Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1.2 practise essay - Modern youth has too much temptation

Dear Editor,
Modern youth are exposed to too much temptation throughout the works of society; What is being offered to them, forced upon them, expected of them, and easily accessed by them is ruining and prioritising what is now the illusion of necessities opposed to what reality holds as being of value. Youth are constantly tempted by alcohol, drugs, sex, night life and the ability to have underage freedom which unfortunately is appealing to too many teens over the importance of education, law enforcement, the knowledge of right and wrong and moral values.

Alcohol is tempting and swaying modern youth at parties as it unlocks an idealistic path to the ultimate "cool", popularity and proves relaxing as a means of escaping the stress forced towards and surrounding them outside of an environment containing alcohol. These are pressures such as achieving in school, reaching expectations of parents academically and aiming and excelling for their own personal requirements to feel successful in schools which are proving too much for all youth today.

Having an impressive night life is a strong temptation inflicted by peers as it introduces guidelines and unwritten rules within social circles to go out during weekends and attend each known party. This creates the need for stories, certain friends or connections and solely focuses on the hierarchy of popularity as a social pressure pushing youth into rebellious and drama filled situations just to stay connected to the inside and talked about group. Youth are being troubled and lost in what to do as saying no progressively and unwarily produces the fear of missing out instead of doing what is right.

Freedom is a direct want derived from control in which youth are not equipped for and ready to accept and take on as an additional temptation although it has not stopped or refrained many teens. Freedom is an act which is internally thought about and develops into the aspect within society which sees youth spread across the news negatively because they have unregarded all values and gone against morals to impress and live up to expectations of others and themselves. Most youth crave freedom as it opens up a prediction of ease however this is not true.

I do recognise modern youth must experience for themselves to understand and learn from mistakes which are cushioned by support groups, youth lines, councillors and other social working aids which prevent and try to control and define the temptations in an effort to keep them to a minimum in each individuals life. However I believe not enough youth use these services making them pointless with a stereotype of only people with problems use external help.

Modern youth have too much temptation which I believe needs to be refined and limited by elder generations.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

1.2 Formal Writing - The drinking age should be raised to 21.

The drinking age in New Zealand should unquestionably be raised to 21. The adolescent generation currently abuse the right of adult and mature privileges with unacceptable behaviour in unrestricted settings, the vast misuse and initiation of money into the multi-million dollar industry, unfortunate accidents and the amount of unplanned pregnancies and violence inflicted upon family are steadily becoming more concerning as the statistics rise each year. I am strongly in agreement with the law being altered to a more suitable and appropriate age which will freely offer alcohol to society when they are emotionally ready.

The convenience and ease of access to consume alcohol with no limitations has lead and been the sole reasoning behind many irresponsible occurrences which have been inflated through media embellishing the need for more boundaries while under the influence of alcohol. It is certain that a law needs to be instigated into communities to avoid the statistics which undoubtedly demand change. 30% of all suicides are alcohol related. 45% of all auto-mobile deaths are alcohol related. 30% of all deaths caused by fire are alcohol related. 30% of all drowning are alcohol related. It is dominant that alcohol is affecting the inner workings of society and an age increase is an ideal solution because of the maturity level reached when at the age of 21 in comparison to the tender age of 18.

Money is another main factor averting the right course of action as the Government receives most profit from businesses manufacturing alcohol which then is sold with high tax potentially damaging financial stability in families and students attempting to educate themselves. Wealth is also challenging the health department and services as 5.3 billion is drained each year because of alcohol mistreatment alone proving that those funds could be spent on a new technological age within the future of New Zealand because of denying alcohol to citizens under the age of 21. It is in the best interest for our countries economical state to activate a positive escalation concerning a proper legal drinking age.

Pregnancy commonly has a higher accidnetal conception rate because of the personality change and careless approach to life changing decisions which is realised with alcohol in your system as you are not fully aware and in control. An age increase would help eliminate the children which grow up a direct outcome of an unplanned and an unrecalled relation with alcohol which consequently struggle to feel wanted only strengthening the cycle as younger and younger children turn to alcohol as a release. Pregnancy affects all aspects of a previously functional family as successful futures diminish at such young ages reinforcing the need for politics to support the need for drinking to be legal at the age of 21.

