We are going to talk about the Cultural and entertainment context reinvention scheme, which is an extension of the English Language Learning Programme.
I recently saw Moulin Rouge the Musical and it was a lot of fun, I kept singing along and it feels really good when almost every song is something you are familiar with, it makes you enjoy it. I’ve realised that a different background in entertainment is another major gap between me and most people. What people watch for entertainment establishes the context for their little conversations and topics, which would be something shared by a large number of people in the general public. That’s why I always try to find textbooks as the main source of improving my English, because it will teach you what other people were told growing up, and it’s the basis of their identity. However, we don’t have a centralised textbook publisher here, but I started a high school course anyway and started reading what other people had read. I have recently realised that not only what we learn from school, but also the music, films and TV shows we watch connect us.
I said I was fascinated by the late 70s to early 90s stuff, basically I mean music, whether it’s from the US, UK or Japan. Well, yeah, I mean the 80s stuff is really important to me. What we’ve done recently is to systematically take stock of what we want and need to do and act on it. So here we bring in our long cultural journey to fill in the missing pieces.
So what we’re going to do is we’re going to have a theme of a year every fortnight, and during that time we’re listening to all the popular music and getting to know these songs that I’ve heard many times and getting to know the artists. Then we’ll watch popular movies from that year and also see if there are any major events that happened that year in Australia and in the world. We might not have enough stuff to know all the TV shows, but at least we’d know the name of it and some of the plots. It felt like we were going to take a ride in a time machine to see how the world had developed and to hear my favourite songs and the pop culture of the time.
I quite like the timeless love songs of the 60s, but that’s probably too far away from me. So we’ll start with 1970. I want to spend a week a year listening to all the hits and then I realise it might be a rush and there might be more stuff to see, especially in the 80s and 90s, we might speed up to four weeks a year, so it’s going to be a very long journey along my English studies and I’m basically rebuilding my cultural background.
I would have to say that the dominant culture in the world is led by the Anglophones, as many of the things I loved as a child, such as Harry Potter, or my favourite baby cartoon Teletubbies, so I would be aware of the pop culture in the global market. I can now understand why Singapore turned itself into an English-speaking country in the 80s, even though the Anglosphere is not very populated, they still dominate the whole world.
Well August will be the month of 1970 and 1971, Elton John has been on my radar a lot lately, I have listened to a few of his albums and I am sure we will be listening to him a lot by then. There’s also Mia in LA LA LAND called Seb George Michael, I recently learned that the really famous song Careless Whisper is from this singer and listened to some of his work, he was gay like Elton John but passed away a few years ago. I’ve heard these less familiar musicians on occasion and now I’ve had the chance to listen to them all! I will be able to understand them all. I will be able to understand the stuff they talk about in films and in the theatre. I will also know some singers or bands when someone says their name, well, that happens a lot when Paul says some names, haha.
I believe this will be another thing that will change my life, just like the learning of English, all of which will be the foundational background for my future life. When I watched Guardians of the Galaxy back in 2014, I really enjoyed its soundtrack and all the artists such as David Bowie, 10cc and Jackson 5 are all very familiar to me now, yet I haven’t listened to them much. Oh and they even feature “Mr Blue Sky” which kept playing in my head one morning last month but I couldn’t tell which song it was, then I played all the songs in my shazamed list and finally found it. I also love Bee Gee, I listened to them when I stayed at Monkey Nap Hostel Bangkok, which is where I stayed most of the time in Thailand, but after COVID it was closed. They were playing Bee Gee’s Best of album and I really liked some of the songs on it. There are really a lot of songs from the 70s and 80s on my shazamed playlist and I’m glad I’m going to come across all of them on my upcoming cultural tour. San Junipero from Black Mirror introduced me to the song “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, which I recently talked to a friend about. And ABBA, I don’t need to say anything about it, but it’s a big part of my life.
When the journey reaches the millennium, this takes place after I was born, so I’ll be rewatching my childhood to see what the western world was like back then. Cool, I’ve already played up ‘Pop Hits: 1970’ and really can’t wait to play more.
Oh I love this song! I’m hooked on a feeling! 🎵
Tommy 6 Aug 2022 After Midnight