I finally got to DMing a session, two to be precise. And it is more fun than I previously thought it would be. I still have a lot of things to learn and made a couple of mistakes (which hopefully my players didn’t notice!) But it was fun overall. Hearing the players enjoying them and looking forward to the sessions motivates me to improve. My only hope now is that I do not become a forever DM 🥲
So, how did I get here? I got really into the whole game mechanics. I have created a lot of characters while experimenting with different classes and their subclasses(70 while I am writing this). I have ingested multiple D&D videos on YouTube. It is one giant rabbit hole.
I was playing D&D with a friend who introduced me to the game, and we left the campaign we were playing in because we were not enjoying it. My friend offered DMing for me and some other friends we convinced to join us. My friend’s campaign was one where we were treasure hunters. Our party was looking for El Dorado in a jungle setting. His sessions were fun, although we still had difficulties getting the whole party every session or even having one session every week.
As I was very vocal with my interest in D&D, my DM friend asked me if I wanted to DM a game. I liked being a player character, so I said I would only if he wanted to play as a player character. One thing led to another, and we were having difficulties conducting a single session. A player in our party became busy, and we could not continue forward without including him because of plot reasons.
And due to my intense urge to roleplay and put myself in a fantasy environment, I offered to DM. I had some ideas about what kind of adventure I would like to create. I thought a rowdy group like the one I played D&D with would enjoy being pirates, so I decided to make a nautical adventure.
The first session was stressful. I hadn’t planned to DM at all, so doing it at the spot was nerve-wracking. I had a bunch of tools in my browser bookmarks to help. And the more time I spent behind the DM screen, the more comfortable I got being a dungeon master to the party.
Currently, I am facing problems with what kind of stories I want to create. I started the campaign with a prison break, where the crew escaped from palace grounds after being captured. They then had some downtime to explore their surroundings. Their actions at the palace will have consequences. When we ended our session, the party members were about to leave the naval city.
And here is where I face my next difficulty in what kinds of things I want to introduce to the party. I am just revolving my story around them. Introducing stuff to them and building things upon what they find interesting. I was thinking of naval combat too, but I have no experience with it. So yeah, I am facing a minor setback which I hope to fix before our next session (wish me luck!)
If you follow K-Pop, you have all probably heard about this controversy. As a neutral who doesn’t listen to Everglow but is well-versed in both Chinese and Korean culture, here is my take on it.
First, we have to know that bowing, or kowtowing in this case, is a topic that has been debated numerous times in China. It is not something new. When a picture of a man bowing to his parents surfaced in a Chinese newspaper, many people respected him for being a filial son, while some thought it was too much.
Even when students in China bow down to their parents, there will be some netizens online Even when students in China bow down to their parents, there will be some netizens online bashing the act. Even though they are unrelated to the parents and children, they will try to force their beliefs onto others.
From what I can see, there is an increasing trend of Chinese people choosing to let go of their culture. To become more modern and individualistic. It is okay if you do not want to bow down to your parents or elders to show respect. But again, people should not force how others should think and act.
Ultimately, bowing down to someone is a sign of ultimate reverence. It does not make you any less of a person. Of course, you wouldn’t just bow down to a random stranger. Most people bow down to their parents or elders to show respect and gratitude. I don’t know how to think of the world if we have to repress positive feelings for the sake of “progressiveness”. It is a simple act of showing respect, nothing more, nothing less.
Now let’s go back to Korea and Wang Yiren. First of all, the company she is in is Yuehua Entertainment. It is a multinational entertainment company from China. So there is a possibility of them instructing her on what she can and can not do while in Korea to manage how she represents her country.
In defence of Yiren, the gesture she performed is the Chinese way of wishing someone Chinese New Year. Koreans bow down to show respect, Wang Yiren did it the Chinese way. Yuehua is a Chinese company. Perhaps, it seemed natural for the company to think a Chinese member could have another variation to wish new years to the fans.
If I had not known about this gesture, I would have been heartbroken, seeing an idol I supported not respecting their fans (especially in Korean culture!) A breakdown of communication and cultural awareness created a rift between the fans and the Yiren. It also initiated a war between two factions online, either for or against Koreans and their culture.
