Diversity of Language

Have you ever thought about language? Language is a way to communicate, either spoken or written, through the use of words in a structured and conventional way. Of course there are many different languages out in the world. Take the show Doctor Who for example; the Doctor and his companion travels to many places and every time, there is always a different language that they speak. However thanks to the TARLES (the time machine) the machine translate the language so that the companion can understand their language. Unfortunately though, life isn’t as easy as it is in Doctor Who, language is something that everyone struggles due to the amount of languages out in the world. This barrier of language causes miscommunication between people and is why their is such a huge diversity between people in general.

In my opinion, I believe schools in general should focus more about language than anything. There has been many cases where due to an misunderstanding, leads to a conflict that shouldn’t had happened in the first place. While its true that there are far too many languages in general to learn, at least learning the top most common language in the world, like english for example, can open many doors that hasn’t been open before. In todays society, language is a basic skill that everyone is expected to learn so it shouldn’t hurt to learn some more and besides, it’s never too late to learn a language and their culture.

 

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Doctor Who Identity #2

The last post done from yours truly, it was about identities of the characters from Doctor Who and how a lonely Dalek (the last species of their kind) was lost as to who he should be; what his identity is. A recent episode I’ve watch however, reminded me of the episode Dalek once more and the identity about Dalek’s in general. The two episodes: Dalek and The Parting of Ways, both relate to one another of the struggle of identity.

From the episode of “The Parting of Ways” we discovered that the Dalek race has lived through the Time War thanks for the help of the Dalek Emperor. He then explains that by mixing dead human bodies with the little pieces left of the Dalek’s he was able to revive the Dalek race little by little. This little information is interesting because like Rose pointed out “wouldn’t that make the Dalek’s part human?” The Emperor denies this statement by getting rid of anything related to humans through the years that the Dalek’s control the human race.

As we know, its possible for Dalek’s to become part human because that’s what happened to a Dalek as he absorb a part of Rose’s DNA. We also know however, that this can drive a Dalek crazy in a whole other level; crazy to the point that a Dalek would commit suicide. This type of craziness can be seen as the Dalek’s tries to get rid anything human related. Even the Doctor points this out by stating the fact that the Dalek’s hates the stink of humanity, to the point that they hate their own existence. This is why they get rid anything human related, that way they’re not reminded that the Daleks are part human.

The Dalek’s tries anything possible to avoid their true identity despite their intelligence. The emperor has a mind set that they are pure Dalek’s and that he is God. Just the fact that he believes that he’s a God is prove that he’s part human more than he believes. The belief of a God in general, is a human believe that the Dalek’s didn’t had before. Basically, the Emperor and the Dalek’s in general are contradicting themselves to think that their not part human.

Media and Entertainment: Corrupting Societal Perspectives

Our modern world is full of misconceptions. Many of these result from false depictions created by various forms of media and entertainment. While there are many forms of media and entertainment that do provide truthful ideas, too many others tend to distort images of the truth. Other forms, like films and television shows, understand that their ideas can be fictional and useful at the same time; however, many individuals watching these may not recognize the difference between fictional information and overall themes.

In today’s society, many news stations share information containing overwhelming amounts of bias. This often relates back to the political orientation of the specific station. Unfortunately, most stations fail to separate their own bias from the news they are providing to their viewers. This slight distortion of the truth can cause many individuals to interpret information falsely, ultimately leading to misconceptions about what may actually be occurring in society. I believe that news stations must change how they share information to society. They must attempt to eliminate bias in order to help fix societal misconceptions.

While news stations often have the largest impact on changing societal viewpoints, movies also play a major role in influencing how people perceive the world. Films tend to display ideas in very dramatic and convincing ways; this is great for capturing an audience’s attention, but often causes issues as well. Some individuals who watch movies fail to separate the ideas and information portrayed within the movie from reality in our own world. This leads to more problems with misconceptions. People in society need to understand that most films are made simply to entertain or share specific messages and ideas to audiences. Films may provide audiences with aspects of culture and perspectives within a certain time period, but usually do not share entirely factual and accurate accounts of events that occurred. People can easily misinterpret this information when watching a film. People must recognize this situation beforehand to prevent it from occurring.

Television shows, like Doctor Who, typically have the same influence on individuals as movies. However, another problem is that it is also easy to misinterpret the overall message of a show, when looking at it through one’s own biased perceptions. By comparing a show only to personal experiences or opinions, it is easy to categorize the show as good or bad without watching it entirely or understanding it fully. A simple way to solve this problem is to reinforce the idea that one’s own opinion is very limited.

Overall, media and entertainment both have an enormous potential for providing truthful knowledge to audiences; however, this is limited by many factors. From biased opinions in news to misinterpretations of films and shows, misconceptions are very easily formed in our modern society. A similar message to my other discussions, but again very relevant to this post, it will always be important to look outside of one’s own perspective in order to successfully identify the truth.