Many families feel the physical disadvantages of alcohol because young adults are experimenting too young with alcohol setting up violent and bad actions for all future contact they may have with this substance. Street fights are becoming a customary event at parties and public events as alcohol affects and induce behaviour which differs from the persona individuals usually have while sober. Aggression and hostility are steadily develpoing into feuds fueling the gang culture within New Zealand.

However, I do acknowledge that if 18 year olds have been accepted into the adult world with the privilege of voting they should also be allowed to choose and have options which offer alcohol also. I also recognize that it is the minority which publicly ruin the repuation of the majority associated with alcohol although, I firmly believe an age increase will help abolish all unfortunate issues and problems by refusing access so that society is able to experience life sober before they decide to expose and introduce all of the other concerns previously mentioned.

The drinking age should be raised from 18 to 21.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1.2 Formal Writing - Social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook are endangering teenagers.

Social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook are not endangering the safety of teenagers while online. Instigators of the virtual world have allowed and made safety features accessible to all users of their websites also providing recommendations of how they are able to prevent bad situations. It is to be understood by the worried percentage of the general public that not all members of the social network are predators but friendly associates which society is constantly surrounded and living alongside of. Citizens need to come to the realisation that it is in fact teenagers occupying and insisting that socially designed websites remain available to be used freely.

Privacy tools are constantly being suggested throughout the set up of an account to be used in a social environment. All applications require certain information making sure users are of an appropriate age and are not making multiple accounts to potentially hack systems and create chaos in an originally pleasant and welcoming setting. These features of protection provide options to the amount and type of information network consumers want openly exposed on the page they occupy within the main site. There is also the choice of having a private page on “Bebo” which only allows requested and legit friends the opportunity to interact with however the decision is up to the user.

There is a common belief amongst elder generations that sexual predators, bullies and bad influences are predominantly acting with fake identities on social networks leaving teenagers displayed in a vulnerable and powerless position to the rest of the online population however this is definitely not correct nor true. Unfortunately it is the rare minority which is damaging the reputation of the online social circuit against the majority which is acting appropriately in a positive manner. Out of the 200 million “Facebook” followers there is a diminutive percent of actively negative pressures and manipulative profiles waiting to attack and provoke teenagers while they are obliviously enjoying and participating in the happy attitude followed by most.

The teenage community stress they do not feel threatened by other online users rejecting the dangerous philosophy voiced by removed figures with prior negative and opinions which don’t accept the new technological age. This is clear as statistics show 65% of social networking users are the adolescent population who demand upgrades and newer activities to stay amused while remaining social from the privacy of their own homes. It is clear by the success rate of social networking with “Facbook” being priced at 15 billion dollars that there is no lack of online interest proving teenagers feel comfortable to express and contribute to the profiles they create for themselves.

However, it’s acknowledged that the total of suicidal teenagers is concerning and should not have resulted to an increasing tally. Precautions need to be stimulated within families, schools and communities of acceptable and unacceptable footage, photographs, information and behaviour in a realm of subjective reality. However if teenagers expose themselves and do not follow through with vital safety measures offenders have control, in a downward spiral which is hard to prevent.

Social networking is safe when basic rights and rules associated with different networks are not challenged and abused. When society is educated internet security will maintain and potentially become free of destruction.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1.2 Formal Writing - The internet is a dangerous place.

The internet has been a convenient, global, working resource which is no longer portraying only a positive outlook but has become one of the most negative, dangerous influences amoungst teenagers, children and elder generations of today. I am against the use of internet without controlled supervision in under-age zones and strongly recommend adults educate themselves on the dangers which arise with access to an internet connection.

Cyber bullying is strong and growing only being fuelled by the use of social networking sites such as “Facebook”; online services like this make it only too easy for predators to abuse as individuals or groups in a public environment without physical confrontation. Precautions are taken by for example “Bebo” but how much control do they have of what is happening on the pages of their network and what action is taken to find the bullies once their identities have been made known. It seems that this type of social interaction has little purpose as the primary reasoning is not of high enough importance to make the vast number of suicidal teens due to cyber bullying increasing each year valid.