Arguing about something is very easy nowadays, especially in this day and age where everyone picks up their pitchforks to prove who is right before having a calm discussion to understand differences.
As a company, I would have addressed this immediately instead of letting it fester and allowing people’s hatred for other cultures to increase. What should they have done? Other than letting people know about the Chinese way to greet someone a new year, the group could have done both ways of wishing a new year to their fans so that they could appreciate all cultures in question.
*spoiler alert for the Marvel movies consisting of Captain America, as well as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier*
The first time I heard about him, I am not going to lie, I thought he was pretty lame. He didn’t have any superpowers. I mean, all he had was a shield! Not some cool weapon or energy blasters that could reduce his foes to cinders. A freaking shield! That was my first impression of him. In my eyes, he was simply a boring goodie-two-shoes.
I was never really that much into DC or Marvel. I thought they were the same. That was until Marvel started gearing up for their renowned Avengers series.
I religiously watched all of the movies to keep up with every reference and to keep myself updated with everything, all but except The Incredible Hulk (sorry!) And it was during that time I got introduced to the First Avenger.
Meet Steve Rogers. A man with a weak constitution. Physically inferior to all of his brothers in arms. No one was willing to accept him in the army for his own sake! (He had: asthma, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, high blood pressure, and heart trouble, among other illnesses.)
Even then, there was something that separated him from the rest. Dr Abraham Erskine saw something in him that no one else did. Because Rogers was weak, he had a perspective no one else did. Steve Rogers could use brains to outwit the brawn (as seen from his dismantling of the flag pole). He understood the power behind being strong. He was like Erskine said: “a good man”. The one who would not hesitate to put his life on the line for others. The one who would jump in front of a live grenade to protect others even when he was powerless. The one who is always at the front to lead the charge and take the brunt of the battle.
Although, there were numerous supersoldats in the Marvel films and the television series: Falcon and the Winter Soldier. None of them could ever compare to the likes of Steve Rogers.
Steve Rogers is ultimately a good person. Someone every person should aspire to be. He became a role model for me throughout the movies before I even knew it. Like your average cynical person, I believed myself to be “realistic” and “logical”. But there are times when you need that person in your corner who you can rely on to make everything okay with their aura of absolute positivity. An assurance in themselves and the people around them. That is Captain Steven Grant Rogers. Whenever Steve was with the Avengers, there was a feeling that everything would be okay in the end. If Cap had turned to dust with Thanos’ snap, Endgame would have had a completely different vibe.
Steve Rogers is the type of man that exudes compassion and humanity towards others, no matter what side. With the rise of the relativist antagonist in cinema, Cap can showcase his full ability to reach the hearts of the antagonists with his charmingly naive but firm belief in the good inside all of us. The man’s heart is so pure, Mjölnirdeems him worthy to wield him for crying out loud!
Besides the joke of being America’s ass and a complete boomer, Cap has had meaningful relationships throughout all his appearances. No matter who he was interacting with, he always showed them respect. Often an overlooked quality, but an important one. The three most notable to me are Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, and Natasha Romanoff.
James Buchanan Barnes, otherwise known as “Bucky” or “Winter Soldier” was a man Steve had known since childhood. He stood by and supported Steve all this time until he became the Winter Soldier after his freak accident. Steve never gave up on Bucky when everyone else had. Steve knew Bucky was a good person without his commands and brainwashing. In the end, it paid off as Bucky went from killing machine for the Soviet Union back to being a brother by his side.
Another best friend of Cap, Samuel Thomas Wilson, a.k.a. “Falcon”, or the new “Captain America”. After Cap woke up from his 70-year “nap”, Sam Wilson was his jogging buddy, the one who recommended Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” album, and the one he turned to when going AWOL. Sam was always there when he needed him, had a clear conscience, and was the rightful recipient for the shield and title of Captain America as passed down by Steve Rogers.
