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In his book “With Love & Irony”, Lin Yutang claims in his first chapter “The English and The Chinese” that this is the only english poem he has ever written:
When you are travelling in Rome,
Do as exactly as at home.
A reflection on the topic of Sinocentrism and Eurocentrism when it comes to China and Britain. The history books I’ve read for the past year on the study of China (<3) have put this clash of worldviews as “Sinocentrism vs International System”. However when one realises that “International” really referred to Europe, one then realises that the so-called system is merely a means to an end to impose a European system for European gains. Its more like Sinocentrism vs Eurocentrism if anything.
The British Empire exists because the Englishman is so cocksure of himself and his own superiority…because the Englishman believes that his ways are the only correct ways and because he cannot tolerate anyone who does not conform to his standards.
Thus making his way become everyone’s way — meaning ‘International’.
But I digress, I was going to just throw in a short two-lined poem of my own. And I used to make these long snarky poems on this blog (when I was deep in analysing poetry techniques for IOC period and once I did an impromptu on a Certain One-year-mark) that truly mocked the study of literature, because I feel that literature is just so random and is sometimes a pointless study. It was the HL subject I had the most irritation with. Poetry is for pleasure and something I like very much, but the study of it is a pain — its like saying that the study of biology is a pain but…nevermind.
Sometimes I wish you’d stay,
Less than an hour away.
Now to show some poetic analysis.
1- ‘Stay’ and ‘away’ rhyme. What does this mean? nothing really, poets tend to make a rhyme to make it more conventionally ‘poetic’. We could say that rhymes emphasise the two lines, although in a short poem, anything seems to be able to emphasise everything, and on top of that — most poems tend to rhyme throughout. If you emphasise everything, you emphasise nothing.
2- I could say that the rhyme adds to the sad mood by making it more melodious. But mood is subjective and dependent on the context — MEANING even without the rhyme one can tell the mood. For some commentaries I have read that rhyme creates a sad melody, in others it creates a happy one. (Usually this rhyme is for the happy one). Its like saying “hot as hell” and “cold as hell”, we’re not really sure if hell is hot or cold.
3- Both lines have six syllables each. What is the purpose? I doubt there’s any, but I could say there is some regularity. Of course it is intended by the poet, but probably for no reason more than making it sound ‘conventionally poetic’. Writing poetry for some has become a way of matching a rigid structure and its rules, much like a game, like Haiku. They treat it like a sport than an art, which expresses the inner manly angst.
4 – Deeper analysis: On the surface level, ‘Stay’ refers to where a person lives, however there is a deeper meaning to the word. Taking the first line by itself, it suggests (always use the word suggests) the yearning the speaker has for someone to ‘stay’ on and not leave. ‘Stay’ and ‘Away’ are both opposing words. It could reflect a sort of inner conflict and tension (another catch all term to use whenever you dont know what to say about a poem) — perhaps on the part of the poet (yes, always make a wild guess as to what the poet is thinking, precisely because it is not verifiable). The deeper meanings of the diction used (catch all term again) highlights the idea of distance and being away.
5- The question is did the poet intend this? We never know, we could claim to know, but we can never prove it. As the creator of this — i’d say no. It was mere coincidence and randomness that the words happened to have deeper meanings, and I only realised this After writing.
6- And more importantly what does the poem mean? “Hour” could imply that it is about Time, which is shown in the word ‘sometimes‘ as well (this is just nonsense now). Is it about emotional and metaphorical distance? To me, “themes” (which I have never used in my ib exams before) are a BS opportunity like ‘confluence of fantasy and reality’, whatever the hell that means.
We can never guess what the poet’s intention is, apart from making post-hoc judgements. And it is for this reason I accidentally stepped on an interviewer’s toes. I had assumed that nobody there would care about literature,
but I forgot there was a WOMAN who probably loved it thoroughly in her secondary school days and did a few courses of it in her US liberal artsy education. The reality is that NO GUY would have pressed me on why I like literature the least.
Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands. I wrote this on one of my ‘last train’ rides home. If anything, the poem reflects a yearning for the Circle Line to start functioning because its…
…Less than an hour away.
This Monday is a time where many guys my year will grumble a fair bit for it is back to work. In my case, work is just about to start.
