Readers might have seen a video clip of a talk show doing the rounds these days. In a program presumably about the economy, a gentleman is marvelling about how large a business Apple was. He was referring, of course, to the tech firm which is currently the third largest company in the world in terms of market capitalisation. The lady accompanying him on the show, while nodding in agreement, noted how expansive the business was and how there were so many varieties of apples in the world, at which point he corrected her. Simple. Honest mistake.
In just a couple of days, the clip went viral, with the lady being dubbed as ‘The Apple Girl’ and the reason behind the puerile level of analysis found on the national news media.
Gleefully sharing this video were television anchors who have said far worse things on screen, that too, intentionally.
I am certainly not an angel and am capable of some old-fashioned schadenfreude. Some things one can’t help but laugh at. And one should, as long as it is not accompanied by tasteless remarks. And one should laugh, also, at the gaffes made by people whose job it is to talk for a living. To a certain level, lawyers and TV talking heads are fair game.
But, again, only to a certain level. Everyone has bad days at work. Imagine for that particular bad day to be immortalised on the internet as some sort of proof of your incompetence. Who amongst us can claim perfection?
Coming back to the aforementioned lady, hers wasn’t even a gaffe; just a simple misunderstanding, which was cleared up immediately. The Independent Urdu made a neat little video on her, in which she explained that the (two-year-old) program had featured, amongst other things, the economic prospects of Pakistan’s agri-businesses. Perishables like apricots had just been discussed; she was merely picking up on the context. But even without the explanation,
Post-script: I’m not ‘woke’ and unfortunately quite sexist in certain matters. But even an unenlightened fellow like me wouldn’t be wrong to pick up the sexist undertones in the humour at her expense. One wonders if she were to be thought of as ditzy, clueless doll had she been a man.
She comes across as quite articulate and intelligent in the Independent Urdu video.