This is not a rant, more like a celebration

Yes, I still exist. It has been three months since my last post, yet surprisingly not a week has gone by without my thoughts wandering to potential posts.

So why then, may some of my readers filed missing persons reports? Life has sort of gotten in the way. Actually that may be a lie – it’s more like I’m having a, ‘oh-my-gosh-is-life-passing-me-by?-Quick-take-every-opportunity-while-you-can’ moment. Typical. Because when you go through one of those moments, it’s great for the first month.

Your schedule becomes busier, you have less time to sit around and ponder the life you want and more time to feel like your going out to find it. You begin to see how this might all come together for you – that internship gives you great experience for a future job, that time in the gym is having you feeling your fittest.

It’s not until you reach about the three month mark where you simply stop and think, “What have I done”. Things build up, I’m trying to juggle two jobs, an impending loss of one of them, assignments, my internship, the gym, all my football and give my boyfriend and family the attention they deserve. And God knows I don’t have a social life.

You want me to say it? You wanna hear it?

I’VE TAKEN ON TOO MUCH.

I said it. I hope you’re happy, you sadistic reader you.

But the purpose of this post was not a rant as the title lets on. It’s more of a victory post. Because as I have literally just proven, I’m still here.

I’ve taken on so much and damn, I’ve done it all well. I have survived every due date, deadline and leg day that 2016 has thrown at me so far. I am connected to my family more than ever and have an appreciation for my own relationship that grows every single day. My boyfriend and I are both driven and supportive and together, we’re unstoppable.

So here’s to more posting. Here’s to making time again to let loose those angels and demons residing in my mind. Here’s to every single person reading this who has struggled with the joys that they burden themselves with.

And here’s to the ocean for always teaching me the most humbling rule of all.

Stay Salty.

A Year Spent in Salt – Buttocks Edition

And so another year goes by.

Yeah, I know, sorry. That was such a cliché way to start a blog post. But seriously. I can’t believe it’s over. While I sit here pushing my soggy Weet-Bix around my bowl, I’ve been thinking about how this year has changed me (anything to not think about how I actually have to take another mouthful of this stuff).

This blog for starters. I mean, wow. I’ve been viewed internationally (not surprisingly, the post with the word “Nipple” in the title was the one with the most views from search terms…you dirty, dirty heathens). For me, that’s something I could only have dreamed about.

A career in writing has been something that I have set my hopes and dreams on from a young age. But it’s also a path that I have been warned about. For months – a year even – I have argued with myself about whether journalism is really a smart choice for me…you know, with my…less than average organisational skills.

In all honesty, I’m not even sure I’m cut out for the field. I love to write and even the Lord knows that I can talk to just about anyone, but something still nags at me. I’m scared it’s not going to be everything I imagined.

Isn’t that typical coming from a surfer – someone who’s always hunting for the perfect wave, living the search and all that. I have no doubt that a source of my worry, and definitely the major source of my annoyance, stems from the people who bestow their wisdom upon me and bequeath me with “thoust shall not pass life if thoust tries to make a living through writing…sk”.

Okay, so maybe they don’t talk like that. But they might as well because they all sound like pompous old fools anyway. So my resolution for 2016 is this:

I will listen to what I want, tune in to what I think and how I feel about the path that I choose to take in life. Whether it may be a big decision or a small one, I will be the one to decide how to proceed. And blog more, always blog more.

So shovest that up thy buttocks.

I’ve started so many things this year, from learning some French and accepting an internship to write for the Illawarra Cutters and Junior Representative Football sides. I have half-checked so many boxes on my bucket list. 2016 is the year to finish what I’ve started – write better, surf better, write about surfing better and definitely speak better French (“Oui”, just doesn’t cut it anymore). That is my promise, not to you, but to me.

And there you have it. My last blog post of 2015 (and I’ve said buttocks), determining a resolution that I am going to try my absolute hardest to stick to. To anyone who made it down this far, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Because whether you are genuinely interested or here to sneer and at criticise my writing, you still give me the views that whisper to me that I may have a good thing going here.

I’m signing out on 2015. And also emptying my bowl of even soggier Weet-Bix. Happy New Years everyone, and don’t forget;

Stay Salty.

 

A Jack of All Trades

In five minutes, you can meet someone and make a judgement of their personality based on the exchange of pleasantries. In five weeks, you can feel comfortable enough to say you feel as though you know who that person is. In five years, you and that person are one of three things.

