Tuesday, November 27, 2012

short reviews on the recent EUFF films

 Twin Sisters (De tweeling): A pair of twin sisters were torn apart when their parents passed away, and relatives from two different sides fought for their custody. One went to a German Catholic farming family and another to a wealthy Dutch family. When they grew older, they struggled as they were divided by the events of WWII. While I felt that one of them was being spoilt and petty, this made me shed a lot of tears.

The Illusionist (L'illusionniste): From the director of the 'Triplets of Belleville', come an animation that follows an amicable middle-aged illusionist looking for performing jobs, and sadly finding that his skills is increasingly unappreciated. Until one day, a job search led him to a small Scottish town where a young woman was in wonderment by his skills, convinced that he's a real magician. He kindly indulged her, and she follows him. Without spilling out too much, it tracks their journey together. It is mostly a dialogue-free movie, and a very visually engaging animation in its quaint representation of their characters and places. The storyline is quietly poignant and sad, especially on how tenderly the illusionist treated the young woman.

Mataharis: While solving their own cases, three private investigators on separate cases found that the line between their work and private life vanishing... may it be in the way that it affects them or made them reflect on their own values and life. It was well-portrayed and in some interactions, it was also convincing realistic.

The White Space (Lo spazio bianco): An independent person who is in control of her life, Maria's life was upturned when she had a premature pregnancy and not knowing whether her child will survive the incubation or not. Single mom. Honestly, I found this a bore... usually I'm empathetic towards the characters I watch, but not here. It did not have sufficient depth for me.

A Distant Neighbourhood (Quartier lointain): A middle-aged man accidentally boarded the wrong train, bringing him to his childhood home. He decides to visit his mother's grave there. There, he lost consciousness and found himself as a teenager again. I really enjoyed this one; how he has youth again yet the maturity of an older man. This lead to some immensely sweet moments, and also funny ones. But it also had a serious undertone to it, as his father left the family without any warning and now he was transported back to the time just before he left... he made it his task to find out why. Also, visually pleasant as it portrayed a French community of the past.

The Pirate's Ward (Stationspiraten): It's about the friendship and struggles of these teenage boys in a cancer ward. The camaraderie and antics of these boys would brought a smile to my face. Not only that, it shows their struggles within the friendship and sorrows of living with cancer or in a fellow ward mate's death or when one is free from cancer while they are not and coming to terms with lessened quality of physical life. Both a heartwarming and sad movie.

Road to Mecca: A short introduction of the celebrated European intellectual, Leopold Weiss, who then converted into Islam and was known as Muhammad Asad. This documentary trails how the people in the countries he had impacted thought of him, and the thinking movement that he sparked. This was fairly interesting documentary, but it is less of a story of him than a glimpse into his impact on the Muslim world. If one wants to get to know him more, best to check out the book instead. (Also, a lack of subtitles on bits of the filmmaker's narration made me miss out on some stuff).

Monday, November 26, 2012


oh memories. screw you.

breathe deeply. eyes straight ahead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Smooth seas

When most things don't matter, then comes one that does.

Those smooth seas never prepared you for it, and your boat goes erratic; crashing into a barnacled rock, planks flying wayward after, shooting splinters in the air.

And you sit there, wondering. Heart falling into your stomach, and sorrow, or its possibility, fill up the chalice of your soul. The fear that brings thee contentment is a false friend.

Maybe it is time, to sail in the rough sea.

(...besides, is it not insanity to do the same things
...and yet expecting a different result?)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

just once?

How ordinary it was. The smell swirled around this closed space, curling inviting fingers around my entire being with an irresistible smile. My limbs longed to rise in response. I knew how it would warm me from the inside, and that it would satiate my tastebuds. Would I take a step in that direction?

Look at how it beckons me. Just once? How about just once?

I sat put.

It's easy to abstain when you do not care for it or when it does not seduce you in the first place.


i am covered in skin.

no one gets to come in.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Imagine a wound on the flesh, stubborn from healing. Whenever the cut closed, it would only be a matter of time before a stray memory splits it open with a fresh sting.

I had that wound.

Patched it, heaped on it salves of rationality and a nod to reality... But to no avail. It was independent from my will, and left me feeling wretched. I thought that I could never be truly freed from it... it had been a part of me for a long time.

Today, I found it shut. The fresh skin was no longer superficial and is sealed proper. I thought of every memory that would had ripped it open violently. Nothing. It remained sealed. 

Yet the gloom remained with me still. How could one be left untouched by one's experiences? While it may have healed, the time it took had you breathing sullied air. Would I be carefree now again? How? The remnants still reside in my lungs, and I do not know when I could be purged of this.

Yet this I know is true... speck by speck, the sadness is leaving me.

This was written a few months ago. And the last line is true... the clouds in my heart are lifting. I'm starting to see myself again.


We don't know each other anymore, do we? Speckles, no, layers of dust and scratches adorned what we were. Though how abrupt it was; for a friendship that took time, to be crumbled by a flash of dynamite and a successions of small things done or said wrongly.

It had been a tough road of not knowing, and I'd be silly to not acknowledge my observations. My fuel had been not-knowing and of memories... time to bring out the hard facts. Despite your opinions (what you want), reality goes on. I'm still the same person, but a harder one than before. I've come to terms with the loss of the friendship now and wish for you the best in life.

It is not to say I do not miss you. I adored my dear friend, but I'm disconnected and far away from the you now. I don't know this person, so how could I? Sometimes I think of a world where I could reach deep into our mutual memories, pluck you out to have a chat and a laugh with my old friend again. How are you truly? How have you been? I miss talking to you. I miss listening to you talk. What had put a smile on your face, or a frown, or let spill an angry word? Was it anger or pain when I irrationally yelled at you? How have you changed?

But that is just a silly wish, is it not? It's foolish to think that one could revisit the past.

All I could trust my feet to tread to is forward, and see where life brings me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

the bomb

I was packing for my last-minute travels, and in the middle of it all, I resurfaced for a gulp of air and some rest.

Wiping the sweat off my brow, my activities in the past hour resulted in a flurry that was the will-pack, maybe-should-pack, nah-could-get-it-there and naw-ain't-packing-that. That accumulated to a pretty impressive mess.

I thought, oh man... it looks like a bomb hit my room.

Then which a little sadness and orz, Which is me.

Quickly followed by, Waittttt... that would mean - I'm da bomb.

*pose maut*

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


The other day a friend of mine posted this article on Facebook. It speaks of the new generation of moviegoers, starting off with the question of whether the recent Spiderman remake was a little too soon. This, considering that it was only 5 years since the older Spiderman movies. To this, an upper echelon in the movie business brushes it off as a silly question.

