You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.
I have mentioned before how i get blocked by safe surf, with this tone of resignation and disappointment.
But I’m starting to get pissed off when a Foreign Policy article is blocked.
Can someone tell me why the fuck this article (which I cant see) is blocked by safesurf:
its not even singapore related -_-
Maybe there’s some random anatomy to illustrate the burgeoning income gap or something.
Because I am bored/annoyed/a dick, and want to waste someone else’s time: email@example.com
Normally when I get my haircut, I cut the whole head, rather than just the slope (probably just to make it more worth it, especially with the weather). Its probably the first time in ten years that I only cut the slope. I don’t know. Its not like I really like long hair or anything. Its probably just because I can.
Although the more disturbing thought is, what happens overseas. what if I’m too cheapskate to cut my hair — since for every haircut I pay for, I could get a plate of duck rice or something. ….nah, don’t think I could go a year without. i’d pay to have it more manageable.
Maybe the new haircut will make me feel some anticipation soon. October is ending. November is soon. And November is a month before the last month.
Delayed gratification is when you have a 24” monitor waiting on your table — with an incompatible electric plug, which needs a converter you do not have yet. (what kind of lousy international marketing is this?!)
Then I thought about it and realised that I don’t really have the time to watch movies anytime soon either. Its just the sheer awesomeness of having a screen so big. Its more than TWICE of my current screen size.
Sort of feels like yesterday when it only rained heavily for five minutes. And that was the five minutes I was walking under no shelter. By the time, I reached the shelter. The rain stopped.
Today I went for some course on bridging the gap between gen x and gen y — little was taught on how the gen y can do their part to bridge the gap. But in one of the interactive activities, I found myself less ‘gen y’ than some old dude, technologically at least. For instance, I have no facebook.
This is a short intro to explaining why I didn’t set up facebook back at the end of j2.
Not yet at least.
Something tells me that the only reason I am posting this obituary is because I think the Jobs mourning, while valid to some degree, is overrated. Its not my thing to mourn great men either way I think — be it great musicians, great directors, great researchers and doctors. Or at least I wouldn’t mourn it more than their retirement. It is not enough for me to feel love for another because of their product and ground-breaking contribution. In other words, I am not one of those kind people who are actually mourning the death of one great guy: I’m just taking more pleasure in pointing out that another mourning isn’t worth all that much.
But I’m biased. First, I don’t feel a need to mourn the loss of great people. I might mourn the end of their creations – so death is nothing more than a retirement. Its insensitive, but its true, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Second, I don’t use no ipod, iphone, ipad and I’m still surviving. Admittedly I might buy an ipad or macbook air eventually. Maybe that’s why I haven’t felt the omega impact of using an apple product yet.
But my usual dictum remains: On the premise that most people are stupid therefore wrong, hence if something is very popular, there must be something wrong with it. Here’s some economic reasoning to substantiate my point: Especially when (an almost religious) popularity allows for a form of complacency and cutting of corners. I almost follow this irrationally and religiously — be it for jobs, products, schools, scholarships.
I value brands: they are a good gauge of quality. But I’d rather stay away from THE brand, and the one labelled as the best. With a kick-ass reputation, they could compromise on the quality and still have a mass following.
I guess style is still more important than substance. But as the quote of the day goes: “without C, you couldn’t google for porn.” With that I end with another image (heh heh heh)…
Upon waking up, I deliberated over whether to go for a morning run or to laze in bed further for the rest of the day. Its probably due to the lack of swim this week. After mentally drawing Benjamin Franklin’s way of decision making on my ceiling, I put on contact lenses in the first time in two months and decided to get out of the house. For the past two months, I was bit too lazy to put on contacts – or rather open a new box of monthlies.
- Ran about two MRT stations worth to Chinese Garden and back. Almost stepped on a freaking iguana. Sat down for a while to watch a turtle on a rock. It was my first time in ten years at Chinese Garden, even though it was just nearby.
I generalise that most chinese people don’t like to go parks and beaches. Not many, at least. The typical chinese businessman who works hard over the week (again, I generalise) likes to drive to a shopping centre for free aircon and window shopping. They most certainly won’t be in a kampung of tents at East Coast Park. SO I was thinking that Chinese Garden, which is fenced up but with free entrance, must be quite empty.
Partly true. There were a lot of PRCs — probably the peak of my generalization. Aren’t they the ones who probably work the hardest and need a greater simulation of cold weather? Maybe my generalization is flawed and should be discarded.
After a while, my time perception starts to warp. I thought I spent a long time out of the house, but it turned out to have been only an hour. That’s when I realised that I haven’t had breakfast. Its almost as if exercise is an alternative to food, temporarily.
Now to get back to writing my essay — why do you think I bothered to go running in the first place?
A week without swimming is miserable. Seldom do I go a week without swimming, as long as I’m at work. There was that one week I was away on course, where I did not swim at all (and my guys were probably very happy to not have me around). But this is the second time.
It’s quite unfortunate really. On the first three days of the week which were damn free, the weather was horrible. On the last two days of the week which had damn good weather, I was shit busy. I was at least hoping to go in the evening to conclude a long day at work (and clean myself ), but nope — things had to drag. This is misfortune. It’s like the weather and my workplace plotted against me.
Whatever, for the next few weeks, opportunities abound. I’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the pool. I ought to remind myself, that I don’t actually have that much time left to used this awesome, free, newly-renovated, under-utilised pool.
