Unindian – A Hybrid Movie

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Photo Credits to Mesh News

Referring to the current global epidemic, it is no surprise how the public are confronted with various types of media in a single day. We have to agree that by having worldwide connection on our fingertips, we are actually allowing ourselves to global exposure where we are infiltrated by new knowledge and content simultaneously. Having to confront many things at a time, human behavior have evolved as they are contributing to their presence with high level multi-tasking when it comes to neither work, chores or even entertainment. Relatively, we could conclude on the severity of this epidemic which has profoundly lead us  to a more remixed culture than usual. Speaking of remix, we are not only talking about people from various states living together, but more on their final products which are actually repercussions of many fused objects. (Manovich n.d.)

The entertainment industry especially those who are into film making and music are definitely not strangers to the use of hybrids when it comes to their content. Often, this industry uses the idea of remix, fusion, collages and mash-ups to create ‘something new’. However, that is not the case as typical remix usually combines itself with other sources of media; elements from other artists, music composure, visuals from other videos and lately, characters from other cinema industries. (Manovich n.d.) For example, actor/actresses who initially belong to Bollywood have continued producing more films as they merge themselves to work with Hollywood. In the past years, hybrid movies have marked a special place as they are increasingly becoming popular while propagating several cultures under one roof. While that being the case, youngsters find hybrid movies to be more relatable as it is propagated using English language most of the time. In addition to that, the movie also includes fundamental representation of techniques and expressions to make the crowd understand and follow the story line on a global scale.

For instance, this specific movie called Unindian that I had recently watched has the same measures which I have confronted earlier regarding hybridity. The movie narrates a simple love story between an Aussie male persona and an Indian female persona. Honestly, the story line was somewhat predictable as the female persona receives multiple rejections by her parents, community and religion since she is a single mom with a teen daughter. Her parents expects her to re-marry but only to the suitor they had found, who is a doctor from their own caste (cliche). However, the actress who is portrayed as an open-minded modern Indian tries to evade the suitor that her parents had found while having to fall in love with a white man. (Gupta 2016)

I believe Unindian does revoke certain cultural issues for Indians who are staunch towards their religion and culture. Regardless to which country they might be living in, elderly Indians would consider movies such as these to be a bad influence for the younger generation. Though times might have changed and we are in the 20th century, normally we can see the struggle every elderly person has to go through to accept hybridity or any sense of remixed culture in a short time span.

References

Manovich, L n.d., Understanding Hybrid Media, accessed on 1/9/2016,

http://manovich.net/content/04-projects/055-understanding-hybrid-media/52_article_2007.pdf

Gupta, S 2016, Unindian Film Review: This side, that side, The Indian Expresss, accessed on 1/9/2016,

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/movie-review/unindian-film-review-rating-brett-lee-movie-2985803/

Misrepresentation of Animals in Media

 

The video above serves as a sample for how animals are represented in media platforms. Typically, we come across these sort of videos on a daily basis especially when we are logged into our Facebook accounts. It is very common to see these sort of videos trending as soon as its uploaded on Youtube. Relatively, the video above was also obtained from Youtube. What attracted me to it was the title used to represent animals. It says, Animals can be so annoying– Funny animal compilation. In my opinion, the content of the video seems pretty basic. I even saw this segment where a cat would use its paws to summon attention from its owners. But what I do not understand is why normal animal behavior is stated otherwise.

Animals are often misrepresented in media. The example above significantly shows us how humans are mislead by what animals really are. Many of us tend to forget animals are considerably equals to us where they also possess the capability of thinking, emotions and also moral beings. Just like any other media product, there are huge concerns regarding animal objectification as they are always portrayed as human caricatures. (Bekoff 2010) They are often prepared to do silly tricks and wear costumes to entertain media consumers such as us.