Simply, 5 years is 'lifetime in the movie business' for the millennials.

For these new legion of moviegoers who have taken social media as an extension of their lungs, movies have becomes a platform to aid ongoing conversation. A recent addition to whip up the excitement for movies are viral videos, fueling eagerness within. Movies has turned into less of an art form to be savoured, but a fashion to be spoken about.

Every generation not only has its own movies, it has its own aesthetics, and the contemporary aesthetic might be labeled "bigger, faster, louder" because our blockbuster movies are all about sensory overload — quickening the audience's pulse.

    Films convulsing with explosions, sex, visually epic views, psuedo-glory of spaceship coming to rescue you and violence. If it doesn't pound the heart immediately, it is boring and unworthy of attention. Eyes rove in a collective ADHD experience. Conversations are a waste of time, and they ought to only be there to soullessly point out what is next. Visual candies take a precedence over the art of communication and ideas. To have dialogues means that you have to concentrate and engage your mind. Without action-based visual orgasm to occupy the eyes, what is left are the ears and thought to use, which is not wanted. Not thinking is precisely the idea... Escapism is the goal.

    It's not that I disagree with escapism, but there has to be a level of art to it. It has to be believable within its settings, and the dialogue/flow should have at least some finesse to it. When watching the recent movies in the cinema, I found myself cringing at how bad it was. Not only that, the story and character is overly simplified, and well, shallow. A couple of movies like that is fine, but to see it dominate the theaters is a little unsettling for me.

But here's the thing... the audience still enjoy it. Immensely. In that, I get the reasons why scripts don't get the attention as they used to. Why spend money and brain matter on a script when the major audience increasingly have no appreciation for it?(Actually, this is a bit of a 'which came first? the chicken or the egg?')

Here's where I put my little pondering hat on - What does it say of a society that is obsessed with the fascination of the present, where the past of a few years ago is already a distant memory? I see this in the local politics and people's response to it. I wonder of a society that forgoes observing expressions and thoughts in conversation, for the sake of visual enjoyment or big attention-seeking acts; indulging and gorging on distraction and simplified materials? How one is willing to disengage the rational faculties of the mind so easily, to 'escape'... would we be easier to fool by external less-than-virtuous forces because this disconnection is drummed into us, almost becoming a second nature?

Would these be mirrors to which we are able to catch a curious glimpse into the mentality of a person or society? Does it not relate?


In an episode of a TV series set in olden times, a young upper-class woman enters a marriage with a leader from a brutal and savage tribe. When the wedding ceremony ended, her new husband gifted her a beautiful white horse. Though she has reservations to be betrothed to him, she was touched by the gift and wanted to voice her appreciation. As both sides do not speak the other's language, she seeks a friend's assistance - "How do you say 'Thank you'?"

Her friend turns to her and quietly replies, "There are no such words in their language."

I'm paraphrasing from memory but that is the gist of it. That scene ended at this final blow... but does not the lack of such expression in that culture reflect something about the people?

Does it not act as a mirror to what they are as a culture and person?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the repeal of the Sedition Act 1948 tonight, in his latest move to regain the momentum for reforms ahead of elections that must be held soon.

He said the 64-year-old law would be replaced with a National Harmony Act.

"With this new Act, we would be better equipped to manage our national fault lines.

"It will also help to strengthen national cohesion by protecting national unity and nurturing religious harmony," he was quoted as saying by The Star during the Attorney-General Department's dinner here.

from http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-sedition-act-to-be-repealed/

My first thought went to George Orwell's 1984; Ministry of Love.

"It is a ministry that tortures citizens under the guise of love. The Ministry of Love enforces loyalty and love of Big Brother through fear, a repressive apparatus, and brainwashing. The Ministry of Love, like the other ministries, is paradoxically named, since it is largely responsible for the practice and infliction of misery, fear, suffering, and torture. In a sense, however, the term is accurate, since its ultimate purpose is to instill love of Big Brother in the minds of thoughtcriminals." - Wikipedia (because I'm too lazy at this hour)

Though, I doubt Malaysian politicians would be as sophisticated to effectively enforce that, but in the eyes of some folks, it would be deceiving enough to allow the same policies under the pleasant, positive purpose of 'harmony'. If it is the same policies la.

For now, waiting for more details about this new Harmony Act. And to read pro-gov blogs on it :).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

oh, what a pity; she isn't a woman

     It started with an observation of a svelte woman; what a pity that she-he isn't really a woman... and I supposed I was the one who stuck the shovel into the dirt first. And I do say so rather begrudgingly - while I do enjoy a discussion, I rather detest delving into a topic that I have yet fleshed out properly in my head. Then again, ideal conditions are not a surety of life anyway, and I take what I could get. Thus, an impromptu discussion began.

     My two companions and I have two differing views on; against and for, respectively. Also, as I type this, it just occurred to me that we might have been touching different starting points. There's a difference between the umbrella term of transgenderism (that encompasses transvestites also) and transsexual persons. My starting point was the latter; a condition where their bodies do not match their gender and they seek to change their physical self to match that. But to keep it simple for now, let's just assume that that's what our discussion was based on.

There were a couple of points that they laid out. This here is very truncated obviously, but this is a digestion/filtration of the main points. While I would definitely miss out on some points or nuance, I hope what is here was what they meant (if not, let me know.)

1) There is a trigger and environmental influences. A young girl who grows up with four brothers may be more comfortable with talking to the male gender, or a victim of sexual abuse may be psychological affected to a point that they have a disorder.

2) Another way to see it is where God makes no mistakes. This was applied to the point above, but it could also be that, even if it is genetically, God makes no mistakes. People with gender disorder have existed since time immemorial, however, in dealing with it, the society now differs from our past.

     In the centuries up until recently, people learnt to deal with their disorders, whether as a self struggle or through science/doctors. For example, a child with autism would be placed in a specialised class; a science/education system is developed for them so that they could integrate with society the best they can. It's not the other way round where you expect the crowd to conform to the child's actions. Social norms were respected and they conform to it, and not likewise. Back to the transsexuals, they may participate in an alternative culture or where certain sexual kinks are sought for, but they do not push to legitimise it in the larger society.

     It's only in the recent decades where a culture of indulgence started to emerge - also dubbed the culture of 'empathy' where it is further enforced by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and other talk shows. A way to go about thinking it is a misbehaving child in school who has his parents support in their misbehaviour. Instead of scolding him for it for not adhering to the school rules, they took the side of the child, accusing the teacher/school of being unfair and mean. Instead of applying the methods to deal with it (like teaching your kid to have proper manners and to not disrupt his classmates), the child's behaviour is indulged.