Addictions are advertised and easily found on search engines with a simple click of a button only allowing gambling and pornography to be accessible to any internet user no matter their age, personality type and history. Gambling has seen many previously decent people with good morals lose all of their money, possessions, jobs and families trust in them because of a habit which became a hobby which then influenced their lives negatively until they were helplessly addicted. Pornography is one of the highest selling items browsed throughout the internet which in my opinion should not be included in a popular resource used for educational purposes. Having this type of entertainment online has made it harder for anybody trying to rehabilitate themselves back into a life free of gambling/pornography and easy for the under-age population to participate in these activities.

Exploitation of photographs and videos has ruined many hopeful futures because of the options allowing anybody to upload anything onto the screens of internet users without the permission of those involved. University entrance has been denied and jobs turned down because of the content shown online. The exploitation of films which are leaked onto the internet has left a hole in the movie industry and music alike, commonly known as piracy. This is currently trying to be mended however it is unlikely because of the false profiles the internet allows society to have while living a virtual life. Exploitation is a serious crime which the internet solely made a reality.

Even though there are dangers associated with the internet I acknowledge it is an immediate learning tool which has masses of reliable information. Google and other databases have stored relevant information which when searched are found within seconds. It is accessible worldwide providing knowledge from international sources which is uploaded and updated regularly educating from more than one person and countries perspective. The internet has proved appealing to all aged students and members of society looking for an extension resulting in a fascinating piece of technology when used with caution and care.

I am in agreement with the statement "The internet is a dangerous place".

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mean Creek - Describe an important idea in the text. Explain how verbal and or visual features of the text help you understand.

A leading idea portrayed throughout the highly appreciated film “Mean Creek” directed by Jacob Aaron Estes was the vast range and importance of various relationships which link and inter twine because of the happenings carried out within the films environment. This verbally enhanced idea incorporates and is conveyed best with the use of dialogue exchanged between characters. The visually dynamic setting which viewers perceive the true personality of characters within helps the audience to understand why characters interact with each other the way they do and why they may or may not have a strong bond. Camera shots also assist in the understanding of certain relationships because of angle, distance from audience and other conventions which we associate with feelings in the world of media. Through the use of these techniques this films ideas are understood with new meaning.

The reationship concept has been defined as a connection by association and involvement; creating a social web throughout schools, families, co-curricular activities, friends, communities and on a global scale, countries. Relationships are found throughout all walks of life depending on personality types, values, acceptance, similarities and differences. They are the bonds we form which shape the lives we lead as they are full of emotion and dedication.

Dialogue said as a guide for interpretation helps the audience respond to characters in a specific way as a means of prior knowledge and deeper understanding of the relationships which form because of this. The dialogue conversed in the scene in which Marty, Rocky and Clyde are drinking in Marty’s car highlight the connection between these characters as it is obvious Rocky is the character that Marty and Clyde both feel they have a stronger bond with. As an audience we witness Clyde being mocked by Marty in an uncomfortable setting where Rocky is forced to defend Clyde as he is the more timid, vulnerable character demonstrating that Rocky and Clyde have a caring and meaningful relationship opposed to Marty and Clyde’s relationship which isn’t nearly as heartfelt, however Clyde does value Marty’s opinion in an elderly brother way the same way he was comforted by Rocky’s approval. Without dialogue relationships would be hard to understand and decipher from an outsiders point of view.

