A star is remembered best when it dies brightly; and Asian Parents (again)

July 21, 2009 at 9:59 pm (Informative, Personal) (, , , , , )

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and if you’re a regular follower, I apologise. If you know me well enough you can probably guess why I’ve had less to rant about.

Either way let’s get stuck into this post. There are two topics that I have a fondness for, that is asian movie stars, and parents, and recently, an interesting link between the two has surfaced.

When you are famous, you need to die young, or at least move out of the spotlight quietly to save your dignity. Bruce Lee is a great example of this. Aside from the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, passing away at the height of his fame means he doesn’t succumb to the human condition of feeling that longing for the spotlight. Humility is a sometimes is a good word to use when describing such situations. On the opposite side we have Elvis, stories of him being obese in later years dying on the seat of a toilet, and more recently Michael Jackson, the less said about his tortured later life the better. Do I need to mention Tom Cruise? Cassius Clay is also a frail shadow of his former self. I guess we shouldn’t judge them for it. As humans we are all victim to showing bouts of pride. But in his case especially, “keep your words soft and sweet, for one day you may have to eat them.” I’m not blaming the stars for their fame, but they’re there to illustrate a point. Remember them for the reason they were famous, as no one can hold on to that forever. Growing old I guess sometimes cannot be graceful.

Most of you would know that I am a huge Jackie Chan fan, or at least you did, because I was. I’m not so sure anymore. Recently I read a blog post from http://www.LoveHKFilm.com and as it is in tune with popular asian movie star culture, snippets of Jackie Chans slippery slope into some embarassing twilight years surface from time to time. There was one such incident including his comments on China and Communism, and now what inspired me to write this post. While rehearsing for a new movie he has a part in, he has been coaching Jaden Smith, son of some… famous actor… I think his name is Will? In writing his own blog post about the experience, well, let the words speak for themselves.

“If I couldn’t get my own son to train in martial arts, how could anybody else succeed?”
Oh Great one… how can we ever be worthy of thee…

“He put my son to shame! I provided my son with the best martial artists in the world, and he could not be persuaded to try it.”
Giving someone things doesn’t guarantee they’ll use it, nor does it guarantee they need it…

Seriously after reading that stuff I’m dumbfounded. Here is the seminal, hero, good guy icon of the 80’s and 90’s… Teaching Lecture 1 on How to Hurt your Children…
Actually on second thought it’s textbook Asian parenting. Your child is always wrong, what they want for themselves is always wrong, and what you want for them is always right, for the best. You may remember from my previous posts that as a typical asian child we all live under the weight of expectation. But this is something I cannot bear having grown up innately Aussie. As a result my relationship with them is quite strained. For that I am sad, but there is not much I can do, when people like Jackie Chan, so great that he is cannot be encouraging. How can one expect the average asian parent to be anymore empathetic?

Here’s a confusing one… he turns it around by saying this…
“When a person is not interested in a subject, no matter how hard you push them, they will not pick it up. Even if they do, it will be with disinterest and lack of passion.”
Really?
Do you actually believe that Jackie?
You wouldn’t be ashamed of your son if you did…

Now excuse me while I go re-watch a Drunken Master…

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I’d forgotten how this feels…

July 12, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Personal)

I may have said to a certain someone that if this was covered by any means of social networking… that I would be terribly disappointed, but I just can’t help myself so don’t think less of me. Today was just, one of those special days, where you just don’t feel any need to ask for anything more. A little more time perhaps but really not much more beyond that. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything like this and I’ll count the days where it stays with me. It’s facinating to see just where you find the things that turn you around.
The things that wake you up earlier,
that make you stay up later,
that make you push yourself that little bit harder.
I can only hope to give you a small insight into what I’m thinking inside; also that I may be able to give you back a little bit, as much as I can manage.
So to you dear reader, keep on looking, don’t lose hope. It is held out for you by a benevolent hand (hawhawhaw) but just be there to take it.