Gender reassignment surgery wasn't a choice previously, and now it is. Choice as in, they have the option to go under the knife to be female/male.

3) How do you know that what we choose to allow is 'right'? Off the top of my head, I used the example of a black civil rights movement; where interracial marriage is illegal in the eyes of society during that time, but has since been overwritten. What makes us think that our societal choices now is the best thing to do? Racial and class uprisings is present throughout history (examples were given); it's a common theme in struggles and wars. However, there is no precedent for this.

4) Another thing was mentioned towards the end of the discussion. This is linked to the second point here, and the idea that no matter what my friends think, their views will be shunned in the future. 'The New World Order', said my friend, is coming into power.

      He is right. They would not be kind to my companions' views, and the 'New World Order' does seems to be in progress. However, what I understand are merely its distant children (consumerism and its effects). I've written very briefly before on brainwashing of the subconscious of a 'superior' culture. To save the trouble in searching for it, here's the relevant bit:

"... a bad command in English is both unconsciously and consciously looked down upon. Liberalism is often narrowly confined to speaking, acting and thinking like a conventional Westerner. It is not to say that all aspects of that should be destroyed in order to preserve our culture, for there are aspects of goodness. And yet, 'traditionalism' is often thought of as something that belongs to a bygone time, belonging to a museum while we adopt an 'international' culture whose language, mannerism and values are inherently Western."

      There is a push for countries to adopt that 'international' culture, lest they be branded as backwards. Largely, it has to do with the media. On the lower level, just think of the amount of American entertainment we're exposed to, and how much we're influenced by it. Humans learn from watching, and we do pick up some social cues from the series/movies we watch, or acceptable ideologies to adhere to. Maybe not a complete adoption, but if generations after generations take a sip, then the cup would be emptied.

      On a higher level... this I'm still trying to grasp beyond vague notions, and I have yet the time nor intellect to hold it fully yet. It's about how media is largely controlled by a handful of corporations, or from a certain group of people. Such corporations wield a lot of financial power, which means a lot of things. With funds, they are able to invest in other industries, which generates them more moolah. They could buy over other smaller media stations or their competition, hence reducing the variety of views in the world. Smaller surviving media companies ends up relying on their news feed on say, world news, because their limited funds don't allow them to send their own journalists oversea to investigate. They are able to fund advertisements and advertising campaigns to mould the mind of the masses to suit their purpose.

They can essentially filter what the masses receives as information, and dissent is within a framework that they allow. This means that they have the power to engineer our point of view, frame of mind and opinions, which in turn grants them power in their agenda.The New World Order will come to pass from the minds moulded by these controllers.
(Somehow this makes me think about going to a handphone shop in Lowyat. There are so many of them, say 100 stalls, but they belong to about 3 companies. They seem to offer a choice or a bargain, but it's a farce because while they may seem to offer different promotions and discounts, they would have a framework given to them by their company. So in this example, choice is an illusion.)

(Actually this whole point deserve a number of write-ups on its own.... it's truly a fascinating topic with so many branches, and I keep having to force myself back to topic and not be cheong-hei because sometimes they seem to be interlinked in different manners.)


While it's up to the person if they are willing to be with someone who used to be of the same sex, my stand is that people with genuine cases should be allowed to go under a sex reassignment surgery.

1)  While environmental influences definitely play a part in shaping us as a person, I do wonder if it would to an extent that our gender identity is affected. Note, I'm seeing this from a POV where the environment is relatively ordinary, and not from those who has suffered abuse as a child. Are our gender identities that easily rewired? Two things come to mind:

-    The idea that gender identities can be switched, if a child was still young and susceptible to pliability and rewiring of the brain: David Reiner who was brought up as a girl after a botched circumcision. He was castrated before the age of 1, wore dresses, encouraged in feminine activities and pumped with estrogen, but he never did felt right and suffered immensely for it. A decade or so later, he found out that he was actually a boy at birth, that he reverse that process and became a male again.

-    This isn't really a point, but one of the little divergence that my brain presents to me as a curious theory. The divide between the sexes have reaches far back into history; in this case, it's in regards to a Western society stemmed from Christian roots, where women were considered spiritually inferior. I wonder if it came to a point where it might have played a part in the curiosity and the attempt to prove that gender is simply a 'medieval' social construct that has no place in our 'scientific modern world'.  And thus, this gender inferiority may be debunked; essentially saying that there's nothing superior about one gender over the other, if it was a social construct. Admittedly, it's a weak link, but it's here because it was among the 'points' I tried to bring up... which I did so very badly. Hopefully, if my companions read this, she would be less 'What the F...?" at me.

     The touchstone for my points is that in genuine cases, they were born with it and it isn't something that they choose to have. Besides the social ramification they would face, gender reassignment surgery is a major change that removes parts of your organs/body and alter your physique for life, hence it is not be taken lightly of, whether for the individual or the doctor. This strikes out the bit that people 'decide' on this life-altering surgery based on a whim or a lust. It's not something that 'happens' when they hit adolescence or in the middle of adulthood, but is present throughout their life.

2) This point wasn't mentioned at that time. I thought of it, but knowing my fantastic impromptu skills and how I tend to misconstrue my own points when I'm caught unprepared, I opted out of it.

     Social norms were cited as a guard against indulging such folks in their gender identity disorder. If that was the point of contention, should gender reassignment surgery be tossed out of consideration completely? If hypothetically a boy is a mentally a female, and is attracted to the opposite sex if seen from his mental state, would that not fit the societal norm? It was said then, that such people exists. But always, only in an alternative society, where sexual perversions of men (who may be from the larger society) are satisfied. The larger society shuns them as they are not 'normal', and sometimes leaving them no choice but to seek seedy jobs.

    I hope that I didn't misconstrue the idea that when science was touted as a way to deal with disorders, this could be among the ways where medical advancement could help them to reintegrate them with the larger society. Admittedly, one could argue that no matter what, biologically that their body is still their old gender; the major sign is that they are unable to bear nor father children. Otherwise, in other areas of the body biologically, I honestly don't know to what extent it would resemble their reassigned gender.


As a disclaimer, I do feel there's more shades to such a discussion. What I'm sure of is my limited knowledge of this field for now, that perhaps might irk those well-versed in it.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

injured wrist saga

This was quite a predicament.

