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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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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Asian Movie Review (kinda)

June 22, 2009 at 2:03 am (Personal) (, , )

I am abit of a stickler for Asian cinema, contrasted to Hollywood, the low budget nature seems to make sure the movies have a certain, genuine-ness. Because of this, they all have very little window dressing to distract you from their true intent. They aren’t really there for you just to sit through and enjoy for 2 hours (I love a good popcorn flick as much as the next person but palp is palp). They make you stop and think as the author puts across their message. One of the recent Q movies is Ann Huis, “The Way we are”. A movie showing a few days in the lives of your typical Hong Kong residents. At face value this premise seems downright boring, but it was executed so well that the title won numerous awards at the last Hong Kong Film Awards. I have not seen it yet as I fear it is too arthouse for me, maybe one day. A movie that I have watched however, and recommend is “The Detective” starring the lovable/laudable Aaron Kwok, I may one day write about this one too, but let me jump to the movie I intended to talk about in the first place, “Men Suddenly in Black” directed by Edmond Pang, starring Eric Tsang and Jordan Chan. The films concerns are, debauchery, philandering, and most of the story hinges on adultery and deception. If you know me at all you’d know that I tend to be a bit high and mighty about these things, and at times the film is utterly gutter dwelling. But don’t dissmiss it for these things, you’ll miss out.

Men Suddenly in Black

Eric Tsang reminisces about the time he threw away Anthony Wongs takeaway dinner

Two of the most beautiful quotes I took away from the movie, were spoken by Teresa Mo playing Eric Tsangs wife

It is often said that the imprints left on the mind are longest lasting, but try telling this to a person suffering from Alzheimers and you will realise how much of a lie this sentiment is. Thus Teresa Mos character believes,
“What you can hold on to is what lasts”
. The reality is, through one reason or another, memories will fade no matter how strong. Just like physical scars, they will fade, and eventually be forgotten. Yes the depth of the wound will define how long it stays with us. But it does not decide whether or not it lasts. I may have ignored the fact that some wounds leave behind scar tissue, but it is exactly this that reminds us, the physical manifestation of the trials survived. For some of us there is nothing else.
I identify with this quote especially as my memory ain’t what it used to be. In fact it never really used to be. One of the saddest things I have come to realise is that I have very little recollection of the years that have passed. Some scant memories persist that in time may leave me, but it is the photos that I take, the souvenirs I savour, the material things that stay with me. Lord help me if I ever lose them. (A movie I am reminded of at this point is the Japanese Movie Gachi Boy, also recommended, but girls, keep a box of tissues handy)

“Destiny is unchangeable, but the events put before you are what you can control” This one is much more philosophical and it’s hard to explain it without having watched the movie. It is admirable that, even when faced with doom and gloom, some people have the resolve to stand up and fight. No ones destiny is ever revealed to them until they have lived them through, but resigning to fate is to let it take control over you. Fight for what you believe in because no one will fight for you. And in the end there is no greater cause

I leave you with one last quote spoken by both Eric Tsang and his wife,

“The way you walk this path is up to you”

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A View on Perspective…

June 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm (Informative) (, , , )

Through my 20 years on this earth, I have figured out that there are two things this world has a very weak grasp on; Opinion and Expectation. More specifically, confusing opinion with fact, and the assumption that expectation leads to ability. A person who is victim to these two frames of mind will certainly lead a long life of infuriation and disappointment. Remember that all the things I say in this blog, are usually opinion. Especially when it is prefaced by “I think”. You’d think this is obvious wouldn’t you? But you’d be surprised how many times I have to explain myself to other people that think I’m “wrong”. “Wrong”? What… my opinion? You’re kidding right… see… the one thing I am definitely entitled to as a human, is my opinion (same as everyone else). And that is shaped by my character, the things I identify with. To say that they are not right is… complete ignorance.

