Large media sites such as the BBC have been placing the Paris attack on their headlines every day for the last week. Yet at the same time, more terrorist attacks in Beirut and other less well-known countries have been largely ignored by media. After the initial shock of hearing the Paris attack, people around the world begin to the “double standards” present in the wealthy Western countries: It is as if the lives in Paris value more than the lives in Beirut. The media knows that a brutal attack in Lebanon would gain less attention than one in France since people often see Lebanon as a wore torn country anyways.
In addition to the numerous attacks around the world, IS has recently killed a Chinese hostage. He was the first Chinese citizen to be killed since the terrorist activities started, thus dragging China into the conflicts as well. So far it is unclear what China would do.
The line between fiction and reality seems to become blurrier year by year. The attacks by ISIS seem like fictional plots. I have definitely read novels about a group of people taking over the world and they expand their armies by taking in the poor who are rejected by the wealthy powers. We see the situation clear as day when we look at it as spectators, but not when we are actually in the conflict ourselves.
In 1845, British explorer John Franklin set out on his fourth and final expedition to map out the Arctic region. He, along with his entire crew composed of more than one hundred men, vanished in the frozen tundra. Under the pressure of Mrs. Franklin’s urge, the government set out several hunts in an attempt to save, or at least find, the lost explorers. Among the questers was Elisha Kane, an American navy officer who went on two expeditions during the search fever. Kane’s ship was unfortunately frozen in ice and everyone was forced to march across the tundra for the next three months. The man proved to be a successful leader, as the crew was eventually rescued and they only lost one man in the process. During their fight for survival, Kane found Franklin’s first camp and managed to chart many important routes that would prove crucial to navigate the region, including the famous Kennedy Channel.
Kane’s entire life was full of adventure and interesting stories. He latter on became attracted to the middle sister from the famous Fox sisters, the girls who started spiritualism through their rappings. The two eventually secretly married (or at least according to Margaret, the middle sister). Kane died early at the age of 37, as his years of tumbling across harsh geographical locations degraded his health severely. He tried to move to Cuba to recover, but he ended up dying there from poor health. His body was carried from New Orleans all the way to Philadelphia, the second biggest funeral of the century.
The song “I hate you I love you” reminds the writer of the past and the past relationships.
The author reflects on “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien and finds that many forms of art, rather than facts, help reveal the truth in ourselves.
The author talks about the “Tet Offensive” in the Vietnam war and the clashing images of the war created by the media that revealed the ugly side of the war against the authorities who think that victory is definite.
“Time Hushes All Memories”
Whisper of the rain
Only shards of time remain
All those dreams you held in your hands
Turned into dust and sand
As the seasons go
Tears are covered by times flow
Step by step we walked through the tears
How did we end up here
We said we would never apart
A promise I kept in my heart
Against time we will stand tall
Even if the world shuns us all
Whisper of the snow
Reminder of our sorrow
Broken vows now lay at my feet
On that summer day
On our dreams we sailed away
Hand in hand, we could form a boat
Helping us stay afloat
You said we would never apart
And I held those words in my heart
Now I wonder if they last
Or are they fragments of the past
Our native days we will stay
Our bonds I will not betray
Oh snow, please do not crease
Those traces from our old days
Oh snow you cannot crease
Smiles and tears from our old days
Here comes the night
Under the moonlight
To each other we wave goodbye
And wait for time to fly
Lyrics translation: Xiami.com, Singer: Kewei Yu, Lyrics: Jingming Guo & Luoluo, Music: DaJiang Liu
From Movie: Tiny Times
When “Tiny Times” first came into the theatre, many critics claimed that the movie was too cliche and shallow. While I do agree with parts of the criticisms, I think that some aspects of the film, such as the song above, resonates strongly with my experience. Primary school has always been one of the brightest part of my memories. By brightest I mean literally whenever I think about those five years, the images in my mind look whitewashed like they are being altered by the “shading” tool in Microsoft Word. Whenever we have a reunion, we changed a little bit more…Until one day, we become unrecognizable. I think that in primary school, when we still had such a strong sense of right or wrong, that we had a mutual, unvoiced fear of becoming the type of people that we hated the most. The song asked if anyone has gotten lost on their journey (the translation is not exact), and I knew that many of us would diverge and never come back to the same path that we dreamed about. What is truly unnerving to think about is the chance that we devoted ourselves to follow the “right path” all along, but we unconsciously changed route. We will not even notice, until one day we look at the mirror and see the person that we hated the most. Unfortunately, such event is almost guaranteed to happen. In addition, the song talked about how we made a promise that we would never leave each other. I knew that such promises will never hold true, but it still didn’t ease the pain of facing the fact that such vows are only childish dreams and fueled by a moment of passion.
One of the main reasons I liked the song is that the lyrics parallel with some ancient poems and it uses the elements of ancient writing style (the English translation doesn’t really show them…). One example is the mentioning of the white horse (“Only shards of time remain”). The animal is often used to show the passage of time, to show how fast time flows by comparing it to the passing of a white stallion through a crevice.
(Now that the more I look at the lyrics, the more I think about Foster…)