get smaller and simpler brains ideally suited to processing TV soaps.

So what lies next? Will Stupidify continue to spread and wreck havoc or will the the brains make a comeback? Dhadadan Dhadandan Dhadadan…

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(Published as ‘Stupidify spell hits TV viewers’ in the Maharashtra Herald on 22nd March 2008)