Saturday, December 6, 2008

"What's the use of Steering?"

A strange question that some might not understand. Steering is the so-called 'leadership committee' in the Boy's Brigade Primers. But in a way this question is relevant to us all - just change the words 'Steering' to 'Manager', 'President', 'CEO'.

Many of us nowadays, me included, seem to walk around with the concept that all the work in the company is done by the managers. By the IT Experts, by the salesmen, by the custodians and maintanance men. So what the, are the point of the big bosses? If the organs run won't the business grow?

What if the heart still functions while the brain is dead?

It is a redundant topic I suppose. All of us know this. Yet how many of us truely act on it? I once thought that the world had too many leaders. I now know this is false. The world has too many sheep thinking to be leaders. The shepherds are now all lost.

Humans have always been creatures of habit. Patterns, logic and order. We establish rules and fixed methods for accomplishing things, for the sake of efficiency, for the sake of economy. And now I believe, for the sake of our sanity.

How many of us can truely, truely say we live spontaneously, through our lives? Even while the greatest of comedians and stage actors laugh with the audience on stage back home they have a favourite chair or sofa that they sit in every evening to relax, worn out from a good day's work. Perhaps its only my mentality, but when I analyze it, when I plumb the depths of my brain, and then compare it with the actions and behavior of the world around me I find the only conclusions I can make is this:

We are all followers.

Some of us claim to have vision. When asked about it they say: Oh, I want to make my first million by the time I'm 25. Others look to becoming CEOs, scientists, great writers. Yet how many of us have a concrete plan, a long-term step process - a path as to the goal?

Its useless saying you want to get to the port if you do not even have a map.

Back to the original question. Steering Committee is supposed to be the unifying committee of the Boys Brigade 12th(I) Company. It is supposed to be the Seer, the old Soothsayer that sits in its hut recieving visions of the future from the Officers and sometimes CE Committee. Then we find the Heroes (i.e. chairmen of the respective committees) and send them on a Quest.

But are we really doing something like that?

Steering now, simply organises and plans. We sort out a schedule, and say "on friday this is the time table". Which, while being a definate duty and neccessity, seems rather...lacking. It is like the soothsayer from earlier suddenly overseeing the runnings of the village. We have village elders and matrons for that. So what can the Soothsayer do?

Believe. That's what.

The role of Leaders, of Kings and Generals, has never been to carry out the tasks. They can do so to inspire, they can do so to push - but these are the facilitators, the sub-leaders, the link between the future and the present. For the leaders, they are the future, they have to be. The sub-leaders cannot concentrate on the men and their orders at the same time (though there exist a precious few who can). No, it is the leaders who must be the "lazy bastard" that gives the order to charge. Because if he doesn't, then who will?

Who is willing to take responsibility for the lives of a hundred men? A hundred employees, soliders, farmers, villagers.

A hundred BB Boys?

Administrators are what we are now. What most of us believe to be leadership. Create a plan, carry it out. That is simply processing. It is stupid, its idealistic, but thats what them leaders are for. A central nerve, someone to whom all the orders go, all the information is fed, so that the whole system can function as a whole. And because of this, there is the risk, the horrible risk of losing sight of the source of all this information, and forgetting, just for a moment, just who you are responsible for. Throwing away, sometimes for good, responsibility altogether. And that's what makes a good leader fall.

We live in fear of this. We keep saying: we must not forget the little guy, the commoner on the street. And this is true. We cannot ignore them. But we cannot glorify them either. AS leaders, as someone appointed to the position, we cannot simply look at the day-by-day processes and crack our skulls over it. We have to...create. We have to explore. And we have to take the risks, and absorb the responsibility when we do explore. And by exploring, we find success - but at what cost? This Dilenma, this situation, is the painful question I believe many leaders, true leaders, are often forced to ask: what is the price for our success?

The key word here is 'our'. And the moment the leader forgets that, he is a shepherd no more.

Always remember that Butchers keep sheep and goats as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seasons of Fluff

It was with a heavy heart and sad eyes that the poet Jonathan Ematon left the train station by the fields. Long hours at work each day, banging upon typewriters and listening to the chidings of his editor left him in need of a good, long break. And so by cashing on what little leave he had, Jonathan managed to procure for himself five days by the countryside, in a old farm shack owned by his grandfather.

Old boots crunched on the frosted gravel as the man made his way towards the farm. Worn eyes gazed over the vast green fields, populated by woolen, fluffy sheep. The time of the year was when the lambs began growing their coats, such that every animal upon the grasslands looked like a small white cloud, come to earth after spending too much time in the sky.

People often talked about him having his head in the clouds, but this time the clouds had come to him. It was funny, in a way. Jonathan smiled.

His grandfather was waiting for him, old bones and all, upon the same old rocking chair. He remembered that rocking chair - his grandfather had used it long before he was even born. The wood on its legs bore scratches and markings from decades ago, testaments of a time long past. Back when Jonathan was five, his grandpa would take him onto his leg, smiling and smoking that putrid, ivory pipe of his, one hand tracing the scars on the chair - and there he would speak.

"Heh, my boy, I see you found me chair's little markings. Now, there's a story behind that - a real good story. See, when I was younger, about your father's age now, all tall and strong and smart, this place here wasn't quite a peaceful as it was. Oh no, it had much more. Wolves for one. Great snarling beasts, with teeth a hundred feet long, and claws ten inches wide. They-"

And then he would continue, about how a wolf had pounced upon him when he was sleeping, minding the flock, and how he had taken the chair and blocked its swipes, then hit it with the back so hard the creature collapsed onto the porch. And then he would turn over the chair, and show him the little scars and single large dent on the back of the chair, and Jonathan, eyes wide with wonder and excitement, would stare at it in shock. His grandpa told him the first time he heard the story, his mouth had hung open for the rest of the day.

Just like Grandpa to exaggerate, then laugh about it all the way.

The sharp smell of smoke brought Jonathan back to the present. Was Grandfather still smoking that pipe? He was, judging from the dead flies around the ledge. Grandpa had noticed him now, his eyes bright with mirth.

