Monday, September 19, 2005

Been busy. too much to update.

But lately, I've been feeling nostalgic...

It's been 3 years since my last run on a proper track.
It's been 3 years since my last event with percussionists.

I like to run. There is the feeling of the wind blowing in your face, there is the rhythmic beat of the strides, there is the acidic taste of carbon dioxide in your blood. I like sprinting. The moment I hear the words 'race' there will be an adreneline rush. I feel my face flushing, my heart rate goes up, and I get jumpy. I also get it when I'm dancing, during cheerleading sometimes. And even with all my aches and lethargy, I still managed to surpress that tiredness and pain to carry out the racing and the cheering.

Cheerleading has always been a tiring situation. Mentally and physically. But it is almost worth it. Last year's was disappointing, but after looking at the video of us, yeah, we sucked. But what I am proud of is MY segment. MY own idea. It pulled through and it was great!

This year, nothing like that this time. I wanted to put in jump ropes and balls and bats, etc, aka Stomp style. But it is already very tiring and compact.

Which reminds me, I had forgotten how interesting it was to be in a percussion section. It's not just about making noise by hitting things. It is about hitting things in harmony. I miss that. I will always love it. That's why I love Stomp so much. Stomp is the very essence of how I live my life. Stomp is about making something out of nothing, out of junk. Who knew that a plastic bag can be made into a piece of music? Though I wish the show was a bit longer, it was already satisfying. People dream of being in a band, or a ballerina. Me, a Stomp actor/musician.

Stomp, for the heart of percussionists...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Final Cut

As I watched the movie, I can't help but think of the Private and Confidential part that doctors do. Only the Cutter would know the whole story. The whole life story.

A Zoe implant is placed even before birth, into the brain. It records EVERYTHING that the person sees and hears, and so it records everything the person does. Memories can be preserved, like the first step, first word, first day of school, first kiss, first sex... Loved ones would want to have that lasting memory of that person, so that he or she can be remembered as that.

Here comes the tricky part. In the show itself, there are many Anti-zoe groups out there. They oppose the technology and with many viewpoints. Some say memories are meant to fade, some say the Rememory doesn't show who the person really is, and some say that the memory is personal. This POV of having a personal life is where the P&C the doctors do.

The Zoe Chip takes away your personal life, revealing all of your secrets and wrong doings. But with that in mind, a person can change, only doing the right thing to look good. Can you really be a saint when you do good things? Of course there must be the part about needing to be good in the heart first. I feel that the goodness of the deed is based on the purity of the heart. I used to think that I do things for the sake of doing them, not for fame or fortune. But I realized that it was not because my heart is pure either. Why do I keep helping people out and forsaking my own life? Why did I say yes to make the IMU Cup banner? Why have I taken that burden that will affect my future? I’ve done it all my life and I have become like a mindless drone that will do everything that he’s told.

Even if I had a Zoe chip, I doubt that my intensions can be seen. Of course there would be secrets that I do not want people to know, things that I’ve done, crimes I’ve committed. I still remember the time I threw away the milk powder so that I can buy a new tin of milk just to get a wooden skeleton of a dinosaur. I remember the time I stomped on my friend’s bag to act like a bully.

And of course I want to see the fun times as well, like memories of my grandfather singing to me when I was little, of my grandmother playing mahjong with me, of my siblings ‘Happy Club’ with our anthem and shows… These are memories that made me happy.

Back to about the movie, these scenes are viewed by the cutter and made into a ‘Rememory’ for all the deceased’s loved ones. Your spouse, your siblings, your children, and maybe your parents, would want to see and remember you by. A cutter’s job is to view a person’s life and summarize it. A cutter sees it all, and other people will get to see life through the deceased’s eyes. It’s something more personal than a dairy, a journal, a blog.

A doctor takes a patient’s history, and it all goes into a P&C folder. Both the cutter and doctor would know things that other people would never know, like a trip to the prostitute den, a secret trip to Africa, a time with stupid drug addict friends, an illness that could jeopardize your career, or the real reason why you are limping.

How does the cutter or doctor live with that kind of information? How does one react when he meets with a fellow criminal, or the girl he’s having an affair with, or knowledge of secrets nobody needs to know? For Alan (Robbin Williams), he edits with no feelings. He can’t have any. It’s the same with House, having emotions mixed in will tear a person apart. There is only so much that a person can handle. But without those feelings, wouldn’t the person seem less human? In the movie, Alan had a secret past, in which he sorts to forgiving other people for their wrong doings. He takes out memories, in hope that someone would take that memory of his out as well. And with such secretive information that both doctors and cutters have, not only do they have to experience the emotions that come with it, but also to guard that information with their lives.

All these from a 1 hour and 40 minutes show…

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Great Raid.

The last lines from the movie is, "One of the most successful mission in the history of USA." (or something close to that.)

Another sad movie showing how horrible the Japanese military are, execution of POWs and starving them of aid. It's not a wonder why conventions, like the Geneva Convention of 1949 which states that POWs should be treated humanely, are implemented.

Then comes the news of Saddam Hussein being treated badly. The point is: Do the oppressors really care about that convention? Who are the real oppressors? Who would be trail for breaching that convention?

The history of the convention can be brought back to the time of Henri Dunant, the founder of Red Cross. A battle took place in Solferino, Italy in 1859 and there was many casualties. There was so many of them that they had to come to a 'neutral day' where both sides can go collect their fallen comrades in the middle. Dunant witnessed this war, and wrote a book, "A Memory of Solferino," and also proposed a neutral organization devoted to the care of the sick and wounded of armies at war. From then on, there were many treaties and conventions that protected the casualties of war, both civilians and military, both sides of the war.

Back to the 21st century, playing Battlefield 2 with Raj and CK and Peter, I noticed that the medics are not safe from war. Logically speaking, they are protected. But in real life, they are on one side of the war and only helping that side. So in that game, the first people that are targets are the medics. They 'resurrect' the fallen and hence makes thing more difficult for the opponent. The medics are making the team last longer, so to win, get rid of medics as well. In the treaty and convention, they are supposed to be protected. Even if you are noble to comply to that treaty, will the enemy do so?

After the battle, all medics will be called to service. Theoretically for both sides. As a doctor, and if in time of war, what then will your duty be? The original Hippocratic Oath doesn't mention about treating enemies, but it's about treating who you call patients. (The modern adaptation includes the words about 'treating without exceptions' and I'm guessing it means the enemy as well)

Even with that tag line, "regardless of race, language, religion, nationality," will all of us adhere to it? And does the community know that? I plan to and hope it is so...

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