Cyberbully (2015)

Following the story of Casey Williams shows reminiscence of a bygone error as she is trolled by a hacker, only to discover that she herself has been cyber bullying for a long time and ignorant as to the consequences of her seemingly innocent actions. I am not going to give a play by play of what happens, but rather a commentary on the real life situations this film attributes too including the seemingly forgotten case on Amanda Todd whose name still resonates within certain circles.

During the course of the film it is clear that the ‘younger’ generation seem to be abhorrent towards one another and the online norm is to slate what others attempt including the actions of Jennifer Li, this young woman posts a video of herself singing for pure enjoyment. As innocent as Jennifer’s actions were it opened her up to ridicule from her peers who said she was a ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ who would never be good enough for ‘x-factor’ (which in my opinion is pretty dire in itself) in an attempt to lower her self-esteem and ridicule the poor girl. As you would expect she moved away, changing schools and her life in order to try and live a normal life; after several weeks however her peers discovered the old ridicule and began to jump on the band wagon by even dressing as Jennifer for Halloween and sending the pictures to her family. When Jennifer could take no more she took her own life.

Now Casey was the first person to take Jennifer’s video (along with a few others) and ridicule them for being who they were behind an anonymous name. It has often been said that the facelessness of the internet can cause people to be irrational and say things that they would not dare in person; this is one of the many reasons Facebook and Google+ require you to use a real name in order to make an account, as I have said previously this has caused issues for drag  queens and alike whose accounts have been suspended or removed because they can not prove that they are who they say they are.

Casey herself is made fun of in a public Twitter post, to which you can now report abuse, but it may not be acted upon for a distinct period of time by which point an unlimited number of people may have seen and screen-grabbed the post. Peoples stupidity have been the butt of many a web and television series including RudeTube and Why Would You Put That On The Internet. When she gets the chance to post on the persons account as them she implies they have erectile dysfunction, her actions in themselves are referred to as a frape (originally a Facebook rape, which in itself is a disgusting name, but in this film for some  reason is applied to Twitter (maybe people are getting stupider or I’m just old)) and the onslaught of this innocent boy begins.

Whilst the whole film is going on the hacker is threatening to post images of Casey that she took for her boyfriend, which in itself should tell you their nature. This is always a risky thing to do, and illegal for those under 18 to take, especially with the amount of revenge porn websites in existence (as demonstrated if you take Media Law) and the fact that when you are in a relationship you tend to connect with some of one another’s friends so if they post an inappropriate image it is there for the world to see and can be copied to any number of places.

Casey’s images are never posted but ones of her friends are from her account which can, and presumably did, cause irreversible damage to that persons public image and relationships as a whole. In the film a video was also posted outing one of her friends as homosexual, to which her class mates replied with an onslaught of homophobic posts and personal attacks which should appal. Unfortunately these kinds of responses are common place if you go on YouTube and look up whoever ‘come out to’ whoever you will see these kinds of ugly people are everywhere in the world.

One last point before I summarise, although a far fetched story elements of it alone can apply to most peoples lives, the webcam in your device can be hacked and turned on without your knowledge and if you are on an unsecured or public network it is so easy to take control of your device and steal your content without you knowing.

Here’s the clinch, Amanda Todd. Now if you do not know her story watch the video below but in essence she exposed herself to someone she trusted who threatened to expose her publicly if she didn’t ‘put on a show’. Amanda stood her ground but the image was sent out and she developed depression and got involved with drugs. The guy made a profile with the images of Amanda before proceeding to add people at her school who then alienated her to the point where she self harmed so that she had some sense of control in her life, and as a reminder she was human.

As Jennifer did, she ended up moving schools and everything was working out again so she thought she could reconnect with a friend who said he fancied her even though he had a girlfriend, he invited her over and she regretted it as they ‘hooked up’. Not long after a gang of peers told her no-one liked her and that she should go before getting physically violent and recording the incident.

After years of abuse she drank bleach and tried to kill herself, when she recovered and went home she saw a barrage of abuse on Facebook saying how she should have ‘done it better’ and ‘deserved it’. She moved again but as things were online they just followed where ever she went until finally she committed suicide. Below is one of the many uploads of her story and the start of the trend of the card holding in videos.

The film in itself shows how one small thing can spiral out of control and ruin someone’s life, and although a one room film with essentially one actor and very little overheads, it hits home with its point and although derivative of Amanda Todd and many other similar stories throughout the world it is well executed and will hopefully help make people think before they post.