Given that I have a rather huge pool of Christian friends, this might be controversial. Some people may judge me more negatively, but I have been seen as a heretic in more ways than one by now. I have been waiting to say a lot of these for a long time, so here goes: I have stopped going to church – even though I still hold on to my core.
Two main clarifications before proceeding further. First, that the reasons I set out do not apply to everyone. This is not meant to dissuade people from church-going. In fact, some people need church and are better off going for it. But not for me.
Second clarification: this discussion is not about the validity of religion and its values, but about church-going as a lifestyle. I could bring in biblical text to support my arguments, but I will save that for another day.
1. I can’t get no satisfaction: A sermon works like this: think about a message you want to put across (ie faith or some how to live your life and treat others well thing) then look for supporting evidence from the text. Or the other way round, take a text, treat it like a literature book, and stretch it to fit various points (ie divine majesty and glory). In both cases, you have to LINK BACK to the greater picture (ie God), and throw in some personal anecdotes.
Now learning about the character of God and how to be a better person is probably a good thing for some people, but milk alone is not enough to satisfy me. Church isn’t just about learning moral values. I used to spend most sunday afternoons after feeling like I wasted a morning listening to a talk. Often I disagreed with the subjective interpretations made by the speaker, or at times even the objective validity of his claim.
2. A mass of mindless conformism: We’re all supposed to think the same way, right? And then when we are told to raise our hands, or when some people raise their hands, we should raise along. That is conformism. Now I am not in favour of non-conformism for non-conformism sake. But if you are going to do something, you do it out of your will and conscious decision. You don’t do it out of mindless conformism.
Case in point: speaking in tongues requires one or two to start speaking, before it spreads like wild fire. Of course it might be because the spirit of the Lord is especially stimulated at that point in time, and so all Christians are supposed to all feel the same incitement to speak in tongues at the same time right? The more probable explanation is mass psychology. Here’s the best part: the typical church-goer would retort that they genuinely feel a need to raise their hands (usually because of the mood created by the music — they all come at the same more emo chorus tune). Mass conformism is to the point that you believe that your actions are not out of mindless conformism.
Well, I happen to value my autonomy and individuality. I’m not going to do things I don’t feel like doing. I’d rather avoid a situation where I feel pressured to do what everyone is doing. I recall one incident when the church was made to stand up, hold an orange ribbon and say a pledge on religious and racial harmony. I was like, what the fuck is this POLITICAL move. I didn’t come here for this. So I remained seated. Mindless mass conformism provides a warm feeling for some, but it’s probably not for me.
3. The Sunday crowd: I have no problem with God, its just his fanclub that is unlikeable. I have to be very careful about this point – it is the most likely to offend. Of course, there are some very saintly people who are very genuine (of course). But you must admit, the vast majority of people don’t behave the same way in church as outside. Or so I’ve observed.
Let’s take my favorite past time: Crude humour. I love crude humour. Its funny. Its dirty. And it’s awful fun. It is natural that we would laugh at them, and indulge in them. But come Sunday, all of these are swept under the carpet. The Sunday crowd is not only less fun, it is more repressed.
What’s worse is that it spills over onto you. You have to put up the moral front (at least in words, cussing and joking) for the day….as if there was anything so immoral about word choice. Its puzzling how crude language is more unacceptable than a judgmental and unaccepting mindset. But regardless of whether vulgarity is moral or not, the Sunday crowd makes you more self-conscious and focus more on the outside, when you should be focusing on the inside.
4. The beauty of a Sunday morning: Sunday mornings are beautiful. With six activity packed days a week, a rest day is best spent resting. What could rest mean? Some biblical and spiritual metaphor for going to church? Not unless it puts you to sleep.
So what’s my take? I still hold to a faith, but I believe that it is best found alone. Religion is a personal thing. A Sunday morning is better spent on thinking about how to live your life and appreciating the things you have. It is far better for the 1) mind, 2) body and 3) spirit, to go for a walk on a Sunday morning and feel the fresh breeze. Oh, and I would rather give money to those without an arm, than to contribute to a new church piano.
For those who worry about my spiritual well-being, thank you, but worry not. God is taking up a greater rather than lesser part of my life. And this is not despite stopping church, but because of. For those who have less kind things to say, you substantiate one of my points.
I might go back eventually though. I can’t say for sure. But in the mean time, Sunday will continue to be a day of introspection and meditation. Because ultimately, it might just be easier to find God within yourself, than from the mouth of another.
Why is this titled with a part 1? Because there is a part 2 (or more) to come, of course. But there is still a lot that I feel I cannot say. Not yet at least. I feel that a lot of what I mentioned is not entirely clear, because there are some more underlying beliefs that I am not comfortable mentioning yet. At least, it wouldn’t be persuade some to stop going to church.
I’m back. I somehow feel slightly more relieved these few days. And with relief, comes aimlessness. This shouldn’t be the case, since I am aware that there is this mountain of things awaiting me in a while. But I’d rather not think of it. All the more a good reason to really take a break this weekend.
And the morning was well-spent taking long morning walks in the town area. With time to just stare at the Singapore River, or random fountains along the way — I felt like my morning was physically, spiritually, and mentally more enriching than listening to some lecture early in the morning and trying to convince myself that there is somehow an application and relevance to my life. Yes, my morning could not have been better spent.
It almost sounds as if I just finished promos or something – just not yet. Think of it as just the first two papers.