10 Apr 2017 03:52 pm
mayoraasei: (Jdrama)
"Pigoin", or "the defendant".

I should be studying for exams and obviously I'm here posting about K-dramas...

The Defendant is one of those shining examples of Korean script-writing that in part explains why, while Japanese dramas in general is in a decline, the new Korean dramas continually break records in ratings and audience response.

That is not to say that it's without flaw (though I haven't watched the whole thing yet), because if you take a step back, some parts of it isn't really consistent with what a character might do. For example, Park Jung-woo choosing to avoid authorities instead of trying to enlist the help of either his colleagues (though understandably he may not trust all of them) or his family, despite being previously a law enforcer himself. Or the odd choices by Cha Min-Ho to kill or not kill people - especially his "wife" when she "betrayed" him multiple times.

The script does something that both Japanese and Korean dramas are good at - the exploration of human nature, of the effect society (especially in a much more conformative society as would exist in Asia compared to the western world) has on the actions of an individual, and the drivers behind a crime and a kind act.

What it adds to that, and is something that recent good Korean dramas have been able to achieve that Japanese dramas struggle with, is the wholeness of a story. Japanese dramas have been very good at suspense and crime procedurals, but they have very rarely done a good job with a story arc that is paced across the entire series. They also have this inexplicable penchant for explaining away plot points with some mind-boggling conspiracy that feels more like a badly written hyperbole.

Pigoin is about a well-respected prosecutor who (conveniently - Korean drama staple #1) is struck by amnesia, and can't remember exactly why or how he came to be on death row for the murder of his own wife and young daughter. What unravels as he slowly regains pieces of his memories is an intriguingly complex web of ruthless petty vengeance, jealousy, greed, personal ambition, loyalty, obligation, integrity and love.

If Descendants of the Sun painted soldiers and doctors in a romantically unblemished light, Pigoin comes across as an ode to the faithful barristers and prosecutors who respect and uphold the moral demands of their jobs. It also reminds us that the world, especially where the law is entangled, is grey: that while most criminals are not framed like Park, many despite their crimes usually has some goodness in them.

It's nice to see the despicable factory owner in Descendants of the Sun get somewhat of a good part this time - though he starts out a gangster angry at the main character for putting him in jail, he eventually becomes an ally and then a friend.

But let me get to exactly why this post came to be. Kim Minseok - the cute little spark in Descendants of the Sun, the runaway thief who became everyone's little brother. Despite staying in side parts, his roles are getting meatier and meatier, last year playing a neurosurgical intern diagnosed with brain cancer (of course - it's amazing how many hospital staff get sick in the correct specialty in medical dramas). This role is his best yet.

***** SPOILER ALERT *******

He is an accomplice in the murders, but after he kidnaps Park's daughter he finds he couldn't bring himself to murder her. He was rorted into this because the bad guys promised they would pay for his ill sister's operation, but his sister died in the operation anyway. Struck by guilt, he then spends 10 episode looking after Park's daughter and hiding from the bad guys, who have told him that if he dares to go to the police then they are able to pin Park's wife's death on him. He was forced to turn himself in later on and had hoped to provide the evidence to convict the man who instructed him to abduct Park's daughter, but ends up being killed for it.

This is one of those roles that can really make an actor, and Kim is helped along by his baby face that makes him look more like the kid's older brother than (almost) 20 years her senior.
The interactions between him and the girl are some of the sweetest things on TV and is in fact cuter than the father-daughter interaction (I'm guessing Shin Rina spends a lot more time on/off screen with Kim Minseok than she does with Ji Sung, and the level of comfort shows because of her young age).

His character stands as the symbol (one of many in this series) of what a single selfish action can bring and what a singular kind thought can achieve. And (I can't seem to emphasise this enough XDD) his baby face really helps his case as the young and immature kid who made the wrong choice in life, and throughout the series grows enough to accept retribution for his wrongdoings.

