The Cult of Superficiality pt.2

March 20, 2010 at 1:05 am (Personal) (, , , , )

If you’ve followed my blog at all you’ll know that the pervading superficiality of this contemporary world has a special place in my uncharacteristically resentful heart.

Tonight, unfailingly, as I meet with my group of of friends, there is a special testosterone laden, bravado spouting side of them that likes to rear it’s egotistical head.
Chauvinism.
Mob mentality is such a horrible thing…

There was a particular situation described by a particular person (and if you are reading this, I can only hope you were either joking or drunk. At the same token I wouldn’t be shocked if you were not).

This person was wanting to meet a specific “hot” friend of another’s. But this person has a partner. Regardless, they filled us all in on the plan to leave their partner’s future birthday celebration (because it’s going to be boring anyway…) to hookup with this “hot” friend of a friend.

Is this really what’s inside?

Why are you with your partner at all then? Convenience?

Oh, the person you want to hook up with is “hot”.
I fail to see the point.

I Love my girlfriend for who she is, not because she is pretty. There will come a day inevitably when physically she will not be so.
The “ugliness” of aging.
And because I Love her for who she is, it will be irrelevant, and I will still Love her.
I can only hope that she can still Love me after the day I slowly but forcibly become less handsome than I already, tragically, am not.
I have little doubt in my heart because I know we realise that physical appearance has so little to do with why we are together.

To the rest of the superficial world out there I plead with you, stop chasing the next best thing. There will always be something prettier or more handsome as much as there are still people in the world.
Is the only thing you want to claim is that you have conquered their fickle bodies?

There will always be a younger prettier thing to go to. And this chase by it’s very nature will not end in fulfilment. It will only end in loneliness, as once your days of vanity are over, they will move on from you too.

I understand the view of what’s pretty & beautiful is different for everyone. But no matter what the object of desire is, if they are chased merely for this reason, it is futile.

Look instead for the things inside that you admire.
That transcend physical facade, and outlast any feature of, or on their body.

Because these are the things that you can hold on to, even past the day that the rest of the world does not find you beautiful, that person will.

The thing is, even if my particular “friend” is reading this, I know they’re scoffing at the sentiment. That is the saddest part of all.

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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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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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