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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Qi Yue (7th Month) 七月

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. While sharing breakfast with KAJI, the family pet, PETER checks a Quora notification.

  5. PETER (V.O.): A fan asks me what's the main difference between fear extinction and conditioned inhibition.

  6. Thinking.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm not familiar with these expressions. Let me first learn what they mean.

  8. Peter surfs the web.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Fear extinction is a decline in conditioned fear responses following the non-reinforced exposure to a feared conditional stimulus.

  10. Reading.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Conditioned inhibition is an internal state that has been behaviourally learned by an organism that prevents it from responding to stimuli that it used to respond.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So the physiological context is about the effect of outside stimuli on the chemistry and physics behind the working of living things.

  14. Thinking.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Can I solve this scientific puzzle intellectually?

  16. Act 2


  18. Peter takes a look at Kaji.



  21. While Peter, Kaji and the MAID are preoccupied with their activities, we hear: "Ding Dong!" Kaji quickly responds with a loud "Woof!"

  22. PETER: The pack leader is coming home.

  23. As the maid goes to open the door, Kaji follows enthusiastically. We see the pack leader appearing.


  25. While the pack leader, Peter, Kaji and the maid are preoccupied with their activities, we hear: "Ding Dong!" Kaji doesn't respond and remains calm.

  26. PETER: It's my son coming home for dinner.

  27. As Peter goes to open the door, Kaji follows. We see Peter's SON appearing.

  28. PETER: Hi!

  29. SON:Hi!

  30. Peter is observing Kaji's jumping up to welcome his son.

  31. PETER: She hasn't barked when the door-belI sounded - 1st time in 3 years.

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER: Has she unlearned about the correlation between door-bell sounds and the return of the pack leader? Or has she learned something new that she doesn't have to bark as the pack leader is already at home?


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, this is an example of conditioned inhibition.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): As to fear extinction, how about the fear of Black Friday?

  38. Reading.

  39. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Black Friday actually applied to a financial crisis - the financial crash of the US gold market on Friday, Sept 24, 1869.

  40. Reading.

  41. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Around 1966, due to major traffic jams and crowded sidewalks on a Friday shopping, the Philadephia Police Department called the day "Black Friday".

  42. Reading.

  43. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Since the early 1980s, Black Friday has been the day after the Thanksgiving Day when sales volumes of stores would turn their account books from red to black.

  44. Thinking.

  45. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): What were negative stimuli have now become positive ones, leading to fear extinction.

  46. Thinking.

  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): My analysis is that conditioned inhibition is physical while fear extinction is metaphysical.

  48. Thinking.

  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In simple terms, conditioned inhibition is the input or output of signals received by or sent from an organism's processing system, while fear extinction is the unlearned or learned conceptual outcome.

  50. Recalling.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Today is August 19. I used to travel around this time - a kind of conditioned inhibition to lessen my response to the date.

  52. Pondering.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Staying in Hong Kong this year, I've become relatively calm. It seems that either I've unlearned from past stimuli, or I've learned something new.

  54. Awakening.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I'm still thinking and writing about the date...

  56. Peter sighs.

  57. Act 3


  59. Staring at the date on a desk calendar, Peter notices something.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ah, today is the 1st day of the 7th month of the lunar year of the Rat.


  62. INT.CLASSROOM - DAY (1971)

  63. A TEACHER (30s) is teaching Chinese Literature to around 30 STUDENTS including Peter (17).

  64. TEACHER: Qi Yue 七月 is a piece from The Book of Odes and Hymns 詩經 . Qi yue liu huo 七月流火; jiu yue shou yi 九月授衣...

  65. PETER (V.O.): In the 7th month 七月, the Fire Star passes the Meridian; 流火; in the 9th month 九月, clothes are given out 授衣...


  67. Pondering.

  68. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Then, I didn't have much outside stimuli. I had no fear of anything, and I could endure any hardship. Life was pretty poetic.

  69. Reflecting.

  70. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd):Yes, today is the date for me to begin to keep calm.

  71. Peter begins to type his answer on the phone.

  72. THE END

  73. FADE OUT.

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