Doctor Who and His Enemies

In The Doctors universe he faces many an alien as he travels through time most of which are very friendly but there are others who are sinister and evil. Of the enemies The Doctor faces in his travels none are more frightening then the Daleks and the Cybermen. Both of whom instill terror in The Doctor every time he comes face to face with one. More interesting though is the reaction of the Daleks and Cybermen.

The Daleks believe themselves to be the highest and most evolved race in existence void of any feelings and bread purely for the destruction of other races. But all of what the Daleks might want you to think is not what it seems even though they say they have removed emotions there encounters with The Doctor show otherwise. The only true emotion is one of the most primal emotions fear no matter how advance they become they are still afraid.

Now let’s look at the Cybermen a less advanced race built on humans whose goal lies close by that of the Daleks, to conquer the universe. Just like the Daleks their emotions have been suppressed to try and be a more superior being. The two-significant difference between the two races is one that the Daleks are bread into their superiority complex where as the Cybermen are forced into it. With the Cybermen if the person being controlled although has a strong enough will they can overcome the programing and have free will such as in “Doomsday”. The second difference is in how they want to conquer the universe. Daleks would prefer if the entire universe were dead and the only beings left were themselves but the Cybermen would rather assimilate others into being Cybermen.

When the Cybermen and the Daleks meet for the first time in “Doomsday” the most interesting thing that I found was how the Cybermen offered to a line with the Daleks, but they refused even though if they joined forces they would have been an unstoppable force. With their two races being so similar it seems only natural that they would join forces for the common bad so to speak.

With all this talk about the Daleks and the Cybermen I almost forgot about The Doctor. In “Doomsday” one of the Cybermen comments to The Doctor about how his emotions weaken him, yet The Doctor always ends up conquers evil in the end. This idea that The Doctors emotions make him stronger is not lost though on the cult of Skaro or at least on Dalek Sec. Later in the series we find that the Daleks are now trying to become more human under the leadership of Dalek Sec to continue their race which The Doctor complements them on because they are no longer fixated on killing but more on the preservation of life until they kill Dalek Sec. This is a big shift for the Daleks they are learning that for them to be as strong as The Doctor they may need to become more like him and we see that they are not always about killing they can evolve.

Lessons by The Doctor

The idea of diversity in Doctor Who has been particularly interesting to me. Because of the Doctors ability to travel in time, his companions are able to learn and experience the future and history all while saving the world. Having bits of diversity in each episode, also gives viewers the opportunity to take away lessons from each show. Particularly in Classic Who, lessons were more apparent and directed towards a certain audience of children.

In an article on the Radio Times, Natalie Barnes gives a different perspective to the thought of lessons given in Doctor Who. “The Time Lord helps kids face their fears – and teaches them nothing beats using your brain” (Barnes, 2017). The idea of ‘nothing beats using your brain’ stood out to me. As I reflected on this idea and some examples from the show, I have realized that the Doctor constantly uses explained reasoning, past experiences, and self reflection to work his way through the problem he is trying to solve. Hardly ever does he use the internet or, more importantly, give up on trying to save the world. Although New Who is not as direct with its depiction of lessons or pieces of diversity, the show as a whole has a single common lesson: ‘nothing beats using your brain.’

Although I have only seen a couple episodes of Classic Who, both Classic Who and New Who seem to share life lessons displayed in each season or episode. Doctor Who TV talks about the importance of making sure Doctor Who is entertaining for children and adults while giving both audiences something to relate to. Author Mark Mclain concluded with an idea that “the best shows are the ones we can actually learn something from” (McCullough, 2014). He continued with a list of the top ten lessons viewers can learn from Doctor Who, and I found three to be the most important for each audience: turn your weaknesses into strengths, never give up, and appreciate what you have as you may not have it forever. All three of these lessons have a direct correlation to Doctor Who, classic and new.

Noting that Doctor Who is not one of my favorite television shows, researching and reflecting on these ideas of life lessons has made the show more appealing to me. Being able to find the deeper meaning behind the science fiction of aliens and time travel gives the show more value that I find to be more relatable. After reading these article, hopefully my perception of the episodes will change allowing me to focus on the broader sense of the series. 

 

 

Works Cited
Barnes, Natalie. Radio Times, 8 Aug. 2017, www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-05-17/of-course-doctor-who-is-a-childrens-show-says-steven-moffat-but-that-doesnt-mean-its-childish/.

McCullough, Mark. “10 Lessons to Live By From Doctor Who.” Doctor Who TV, 3 Dec. 2014, www.doctorwhotv.co.uk/10-lessons-to-live-by-from-doctor-who-69347.htm.

Diversity in The Walking Dead

The AMC show The Walking Dead includes a lot of diversity with its characters. In many horror/fantasy TV shows, the male is always the stronger character who saves the day, while the female is the weaker character needing to be saved; however, The Walking Dead does a great job of moving passed these stereotypes.

