The Most Classless of Classless Pranks

This story is surely old news in today’s media standards, but the issue is so astounding me I must report on it anyways. As many of us know, Princess Kate Middleton of England is pregnant. One day after she was admitted into King Edward VII Hospital in London, two Australian radio hosts from 2Day FM, an Australian radio section, phoned in a nasty prank call to the hospital, according to the Huffington Post. Supposedly pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, the Australian radio hosts inquired about information regarding Princess Kate’s condition. Quoting from the Huffington Post, the radio hosts actually managed to get a hold of Kate’s personal nurse, and the conversation went “something like this”:

Fake Queen: “Kate my darling, are you there?”

Real Nurse: “Good morning ma’am, this is a nurse speaking. How may I help you?”

Fake Queen: “Hello, I’m just after my granddaughter Kate, I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going.”

And I’m sure we all know how it all went from there. If for some reason you don’t happen to know, the personal nurse revealed information about Kate, and, when she later found out the call was a prank, the nurse committed suicide. This post was not meant to be a synopsis of the events, but rather more of a sort of comment on the Australian radio hosts. Mel Greig and Michael Christain (those are their names), first of all, are not evil people. Let’s just assume from the start they are average human beings who regularly make mistakes. On the other hand, the mistake was rather huge, and childish. Radio hosts aren’t exactly known for class to begin with, but this particular prank really sets the bar to a whole new level. I know this really sounds like I’m attacking the character of the radio hosts right now, but I promise you, I’m really not trying to do so. All I urge is that radio hosts need to be more aware of the possible consequences of their calls and conversations beyond the present moment. I’m sure we all know that words can hurt, and when those words are displayed for millions to hear, well, then, that means those words can hurt millions. To be cliche, I have heard the saying somewhere or other that “With great power comes great responsibility”. In this instance, power overtook responsibility, and a life was lost as consequence. May this apply to all blog readers and writers as well. Known your own strength.

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Singer Andy Williams Dead at 84

“Moon River, wider than a mile 

I’m crossing you in style someday…”

Today is a day of grief, sadness and consolation.  The legendary singer Andy Williams, most known for his sincere, moving rendition of “Moon River”, died this Tuesday in his home in Branson, Missouri.  He was eighty-four years old, and had been battling bladder cancer for a good portion of his last days.

Andy Williams was a legend, and for good reason.  He was known for his nice, “clean” look (as the People.com article puts it) – “[A] turtleneck under a brightly colored pullover sweater.”  His voice was golden, like sweet honey cascading from the gates of heaven.  Despite the fact that Andy Williams’s prime performing career occurred more than forty years  before I was even born, I still find greater appreciation for his talents than those of say, Justin Bieber, or Nicki Minaj, or even the man that does the Gangnam Style dance (although I do find that song to be somewhat amusing).

Why do I have the utmost respect for Andy Williams?  For one thing, Andy Williams did not have to sell himself as a sex object or “cute” as many music stars do today.  Andy Williams was known as very attractive and manly, but this was simply a small part of Andy Williams’ natural personality, not a marketing feature. His voice alone could effortlessly capture the millions of people who were glued to the T.V. screen, rather than the wild hair, the asinine outfits, or the polarizing personas which serve as the basis for the current music scene (I’m looking at you, Lady Gaga.) To be fair, I’m not stating necessarily that current music stars such as Lady Gaga have bad voices – my point is that Andy Williams achieved fame and stardom through his voice and his voice alone.

In fact, Andy Williams’ rendition of “Moon River” is what earned him his nationally televised television show, The Andy Williams Show (1962).  The original version of the show ran on the air until 1971, when the show became an annual Christmas special.

There is absolutely question that Andy Williams’s time here on this blessed Earth was not wasted.  His voice captivated millions; his looks charmed millions; his Christmas special gave hope to millions.  His death shall not go without immense sadness and grief.  So, to end, rest in peace, Andy Williams.  May your golden voice continue to inspire.

Another Look at September 11th, 2001

First of all, I must apologize to everyone for this post being three days late.  I’ve been extremely occupied lately, but I feel an innate obligation to make a post about this topic.  There’s just something inside me that feels a desire to recall the events of September 11th, 2001.

I was five years old at the time.  To be completely honest, I remember absolutely nothing about the day.  I don’t remember seeing the terrorist attacks on the television screen.  I don’t remember the teachers crying and struggling to explain to the children why.  I don’t remember the tragedy and sense of negative awe that vibrated throughout the air.  Despite this unfortunate emotional setback my deficient long-term memory has caused, I can still recall the events of 9/11 via informational sources such as newspapers and websites.  Looking at images of the Twin Towers as they were burning still makes me choke up – which is amazing when one thinks about it.  I did not personally know anyone involved in the attacks, victim or rescuer.  And yet, my heart thumps in my chest whenever those pictures of violent explosions and shattered glass and crumbling ruins pass across my eyes.  The loss of life is still unfathomable to me.  I can’t locate the words to express my grief and sorrow for those that perished on 9/11 (and those related to those who perished).  Therefore, what I shall say is simply a rather primitive motto that I believe articulates accurately my point: Never Forget.

