Archives for the month of: March, 2012

Earlier this year, in response to the Barnard-Columbia antagonism, I published an op-ed in Columbia Spectator urging Barnard women to show that they deserve respect rather than beg for respect. The article can be easily interpreted as “blaming the victim,” and that is not what I meant to imply at all. I would like to expound on my theory of Dis/respect which just came to my mind recently to complement my argument in the op-ed.

I think there are two forms of “Respect:” Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t think CDTR had foreseen the KONY 2012 spectacle when they planned their screening of “The Redemption of General Butt Naked.” But they certainly did not refrain from using Kony’s name on their promotional materials when the film did not even mention a word about warlords from countries other than Liberia–probably because they know very well that “Redemption” is the perfect contrast to the one-sided, unrealistically simplistic propaganda documentaries made by Jason Russell, who regrettably broke down recently on the streets of San Diego.

Joshua Blahyi, or the infamous “General Butt Naked”, was a man of great wickedness during the war. He was brutal but energetic, fanatic but charismatic. He had committed war crimes of practically all kinds, and he was a living legend–of evil. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday a horrific news broke out that an U.S. Army sergeant “had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses.” He killed at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children and 4 of these children were girls younger than 6. First Qu’ran burning, then killing children, what’s next for the U.S. Army?

U.S. soldiers in foreign lands are like U.S. ambassadors. They are the people who are on the front line confronting the most local issues. They are the first impressions of the U.S. for the people living in the war zone. People study for years to become diplomatic ambassadors, and yet any 18-year-old kid can become a soldier-ambassador. Read the rest of this entry »

Internet is a place where things, strangely unrelated, would go instantly viral. Yesterday was Rebecca Black, and today is KONY 2012.

I admit I have no prior knowledge about who Joeseph Kony was before watching the video, but I do know Africa has a long and complicated  history of conflict and turmoil. The human part of the video were very touching, but as an aspiring documentary-maker and journalist, I simply cannot bring myself to accept the way this video is trying to influence the world of social activism. Social activism should be based on informed understanding that arouse sympathy, not propaganda-style rabble-rousing. And the latter is exactly what Jason Russell’s video is all about. Read the rest of this entry »

Race to Nowhere (2009)

Directed by Vicki Abeles

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The United States is known to have one of the best higher education institutions in the world, and yet its primary and secondary public education systems are in dire conditions. Directed by Vicki Abeles, “Race to Nowhere” is a harsh critique of the American public school system, focusing on the problem of stress. The film argues that students today are subjected to unreasonable amount of homework, unreasonable expectation of students’ academic ability, and unreasonable emphasis on teaching to the tests that, in some cases, has led to suicides of young teenagers. I am very sympathetic to these issues, and therefore it is especially troubling that I do not enjoy the film at all. Read the rest of this entry »