Monday, October 24 2016


Convenient amnesia

Update: September, 22/2015 - 10:29

Police in southern Can Tho City requested two men, who work for a local petrol company, to report to headquarters for an interview regarding an on-going investigation. Both men complied.

After the interview, the two men, whose identities were not revealed for investigation purposes, were reported to have "forgotten" one bottle of wine and nearly VND100 million (US$4,500) in cash left at the police premises. How silly!

Oddly enough, the two didn't show up to collect their valuables even when police contacted them - several times. Police then labelled the items and registered them with State treasury officials for safe keeping until they know what to do.

In an event that was probably related, provincial police had been probing a series of irregularities at local petrol companies. The "forgotten" wine and the cash start look more like a hint to forget everything.

Ready for all occasions

Residents of a building in the Linh Dam urban area in Ha Noi were puzzled and frightened after the fire alarm for the building was set off last Sunday afternoon. The alarm followed a fire drill for residents in the same building earlier in the day.

As the siren sounded after lunch, hundreds of residents headed for the exits along fire-escape routes. Two fire trucks were dispatched to the site. "It was quite a panic as all of us were trying to get out of the building at the same time," one resident said.

After inspecting the building, firefighters declared it was safe and that the alarm must have gone off due to a malfunctioning electrical system.

But residents were not satisfied. "We just had a fire drill this morning. Didn't anyone inspect the fire alarms?," they asked. It was a perfectly valid question. Fire drills are okay, but don't forget to check the alarms as well.

Residents now feel safe because they have proven that they can respond to all situations - real and unreal!

Hot enough to handle

A new circular issued by the Department of Cinema under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism foreshadows the introduction of a new law on movie nudity. It indicates that nudity and other sexually explicit scenes are not to appear on screen more than three times in one movie and to be kept under five seconds, even in 18+ rated movies.

A number of Vietnamese veteran directors have already voiced concern about the cooling down of hot scenes. "Film-makers consider even one second of bad-taste nudity is too much, but five seconds will severely handicap us in our attempts to portray beauty," director Nguyen Thanh Van says.

Van says that even if the new regulation is approved, film makers will find a way to sidestep it, like they have been doing for decades.

"In the 50s, there was a rule in America that kissing scenes were not to last for more than three seconds. What they did back to avoid breaking the rule was to have the actors and actresses kiss for 2.59 seconds and stop. Then they looked briefly at each other, and continued with the kissing," he said.

Other film makers says it is about time to educate young audiences in the difference between nudity and vulgarity on screen. The writer remembers a time when hot scenes were quite rare on Vietnamese television. Parents often told their kids to close their eyes until the sexy bits were over. The kids, of course, would keep asking: "Is it over? Is it over?" If the new rule is enforced, parents can just tell their kids to close their eyes for exactly five seconds. — VNS

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