Local Productions

October 23, 2011

On this last entry of my blog, i refer to this thread on a forum, http://sgforums.com/forums/1563/topics/318111. In it, it depicts the unhappiness of singaporeans towards our own local drama production. This issue has been going on for a while now, while Mediacorp are trying their very best to churn out dramas that will capture the hearts of singaporeans, such occurrence has been few and far between.

For instance, on channel 8, 7pm and 9pm slots were used to be dominated by local productions, but such is the cold response of Singaporeans towards the the local productions, the tv station has been importing productions from Taiwan and US, where it hope to gain back the viewership it once had.  It is to everyone’s understanding that importing and buying a whole series of the drama productions from overseas is seen as cheaper than actually producing one, and receiving poor viewership.

It can be said that US is the most important participant in the global mass media industry where it dominate at home and abroad. Such dominance can be further depicted by the way most of their productions dominate prime time slots. The dependance on the US mass media industry is huge, with many countries depending on them for their programming needs.

On my part, i grow up watching ‘Under One Roof’ and ‘Growing Up’, and several prominent chinese dramas from the then TCS. However, i can safely say that i hardly watch any local productions anymore screening on our local televisions. I cannot offer a full explanations on such phenomenon but i do not deny that the quality of local productions has been going downhill since the early 2000s. Such is the predictability of the storyline, local viewers opt for US dramas and Hong Kong’s TVB dramas where the unpredictability and the star studded cast draws the viewership in.

While i hope that the dominance of US productions on local scene can wither away, i cannot foresee much positive improvements from Mediacorp to churn out dramas like they do in the 80s-90s. One possible explanation could also be due to the influence of the Internet. People need no longer depend on the television to catch dramas anymore. The Internet provides everyone to the access to all the dramas from across the world, which could be the reason of the rise of the dissatisfaction of the local scene. Comparisons will be made and on this case, the quality of the local dramas got found out.

This will stay stagnant for a while, yes?

Social Media.

October 16, 2011

Today, i’m not going to talk about any particular article. In fact, the power of social media in today’s society has been growing. For example, almost everyone has a Facebook account now, and it’s because of social medium like this that allows people to connect and interact. You will still be able to find out friends whom you have not contact for a very long time, how they have been, and occupations, and activities if they divulge. Practically, it can be said that the younger generation will log into Facebook at least once a day, to find out about friends’ updates and also to share their personal thoughts on certain matter.

Charles Wright identified 4 functions of the media,Surveillance, Correlation, Cultural Transmission and Entertainment. In surveillance, social medium like Facebook provides information on friends updates, news that cause a stir, and pictures of their recent activities. And in Correlation, the much revered website, Stomp! has always been an outlet for the young and old to discuss heart burning issues and analyze on that particular matter. It creates a cyber space for the general populace to come together and discuss and criticize on certain matter.

The next point of Charles Wright theory is that in cultural transmission, internet has always been a medium for learning. The invention of the internet and its uses has allow educational institutions to incorporate into their lessons creating online lessons and tutorials for students who have missed out on school physically. In fact, it doesn’t end with just educational institutions incorporating it, the influential Internet has always been a source for answers on almost every single subject under the sun, such is the power of social media.

Lastly, we move on to the last theory, which is the entertainment. Since the invention of the internet, people of young and old have been subscribing to the use of internet as a form of entertainment. Illegally, latest releases of movies and songs can be found online and downloaded for personal consumption as well. It is almost inevitable to eradicate any form of social media in a person’s life on a day to day basis. Almost everything we come across everyday like our mobile phone, our computer has access to almost anything there is out there, regardless of whether the news take place in South America or Eastern Africa.

In conclusion, despite the ever growing influence the social media has on us, it does have a downside as well. There are people obsessed with the life they have on cyberspace that they totally shut out the physical social life they suppose to have. Also, the contents in the internet may contain violence, pornography, gore, which most certainly wouldn’t be any of a good influence to kids as information such as these can be readily accessed by anyone.

Human Rights

October 9, 2011

This particular article caught my eyes, http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/what_bugs_me/776834/this_is_what_maids_eat_every_day_while.html

In the article, it was mentioned that maids that haven’t been picked by potential employers are fed with just instant noodles for lunch. During lunch, they went inside the agency to get hot water and packets of instant noodles, and came outside with just the plastic spoon with no fork at all. Despite the fact that they are here for work does not necessary mean that they should be treated with bare minimum food. It was said that in the office of that particular maid agency, there wasn’t enough room for proper training at all, and what they are doing in today’s age is akin to violating human rights. I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

Granted, back at their village where survival is the prime concern, 3 meals a day may not even be possible, which is the reason why they came from Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka to work just to send money back home for their families. The agencies are probably going to bank on this factor, and exploit their basic human rights. As majority of their education background are of lower than that of the average of Singaporeans, plus the fact that they are new in this country. So, these things do add up together and they would be less inclined to complain about it.