Firstly, you and this person may know each other inside out, you’re thick as thieves, where the other ends you begin and any other friendship cliché you can think of. Secondly, you may not know this person at all anymore, having decided that after those first five weeks you really can’t stand them. Or third, you may feel as though you and this person are the same being – one whole entity. Though here is where humankind shares its brilliant plot twist.

In amongst a mass of muscles, a tangle of tendons, a nest of neurons and lots of other alliterative medical smash-ups, there is a soul hidden deep within. The human soul is unique, a brilliantly vivid conglomerate of all the deep and dark secrets that formulate the person you feel you know so well. And it is in this soul that resides not only your worst concealed secrets but also your greatest hidden talents.

Jayme McElhone, an 18-year-old youth with so much to offer, has held this third relationship with his friends for many years. Despite holding many close friendships and even a relationship for two years, Jayme has a hidden talent that lies at the heart of his soul. Neither first impressions nor a close bond would expose the talent unless he decides to tell you. However, Jayme reveals he doesn’t hide it from people.

“When people meet me, it’s just the last thing they expect”

Having represented the Illawarra in Rugby League, and Oztag at a local, state, national and even international level, McElhone has just begun to understand his strengths in speed and agility. These strengths help him to not only further his career in football, but also allow him to excel on the dance floor – and not just during a night out.

Jayme is also a tap dancer and having performed overseas in the Disneyland Parade and in Hollywood, it’s safe to say he is a master of his hidden art.

“You can’t really show it off, it’s not like I can tap down the street, you know? I just do what I love to do”.

Watch his story.

 

View the story “Tweets Exposing What’s Hidden” on Storify

One Big Melting Pot

While a seemingly strange way to begin this post, on another note, it is an extremely relevant and albeit interesting way to introduce the imminent concern for cultural identity in a modern and rapidly ‘cosmopolitanised’ world.

Transnational film suggests having a positive and unifying effect upon the countries involved and this is not without reason. As suggested in the Schaefer and Karan article on hybridity of popular Indian films, there is now, “increasing demand for glocalized content” (Schaefer and Karan, 309). The increasing popularity of transnational film could then be seen as the catalyst for the extinction of ethnocentrism, bringing together different one culture and teaching them of another.

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A surprising and perhaps controversial example of this cultural hybridity, “The Dark Knight”, proves the difficulty in defining transnational film. The content prioritises Western or ‘Americanized’ themes and values, identifying the film primarily as your average Hollywood blockbuster. Though this is challenged when taken into account, is the ethnicity and origins of the producers and actors. The director of the film, Christopher Nolan, was born in the United Kingdom just like three out of the five of the actors playing major roles. Throw in your token Australian legend and some eye candy from the U.S and you have nothing less than a transnational debate on your hands.

This controversy over what should be classified as transnational is eternally raging. It is obvious from the film’s content that it is aimed primarily at an American audience; the setting mirrors the iconic and unmistakable New York and the key themes such as greed, money, power and even superheroes, resonate with countless other Hollywood Box Office hits. However, the international origin of the cast and crew should logically place the film as majorly British.

The only reasonable categorization for the film then stands to be of American-British descent and thus transnational. However, this poses the interesting question that asks whether using countries to categorise films is efficient as a means of classification. The imminent globalisation and cultural appropriation that has become a modern phenomenon makes this categorization an inadequate assumption of which film an audience will identify with.

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http://www.123rf.com/photo_11573384_world-film-a-globe-with-reel-of-film.html

Another problem that arises when talking of transnationalism in the film industry deals with the politics of cultural ownership. For example, American film star, Jane Fonda, posed as a national icon for the United States. However, her works within countless transnational films and her work in politics show her connection to many nations, not just her own.

“Initially, we recognize Fonda’s transnationality in the cultural complex-
ity of her public presence, the geographic scope of her filmography and
politics, her growing sense of the connectedness between nations other-
wise understood as autonomous, her bilingualism, and even through her
work as fitness guru” (Macmillain, 54).
So where do we draw the line with cultural ownership? And how much can a country own the rights to their own culture? Transnational film sees the blurring of these possessive habits within the film industry. Maybe what we really do need, is a great big melting pot.

References

YouTube,. ‘BLUE MINK – Melting Pot (RARE LIVE UK TV 1970) Ft Roger Cook & Madeline Bell’. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

358695.weebly.com,. ‘What Is Transnational Cinema? – Transnational Cinema & Online Culture’. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

Schaefer, D. J., and K. Karan. ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity And Bollywoodization Of Popular Indian Cinema In Global Film Flows’. Global Media and Communication 6.3 (2010): 309-316. Web.