God Rays (cropped)

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The Cult of Superficiality

July 7, 2009 at 12:54 am (Personal) (, , )

There are many other things you can chase instead of money, you can go on sitting in a cubicle like a drone being a slave to money, but at the end of the day the most common words I hear are that there is no sense of fulfillment. Fulfillment is one thing that is deeply personal and something like this has much more meaning than mere monetary value. But money makes the world go round you say, this is so you can buy yourself nice things, buy other people nice things, spoil your children rotten and have them inhabit the earth like the selfish and disrespectful Gen Y that currently fills it.

If you know me well you know that I don’t particularly take to materialism. Because these things are empty, they are surface, not substance. But this is just my opinion, some people live long lives of chasing the next big thing and if that’s all it takes then good for you… I wish happiness was really as simple as that. It may seem fairytales and gingerbread but it really doesn’t take that much material to build happiness, a simple change in mindset is all that we need. Do we really need that 1239” TV? Do we really need a 4 storey house with 26 bedrooms for a family that we don’t even plan to have because our careers allow no time for it?
Then what for?
To show people you have?
To rub their noses in their relative squalor?

Money can certainly buy happiness. That is until it gets old, the novelty fades, and the next big thing comes along. Then you can buy more of “that” happiness, and the cycle keeps on going. And what if you need to take it in for a warranty claim? This kind of happiness is transient and fleeting.
Should it really be that fickle?

Is your happiness that conditional? Take the time to examine  yourself and you may stumble upon something  you truly delight in and when you do, you will delight in it no matter what. That happiness will be unending. Look for that. Not only will you find happiness but you may even find a shred of contentment in this bleak and hopeless world.

Here is where it gets a little difficult, you’ve earned your money and it’s your God given right to spend it isn’t it? But think about this, what do we really need to survive in this world? Spare a thought for those less fortunate. True, there are no such things as free handouts in this world, you must earn all that you get. How about some philanthropy? For those born into less fortunate circumstances,
thrust into them,
stuck in them.
Even if they had the heart to earn they have not the means to flourish, they don’t even have the means survive. It has been said that something like this is tantamount to communism. Tall poppy syndrome. That is nonsense. There simply is no need for the excess.
Be happier with less, and it will take less to be happy.

I know at this point some of you will be saying you can be happy with less because it’s easier. Open your eyes, look at the world around you. Do  you really believe that?
Look at those people aspiring for the better car, replacing one that still works, only because it’s not an appropriate status symbol
Look at those working for a bigger house, moving out from one that’s perfectly liveable, just to make the next door neighbour jealous
Look at those throwing away long time relationships for a boy/girl who is richer, prettier, “better”
Look at all those things and tell me that being happy with less is “easy”

More, More, More,
Greed is good,
all for me, none for you

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A man I aspire

July 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm (Personal) (, , )

I am loathe to have idols but if there was one man that could come close to getting the job, it is Jeremy Clarkson. I love his wit and humour in his writing and it’s evident he isn’t even trying. He is distressed denim and “pube hair” hair in a world of Versace and coloured & permed & “$200 thank you very much” coifs.

He is un-PC in the world of the nanny-state; in a world where “You can’t say that!” He just did. As a sensibly reared asian I can only aspire to be so daring. How does this translate at all into real life? He mustn’t have many friends you would think. I would disagree, when people describe the things they like about their partners and friends, one word that always comes up is “genuine”. I am sure you never hear of someone say they like someone because they are cunning and underhanded. In a world that tells you to improve yourself with the things you wear, the things you own, the things you do to your body, why not try giving them the real you? Warts and all. If they like you only for what you make yourself out to be, what happens when you present them with what you are?

Clothes/possessions you can change, but not your nature. I should let you know at this point that I love all things car related, and have my own car that I have duteously dressed up. So I hear you say, what about you then? Isn’t that superficial? Yes and No. I do not do this to be accepted, believing it somehow enhances my being (or my cars being). Yes they are cosmetic but this is a form of self-expression. It is as much a choice as how I might like to wear a blue shirt today while someone else would have chosen green. I do not do it because it is what everyone else is doing, or to impress other people. There are some people who may not accept you for who you are, but in a world of 6billion people, a country of multiple millions, a city of hundreds of thousands, I’m sure you’ll stumble across a few that will. It’s been known to happen.

Above all, he possess the brilliant mindset that, he is there, take him or (leave him?) No, you take him or you don’t. It just doesn’t bother him at all

Clarkson - Atom Review

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