*If you haven’t watched The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and are still reading this, I recommend you to give it a watch. It entails life after Cap’s “retirement”. And how his best buddies and the world cope with his absence.*
Natalia Alianovna Romanoff, commonly known as “Black Widow”. I feel for all those Romanogers shippers when the ship officially sunk, as I was also one of them. Natalia was a consistent figure in Steve’s life after his rebirth. From working alongside each other in S.H.I.E.L.D. to leading the Avengers after the snap. Their banter and support of each other shined throughout the movies. And this is one opposite-sex friendship that stands out to me in fiction. Even when they initially picked opposite sides in Civil War, Natasha still considered Steve a close friend and helped him escape. Steve accepted Natasha when she was unable to open herself to others. Steve trusted Natasha to have his back when things went dire. I believed Steve enabled Natasha to break away from her chains as a trained assassin since birth; it was character development at its finest. Natasha was there for Steve at Peggy Carter’s funeral. She also helped Steve move on from the snap. These were some of the most memorable moments for me in the movies.
In the end, Steve Rogers chose to go back to the past and spend the rest of his life with Peggy Carter. And we all saw it coming when he stood in the teleporter in Endgame. Steve seeing his picture frame on Peggy’s desk was the final nail in the coffin to every ship that wasn’t Steve and Peggy. A funny meme has arisen with Steve and his locket with Peggy’s picture. Cap was indeed a loyal dog.
What impresses me the most about Steve Rogers is that he does the right thing and follow his beliefs under any circumstances. Even if it meant he had to go against the law and his team. In the end, Steve is more than just a superhuman. The thing that came out of a bottle is just an enhancement to an already incredible human being, a hero. It is easy to empathize with him because he seems more “human” when compared to the other supes. Even when it appears that he is no match against his adversaries, he will rise to the occasion. Even when alone with Thanos and his army, he walked towards them, fearless.
He seemed powerless before a godlike being. Hell, he even had to strap his dangling forearm to his shield so that it wouldn’t fall off. He utters these words we have all come to recognize: “I can do this all day.” In the face of death, a mortal squares up to a god so that he can bring everyone back. If you had to explain what a hero meant in simple terms, this is it. I hear some people saying, “he is just reckless”. Do not fret. After all, you are talking about the star-spangled man with a plan.
The El Clásico is always a huge deal. The match-up between the two giants in Spain. This one watched on expectantly as it was the first one in the post-Messi era. Both teams were evenly matched, with Barcelona looking like they had the upper hand whenever they had the ball. However, most of their play appeared to be unfruitful. With crosses being cut off by the Real Madrid defence or their shots failing to hit the target (only 2 out of 12 were on target compared to Real Madrid’s 5 out of 10).
It seems as if Barcelona just lack creativity when attacking. Most of their offence focuses on the left side with Memphis Depay. This makes it easy for their opponents to defend. Since there isn’t anyone dangerous on Barça’s offence that can finish chances when crosses come flying in (Proving to be a terrible tactic with this Barça side). The Real Madrid defence was also disciplined enough to block any attempts at a shot. Barcelona has to think of a better way to go up against teams that like to defend in a low block. Moving the ball around becomes static and predictable. Switching sides and making it hard for the opposing defence to predict our movement will be an improvement. We fail to utilise the right side. As of now, it seems like everyone already knows what we are going to do because we are so predictable in attack (our only goal came from the right, which was where we were not focusing on most of the time).
Now I will move on to individual performances that stood out in either good or bad ways:
Ter Stegen – I am sad to say this, but MATS is no longer one of the best keepers in the world. When in the past, he was our second-best player after Messi. He just seemed to have lost confidence or something after Messi’s departure. We hope he gets back to his very best and gets a confidence boost to save us some points.
Jordi Alba – Having him back gave us a boost. He showed tenacity and pace to disrupt the opposing offence from creating chances and scoring. Even though we saw multiple attempts to cross the ball, they were easy catches for the opposition keeper. We don’t have Messi anymore to convert his cutbacks to goals, so much practice is needed with the new mates in training. The problem of having a left-winger playing in front of him has also sprung up since Alba likes attacking high so much. But since Depay likes to drift in the centre, this does not seem to be as big a problem as when Neymar was still in Barcelona.
Gerard Pique – He was reliable enough. Seemed solid in defence (with 3 aerial duels won) and had a close effort on goal with his header.