From a personal point of view, I believe animals are not bound to be just entertainment. Since they are living matters, they should be treated rightfully and not exploited. A very recent example that could go along with this discussion would be the Blackfish documentary.  The story depicts of an orca, Tilikum, who has been held captive for over 20 years. The documentary reveals how Tilikum had been separated from his family when he was just 2 years old and was eventually placed to perform in Sea World. It is also stated how he had killed three human beings as a result of frustration while being kept there, hence why media had named him the killer whale. What many do not realize is how these whales- the orca- can swim upward of 100 miles per day. (Sea World of Hurt) But at Sea World, Tilikum was stuffed into a concrete tank which barely kept him in motion.

Would you not get frustrated or even angry with someone who takes away your choice of movement? I definitely would. Based on other media resources, I have learnt how Tilikum’s story can be separated into two angles. First off, it was wrong for Tilikum to drown his trainer, and then the other, Tilikum was not entirely at fault, but Sea World was to be blamed for the incidents. If you asked me, I would definitely vote for the second one. Tilikum was not only forced to separate from his family, but just imagine the agony he would have went through staying in those small spaces. When you decide to take away a whale from its habitat, you are creating confusion and this makes it hard for them to adapt to the new habitat. Since humans like us are more gifted and we have the ability to talk to one another, we are able to mention our likes, dislikes, discomfort, satisfaction and alot of other emotions. But has anyone ever thought how would an abused animal like Tilikum communicate its discomforts to us?

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Photo credits to Cary Whitt

References

Bekoff, M 2010, Animals in media: Righting the wrongs , Psychology Today, accessed on 24/4/2016,

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201001/animals-in-media-righting-the-wrongs

Sea World of Hurt n.d., ‘Blackfish’: The Documentary That Exposes SeaWorld , accessed 24/4/2016,

‘Blackfish’: The Documentary That Exposes SeaWorld

Just poverty, not porn

 

By definition, poverty porn is when any type of media, be it written, filmed or photographed, usually exploits extremely poor people for the purpose of entertainment. (Urban Dictionary) Poverty porn typically is associated with black, poverty-stricken Africans as their conditions help generate the necessary sympathy needed to collect funds. (Matt 2009) As an example, I have included the video above to show what poverty porn looks like. Stills taken to promote the idea of poverty porn usually depicts people suffering from famine and most of them tend to be children. Many might ask, why most famine related ads always portray children in atrocious conditions. I might just have the answer for that. Based on several references, I have come to realise how poverty porn works extremely well by feeding off children’s vulnerability. Audience tend to be more sympathetic towards the pain of children and this elicits a higher emotional response, hence generating an ample amount of profit for the foundation and others who are responsible for it. (Roenigk 2014)

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Photo credits to Robert Sarmiento

So what if you photograph them during their famine states? What is important is the fact that poverty porn works and it generates the necessities needed to overcome their sufferings. While half of them agreed to the use of poverty porn, there are also those who can not stand the idea of media objectification on people’s emotions. Most of us think we have seen it all in poverty porn. However, we do not realise the mediums that display poverty to us have glamourized its actual situation and the people in it. For instance, take a look at movies such as Blind Side or even Slumdog Millionaire. (Matt 2009) Have you noticed how the children in Slumdog Millionaire look accurately healthy aside from the dirt that is rubbed on their faces? These actors who play the role of children born in the slum are simply lively and intelligent. African kids who suffer from real famine are usually portrayed nude, with a bulging belly, their rib cage showing as they stare helplessly into the camera. The camera can only portray their physical appearance due to starvation, but what about their inner state? Their mental health, their eyesight, the ability to move or even go pee- these are their sufferings and if mankind has any pleasure in exploiting them, then mankind is cruel.