If perhaps you say that I don’t agree with the norm however, I can almost agree. But think about this… do you identify with things just because they are the norm? If you do, don’t you want a little more depth on your life? No? People can tell you what you want? You won’t ever figure it out for yourself? That’s fine, just don’t force your complacency on me.

Opinion and Expectation are more alike than you think. Growing up in Asian culture means you are very aware of the expectations placed upon you. “I hope one day you will become a dentist, or a lawyer (at best both)” Translation? If you don’t grow up to be one of these two things I will be deeply disappointed in you. Surely you can place expectations upon people and what they do, but whether or not they end up acting upon your expectations is entirely up to them. Not up to you. What about what I want? The funny thing about life experience is that it is not common to all of us. Yes we may live through the same situations, but what we take from them can differ greatly. Through our own personal traits, you take from those individual experiences things that speak to you personally, those sentiments may be shared by some people but I can guarantee you not everyone will see it the same way.

I give you a simple illustration, in recent surveys the Hyundai i30 has been judged as Australias Best Car. Looking at the criteria, sure I would agree with the verdict, but I don’t have to like it. I personally believe that any car weighing under 1100kilos is for the smart, rear wheel drive is only for the good looking, a manual transmission is only for the brave, and who the hell needs a roof anyway? What are you scared of sunlight? Oh no… it’s 25 degrees outside and sunny… better wind up the windows and turn the air-con on…
See, the beauty of what I have just said is that you don’t have to agree with it. And nor do I claim these things to be fact.

I clearly:
a) have written these things to offend
b) am being facetious
c) am a Car Enthusiast, and because of this I look for different things in a car, simplicity. And a little hardship does not bother me. Some people see their cars as white goods and I am well aware of this.That is up to you, but don’t come back to me and tell me your car is better than mine because I can come up with as many reasons as to why it isn’t.

At the same time I may not appreciate tennis as much certain friends, will not spend as much on my bicycle, may not spend as much on my computer, but do spend every waking moment dreaming about what next I can do to my car (not my wardrobe). Do not be so quick to claim your opinion as fact because sure enough as you think it is valid, the sentiment may not be shared. Are you so vain as to think that you are the authority? How can you claim to have the right to judge? You are entitled to your opinion that’s for sure, but it is by no means the final word on the situation.

Because I’ll definitely have something to say on the matter…

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I need to explain something…

June 4, 2009 at 12:48 am (Personal) (, , )

I promised myself not to make this a rant blog, but just let me get this one out of the way and I’ll be happy (at least for the while)

I organise things for my friends alot of times and up until recently it was a soul crushing task. I had a whinge, and you have all seem to have taken it to heart. I appreciate that but somehow I feel some of you are doing it just to shut me up (understandable) but I’d rather fix the problem. So just let me address the problem at hand…

Imagine this was real life and I’m talking to someone:

me “hey, would you like to come to (describe social outing) at (location) on (date and time)”

they look at me and walk straight away

alternatively

they say “Sounds great! Where and when…………………….. and what are we doing?”

The beauty of the internet is that it affords you the anonymity and discourteousness that you may never even consider in real life. I assume for one that everyone checks their email regularly, and it confuses me how people cannot simply reply, In no instance do I ask you to do so immediately, if I needed this, internet is not the medium with which to do so, I am well aware of that. Although I can see how difficult it is to fit in the time to type “yes I’ll be there!” or “no, I’m busy” in that little dialogue box and click “send”. It takes longer for me to type out the action in words than for you to do it. It just isn’t worth your time right?

And lastly, for the people that repeatedly ask me for details that I have already provided. JUST DIG OUT THE OLD MESSAGES PLEASE… THINK OF ME.

If you treat small things with little care how do you ever tackle the big issues?

The biggest of pictures is made up of the smallest details

So there we go! Hopefully that will be one of the few more personal rants, if you are interested enough in what I say, I will try to throw up something new for you to think about every Thursday night

Yours Sincerely,

One Grumpy Guy

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