Eric Garcia – As of this moment, as Pep Guardiola said, Eric Garcia is just not ready to play for Barcelona. He is good with ball progression and retention. Good with the ball at his feet and can distribute it. But when it comes to defending, it looks like he needs a lot of work to do. The first goal could be argued if it was unavoidable because of the angle and power or whatever, while others say he should have given David Alaba a smaller room to shoot. However, the second goal Real Madrid made should not have been conceded. In a game of small margins, every decision is a big one. With the man behind him, no excuses can be given to Garcia for allowing him to get in front for a simple tap-in. Eric Garcia had to be first to the rebound when the ball was coming closest to him. A really disappointing display from the young centre-back.
Gavi – I will be straightforward with this. Gavi is simply not good enough. Yes, he might have the technical ability of a Barcelona midfielder with his control and passes. But he lacks vision and understanding of the game. Technical ability does not mean anything if you can’t utilise it properly. There were a lot of moments where the attack broke down *because* of him. It was really frustrating to watch. I get that he is still young. But that is not a good excuse whenever he breaks a record of being the youngest ever player for Barcelona or Spain to make an appearance. If you’re not good enough, you should not be playing. Especially as there seems to be a bias for him. Whether it is because his name rhymes with Xavi, I do not know. I rate Riqui Puig over Gavi, and that too pretty high. Puig deserves more game time.
Fati dons the number 10 for Barcelona, the heir to Messi. And in the games he has played, even takes up positions Messi did. There is one problem though, he is not Messi. I like his initiative in shooting the ball and the confidence he shows when the opponents are not parking the bus. But with most teams playing against Barcelona, they will play in a low block and crowd the area in the middle. And if you are not Messi but try to play like him, there is only one outcome to how things will play out. Being so young and not yet standing on his own feet, it is too soon for him to bear the pressure of the gaping hole Messi left. Because one player is not enough to fill it. You can’t hope to replace him. He has to show his worth as an individual player instead of trying to immediately wear Messi’s shoes. Fati is not the answer. Barcelona players have to look at themselves to step up because they cannot just give the responsibility to one man again.
Sergi Roberto – Is not as bad as people make him out to be. Actually plays decent and is used to how Barcelona plays since the Luis Enrique days. As one of the four captains of Barcelona, he should be given more time on the pitch instead of experimenting with certain players again and again. When you can clearly see that it doesn’t work. Does Koeman know the meaning of insanity?
Luuk De Jong – Please keep him on the bench as much as possible. His being on the pitch is the equivalent of being down one more man.
Sergio Aguero – He is the best striker in the team. No, the only striker in the team now that Braithwaite is injured (I am not counting Luuk as one). Came in as a sub and had 2 shots. One was a header that went over the crossbar. Another one was a shot on goal that led to the only goal Barcelona scored. Aguero already looks like the most dangerous player in Barcelona. Hopefully, he stays fit and makes a name for himself in the Barcelona books, just like he did with Manchester City. 🤞
As a third-generation Nepali in Hong Kong. (The first generation of my family to move to Hong Kong was my grandfather, a British Gurkha stationed there), I was never really able to fit in with both my Nepali and Hongkonger identities.
I do speak Nepali at home. But since I never learnt my native tongue, I don’t understand the more complicated words.
And all my life, I have been studying in EMI(English as the medium of instruction) schools. So I would say English is my first language as I am most comfortable with it.
Because of this, I have never learnt Chinese(Cantonese) very well. Most of my Cantonese knowledge comes from:
Watching local TV channels when smartphones did not exist.
Playing in the playground when I was younger.
Being forced to speak it in a working atmosphere where I had to work with people who did not understand English.
I am also forced to speak Cantonese when I go out because I have East Asian features. Therefore, HK locals talk to me in Cantonese instead of English since they think I am a local. I am grateful for this as this pushes me outside my comfort zone to speak more Cantonese.
Even then, I feel like I do not fit in both cultures properly. Not being Chinese, it is difficult to relate with the locals when it comes to traditions. The locals and minorities grow up in different backgrounds from culture, to schooling, to media exposure. When there are public holidays, we spend them differently. It means more to the locals because it relates to their culture. For us minorities, it is just an extra holiday. We are also exposed to stuff from our own countries in the forms of movies, TV, songs, religions. Although we may get along well, there is still something that differentiates us.