"John, me boy! How have you been" cried Grandpa, arms outstretched. For a moment Jonathan considered running over to embrace him, hugging his grandfather with all the drama of a Saturday Night soap opera. Thinking it over, he decided he'd rather not. No, he'll rather settle for shaking hands instead.

"Grandfather" he answered, returning the smile with a cool one of his own. Old his grandfather may be, but his grip was as strong as ever.

"Your old rooms all cleaned'up and ready son," said his grandfather, "just put your stuff there and we can go fer a walk - you and me, just like old times"

"Maybe" sighed Jonathan "I feel really tired right now. Perhaps in thirty five minutes...?"

"Ha, take an hour! You need the rest son, isn't that what you came 'ere for in the first place? Go getcha sleep, we'll wake you up in a while."

Precisly three hours and twenty-two minutes later, Jonathan awoke. He fumbled about the darkness of his room, reaching for the light switch that wasn't there. Then he remembered, and laughed to himself softly, just under his breath. Without looking he grabbed his spectacles from the small dresser near the window still and maneuvered around the beam post in the middle of the room. He even managed to remember to avoid the springy little floorboard that sunk into the ground. All these things he recalled, and Grandpa was waiting for him-

Thirty seconds later Jonathan stumbled out to the front porch, gasping for breath. His grandfather was still there, asleep and unmoving, the air long clear of the smoke emitting from the now-dead embers of his ivory pipe. At the sudden commotion though, one wrinkled eyelid creaked open.

"Mrm...ah Jonathan. Sorry about that, the weather's really fine today...kinda dozed off. And the cuckoo clock's all broken, never could fix it know how things disappear if you don't keep track of them? Time's a thing too."

The afternoon air was still fresh and cool, even after being heated by the noonday sun. Across the porch the sheep grazed, a cluster of small white cotton balls on a sea of bright green grass. The sky was blue, bluer than the sky in the city, which was grey and tarnished from all the pollution there. Even Grandpa, with all his foul smoking and occasional swearing, could do little to stain the sky here. Emerging from the darkness of the cabin, everything around Jonathan just seemed so...pristine.

He sat down on the ledge next to his Grandfather, being careful to avoid crushing the flies. For the moment, everything is still. Then his Grandfather sighed;

"You know John, we used to sit here a lot too, back then."


"Even when you grew up you liked to come here and sit to look at the sky. I remember you would like to lean on that spot, right there, next to the beams, where you could see the fields and the little dirt road across them, and Grandma would be there with the sheep, and she would be smiling and-" he choked.

"I know."

"That was before you went to the city, of course. To write stories, was it? I remember you used to love listening to stories."

"It was...what made me want to write"

"And do you still do that?"

"...I'm not sure anymore" whispered Jonathan, and hung his head. It was such a immature gesture, such a childish reaction that he felt ashamed. Almost immediately he raised his head and looked away instead,

"What I meant was, I don't think I want to anymore."

"And why is that?" asked his grandfather, one eyebrow raised. Somewhere in their conversation he had lit his pipe, which now smoked with all the ash of a minature volcano.

Why is that indeed. What can I say? About the reviews from the magazines? About all the books and talks and seminars I've been to? What was it Mrs. Know-it-all Editor had said...

..."I know you Jonathan, and I know you can write better than this"

"I can, and I have. This is what I feel is best!"

"What you feel isn't enough John, its what the reader's feel. They want more drama...more complexity. A story like this just won't sell John, its too...idealistic."

"What do you mean?"

"Its too perfect. Too nicely wrapped up. No plot-hooks, no cliff-hangers, just one great big happy ending."

"And what's wrong with that?"

"Listen to yourself John. You're an adult writer for God's sake! Happy endings and joyful tidings are for children and mentally deranged teenagers! Adults need something a touch more...realistic."

"Things are realistic enough! The characters-"

"The characters are fine John. Your plot, isn't. I suggest you go and rewrite this. Go look around the world a bit more. Open those eyes of yours, or get some better glasses. Things aren't so bright and happy and people know it. Don't lie to them Jonathan."

And that was that.

His grandfather listened, quietly at first, then when John paused to check if he was listening, started inserting various grunts and nods just to show he was listening. At the end of the whole thing his grandpa just sat there smoking his piped, leaning back against his chair. Then he got up and spoke:

"My question would be, why write about it?"

"Huh?" said John, who was feeling rather relieved at the moment. It felt so good to just rant on about your problems, like some internal pressure value had been released...

"'Cause well, she says they already know it, yes? So why bother telling them? The worlds a bleak place and any idiot can see that. We don't need writers reminding us about it in words when we can just sees for ourselves, right?"

"Er, I don't think she quite meant it that way. You see, it was the fluff?"

"Fluff? Isn't that like the wool you get on sheep?" his grandfather was sitting upright now, but the expression upon his face was still one of confusion.

"Yes er, no. Fluff's what the writers call...excess packaging. Its what makes a reader feel good. Its sort of like...seasoning. But you don't need it."

"Why not?"

", it's kind of obvious, isn't it? When you eat, you eat to nourish yourself, to feed your body. Writers can be...writers should be writing stories with more...substance. What's the point of people reading your works if it don't teach them anything about life?"

"That's true, that" muttered his grandfather, nodding. Without looking he reached into his pocket to pull out a pile of strange, dead leaves, half of which ended up in his pipe. The other half ended up somewhere stuck between the floorboards, rotting slowly away.

"And so the reverse applies to fluff. You don't really need it, per say, its just...extra fittings. But-"

"But it doesn't feel right, does it?" What was that a faint sparkle he saw in Grandpa's eye...?

", not really", Jonathan replied, looking away. Now he found himself staring at the field again, "but it should! A good writer, a respectable writer, should be able to shape society, to teach mankind! And if my works don't make the cut then I don't really have the right to-"

"Right to what?" piqued Grandpa, his eyes flashing and fixed directly on his, "To inspire? To create? Content's all good and all, but at the end of the day you still need fluff."

"I don't...quite...get it."

