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Unfamiliar Familiarities: The Holywood Effect

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Tradition and culture affect our thinking to a large extent. Exposure to different cultures can produce a feeling of unfamiliar familiarities, as is evident from watching the Holywood movies.   

If you grew up during the 90s, you might have watched the countless Holywood movies in which the United States was always the saviour — it always acts like the general manager of the universe. Superpower, my ass! Remember the Arnolds, Stallones, Harrison Fords, Bruce Willises and the monstrous Steven Seagals, the one-man army who can defeat an entire nation. I presume, when the 2000s started, it was Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 that heralds a new wave of American movies that show and interpret, as much as they were the heroes, they were equally fit for the role of villains. No matter what, though, we cannot deny the huge impact this film industry have on the entire world.

This is just a tiny grab of the big picture that we have in hand right now. Whether they are the general manager or subordinates, we have come to terms with their movies and lifestyles and how they have been selling the American dreams and baseballs and Starbucks.  It is totally another matter whether we are fine with them or outrageously disturbed. It is totally different as well how its impact is positive or negative.

Argo wins the Oscars for
the Best Picture (2013)

Equate those phrases like sex bombs and overly formalised expressions in local movies that redefine conservative living. For the record, I belong to such a society, where a kissing scene is as sleazy as the depth of à la Scarlett Johansson's cleavage. It is unimaginable, though nothing remarkable, because it is just the tradition of the land. In reality, the issue is that we are exposed to the best and the worst of both worlds. It is fine to tell we are familiar and we can also tell we are not familiar; such is the relativity of our existence.    

“Whoever controls the media,
the images, controls the culture.” 

 Allen Ginsberg
Media has a huge potential to change our worldview. Effortlessly, it can affect how we live, think, eat, socialise or even shit. One of the repercussions is the acceptance of the Western way of life, where marriage can be just a contract between the husband and the woman, more detailed with terms like prenups, single mothers, multiple marriages, divorces, nuclear families and so on. Footnoted: We are also catching up when marriages are concerned, as is evident from the records of the provincial family courts. 

Precisely, we are used to their culture. However, as soon as we turn off the satellite TVs, the Internet and the phones, we are always back to our world for good or worse — nothing matters, but the effect on our attitudes towards life and society as a whole. 

We can realise when we compare between us and them. We live in a land, where adultery can result in going through the tribulations of a mob justice system. The graveness is determined by the degree of punishment. Dismantling the properties of the 'culprits' is a common phenomenon in this part of the world.

Compare this with the land of the 'aliens', where people can pursue one-night stand as a kind of indulgence. Funny as it may sound, funnier is the world divided along obnoxious cultures, traditions and social mores. Someone just told me that different human races had arrived from different galaxies just after the dinosaurs left the world, seeing the place is filled with stupid things that can be explained only through abstract letters, symbols and digits through self-proclaimed noble pursuits like Mathematics and Physics. Possibly had the dinosaurs not missed the absurdities and meaninglessness too.        

If Holywood was lacking, we also have Bollywood — yes, there is no prize for guessing, yet we love Bollywood where even the craps look fake. Please do not worry how the craps look fake out there. I presume its 'crapiness' has made everyone aware of its existence; for those who do not know, it is the Hindi-based Indian film industry located in Mumbai. Their films are melodramatic; their actors wear cheesy, glossy and showy garments; original copies are blockbusters; and if you want to experience the essence of wishful thinking in narration, go watch their five-hour long movies.

From the fact that we are in a corner of the globe far from the real Holywood action, howsoever they have influenced us, we are affected in our own ways. Alternatively, those movies and stars are only directly connected with their place of origin and markedly in some global metropolitan areas. They have their unique influence out there, while we are subjected to a second-hand impact. We can further discuss about it, but I have to go. I just got a pop-up message that the Zero Dark Thirty download is completed.   

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