The Cinema; A Happy Place Until You Let Seth Rogen In

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Ruby’s Bar, Dalston Credit My Halfpenny’s Worth, 2013

A trip to the cinema has always been an exciting experience for me. It reminds me of the school holidays growing up where mum would pay for us and a couple of friends to go see a movie just so we would sit down and shut up for an hour and half while she had some breathing time. Of course we didn’t see it like that, the cinema for us the most exciting thing ever, we could see the full movies of those awesome trailers playing on TV all the time. We got popcorn and ice cream and got to sit in the dark watching  screen 100 times bigger than ourselves.

The first movie I ever saw at the cinema was Scooby Doo when I was probably about 5, and I loved it so much I have re watched it over 20 times since. I loved the corny jokes (which don’t seem corny until you do re-watch it years later) the loud noises and the colourful monsters. Since Scooby Doo, I’ve had many other memorable movie viewings like dressing up for the midnight screening of the final Harry Potter movie with 30 of my high school friends and watching The Incredibles with my dad and brother at the age of 10 after a bad day.

The cinema for me is a happy space, you don’t need to talk to anyone for a prolonged period of time and once you’re in there who really cares if you’re wearing pajama pants honestly? You’re going to stand up after the movie covered in popcorn anyway, I think everyone should just embrace that comfy clothes is the best attire for sitting down and doing nothing publicly for 2 hours. You wouldn’t be wearing jeans and high heels to watch that Lord of the Rings Marathon at home now would you?

I only have one bad cinema experience which I can remember and it stands out so poignantly because it happened to me very recently. It had less to do with cinema etiquette and more to do with my very wrong first impression of a movie I was going to see.  Now I was so excited for this movie I’d seen the trailer months ago and thought it looked very clever and hilarious as it investigated the way humans consume food and other products. It was animated but for adults and as I love myself a good Pixar I thought this would along the same lines. Boy was I wrong.

I don’t go to the cinema all the time, but when I do it’s because I really want to see something. So I convinced 4 of my friends to come watch it with me despite their lack of enthusiasm, which at the time I found ridiculous because how on earth could a Seth Rogen movie go wrong?

You probably know what movie I’m talking about and you’re right, it was Sausage Party.

For anyone who hasn’t seen Sausage Party; don’t.

My friend I was sitting next to said he saw the exact moment I started hating my life choices and questioning everything I’d ever believed in. Without getting into the details of the movie because that will turn this blog post into a scathing review of a movie no one should waste their time on, this movie was terrible. I can honestly say a very misleading trailer lead me to the most disappointing cinema experience of my life. I strongly advise people to do their research and not to trust Seth Rogen because it will ruin happy places such as the Cinema.

My Autoethnographic Experience With Yoga.

Digital Asia

For my autoethnographic project I will be attempting to practice yoga and observe whether it has an impact on my lifestyle and relaxation levels. I have a basic knowledge of yoga, essentially that it is an ancient practice which is a really good form of exercise as it lowers blood pressure, stress and can enable people to have a more relaxed outlook on life. As a broke and stressed out uni student I need more of all of those things in my life and therefore have absolutely nothing to lose by attempting this. Except maybe a little dignity when I discover I am not as flexibly inclined as I originally assumed.

yoga-piccy Caitlin Turner who goes by  Gypset Goddess on Instagram. Photo via Instagram

I have been doing yoga for the past 8 months in between uni, working and  going on holidays I can’t afford, in an attempt to get some…

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Balancing my Yin and Yang Through Yoga; an Autoethnographic Experience

Digital Asia

In my first autoethnographic response to yoga I’d begun analysisng my experience with the practice even though I’d already been doing yoga for quite a few months. I still find it fun, however since I’ve been practicing yoga for this project, my uni load has increased ten fold and I’m lucky to get to go once a week. They say if you don’t have time to meditate 20mins every day, then you should meditate for an hour. They obviously don’t understand how limited your time is when pulling all nighters to submit 3000 word essays.

I complete my practices at the Yoga studio down the road called Body Awakenings. The teachers are really helpful and nice and there is no judgement because everyone is just as terrible as you are. The classes do have a female majority of all ages but there are usually a few men who complete…

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State of Gender Equality in South Korea

Digital Asia

Today I am analyzing my own auto-ethnographic account of the South Korean documentary on professional gaming ‘State of Play‘.

Autoethnography as defined by Ellis et al, 2011 refers to the act of observing a cultural experience and discussing how your own personal cultural experiences affect the way in which you experience this.