"Well, you could look at sheep - they've got fluff too, piles of it. Farmers shear it off during summer cause its so useless then, surrounded by all them heat and light, but in the middle of winter, ah, that's when them wool is in use"

"We're talking about writing, not sheep" said Jonathan, trying to steer the conversation back on track, but to no avail. Grandpa just continued on and on...

"Wool is mostly air, you know. Just like clouds. All of them is air and water vapor, or thin strands of white so fine you slice through them with a leaf, but that don't matter, cause its these tiny little fibers that trap the air, that keep the warmth and heat in, and stops it from being lost to the cold, cold rain outside"

"I can see what you mean, but-"

"Cause you see, fluff it may be, but that's what keeps them warm at night," finished Grandpa with a great big smile on his face. And upon that face was the weathering of years, the marks from a thousand battles with the wind, with the world, with himself - every wrinkle was a hundred different tales, every line a new story to tell. And in the middle of it his smile, and his eyes, sparkling with a joy and light that seemed at the moment to radiate from him and him alone, a lamp in the gloom of the day.

"And that be what keeps all of us warm too, in all our darks and nights."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dx -Commentary- xD

Alright! My computer's alive again. Need to remind myself not to mistreat my beautiful little mechanical devices. precious thing...

*Ahem* Going to attempt to write another Short, not sure how people felt about the one below. Its pretty much a rewrite of the other idea I had, but from a different to speak. I'll shove it in this Space once I'm done with it on Notepad...



Monday, November 10, 2008


It was a Tuesday morning at about 8 or so when I visited the Curator at the local museum. Now the Curator himself was a rather strange fellow, don't get me wrong - he's a wonderful person so long as you don't touch the statues - but occasionally it seemed to me that the man had far too much to drink; after all, only a drunk man would smile the way he smiled, a lopsided, twisted grin that had all his teeth showing. I had met the Curator somewhere in the past year, when the story I was writing required me to investigate a particularly ancient and valuable Egyptian vase. I still remember his first words spoken to me that day:

"It's all fine, all fine, perfectly preserved, the tablet. Looking is fine I suppose…just no pictures and whatever you do, do not touch.

And so it was with a pair of gloves and a bottle of "Dr Husby's Hangover Cure" that I approached the museum. Recently there had been quite a big hoo-hah about the town I was living in, what with the government plans for upgrading and all that, and the editor of the magazine I work for had requested that my latest article include a short write-up about the current "cultural preservation riots" that were taking place in the town.

Well, at that time I thought: if it be anything cultural, old Mr. Gregory would have quite a bit to say! So here I am, standing outside the museum at 8am, while the rest of the town sleeps, banging on the iron gates and waiting to be allowed in. Of course I had booked an appointment with the man the week before, but in general it was considered polite to announce your presence when one comes to "visit".

It took a while of course, but soon the Curator hears my shouting and hobbles over to the gates with the key. Large, brass keys like something out of a castle, the locks on the gates reminding me of some giant dungeon. Somehow the museum, with its grey, stone-worked walls and Victorian architecture, did little to assay this image. All in all, it looked like a scene out of Dracula, with the manservant Igor coming to invite the unsuspecting guests inside for, as the Count himself would say, "A bite to drink."

"Morning Greg!" I called, waving at the man. The Curator merely stared a bit before smiling his trademarked "Drunken Sailor" grin, thin, claw-like hands struggling to pick the correct brass key from its heavy chain. There seemed to me an assortment of keys, large and small, simple and strangely ornamental. Like the man needed that many keys to run a museum! Still, there were always countless doors about the place...

As the Curator led me through the wooden floor of the Museum I caught out of a corner of my eye of the many strange doors marked "Staff Only" alongside the passageway. What had caught my eye was not so much the sturdy, iron frame as the flickering blue light that emitted from the cracks underneath. In the shadows of the half-lit, un-opened museum it seemed rather eerie. Before I could comment about this to the Curator though we arrived at his office, a small oak door with the words "Curator" carved upon them in cursive script.

"So, what is it you wished to see me about?" spoke the Curator. His voice had an oily, smooth quality to it, a quality ruined somewhat by the constant grin upon his face. "I believe it had something to do with the recent attempts to culturally reform this village?"

"Somewhat" I replied, pulling a series of papers from my pack "a large number of people feel that the government's attempts to...revitalize the tourist situation here will ah...destroy the 'spirit' of the place."

"Indeed, and this is because...?"

"A large number of protests, some going on this moment, say that the government renovation of their homes and shop-houses will destroy the culture here. They insist that the ethnicity of the place has already been, to quote, 'poisoned' by the introduction of other cultural places, such as Indian Curry Restaurants...or Russian Dance Centers-"

A brief flash caught my eye. From under the wooden door came the same blue glow I had seen outside.

"Indeed that is true," replied the Curator, his smile disappearing for a minute, wrinkled arms coming up to rest upon his desk, "many a time in history a civilization has lost its culture due to the interference of governments...the Chinese Revolution for instance, where billions of books and cultural knowledge were destroyed in the span of days...the Spanish, whom leveled the Aztec temples and built what is now known as America to the rest of the world...all this due to war, due to people, due to governments. Such incidents are common occurrences in history."

"And what do you, as Curator of this museum, think of it?"

"What do I think? What am I supposed to think?" he answered, the grin slowly re-emerging, "that we can resist the all-consuming tide that is Progress? Man has tried, over the millennia, to build markers and structures that would last forever. Only the Egyptians have succeeded, and even now their eternal pyramids sacred tombs are raided by explorers and crumbled by industries today."

"I for one, would like to see this stop, but there isn't much I can do, can I?" smiled the Curator, “progress eats at our heritage and eats at our past. Soon even the museum may be washed away…”

The blue glow intensified, and a faint hammering drifted in from the outside. Things were getting stranger by the minute, though the Curator looked curiously unaffected.

“…though some may say it is important to be forward looking, I for one, believe in reflecting on the past…”

There was a faint thud, and the blue glow suddenly grew impossibly bright, so much so it seemed like a searing beam of light was outlining the frame of the door. I blinked, eyes watering, trying to point out this strange phenomenon to the Curator.

