Random thoughts are hard to come by these days but I just found myself thinking about language and social hierarchy, thanks to a tweet by Adrianna about the odd phenomenon of men calling women “sis”, even when they are romantically interested in the latter. A couple of others joined in and we had an interesting discussion about terms like xiaomeimei.
I had a thought this morning when I was having breakfast next to some businessmen at yakun kaya toast. I was eavesdropping a little bit and they were describing something that sounded like ruthless corporate slaughter, about crushing the competition in a way that sounded sociopathic. I remember thinking… nobody really tells you about this. Nobody tells you that we live in a cruel, ruthless world full of blood and viscera and people out to screw each other over. When do you really learn about rape? I feel like I was overly sheltered from reality in school. I don’t mean things like about bills and work- that much was obvious. What they didn’t tell me about was that it’s turtles all the way down.
I often think about people who played a minor or insignificant role in my life. I wonder if some of them think about me, too. I wonder if I’m a big deal to somebody I don’t know. I wonder how many of my childhood friends look at me with disgust and derision. I wonder so many things. Today’s a nostalgic day. I wonder how the regulars I interacted with during NS are doing. Warrant Maniam passed away just months after I ORD’d. Fella was always threatening to charge me. I wonder why. I was nice to him. Some of the others weren’t.
I dropped by the VS website a while ago for another nostalgia bomb, to see how the teachers are doing. Many familiar faces. I can’t believe I spent 3 years in JC. Poly would’ve been a richer experience for me.
Haven’t written because I feel like I’m repeating myself and I have zero authority. None, not even to speak for myself.
I’ve been paying some attention to the news- Chan Chun Sing is minister now, probably the first Minister who never had to run in a general election, and Vincent Wijeysingha resigned from the SDP, and an older me might take the time and trouble to write extensively about such things. But now that feels hollow and “participatory”. I’m not sure if developing an opinion here is particularly useful. Well- it’s a skill worth developing, knowing how to formulate an opinion, how to articulate it and communicate it effectively.
Well- I think the utility in that is primarily social. It makes you seem more impressive.
Yeah so I’ve been rather pessimistic and nihilistic lately. I’m probably taking some real benefits for granted. Of course it’s good learning to think. The question is, how much does that influence what you do?
Erm, I’m in a messy spot here, let’s tidy up.
1: Thinking is interesting, fun and somewhat fulfilling as a parlor game, just like any other decent game imaginable. It’s nice to be good at it, and some people will reward you for it (assuming that you meet some basic thresholds of social acceptability, maybe, but even then there are exceptions).
2: Writing is a very effective way of articulating thought. It gives it structure, formalizing it.
3: One can think and write for a rather long time without having those thoughts significantly alter one’s reality, one’s station in life. This train of thought presupposes certain ideas, things like it’s good and important to be happy and fulfilled in a way that involves a sustainable interaction with one’s environment (so drugs and self-delusion are not valid options). I do not really care to defend these ideas- that is a parlor game in itself. There are resource costs to deliberation so I think it’s clear that one should ruminate on whatever appears to be the best use of one’s headspace.
Aside: I used to have a problem with such “drastic” “intervention”. One should not meddle with the mind, I used to subconsciously argue. Odysseus shouldn’t have tied himself to the mast, but he shouldn’t have bothered with the sirens, either. Why did he even bother with the journey in the first place? Couldn’t he have just sat around a fire with his friends, go fishing now and then, enjoy a simple life? Why make promises?
I’ve been away from Facebook and most social interactions outside of work and this kine of thought is becoming increasingly interesting to me- something I’d never truly considered before. Why bother with the heroism? Why not just live a simple, pleasant life of coffee and conversations?
Things are getting ugly in Syria. Easy to get outraged, but can I do anything? What’s with this constant need to intervene? This is something I might not have fully addressed earlier. Why do I always want to be the hero?
Maybe attention is a kind of high fructose corn syrup, easy to get addicted to. Maybe I should read some Russell Brand. Fame is vacuous, pleasure comes from true, genuine interaction.
Was I getting at something here? I think it’s really good that I went off Facebook and it’s really good that I moved to the north and it’s at least interesting, if not good, that I’ve been extricated from my former social circles. It’s good to be away, or at least interesting.
My thoughts are unrefined today. Perhaps it’s a lack of practice. But I don’t care, I’ll just write. So be it.
This was relatively meh but I’m chunking it up so that I can get around to the next one. All of these words are completely irrational filler just to make number. I know that I’ve crossed 1,500 and even 2,000 on some posts, so they definitely more than make up for one slight deficiency here, but I feel like it’s not right. I feel like I have to hit the 1,000 mark no matter what. So there it is, here I am. Silly maybe, but it keeps me going and I think it’s necessary to test this out.