TV: American Vandal

4dc0524425ae9fb3b38f081bdabf6978

I’ve been really into American Vandal  lately. The show is a mockumentary where 2 high school kids solve mysteries at schools. They uncover secrets and truths about a somewhat silly case in a very serious manner – perfect crime satire.

“I’m making a documentary about Dylan’s case, kinda like Serial.”

“… That’s a terrible idea.”

For the most part, it’s hilarious. Other parts though, can be slightly aggravating if you realize that these things happen in real life – forced confessions, a justice system that doesn’t always work, lies stemming from ego and fear, scapegoats and more.

Even though they are solving a silly case (Who drew the dicks? Who is the @turdburlgar?), scenes of police officers and teachers coercing a person to confess could be quite realistic. Fake confessions happen all the time and innocent people get framed, often times choosing to settle as the next best choice because proving innocence just seemed so impossible.

The show spoon feeds you evidence and proof throughout the story so it’s easier for you to digest, but for the most part I can’t help but agree that my stereotypes and pre-assumptions also make me jump from lead to lead. What kind of a student looks like he/she would vandalize 27 cars with drawings of dicks? What kind of a student would put laxatives in the cafeteria? My mind can’t help but form some sort of visual, some sort of pre-conceived notion of who this person may be.

Kids who are bullied. Kids who have no friends. Kids who are stupid, do drugs, don’t have a happy family background, aren’t well-off… kids who don’t seem like they’ll have the brightest future based on my own standards. Kids who are not on the swim team, do not write for the newspaper, aren’t Ming (lol). Those are the kinds of people I automatically place higher in my list of suspicion.

American Vandal does a good job of making me rethink about where people are coming from. They unpack assumptions and stereotypes and with its mockumentary style, depicts a kind-of real look at all the different sides of a person.

At one point, one of the prime suspects who was exonerated goes back to committing illegal deeds. As an audience member who has watched him regain innocence painstakingly, I wanted to scream, “WHY?” but he only mumbled that everybody saw him in a certain way. Everybody treated him in a certain way because of who they thought he was. And after awhile, you start to wonder if maybe they are right. Maybe that is who you are. Maybe after a long time of that, you actually become that person.

It made me sad to hear him say that. We all argue that every person has a choice and if they are in a place they are unhappy with, it’s because they made the choice not to change or do anything.

Sometimes I wonder if choice is all a fabricated dream- something the privileged say and never really understand. It’s easy to say you decided not to improve yourself. You decided not to get help. Don’t blame the system. Maybe some of us just don’t want to tackle the system, maybe some of us just don’t want to put in the effort to find a collaborative solution. Change starts with yourself, but what about the rest? Can you really do it all on individual perseverance alone, with no resources, no support, no access, no opportunities? A few do – the success stories we hear about, but the majority most likely do not.

I don’t believe in absolute truths. I believe there’s a different truth for each person and that’s based on what they believe is true.  So if you don’t believe you have a choice – a real choice that will constitute feasible change – do you really?

Sincerely, Loewe

Advertisements

Movies: Crazy Rich Asians

I read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan back in 2015 and watched the film adaptation of it last week. For those who have not read the book, it may seem like a basic romcom for you with the only redeeming attribute being that it’s the first all Asian cast in a Hollywood production since 1993 (when The Joy Luck Club was released). But in the book, Crazy Rich Asians was jam packed with cultural nuances and symbolism that was very apparent in the film if you read it or if you are very knowledgeable about Chinese culture.

Some important symbolism and moments in the film I enjoyed seeing (warning: spoilers):

Continue reading

Books: A Thousand Pieces of You

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray is a book about Marguerite, daughter of two scientists, who travels through multiple dimensions to avenge her father’s death.

By multiple dimensions, we mean parallel universes and there’s an infinity of them. There’s a universe where technology is advanced 50 years ahead, where you embarked on a different career choice, where you were never born, where Hitler won WWII, the list goes on and on. Every little crossroad for every individual, every factor that could’ve created a different life, a different world, is a different dimension and it’s all happening at the same time your dimension is running.

Interesting stuff, right? This post isn’t really a book review, because the most interesting idea I got from reading this book was about the existence of fate.

Continue reading

Books: Behind Closed Doors

image

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is a thriller on domestic abuse.

Jack and Grace are the perfect couple. They live in a beautiful house, have beautiful vacation photos, and are beautiful people – Jack is a brilliant lawyer for battered women who has never lost a case before and Grace is the graceful wife who can paint, garden, and cook elaborate dinners. The two are excited to have Grace’s little sister, Millie, live with them after she finishes school despite Millie having down syndrome and requiring extra care.

Yes, Jack wants very dearly for Millie to live with them soon. Not necessarily because he has a beautiful heart too, mostly because he’s a psychopathic bastard.

… it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.

* Spoilers ahead

Continue reading

Books: Lies We Tell Ourselves

lwto-high-res

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley is a love story between two highschoolers during the 60’s integration movement. Sarah Dunbar is an intelligent and musically talented girl and is one of the first black students to attend a previously all-white school in Virginia. Linda Hairston is a strong believer in segregation, as taught by her father, who is an influential writer. The two fall for each other.

My first thought – interracial couple and lesbians? How much conflict can this little novel pack in? Continue reading

KDrama: Goblin

lee-dong-wook-goblin-grim-reaper

I just finished watching the Korean drama, Goblin. It is a romantic drama about loves that extend into past and future lives, which is cool and all, but what I found most interesting was the role of grim reapers.

In this drama, there are deities, humans, and grim reapers. To be a grim reaper means you have committed a great sin in your previous life.

Continue reading

Movies: Your Name

Your Name is a Japanese animation film by Makoto Shinkai (same director as 5 Centimeters Per Second), and it is the best movie of 2016.

Many people compare this film to the work of Hayao Miyazaki, a man who created some of the best Japanese animation films of all time (Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, and Princess Mononoke just to name a few famous titles). In fact, Your Name passed Princess Mononoke this year at the Japanese Box Office1. So far, I’ve watched it twice in the span of two months, and I still love it. The first time I ever watched it, it blew my mind.

Continue reading

Disney Fairies, the Franchise

Today’s daily prompt: Mythical

Mermaids, unicorns, dragons, and werewolves – I liked reading about all of these mythical creatures when I was a kid. They were exciting, fantastical, an imaginary being in a world of magic and evil, a world that seemed to offer so much more beauty and adventure than my own.

My most favourite mythical creatures are fairies, and my adoration for them has been a very open realization since I watched Tinkerbell (2008), the first movie in the Disney Fairies franchise.

Continue reading