In my initial autoethnographic account of ‘State of Play’, I was left dumbfounded at some of the situations exhibited in the documentary. This included the huge amount of fame given to professional gamers, these gamers then giving the majority of their ridiculously high earnings to their parents and the lack of equality exhibited in gender roles through South Korean society. After the initial shock of these differences wore off, I conducted research into South Korean traditions and values and found many answers to my questions of cultural difference.

Despite only 1% of South Koreans actively identifying…

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The Wonderful World of the Internet

 

I had a conversation with my Dad, who designs and writes computer software about how he thinks the internet has changed and molded and how we complete tasks and access information.

Dad first begun using the internet for work in 1989, which is no surprise for a software architect. He mainly used it to access information which was not easily accessible for the public, like Microsoft developer help info alongside communication through emails. He can’t recall the name of the search engine he used, but it wasn’t Google as that wasn’t released for another 9 years.

Today he claims the way he conducts his time when connected to the internet hasn’t really changed as he still mainly uses it for work as well as reading the news, using search engines, reading his daughters blog posts (excuse the shameless self promotion) and occasionally indulging in a good Netflix binge.

He still buys The Sydney Morning Herald in the morning to read on the train on the way to work only doing so for the following 3 reasons;

  1. Habit
  2. The cryptic crosswords and Sodukus
  3. The high amount of internet black spots on the train from Gymea to the City

A lot of the articles in the newspaper he has already read the night before online apparently.

When we first got internet at home for domestic use, was in 1999 when I was 4. We mainly did this as we had a number of International High School Exchange students staying with us over a period of about 3-4 years and they needed a cheap and efficient way of communicating to family and friends back home. So it is hard for me to recall a time without internet access. We started with just a common dial up which dad claims originally ran at 300 baud (allegedly this is pretty fast for the time) and it was mainly used for emails and Google.

We had dial up internet for at least 10 years which begun to get painful during my brother and I’s teenage years as all of our friends would be able to call us on the home phone, while still talking to their crush on MSN. We were finally afforded this multitasking luxury in about 2011 and dad invested in a WIFI modem. Dad says the reason we upgraded is because we begun accumulating technology such as laptops, gaming consoles, and smart phones which all could utilize wireless connection to the internet.Until then my brother and I were restricted to using the internet on dad’s laptop under supervision, as we were still kids both of our parents felt the internet to be too big, too scary and unknown for us to wander alone. Hey they’re not wrong. Dad noted that the internet is just life every other aspect of his life where he had to ensure we weren’t being Catfished because he hates reality TV shows.

Today dad counted we have 9 devices in the household which are connected to the WIFI including the printer and the TV. One of the things he (and the rest of the world) loves about the Internet is the communication aspect. As we grew up in New Zealand and the majority of our relatives still live over there and the internet allows us instant contact 4,155 kms away and platforms like Facebook can show us whats going on in their lives without us physically being there.

Dad’s parents lived in a little town called Granity on the West Coast of New Zealand, Dad gave them our old computer and set up a dial up internet connection for them in 2001. This opened up a whole new world of information previously inaccessible to them. My Grandad would look up old German Submarine songs from WW2 and my grandparents had the ability to communicate to all of their children and grandchildren through email. As international calls and even domestic calls can often be somewhat expensive, this gave them communication to the outside world alongside access to multitudes of information all for the same monthly price.

Dad also mentioned the fact that when he traveled the world as a youngster, he’d have to write letters home and get photos developed to show people when he got back. He loved the fact that when I went for Europe for 6 weeks at the beginning of the year, I would have a constant stream of communication back home about what we were doing that day and where we were, also sending back photos every night through media spaces such as Facebook and Viber.

The internet opened up a world of opportunities for information and communication worldwide. Even though some of it can be scary and confusing and make you wanna just…

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There’s is so much of this…

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And sometimes a virtual hug from a far away friend is all you need…

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The fact we have seen the birth and the growth of the internet is phenomenal and amazing.

