Reflection

For the final part of this course, a reflection is required to show how far we’ve come with blog writing and being in groups.

At the start of the course, I was certainly interested as I do read blogs in my spare time. I never knew what to write about if I ever created one, so this unit was the perfect way to see if I was capable to do so.

The blog writing aspect has helped me with my writing skills, being able to write in my own terms, sharing my own opinions, and being able to write about what interests me, but still being able to write with a sense of sophistication. Another thing that the blog has helped me with is keeping up with current affairs. As the unit is live, we react to whatever has happened within that week. Before this unit, I was not bothered at all by news and my only news source were Twitter and Facebook. However, through discussions during seminars, weekly cinema screenings, and posts added to the Unit X Facebook group, it allowed me to see that even though I am not particular interested in certain news topics, it is still interesting to learn about them and other people’s opinions.

My blog posts consisted that of music, games, films and TV shows reviews of things that I have seen or been listening to at the time of writing the posts. Writing what I liked/disliked about something gave me a chance to voice my opinions on a platform where I felt most comfortable. However, I do wish that I built up the courage to talk about specific topic in relation to a show/film etc. (Which I did start to do on my Brooklyn Nine-Nine blog post).

Blogs were social media years before the term was coined, and, in many ways, blogs still form the backbone of social media. Far more people are on Facebook or another social media platform than there are bloggers, but much of what we do in social media is at root a form of blogging.

This quote by Jill Walker Rettberg tells us how important social media is to blogging, even though blogging has become quite unpopular compared to other types of social media. One thing I did notice that is important with blogging, is social media presence. To get blog posts seen, I shared them through all social medias I owned. This included Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr. Yet, if I did not share a post through enough networks, I did notice that it did not get many hits, and for me, it showed that consistency is key. To get posts seen, I needed to upload posts regularly, therefore, I aimed to upload once a week, however, there were times where I became stuck on what to write. This shows me that this is a common thing with all bloggers, and it shows me that it is not an easy task.

For our group work, we were asked to create 4 infographics in groups of 3. Once we were in our groups, we made a Facebook Messenger chat. With this, we could talk about ideas, plan days where we would meet up, or aid any one in need of help. At the beginning of the unit, we knew that 3 of the infographics could be on any topic we choose, so we created these as individuals. Mine being on ‘Women in Film’, and the other group members did theirs on music and gaming. However, there was a bit of trouble with the group itself when it came to the 4th infographic. Nearing the end of the unit, I asked if we should meet up to finally talk about any ideas that we have. Yet, the rest of the group decided that there was no need to meet up and if someone came up with an idea for it, then that is the idea that we would use. Getting closer to the deadline, no idea was mentioned, and because no idea was mentioned, I decided that because my infographic topic about women in film was a relative issue in today’s society, that it should be the group’s infographic and I would and did create another infographic, on a Korean group, BTS, on top of it, finalizing the 4 infographics in total. This made me feel a bit let down, because I had to use my own work, rather than something that we all worked on together, and then I had to create a new infographic with hardly any time at all. I did wish that I said something to the group, rather than letting it go.

Through this unit, I have learned to pay more attention to things going on in the world, even if they are not in my interests. Learning about why people have different opinions than me, has taught me to open up and to be more confident in putting out my opinion into the world. My writing skills are getting better, the more I write, I am able to write in a way that I feel the audience can connect with. Using informal language can be a great positive when writing to an audience who is the same age as me (20). In terms of group work, my goal is to speak up when something is not right and to be more assertive. Unit X has given me the courage to possibly carry on blogging as it has been one of the most enjoyable units this year.

References

Walker Rettberg, Jill. Blogging.2013. Polity Press. 

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Moulin Rouge!: An Underrated Popular Film

In 2001, Baz Lurhmann created a musical romantic comedy, the second film as part of his Red Curtain Trilogy, set in the Monmartre Quarter in Paris, France, 1900, Moulin Rouge! It tells the story of an English poet, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, Satine, however, Christian’s positive attitude and beliefs about love are soon destroyed, as he learns that loving the right person in the wrong setting and wrong time, will end in disaster.

One thing that will always baffle me as to why no one hears knows of Moulin Rouge!, is the fact that it had one of the best cast films I’ve seen in a long time. To name a few, Ewan McGregor plays young Christian, and yes, he does sing, and yes, he is absolutely amazing at it. He has certainly left me asking why doesn’t he sing anymore? And who thought we needed a singing Obi Wan Kenobi? Nicole Kidman plays the sensuous Satine, and Jim Broadbent plays Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge. (But seriously who doesn’t like Jim?).

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One of the many reasons why Moulin Rouge! is such a beautiful film, is for the pure aesthetics of the setting. Of course being set in the Monmartre Quarter and in the Moulin Rouge itself, we are going to get stunning visuals from lighting to the architecture, in a true Baz Lurhmann style as he is well known for his use of bright colours.

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Also, it’s good to mention that Satine’s chambers were set in an elephant’s head and it was pretty damn cool.

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With Moulin Rouge! being a musical, you guessed it, there are songs. However, the songs are all covers of popular songs at that time. The cast do their own renditions of Your Song by Elton John, Like a Virgin by Madonna (This sung by Jim Broadbent. if you don’t watch the film, I highly recommend that you just watch that clip because it is hilarious beyond words.), The Sound of Music and even Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. With such a range of songs, they fit the film perfectly. The song, Lady Marmalade by Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Mya, is in fact from this film too.

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Overall, Moulin Rouge! is one of them films that once you watch it, you’ll want to watch it over and over again. Being nominated for 8 Oscars at the 74th Academy Awards, and winning 2, you can understand why it’s so popular but it’s a film that needs more attention. With a notable cast, an enjoyable, but bittersweet, plot, and some good music, you can’t help but fall in love with Moulin Rouge!

