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1 November 2021

1 November 2021
I wanted to be scholarly, but my TV journey continues. I was watching a couple of Asian survival “game” drama series, that characters were forced to become players in order to survive; at times people were sacrificed. Absolutely not suitable for children. I wanted to say they were science fiction or fantasy but I am not going to; I wanted to say the plots resembled the recent Hong Kong development but I am not going to; I wanted to say the losers stand small but I am not going to.  With the royalty shows I watched before, here I wanted to talk about 3Ds: decorum, deference, and duty.
The shows always ended with the main characters survived and won after plenty of hardship in playing the games, putting trust in human natures, being betrayed by people they trusted, deeply scarred psychologically. They survived and won because they revered decorum, deference, and duty. None of these are governed by written laws or regulations in our society, they are commonplace habits and practice that most people in the same community have; the standards of integrity and morality are, more often than not, opinions of a group of people who pass them along. Luckily, in the shows, these good people’s comments were never swayed, and the characters persevered.
Decorum is etiquette, social norm and acceptable interaction, basic human behaviors and reaction, that people act according to the situation, that the same common reaction is demonstrated by many.  For example, we dress well when we leave home; we make constructive comments rather than hurtful gossips, we try not to disturb others if we need to talk on mobile phone, etc. Deference is respect for each other, even when the situation may not be favorable, like in an argument. But we argue to make things clear, so it is not a quarrel, and we will not suspect or slander, insinuate or badmouth behind the computer; deference is then basic politeness, and being submissive or obedient to seniors in their company. Duty is carrying out what has been assigned to you, and completing it with dignity and pride.  To complete the duties, one might encounter hardship and pain; carrying out those duties might also go against one’s beliefs. Nonetheless, the task is done.
The survivors were able to continue for they observe decorum, deference, and duty, and were able to move a few others to follow their path, not without arguments or physical pains. They survived.  Now, I am fully aware that I was listing the qualities of these man-made shows. But Plato believed art is an imitation of life, so there might be some food for thoughts in these TV shows, and how they reflect and affect our lives.
Anson Yang