And there are quite a few things I will miss about my old place.
I will miss good food (to be fair, the new place’s food is not too bad, just not as awesome.) meaning to say, I will miss the Bak Kut Teh
I will miss going home every evening in my secondary school clothes (cos its the lightest most comfy shit i have)
I will miss spending the morning in an air con conference room.
I will miss a two hour breakfast break and a more than two hour lunch break.
I will miss not having to march and other such pointless formalities.
I will miss sleeping in a dark aircon storeroom with no lights on, on a trash bag.
I will miss reading (and usually finishing) a book in the morning and playing chinese chess in the afternoon with my chinasuperior.
Will I want to stay on this place for a long time? Of course not. But it is merely a contrast of what I’m about to lose, what I’m about to Have To do. Oh what a bother.
Nothing really sentimental. But at the very least, I’m glad that I’m starting to accept what is about to come — it might not be that bad.
and it seemed so fast there while it was actually quite long. It was on the first few days when I was wondering what a Nila was…
This is a continuation of the Three Women metaphor. I must stress once again that it is merely a Metaphor or an analogy. Some of the resemblances are cunningly thought out though.
In the pursuit of the Three Women, I spend time with them separately to talk. It is a pleasurable
excuse cause to miss work — oh how unfortunate. And in the process of talking, there are a myriad of questions asked, some seemingly unrelated but all meant to find out not just about You as a person, but about You as a specific role to them. Yes, compatibility is the word — for these women not just look out for the biggest, i mean, best dude but the most fitting.
And of course the most touchy topic would be…the other girls that you fancy. It’s something we all try to avoid as far as possible. Most unfortunately, I am one who is incapable of flattery when needed even when it is the truth — or rather, Especially when it is the truth. As much as I try to heave my balls into my mouth, I simply cannot.
No doubt I can sing praises of the second woman in front of the first (as well as in front of all my friends) and sing praises of the third woman in front of the second and all my friends again – but I simply cannot in front of them. It is almost pavlovian. (Note that I never really sing praises about the richmansdaughter in front of anyone except in front of my dad for appeasement purposes)
And women being women are fickle, subjective, unpredictable and highly opinionated with moods that swing more than a Disneyland ride. You can never tell whether what you did (or did not do, for that matter) will bring about a good or bad outcome. It surprises me that the moon is portrayed as a feminine figure — the moon changes constantly but follows a constant pattern. Women should be compared to the wind instead — we never know how strong, which direction or even why it blows.
Some even told me that my failure and/or refusal to go all the way singing praises only gave me more appeal as though I was playing hard to get.
But as usual, my dad would advise “be careful of simply marrying the first girl you like.” and someone once told me in the library completely randomly about how “rushing into things might lead to us depriving ourselves of better things in future.”
Chinese KFC coupon fiasco sparks riot
Agence France-PresseApril 9, 2010
Angry customers mobbed two Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets this week, in Beijing and Shanghai, in anger over a coupon promotion gone awry, state media reported.
The trouble flared Tuesday as the restaurant launched a promotion in which coupons downloaded from the Internet could be exchanged for food at KFC outlets.
Customers became angry after staff refused to accept some coupons, saying they were fake.
Angry coupon-holders in Beijing flipped over chairs and tables and had to be dispersed by police, the Global Times said. Crowds also gathered at a Shanghai outlet.
I’ve heard of riots over ‘indecency’ in the media, over religious intolerance to alcohol, over political causes and while I thought that Environmentalism and animal rights are quite stupid causes to riot for — this wins. Actually this still is better than environmentalism and animal rights riots. Those troublemakers.
Don’t mess with the chinese mann!
“Congrats on passing out” was a particularly impactful line to me. It had a double meaning — since the first time I heard it…was when I literally passed out from the heat and was on a ride to the hospital.
That being said, I must resist the
evil urge stupid careless mistake of sending the sms “Congrats on passing out”
…to people who just enlisted a few weeks ago. XD
After all, where’s the fun if i can’t see their reaction =\
Sprinting past my mates to catch the bus,
I realise that I might be giving myself away.
But screw it, that bus comes to the middle of nowhere only once every half an hour.
Stop, cripple, stop!
I find it quite funny how there are some people who whenever are out with other girls will receive random spontaneous SMS from their girlfriend.