There I was in a white sterile tube in a brightly lit room, with every pocket of movement of my left arm and wrist stilled by pads. It was a MRI procedure for the said limbs; this being the second try after a failed first round - my fingers had twitched as I accidentally dozed off. One must stay absolutely still or else it would be repeated, which isn't something to look forward to. Plus, the longer you are in there, the more delay you would present to the next person in line. I shifted my body to a more comfortable position before it begins, and made a firm resolution to stay awake throughout to concentrate on not-twitching. However, a nemesis to my plans was about to present itself.

... BEEEE-BOR-RA-TAK-TAK-TAKTAKTAKTAK and on it goes, the sound of the magnets firing up; highly reminisce of a 56k dial-up modem. It was repetitive, comforting and nostalgic, and my eyelids drooped in maddening fatigue...

And that's how I knew I was a 90's kid.

Rewind to two hours prior, I was newly decked out in a snazzy hospital gown, waiting for my turn at the Imaging Department. A doctor there approached me and informed me that she contacted my orthopedic doctor, who requested for an additional step before the MRI. It's something about injecting a dye into the problem area, so he could see whatever that is wrong better. I said, okay, sure. Then she informed me that it's a procedure and would hurt a little. I figured it wasn't a biggie. I could handle injections. I assumed that it's just a simple injection into the veins, but oh boy, was I wrong.

It was a procedure alright. First, they had my wrist under an X-ray machine, where they scanned it repeatedly, flipping it from flat to side to flat to side. A side monitor showed the X-ray of my wrist and they held a thin metal wire pointed at my wrist as a guide. There was an exact location where they needed to pinpoint, and it was interesting for me to see 3 doctors and one nurse pottering around me for this purpose. Finally, they drew a target with a marker and fired off the X-ray again to check its position. All good.

The next step both puzzled and alarmed me. She started slathering yellowish brown iodine over the area. And that wasn't just it. You know how in medical series, during say, a stomach surgery, they would lay a blue cloth over the patient's tummy with a gaping hole in the cloth exposing the incision point? Yea, that cloth with a hole was laid over my wrist. Wha... what is going on...?

And then they jammed a needle right between my palm and wrist joints.

Of course, I exaggerate. But for drama sake, I'm sticking to that wtf. Actually I made it sound like it was a one-shot kena, but it wasn't. They needed to shift the needle around a bit and push it in a wee bit more. All the while, my hand was X-Ray-ed continuously to see whether it's between a certain area in my joint. Being a rather morbid person, I was looking at the monitor throughout with great curiousity; I observed that I had a fat hand.

Eventually, my knees weakened like jelly; though, not so from the visuals. Pain is easily recognisable but gosh, the sensation I felt when the needle wriggled around in that area was absolutely new and weird. Nevertheless, I was in good hands and tried to suck it up. At least on the outside. My progression of questions and thoughts went something like this:

To the doctors: "Hmmm, there is a little pain."
Inward speech: I can take it I can take it! I shall be awesome!!

"Uhm, that's rather uncomfortable."  

"Owww. Pain."  

"Owwww owww, okay, that is painful. Is it supposed to feel *that* uncomfortable?"
 ...I'm going to lose my hand, aren't I? ;_________;

Rather uncomfortable is an understatement wtf. Finally, 2ml-4ml of dye was pumped in, and I get to nurse my wrist and jelly legs in peace.


MRI reveals the dye seeping into other areas of the joints, which proves the presence of damage. The doctor judged that it was a stretched ligament since I got that injury from climbing, and it might be what I suspected too - a Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex injury.

TFCC is a structure on the ulnar side of the wrist (the little finger side) that consists of ligaments and cartilages... it stabilises the bones in the wrists, acts like a shock absorber and generally helps with smooth movement. For now, I can't do certain movements like fully turning my wrist, or things like pushing a door open with my palm flat on it as I would feel some pain. There is definitely some loss in strength in that hand too. Was given this device during my physio where I quickly grasp it and it would record the pressure in kilograms. Right hand, 25kg; left hand, 19kg. Apparently, even if I'm right handed, the difference shouldn't be that big.

Otherwise, I'm remaining optimistic in that it will heal enough so I can go climbing again (*coughcough* :P). I know ligament injuries are notorious for its slow healing period, because there is no blood flow there. Same goes to cartilage. So patience is absolutely necessary in this.

It does suck. My new climbing buddies' enthusiasm and rapid improvement had me wanting to be a little more than a casual climber. They are freshies in this, but boy, did they got good fast! I geram I cannot climb now ;_____;. And after two years of climbing, I just got myself a harness; Black Diamond's Siren in Aruba Fire - that has so far only endured heavy molesting from me, and not actual usage. I was supposed to get new shoes too, because my old ones have holes already; probably from too much smearing and probably bad footwork. AND I had to cancel my plans to learn lead climbing at Batu Caves. Ish.

 So now, I still do join them in their weekly climb. Not to climb, but to shout betas from the bottom and tell them that my grandmother can climb better than that.
"You call that climbing? Really??" 
(Copyright to dreamstime.com)

I kid. I just hang around and watch people climb (which I find enjoyable, even more so if they climb well) and figure out the route problem in my head. Mental climbing can be pretty fun in its own way; I do get this little thrill in my muscles when navigating a route theoretically :D. Oh, I was pretty gutted few weeks back as the gym has finally changed a large number of routes on the walls. It's a very good thing, but there was this route that I've been working on prior to my injury. That route was very enjoyable but there's this one part where I couldn't get past. I was eager to retry that darn route once my wrist heals. Oh well :(.

Meanwhile my form of filling up time now is jogging... which I must be more diligent in. After losing some weight when I got back from India (bless their curries and how it didn't fatten me up though I ate in abundance <3), I have gotten rounder T_T.  Or, on some days like today, I forgo going to the climbing gym and catch up on my books. I've just finished one a couple days ago actually, which I'm struggling to understand its insights properly. This is probably a good thing... maybe an injury can sometimes be a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

the rhythm of awkward

    Fidgeting in my place on the floor, I checked the time repeatedly. The event was only running for an hour and a half, and some speakers in the circle shared beyond being short and sweet. I was in an impatient mood; my day hadn't been going well. Though I tried to suppress my restlessness (as it is rude and rather disrespectful), I honestly didn't care if I was thought to be in a bad mood or not in a socially accepted mood in public. It was one of those days.

Then I wondered the appropriateness of exiting the room. How should I get out as smoothly as I can? Even if I waited till the end of her experience-sharing to leave, it would be glaringly obvious. We were seated in an informal circle of about 20 people within the confines of a room; therefore, no chance of edging away slowly without being noticed. Plus, should I inform the person who invited me? That would be the polite thing to do, isn't it? She was the MC and seated just 5 people away. Though to get to her, I would have to cross in front of those 5 people.

