Are lawyers the ‘imaginary architect’?

One of the key distinctions between imaginary and ideology is the fact that we do not have to hold our imaginary accountable.

There are no bounders within our imaginary, ‘imagine you are designing a world, you consciously creating each aspect, but sometimes it almost feels like it’s almost creating itself’.

In our imaginary, our mind continuously ‘create’ and ‘perceive’ our reality simultaneously and our mind does this so well that we aren’t even aware of it.

In Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatis Logico-Philosophhicus’, he argues that language works by triggering the picture of our understanding of how things are in the world. He believes that words enable us to make pictures of facts.

Interestingly, Wittgenstein was inspired while reading a newspaper article about a Paris court case in which, in order to explain with greater efficacy, the details of the accident that had taken place was reproduced visually using model cars and pedestrians.

This illustrates how lawyers can get right into the middle of that process, by taking over the ‘creating’ part.

They create this world of the dream, which I considered as ‘legal presumptions’, and create an imaginary narrative, by bringing the subject into the dream, to persuade and convince the target audiences by twisting the facts, adding stock stories, and subsequently let them make their decisions with their subconscious.

The court will eventually come up with a judgment. The decision will have an illocutionary or perlocutionary effect, which in a way attempts to amend certain things or may poses a consequence. In the end, depending on what the court’s decision is, aren’t they just trying to implant another person’s idea into our collective thoughts?



While I can choose more relevant movies such as Gary Fleder’s ‘Runaway Jury’ or more recently, David Dobkin’s ‘The Judge’ and Courtney Hunt’s ‘The Whole Truth’ in related to storytelling, I decided to talk about a sci-fi thriller – ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ instead.

Imagine after getting in a car accident, you are held in a shelter by this man who claims the outside world is taken over by aliens. He acts weird, especially the fact that he has storages of supply and everything prepare as he claims that he knew this day would come.

Why am I in this room? What’s this place? How did I get in here? Who’s that creepy yet somewhat reasonable guy?

Questions after questions as the guy who claimed he saved you becomes more and more suspicious. Is he lying to keep you trapped in his place? Is he doing this because you looked like his daughter who is not with him anymore?

Director Dan Trachtenberg was playing the audiences’ mind throughout the whole movie. This is the difference between a horror movie and a thriller. A thriller creates a psychological type of fear that make audiences think and wonder how the characters are going to find their way out. It wasn’t until it was revealed that the guy who sounded insane was actually telling the truth the whole time, that the audiences start getting their questions answered.

The overall screenplay structure and outlining had been very well written in a way that it demonstrates how powerful storytelling can be, especially how it can play with the audiences’ mind.

Watch Dan Trachtenberg’s ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ trailer here:


I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?

After watching Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’, it gives me the same feeling I had when I watched Oppenheimer’s ‘The Act of Killing’, the feeling where it just destroy your mood for the rest of the day…

While ‘Silence’ might not be as appealing as it is compared to Scorsese’s previous movies such as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Hugo’ or even ‘The Departed’, the amount of killing and torturing involved really reminds me of the incidents described and revealed by Anwar from ‘The Act of Killing’.

I guess you can say ‘Silence’ is a movie version of ‘The Act of Killing’. Instead of documenting the killing involved from the killer’s perspective, ‘Silence’ surrounds missionary Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) in his attempt to look for Father Ferreira (Liam Nelson) in Japan, who renounced his belief on Jesus after being tortured. During his journey in search for Father Ferreira, Father Rodrigues encountered a lot of local Christian populations hidden underground.

You have to understand that minority culture and belief such as Christianity cannot exist in Japan, as Japan operates under militarism. They see religion as a demonstration of authority.

Once they captured Father Rodrigues, they did not kill him. They see priest as the root to the problem of Christianity. Therefore, instead of killing him, what they did was to force him to renounce his faith. They did this by village massacre, drowning Christians, burning them alive, and having their head chop off…

All of these were done to question Father Rodrigues’ ethical dilemma, who struggles as he questions whether if he’s being too self-centered or too unmerciful to commit apostasy. The dilemma where he is not helping those who are suffering as a Christian priest because he is unwilling to give up his religious belief.

And of course, it didn’t take long until Father Rodrigues breaks down from this ethical dilemma and chose to accept this painful truth.

Throughout the movie, it illustrates the three key areas of ‘humanities’, the correlation between value, culture and the normative. You can see how Father Rodrigues firmly hold on to his belief and see it as a responsibility to have such an ethical guideline. It is this responsibility given by God that gives him such a burden not to commit apostasy.

Watch Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqrgxZLd_gE


Art is ____________.

Not long ago I was asked to write down my statements on what art is and what it contributes to resistance in my PO936 ‘Resistance in Practice’ module.

Of course, as one of the few top students in this module (sarcasm), I demonstrated my resistance in practice and chose not to contribute any of my statements at all.

The truth is, I struggled to come up with a statement on art even after hours and hours of thinking.

Art is…an expression of self.

No, no, that’s too easy

As a child whose parents studied fine arts, whose dad is an art teacher, these statements are too simple; I need to come up with a better definition for art

And then art can be part of humanities as well…

Can I actually relate some of the themes from the law and humanities to contribute my definition of art?

And just when I was working on my law and humanities essay, I came across this lovely piece of reading from the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities.

Joushua Decter’s ‘Inside and Outside Sovereignty, Outside and Inside the Law’.

Not only does he quote my favorite idol Giorgio Agamben to begin with as his introduction, what he wrote was exactly what I wanted to say about art. His way of expressing sovereignty through a poem linking with law as well as art have been simply beautiful.

“Art is governed by the same laws it seeks to break.
And yet we might say that art is always endeavoring to be at once inside and outside ‘the law.’
If art breaks these laws, it breaks itself.
Which can result in powerful art…
We are the order we seek to disorder.
We are our incomplete sovereignty.
Decriminalize us.”

Decter, Joshua (2015) “Inside and Outside Sovereignty, Outside and Inside the Law,” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 27: Iss. 2, Article 8.
Available at: h p://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol27/iss2/8