“…so they said there is a high chance the Museum itself would be closed. Excuse me” added the Curator, rising from his seat. In a few strides he walked over to the door and opened it. For a moment, the world went white. Pain seared through my eyeballs as though someone had shone the beam of a flood lamp directly into my irises. It was bright, so bright that even my other senses seemed to be affected…there seemed to be screaming…

Then the light faded as the Curator came back in, closing the door. The blue glow was gone.

Shaken, I stumbled about the room trying to stand up, one hand massaging my eyeballs, the other steadying the rest of my body against the table. Briefly, I managed to gasp,

“What in the name of God was that?”

“Nothing much really…though I suppose…yes” the Curator begin to look thoughtful, his grin growing wider with each passing second, “yes…I could show it to you…an excellent example of the 20th century…I do believe…yes…” he continued, simply staring at the ceiling. Then all of a sudden, he looked down at me, straight at my eyes, which were still half-blinded by the light, and smiled his favorite little smile.

“Well, come along with me, and you can see. Don’t touch though, don’t touch!” he added, rising from the chair. Was it me, or did his last sentence had a slight pitch to it?

When the Curator opened the door once more I cringed and covered my eyes, as any fool would when he had been blinded by what was behind that big block of wood. But this there was no light, save for the orange radiance of the morning sun, and the dark shadows that ringed the hallway.

“Come,” he said, the sound of keys echoing about the corridor.

Like a frightened dog I followed, though I hesitate to use such a term to describe myself, there was no other phrase that was more accurate at that time. It was terrifying, somehow, the light that had blinded me. It was as if my entire body knew, at that moment, that the beam of light was more than just a mere scattering of color. It was as if the glow had – and how my editor would hit me if he saw this – a sense of dread to it; horrifying, blinding, all-consuming dread.

Before long we passed once again in front of the metal-framed door. But this time the Curator stopped before it, holding up in his hand one of the more elaborate keys in his possession. There was a click as he slid the metal piece into the keyhole, all the while muttering, “Just don’t touch anything! Don’t touch!” It was at this point that I noticed that the faint glow from earlier had disappeared.

By this point I was ready to bolt and everything, to run down to the bar and drown my throat in alcohol. Maybe if I ran far enough I could somehow forget this incident, convince myself that Old Gregory here was just playing around, that being cooped up in this old museum was screwing with his mind, and maybe we could call some doctors and psychiatrists down for the poor old man.

The Curator reached for the brass handle and pulled-

Only to reveal what seemed to me to be, for all purposes and intents, and overly large and highly stuffed janitor’s closet. As anti-climatic as it was I nonetheless decided to wander inside the closet, waving my hands about while poking at the odd mop handle in a bid to find whatever it was the Curator felt was so interesting.

“What was it you wanted to sho-” I started, only to feel the impact of something large and heavy upon my skull. The world went dark-

-and brightened up again, almost immediately after. When I opened my eyes again the whole world around me seemed so blurry. Strange images and echoes haunted my senses and I gazed about the place trying to orientate myself. And then I realized;

I was at my desk. In my office. Five hundred miles from where I was.

Could it be a dream? What was going on? Wasn’t I having an appointment with Mr. Grego-

I froze. Looking at me though the office window was the silently grinning face of the Curator. This would not have been such a horrifying sight if not for the fact that my office happened to be located on the seventh floor.

A giant floating head-

“Hello” said the Curator.

-that spoke as well was not doing wonders for my already confused psyche.

“I suppose you’re wondering what you’re doing here? Don’t worry, don’t worry. You’re perfectly safe in there. Just make sure to behave normally, would you? It wouldn’t do good to spoil the exhibit”

By now I had rushed over to the window and pulled down the curtains. I had also taken a few large wads of tissue to stuff into my eardrums. No good, the voice was still coming through;

“Really, it was rather strange coincidence that you would happen to visit me today, even more that you would wish to discuss, of all things, my favorite topic. See, all my life as a museum curator I had wondered: what happened if all those books could be preserved? Everything changes, you cannot fight change. You know about the theory of entropy? About how all things must degrade, in time? What if there was a way to stop that? A way to preserve our heritage…forever?”

His grin grew wider, more macabre. All around his head was the same eerie blue glow I had seen from under the door.

“See, I can stop people from touching. I can corner off walls and build gates all around. But sooner or later the government will come in. Time will come in. All things will fade, there’s no fighting progress. But progress needs time, and there I have the weed by its roots!”

Here the face stopped, as if for dramatic effect. The Curator’s eyes sparkled as a phantom finger raised itself into the air.

“Stopping time - A ridiculous task, an impossible one. But what if it could be done? What if there was someway to preserve something…preserve it as it was, people and all, without ever losing the moment?”

“You’ve seen motion pictures. Seen how they can be played back, then forward again? I heard some of the larger museums have those. Giant exhibits designed to show simulations of life back then. A poor imitation, if I ever was a judge.”

By now the Curator seemed to be rambling, his eyes were bulging, his grin was definitely crazed, and blue glowing spittle seemed to be flying from out of his mouth.

“The Egyptians had the right idea. And now I can have my exhibits, and even if one or two escape occasionally it wouldn’t matter, because they’ll always find themselves back here again…”

“Just behave naturally, and things would seem much better, less confusing. I would forget, if I were you. Good bye, and remember not to touch!”

The voice faded away. For a brief moment I stood there, stunned, not believing what I heard, what I saw. Then I tried dashing over to the door and opening it, but the moment I touched the knob-

-I found myself back the desk again. Any attempt to do anything short of sitting at the desk typing causes the whole thing to reset itself. And each time it happens I remember less and less, like my memories are slowly being sucked away, becoming less permanent, less reliable…

So I sit here at this desk, typing for all its worth. It’s been thirty minutes since I started typing, and nothing’s reset itself so far. I can only pray that the information within the computer can be kept, at the very least it can help my enforce my mem-

It was Tuesday morning at about 8 or so…

This moment seems oddly familiar. Perhaps the head had already-

It was Tuesday morning…

I think I typed this bef-

It was Tues-

No! No! Everything is-

It wa-


Outside, surrounded by mechanical vats of glowing blue light, the Curator grinned as he admired his latest exhibit. With tender, almost loving care the old man reached into his pocket and brought out a small brass sign, hanging it carefully from a hook protruding from the machine:

“Do Not Touch”

The public did not know, but their culture would be preserved. He had seen to that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food for Thought

“Here at Finargo we serve only the best of meats and wines. Our steaks for instance, are cut only from the underbelly of a grain-fed cow imported from Greenland, where the slightly chilled climate there is supposed to enhance the refreshing taste of the meat”

“Greenland you say? But isn’t Greenland filled with…ice? How do the cows survive?”