This is also true for my Nepali side. I am not familiar with the language. It is enough to get by in Nepal. But I do not understand anything when watching a news report there with the advanced use of language. I still remember needing to sign my name in Nepali when I went there for some official work where they were sardonic when I did not know how to write it. “How can you call yourself Nepali when you can’t even write your own name?” Those were the words the officer said to me. I realized then that most people live in a bubble where they are ignorant of people outside it. It was also a great way to make me question my identity.
I don’t feel “local” anywhere. In Hong Kong, you are “local” if you are Chinese and your family has been in Hong Kong for generations. I was also asked by my local friends when I was “going back” to visit Nepal. I understand that they did not mean any ill will. Since I am not Chinese, they must have thought I am not originally from here. But Hong Kong is my home. If you sent me to Nepal right now, I would be lost. I would be like a tourist there.
Back in 2019, when the HK protests were still going on, one of my friends at work told me that the locals were protesting because they had no other place to go. Most of them simply couldn’t. He told me that if HK became an undesirable place to live, I could go to Nepal and even other countries because I understood English. But the locals were indeed living in a bubble that was entirely their own. Being a Special Administrative Region that had an autonomy of itself. As well as being apart from the mainland for a century and a half. Obviously, this caused the people in Hong Kong to have their own identities.
I believe there are a lot of people like me who are in-between. Not only in Hong Kong but everywhere in the world. We manage to find our own smaller group of people with who we can relate. And even introduce the “locals” into our lives. Because although this is an identity crisis, not everyone may encounter it. The present is what binds us all together. Spending time together, getting to know one another. There is a beauty in learning more about each other that I have experienced both in Nepal and Hong Kong. Even though cultures and traditions may be different. In the end, we are all the same. We are human. So we should find comfort in our differences because that is what makes us unique. Our shared experiences allow us to connect with different parts of ourselves.
This blog was inspired by personal experience and talking with friends who relate. As well as the 2017 Wong Fu Productions short film: “In Between”.
I am about to get my 2nd dose of vaccination for the coronavirus in the coming week. I was a bit sceptical at first. With the sociopolitical environment of Hong Kong and the population’s mistrust of the government. I also had doubts regarding the vaccines and about all the conspiracies I have heard about the implantation of microchips and whatnot. Honestly, I understand what the vaccine sceptics are saying. After all, I was also one before.
When people say how we can find a vaccine for covid so fast when the outbreak occurred just over a year ago. Well, we had always been researching the SARS virus. The coronavirus is quite similar to it. And when the whole world is affected by the pandemic, obviously more funding will be put into it to come up with a cure as soon as possible.
Right now, I would say the more developed countries of the world are more equipped to deal with the pandemic. Recently in India, their Prime Minister: Narendra Modi gave a green light for Hindus to celebrate the Kumbh Mela which is celebrated every 12 years. The last one was held back in 2010 so the upcoming event should have happened in 2022. But due to some astrological signs being favourable, it was allowed to be held a year earlier.
From this, India has seen the biggest surge of corona cases. This has also spread to neighbouring countries in South Asia and further. Caused people to flee from India back to their home countries. Unfortunately, the messages from the stars and higher powers could not do enough to save the lives of thousands, if not millions of people. This all happened because a certain individual could not afford to upset his main supporting group. But at what cost?
From this event, all the people becoming desperate for oxygen supplies in their hospitals and vaccine doses. I could see that I was in a privileged position. Where I was living, I could get vaccinated for free. We were used to a viral outbreak because of SARS back in 2003, so hygiene is always at the forefront in Hong Kong. Public toilets have their soap replenished frequently. You will find rubbing alcohol wherever you go. Signs telling citizens to always wash their hands even before the corona outbreak. Masks are also pretty accessible now with stores specializing in them opening up in every block.
I understand the distrust for the government, and rightfully so. However, we cannot consider every governmental thing to be bad. Getting a vaccine will not only protect ourselves, but the people around us. And reaching 70% of the population vaccinated should be the primary goal for us as citizens. This will provide us with herd immunity and help us get rid of the virus. After this, things will be back to how it was before. Being able to resume our lives before the pandemic. Going out without masks, taking part in social functions, and even traveling out of the city if the countries we want to go to are safe.
