Showing posts with label Saad Ali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saad Ali. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

No Jokes Please, We're Fashionable

Pakistanis, in general, have little tolerance for satire about themselves. That is why political humour programmes on television usually have to preface their episodes with a disclaimer, labeling them clearly as satire and not to be taken seriously. But of all Pakistanis perhaps none are as dour, humourless and self-righteous as members of the fashion 'fraternity' (let's just say this fraternity is no Animal House). For all their claims of 'playfulness' and 'fun' in their designs, they are one acidic and sour lot when at the receiving end of even good-natured ribbing.

Witness the indignant response to Express Tribune's rather funny April 1st joke on its Lifestyle pagesET's April Fool prank 'broke' the news that the Lahore-based Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) and the Karachi-based Fashion Pakistan (FP) - often roundly criticized for making their own daerrh eenth ki masjidein - were to merge, and carried fake quotes from prominent designers welcoming the move.

The joke that went over the fashionistas' head

Ms Sehyr Saigol, the chairperson of PFDC, Saad Ali, the CEO of PFDC and Amir Adnan, CEO of FP, then decided to fire off this letter published in ET today:

The letter reads:

"We, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC), Fashion Pakistan (FP) and Libas International, are writing to you in complaint of the false story published in The Express Tribune’s Life & Style Pages dated April 1, 2011.

We take strong exception to the false, incorrect, baseless, inaccurate statements and information based on conjectures and surmises, supported by statements of renowned industry personalities, which have been reported as established facts without soliciting our, or indeed anyone’s, confirmation as to the authenticity or veracity of the contents published in the aforesaid story.

This story is misleading and, in fact, represents a complete falsification of material. It also used and distorts a logo (of Libas International) without the consent of the logo copyright holder (Sehyr Saigol), infringing copyright and intellectual property rights therein.

Further, the story published has portrayed us as non-law abiding citizens and has exposed us to the threat of possible legal action by falsely reporting that the PFDC and FP are merging.

Amir Adnan (CEO of FP), Sehyr Saigol (Chairperson of the PFDC), Kamiar Rokni (member of the executive committee of the PFDC) and Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (member of the executive committee of the PFDC) shall hold your newspaper liable for any consequential damage to their reputation, and would like to strongly establish herewith that any and all information attributed to their names within this piece is false and a misrepresentation of fact and of their nature.

It is disappointing that a well-reputed newspaper such as yours has overlooked ethics and relevant laws, especially those pertaining to libel, and has published this story. We demand that you tender an apology to all the parties misrepresented and misquoted herewith and publish the same, along with a retraction of all misinformation and misquotations.

Sehyr Saigol
PFDC chairperson (executive committee) and publisher, Libas International
Saad Ali
Amir Adnan

You just can't make this shit up. Not only do the we-take-ourselves-so-seriously authors not exhibit the slightest clue that the piece in question was quite obviously a prank (if nothing else, the organogram that posited that the 'bad boy of fashion journalism' Mohsin Sayeed would be the new 'Chairperson for Life' in the new set-up might have provided a clue to anyone with half a brain), or show any circumspection about the date of publication, do not miss the self-righteous threats of legal action and claims of 'damage to their reputations'. After this patently idiotic letter, you may well wonder, what reputations? Certainly none involving a sense of humour it would be safe to say.

The self-righteous leading lights of fashion also obviously don't even regularly read anything beyond what is sent to them as a clipping. The very next day after the joke, i.e. on April 2, ET had in fact published this story clarifying things for the dimwitted. So, just to reiterate, the poor ET editor had to publish the following clarification once again in response to the letter:

Say it slowly, in bold type, they're not the sharpest scissors in the drawer

I can sympathise with ET completely on this one. Instead of tacking regrets on to that clarification, it must have taken a lot of restraint from the editor not to have said where he probably really wanted the fashionistas to put their letter. But I guess he didn't want to take on people who have single-handedly defeated the Taliban.