I imagined how awkward it would make things. Then hour was almost up and the MCs are so near in heaving a sigh of a job well done. How would a person leaving the room affect them? I was reluctant to break their rhythm, like a child who presses a key on a piano where the pianist is in the middle of a piece. He had no business in that interruption, and same goes to me if I could help it.... but what if you do? If the moment the current speaker ends her speech, I stand up as discreetly as I can (breaking the circle), quietly grab my shoes and make my way out of there with the squeaky door.

    For a while after, I entertained the thought of what is awkwardness. Is it coined for people who made other people break their rhythm? Because it's not a nice feeling. Or automated actions of a waitress in a restaurant. Most people come in, sit at a table, have a look at the menu, order, eat, pay up and leave. Sure, there are some people who throw their flow off their tracks; fussy and demanding customers. But that's expected. It's still within the clockwork. What happens if a patron comes in breaking the unwritten flow of things? Instead of sitting down and ordering their food, they do so over the dessert counter. At their table, they decline the menu. When waiter brings the food, he finds that the patron is crying. Would that make him uncomfortable? Because there had been a breach of silent rhythm rules and certain emotions, like sex, ought to be behind doors. Not in public.

Back into the room, 2 speakers have gone by since, and the final speaker drones on with flowery words. I thought for a bit. Was it worth the effort to risk jarring the mundane flow of the room, making people feel awkward and uncomfortable? Nah, I decided. I'm too weary for that now. Then I relaxed my escape-eager limbs and soothed my impatience in that it will be over soon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blurp 004: a movie laden with themes

If there's a genie out there, I'd wish for cinemas to be populated with more movies such as the recent Hunger Games... but unfortunately, quite a fat chance of that happening. As in, the genie will just shake his head. Case in point, when I checked a local website to see the showtime for it, someone wrote a comment on this that it's "bored to death, no violence, no action, no story, no point..."  

... because I think he's expecting Optimus Prime busting out his chops in the middle of the games followed by an upshot of Rosie Hunting-Whiteley in white short-shorts climbing up a tree.

I kid la. Just because it's up my alley (...'s alley's alley), it doesn't mean it's the same for everyone. Still he's a good case study for the one of the themes!

Anyway, after watching the trailer, I was thrilled by it... haven't been so excited about an upcoming movie for the longest time. The setting in which the story unfolds seems promising and holds the possibility of some depth. A glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence's excellent acting probably fueled it as well; her performance looked topnotch.

The verdict? The movie was a highly refreshing experience. Besides being emotionally tugging and well-paced, it's loaded with commentaries; in the city's method of governance, society and what it means to be your own person. (Also, Lawrence was bloody fantastic in there.

[Spoiler alert warning.]

    One of the themes that I liked was how the Hunger Games closely mirrors the format of reality television. Getting too boring? Here, let me add a twist. Or a couple of fireballs. It is also telling about the people who watches things like these, where one's pain is enjoyed in the name of entertainment. Violence, loss, humiliation... It's not to say that that's the only things that people want, because if you notice in the movie, the audience in Capitol wanted to be able to relate to the Tributes (eg: first love and heartache). Nevertheless, that's as far as they'd go; they won't seek to stop it. They remain obtuse about the suffering that they support, or they simply don't care. We're not to the point of the Capitol yet, though we can see our version of schadenfreude in the popularity of gossip columns and celebrity news portals such as Dailymail, Woman's Weekly etc. Would we one day become as detached as the Capitol's citizens towards the sufferings of man for our entertainment? I reckon if people drown themselves constantly in entertainment, there might come a point where they grow numb to it or are bored by it. They will seek a new 'high'. Boredom is not an option to the entertainment producers, and they might up the ante of shockingness to accommodate the masses' ever-growing demands.

    Technically, that isn't the bigger picture of the movie; the bigger picture is a political one, and how a government subjugates its people in a two opposite ways, depending on where one lives; overindulgence in the Capitol (where they have the luxury to be self-absorbed with distractions and careless/ignorant about bread/butter issues) and deprivation of needs in the districts (poverty where people are busy with NOT starving, and also rendering them helpless as their kids are taken as 'gifts' yearly). The games itself is about power, a warning to not rebel as the price is paid by the descendants of the rebels. It's one thing to be punished because you did the 'crime' but it's another if your loved ones are punished as well. The fact that they easily could take the innocent children's lives as a game and broadcast it for all to see, sends a strong message: There is nothing you can do. Helplessness and hopelessness are instilled in their hearts.

 "They just want a good show."

    The society in the Capitol, like ours, is a very visual one. We take in images as real, even if it is not. Gale, Peeta, Cinna and Haymitch understood the importance of appearance and perception in the Capitol society, much more than Katniss did. She has such a strong, guarded personality that she had trouble faking as someone that she's not.  But this appearance is sorely needed in this game, because if you're liked, someone could send you necessities when you're in trouble. Akin to the voting system in reality TV - the more popular you are, the better your chances of surviving the elimination round.So would you choose the illusion, or the authenticity? Katniss eventually learns to be conscious on how she appears to the public eye and worked it to her benefit and Peeta's, only so to manipulate the audience for sponsors.

Continuing on that idea, I loved the two seemingly conflicting parts that the protagonists play; faking it (though, technically Peeta wasn't) and sticking to who they are as persons. The former appealed to the Capitol's audience and was essential to their survival. The latter gave hope to the districts and awaken something in them.

    The night before the Games started, Peeta tells Katniss essentially that he hopes to not lose who he is. When the Tributes were released onto the arena, there was mayhem and a frenzy of blurred flying guts even before the first minute ended. When there could only be one survivor in a death match,  your 'normal/rational' instinct probably take the backseat and the survival one kicks in - Eliminate all threats. Perhaps this was what Peeta meant. But it also holds a deeper meaning; where you know that the Capitol seeks to reduce you to savages in such circumstances, you refuse to be a part of their game and maintain your humanity, which in a way, is an act of defiance because it is out of the Capitol's control. That's the only thing the participants can keep, since everything else are out of their control in the arena. There is something really admirable when people firmly stand by who they are and not succumb to the influences of the environment onto your 'self'. 

    The sequence of Rue's death made me cry in the theatre for quite a while. Didn't know why I would be so affected by it. Rue's request for Katniss to sing her a song is so... childlike. At that feeling, the first instinct is to protect her. Little children are comforted by a lullaby and it helps them sleep. Rue is similar to them, except in her case, it's so she could die in peace. I felt the true horror sinking in deeper here (...the fact that I'm only deeply affected here might be an inkling of my desensitization...). Katniss' next action of surrounding her with flowers does not only emphasises Rue's innocence, but also gives Rue back her dignity, that she's not merely a chess piece for the Capitol. She then paid her last respects by her own district's salute to someone of a different district. How they treated each other with genuine care and compassion neutralised some of the dehumanising efforts of the Capitol, and roused anger to a breaking point in District 11 against the injustice and cruelty of it all. They were also touched by this stranger's odd gesture and it gave them hope that it's not all helpless. There's a way to not play the Capitol's game of divide and sacrifice. 

