Friday, 5 July 2013

Sleeping With Dreams (Part Two)

Like everyone else, I’m a dreamer. Bearing this in mind, I have separated the interpretation of dreams and nightmares. Dreams are a representation of what we expect to get out of life. As for nightmares, they signify one’s fears. Labeling one’s good and bad dreams as dreams and nightmares, is known as semantics.  Usually unresolved dreams can also be identified as nightmares. The Dream Show host and analyst validates my theory to a certain point. However, it’s always important to state this theory is dependent on one’s state of mind. She says;  “You say you believe dreams are what we expect to get from life. I think that’s an excellent description for all dreams – nightmares included – as long as you’re also referring to your unconscious expectations of life (built on your unconscious beliefs). We can look at our dreams as blueprints of our future, since our unconscious beliefs (and expectations) are much stronger than our conscious beliefs in determining how we respond in life (what we make happen). Understanding a dream empowers you to make changes in that blueprint using dream alchemy techniques."
With dreams being as mystical as they are, they are inspirational too. When we dream, it feels as if we’re conscious the whole time; but in fact this feeling of one’s experience, the individual chooses to tune into the reality that’s happening. If we were to generalize this, we could say dreams help to gain an insight into your unconscious mindset. “The opportunity to gain insight into your unconscious mindset, to see how it’s influencing the way you experience and respond to life, and to change it (using dream alchemy techniques) to transform your experience of life in wonderfully positive and meaningful ways.” Anderson says.
For those of you wondering if the thoughts we encounter before going to bed impact our dreams. The short answer is yes! Your unconscious mind predicts and paints a world either one day we wish to be a part of, or keep our distance from.
The Dream Show host says; “Our dreams process our conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 24-48 hours, and tend to address either the most conflicting or the most transformed (a breakthrough), or the most unresolved. So if the thoughts you have on your mind before sleep fall into any of those categories (and they’re likely to), they will be prominently addressed in the dreams.”
Well, it looks like my bedtime story ends here! Sleep tight; don’t let the bedbugs bite. Remember to follow your dreams!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sleeping With Dreams (Part One)

You might want to get a cup of tea and a nice selection of biscuits. This might be a long episode. But whatever you do, don’t fall asleep! In fact, so we can avoid such instances, I have decided to divide this title into two parts. Feast your eyes on part one of ‘Sleeping With Dreams.’
It all starts when we fall asleep. Sleepers enter a portal that remains unexplained to many. Dreams are a manifestation of your mind. The brain paints pictures, and puts you in a situation that’s not only unexplained, but unexpected. The dream world is a complex phenomenon to encounter alone. ‘Sleeping With Dreams’ features Jane Teresa Anderson, host of ‘The Dream Show’ podcast. She’s also a dream analyst, an author, as well as a speaker. Her expertise leads us on an exploration of the dream world. Ever since I was kid, I’ve always wondered why we dream? Why they are important? Personally, I believe our dreams are a representation of our characteristics and personality. It’s the form factor of our existence. Dreams illustrate a portrayal of each and every individual’s profile.
The renowned dream analyst Anderson explains dreams are an image of one’s conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 24 to 48 hours. “Sometimes reinforcing the beliefs we built about similar experiences in the past, sometimes creating new beliefs based on distinctions between the recent experiences and those from the past. So we dream to update our beliefs about the world – based on our experiences – and our place in it.  Let’s go a little deeper: We may or may not remember our dreams, but either way they do their work of processing, consolidating, updating, and we may awaken to respond differently in the world as a result. The dream itself – when remembered – is the experience we have while our mind and brain are doing this processing work.” She says. We have reestablished dreams being a form factor to understanding one’s character.
Here’s a question for you. Have you ever been told as a kid that you should never reveal your dreams to anyone; otherwise it won’t come true? Wouldn’t you then assume dreams are made up of a wish? My inner child thought so. That’s why grown ups always said not to tell anyone. That was until – a few weeks ago. Looks like my genie is sucked back into his lamp. Since Anderson proved me otherwise.
The Dream Show host doesn’t believe dreams and wishes are related so much. “Not really. You may wish for more money, and experience your thoughts and feelings about that need for money, which are then processed in a dream. Your dream, once understood, will throw light on your conscious and unconscious beliefs about money (why having more of it is important to you, or why you are experiencing a lack of it, for example). So, in this example, experiencing the wish led to the dream, but dreams process far more than wishes. I know Freud had a wish-fulfillment of theory of dreams.” She said. However, the dream analyst follows with an interesting theory. If we as individuals choose to think of a wish as a belief (consciously or unconsciously) then it’s fair to suggest dreams can become the result of a wish. It’s accurate to examine dreams as uncovering beliefs rather than wishes.
“Dreams are unconscious desires and experiences!” Words uttered by Sigmund Freud. The man behind psychoanalytic therapy, he established a treatment for psychopathology. For the Austrian neurologist, dreams bring ultimate insight of the unconscious mind. Freud is responsible for the divide of the human mind. He also, unleashed the id, (instincts and energies that are fundamental for psychic activity), ego, and super ego forward. Not everyone entirely agrees with his theory concerning dreams.
Jane Teresa Anderson meets halfway. She says; “Partially. Dreams reveal our unconscious desires and experiences, but they also factor in our conscious desires and experiences, and they are not limited to either unconscious or conscious desires and experiences. They go deeper to reveal the underlying beliefs that influence our desires and experiences. I disagree that “dreams ARE …”. Dreams are the experiences we have while our mind and brain are processing our desires, experiences, beliefs and so on.”
I’ve always wondered if there’s an element of deja vu with dreams. Only because on the rare occasion, it feels as if I’ve dreamt what I’ve experienced before hand. (Hope that makes sense!). Bearing this in mind, it left me wondering if deja vu plays an important role in a dream sequence? When asked: do you think there’s an element of deja vu with dreams? The Dream Show host outlines the relationship between dreams and deja vu.
“If you mean, is the deja vu that you experience during the day related to dreams, then yes.  If you suddenly experience deja vu, think back a moment or two to what you were feeling or thinking. It might be a conflict over an issue, it might be a solution to a problem.” Experiencing deja vu can trigger traits of one’s character to come forward. It can be anything from one’s mindset, conflict or outcome.”
Anderson takes the time to explain the process / development between dreams and deja vu. “What’s most likely happening is that the feeling, conflict, or solution you had just before the deja vu suddenly seemed inexplicably familiar. So familiar that you think you’ve experienced this moment before but you can’t quite put your finger on it. If you remembered your dreams from the night before, you’ll most likely see the connection. (And if you didn’t recall any dreams in the morning, the deja vu experience itself might bring up sudden recall. Or you might never remember the dream, but the connection is still there.”
Your encounter with the dream world matters! It reveals elements of one’s personality, fulfillment’s and wishes. It’s the only world that allows those wishes and fulfillment’s, that we call dreams, to reenact in an unconscious state of mind. It’s your ticket to the ‘Cave Of Wonders. The only place you’ll find your genie sitting in his lamp!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Human Centipede First Sequence - A Horrifying Review