In fact, if anything, his character has a more complete character development arc than anyone else in the series. The main characters have had a lot happen to them, but they've pretty much stayed consistently themselves, with their fixed world views, from beginning to end.

His is only one character in the throng of interesting character motivations - take Park's friend, who turns from upright prosecutor to protecting his selfish interests; or Cha's wife, who initially stays silent but surrenders to her moral misgivings at a crucial moment. It's a fascinating web of humans being driven by their flawed or virtuous humanness, the flaws that put the noose neatly around Park's neck, or the kindness that slowly weathered away until those traditional heroic virtues - kindness and justice - won the day.

It is a good script, if flawed and slow at times, and it is the type of script that explains (above and beyond the pretty faces that adorn it) the good ratings that accompany a drama of this calibre.

It is the contrast that you see with a terrible script like A Life ~ Itoshiki Hito that explains why Japanese dramas are struggling to obtain ratings above 15% these days despite being stuffed full of well-known names.

Japanese literature and film have traditionally been great at its incisive comments on the human condition, and it's getting more and more technically mature at doing police procedurals, but the formula is getting tired. I'm waiting for the day where it can put together something that fits together as well as Pigoin does - and it has the luxury of doing this in only 12 episodes instead of dragging it out over 18 (for Pigoin, sadly a victim of its own popularity).

Like in the heyday of Hanazawa Naoki, I think we would see something that's more deserving of a high rating than the brain-numbingly silly Doctor X.
mayoraasei: (Gundam 00)
Firstly, congratulations on surviving 2016 and welcome to 2017.

2016 was certainly an interesting year, not just because of the number of shock celebrity deaths (RIP). It showed us there are flaws to every form of government, including democracy, and it gave us a world that proudly preys on our fear of "them" and "those people".

“There is a curse.
They say:
May you live in interesting times.”
---Sir Terry Pratchett

But my subject is actually much more mundane. I recently watched The Martian and following that, because it's still touted as a masterpiece, Interstellar.

I'm beginning to think I'm not really a sci-fi fan.

They were both nice movies, though Interstellar felt about 1 hour too long. The pace was slow, perhaps to give the audience time to absorb the beauty of space and the gravity (hah) of the situation. I liked that Murph (and Brand) was a strong female who was pivotal to the plot (and to solving humanity's plight) without serving a romantic role. The trouble was, as clever as the conceit was, there was too much gobbledygook going on towards the end that, given how realism had grounded much of the movie, came to its undoing as it gravitated (hah) too close to fantasy. The snippet where Cooper enters the black hole and transmits the secret quantum message to his daughter was particularly gobbledygook. Nolan has authored some clever stuff, and you're much better off appreciating his genius in something like The Prestige or Inception, both of which were also better served by their pacing and atmosphere. The music was starting to really grate after 2 hours and 50 minutes of ominous swell of strings chorus, and again (?) you have Hans Zimmer to thank. As usual with Nolan's movies, the quality of the cast was superb, especially in the actresses for Murph.

To its credit, Interstellar's slow pace gives the audience pause to think about what humans are doing to Earth, about the moral dilemma of a world crises - do we choose to turn a blind eye and hide in a shell of ignorance, or do we take the higher intellectual ground of saving the species, or do we bank on our empathy and fight for those we care for? The movie seems to support the last option, and we like to believe that it's empathy that makes us human - but as it questions even in the movie, so often an individual's empathy is short-sighted, given only to those we have contact with. Is saving the species, rather than the individual, the real moral high ground?

Space, the final frontier, said Star Trek, but Interstellar suggests that there is another frontier out there, beyond the three dimensions, that the humans will conquer. Time, the one thing that has always been constant in our existence, the one thing we cannot escape nor alter. But Cooper suggests that humans conquered time to deliver him the message for him to save mankind.