Some district do, however, subscribe to the game that Capitol plays, by training their Tributes to be lean mean killing machines; the Careers. Totally not helping, but what could they have done under those circumstances? Either our kids die, or your kids die. Preferably the latter.

    The theme of 'control' is present throughout the movie. The struggle of control over your person and the Capitol's desire to demonstrate their control over you. At the end of the games, Katniss figured out the motivations of the Capitol. In appearing to do a double suicide, she took the control out of the Capitol's hands - a very significant move. To her, it is the simple reason to keep her life and Peeta's, but it meant way more for the districts' citizens. President Snow was very aware of this and had earlier disagreed with Gamekeeper Seneca's decision to up the entertainment where the audience will root for an underdog. The thing is, Seneca was thinking of the Capitol citizens while President Snow had the district citizens in mind, who are target audience of the games. Snow understood how an underdog outwitting a powerful system would plant a seed of rebellion. He warned Gamekeeper Seneca that there's only one thing greater than fear; hope. A little hope is good... too much hope is dangerous, and can be hard to contained.

President Snow's insight was right.Seneca failed to contained it and his final appearance onscreen was a brilliant moment. Without dialogue, the camera leads us to his punishment - from the closing of the door to the big bowl of nightlock and then the now locked door... and it clicks.

This pakcik isn't too happy.

     A better punishment would probably to chuck him in with the animals he materialised out of thin air in the arena and then pelt him with fireballs with a dose of tracker jackers. I kid. But how's he to know, really? After all, within his society it's not wrong nor is it morally apprehensive, but which would make the district citizens shake their head. Perhaps it's the dark side of privilege. If you are on the favoured side of the coin, what would your motivation be to examine the laws that might compromise your comfort and privilege?

The funny thing is that both the Capitol and District citizens probably think each other as 'savages'. The Capitol people see the former as savages due to how 'uncouth' and fashionably unkempt they are. Katniss had to be washed, waxed and plucked - given a makeover in general because her natural appearance is not acceptable to them. In their world, the natural is shunned and the artificial is glorified. Gale's disdain of them stems from their heartlessness for enjoying the blood and gore of people for entertainment (under the guise of the 'better and more advanced' nation) thus rendering them as the true savage. 

     When the movie introduces Effie Trinket with her out-of-the-world makeup and unnatural hair colour, you realise how strange and ridiculous they look to the district folks. They seem far removed from reality and has no true conception of suffering. Maybe because they have the luxury to be out-of-touch? It makes sense in their own bubble, but weird and frivolous when they appear out of that bubble. In a way, could this be a social commentary on the disconnection of experience for the opulent?

     Though a part of me revile the Capitol people as cruel and disconnected, I also can't help but suspect that they are simply naive and ignorant. Innocence can be cruel.They are who they are because of their upbringing in the Capitol, which I could imagine being limited and very shallow considering on how they strive on appearance. They are under developed human beings. So it's rather pitiful.

Another thing - maybe it's the language used; Tributes are a 'gift' and considering their own background of privilege and self-absorbness, it wouldn't seem too out of place. Do they satisfy their guilt of their bloodthirstiness by the fact that the Tributes 'deserve' it, for their ancestor's past sin?

The movie ended on a good note for me. It feels like they completed a story and at the same time, with some anticipation for what is to come because Katniss has sparked something. As with many other movies, it could had been better, but otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it because of the themes above that makes one think a little more.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Disappearance from the stadium-stage

Snippet: Do you believe that a nation should suffer a detrimental cause to in order to compensate for wrongs commited by the governers of that nation or segments of that nation in the past?

     In the throes of my awkward adolescent years, there was a phrase that I stumbled across, which succinctly described a large part of my feelings when navigating the social sea. It was an odd feeling... like an out of body experience, except that you're awake. Removed. Detached. Nothing you could do. Anyone watching would see the warmth of our speech and mannerism , but inside, there's a feeling that I can't reach my companions nor could they reach me... I see the bonfire burning, but I don't feel the heat.

'outside looking in.'

     Still, like an old distant friend, it visits me once in a while. I'd tell him, I thought I left you behind.  It settles down regardless, with its imaginary smile. He knows where you started and where you came from as a person. I have learnt to live with it though.

     I'm now in my mid-twenties (gosh, so odd to say that!) and the very same gentlemen returned; only this time, wearing a different hat with an entirely different smile. Before, he told me of how disconnected I felt with people. This time, this disconnection is more intimate... I suppose it's not a really odd thing to feel disconnected with yourself, is it?

And as always, a little preface would be helpful in my usual ramblings....

Let's start with how Facebook scared the fuck out of me.

     Mind you, it's not that I shrink and shudder in fear at the sight of it. Far from it. I am an ardent surfer/poster of Facebook. Maybe a little too much :/. So, what scared me was not what it is, but what it was capable in turning me into. The lesser fear is of addiction; stirring the users into a sort of entranced voyeurism, mindless flash games that fulfills some reward-giving mechanisms in your brain without really achieving anything in reality and broadcasting what you see/think/feel into cyberspace without actually doing substantial about it. And time seems to go into another dimension, where you log onto it with 4 hours to spare to bedtime and the next thing you know, you're glued to it for 5 hours. Having done absolutely nothing productive obviously. Day after day, year after year. And then you finally amount to nothing.

That's the lesser fear.

     Then the big kahuna of fear is when you find the lines to yourself is cut. Because you brought that inner voice to the social-media altar and offered it as sacrifice for the public. We all have a private and public realm; though, increasingly, the latter seems to take the lead, and the private is now secondary. Do I make sense? I figured this would seem quite loony to most people... so hear me out for a bit.

     Have you ever seen or read or heard something that moved you (or elicit any significant emotion), and the first thing you think of it, I must post this on Facebook? That scrumptious meal with steam still rising from it that makes your stomach growl and mouth water... but no, you don't devour it immediately. Instead, you rotate the plate for a good angle to snap for an upload on your wall. Only then you dig in. Articles and news on the web have a 'Share' button at the bottom of its entry. Like it? Share it! It's a 'sharing' culture that is being promoted, but it makes me wonder whether it's more than that; could it be a sort of image that we'd like to present ourselves?

