Sometimes I forget how many questions I have. At the end of speeches, conferences & talks, the simple & necessary, ‘does anyone have any questions’ yarn is asked, but still I keep ‘schum’. I’m going to suggest that this is merely a product of a lack of confidence, or a matter-of-fact revelation that I have no questions worth asking. But some may suggest it’s a gradual learning from the surroundings urging a passivity that no one really realises until the moment has passed. The questions I have stored in my head address this point. The moving pictures of the early 20th century have sewn their teachings through to the modern day, and literally have us at gun point. If we move, we’ll miss it. If we miss it, we can’t talk about it. 'It', is, 'it'. Or rather the subject of programme scheduling is key to owning conversation.
Many great things can be learnt from television. In 2004’s ‘Oldboy’ Oh Dae-Su gathers a wealth of knowledge from 15 years subjection to the box. His circumstances are rather passive themselves, being locked up in a room and left to sieve through their memories for fifteen years is enough to make anyone worship the mighty release-from-mundanity TV.
But the questions still remain. Oh Dae-Su is released bursting full of queries, without a passive inch in his body. So rather than looking at society’s inventions as subjugating the masses, they postpone action, or, to look at it from a different angle, perhaps create action. We learn how to build & burn bridges from forms of dictation. We learn what is right & wrong on a basic level, but we also learn with what we identify. These tools can help us shape the people we are.
In Oh Dae-Su’s case, he uses his imprisonment to train his body & mind into finding the reason for his incarceration. To look at this away from the stories main plotline of revenge, is to see that this great metaphor describes our own individual struggles, the struggle to actually release ourselves from passivity and do what we want to do. However this route can be lined with danger, as escape’s guise is not what we think or may like it to be, and in Oh Dae-Su’s case his path is the direct product of his captivity, a position he, arguably, had no control over.