Getting a vaccine should not be a matter of if, but a matter of when. The trials of vaccinations available to us have already completed phase 3 of the efficacy trials, so it should be safe to take them now because the side-effects are clearer. I really wish you would try and see the position of privilege you are in, and look at the countries suffering because they don’t have enough resources. And if you can’t do that, then at least see how you can help normalize your situation to the way it was before the pandemic.
Now I want to know whether the opinions of people have changed regarding vaccines. This issue is important because we all need to work together to fight the virus. To resume our life to how it was before the pandemic as soon as possible. And to prevent future covid cases and deaths.
I had always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons(D&D). It seemed interesting. Appearing multiple times in pop culture and some gaming channels I follow. I just thought I could never come across other people who played D&D or even had a remote interest in it. That was until a friend of mine asked me if he wanted to join his D&D sessions.
I have recently completed my first campaign of D&D. Well, a one-shot to be more accurate: a short adventure usually created for one session to help players get familiarized with the game mechanics. A veteran dungeon master(DM) made it to help me get familiar with how the game works. The name of the one-shot was: “Something’s Rotten in Ingland…” Where I played as a goliath fighter, together with an aarakocran monk and a half-elf warlock.
So how I learnt D&D was by my fellow party members and DM teaching me how the game works along the way. The DM also hosted zoom meetings before the actual gameplay to help me create a character and explain the different features of D&D. I also did some personal readings of D&D. And let me tell you this. The lore of D&D is incredibly vast! There are multiple resources online for us to learn. They have their websites and books for players to learn more about how the game works. D&D is incredibly detailed with the stats, abilities, classes, races, monsters, and many more details that can affect our experience. All the minor details affected everything into a culmination of our characters and how our adventure played out.
The frustration with the rolls and how the DM and the players could not see eye-to-eye with what we could or could not do, the multiple times each of our party members died only to come back alive with our death rolls, and the good rolls we finally had after suffering the onslaught of giant rats. All the blood, sweat, and tears we excreted with the demanding task of rolling dice made the whole experience worthwhile.
Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game introduced back in 1974. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were the designers. Its current publisher is Wizards of the Coast.
https://www.dndbeyond.com/ – This site is a must for all D&D players. You can access your character sheet and campaigns, as well as read about the lore and happenings of the Dungeons and Dragons world.
The coronavirus affected us all. Those whose life spiraled down in a big way felt this impact the most. I was here working my kitchen job full-time, contributing to my family with studies pushed aside somewhere in my mind. I was eventually planning on returning but I just didn’t know when I would. Things were not looking well for universities at that time with what was going around in Hong Kong.
And then boom! Out of nowhere, we got news that our restaurant and a few more from the same company were shutting down. The situation in Hong Kong was looking pretty dire. This was just bad for not only me, but also my colleagues who were suddenly out of jobs. I had no job, I was not studying at that time, my life felt so out of control. I applied for jobs here and there but it seemed like I would never find one again. The small light at the end of the tunnel seemed to get smaller and smaller. Never mind I thought, these things happen. I will just pull up my trousers and go on with life.
And then the next big thing hit us. The dreadful pandemic we all have grown accustomed to. All the negative energy seemed to just manifest around me. The clouds seem darker in the sky, it just felt like everyone lacked common courtesy and compassion for one another. Seeing the ugliness of people come out like when supermarkets were empty from hoarders, people leaving their masks everywhere. All these just ticked me the wrong way and my faith in humanity kept plummeting deeper and deeper.
I think the thing I hated the most was myself in these times. Normally you would expect someone to try to make life better for themselves by being able to find a stable and well-paying job. But I just grew apathetic to life because I could not see myself do better. I lost interest in everything. I was only eating for sustenance, I could not find enjoyment in music and I only browsed the Internet to pass time. I felt like my life was meaningless and that I was a complete disappointment to my family.
I was glad I had people in my life I could always talk to. We would meet up and just chill. Maybe eat together and watch something, or go outside and walk along the seaside and grab a beer. When life seemed to spiral out of control, I had friends I could rely on. I could see them grabbing onto a sturdy branch and reaching out their hand for me to grab. Life seemed to slow down, and I felt calmer around them. I could enjoy food and music around them. Just being able to laugh and fool around with no care in the world in each other’s companies. I think that was the thing I missed the most in these dark and turbulent times.
