are birds really free?

as we were having lunch at the Arts (a favorite, loads of people there!), heavy rain poured. we were thinking, hhhmmmm… its gonna be free afternoon ;-))) we were thinking to order some coffeee or tea after lunch was finished…

then the bird flew in on one of the tables. and Nao said, huh, they can fly with wet wings or something to this effect (perhaps I misunderstood her). but then I, instead wondered if birds are really free?

we do think of birds as free – as symbols of freedom – spread your wings and fly – is a quote borrowed a thousandth time. and even the rain, they can fly through the rain while we were stock there wonderin, strategizin, how to go back to office.

what could be the limits of a bird’s freedom? or is there such? yeah, thinking hard and i dont know why…

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an interesting MSN article

Mike Leigh: portraying women as “not just male fantasies”

“I’m a feminist, though that’s not where I came from,” says British award-winning director Mike Leigh of his latest movie “Happy-Go-Lucky”, a comedy featuring Sally Hawkins as the free-spirited heroine.

Hawkins, who plays positive-about-life primary schoolteacher Poppy, took home a Best Actress award for the role at this year’s Berlin Film festival, where the movie was shown prior to its release in different parts of the world.

An ode to the homespun wisdom of always looking on the bright side, Leigh with his trademark kitchen-sink realism shows how irrepressibly positive 30-something Poppy takes all sorts of problems in her stride.

But he also shows how disconcerting this can be to people without a naturally happily predisposition.

“I come from a bourgeois, terribly repressive background from Great Britain in the 50s,” he added. “My whole life has been about personal freedom, many of my films are about that.”

In counter-point to Poppy is her driving instructor Scott — played by Eddie Marsan recently seen in “21 Grams”, “Hancock” and “Gangs of New York” — who is so alienated he cannot handle his infatuation with her.

“The point about Poppy,” Leigh said in an interview, “is she is ultimately serious, she has the capacity to care. But with that she’s open-minded, free-spirited.”

While Poppy was at one with existence, Scott was completely out of touch, he said. “He understands nothing, he’s totally cut off from his emotions, his feelings, his own motivations.”

Leigh, now aged 61, has won multiple Oscar nominations for his slice-of-life films, including the 2004 feature on a backroom abortionist “Vera Drake”, and his 1996 drama about family secrets “Secrets & Lies”.

In many of the films, women play a prime role.

“Though I see the world as a heterosexual male person, my job is to tell a story in a way that makes each character keep its complete integrity, no matter if it’s a man or a woman.”

“As a film-maker, I feel I have to make good parts for women because there aren’t many in the world, parts that are not just male fantasies.”

“Happy-Go-Lucky”, said Leigh, did not have a single message.

“It’s about a multiplicity of things,” he said.

“It’s about being fulfilled by the richness of life, not about joy or happiness, but it has to do with responsibility and work and caring.”

“In all my films, it is not conscious but it comes from my own life, there is a battle, a struggle, a tension between repression and freedom, anarchy and free spirit.”

Brown Penny

I WHISPERED, ‘I am too young,’
And then, ‘I am old enough’;
Wherefore I threw a penny
To find out if I might love.
‘Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.’
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
I am looped in the loops of her hair.
O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
One cannot begin it too soon.

of Kant and perceptions

one of the most striking lectures of Jak to our class is about perceptions – in particular the attribution error that many of us commit unconsciously. to quote an article on The Straits Times (June 2008 by Gary Hayden):

“In general, the way people act depends partly on character and disposition, and partly on circumstances. But when we judge the actions of others, we tend to make a fundamental error. We attribute too much to personality and character and too little to situation and context.”

i always believed that i give the benefit of the doubt to any person and any circumstance – meaning even if i hear something bad about a person, im not easily swayed that a person is such. i postpone any judgement at first instance and at least try to see the situation. basically what happened and why it happened. of course the who part is inevitable to crop up. we all are influenced by our characteristics but then behavior are influenced by factors in our environment. motivation, rewards and punishment do play a part.

perhaps this is one of the greatest lessons i learned in the MPA classroom of Jak. i was a true blue Kantian (categorical imperative) until i was swayed by this strong theory. and indeed it has many circumstances to back it up. though i still believe that people do choose to do good or right on his or her own not because of fear of going to hell or jail but because it is right, now i can say that sometimes people choose to do otherwise not because of their own free choice but because they are pushed by circumstances.

– to be continued…