The Martian is a much lighter film in terms of its mood but also philosophy. Quite a few of the same cast appears, supported by a bunch of MCU veterans (especially the two who've recently appeared in Doctor Strange). Like Interstellar, it's a story of survival but on a one man scale. It's a movie of optimism, not only in the old Chinese adage that "the heavens will not give you a road that ends you", but one that also believes in a world where people will come together to save one man. It's a story that empowers nerds and scientists, if that needed to be done, although it is a bit incredible the amount of knowledge Matt Damon's character possessed to survive on his own. Reacting hydrogen with oxygen? I don't think I learned that in biology.

And at the birth of another year, let's commemorate the passing of the last with the poem endlessly referenced in Interstellar.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
--- Dylan Thomas
mayoraasei: (Reflective)
Completely random, but thought to look up the actual definition of this very common phrase "the seven passions and six desires" which are inherent in all ordinary humans, and which in Buddhist philosophy are all attachments to be renounced.

The seven passions
As according to Buddhist definition: 喜、怒、忧、惧、爱、憎、欲
Happiness, anger, worry, fear, love, hate, lust

As according to traditional Chinese medicine definition: 喜、怒、忧、思、悲、恐、惊
Happiness, anger, worry, anxiety, sadness, fear, surprise

The six desires
As according to Chinese philosophy: 六欲,生死耳目口鼻也
Yearning for life, (fear of) death, aural, visual, oral, nasal (stimuli)

The Buddhist definition refers to all six desires as pertaining to lust: 色欲、形貌欲、威仪姿态欲、言语声音欲、细滑欲、人想欲
Desire of sex, desire of appearance, desire of mannerism/authority, desire of words and speech, desire of touch and tactile, desire of thoughts

"The six roots" or "the six dusts"
Referring mainly to desires caused by the six "sensations": eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind.

Also completely randomly, started reading The Art of War in its original (incomprehensible) glory. It's actually quite an amazing text. Traditional Chinese script is amazing in how much meaning can be conveyed in a few words, even compared with modern Chinese (let alone any form of translation which requires pages of explanation to bridge the cultural barrier). Less a book about how to win a war, it's more about effective planning and management of resources, both human and non-human. It's extremely practical cynical and comes with such gems as:


Hence a commander may have five pitfalls: he fights as though he's unafraid of death - he can be killed; he fights as though he must live at all cost - he can be captured; he acts on reckless anger - he can be provoked; he lives to be righteous and clean - he can be shamed; he loves his people - he can be harassed.

The first three are understandable, but the last two are interesting. Clearly anything in excess is a danger. Being far too much of a perfectionist and being far too benevolent have their flaws when there are big things at stake.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Yesterday I heard a woman hound a policeman about his beliefs.

"Are you Christian?"


"You don't believe in God? Are you an atheist?!"


"Fine, are you agnostic?"


"Then what are you? What do you believe in?!"

"I don't believe in anything. I'm a cop."

Vimes would have been so bloody proud.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
After brooding on this for a night, I've realised that Rango makes a perfect study for a post-modernist film, without being so tied up with its own self-importance and techniques to make it unenjoyable.

It's been many years (*shakes head*) since I studied post-modern literature that I've forgotten most of the key features and techniques. But let's go through what Wikipedia has listed...

Cut for length and spoilers )

Wow...I don't think I ever bothered reading this much into a story since the HSC XDDD

There were more...I just couldn't be bothered LOL I think it makes a really good text, actually.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
Went and caught up with Gintama episodes (not all of them, no!) I think I've just been systematically going through episodes in which the Shinsengumi appear. I can't bring myself to watch teh Tsusengumi episodes unfortunately...even though Hijikata pretending to be an otaku cracks me up.

I think I now like Hijikata more than Okita XDDDD But Okita's few rare serious moments are very memorable...and also very, very rare. In fact, I think there's only been two arcs so far when the situation overwhelmed his neverending quest to surreptitiously knock off Hijikata.