One thing I realized was that things were shit for all of us. We could all relate to one another and find comfort in talking about what was going on with ourselves. By talking things out, we were able to help each other stand and come into realization that life goes on. It also helped us face reality and helped us normalize what was going on. In a few years(hopefully!) We would be done with the coronavirus and be able to walk in the streets without masks. We would be able to travel outside again and life would be back to normal.
Trying to look at my own standpoint like Arthur Frank said, I think of myself as an honest person, but I also admit I find it hard to open up to people so if I have done so. That’s why I have tried to not omit anything from my experience while I write this. But if I have done so, it’s probably something I feel is too personal or something that would serve no purpose from other people knowing. I know we are always going on about how this year is always worse than the previous. But I do not like that mentality. I want every year to be better than the year before so we are constantly improving ourselves. I hope 2020 has broken the cycle of thinking that way. I guess in a way I have 2020 to thank. If you are rock-bottom, the only way to go is up.
I have noticed that when humans face situations of danger or uncertainness. They are prone to being emotional and the ugly side inside of them may show up. As in the case, with the outbreaks of corona. First with China from not containing the virus. I agree China should have done a better job of containing the virus, but I do not condone the negative treatment of mainlanders. I have noticed this mostly from young Hongkongers.
The same with the incident of some posts I have seen on social media about whose fault it is for the recent spikes of the virus in Hong Kong. I have always believed in the case that one bad tree does not make a forest. There are bad apples on both sides, but that is not the point. If we search hard for bad stuff, we will find it because that’s what we want to see. Things should not be a competition between “us” and “them”.
If we are expected to have to be seen as a region with autonomy and a shared sense of identity. Shouldn’t we learn to respect one another and treat each other like we’re part of the same family? Whenever something like this happens, it is always better to show empathy and understanding to someone. To educate them, instead of insulting or arguing with them. Because only by seeing their own wrongdoings will a person truly change, not by forcing them into a defensive stance.
There are a multitude of games available in the market. But I want to talk about an idea that may end up becoming the go-to way of experiencing gaming within the next 10 years. Virtual reality (VR) gaming.
Imagine coming home after a long day of work. You take off your shoes, let your feet breathe, and plop down onto your sofa and put on your headset. Then boom! You are in another world flying with dragons and diving down huge waterfalls. VR gaming hasn’t been utilised to its full potential yet as can be seen from consoles still taking precedence in the gaming community. But VR has been making leaps in its development since it has first been introduced to us.
Looking at VR as a form of escapism, its potential is endless. You are able to immerse yourself completely in a world dealing with magic, monsters, space and the usual gaming stuff. Moreover with the current and future tech being developed, more senses are being implemented into technology. One example is the Haptic suits and gloves to allow players to feel the sense of touch when getting shot or receiving a hug from someone in VRChat.
VR gaming introduces a whole new world for multiplayer games and interactions with other people. Gustatory senses and digital scent technology is out there in the market. Maybe in the future, these technologies can be implemented in VR gaming in order to be more immersive.
Currently a lot of its technology is too expensive or too big to be sold for regular consumers. One example is the VR treadmill. Most of their tech is only available for business and commercial use such as VR centers. However in order to truly revolutionise gaming and be closer to something akin to “Ready Player One”. VR technology must be developed to be easily accessible to the normal user like you and me.
I first followed the channels relating to masculinity because they were helpful to me. They taught me how to have a better attitude with life. The importance of perseverance and working hard. How to appreciate the people around me and myself. Furthermore, it is a place for men to bond, just like with sports. Usually the YouTube channels I am subscribed to talk about subjects their followers sent them to review or talk about. This way the subscribers can interact with the channels and share their life story or about some conflicting source they found on the Internet. Outside of these channels, a lot of men do not have a way to share or learn about the experiences they face because men’s issues are disregarded by most platforms. Even talking about the issues faced by men are ridiculed. A civil rights movement: father’s rights movement is seen as a joke because women are traditionally the caregivers and they think men obviously could not have a strong bond towards their own children. The law and society undermine the value of fathers, even fathers themselves underrate their own value they bring to their children. (York, 2020)
I watch these channels frequently. Almost all of their videos if they are talking about a topic that is new to me. They help me understand how society views men, as well as how men and women think. I have seen people ridiculing these “garbage men” for trying to voice their opinions online. The public shaming comes from both women and men so this is where I garner that it is a normal phenomenon to think men should not voice their opinions because of the “privileges” they have. It makes us believe that only men have privileges, which is far from the truth . Any problems men have should be ignored because surely, we are living our best lives with no worries at all? Chivalry has existed from a long time and it is hammered down to every boy ever since they could first process their thoughts that they had to protect the fairer sex.