Michonne, one of the female characters, is portrayed as a strong, independent fighter who carries around a samurai sword and does just as much fighting and saving as the male characters do. The other females in the show are also much like this. They step up to lead when needed and do not hesitate. Michonne is not only a strong-willed woman, but she is also African-American. Many well-known characters on the show are of color and this sets the show apart from others, because many Black characters are underwritten in a lot of shows. In addition, these colored characters leave behind strong legacies. Their character goes through many changes and struggles and before being killed off the show, they are able to grow and change as a character.

The Walking dead not only shows diversity in its characters, but also in its characters’ relationships. Almost all romantic relationships that include a person of color are interracial, including one with the main character. There are three different interracial couples on the show and many interracial friendships as well. There is also a gay relationship between 2 men and one between 2 women and another man who came out as gay in the duration of the show.

Glenn, one of the shows most beloved and long-lasting characters is Asian-American. There are few shows out there that have Asians as one of the main characters. Glenn is one of the characters that still tries to keep his humanity even after the world has ended, which made him a fan favorite.

Lastly, there is a strong, Hispanic woman character named Rosita. She knows how to take care of herself and has many skills that she brings to the group. She often steps up as a leader when the group is in a tough situation. For example, the group finds some bombs and they need to deactivate them and Rosita is the only one who knows how to do that without having the bombs explode. The Walking Dead does a very good job of including a broad range of individuals of different races, genders, sexualities and ways of thinking. I think more shows need to follow in their footsteps in making their show as diverse as The Walking Dead.

Class Distinctions or Society Distinctions?

It doesn’t matter where people come from, most tend to “judge a book by its cover,” whether intentional or not. Even though I oppose this, I know I make the same mistake as so many others. It’s hard not to do this! I try to view life with open-mindedness, but I’ll admit that I frequently find myself being critical of others solely from my own impressions of what they are like when I first meet them. These impressions could be from how they speak, what they dress like, who they associate themselves with, or simply from the manner in which they display themselves throughout the day. While my open-mindedness with first impressions has improved significantly since my younger years, in present day, I still tend to categorize people into certain groups based only on their external characteristics. This is very common in the modern world. In class, we watched videos and discussed articles comparing the differences between American and British perceptions of people, based on their language and clothing choices. These next few paragraphs will include broad and in some cases, stereotypical, generalizations recognized from the videos, from our class discussion, and from my own perspectives on these topics.

To begin, I’ll start with the British viewpoints on clothing. It seems as though everyone can be categorized according solely to their clothing. If people are wearing a certain pair of trousers in a specific way, they suddenly can be so much better or worse than everyone else. If their clothes are different, they can automatically be distinguished from others –placing them in a certain class without even knowing anything about them. Someone who appears to be lower class could actually be very wealthy and simply decides to save their money for other things; their appearance might not be a priority for them. While on the other hand, someone who may appear to be upper class could actually just wear name brand clothing because they like those brands more (Fox 385-417).

American viewpoints on clothing seem very similar to Britain. Many people judge others simply because of what they see on the outside, having no regard or knowledge for what else is going on in the lives of the people they are judging; they often have no insight into their jobs, lifestyles, or specific viewpoints on clothing.

According to some of the videos and articles, British viewpoints on language are very similar to their perceptions of clothing. If people talk in a different way or use a specific phrase, they automatically are placed into a certain socioeconomic class, and can be considered better or worse than others. British opinions express that language is always associated with how much money people have in their lives; the way individuals speak places them into certain groups, being lower, middle, or upper class. If people say “toilet” or “restroom,” one way or another, suddenly everyone knows that they belong to a certain class in society (Fox 101-116).

As for American viewpoints on language, I find that people categorize others into groups based more on regionalism or age, rather than social class. A conversation like, “oh, you say coke, I say pop; you must be from the south, I’m from the north,” is a common example of regionalism. People typically do not harshly judge others for saying “stool” rather than “toilet.” Instead, people often can know where others are from based on their accent; however, generalizations about a specific region tends to lead to other assumptions as well. Also, a generational scenario, my grandparents refer to many things with different vocabulary than people of my age. While more judgmental circumstances do exist in the U.S., I feel that overall this country is a little more open-minded than the British towards the idea of placing individuals in social classes solely on their dialect. However, like the British perspectives, some people in the U.S. who use certain slang or curse words often are categorized into a social class (not everyone though).

At this point, I am trying to improve on having more open-mindedness right away, but like the struggle of many others, it is difficult to break habits that have been formed from a younger age. Overall, I believe that people need to view the world from new perspectives and that they should not harshly judge others without knowing them. It isn’t necessarily the most harmful problem in society, but fixing this would definitely help to eliminate other issues as well.

 

Bibliography:

Fox, Kate. Watching the English: Hidden Rules of English Behavior. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2014.