Besides the obvious emotional impact, the events of September 11th, 2001, have had agitating impacts on U.S foreign relations.  Just look at the U.S ambassadors killed very recently in Libya.  Reaction to September 11th in the Middle East has also been very emotional, but on the polar opposite end of the spectrum – U.S antagonism has skyrocketed in Middle Eastern countries after September 11th, 2oo1.  There were four U.S. ambassadors that were killed in these recent attacks in Libya, and extremists refuse to stop at that point: now they are rioting against U.S embassies in Yemen and Egypt.  I avoid labeling these extremists as radical; I attempt to view them as completely sane people who have become devoted to a very specific cause.  After all, the influence of U.S. popular culture on Middle Eastern countries has conflicted with many Islamic cultural values – for example, the conflict involving Barbie dolls in Iran.  However, I do personally despise the Middle Eastern extremists’ apparent lack of social empathy.  No matter how much one personally despises the red, white, and blue colors of the American flag, how is it even possible to thoughtlessly kill thousands of human lives without any sense of remorse?  The absence of any sort of placating effort by Middle Easterners is appalling.  Humans are humans, and certain people on this love really need to begin comprehending how to love.

A Deeper Look at an E-Rated Video Game – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

My last few blogs have been essentially rants about topics I despise.  Therefore, I decided that this particular blog shall be about something I enjoy.  Particularly, video games.  Even more particularly, The Legend of Zelda:  Majora’s Mask.  Despite being rated “E for everyone” by the ESRB, the game is the one of the most emotionally deep, emotionally dark, most tearjerking games I have ever had the honor of playing.  One of the themes that stands out most for me from Majora’s Mask is the concept of the five stages of grief, also known as the Kubler-Ross model.  Recently, I read a very comprehensive analysis online about how Majora’s Mask correlates so closely to this model.

In Rumphol-Jac‘s analysis, He describes the specific ways in which each of the five stages of grief are displayed throughout the video game.  For blogging purposes, I shall explain in my own words how Majora’s Mask is related to one of the stages of grief, denial.  For those wishing to know more about the correlation, please read Rumphol-Jac’s article.  It is a thought-provoking read, and I encourage anyone who is interested to take a ponder.

In the beginning of the game, Link, the protagonist, is looking for a lost friend.  Losing this friend is what has caused the grief for Link.  After several hours trudging through the forest, an imp-like creature attacks Link, and steals Link’s horse and Link’s ocarina (a musical instrument – let’s just say it was very precious to Link).  Link follows the imp-like creature, and, long-story-short, ends up in a parallel dimension.  In this parallel dimension, this imp-like creature, known as Skull Kid, has placed a curse upon the moon in the sky.  This moon will fall in three days’ time.  This is the main “problem” of the game; basically, Link’s ultimate goal is to stop the moon from falling.  But Skull Kid’s evil powers have extended far beyond just the moon; the entire earthly world itself has been thrown into chaos, especially those living in Clock Town.

The first stage of grief is denial.  The residents of Clock Town, the game’s central location, are in denial that the moon will fall and continue their daily business despite the looming danger overhead.  Rumphol-Jac uses this quote from the game to reflect upon the Clock Town residents’ grief state:

You cowards! Do you actually believe the moon will fall? The confused townsfolk simply caused a panic by believing this ridiculous, groundless theory. The soldiers couldn’t prevent the panic, but outside the town walls is where the danger is! You want answers? The answer is that the carnival should not be canceled!  If the soldiers wish to run, then run, Viscen! We councilmen will stick to tradition. This carnival will be a success! I’ve never heard of a defense unit abandoning its town!”

– Clock Town Mayor

Essentially, the Mayor’s speech is a long metaphor revealing his denial that the town is in any sort of peril.

 

Just one more thought on the subject: if one thinks about it, the name “Clock Town” itself it a reminder of the game’s main plot point:  no matter what you do, whevever you go in the video game, time is always ticking, and in three days, that moon shall “Consume…consume everything” (quote belongs to the Moon itself).

If you are an avid video gamer, I highly, highly, encourage you to play The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.  Its mind-twisting, thought-provoking, emotionally-stirring plot will hook you; and like me, and many others (at least on the internet), you may just consider it the best video game ever.