There is also a popular saying online you see from time to time: “All men are trash”. I’m sure you have heard it somewhere before. I do not know who hurt those women ;D but I hope they are doing alright now. The impression we get from this saying is that “men are trash/toxic”, that they treat women poorly. But even if they were just saying it as a joke, this shows that it is okay to complain to the whole world about the filth that are men. However, if it was a man complaining about the toxic women in their lives, suddenly he would be branded a loser and less of a man.
There is a recent scandal consisting of Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard. The situation is so suspicious on Heard’s part that everything she has been saying is being disproved. A phone recording has come out suggesting that Amber Heard was in fact unstable and the one enacting the violence. As well as reports and pictures of Depp’s finger being cut by Heard(like someone would cut his own finger), Heard wearing makeup to show evidence of domestic violence to strengthen her case of receiving spousal support after their divorce. Even with all this evidence, the Sun(a tabloid from the UK where the trials are taking place) are strongly in favour of Heard because “they have always fought for justice against women in domestic violence.” Even though there is no clear evidence backing it. Moreover, it all seems like they are just doing it for their image and to blindly stand on the side of women. Depp has since been asked to let go of his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 to protect their image of being linked with a supposed “wife beater.” Heard on the other hand, has not received any backlash with her acting roles like Aquaman 2, even with her instability and violence against her ex-husband being revealed on the Internet. I now know clearly which two movies I will be boycotting. The link to this case will be provided in the reference list down below. You can also check out multiple videos on YouTube tackling this subject if you are interested.
Men are vilified more than women when they commit the same mistakes. Even when there is no evidence backing up claims, men still get the short end of the stick. The current social dynamic is one where we support women no matter what. It is more acceptable and encouraged by others, so we turn a blind eye to the voices of men. This is what our “progressive society” is developing into.
Now, my goal is not to vilify women and become the one thing I swore not to be. Obviously this is the way society thinks(both women AND men). It is right that we should have equal opportunities, however, this should also be true when we are judging them(especially in lawful affairs). Society is too in favour of women to the point that some women are using it to benefit themselves unlawfully. They can get away with most things, so they will continue to exploit that system.
I have always considered myself to be a feminist and will continue to fight for the equality of women. But in a lot of places in the world, women are equal to men. I believe people who really care about this subject should go to the places with visible inequality between men and women and actually do something about it rather than complain about facing it in a society that does not have those problems. The gender wage gap is non-existent between men and women in the same position. You only see it if you look at the whole picture because there are more men working in stem fields compared to women. You cannot blame a gender solely because they choose to study and work in certain professions more than the other. Higher education is also seeing a trend of more women than men in all fields besides STEM. The level of education of women is by far surpassing that of men in developed countries. I feel for women who are actually suffering from unfair treatment, the ones that do not have access to education, the ones who are targeted by cartels to become prostitutes for them, the ones who are forced into marriage at a young age. Instead of the 119th tweet about someone claiming she is being oppressed by the patriarchy for stubbing her toe on her desk. I will let go of my identity as a feminist because I believe it is just a label now. It has lost its meaning. I will always believe in the equal opportunity of both genders, feminism now just does not seem to be working like that.
Like feminism, I have stopped giving myself labels and am taking a more holistic approach on life. Why can’t I be interested in more than one thing? Why must I follow a political party blindly instead of looking at their values and what they have done for the group I am represented by? There are more sides to the coin than what appears to be the case. Masculinity is not bad, we should appreciate the good sides of masculinity instead of downplaying it and ignoring the problems men face to support the women’s issues. We should be fair to both sexes if we truly want gender equality.