Technological Nostalgia

I had a conversation with my Dad about what TV and media was like for him growing up. My Dad grew up in Christchurch, in New Zealand in the 1960s-70’s, in a 3 bedroom house on a ¼ acre section. He lived with his brother, 3 sisters and his mum and dad. His family bought their first television in the early 70s when dad was about 10 or 11. Until then their TV viewing involved having an early bath on a Sunday afternoon and getting into their pyjamas by about 4pm and heading over to the neighbor’s place to watch whichever Disney movie was playing that afternoon. The kids would usually lie a metre or so in front of the TV while the adults would sit behind them on the couch without anyone’s views being blocked by stray heads. He notes that the TV would be situated in the living room which was a relaxed area, with the aerial placed on top in the middle of the TV. As TV was a big expensive electrical piece of equipment, it was given a wide berth from any decorative pot plants which people may accidentally spill water from when they’re being watered. Also unlike today, the TV had nothing to do with dinner in the sense that meals were eaten at the dining table, not from the laps of a family engrossed in reality television from the couch.

Dad’s most memorable moment watching TV wasn’t the moon landing (which he can’t actually remember watching at all unlike most people from his generation) it was in fact, waking up at 3am with his mum to watch the 1973 FA cup final being played live on TV. Sunderland beat Leeds 1-0 in good old black and white definition. New Zealand didn’t get colour TV until the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, and they only got it then because they needed to broadcast it in colour to the rest of the world. Australia were 18 months or so behind New Zealand getting colour television in 1975.

Dad also remembers people in intermediate school, coming to school and discussing the latest Sesame Street episode, which really goes to show it’s not always been just for little kids.

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A L&P can featured in a 1970’s ‘Stubbies’ Advertisement in New Zealand.

I asked him about what advertising and commercials were like on TV when he was younger. Dad replied that they wouldn’t interrupt the programs as frequently, instead of commercial breaks running every 7 or so minutes, the shows would run for about 15-20 minutes before being forced to watch some jingles. Dad and his brother when they were about 12, begun doing a little active protest against advertising and would refuse to watch the ads by turning around or covering their faces so they couldn’t see. However,this quickly backfired when they begun to make a competition out of who would name the ad first, often taking only a few opening notes or half a word before they would name the brand. Dad claimed that although they weren’t watching them, they ended up paying more attention to them by actively trying to avoid seeing them because they could still hear them! Albeit he claims that ads and jingles on TV were a lot more enjoyable and funny compared to the ones we have today, as they seemed to be better thought out.

 

So when asking Dad’s opinion on how he thinks TV is different in today’s society, this is what he has to say;

“Television, is possibly less pervasive now than it was 10 years ago. People don’t stop everything to watch TV. Because they have their smart devices, they can watch TV later…In Australia they talk about ‘ The race which stops the nation’ (Melbourne Cup)  that everyone huddles around their TV to watch, that type of thing, yes that still occurs. But for example the Lindt Café Shooting, people would’ve had to have rushed off to the nearest department store to watch the TV, but now they just look it up on the internet. The only other thing that I’ve read about TV is that your brain is more active when watching an open fire than it is when you’re watching TV. There’s more going on in your brain. Because people have shorter attention spans now days and the unfortunate thing is, that the commercial reality of TV is that people want to sell things from it. It’s not so much product placement but it’s just everywhere. The one thing I really hate about Australian advertising and also the rest of the Western World is how everywhere you look you see gambling ads. These ads make Australian kids unable to unassociate rugby league from gambling. They see it all the time, if I go to look up on google what games are gonna be on at what time, like the NRL this afternoon the first thing that comes up are the odds. “

 

Television is a media space which has offered people insight into what is going on elsewhere in the world since its invention in 1926 in Scotland. It has been shaped with different technological innovations however still does basically the same thing it has since it then, through conveying a message to the audience through video images and sound projections. No matter how you define it, it has always had the ability to bring people together, even if it’s just heading over to the neighbour’s in your pyjamas at 4pm to watch Disney Movies, and that’s wonderful.

Autoethographic recount of State of Play

Digital Asia

Autoethnography to me sounds oddly like a niche branch of medicine practiced by only a few dedicated doctors. However, I have learnt despite my initial first impression this is not the case. Autoethnography is a means of exploring other cultures, religions and experiences without having to be objective and disregard your personal observations and experiences when undertaking investigation. I think this is great because there is usually an element of bias within research no matter how objective an individual try to be, and acknowledging the individual’s knowledge and experience, opens an extra element of understanding for everyone involved.

tumblr_nwj3gtcQq91tj1kneo1_400So watching the documentary ‘State of Play’, which follows the path of aspiring professional gamers in Korean who play ‘StarCraft’, was really interesting for me.

starcraft pic.jpgOne of the first things I noticed was how dedicated the players were to their games, which I would compare to NRL and FIFA players who train…

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