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The Internet

Did I miss out on a scene ?

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“Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion”, quoted by Henry Steele Commager. Here in Singapore, our choices of movies, shows, songs and even websites are filtered by the government due to reasons that are concrete yet still debatable. I am sure that the subject censorship came across to most of our minds; the audience, considering the fact that the majority of the people are influenced by the presence of any forms of media.  The censorship or ratings in Singapore are in the hands of the Media Development Authority who works hand in hand with the government. I am not objecting to the policy of censorship, but it would have been better if the policy is lightened to a certain extent as I believe that are good sides and bad sides to censorship.

Ratings such as PG, NC16 or even M18 where the shows are classified according to the suitable age of viewing, depending whether it is due to sexual explicit content or even violence. Or even cut due to the length of the movie. Just like the other day, I was watching a Hindi movie which was aired by Vasantham central. I knew this movie and I had watched it several times before so when I watched it on Vasantham, I realized that there are scenes that were cut. This somehow affected my mood because I felt that it was not as good as watching the original one but then again, maybe the scenes was cut due to time constraint. But then, it somehow makes me question, what else are we being “cut” off. Though the government are censoring certain aspects of media for good and valid reasons, there is still this sense of missing out.

Subsequently, I feel that we as the audience are not exposed to the real world. I understand that certain shows are banned due to the message that the director wants to put across, as the level of violence, sexual exposure or even unconventional ideas would weaken the already weak hearted audience. Do not get me wrong, I agree with the policy of censorship, but I feel that we are restricted in forms of entertainment, perspectives and knowledge of the exposure of the different cultures and norms apart from our own. Movies for the artistic soul and not just airing award winning and block blusters movies which received high ratings. I believe that every one of us appreciate (shows) differently. Variety of choices is not applicable in this matter.

Honestly, this policy of censorship may seem trivial but it does affect the masses in the long run. Not exposed to different norms and cultures, and even restricted to the choices that we have regarding in the forms of media entertainment. I can make do with how things and the shows are aired now. But it would be really nice to be exposed to more insightful shows or movies in the future and be cut off from a certain scene from a movie.

What’s on your playlist ?

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Like any normal, stay home Friday nights, I would prop myself on the couch in front of the television to catch any interesting movies that would be aired. This time around it was 2fast 2 furious, but that was not the program that caught my attention rather it was the 9pm news. There was this particular footage regarding a contest for Korean Pop Music, where the contestants are required to sing and dance to Korean music. And there was a magnificent amount of people who joined! And I must admit that they were good, but of course some were eliminated prior to the rounds of audition. As the main aim was to choose a talented contestant who would represent Singapore in the Kpop contest with will happen around the world.

This then made me ponder, on how a person could be so interested in another culture apart from theirs. Curiosity and interests are bound to happen when we are introduced to another form of culture and tradition. Some people are more in tuned with music or even dramas but I for one would be driven by the different types of delicacies that could be consumed. And honestly, Korean pop music is attracting fans and listeners across the pacific and I dare say, across the region. With their catchy songs, hyped up dance moves, and not to forget good looking members in the group which made most of the girls go GA GA. We can see different people from different culture and backgrounds come together due to this interest. Here, a diffusion of intercultural experience are exchanged and shared among them. You could be a Japanese, Chinese or even a Malay, but you would still be able to communicate with one another based on the similar interests, no matter the language barrier. Such as a clip that was featured in the news, a Malay girl was seen singing to a Korean song fluently. And if I have not seen the face but just listened to the voice, I would have been tricked into thinking that it was from a Korean. Korean Girl bands such as SNSD, 2NE1 and Boy bands such as SHINEE and Big Bang are looming in most of the people’s playlist, from the young and even to the old.

We may not admit it, but Korean pop is slowly taking over the music industry. The fact that they had caught on to a lot of fans and received warm welcome during their tours, shows that this trend is not going to die anytime soon. It has diffused in to our cultured society and present itself to a diverse and open ears, bringing a new sense of unity.

To be a part of something.

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The next generation are always said to be the future pillars of the country. And how youths these days behave and how they contribute to the society would reflect on their future. Extracted from an article circulated on Yahoo, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong emphasized the: “Importance for youths in Singapore to continually give back to the local community in order to create a more gracious and tight-knit society. He also highlighted the importance of working with youths to mould a bright future for them to do well in their studies and jobs, and to create opportunities for them to contribute more towards Singapore’s growth to improve society.” And I feel that the statement is concrete and a good way for the youths to get together and participate in various activities to enhance their contributions to society. As when we stand as a group, it is less likely that we would face failures as compared to standing alone.