Watching episode 119 (citywide ban on smoking drove Hijikata on a intergalactic mission to get a smoke) made me sympathise with smokers for the first time ever in my life XDDDDDD I bet the exploding ash bin was installed by Okita. Maa, maa~ I'm sure Okita had vice captain's health in mind, and the best way to quit smoking is to go cold turkey =v= (as if)

I'm actually starting to like Gintoki as well because of the utter married-couple-like hilarity between him and Hijikata (*especially that episode where they got handcuffed to each other and waltzed down the streets in the name of "not raising notice"...yeaaaaaah good work). For some reason I've never managed to connect the two of them as similar in spite of what the anime extols. They're both idiots who will get worked up over some silly reason just as a matter of pride...just like 50 other characters in the show.

I don't think I'd like Hijikata nearly as much if he were in a different anime, and maybe that's why I took so long to warm to him...but he's so...serious. He's the embodiment of the whole Japanese "ganbatte" philosophy. Everything he does, he puts all of himself into it...whether it's arresting lawbreakers, or quelling terrorists, or defending the supremacy of mayonnaise, or becoming the king of otaku =0=; Anything that he settles himself down to, he will drive himself to the very end and to the very best. In an era of hedonism, in real life he would be one of those people mocked for his pretty ideals and big dreams, but he will keep to them until the world around him succumbs. By such people is history made =v=

And he's very alone in this - Kondo spends most of his time worrying about all the wrong things, Okita won't fight unless it interests him, Gintoki is equally lazy unless the script calls for a Main Character Moment™, even Katsura will choose running away when things don't work out. Hijikata alone charges on, keeping to his course and keeping to his word.

So you feel sorry for him, because in Gintama's world, he's like a true Shinsengumi stuck with a crowd of lazy asses. He's called the demon vice captain only because he's normal. He's feared by his own people, hated by criminals, harassed by Gintoki, hunted by Okita...and possessed by an otaku nut ==; You feel for him when he says "Every moment is a battle for me..." Poor guy ;_;

I'm sure it's intentional, but he doesn't seem to realise the charisma he has. He has all the skills and abilities, he practically runs the Shinsengumi, he's an utter cynic but inside he is full of romantics (hey, Vimes!), he binds himself with duties and rules in order for his heart to always be in the right place...but he would never ask to be Shinsengumi leader because he believes that the one who stands at the top has to be a bigger dreamer.

He's too sweet for this anime XD
mayoraasei: (Reflective)
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

This soliloquy makes more sense to me every year. LOL.

The Japanese is a race of great believers in stoicism and perseverance.

Once, I may have whole-heartedly agreed with the rhetoric, "There is nothing better than just being alive."

But now, I don't know, as the term "death" becomes less easy to define. Is someone who is still breathing, whose heart is still beating, but who will never again wake to smile at his loved ones still alive?

There are so many patients we keep alive in the name of medical uncertainty. Yes...99% of patients in that state may never wake up again - but, there's always that 1% chance that gives us hope. Maybe 10 years, 20 years, 30 years down the track, science will know what to do.

And then there are patients for whom we wonder if it is better to let them die. The patients who will never regain full function of their bodies or of their minds; the patients for whom every minute of their remaining life will be in suffering, for whom the only anaesthetic that will work would be a morphine-induced coma...those patients whom, without modern medical intervention, would have died, possibly in more peace.

At the extreme of the scale there is the dreaded Locked-In Syndrome. A prison of flesh for a mind often still functioning normally. You can hear and see, but you cannot speak or smile or hold someone's hand. You may be able to feel, but you can't tell the nurses where it hurts.

At those times, whatever my beliefs, whatever my personal convictions, I can understand at least where they stand, those people who wish for euthanasia.

(This rant was actually inspired by the last 10 minutes of The Quiz Show 2. Don't ask.)


12 Nov 2008 05:13 pm
mayoraasei: (Gakuen Alice)
Just brief spoilers on chapter 105 of Gakuen Alice...the long-awaited fateful meeting of Yuka and Narumi - "A kid in A class with very powerful pheromone Alice". No wonder Narumi wore so many Alice-suppressors.

