On improper education

I am so frustrated with this module that I’m not going to study for the test tomorrow. The lecturer did not tell us what is going to be tested. She probably expects us to read the entire textbook, to remember every small detail, insofar as we might be able to respond to those molecular bits of information crumpled into a question.

But what is more frustrating than that childish, haughty woman is the ridiculous nature of the textbook. For one, and I have made known some examples before, it defines “the speaker” and “the audience”; as if it was so obscured a fact that we would not be able to distinguish between ourselves speaking and the rampant chatter that flows and ebbs along the seats. 

There are many other instances where it renames the obvious with cheap terminology. It’s so stupid I can’t remember the examples… Ah yes, “there are 4 ways of listening to a person giving a speech: appreciative, empathetic, comprehensive, critical.” Tell me, how does this sort of rubbish make it’s way into a textbook for which are awarded praises by a gallery of academics? I would be hardly surprised if someone discovered that the awards were all hoaxes.

Here’s another: “types of questions for determining audience demographic: fixed-alternative questions, scale questions, and open-ended questions.” I think the author determined too hard to make the contents comprehensible. It would be far suitable to his manner of explication, and also far less insulting to those of tertiary-standard intellect, that he write books for children. There he would receive praises which no one will suspect.

I am so frustrated that the university had even allowed this module to be taught in this mundane, almost pointless, manner. This does not at all improve our skills in public speaking. What it does, and I am sure of this, is to dull the sharpness of our minds, to accustom us to the study of the superficial and the obvious. It is all wrong. This education is deplorable.

Review: Kingsman, the satirical comedian

I am quite convinced that Kingsman: The Secret Service isn’t one of those paltry, predictable, unoriginal, gaudy, gratuitously violent and hopelessly disastrous films that have pervaded and perverted the land of cinema.

To most there would seem no excuse for it not being all those harsh adjectives. Kingsman had after all, all the elements that comprise a film made for the sole sake of money and for the eyes of the ignorant, or in short, a genuine piece of cinema junk.

Kingsman is every part cliche – the protagonist came from the suburbs, is incredibly filial and loyal, has obviously many physical talents but refuses to acknowledge them, is made to compete against a gang of rich, lofty douchebags but beats them up and saves the day; the Kingsman is a espionage group that no one knows (yes, not even the CIA), they have an array of delightful gadgets at their disposal, their headquarters are hid deep underground, and they wear bullet-proof suits because fashion always matters; the villain has a devilishly sweet name, Valentine, speaks with a characteristic lisp, has a deadly henchman (woman), is clearly insane but thinks himself otherwise, and has devised a master plan to destroy the world; finally, the plot follows the same worn path that ends at happily-ever-after land.

Most of the time, a film full of cliches irks us because it tries to conceal them behind a couple of sloppy innovations, and pretends in its stained and tattered clothing to be some esteemed knight. Such films are like losers; for losers are not those whose characters are inherently flawed but those who are ashamed of their character and in trying to defy it, make so much greater a mock of themselves. Kingsman is different. It does not try to hide its cliched nature. In fact, it bares it all in the proudest, most conspicuous fashion, and even explains to the audience that it is doing so.

And you’ll know that Kingsman is a grand parody of those uninspiring copycat films when you see the most ludicrous and hilarious action sequences, with heads exploding in fireworks. Kingsman has deliberately flouted the rules of good film-making and in that freedom, squeezed in as much ‘cliche’ as they could, insofar as to turn themselves into the epitome of bad films. Kingsman is like the comedian that understands the sad state of cinema and its sad spiral into superficiality. And it is determined to see to what extremes this spiral can be brought before people begin realizing the junk they’ve been constantly coaxed into watching.

In spite of its excessive indulgence in cliches, Kingsman manages a perfect pace and entertains with such lightheartedness that its intentional obnoxious didn’t feel obnoxious at all. Not a moment throughout the entire film did I feel bored or overwhelmed by action, nor was I annoyed by the strings of cliches. Furthermore, the action sequences, though possibly for parody purposes, were some of the most memorable ones I’ve seen in a long while. I still can’t stop humming Free Bird and imagining Colin Firth flying all about the room and kicking ass.

It would thus be a most unfair disservice to view Kingsman as you would an ordinary action film. It is a film that is hardly serious about anything. It’s only intention is to entertain, and this it does spectacularly well (those blasphemers of cinema, like Dracula: Untold or Amazing Spider-man, had better learn a thing or two from this maestro of the clowny arts). Who would’ve ever guessed that some good would eventually come out of the carnival of paltry, predictable, unoriginal, gaudy, gratuitously violent and hopelessly disastrous films?