I understand how some might say poverty porn is the quickest method to motivate people into supplying amounts of funds to help the famine situation. But man must remember, we as humans are born with conscience, morals and ethics- it sets us apart from animals. We have intelligence, the ability to make anything new from scratch, then why is it so hard for man to take a new route into tackling these situations? From my personal point of view, I would even recommend more social experiments such as the one below as it naturally seizes people to acknowledge poverty and lend a hand to those who are in need. I think the video had a great message, definitely an eye-opener, without exhibiting any children in atrocious states. These are the kind messages we want in this world.

There are two types of people in this world; givers and takers. The takers might eat better, but the givers have always slept better.

References

Urban Dictionary n.d., accessed on 14/4/2016,

<http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=poverty+porn&gt;

Roenigk, E 2014, 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person, One, accessed 14/4/2016,

<http://www.one.org/us/2014/04/09/5-reasons-poverty-porn-empowers-the-wrong-person/&gt;

Matt 2009, What is ‘poverty porn’ and why does it matter for development?, Aid Thoughts, accessed 14/4/2016,

<http://aidthoughts.org/?p=69&gt;

Are good selfies worth the risk?

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Photo credits to Gorba McMahon

Everyone is familiar with the word selfie. No matter if you are old or young, we all tend to spend our time taking selfies whenever we are out. We love to post pictures of ourselves, our partners, gatherings, pets, food we take out and even things we actually can not afford. For instance, most of us indulge this habit of selfies when we see an expensive car we always wanted or even an accessory we tried on in an expensive store. A lot of us tend to spend more time collecting pictures instead of getting the real deal. It is also a force of habit where most girls are prone to screenshot the pictures of others and share it on their platform as if its their own. They even have a term for it, ‘inspo’. Its definitely not wrong to admire a good picture or wanting the same object the other person has, however what really happens here is way more complicated as it breaches the privacy of the Instagramer. Though the idea of Instagram is to get people to follow your account, I believe it is quite dangerous as you are providing information to strangers regarding your usual routine and whereabouts. I guess the saying is true- one picture really can say it all.

On another note, there are also reports regarding people who have lost their lives due to a selfie. It is quite ridiculous as to how humans could risk their lives in order to attempt something so dangerous. This epidemic had started in 2014 when The Chainsmokers had used the term #SELFIE which became an international sensation overnight. People had become obsessed with the idea of selfies until a new social trend was born. Yes, you guessed it right. Dangerous selfies were everywhere. It was on Facebook, Instagram, it even became an hashtag, and even better there was a compilation of it on Youtube. People were actually dying to take a good selfie. A very good example would be Russia’s loss of two men in the Urals who were trying to take a selfie with live hand grenades. (Macdonald 2015) Due to continuous deaths, the government had launched a campaign just to warn people regarding the dangers of selfies.

On a similar effort, Ohio State University had came up with a study that suggest men who often post selfies have higher levels of narcissism and psychopathy within their traits. (Benedictus 2015) Communication researcher, Jeese Fox, explains how people who are generally narcissistic have always placed themselves first while they seek confirmation from others to know that they are awesome. This explains the scenario which I had mentioned earlier when people actually spend time and money taking pictures of something they can’t afford. In addition to that, most of these pictures are usually edited to camouflage the actual appearance of the object to gain more likes and comments. In my opinion, the use of filters or editing apps have definitely provided an advantage as men and women are well-equipped with creativity, however this has also provoked other insecurities within themselves. For one, most of them are considering plastic surgery to obtain the ‘perfect’ sillhoute especially for their online presence.

References

Macdonald, F 2015, Selfies have killed more people than sharks this year, reports show, Science Alert, accessed 10/4/2016,

<http://www.sciencealert.com/selfies-have-killed-more-people-than-sharks-this-year-reports-show&gt;

Benedictus, L 2015, 2015: The year of the dangerous selfies, The Guardian, accessed 10/4/2016,

<http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/dec/28/selfies-danger-death-2015&gt;

 

Internet of Things (IOT)

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Photo credits to Konstant Infosolutions