His expression is kind of like Natsume's at the start of the series. Aloof, alone and really antagonistic. What is it with Gakuen Alice and me alliterating with A's?

Anyway, it either means Narumi's really good at controlling his Alice or he projects a personality so bad that no one likes him, in spite of his Alice. Otherwise you'd expect him to be surrounded by fawning classmates, woozy from his pheromones.

In other news, today was the last day this year I would be at the hospital (through diplomatic negotiations with our tutors by our group that manoeuvred us out of attending all the tutes next week XD). Am a little sad, as really liked our clinical tutor (but he was too busy this week to take us as well), but also mightily relieved as means one less stressful thing to worry about.

Now~ Shall try and summarise 5 weeks of haematology into 5 pages =) I have realised that just because your mind doesn't want to believe something happened doesn't mean it did not happen. This was brought on by the fact that though my mind placates itself that the haematology did not happen, the reality says otherwise, judging by the fact it produced about 100 pages in lecture notes and left a giant hole in someone's rainforest.

Incidentally, it's a wonder that nice pleasant individuals can, when brought together under circumstances, become such a group of riled cats - unsheathed claws and anguished throes and all.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
You know those self-propelled water decorations that drains into wells and pools without the need for power? I wonder if waterdrops ever weep for recircling the same path in eternity.

I just finished reading a manga called Vampire Girl. From the title and synopsis one might never have guessed its conclusion.

Wana works in a fast food joint and there is a young man who passes by the stall every now and then, someone who never fails to catch her eye, someone whose simple appearance can make her happy.

A few days later she was in a car accident when Ren, the young man, had happened to pass by. He saves her by turning her into a vampire like himself and by using her parents' blood. He saves her because she looks like a young woman he had loved once, Sainishi Akira.

It's a setup that one might have seen in many other places before, but it plays out in a convoluted web of exacting repayment and retribution for sins of past lives.

The young vampire couple had been in love once - and for some reason he kills her - without knowing why, because this cycle had gone back for infinity. And not knowing why she died, not understanding why it was his fault, he waits because he was immortal for her to appear - and one hundred years later she does - as Sainishi Akira - and he takes her - but she kills him in the cycle of revenge.

And she, too, now a vampire, waits. Trying to escape from the loneliness, she turns her brother into a vampire and binds him to her...then abandons him when she has found the one she was searching for. The brother is driven to insanity, he forgets who he was, he forgets her, he wants to die but is unable to, and so he takes the lives of others.

Sainishi finally meets "Sebastian" when he was still a young boy and feels drawn to him from the first glance. When they meet again years later, she turns him into a vampire. They loved each other, or something must have been like love. They wanted to stay together, and so they ran away to escape from a town growing suspicious of mysterious deaths.

But in the final moment before leaving, Sebastian pushes her out into the open and betrays her...and this is a detail that Ren doesn't remember. He only remembers Sainishi disappearing...

And so he waits and searches through the world, and one hundred years onward, meets Wana. But when Wana releases Sainishi's brother from his oath, the memories of Sainishi possesses her.

Before they even knew each other, Wana knew she would love Ren, and she probably does. Sainishi probably does too. But when accosted by the policeman who suspects Ren of being a serial murderer, Sainishi overtakes Wana, and looks up at Ren with cold vengeance, "Why did you kill me?"

She pushes the policeman into Ren and the two of them fall over the balcony onto the ground below. It seems only in the moments before death that they would remember the cycle of killing.....of Sainishi and her vampire, of that vampire and his beloved, and of those that went before, stretching back throughout the centuries.

And so Ren looks up at a confused Wana with unspeakable pain:

I don't hate you
I just want to be by your side
But next time we meet
I might just want to kill you....

Ren disappears.

Wana disappears. Or at least, she melts into the crowd, losing herself in the passing time, waiting, wondering, thinking that Ren would one day appear again.

One hundred years onwards, a young boy at a fast food joint greets her, a boy pleased simply by her each appearance...