The setting of “Mean Creek” has been arranged and delivered in a certain position on screen to exaggerate character placement and location showing viewers of this film the importance of relationships within the film and the consequences which the setting has in relationships. The death of George scenes setting has been chosen to highlight and portray an alone and adult tone as children are forced to make decisions which they are not capable of in an area away from help providing a feeling of lost hope and abandonment as if these children have been placed here and left to discover and battle their way out of an unruly and unlikely situation. It is in this scene where conflict arises between certain characters as personalities and moral ethics collide resulting in disagreement and arguing. Marty dominates the relationship he has with Rocky, Clyde, Sam and Millie when he decides on behalf of all the other characters what is to be done indicating his lack of remorse for the death of George which also hints the confrontation which occurs throughout their violent and abusive yet short relationship. The positioning of characters in the camera shot of the characters facing the water acts as a guide of the type of relationship all characters have with George before his fatal death.The setting is helpful as without the specifications the storyline would be geographically lost and the ideas situated around relationships would be misunderstood.

Camera shots explore different connotations which have been stressed through different conventions used in the rules and guidelines media has set up for films. They present the audience with a vast range of feelings and ideas from a single capture on screen because of the angle and direction in which the camera is aimed and pointed towards. It is in the scene where Millie and Sam are sitting on a road side centred in the middle of the screen acknowledging the affection and admiration they feel for each other even as young adults. The audience is forced to feel the innocence incorporated in this shot because of the even space surrounding Millie and Sam evoking a sense of equality as they both feel love for one another and are hopeful that the other does too, the equality and spacing highlights their youth while sitting in straight lines opposed to a close and intimate shot; this looks and is accepted as a healthy relationship for their age. A number of shots throughout “Mean Creek” of Millie and Sam also demonstrate this for example the shot of them holding hands at the time of George’s death reveals straight lines and the fair distance they stand from each other. This shot in particular presents realism to the audience and if the audience believes in the film as an aspect of reality it is easily understood and comprehended into their own lives.

These visual and verbal techniques all allow and enforce the audience to be overcome with understanding so that they are not confused while watching this film. They work to involve more than one and connect with other techniques which when put together create a five star film. The audience uses more than one sense to follow the storyline of “Mean Creek”.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1.4 short texts "A Hard Country" & "Porirua Friday Night"

'A Hard Country' written by Kevin Ireland on a literal level describes the effects of a drought using the setting to highlight the issues raised and the impact it inflicts upon the environment. The inclusion of imagery techniques vividly evokes a feeling of farmyard suffering acknowledging the idea that this poem was written as a means to create awareness and keep readers actively involved in the realities of a drought. Sam Hunt's poem 'Porirua Friday Night' is simply outlining a conversation which he had with a supermarket worker; Her life, future and love interest he implys as being foolish and juvenille interestingly expressing the expectations associated with living in a small town.

Onomatopoeia raised interest as it not only allows the reader to visually interpret the poem but to also imagine the poem in audio aswell. "trickle to dust" exaggerates the unruley conditions a drought causes; however the use of the word 'trickle' is controversial because of the connotations linking it directly to the sound water makes which in this setting is difficult to imagine and unlikely to be heard. Ireland's decision to incorporate the word 'inhuman' is ironic due to the immense amount of personification found throughout this poem. Personification being a language technique used to describe non-living objects with human characteristics creates a sense of uncertainty as all the previous statements of 'A Hard Country' relate directly to human mannersims.

These techniques displayed to the audience acknowledge the truth in the little society know about droughts as human culture usually avoid living in such harsh surroundings. The large amount of imagery used in this poem is to allow readers to directly understand and know the feelings immediately while they are reading. This idea relates back to the authors attempt to create awareness by using sounds and visuals society is familiar with. "crack" "jitter" Ending the poem in an opposing position allows and enforces the reader to evaluate what they have read for themselves.

'Porirua Friday Night' is recognised as a personal poem for Sam Hunt which is suprising as he writes for his audience and not so much to benefit himself. Hunt's narrative style makes it known to the audience that he has personal links with the girl included in the conversation; personal pronouns stated and highlighted his emotions connected to her life and having written the poem in first person context acknowledges that this is his own interpretation and hasnt consulted anyone else for their opinion. "Going with the boy" The colloquial lanuage set an informal, casual tone however the decisions she has made are the opposite; Her selfless character evokes a sympathetic feeling as it is clear the writer doubts she will get her happy ever after. This is influenced by the wordchoice of 'going' that it was out of convenience rather than true desire.