” Hanoi Jane Française “. Transnational Stardom . (February 2013); 53–74. Palgrave Macmillan. 4 September 2015.

Globalisation and Popularisation of Nigerian Cinema: Up and Out

Nigerian cinema, also referred to as ‘Nollywood’, has become increasingly popular and recognisable for its authenticity and ability to produce many films on a non-government funded budget. The Nigerian film industry should be a raging success, raking in dollars for their intense efforts.

http://theconversation.com/hooray-for-nollywood-nigeria-isnt-the-worlds-second-biggest-film-industry-after-all-25527
http://theconversation.com/hooray-for-nollywood-nigeria-isnt-the-worlds-second-biggest-film-industry-after-all-25527

The non-government funded videos found their origins within the selling of videos portraying the Yoruba peoples’ theatrical performances on the market. Quickly, the profit that lay within the selling of similar videos became known – films showing similar cultural content becoming a dependable source of income for many. This booming success inspired directors and filmmakers with the promise of a steady career.

Within a short period of time following the video films’ popularity, the traditional Yoruba language began to be filtered out, replaced by English, while the content also was modernised from mythologies indigenous to the country, to what Okome refers to as “the ‘ghettoized’ world of the new urban world” (Okome, 4).

Reflecting on this piece of history can be vital for Nollywood films’ future success, as this past adaptation of the content can foreshadow the future demise of meaningful and culturally significant videos coming from Nigeria. This then poses the question as to whether or not the contraflows that are bringing Nigerian films out of their niche market are working against them as they are slowly losing their uniqueness which gave them their renowned value. In his essay, Okome failed to mention that these urbanised themes may be viewed as a cultural appropriation of the Western world.

The African theme of localization within the video-films, paired with its, “obvious ties to the complicated trade in global media images” (Okome, 3) proves that the modern Nollywood film industry has become a hybrid of localised and globalised content. It is this hybridity accompanied by the grassroots funding of the production of such videos that leaves Nigeria teetering on the edge of mainstream popularity. “[Leaving] us with a sense of an industry perched on the edge of a major international breakthrough, yet still stylistically and professionally ‘immature‘”(Geiger, 2).

Referred to as having, “Television aesthetics”, Nollywood cinema struggles to produce films of a Hollywood standard due to the lack of increasingly modern technology.

As suggested by Pierre Barrot, and mentioned in Okome’s essay, the solution to this problem lies within, “the re-emergence of cinema theatres” (Okome 5) for public viewing. Currently, the video films are available through what is colloquially known as ‘video parlours’ or ‘street corners’. The video-shop style of film production sees the safety and economic stability of Nigerian residents protected, as the crime rate makes it unsafe to be in public for extended periods of time while also making the films accessible to those without copious income.

If Barrot’s theory of reopening cinema’s for public viewing is really considering Nigerian benefits first, it is only those of the film-makers. While this may globalise the Nollywood industry, it is detracting meaning from the videos as their content and consumption methods are evolving for the Western audience. It is important to remember that while this film industry has extreme potential for globalised viewing, it is the spirit of the Nigerian people and the effectiveness of unifying audience through tradition and culture, that first put ‘Nollywood’ on the global map.

http://www.arogundade.com/nigerian-nollywood-celebrities-news-profiles-photos.html
http://www.arogundade.com/nigerian-nollywood-celebrities-news-profiles-photos.html

References:

Geiger, Jeffrey. ‘Nollywood Style: Nigerian Movies And ‘Shifting Perceptions Of Worth’’. Film International 10.6 (2012): 58-72. Web.

Okome, Onookome. “Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption” Postcolonial Text [Online], 3 9 Aug 2007

Bright, Jake. ‘Meet ‘Nollywood’: The Second Largest Movie Industry In The World’. Fortune. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

Encyclopedia Britannica,. ‘Nigerian Theatre’. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.

A Strong Man’s Release – JRNL102 Assessment 1 Submission

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Michael Barry has held nearly every position the NSW Ambulance Service could possibly offer him. From trainee to veteran and from Paramedic to Special Operations Rescue team, Mr. Barry has spent the last seventeen years navigating life-threatening circumstances that would make even the strongest crumble in their wake.

For the purpose of self-preservation, Michael has developed a hardened understanding of life and death which helps him to deal with each stressful situation. His connection to this place he has created within his mind is the one that supports his emotional stability, his happiness and often, his sanity.

Stay Salty.