Many a times, we hear stories about maid abusing elderly in the family and children. But, on the hind side, it does go unnoticed that some of these treatments dished out to these domestic workers prior to employment can be quite a turn off. Stories like these don’t get disclosed and i wonder how long will maid agencies carry on doing these before someone step in and say enough is enough.What is left out is that some of these domestic workers work every single day and they don’t get off days at all, waking up earlier than the rest of the family, sleeping later than the rest. However, if we want to eradicate this from our society, and if we want to find the fault, we need only look into the mirror. As Gandhi coined it, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

There’s no point pointing fingers now, and what we need to do is to find the root of the problem and get rid of it. Government policies should be stricter on maid agencies, construction companies, because at the end of the day, they should be treated as equal. I always believe that in society, there’s bound to be social statuses, but in terms of integrity and human rights, each and everyone of us are par. Do you agree?

Love, as we all know.

October 2, 2011

During the last class on the stages of a relationship, i came across this interesting article on Stomp which i feel several how the ‘coming together’ part can be applied on this story.

http://www.stomp.com.sg/lovein/lovestory11/lovestorys5_217.html

In this article, it mentioned about the coming together of an American girl and a Singaporean guy who moved to California years ago, and recalled back to Singapore for National Service, which can be considered the transitional phase in their relationship. During stage 1 of the coming together stage, the initiating stage,it is mostly represented as one’s self presentation of oneself. However, this article did not specifically mention about this initiating stage because their getting to know of each other did not happen physically, it happened phone conversation.

During stage 2 of their courtship, it happened in a way that they started communicating over instant messenger and text messages. It was the stage where they were cautious about revealing more about each other. Normally, during this stage, human beings would only reveal the positive traits about themselves rather than all the details about them. In a way, Dana and Ben screened and filtered out what shouldn’t be said, as would any budding relationships that has just started. They started to reveal little social and cultural information about themselves which can be inferred from the part where it mentioned that Ben went to watch a play Dana was in. This form of communication can also be considered as a form of getting to know each other.

The third stage of the relationship intensified. They started dating and the intensity of their communication increase despite the distance between them, the relationship was kept alive through social medium like instant messenger. The third stage was such that both parties made the effort to stay close, together. Ben would always be there for Dana emotionally, despite the physical absence.

The fourth stage revolves around Dana trying to integrate her life into Ben’s upon hearing the news that Ben would have to travel back to Singapore for National Service for 2 years. This news could have been a blow to their short courtship but Dana made the effort to apply for an overseas study program for a year, to be closer to Ben. Their relationship remained strong despite his enlistment, with both parties committing to the relationship. Dana woke up early just to talk to Ben on the phone, and Ben making extra effort to talk to Dana even though he was feeling exhausted after BMT.

The last stage moves from integrating to bonding. Their relationship strengthened and Dana started to join Ben’s family for gathering and making the extra mile by learning mandarin just so she could communicate with his grandma. Stares from strangers didn’t pull them apart because of the commitment of both parties.

In conclusion, the ‘coming together’ theories need not just be applied on romance relationship, it can be applied on you and me, when we first know each other, to how we evolve to become best friends. Basically, it can be applied on all human inter-relationships.

Beauty & The Beast

September 25, 2011

I refer to this article which has caused a storm among netizens.

http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/this_urban_jungle/764474/why_so_mean_netizens_call_mismatched_couple_beauty.html

 

In this article, it clearly shows a real life resemblance to the ever popular fairytale of ‘Beauty and The Beast’. What made the netizens caused such a furore is their reluctance to accept the couple being together. The couple left many wondering whether the girl is together with the guy because of money, which in this case its unfounded. They reasoned that money is the only reason why a pretty girl like her would be together with a guy like him. However, all these speculations are unfounded. Due to media influences and their pragmatic perception, a pretty girl has to be together with a charming guy and vice versa.

In the article, it also mentioned the improbability that the girl is with the guy because he’s nice. In my view, it could be that simple but many are still refusing to accept that as part of the reason. It was also deduced that the couple photos were uploaded because of publicity stunt on the part of the lady whose photos appear her as scantily dressed. Perhaps, this could be the reason behind the photos, it could be her thirst for fame. Since the incident went into overdrive in China, there has been no official reply from the lady, or the couple together. Whichever the case, it’s pessimistic to see the general populace judge a person’s appearance. However, regardless of the pessimism surrounding the furore, its heartening to see that there’s maybe ‘true love’ as displayed by this couple.

Speaking which of physical appearance, a person tend to judge him/her based on their appearance on first impression, regardless of how impartial the person may be. As further depicted in the media, a good looking person will stand a higher chance of being employed, being regard as a ‘nice person’. This form of cultural norms has been explained to us since we were young, in the media. Also, our perception move towards the notion that physical appearance is a gauge on whether most couples get together and it has proved that it has the most impact in the early stages of the relationship.