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Digital Insanity

So I saw this video on another site and thought I would give my my thoughts.

 

 

Too long are we distracted by bleeps and bloops, the ignorance of “wait a minute I just have to take this” as we send a message to a face we forget and it’s only as we get older we actually realize all we’ve missed and regret.

I am as guilty as anyone else as I keep hold of my phone and ensure I am connected, but every time we ignore one another or look to our phones it’s each other we have disrespected, and it isn’t helping that in recent years we have to get on line to contact those we have elected.

The blue glow distracts our thoughts at night, as to actually live a life with interactivity we have to put up a fight, all of this technology may eventually lead to our plight as we rely on it all to give us our foresight.

In life now there just seems to be this pageantry of vanity which just leads to dismay and complete insanity as people fight for likes +1’s and general inhumanity, what happened to the days where feeble rantings were just known as the sermons of Christianity.

There was a time when everyone knew who lived on their street and progress was made by people literally voting with their feet, but now these days you struggle to get people of their seat as communities fall and it’s only online where we can start fighting for political defeat.

The only children I see alone are those far too young, all the teens and adolescents now turn to the internet or bedroom for fun, I mean what on earth can we do to empower a change to come and for young people again to go explore and build dens in the sun?

I just want the interaction back we had at one time, and I understand how much easier it can be online as it keeps track of where I am supposed to be and at what time but even as the shy quiet guy I want a social ladder to clime and not for technology to absorb people in their prime.

So close this website and forget the booze because it’s only when we’ve disconnected will we stop and no longer be bemused because if we carry on the way we are we are humanity is destined to lose as we miss out on the things we’ve been too busy to notice or choose.

Dead Poets Society

This film is one which I truly enjoyed, and yet as I sit here trying to put in my two cents I find myself unable to write as a whirlwind of emotions are thrown into being with the comparison of facets of my own life, from unrequited love and parents living through their children to the precarious teacher trying to infuse their students with the strength and will to be individuals. With the mise en abyme of a pseudo forbidden love between Knox Overstreet and Chris Noel blossoming from ‘love at first sight’there is much to keep the viewer glued to the screen [although this tale does not come to a satisfying conclusion] along with the main plot of the Dead Poet Society itself and how it comes to fruition, through to Neil Perry finding his flame for acting before being oppressed and meeting his demise.

I find the scenes from the play particularly haunting as I am reminded of each and every time I stood waiting for my previous partner with a bouquet of flowers after each of her performances having run lines with her for several weeks previous, as Neil Perry lay on the floor with the gun I am reminded of how I felt my world had collapsed when she left and how heart broken I was for so long, but alas life is finally moving on and I am finding the strength in myself to be a care free individual again much as John Keating tries to inspire his students to be through his rather unorthodox teachings.

The tale of the society shows how the oppressed group break free of their bonds; the traumatic consequence of Mr. Perry oppressing his son shows just how much it can devastate someone when their hopes and dreams are of no avail. When Richard Cameron tells the administration of the Dead Poets Society the group become torn over their relationship and their duties to the school under the honour code, Todd Anderson is seemingly the only one to consider the consequences of removing their portion of blame for the events onto Mr. Keating possibly showing more compassion than the others. The following exchange of looks between Mr. Keating and Todd Anderson shows that he forgives him, just as Todd’s outburst shows the remorse he feels before standing on his desk and inspiring his class to stand up to the totalitarian regime with the calling of “Oh captain, my captain”

“Oh captain, my captain”

Tarantino-A-Thon!

Three Tarantino films we’re screened at Academi by Student Cut Films last night; Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Bastards and Reservoir Dogs  labelled their ‘Tarantino-A-Thon!’ has inspired me to review these films along with their (in)famous director and just give me something to do for five.

Now it’s undeniable that he is an odd ball or eccentric to be more politically correct, but it is often debated whether he is completely mad, a genius, or both at the same time. Many of his fans are aware of the beautifully Frankensteined methodology Tarantino has to his work, stealing bits and bobs from other movies/shows/books/comics and re-imagining them into his own vision whilst paying tribute to those he admires. It is true that his ideas are not original but some how he has the panache to pull it off, perhaps it is his ability to grant a sort of entertainingly twisted equality of malign intent or the way he makes his homage unique which helps him to succeed.

The mad genius

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