The manga might have been more moving if the artist had a better grasp of dynamics, but the story behind it was still provoking. The last chapter briefly introduced a few Creators fiddling with their new invented lifeforms. While the message isn't necessarily religious (or questioning religion), it seems to say "we are all someone else's playthings". Wana and Ren's relationship was the plaything of a child "god", and likewise that child is the toy of another god.

Which is a pretty depressing philosophy to think about ~~;

The cycle of predestined relationships, tragedies begetting tragedies. Just because you don't remember a crime does it free you from retribution?
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
We've started on our second "block", kind of like a new topic, and the first two weeks have been filled with lectures and tutorials and case studies and otherwise on illicit and licit drugs.

I feel so incredibly sheltered in my tutorials, being the only one who sits there looking blandly befuzzled as everyone else recites personal anecdotes of drug use and alcohol consumption >__>;;

It seems like an issue that one is bound to have strong opinions on, but for some reason I haven't quite decided what that should be. Maybe because illicit drug users are often such an invisible part of society. Maybe it's easier to direct your distaste against that guy lighting up his ciggie upwind of you at the bus stop.

Or maybe because it's such a diverse group - from homeless junkies to highly-paid professionals to Lindsay Lohan =P

Sure, on the one end of the scale are the people contributing to petty theft but on the other end are the wealthy white-collars who snort their cocaine at home and never be a bother to anyone else.

And sometimes it's hard to work out the morals associated with illicit drug use. If you are a successful businessman who can amply pay for your hit, and who can use it sparingly and you never have a violent trip - does that make you more morally reprehensible when, say, placed next to the retrenched alcoholic who drinks until he passes out every night and beats up his kids and wife?

But stereotypes exist for a reason - and it remains a fact that the most visible drug users in society are those that get entangled with the law because of their habits. Theft. Break-ins. Robbery. Prostitution.

We keep getting told that as health professionals, we should treat drug users like everyone else.

And yet, at the same time, we are told stories of the drug users who "doctor shop" for morphine to satisfy their heroin cravings or to sell (and of course, if they overdose, the doctor gets sued); of people coming off (or having a bad trip on) methamphetamines screaming and tearing down hospital hallways; of people who overdose on heroin and the first thing they do after they are treated with antidote is punch the nurse in the face for taking them off the high...

It's hard, when someone sits in a room with bruised puncture marks on their arm, to treat them just like any other person. It's hard not to be wary. They can be violent - if they've just had a drug; they can be manipulative - if they need their drug; they can be unfriendly, desperate, frightened, irrational...even schizophrenic.

Not that they're not capable of rational thought. Not that they can't maintain perfectly healthy and honest relationships with their loved ones. But how do you know, when that person is still a stranger, how much you can trust? How do you know how much is still them and how much is the drug speaking?

Should we feel pity for them, when some of them are perfectly in control of their lives? Who feels no need to give up their habits?

But can we not pity them, when snorting cocaine has put a necrotic bleeding hole in their nose? When they get so desperate for sites of injection that they shoot up arteries in the groin and neck? When the young teenage girl comes into emergency and delivers a full-term baby she didn't even know she was pregnant with because she was so lost on drugs?

Is it okay to moralise, coming from a sheltered middle-class, two-parent, well-educated household to someone whose mum died from an overdose, whose dad is a violent alcoholic, who was gang-raped in high school and has since dropped out - to say that it is wrong for them to feel the need to escape?

But how easy is it to not moralise when the kid sitting in front of you neither goes to school nor plans to work, whose only contribution to society is by adding to the crime rate, who lives on the few grand he gets from bag-snatching or stealing from his parents and spends $150 a day on his hits?

On the other hand, out of all drugs (legal and illegal), tobacco remains the biggest drain on the health system.

Smoking kills!!!