“Oh, that’s simple. Our suppliers have heat houses for the cows to sleep in if they ever get cold. Every morning they are pushed out into the ice, where special bags of grain feed and littered across the fields. This encourages them to look for food – toughens the muscle and flavors the beef. Wondrous combination, don’t you think?”

“Indeed, I can see where the exquisite flavor comes from…if you don’t mind, what happens to the rest of the cow?”


“The rest of the cow. The other parts of it. The thighs, for instance. Or the flesh on its back perhaps. All the well…other pieces of meat.”

“Ah. I see. You won’t happen to be a member of the Food Conservationists, Mr. Wight?”

“No, just curious”

“Well, in the case which you may happen to meet one, they can be reassured that here we are most err…Conserving” he continues, “to answer your question, Mr. Wight, the excess meat is recycled and put to excellent use.”

“Recycled? Are you telling me that Finargo, the finest dining restaurant in the pacific ocean uses recycled-”

“No no, nothing of that sort sir, merely reusing of parts in other areas, and most definitely not food. The human palate is a most precious thing, we cannot soil it with meat like that! No, you see the hundreds of candles about the floor? Each wick is a carefully crafted slice of meat, soaked in oils and wax. When burned, they give of this most wonderful aroma…”

“Ah…I see. That explains the strong smell of roast that so many customers adore.”

“Yes! Though of course, most meats don’t burn too well, so they must first be treated with spices and herbs obtained from one of the last jungles in the Asian continent.”


“Without a doubt, Mr. Wight. But all this is worth it in the end, don’t you agree? The restaurant spends much on its customers, for the customers. People do not eat here to be filled after all, they eat for the experience. Now I’m sure you would like to sample our most exotic dish yet - elephant’s trunk boiled with 52 rare herbs for three weeks until tender and soft…”


Just a musing from my mind. Perhaps a story undeveloped in time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Centre of Gravitas

So here I am at the end of physics olympiad, looking at it with a strange mixture of relief, thankfulness and somehow, regret.

All the sessions spent together in the labs...I would say were some of the most fun lessons I ever had. All my life, from primary school to secondary, I always wanted a teacher and a teaching environment like that. Granted, I could barely keep up, and was mostly just listening to others and following. But the dynamics of the classroom, the...atmosphere. It was, how should I put it, alive. The knowledge was alive. The learning was alive. I felt alive.

Regret, because in all the time spent with them I did not give it my all. Granted, I tried. But it was not my all. Me thinks a person can never give his all. But a person can try. I didn't try hard enough, thats for sure. My base and understanding of physics are good at best, average at worst. Sometimes, hopelessly narrow. I admit no shame in saying that of all the people in the "Group A" category of the oly I'm probably the weakest. Perhaps in the Group B category as well. Well maybe, just a bit of shame...a man can have some pride after all...

I feel so tired, and stare before me a mountain to climb. Several mountains to slimb. Small mountains perhaps, but mountains nontheless. Sometimes its easier to scale a single cliff than to tackle a few short hills in a row. Is this one of those times? I hope not. Because I cannot afford to burn out now.

EE, CAS, TOK, IA, BB, CC...the hardest things all use abbrevations, as if people were afraid to say the name itself. And I look at my results, a 37, with a qualification for Physics Dean's list. Acceptable, I would say. But I can do more.

I must do more.

And all I can do to push myself on, is to pray. For the battle now for me is more spiritual, more in terms of character, than in academics. For of all the mountains to climb I would say it is the mountain within my own heart that I fear the most. For it is the one that grows as I grow, that changes as I change, and forever remains, in appearance at least, unbeatable. At least by my own strength. So all I can do now is pray. Pray for strength and guidance, for fortitude, for spirit.

For temperance. I remember that word to this day. As I will remember it always.


One part of my playing style I notice is that I love "fifth wheel" characters. Jack of all trades types. Knowledge monkeys, if you will. The type who can, feasibily "fill in" any role to suit the need, and virtually "do anything", and fill out the gaps.

Part of it would stem from the human desire to be good at everything. Its a sort of in-built paranoid security measure - an answer for every situation. It eliminates the fear that something will screw up your life that you cannot deal with.

Part of it would stem from the fickleness of my own character. I find everything interesting, but nothing particularly interesting. Its like I have some sort of minor ADD. Oh look, a sparrow! Isn't it cute? Fluffy little yellow sparrow...

Ahem. The third reason, perhaps the only "logical" one to me, is actual the desire to serve. A born follower, if you will. I'm the sort of person who has an ability to notice patterns. Most people can, anyway. Its just that the patterns I look at all seem to lack something. And I'm the sort who believes that problems are best solved if you do it yourself.

Add them all up and what do you get?

Someone who sees all sorts of problems with a given situation and tries to, on his own, solve all of the problems, at least partially. And usually ends up failing at all of them in the end. Sad case...haiz.

Is it me, or does the world have too many leaders and specialists? Are we pushing our generation so much in one direction that they cannot navigate any others? When all men are drivers, who will stay behind to grease the wheels?

The people I admire...they are the ones with the charm and wit. They can slide into any situation and draw from it success. They can make sad people smile, bring logic to chaos, hope to despair, courage to fear. Despite not being good at maths, science, sports, arts...they are good at the one thing that, in the end, truely counts.

As Terry Pratchett wrote in his book, its all about the "soul...and the centre". It doesn't matter if you can do all sorts of magic, fancy tricks, elaborate words or phrases, if you do not base them around the central axis of your beliefs. Of all our beliefs. In the end, what are all our actions for?

What is the soul and the centre of society?

Is it the men with the fancy certificates and passionate speeches?