And now I leave you with a “whoops it’s a spoiler but the film is from 2001, so get over it” picture that for me, is very relatable.

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Rationale

For my coursework, we are required to reflect on our media consumption of the past week, or couple of weeks.

My media consumption has been rather consistent in the fact that all I’ve done is binge-watched multiple seasons of The Great British Bake Off (Thank you, Netflix). However, I have noticed that I do spend a lot of time on Youtube. Whether it’s watching news videos from Phil DeFranco, various videos from the queens of Rupaul’s Drag Race (mainly UNHhh with Trixie Mattel and Katya), or cooking videos, I don’t really have a preference. Youtube is such a bittersweet platform. The videos aren’t 4 hours long or have multiple seasons, so they’re easy and quick to watch, but because I’ve watched so many short videos, my attention span has gone downhill dramatically.

Apart from that, I have been watching season 10 of Rupaul’s Drag Race, which its episodes are released every week, cartoon Aggretsuko, Four in a Bed and Come Dine With Me are shows that I could watch all day long, however, I have also started to watch The Vampire Diaries which is unusual for me because as I mentioned in my blog posts, I don’t tend to binge-watch shows that are so detailed like The Vampire Diaries because it takes a lot out of me. So by watching competition/food like shows such as The Great British Bake off, something different happens every week and they are easy going.

Another aspect of media that I consume is playing Overwatch on my PlayStation 4. Overwatch is a team shooter game which has 27 characters to choose from and each character has their own back story which is interesting to read upon. Because there are different game modes, maps and frequent updates, it is a game that I am obsessed with.

From what I can tell with my media consumption, I really like competition shows and competitive games, which surprises me because in reality, I’m not that much of a competitive person. The idea of other people doing well in something that they’re good at, makes me enjoy what I’m watching. As for my game play, I enjoy the competitiveness because it’s not real and I can take my victories and defeats as they come. Also, being on a team that isn’t full of hate, like most multiplayer games, is so refreshing.

This infographic shows the statistics of women in film and the significant impact that they’ve had.

 

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Why I Needed A Film Like Love, Simon Sooner

Love, Simon is a teen comedy-drama, telling the heart-warming story of Simon Spier, a gay teenager who tries to go about his daily life, even though he hasn’t come out to his friends, family or school.

The story centres around a confession post, that another teenager at school is gay but wants to remain anonymous by going under the name ‘Blue’. Knowing that another kid at school is gay, Simon reaches out by email and throughout their conversations, Simon ends up falling in love, still not knowing who Blue is. However, Simon’s emails are found by another student, Martin, who then proceeds to blackmail Simon into getting him a date with one of Simon’s friends, Abby. If he isn’t successful, Martin will leak the emails to the entire school.

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Throughout the film we see that the emails have actually been leaked. However, we don’t see Simon being ashamed that everyone knows that he is gay. He is angry that he didn’t get the chance to come out as gay himself when he was ready. Which is something that we, as an audience, would never expect and what’s best is that no one cares that he’s gay. His school, family and friends are all supportive of Simon and tries to help him find out who Blue really is.

What I really love about this film is how realistic it is. Coming out is so nerve-wracking, that it carries a a type of stigma that we should all be afraid and scared. Yet, this film shares a positive light in the sense that there is no hate against people being gay. It offers comfort to those who are struggling to come out or who are facing hatred, and for those who aren’t part of the LGBT community, it teaches them that it can be a really tough process and we all need to be kind to each other.

When I was in high school, there were no films that provided me with this security that coming out would be okay. Majority of LGBT films back then were about cheating, over-sexualised, or have the distinctive ending of  “It was all a phase and you’ll end up straight by the end of it”. So hopeful. I know.

Knowing now that kids who are in this position have a film that is so empowering and full of self-worth, is so heartwarming. They have an LGBT film that truly reflects them and it definitely shows that everybody deserves a great love story.

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Hayley Kiyoko: Our Lord and Saviour

The waiting felt like a life time but Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album – Expectations has been released. FINALLY.

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In 2015, I stumbled across a YouTube video called “Girls Like Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko. I instantly recognised the name as Hayley was from Lemonade Mouth, therefore, I had some idea of who Hayley was.

Girls Like Girls, became so popular because it was one of the only LGBT music videos that were as successful as it was. (At this moment in time, the video has over 87 million views). In an essence, the meaning of the song is that girls can like girls too. It’s as simple as that. This song has such a simple message, yet it became so effective and relatable for the LGBT community. And with me being a baby gay at the time, I was able to witness something extraordinary happen that I had never seen before. A video that was so LGBT positive and had a happy ending. Something that gave me and a lot of other people hope.

With the success of the song, Hayley released more songs that deal with topics such as unrequited love (Sleepover), revenge (Curious), developing feelings (Feelings), and self-acceptance (Gravel to Tempo). All songs coming from a lesbian perspective, henceforth, Hayley Kiyoko became the lesbian Jesus.

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Usually with an album, you have one or two songs that aren’t really your thing so you just tend to skip them. However for this album, that is not the case. Every song is a bop, that’s how good it is. Being part of the LGBT community, it means a hell of a lot to have a whole album that I can relate to.

Back to the album.

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When you listen to any song by Hayley, within the first 5 seconds, you cannot help but feel like you are home. With Kiyoko’s style being dream-pop and/or synth-pop, her upbeat music instantly gives you calm, peaceful vibes, and once you’ve started listening, you cannot stop. My two favourite songs are What I Need (ft. Kehlani) and Under The Blue / Take Me In.

 

Overall, Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album is something that many people won’t forget for a very long time. She has broken boundaries and has given hope to many young people in the LGBT community, including myself.

Expectations is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

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