This way, a sense of belonging would be fostered among the youths, where there will be a strong sense of attachment to the society and then to willingly give back with their efforts and actions. When the feeling of acceptance is felt, the willingness to carry out an action will come off naturally. There is always this saying that “No man is an island”, and we need at least a few friends and close ones to make it through life, whether on a social level or the need to confide in someone. As an individual, there are needs that we could not acquire just by being by ourselves. Such as the need to feel accepted and the need to feel belonged. That is why we are usually seen gathered in a group of friends – may not have to be four or five people – sharing details and information. Once we have settled in a group, we then subconsciously would be exposed to different views but would soon mold into something similar in the future, due to the circumstances of mixing with each other for a long time. Our groups of friends are usually the ones who shares the same opinion and sentiments as us. And we are so used to agreeing with each other  that we may not even see the other side or take on a new perspectives. But yet, your group of friends could either be your motivation to excel in something or be the reason for your downfall due to the bad influence that was exposed. In this case, for the youths, mixing with those who values the effort to give back to the society is what PM Lee wish to see, where youths are active in volunteerism and going all out to give back to the society in any forms.

The groups that we are a  part of do make a difference in our lives as it shapes our attitude, behavior and how we see the world.

What happens when conversation runs dry ?

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The video shown above is titled “Strangers, again”. It is centered around a couple showing the stages of a relationship in general. It is basically showing the seven stages that a relationship will go through. First stage, meeting- when an encounter occurred with someone who you have never met before or even a friend, or an acquaintance who is in your social circle. Second stage, the chase- where the journey of getting more about each other and warming up to that particular person. Thirdly, the honeymoon period- the period when both of the party confessed their feelings and take it to another level; knowing almost everything about the partner in depth, spending more time with each other etc. And then came the fourth stage, the comfortable stage- where couples tend to have stability and take each other for granted. Moving in circles and doing and experiencing the same thing over and over again or things changed. And when one of them stops trying and the feelings are not as strong as before. Subsequently, tolerance – this is where the feeling of dissatisfaction kicks in and fights are becoming a norm between a couple. Which leads to the next stage, downhill- questioning the worth of the relationship or even the partner and distance wedging in between the two of them. And lastly, the break up – the accumulation of negative feelings and unable to tolerate each other anymore. Feelings surged with disappointment which causes the flames to burn out slowly, leaving just fragments of memories between them two. But between stages four or five, things could take a different turn depending on how the couple approach the matter and how the matters are solved. Cause at the end of it all, a couple has only two options, get married or break up.

This video got viral on Facebook where it came to a point that everyone was re-posting it. It didn’t really catch my attention at first but I decided to take a look since it is all over the website. What could be so interesting an eye catching that it manage to caught most of the people’s attention? I somehow knew why after I have watched it. We, as humans, desire company and would want to share our walks of life with someone. Someone who understand us, and being able to express our feelings to. So we engaged in our daily activities and if we rely on fate or coincidence, we will meet our soul mate along the way. But each of us are built internally with different personalities and quirks. We expect a certain degree of sameness in someone so as to avoid conflict. Honestly, my opinion is that we would go all lengths just to get something/someone that we desire, but we forgot that we need to have the same amount of effort to keep them. Couples break up along the way due to serious issues, such as differences in beliefs or changes that had happened. But some even break up due to small issues that could be dealt with easily. Unable to compromise with the other party seems to be one of the issues among couples. Where they felt that their needs are not met and soon realize that they are able to attain it somewhere else or this case, someone else. In relevance to the video, the girl claimed that the guy did not understand her as the guy sees the it as a minuscule matter. And when one of them decided to break their routine of running every Tuesday morning, that somewhat sets the course. We somehow always tend to take the person for granted, intentionally or unintentionally. This would then cause the other party to feel as if they are not receiving enough and that they are always at the losing end.

I believe that we should never run away from a problem no matter how difficult the situation is. As when problems accumulate, that is when there will be no solution that could be used. Compromise is one of the important factors in a relationship, no matter between family, friends or even lovers. Consideration of the others’ feelings has to be taken account for, and not just for our selfish reasons. In the end, it is up to us on how we want to deal with the matter, choosing the path of an escapist or charging with the matter head on. I would say that the actions that an individual take to salvage the situation or the steps they take even maintain a relationship, shows how much they want it.

What’s your sign ?