Or the one who rides on next to you, night and day?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Records of Life

Somewhat written in response to a post by my friend;

Each and every person a story.

Indeed, the writers were the first to notice.

Stories are like living things, I think Terry Pratchett was the first to make the allusion. And it is through us humans, that stories breed and come. Humans are stories, and stories, at least the very best of them, are always then and before, beautifully, incredibly, unchangelebly human.

And somewhere, out there, I heard a story. A fictional story perhaps. But nontheless one that rings in my heart.

It was set within the world of fantasy. Of dragons, knights, heroes and demons. Of great exploits and champions that all the bards would sing of for years and centuries to come.

All bards but one.

To quote from the writer, to quote from this bard - "As always I must travel, as always, I must remember. When the fallen warrior breathes his last breath, where the farmer protects his beaten horse, where the child cries out for a mother's arms, I will be there and not, and as always, it is my duty to remember.

For I am the Bard of Forgotten Tales, and Lost Stories never told. It is my duty to remember the quests never seen, the fights never heard, and the treasures never sought. In a land of champions, of men whose names are sung forever in song, the thousands, no millions, of names I shall remember.

For I am the Keeper of Forgotten Tales, and forever it remains my duty to remember."

Romanticised somewhat, I would say. But in a way, it parallels what we have.

Who said these books are not being read? How many actual books are really read?

The average person reads less than 5% of all the books published. Some much less.

Yet everytime to talk to these people, to your friends, your family, your teacher, student, college, boss. Your soulmate, neighbour, pastor, priest. Your pen pal, classmate and many more beside. Each time you talk to them, you remember.

You remember that chapter of their life.

And if one were to take all the people that man has met, all his acquaintences and friends, his family and the people he bumped into the street, take all of them and extract their memories with but him in it, they will find a picture, overlaping sometimes, stretching sometimes, but always a full picture, a description - a story; of his life and the people around him as well.

And in that way, I would suppose, all of us are Bards of Remembering, Keepers of the Forgotten Lore.

For us, ourselves, and the people as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

As a Lie

As a lie, there are many things I'm afraid of.

Being found out, for instance. When someone realises you're just a lie, not exactly there, the mask you display - a happy shell of false talent in a bid to draw talent. As the saying goes, glass sparkles more than diamond because it has much more to prove.

Lies have everything to prove and nothing to show.

Another fear of being a lie is meeting the truth. You know what I mean. Them people who are really good. Not really good, really good. They know what they do, and they do what they do, and that be the truth, for the truth need not shine; and a well used sword is often dull and scratched - yet these markings are but proof of its ability.

A lie has no scratches or markings for a single one who certainly shatter its glass facade.

Then there is the opposite of the lie, the hidden truth. A lie's greatest fear and one all lies seek to quash. Hidden talent, humble worksmiths, great but reclusive geniuses, all of them the lies seek to destroy - for they are the antithesis of their very philosophy and existance. To a lie, hidden truths are like the mold that grows underneath the wallpaper - ignored unless the risk of them being seen by visitors is too great. And then the lies move in swift and deadly, to remove the talent lest it threatens the lie's hard earned position of pseudo-talent.

But once in a while, a piece of truth leaks out. As it goes, the truth will out, and mold tends to grow everywhere, no matter how much plant-killer you use. And when that happens, all the glass lie can do is hide its mask in shame, as the hidden talents and true truths grow beyond its ability to overshadow, and its light no longer attributed to any inner fire of its own.

The moon was thought a mystical object till scientists realised it merely reflected the light from the sun.

As a lie, I am capable of weaving words. Painting pictures that aren't there. Hiding in shadows so dark they can't be seen at all.

Yet even amongst lies, there is talent. The talent of deception, of charisma, of making glass look like diamonds, and confidence in all things false.

So what about a lie of a lie? What talents does he have?

Since when did a doppelganger need to impersonate itself?

Monday, October 6, 2008

On the Issue of Trust and other Immaterial Things

A good question that we should never have to ask ourselves is: Who do I trust? 'Cause usually by the time you're asking that, paranoia, the great black bird, already has its icy-clawed grip upon your chest, and is peeking over your shoulders each time you turn around.

Yet, there always comes a time when a man must ask: who do I trust?

Is it the government? Them whom live in their great big towers, far from my home, who pass the laws, hire the sweepers, and tend to the lives of bigger men far taller than I'll ever be? They has my respect, that I give, but trust?

Many a common man trusts more his dog than the official at his door.

Is it your workplace? Colleges and bosses, from the sweepers whom clean your cubicles to the inspectors with their clipboards and thick, reflective spectacles, staring through the mush of paperwork and into your very soul. Left and right you find both angels and demons, willing to help yee up on your ascent to Heaven or stab and weigh you down to Hell, their daggers cutting through your back and sometimes, the heart.

How many times have I heard my dad sigh a great sigh of relief upon reaching home?

Home then. Family. That, I suppose, we can trust. Your littlest sister, who rats you out when you buy that computer game your parents forbib all access to. The same little sister, whom finds you half-dead from studying and glomps you with her soft toys in a bid to cheer you up. Your parents, whom shout and scold and forbid all manner of things, from socks to shoes to computers to television at 1am. And the same parents, whom on the rainy day you find standing outside thier car with an umbrella half soaked 'cause of the wind waiting for you to come home.

All exaggerations perhaps. But nontheless, a good spectrum covered.

Your friends of course. Who can't trust their friends? Truely, anyone can trust their friends, to be there when you need them, to support and tease you about all your aims in life; to help you with your homework, to ask your help with their homework, to hit you on the head (not too hard of course) whenever you start falling asleep in the middle of a lecture - of course we can trust our friends.

Problem is, you can trust your enemies too. And you never know which is which.

So whom do I trust? Its an interesting scene. People would rather let pass their neighbour of fifteen years than an official of the Ministry.

Does that make the whole point of a government pointless?

Or does it just mean people are often very shortsighted?

I don't exactly know who I trust. But I definately know one person I don't.


Monday, September 29, 2008


So tired...

I think the quality of this blog is dropping

Maybe the quality of my thoughts are too

Or perhaps they never were of much quality in the first place...