Are our status updates and Foursquare tags (with tagged friends, of course) becoming a sort of social validation? Susie Lee is at Publika, Solaris Dutamas - with Bobby Tan and 3 others - Friday, 9.03pm

It came to the point that your online profile defines you. It's the public realm of Appearance that can be Edited. It's your Life, but online. It was to a point that if it's not up there, it doesn't 'exist'...?

     Admittedly, I can be quite self-absorbed, which isn't something I'd like to hone to perfection. And Facebook somehow aids this tendency tremendously; it appeals to one's ego in the need to be seen or be thought of in a certain way and to some, it might amplify attention-seeking tendencies.

     One fine day, outside-looking-in hit me like a club. After sharing an article, I cared more about the response rather than the content itself. I share it, and have half-baked thoughts about it, then move on. From pruning and nurturing the public realm rather than the inward, it made my experience of myself as an 'outward' one. It started to get harder to cultivate the inward... I can't truly feel, think, opine, take a snapshot without thinking about posting it on Facebook. I tried to not do that, but it was a struggle.

     Facebook definitely changed the way my brain works. Some people tend to maintain it, because it's a representation of 'you'. But this 'you' isn't you. It's now how I want to SEE myself and how I want people to SEE me as. But this road is a shallow one. Scared me - the whole losing in touch with yourself.

     Then... that wasn't the only thing. It got increasingly off-putting on how what is shown don't paint a true picture of things. You give people impressions of yourself that isn't necessarily true, even if it's accidental. Like, my family photo during my birthday. Looks tame, happy and like any ordinary family, but it pained me because I know that we're more broken than what that capture made it to be. It was as if I presented a farce. I didn't like how it lied for me. I felt as though it reduced me.

     I've been behind the camera, directing my moves on this performance stage for so long, that I have the viewfinder stuck on my eye. And I was desperate to leave my place to be with that person... a stranger now. I know I can reengage her, but it'll be a process. Though seemingly buried in time-hardened sand, I'm certain that a certain diligence and discipline would be able to reach this mind of mine again. When that happens, maybe me and my abandoned soul would sit down at a table with some tea and say, Hello. It's been a while, hasn't it?

That's the story of how I deactivated my facebook account. Disconnecting from the disconnecting website.

     Even if for a week, it has worked. Generally I've gotten my priorities straightened, though it's interesting on how tough it is to have a complete experience to develop yourself inwardly. I don't think I'm getting that across right... maybe I'll edit this in the future once I figure out the best way to explain it.

     What I know was this though; when I disconnected, it's one of the toughest and most pleasing feeling I had gotten. I would feel contented and my heart would be at ease. Then comes in little pockets of moments where you feel as though you are you, and not an image that you are trying to show the world. I can be myself, even if only for a little while.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the Author the Artist

Found in a forum about books. Really beautiful prose there. An author I'd keep my eyes out for.

Another one:
"Sitting on Rosa's moth-littered bed, he felt a resurgence of all the aches and inspirations of those days when his life had revolved around nothing but Art, when snow fell like the opening piano notes of the Emperor Concerto, and feeling horny reminded him of a passage from Nietzsche, and a thick red-streaked dollop of crimson paint in an otherwise uninteresting Veláquez made him hungry for a piece of rare meat."
 I've been trying to read more non-fictions this year, but I miss how words can be beautifully dance like this.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Inspirations and a lesson in time perspective

There is just something oddly pleasing in receiving parcels, even if it's something you bought yourself. Having recently been on a personal movie binge (by my standards anyway), I bought some movies over the net and had it sent to my office. The parcel arrived yesterday. Bubble-wrapped tightly in a old electronics box.

My neighbour J at work spotted the first two in the Matrix trilogy and was interested it it as he is a huge fan, except that he has yet to see the extra bits like the commentaries and deleted scenes. I let out that I've only watched The Matrix 2 weeks prior and loved it. He thought that it was rather blasphemous that I've only caught the gem now because that's the shows where the VFX made him go, "Okay, this is what I want to go into in the future." And he's in the VFX industry now, and by luck, in a company that works with Hollywood feature films.
Edna from The Incredibles will have something to say about those trenchcoats.

Another relevant case is where a man posted a photo of him meeting and shaking hands with Errol Morris, whose documentary inspired this man to make 4 documentaries on his own.

I just find it remarkable that a person's work could inspire make such a lasting mark on a person, setting their career in life. It's that turning point, you know? Career-wise, I've never had one truly strong inspiration that made me go, 'That's it. That's what I want to do.' That sort of conviction is strange to me; I hear of stories but it's probably the first time in real life that I encountered one of them. Maybe because there's a lot more who doesn't really know what they want to do. Unless you just haven't shared it with someone yet (specifically me wtf). I would love to hear of stories like that. Have you ever had a piece of work or someone that had a huge impact on you?

Back to a less Hallmark topic, here's the list of the movie I've watched recently and my DVD orders.

Movie binge:
  A Clockwork's Orange, Jackie Brown, The Matrix, Little Miss Sunshine (2nd time with Charl), Fight Club, Muallaf, and The Machinist.

DVD orders
: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded (I wanted The Fog of War and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it's gone so he offered me this instead), Fight Club, Lolita, and Precious. I've watched The Matrix, Fight Club and Lolita prior; just thought it'd be nice to own them, and to revisit Lolita since I watched it before going to college (...aka ages ago *sad face*)

I watched Fight Club and The Matrix within a few days of each other; one day I woke up and somehow, in a semi dream state conscious, I truly believed the person I woke up as in this world in is not the real me and I'm in the Matrix. So I decided to go back to sleep, because well, the real world is there. Made total sense, really. It was also a Monday.

Oh, I have a bad habit of collecting movies, but not... actually... watching them. There's plenty of movies to be watched, and in the order of interest in recent memory, they are American History X, Watchmen (2nd time for the visual candy), Precious, Requiem for a Dream, Lolita, Ran and Yojimbo. Also, Dear Zachary the documentary but I heard it's immensely depressing, so I'm saving it for later when I don't mind having my day ruined or be that one friend who ruins outings from their bleak and cynical view of life wtf.

The last two films will be pretty slow, and hopefully rewarding. Yojimbo is an offshoot of The Seven Samurais, if I recalled right, and it will be in black and white which I'm starting to really enjoy. An old friend introduced me to The Seven Samurais earlier, which dampened some visual enjoyment when I watched The City of Life and Death. Both films are made in black and white, but the lack of depth and richness in latter kept distracting me.
This seems a little flat. Could just be me though.(City of Life and Death)

Arrrrrr, this be pleasin' me eye. Yer safe from walkin' the planks! (Seven Samurais)

Otherwise, I still enjoyed City of Life and Death. It rattles you, but somehow it wasn't something that I feel drawn into unlike, say, Lust, Caution (off the top of my head) and the biggest reason contributor in Kleenex sales, The Grave of the Fireflies. I mean, it's disgusting, horrible and though I did tear up at some point, it didn't take enough root within me. If it makes sense :/.