In this last chapter, Global Networks has introduced us to a new term called the Internet of Things (IOT). Internet of Things being an increasingly growing topic has definitely turn heads with its ideology of penetrating offline objects using the Internet. Ranging from toothbrushes to cars, all objects are expected to be connected to the Internet by the year 2020. It is said the idea would systematically send sensory data to its recipients which would promote lesser energy consumption by companies and consumers. In addition to that, each object is also given a personal identification address which would allow the object to adjust to its environment and transmit the information over the Internet. (Mitew, 2014) Since every object is going to be connected to each other, this would also help objects nearby to adjust accordingly to the situation. For instance, the video illustrates how a car which is low on oil, would relatively instruct itself to go and pump gas while this would also affect the other systems connected to the object. In other words, IOT basically would shift to the idea of active objects; instead of active participants, which would eventually rearrange the regulations on occupancy and the patterns of mobility within the physical world. (Bleecker, 2005)

References:

Mitew, T. 2014, Do objects dream of an internet of things, The Fibreculture Journal, accessed on 21/11/2015,

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/470777/mod_resource/content/0/Do%20Objects%20Dream%20of%20an%20Internet%20of%20Things.pdf

Bleecker, J. 2005, Why Things Matter, A Manifesto for Networked Objects — Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids and Aibos in the Internet of Things, accessed on 21/11/2015,

https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/470778/mod_resource/content/1/Bleecker%2C%20J.%20-%20Why%20Things%20Matter.pdf

Morgan, J. 2014, A Simple Explanation of the Internet of Things, Forbes, accessed 21/11/2015,

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/

Dark Fibres of Internet (Cybercrime)

https://prezi.com/qoa1n0asyllf/dark-fibres-of-internet/

The dark fibres within the Internet simply summarises the crimes that is done using a computer as either a tool or a targeted victim. Basically, this statement applies on how individuals could use the computer as a tool to scam users or the system itself is corrupted by hackers.

Reference:

Joseph, A. E. 2006, Cybercrime definition, Computer Crime Research Center, accessed on 21/11/2015,

http://www.crime-research.org/articles/joseph06/

Hardekopf, B. 2015, 3 of 4 Consumers Have Changed Online Behaviour Due to Cybercrime, Forbes, accessed on 21/11/2015,

http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2015/10/31/3-of-4-consumers-have-changed-online-behavior-due-to-cybercrime/

Hackers Subculture

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Photo credits to Brian Klug

The Internet basically serves as a global platform combining both, good and bad ideas. With people benefiting from its free open sourced network, there are also those who have transformed it into powerful forms of resistance against higher authorities. While the idea of Internet keeps growing, the cultures that has formed within the network also increases. For instance, the subculture of hackers. Hackers are not really something new, as these group of activists have started implementing the idea during the 1950’s itself. This was the result of early computer programmers who had to break the breach within the Internet to lend or steal computing resources which would allow them full access to continuous development of the global network. And ever since digital age, hackers have also transformed themselves by typically representing “youth culture-rebellion” as they are constantly looking for ways to disrupt the authority and its efforts. In addition to that, hacker culture has redefined itself by distorting its members into different groups and means such as 1) computer security hackers, 2) home computer hackers, 3) elite hacker, 4) script kiddie, 5) hacktivist and many more. An example of hacktivist would be, the known hacker group called Anonymous who had recently declared war on ISIS social media accounts.

References:

Subcultureslist, 2015, hacker culture, subculturelist.com, accessed on 21/11/2015,

http://subcultureslist.com/hacker-culture/

Hunter, I. 2015, Anonymous hackers’ list of ‘pro-ISIS’ Twitter accounts they claim to have taken down included BBC News, Barack Obama Hillary Clinton and host of others unrelated to terror, Mail Online, accessed on 21/11/2015,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3334817/Anonymous-hackers-list-pro-ISIS-Twitter-accounts-claim-taken-included-BBC-News-Barack-Obama-Hillary-Clinton-host-unrelated-terror.html