That’s it! I have to say something, or I’m going to explode! It may sound like I’m a little furious, or overexcited to speak out. Maybe I am. Last week, I was browsing Netflix, (like I always do), looking for a good movie to watch. Still searching, I finally noticed The Human Centipede (First Sequence), originally released in 2009, written and directed by Tom Six.  My friends said this title was utterly disturbing as well as disgusting, so being the movie lover that I am, I decided to check it out, see what the hype was all about.
They were right, it’s totally vile! Over an hour and half of footage, I was deeply disturbed with what I saw. Everyone who knows me, knows I am a fan of the horror genre. Bearing that in mind, I thought I wouldn’t mind the gory details that made up each scene. Thinking about it now, it’s not so much the blood, guts and gore. I’m used to seeing that on the big screen.  It’s the concept / theme of the movie that disturbs me the most. Sure, it has the traditional connotations and iconography of the horror genre. There were blood guts and gore, as you’d expect. Director Tom Six decides to take the concept of gore to another level.

24 hours later, I find out that the idea behind this production actually came from a conversation between the director and his friend sitting in a pub. According to them, this was the best way to punish a pedophile. Anyway, The Human Centipede: First Sequence is the story of a mad scientist, Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser), with an obsession for  centipedes. Then, three people are captured and taken to an operating room.

The victims are wide awake, screaming till their heart’s content, while the mad doc explains the procedure of the surgery, which he proudly calls siamese triplets. (Three people on all fours attached together by mouth to anus). At least he had the courtesy to apply anaesthetic before proceeding with his mad antics!

During this process, I seriously didn’t know what to think anymore. Knives and other surgical equipment were being impaled into innocent people’s body.

All you see is a sick doc getting enjoyment from inflicting pain. This movie just turned into a cult film.

The victims are Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie), two Americans visiting Germany for the first time, as part of their European trip. Their rental car has a punctured tyre, and with nowhere else to go, walking through the woods, they find this beautiful house in the distance. Looking at the house, you wouldn’t assume the home owner is responsible for disgusting and disturbing acts.

And the lead, as it is identified by the mad doc himself, is Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura) an Asian male. As an observer, I don’t know where he came from. Knocked out and clamped into the hospital bed with no mercy shown from the doc.I don’t want to sit here and provide spoilers; in case you awesome people want to see this production. If freaking the hell out of his audience was the director’s intention, then Six succeeded.

I hate the concept and hate is a strong word! I noticed missing pieces of the storyline. For example, how come no one was searching for the two girls? They were on the phone to a friend in the hotel. bearing that in mind, wasn’t anyone worried when these girls vanished into thin air? How come the rental car company didn’t demand their car back? I know it sounds stupid. You may think it’s funny, that I’m sitting here picking at the plot;  but it really frustrated me. Didn’t your Mum ever tell you not to take a drink from strangers? There’s your first mistake!