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nemu? (Or: Not a Political Viewpoint)

Politics seems funny sometimes

Its like bureacracy on steroids.

Apparently, if we want to protest, we need to Appeal to get a permit to "riot", and even then only within a certain area. I'm not too sure about how accurate I am, so take it with a pinch of salt. Still, my guess is that it won't be long (hey, we have an Official forum for complaints now!)

Its almost Megatokyo-ish; Zombie Horde invasion next thurs, 'Zillas stomp and destroy areas 13 and 52 of Japan, all Magical Girls are to be liscenced and registered, those found summoning sparkles and pink laser beams without the appropiate permits will have their "love magic" transformative devices confiscated for 24 hours... (possibly less, given the nature of said devices to somehow bust free in an explosive attempt to return to its rightful owner)...etc...etc...etc

So basically you send your "protest application" in, the gov reads it, and assuming he is of the right qualifications, grants it and you have your little march, feel happy with your "display of force" and go back home to post your 561th complaint on the "Feedback" forums.

Issit me, or are we missing something here?

Not just protests...almost everything here has elements of bureacracy innit. Its almost Discworld worthy - where thieves mug you and give a reciept. Except in this case, its probably the other way round. (Its amazing what old ladies carry in their handbags these days. Some of these aunties leave the house only to go shopping, and they only leave once a month. Sacks of Rice tend to hurt alot, if only by the law of F=ma, where m is significantly higher than the mass of your chin)

And after they're done beating up the poor little mugger (the thief, not the students. We IB Muggers don't rob old ladies; they don't carry enough useful textbooks) they could probably send an email to the Security Department asking for permission to organise a "one-man-Civil-defense-Neighbourhood-Cleanup" while requesting a receipt for one unconsious ruffian, whose parents are by then no doubt posting on the forums about the lousy morals and corrupting influence western society is having on today's "open-minded" youths.

I mean really. I might just be a nerd with a computer; but I'm a bored nerd with a computer. God knows what I might do. Perhaps someday I'll get bored enough to start writing political commentries. And when that does, you'll probably find what's left of my soul shivering in a small corner, while the rest of it gets carted, signed and registered/processed past various forms of red tape straight for Heaven/Hell (apparently, its spread to even there these days.)

Still, I wonder what would happen if I try protesting against having to appeal to protest?

Or maybe I'll try walking upside down on the sky. Some part of me seems to think it might be easier.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Inner Thoughts of an Outer Dream

...and when i sit down in front of a character sheet, with notes and annotations and bits of habits and desciprtions and powers and sketches and all the fluff that accompies a creation i stare at the whole sheet and just rest my hands, staring ernestly at the paper, picturing the character, name, outfit; moving, breathing acting talking and doing all the things he/she should be doing, and only one word comes to mind;


As an author, as a creator. As one of the dreamers, the child-people, whom sit in corners all day long and dream of worlds, dream of places never-been, things never-done, people that could have become. As one of the architects of the impossible, I sit here and type. And ponder.

And realise, somehow, that is all we seek to do.

It is like a plague, as Mark Twain indirectly seems to say. One author writes a book, and soon two authors are inspired from it. Those two write two books, and four more arrive. Like rabbits, Romantism spreads. The threat of too much dreaming, of imagining without acting, of words without hand.

Yet without the words, can the plan proceed?

Seers are always called mad, for they are the ones who see what lies not there.

I have within me, worlds. I have within myself the capacity to change these worlds, to move them, to shape them. The characters are mine to control, puppets on a string, yet I wish them to be more than mere puppets, to become more than just clay dolls, baked from Earth. Like Geppetto I seek more than a simple extension of myself. I seek not to wield, but to make a wielder.

For it is both a great and fearful thing, when a story rides the author. When the writer is no longer in control of the beast of which he had wrought, had laid the foundations, the ideas, planted the seeds and shadows of events to come. In one fell swoop he is overtaken by a passion, a fury, a desire to release this caged beast he has bred for so long. And like a torrent it pours, furious and powerful, that the author himself is swept by its might. Such is the power of true prose. And it is prose like this that sweeps the reader as well.

It is prose like this, that holds what each of us now have empty in our hearts.



Someday I will write a book. A book about Words. About ideas. About the relationship between Man and his Language. For the first task Adam had, was the Name the animals of Eden. And though Naming they were Tamed, and through language Man did rise, beyond the singular predator, into a society, into a community - into a greater organism, the sum of many parts, words the nervous system, the nexus between.

Someday, when my art is good enough, I will make a comic. About Artists and Art, about stories and characters and ideas. About what happens when such things are lost. About Dreams. All things precious to me. There will be laughter and joy, and jokes and little bits of nonsense, but the comic will be, first and foremost, my views. On what it means to write, to create. On what it means to give life, to fiction and to Man.

Someday, I might think about religion. No, I have already done that. And the comic for it is finished, lying in my head. A simple comic, with simple themes. Yet that is all that needs to be said. For such is Faith, a simple thing - yet one impossible to grasp.

The power of the hands of a skilled master. I have seen and read the works of such masters, and I know for certain - that while in combat the pen is not mightier than the sword, there are many other, subtler ways; by which it can pierce a person's heart.

And write upon his very soul.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The crow

Amongst the flock, a crow
grey feathers tattered - fall
drifting softly, whelmed in woe
within the chirps - a caw;
of a crow rising
from the shadowy flock
Masked by the chatter
from Bird to bird, Their
tails like velvet rainbows,
leaping into the sky.

The Birds dance, soaring
within Their song a pouring
of noise, an endless cawing
its drawling
unheard amongst the calling-

Land once more;
still falling...

Pained it tries to sing
with beak and claw - a tool
to give it flight, a wing
not weighed by strong earth's pull.

Till now it dances
red against the Blue,
hoping Their feathers
may stain its own ones too.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Tangent of the Curve

To be different, one must realise that everyone is the same.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I don't have...anything do I?


So many bright one will miss the weak flame that goes out right?