In conclusion, the society’s perception of physical attractiveness changes over time, and media has a influential role to play in it. In the olden days, people perceive chubby and meaty as the benchmark for beauty. Another example to quote is that some bind their feet since young, where the cultural there is the smaller the feet, the more attractive the lady is. In general, physical appearance will play a part in the communication in the world we live in today.

Perceptions

September 18, 2011

I refer to this hotly debated article published a few days ago regarding none other than SIM Campus.

http://static.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/what_bugs_me/764422/sims_orientation_games_are_sexist_irrelavant.html

While there have always been controversial games surrounding orientation games, the outbreak of this news will probably take the nation by storm. In short, the game requires a certain amount of proximity among males and females, with the female lying on her back, while the guy leans on her. As probably influenced by the western culture and media, the Gen Y people are slowly and surely considered notoriously outgoing, however, this piece of news shed the light to some parents on why such games are even considered, let alone allowed. More importantly to them, the immediate reaction would definitely surround the question on why isn’t someone of apparent superiority to put a stop on all these, like a school adviser of sort.

 

On my part, i am not shocked not because of the nature of the games, but at the timing at which this news finally broke out. Every young adults would have probably attended orientations which contain similar contents. But, no one speak up for the fear of being criticized by fellow peers or ostracized altogether. Often, this is a form of non verbal agreement that there shouldn’t be anything to complain about, overtime, this has settled in and become a norm for our society. Anyone who stepped out of this zone is being considered ‘uncool’ so as to speak.

In the article, it was mentioned that even one of the girls broke down crying because she felt the proximity between her and the other guy constitute the notion that she felt as though she was cheating on her boyfriend. When polls were done by TheNewPaper, some were even aghast that such lewd games exist and in some quarters, some condemned the school management for not monitoring orientations and guidelines were not even properly laid down for the organizing committee to follow. Upon queried, some youngsters thoughts were that there wasn’t a need to create such a big hoo-haa for the fact that ever since they went for their first orientation camp, they formed a perception that orientations have always been carried out this way. They were more surprised that this piece of article was even worth reporting about.

 

 

In conclusion, on my part, i feel that perception is pivotal on how someone receive or accept the news. Age may be an influential factor as well for different generation of people lived through different ages and how a particular matter may be perceived differently. For example, someone at the age of 60 now would condemn such lewd acts. However, with the tables turned, a 22years old may have thought nothing out of it. In short, the perception on a particular matter differs from people to people.

 

 

Right or Wrong?

September 11, 2011

I refer to this article on September 6th in The Straits Times regarding the dilemma surrounding doctors reluctance to help dying patients end their lives.

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_709902.html

 

While it mentioned that generally, doctors have no problem withholding and withdrawing treatment for dying patients, it is a different matter altogether for doctors with regard to feeding food and water through tubes. It was found that the latter has proved to be more hard to take ’emotionally and morally’ for doctors. This was explained in the article that because feeding through tubes represent ‘care and meeting the basic needs of the patients’. This issue also bear a strong emotional significance to the direct people involved, say families, friends and doctors themselves.

This topic has been discussed utmost times locally and abroad whether to accede to patient’s  request to withhold or to cut off life supporting treatment totally. Since the older days, doctors were taught to save lives, however, in recent years, there has been an increase in request to cut off treatment, so as to shorten the pain the dying patients go through. Ethically wise, doctors shouldn’t be acceding to such requests but nonetheless, it appears to families and friends of dying patients that emotionally and psychologically, it would go easier on the patient’s part. There are certain questions that will linger prior to making such decisions. Will the patient want to go on living in the current state? Especially so if the patient is brain dead and is kept alive through feeding of the tubes. While emotionally, it would be devastating for the families to cut off live supporting medical equipments on the patient, it can be argued that despite the patient’s inability to communicate, he or she might not want to continue living on current state as well.

 

There are perhaps two persuasion theories that can be applied on the patient itself, kin of patient, and the doctors. On the doctors side, the decision on whether to pull off the life supporting equipment lies on whether they can persuade themselves based on the appeal of the reasons for making the decision. They can weigh up the pros and the cons, based on the circumstances, then make a decision on it. It applies to the kin of the patient as well, whether pulling off the equipment is feasible or not. However, there are cases where the kin of the patient would be keen to withhold treatment for the patient, but on the doctors side, its ethically and morally wrong, thus what i am reasoning is that it requires both parties to reach a consensus that Logos persuasion can be applied. The reason being that there should be clear communication from both parties. Emotionally, the doctors may not be able to pull off such stunt as some families are unable to convince themselves emotionally that their family member is in a vegetation state or brain dead. This is where Pathos can be applied.

In conclusion, the society has not reached a decision on such matter, for it involves morals and ethical issues, and to a certain extent, professionalism. In short, there should never be a definite yes or a no with regard to such matter for circumstances do vary for various patients, families and doctors themselves. Where ethical and moral issues are concerned, people in general will often find it difficult to reach for a definitive answer.