If you’re a movie fanatic, you’d know movies always follow a particular pattern, especially when it comes to the horror genre. (Read ‘Five Factors Of Horror’ written by yours truly). A brunette always defeats the villain. This is a predominant element of the genre. Well, The Human Centipede; First Sequence seems to have broken the pattern. “Bye Bye pretty brunette!” So, if that’s the case, is it fair to call this movie a horror? Shouldn’t it be considered as a cult film? So, there it is. A rant that became a horrifying review!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Ill Manored Streets Of London City

Living in central London, you start to get used to the lifestyle it offers. Whether it’s the cockney rhyming slang always at the end of your tongue, the hoody you wear on your back, or the rainy weather we, as Londoners, love to hate!
London has a lot to offer. However, have you stopped to think about the negative connotations that come with it? Well, allow me the opportunity to suggest otherwise. As opinionated as I am about the world, and the society that tags along, I strongly believe with all my heart and soul, that it’s purely the media’s responsibility for society’s done-sided perception of the world. Three words for you; “Ignorance is bliss!” Someone sees a 15 year-old in a hoodie with jeans sagging, holding on for dear life; held together tightly with a belt. Most people would assume that child is dangerous. How accurate is that statement? Society, let alone the media, who has forced us to associate these stereotypes for your eyes to materialize. It’s almost as if a gun’s forced to the head, insisting that audiences should think a certain way! Why is it this way? I think, in some ways, music has a lot to do with it. (This is something I’m going to express in a future article!)
As painful as it might sound to some people, an individual’s characteristics can be easily mapped out with the clothes on their back. Is it right to suggest that every individual who dresses in a hoodie is lethal? The society seems to have such a strong perception of stereotypes, it’s like they’re satisfied with what the media tells them. As if they’re happy being injected with a hypodermic needle, and controlled by the media. Is it fair to suggest and encourage these stereotypes? I guess, the clothes really do make the man. It’s funny how people believe they can easily expose one’s personality and characteristics just by the clothes they wear, then, all the ‘chavs’, hoodies, and working to middle class people living in council estates should be labeled. Sooner or later, someone’s going to feel like the odd one out, isolated, and left outside alone in the cold just because they don’t feel accepted within society.
Automatically, you can tell which genre of music they listen to. Sometimes, though, this thought process can be passed off as ignorance, but it’s as true as blue skies. Another set of words for you; “American influence!” OK, I brag about ignorance being bliss, but who’s going to listen to me? Saggy pants aren’t the only stereotype that’s screaming out like yesterday’s news! How do we know that these stereotypes are in existence and consistent? Well, it’s everywhere you turn, almost as if you’re in a maze with no exit.

If you think about it, music has a lot to do with it! Particularly the ‘rap game,’ an epic example of this has stepped into the spotlight by Ben Drew, better known as Plan B – a strong candidate to represent the UK hip-hop / rap scene. I have to admit, this track was screaming out at me to completely demolish its metaphors. ‘Ill Manors’ conveys a true representation of how we, as a society, see London today. Plan B’s interoperation of London’s dirty streets is typically accurate as he cleverly describes the characteristics and individual profiles of Londoners, who are prioritized and also catagorised in order to further understand how society’s system of stereotypes work. The more I listen to this song, the more ‘Ill Manored’ I become, or shall I say, disgusted at the possible accuracy that this track resembles. It’s over-flowing with controversial statements that would any simple-minded person cringe at the portrayals being painted, even if it is bombarded with facts, instead of fiction.
Let’s all go on an urban safari / We might see some illegal migrants / Oi, look there’s a chav, that means council housed and violent. / He’s got a hoodie on give him a hug, on second thoughts don’t you don’t wanna get mugged. / Oh shit too late that was kinda dumb. / Whose idea was that…stupid… /He’s got some front, ain’t we all be the joker, play the fool. What’s politics, ain’t it all smoke and mirrors? April fools!
When you read this chunk of lyricism, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Besides the witty metaphors, it is decorated with cleverly put together words, as if it were chocolate sprinkles sitting in a cup of cappuccino. I’ll tell you what appears on the surface: the hateful truth. I guess this is where the phrase ‘the truth hurts’ comes into play.
It’s interesting how the chorus, or the hook as some might like to call it; validates a diversion with social class. It further suggests a significant level of differences.
What you looking at you little rich boy! / We’re poor round here, run home and lock your door, / don’t come round here no more, you could get robbed for real (yeah) because my manors ill.”
…And it goes on…
Lets go looting, no not Luton. / The high street’s closer cover your face, / and if we see any rich kids on the way we’ll make ‘em / wish they stayed inside, here’s a charge for congestion, / everybody’s gotta pay do what Boris does… rob them blind.”
This track has a lot to say for itself. It stresses on media’s portrayal of people. How we, as an audience are used to seeing London. Local shootings, drug rampage, and looting, let alone other crimes. Maybe it’s easier to remember that London isn’t the only one with ‘Ill Manors.’ Now do you see how ‘Ill Manored’ we have become…? Looks can be deceiving, not everything is as it seems!