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Have you ever been introduced to someone by their name, hobbies and followed by their astrology sign? That is uncommon to begin with, as astrology believers are certain that the star sign determines who they are. I am sure that  most of us know which sign we belong to. As shown on the diagram above, the 12 signs are categorized by the stipulated date of births. So, you can just counter check your birthdays and you will know which do you belong to. Astrology signs came about 25 years ago, when star watching was enjoyed more by the people as there are meaning attached to it.

Each sign somehow says what type of person you are and what traits you have. For example, a Scorpio, ruled by the planet Pluto and the element of water, is believed to harbor the traits of mysteriousness and intensity. A sign that holds most of the mystery, a Scorpio tend to be secretive and observant. Anyone’s birthday who falls between the October 23rd  to November 21st, has the astrology sign of Scorpio. But the question is, do you believe in the signs? There are some non believers and those who really look up to it. Respectively, the non believers claimed that the signs do not dictate who they are while the believers are certain that the signs are an attribute to their personality.  The reason may be that these signs coincidentally share the same personal traits with them. And they could relate to it better, with the positive and negative traits that are similar to theirs. We look up to the subject of the unknown, questioning their facts and even their fictions. So when a certain believe proves to you, who you are, you will see it as ” I am a Scorpio, therefore …” To explain your actions and your being. It somehow portrays how we want people to see us as and how we perceive someone. It will then come a day when you would judge or assume a person by his or her star sign at first impression.

I for one, do read up on my own astrology sign, and would be surprised that some of the traits are similar to what I am. Belonging to the fire sign Aries, it is said that they (Aries) are hot headed, impulsive and brash. I may agree to the first two, but I can safely conclude that I am not brash. Some shaped their personality towards the direction of their star sign. They may not have that attributes at first, but due to the believe that they should be possessing a certain aspect of traits, they mold their personality as such.

In the end, are the  personality traits that you possess are the result of your star sign or, it is just a matter of coincidence?

It’s movie time; The Abduction.

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I have been waiting for the movie called ‘The Abduction’ to be screened for sometime now ever since I saw its trailer. And so I thought why not have a discussion about this? As I was attracted to a few of its dialogues, which I think we could relate to, no matter the age group or difference. Here’s the trailer, enjoy!

Synopsis:

“For as long as he can remember, Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) has had the uneasy feeling that he’s living someone else’s life. When he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website, all of his darkest fears come true: he realises his parents are not his own and his life is a lie, carefully fabricated to hide something more mysterious and dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Just as he begins to piece together his true identity, Nathan is targeted by a team of trained killers, forcing him on the run with the only person he can trust, his neighbour, Karen (Lily Collins). Every second counts as Nathan and Karen race to evade an army of assassins and federal operatives. As his opponents close in, he realises that the only way he’ll survive is to stop running and take matters into his own hands. Also starring Alfred Molina, Jason Issacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist and Sigourney Weaver.”

Not many would  favor this movie, but I for one is a sucker for action movies and the philosophical questions of ” Who are you?” I am sure that most of us had gone through a rough stage in life where we question ourselves on who we really are and our purpose in life. This scene usually occurs during the adolescent stage, when the inner rebel is unleashed inside of us. When the path still feels uncertain and hazy. But not all of the people experienced a rebellion stage, and there are still some of us who are questioning our purpose here no matter their age. The reason behind this prompts from our subconscious is because, there are no standard and structured answers for it. We are the only ones that can give the answer to these questions. We are the only ones who are in charge of our own lives.

I believe that we can question ourselves, as it enhances our emotional quota as a human. But should not dwell on it to much and blame the world when things do not go the way we plan. In failures, the thoughts of negativity triumphs. And this is when we test our own selves to the depths of depression. Or pull ourselves back and charge forth again. As reference to the movie trailer, the main actor decided to change the events around by being the hunter instead of hunted. Subtly showing that we are in control of our lives as long as we do not let others take charge of it.

This movie used the Pathos and Ethos approach, to appeal by emotions and one’s character respectively. Why by emotions? Emotions are the primary objective when you are living as a human. Feelings come naturally at one point in time even if you are an emotional block. Here, the audience could feel the tension, anticipation and even a sense of identity crisis. Making the audience to sit back, clench their hands at the edge of the seats, wondering what will happen next and how the ending would be. And of all people, Taylor Lautner was starred as the main actor, someone who is already famous by a certain degree. If people are not going to be thrilled by the spice of action, they will surely be by his presence. It is sure one movie that I would want to catch.

At the end of it all, we do question ourselves at the end of the day. Are you capable enough? Is this the path that you should take? Are you doing the right thing? And we can never put an end to it, because we live to question.

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