As my Malay improves (albeit slowly) my sentence structure, too, is changing. It’s still in its awkward stage, but I feel pretty good about it. Coupled with all the things I’ve learned this year, I feel like the new nuances have potential. Let’s hope so.
And I think I’m becoming more familiar with rules. This optimism is heartening: it’s nice to feel so light, and I’m grateful when I do. Right now, I feel that the crux of it is volume and experience.
“Some chaps who participated in the Bersih rally are upset that they saw people being manhandled by the cops. Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise right? It’s not like those fellows were coming out of some temple or place of worship and the cops jumped them. Hell, you gotta know this: you live by the sword, you die by the sword. So only get involved if you’re willing to face the consequences. Geez, should we have a kenduri or some light refreshments before the cops put you in an air-conditioned double-decker bus, and transport you (via a pothole-free road) to a five-star detention centre in Tuscany?”—José
Of my three tattoos, I’ve always had a bit of a beef with my second one – five bats on my lower left back. Wondering things like, are they done badly? Should I have gotten them somewhere else? Should I have made them more like the Batman symbol, or perhaps more fluid and in motion then they are now? They strike an uncomfortable middle ground between bats in flight, and the Batman symbol – both but neither.
Of course, it’s on my skin and I do like it. And it’s evocative of both Batman and Scooby Doo, plus a bit of a nod to my childhood obsession with the supernatural.
And today I find this:
The five-bat Wu Fu symbol appears frequently in Chinese literature and art. The word for bat and the word for good luck have the same sound, ‘fu’. ‘Wu’ is the word for five, and each of the five bats in the symbol represents one of the five elements – earth, air, fire water, metal – as well as one of the five happiness’s: health, wealth, long life, good luck, tranquility.
Can’t wait to get a few more. The two text tattoos on arm and foot, and a Superman one.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”—Lawrence Krauss, A Universe From Nothing
I am scared that I am turning into the people who have hurt me most.
And I’m amused – in a sullen drunken manner – at how these stupid people in love think their stories matter. Like hell. Nobody cares how you met, it’s dust that’s just going to get swept away. Inconsequential.
It’s a series of stupid random factors that lined up so you met your stupid lover and found out you were compatible kinds of stupid. But if you’d just done one thing differently – hell, maybe two – not kissed him, not called her, not bumped into each other – then there’d be no relationship.
If I hadn’t spoken to R when I saw him on the train, we wouldn’t have dated.
If I hadn’t DMd Little Lion Man about The Joshua Tapes, or met him at MSLS we wouldn’t have collided.
If I hadn’t gotten drunk and kissed Anon after the AFP media night, we wouldn’t be seeing each other now.
So screw all this, all the hosannas to serendipity and fate. It’s all fucking coincidence, and so your stories mean nothing. Stop searching for meaning in what is nothing more than a series of events one interprets and makes more important than they are, embellishes, decontextualizes.
I think the reason why (although I understand and love Batman) my loyalties lie with Superman is because of his approach to things.
Sure, he’s shown instances of pettiness and selfishness, of being flawed – but isn’t he primarily driven by nobility and altruism instead of a more primal need for justice born of thirst for vengeance the way Batman is?
Superman, however, is different. Because when things start to suck, he doesn’t brood and dwell and angst. He’s a fucking flare in the dark, a blaze of bright beautiful primary colors against the shadow. He’s going to make things better, regardless of how unlikely success seems. He’s going to turn the tide with his super-strength and strength of conviction and optimism.
I wish I had that sort of courage. It’s so easy to be Batman – he’s the attainable hero. He’s who we are.
But as I’ve always maintained, Superman is who we should try to be.
“Music that doesn’t move you. Couples who aren’t in love. Drugs losing their intensity, happiness losing its meaning. The starving children all over the world, in countries you haven’t heard of, in cities you’ll never see,” he traces outlines in the air with a fingertip, describing the contours of notes, the heavy shape of love, the sharp cracks of ribs.
“The poetry of pain, the scabs we itch and pick at, the grit. Where’s it all gone? The world never was like Summer of ‘69, we never really had a summer. And now we listen and wait.
“You can hear crying, on the wind. You can hear screams. Women being raped by their boyfriends, fathers, strangers. Children forced to bear arms. Don’t you hear it? The sadness, oh Lord. There is so much grief in this earth, the only thing keeping our backs straight and our heads high is gravity and atmospheric pressure.”
“Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak. He’s unsure of himself. He’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”—Bill, Kill Bill Vol. 2
I wonder how many people are going to quit their jobs thanks to, well, Steve Jobs and his Stanford (cry) commencement address which is making the rounds once again.
I wonder why his death is so widely-discussed. Could it just be the fear of mortality hitting all of us at the same time? No, that makes no sense. The death of a cultural icon. I see a paper in that, somewhere.
The Budget is being announced and I am stuck in the office. It’s so horrible to know I’m at least reasonably competent but am missing another chance to learn.
In fact, is it so wrong to want out not because I am lazy or because I am incapable, but because I am not going fast enough? Time is ticking and I refuse to do a disservice to my learning capabilities this way.
Okay, that was a wanky way to put it.
But in the recent weeks, even before I was vocal about my dissatisfaction, several people have told me to do what I love – even when I don’t mention how discontent and disconnected I am.
I won’t deny I’m learning a lot, but it isn’t enough. Context is everything for me, which is why I read so much fiction I suppose. I was a stellar History student primarily because I grasped things contextually (as opposed to subjects such as physics), and when I finally dipped a toe into attempting to learn about politics, I skipped over the blogs by so-called “political bloggers” (Screenshots being one and Bru being another… To be honest, am glad I didn’t prostitute my literacy) and went straight for stuff like Level 23. In fact, am blessed that I got to observe 2008 even if I wasn’t in the field then, and had those guys writing to see me through it!
At any rate, context. And a hunger to learn. I refuse I refuse I refuse to limit myself just because nobody has time to teach me and then (in the words of a colleague) don’t have any qualms about blaming me for their lack of guidance.
In fact, this colleague (who sees the field contextually, might I add) told me today that he felt – based on the things I get excited about – that I am “better-suited to politics” and that I shouldn’t be shattered if I don’t receive an offer once my contract expires. I don’t think I will be, either.
I do hope Level 23 considers me (third time’s the charm!) as, well, if I have to endure being called a die-hard fan of the portal and accused of believing that they can do no wrong (SO UNTRUE!) I might as well be one of their minions.
A pint of cherry beer, potato skins with cheesy pork stuffing and fish and chips. It’s so good, I even ate the salad. I’m not even sure if it’s the food, although I do adore hot fleshy white chunks of fish which fall apart beautifully in your mouth. It’s just the atmosphere, in a very vaguely perfect way.
After wasting at least half an hour here, I shall go search for soft shell crab hand rolls and then visit the sports gear sale upstairs to see if they have anything Anon might like.
Also, must decide between Decanter or Nihonkai for dinner. Such is life.
Reading reviews. Lots of mention of Rakuzen. Makes me feel really guilty.
It’s just. Enough.
I wish I knew what I wanted.
See, this is why I hate my low alcohol tolerance. Coupled with the fact that I haven’t gone drinking properly for months and when I do indulge it’s nothing more than a glass (usually given to Anon to finish), I go from in a pleasant mood to melancholy in a heartbeat. And frustrated, too.
And, ew. Phanana is ew.
Okay, enough now. Moment ever. A few more mouthfuls left.