Social acceptance is an under-lying idea I believe in 'Porirua Friday Night' as the contrast of opinions is obvious.Hunt wrote 'Poirua Friday Night' with a Fatherly voice. He allows the reader to hear the disappointment and dicomfort he feels as itseems that he expected more from her rather than being stereotyped a typical small town girl. His reluctance to except that she doesntget to experience a night "on the town" however is eliminated as she voices and describes which doesnt seem to be judged at the tender age of 15her love and dedication towards "her man". Although there are still many que's within the poem that display his sceptical veiw point for example his use of the word "smock" providing connotations to pregnancy.

There are no strong connections between these two poems as one describes social acceptance and the other the lack of knowledge society is equiped with on worldly issues; however the common factor is society bringing these two poems together.

1.4 short texts "Bottlecreek Blues" & "Comment"

Bottlecreek Blues was written by Sam Hunt a local born poet who publicises the fact that he writes to be heard. A leading point of interest stressed throughout this poem is the idea that pollution is easily fixed with a suit and tie worn by a leader with the slightest bit of power; the more they talk the faster the coastline is cleared of toxines - Hunt is adamit this alone will never solve the poisioness cockles of Cockleshell Island. The idea of social apathy held my attention because of the truth his words portray.Comment by Janet Frame a troubled writer born in Dunedin expresses the height of indifference which we all live and participate in. The fact that society works in an out of sight out of mind way keeps readers actively thinking whether or not this is includes them.

Environmental pollution is highlighted and exaggerated in Bottlecreek Blues using language techniques specifically altering the sound of the poem when its read aloud. "Sad protest songs are sung and heard" is an example of sibilance which is the repeated sound which 'sss' makes. Sibilance is used and appreciated most when heard; the reason for its appearance is due to Hunt's desire to make all his poetry a symbol of mass communictaion; it also mentions the protest which was sung and heard however only by a small population of people. Repetition of " The wind can't blow any harder" in the first and last stanza ties the poem together with a statement with allows the reader to realise that the pollution is at an extreme high and needs to be recognised. Both of these examplars convey the idea of the environmental pollution located on the coatlines of Cockleshell Island which used to produce cockles to gorge yourself on.

The social issue of waiting for nature to heal itself because of the damage forced upon it by societies selfish needs was exclamated by Sam Hunt; Readers vividly understand that to help a situation you must stand up rather than stay seated. A sympathetic response was evoked with the use of hyperbole. Hyperbole exaggerates a situation to seem more extreme than the reality may have been; "A friend I used to do this with near died from typhoid fever". Undoubtedly Hunt's friend may have become sick but it is unlikely it was a near death experience. The reader is left with a feeling of guilt and aggression even though they are not personally involved; Bottlecreek Blues creates a sense of awareness and keeps the audience interested.

Comment highlights the fact that human culture as a whole do not show alot of interest in world wide issues but use more energy to look after themselves and resolve issues immediately affecting them. "The cancelling of a rugby match through rain is more lamented than the cancelling of a thousand men" Frame used a number of comparatives to illustrate to the reader how truthful and realistic her 'comment' is by using two everyday occurances both with connotations of loss; however one example more devestating than the other. Parallelism is displayed through the use of similar statements in a structured way. The first stanza is an effective example with the use of senses, one being smell and one being sight; "smell of the dead" and "the blind man". Janet Frame used this to compare human characteristics evoking a personal response.

The idea of indifference amoungst society interested myself as a reader because Janet Frame was an isolated person who never married or had any children and over the course of her life suffered immense loss and developed mental health problems. I was intrigued at how aware Frame was of the happenings around the world in particular the Vietnam War "is more shocking than a plane-load of bombs on Hanoi" because she was not an active participant in the outside world. Although, Janet lost family and therefore knew the feeling of grief perhaps this poem was writen out of annoyance for the pity people feel for themselves after a minor disappointment. "Heaven curls in place" This metaphor shares a sense of sarcasm providing an insight to her personality almost proving this was an attempt of Frame's to share herself with society.

Together these two poems are an attempt to create awareness of the shallow indifferent lives we as people lead.