Muahaha, just a few days ago our tutors mentioned that the government was considering legalising cannabinoids (marijuana derivatives) for use in terminally ill patients, and this news came out today. Legal pot! XD

Well, I guess morally it's the same as using morphine (opium derivative) for pain-killer, although morphine seems to be more reliably effective at what it does =/
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
I often hear people say stuff...particularly about mainstream books, movies or manga/anime, that "it's not deep enough" or "it doesn't make you think".

Strangely enough, those same books/movies/anime/manga give me plenty to think about.

I wonder, does something have to be purposely contrived to be philosophical and "deep" before these people feel obliged to think?

Some people become so derisive about it, that others read these mainstream stuff and analyse them.

Sometimes I think it might be these arrogant people who are the less sophisticated.

There are plenty of things to look for in the deep, and so any is easily found. To make some thought of something that is seemingly shallow and understated might in fact take more consideration.

And many times I people just say stuff like that to make themselves sound intelligent?

...That, had been, totally incoherent.

Today's Wednesday Oo;
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
I've never really understood that phrase, brandished about like some sort of gimmerick in fiction. "Be who you are", "don't worry about what other people think", "don't change yourself to suit others", "people should like you for who you are, not what you try to be".

Is it as innocently idealistic as it seems, or is it a dangerous trap for people to use as an excuse so that they can brush off their they can "be who they are" without trying to be better?

I'm not saying that "being yourself" is wrong, but the assertion must come with an important realisation - saying "you don't want to change to suit others" means you no longer have the right to complain if you find that those "others" don't like you.

It bothers me when people whine, "Why can't [person/people] like me just the way I am?"

If "the way you are" is not likeable to them, why should they be obliged to like you?

If you want to "be yourself", be so with the fullest confidence. If you are certain you are unwilling to pamper to the tastes of others, don't complain when those others will not accept you.
mayoraasei: (Ugh)
The rain is falling while I hack away at my essay, word by painful word of phospholipases and laccases and defensins and protegrins, and I pause to listen.

Have you noticed how silent the world is when it rains?

Behind the static nothing stirs, and world seems smaller, contained in the yellow artificial warmth of home, the oblivious buzz of the refrigerator, and the tap-tap-tap of keys.

An island of security, imprisoned behind the curtain of rain, the world beyond seems abruptly farther away.

...I'm contradicting myself.

Back to Cryptococcus.

I do like the rain though...just, not, physically, in it.

And all this afternoon, I've been singing this little tune to myself...

My brain is like a sieve
My brain is like a sieve
My brain is like a sieve
Through which everything leaves

No. Not really.

Back to Cryptococcus.
mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)
I thought Ghost in the Shell came out ages ago?

"The bird does not feed on the green persimmon. It waits for the fruit to ripen."

That's good to know.

........Right. That's sarcasm if I've ever know it. Does anyone remember what scene this person's referring to?

I'm ready to rage about how they could possibly miss such a blatant allegory. Or metaphor. Or whatever the literary jargon that describes it is.

This follow up to the 1995 anime hit looks like Blade Runner and sounds like The Matrix. soon as I saw that, my heart sank.

The Matrix? You're accusing an oriental film of ripping off a film that was blatantly ripping off oriental culture? *Head --> computer screen*

And I hesitate to make any comparison between Blade Runner, The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell...because all three are science-fiction films in which a lot of the ideas are concerning domination of technology, a comparison like that will mislead readers to think that GitS has the same tone as the previous two. As I saw it, it didn't. (*Haven't seen BR though) Whereas the first two were extremely wary to the point of antagonistic about the role of technology, and places a greater value placed on human life, GitS struck me as something that also valued "machines" as a life. Cyborgs, robots, artificial intelligence. The conflict, unlike your traditional sci-fi film, isn't between humans and monsters created from technological misconduct. It is one of the rare few films that embraces the future of machines, or at least does not see it as a threat to "nature".

.....Though I did watch it in Japanese and was so busy reading the subtitles and goggling at the beautiful graphics I might have missed the point entirely.


mayoraasei: There is no such thing as coincidence (Default)

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