Perhaps its chance, or woman instinct…
…or their phone, com AND wallet is bugged.
“My dad is with the ISD!”
I know I was very proud of formulating my mock IOP question and IOP proper in my sleep but this takes the cake:
It was the Next Stage and I had a presentation to deliver from a different angle. I recall feeling my confidence. Until I look at the computer.
On the first slide is a guide to giving a stylistic performance from Introductions to Conclusions and even voice and personas. The second slide is a technical mathematical one on formal Logic (which I only have a very vague understanding of currently) Third, fourth, fifth are all on Logical Fallacies.
Okay so all are irrelevant, I go ahead anyway. But there is an interjection and I am shocked at who it is.
I can’t quite recall the details of the arguing, but I recall getting questioned at every loophole that I didn’t notice and rebutted quite flatly. I was getting owned repeatedly. I was thinking to myself “you’re not supposed to be against me!!” yet still not ridiculous enough to wake me up.
And in my usual lag manner, I am pondering to myself as I left and then I thought up of a way to convincingly counter EVERYTHING.
So I cook up this mindgame to rearrange for it to be held again (what cunning scheme I weaved, I cannot recall) and sent an SMS.
Then there is the part where I drift between sleep and wake in the short five minute span of an alarm snooze — I “wake up” thinking it was all a dream, then I realised I sent the SMS for real. I panick for real, thinking I sent some stupid mindgame that reflects badly on me premised on a stupid dream — like giving diagnosis based on hallucination. (this is of course all part of a dream still, a dream of a dream!)
In the end I wake up for real, feeling very tired in the head probably cos my brain didn’t rest or something and because of all the reality vs dream confusion.
It’s a pity that I can’t recall most of the subject matter that took place because it was good. And it amuses me what latent knowledge I must have had. Even more amusing is how the latent knowledge manifests itself in 1) text on a screen 2) a familiar but separate figure from myself — if you’re in my head, your thoughts and arguments are actually mine, no? And I could overcome them all in the end anyway. I’m awesome.
This is what I get when I wake up at 3 cos I drank too much tea then go back to sleep — the inner workings of my subconscious mind. Must be the slight economics discussion with your dad over the pu er. Lots of pu er.
3pm is teatime.
and 3am is peetime.
The objective of a productivity drive is not to have a quantitative and numerical increase in gross domestic product per capital.
But how about a:
A Four day work week (of normal work hours) — as learnt from the past two three-day-weekends i have been had, it makes the number of leisure days closer to the number of work days. But eventually people get greedy (actually most people never seem greedy for rest/free time, only for money to spend on godknowswhat — nice clothes maybe?) and want a four day weekend with three day work week. Life has become proportionately more than work!
And all these are a habit from term three last year (: Ah, the joys of Friday…and Thursday as well..some times an additional other day of the week too. Long literature lessons just happened to coincide with days I fell terribly and unbearably ill — hope that correlation does not imply causation…
Ah, reflect upon the joys of waking up for lunch, reading in the morning, taking a morning stroll, then going out for the afternoon and getting home past midnight since there’s no work the next day. What simple joys — none of which require much money, unless you wish to have abalone for breakfast and the afternoon on a yacht.
And this extra day could conveniently come on a friday to start a long weekend, or a monday for the weekend to end late. Or even in the middle of the week for a good period of rest breaking up the work week into Mon-Tue and Thu-Fri. Two sets of twodayworkweeks.
Such small and cheap compromises to satisfy us these days — how sad it must be to be satisfied by having a four day work week. Utopia would have no work at all, but this is the closest we can get.
Maybe in future I can find a way to bargain to do OT on three or four days (Work from 9 to 8 wtf) to get a friday off. But for the time being, real life ends for the week and its back to the mundanity and monotony of a Monday with the mili-…
Most people would say back to real life when the weekends over. How puzzling.
I have a dream — its called a four day work week, no more than that because I’m so grounded in reality.
I have a dream — and it is every monday to friday, till i wake up when the weekend starts, to the real world which awaits me.
I saw a bunch of guys mostly with long hair on my last train home…
…their faces looked like girls….
Who ever said that all girly looking guys looked pretty probably lied.
ren yao -_-