Anyway, let's see how long it would take for me to finish those. In 3 years, maybe. Oh, I also enjoy looking up trivia and other interpretations after watching a movie. Here's some random tidbits I learnt over the week:

1)  (author of  'A Clockwork Orange') Anthony Burgess lived in Malaya during 1950s and is fluent in Malay, where he mastered Jawi . Prior to that, his pregnant wife was assaulted by four US army deserters, which resulted in losing their child. While Clockwork Orange is self-evident if you read the novel, another layer to why he chose orange is because the word for people in Malay is 'orang'. As for the incident with his wife, some people said that it's among the inspirations for the mindless brutality in the main character's life.

2) (copied from IMDB - Fight Club) After the copyright warning, there is another warning on the DVD. This warning is from Tyler Durden, and is only there for a second. "If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned... Tyler."

3) Rosie O'Donnell let out a major turning point that is the ending for Fight Club on her TV show, on the day of the theatrical release, urging her viewers to not watch it. I think even if you hate a film, it's pretty shoddy to give a spoiler on national TV. One, it's not fair to the people who toiled months to bring it to the big screen. In one minute without any consideration, you wash their effort down the drain. And even if I heard that and went for it anyway, the plot revealed would totally kill that feeling of anticipation. Seriously. What a jerkwad.  Can't wait to watch the commentary in the DVD about that case.

(Non-film tidbit)
4) Obsidian stones are sharper than surgical knives on a cellular level; surgical knives tear cells, while obsidian slices it nicely, which is why cuts made with obsidian are less painful and heals faster. An archeology professor in a university tested it on himself; by getting his surgeon to use surgical knives on one side and obsidian in another for his vasectomy. Before that, he was passing out obsidian stones to his students and then accidentally let out that one of them was used in his surgery. Good times.

In other news, have you ever had so many things going in your life, that it felt as though a week have passed instead of 2 days? So fresh from the oven, here's a lesson in time perspectives - In the midst of doing things and thinking about some problem I'm facing, I suddenly recalled that Thursday was someone's daughter's birthday, and I immediately sent a message to wish them. Then in an interpretation of what happened in my brain was that, a time memory cell of that was chilling in the back room, got jolted by what I had done and frickin' RAN to the front of my working memory cells. Then waved and breathlessly said, "HI."

Working brain cells then all collectively falls over in an ultimate fail pose.

Her birthday was next week. He just told me two days ago wtf.

Gosh. What a dolt. Glad to see that I haven't changed, LOL! (I should really write down all my fail moments because it gives me the lols wtf)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Too Soon

I was in the shower, where you know, the place you start letting in nonsensical thoughts or figuring out your place in the world or the purpose of being, while you worked suds into your hair. This post is a recent result from one of those sessions... undeniably narcissistic when aired all and sundry in a public blog, but I guess this is one of those times in my life for a little memory-marker.

But before I start, this is not a cry for help or a clue of suicide. I'm perfectly fine. Well, perhaps not perfectly, but not something that I would off myself over. I'll leave that switch to God :).

What if death comes too soon to me, in another's hand red-stained with my blood?

Would people miss me or would I disappear completely?

Would people seek the residues I left behind, trailing them like breadcrumbs on the ground?

Would there be a burst of condolences and then the air is stilled?

Would my goodness take stage and my flaws a taboo to say?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eaten me whole

4th January, 7.50am

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf's a flower,
But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden starts to grieve,
So dawn turns to day,
Nothing gold can stay.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Blurp 003: Identity

"You don't BUY clothes - you BUY an identity!"

In the realm of the ever distracting facebook, the likes and comments echoed in agreement with that person's status. For a moment there, it might sound incredibly beautiful and profound. It is pretty meaningful (and damning), I suppose...

Let me just put on my Captain Serious hat and tell you how your dream about a rabbit hopping along the road is a symbol of a repressed modesty, yearning to manifest freely in society without judgment. Sorry, Freud. Times have changed. No skin? Oh, for SHAME!!! 

But really, I'm simply isolating that status and chucking it into my brain for some playtime. *heads for the metaphorical swing*

"You buy an identity."

I enjoyed how the word 'buy' stood out proudly in capital letters, and not 'clothes' or 'identity'. Plus the whole bit that identity can be easily taken off the shop shelves in your local mall. Good one, Mr Corporation! Well played indeed. *slow clap*

But it isn't to say that there isn't a level of truth to that.

Anyway, I'll try to make it short and as snappy as I can make it. Two things:

1) I'm not denying that outward appearance plays a part in one's identity. It does. 

Looks come with a history, personality and a perception. We do live in a very visual culture. When you dress up punk, it would also bring out the idea and impression of rebels, devil-may-care attitude. Dressing quirkly would have the immediate effect of people thinking of you as a hipster who supports indie brands, Zooey Deschanel, a love for vintage and the handmade etc.  Some of course, challenge the personality in convention with the visual; like wearing lolita but listens to Goth and Death Metal. A part of me feel that a portion of these people subscribe to what they feel in unique within their sphere, and yet paradoxically, it is also collective? Nevertheless, it's not unique enough, so they try to mix up the pre-fixed identities.

Basically, in buying a look, you do buy a visual 'identity'. You can 'buy' the history, perceived personality, likes, dislikes and hobbies. As long as you have sufficient moolah, it's possible to get an Instant Identity.

Are our identities something that comes pre-packaged? Do we think of the limited variety of identities that shops could hold? It doesn't encompass the rich spectrum of what humans can BE and FEEL, but within a range of marketable and acceptable products.

And for the individual... are we riding on borrowed history? Did we really find who we really are, then?

2) But at the core of it, what makes me wonder is - but for whom is it for? With such emphasis on the outward, is identity now a piece of stage-meat for the public to consume? We could have all the costumes and props as we desire it; on the shelves, on the racks, in shoe boxes... In this age when we're encouraged to embrace our individuality (within the limits of what is available in the shops), identity is increasingly being owned by people's opinion and their perception.

What is identity? What we wear and how we look? How deep are those roots? What defines you when we take away the things that goes away or perish? If we have nothing, what do we have to offer?

Let's take away the audiences of our life.

Now. Who are we?