Once I thought there were lost sheep looking for the lamp

Now I realise the only lost sheep is me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Archivist's Pen

A few days after a botched-up IOP, I met a friend along the stairwell, early in the morning. Once again the evil spirit of self-loathing hath taken me, in part due to certain posts by people about their awesome IOPs, or disappointments about their so called "failures" (Argh! I forgot to address the symbolic relevance the capital letters in the Poem mean to the overall theme of Life, Death and Torture in my twenty-third content slide! NUUUUUUUU~!)

Anyway, I met that friend. And said to him unto the heavens: "God, why do my presentation skills suck so much!?"

To which he replied (the friend, not God), "well, everyone screws up their presentations sometimes"

"Well, everyone I know didn't"

"Everyone you know being?"

"You know, (insert name), (insert another name) and of course, (insert named name)"

"That's different...those people are" he paused, looking at me, "well, one's a entertainer, the other's a dam good Speaker." As for the third, neither of us needed to say anything. He just well, was.

And as I read their blogs today, yesterday, and perhaps tomorow, I can't help but to think back to those descriptions; And wonder.

I wonder how childhood friends of the King used to feel like?

I am...privileged. Very, very privileged. I live in a place, a very secluded, isolated glade - a Garden of Eden, so to speak - surrounded by people, friends, classmates, each and everyone one of them an exemplar of society. Of themselves. And each and every one of them, I know and consider a friend.


In DnD, there is always the standard party. Warrior, Cleric, Rogue and Wizard. The main Four of the fantasy archetype - the same Four that almost all Heroes are based on today. Each with their strengths, powers and abilities, all equal in their own special way. Some would say when such archetypes were made, they broke the mold. Every single hero, class or idea that came after was mostly a variation or combination of these four.

Indeed, for when the mould was broken, someone found the pieces. And glued them together, not knowing which was which. And from these shattered pieces a fifth archetype was created, one which lingers in the background to this day. A warrior, a thief, a wizard, a cleric. All of them yet none of them, a pale shadow of the Four.

And like a shadow he follows, writing everything down. Speaks well? Some do. Others just remember their deeds in song. Reading, writing, recording everything down. A follower, always watching; for what is an adventure if no one tells the tale?

Jack-of-trades, ad-hoc member and sai-kang warrior extraordinaire; Friends and family, meet the Bard.

Fifth party member of the Four.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work and Dreams

All this, and what for?

So many have asked that question. the use of writing? Or creating? Or simply...purely...dreaming? Or just wishing for things to be? What use is it?

In our world? In our time? None I would say. Unless you're a writer.

And even then, you got to get lucky. You got to dream the dream that everyone dreams, and make everyone else think their dream is your dream. You got the market, advetise, make your creations worth it to the world.

Worth it. Ha ha ha.

Science is worth it. We got gadgets! Politics is worth it. We have countries! Sports are worth it. We have medals!

And in the end, what are all these for? Why do we research to make our lives more comfortable, debate to make our policies more ethical, compete to make our countries more glorious?

Is it not all the for the dream?

We build, we theorise - we construct. All this extra stuff, all of it - for what? For something more? For something greater? People want peace...why do they want that for? For stability? For safety? What do they want the safety to do?

I don't think I need to repeat myself anymore.

Everything begins with a dream. And everything shall end with one too.

So keep dreaming people. Its the only thing that makes life worth living.

And death worth dying for.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Deck of Cards

Be careful there, and not look at them with smirks and grins

Be careful there, when you look at him. The smiling face, and laughter, as he leans back and grins nonchantly at the world.

Shallow, you think, a joker. A fool. Yet all in all its always been the fools who see the truth. Of all the cards, beware the fool.

For he laughs and grins, and smiles and tumbles, and when you least expect, brings forth to bear all the wit and wisdom that lurks beneath that slimy rubber suit. And when he does...

King Lear went mad for a reason, you know.

Everyone judges the fool by what he says. And that alone, is his greatest power. For what it is not what he says but what he doesn't that defines his intentions, and few people notice that. He confounds the mind-readers by appearing with no mind to read, confuses the seers and wise-men by making ignorance seem like knowledge, and idiocy a form of wisdom.

And thus the wise men begin to fear the Fool, while the laughing populace watches him juggle.

And juggle well he does, the wise men, the king, and the folk of the land. It is never either of the three that remains truely free, or holds most power. For the fool is beholden to none but himself, for no one asks anything of the fool, yet the fool may ask everything of everyone else.

He throws all duties in the air, and catches them as he pleases. And the people love him for that. A fool knows no limits, and has no boundaries, for it is his job to defy the boundaries, to challenge out limits, beyond what sane men would dare. And yet the fool may appear far saner than any man before.

Why do you think the Joker is such a classic villian?

Sometimes the fool may wear the guise of a king.

Beware the fool, for beneath the bells is a dagger, drenched in blood.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Amazing Grace

Of all the songs, of all the things I've heard - this one touches me the most. It rings in my heart, personally. It says so much about my life, in more ways, in more areas than one.

I can't really say much more right now. Retreat was...enlightening. I managed to get some sort of...grasp, if you could call it, on my spiritual stand in the world.

Believe me, I'm a little surprised myself.

I can't call myself atheist. The closest word I would say is agnostic. Yet I find myself drawn more to christianity. Just...not quite the christianity most people are used to.

Is it right, in religion, to pick and choose? Is it correct to say: I like this and this of the Bible, and this bit of the Quran, and this little section from the Sutra?

Does it, in a way, dilute the religion? Does it dilute faith?

Because as far as I'm concerned...there is a higher power. That much I believe in. What, who when and how of this power is too complex for me right now. Sufficient to say that I see myself in a similiar position to Helen Keller - except that when I touched the water, there were three teachers speaking.

Idealist. Romantic? Perhaps. Yet there is a practical edge to all of this as well. The world is a beautiful place, at least for me. It is a great sorrow that not everyone can feel that, either due to being blinded by the light, or enclosed by the dark.

Bring the candles from the light to the dark. And then all will see. For the light is blind, and the dark is ignorant, but the two together shall see the truth.

And the Truth is a wonderous thing indeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A New Age?

I say this now because if I don't, someone else will say it first
I say this now cause if I don't say it now it will continue to bounce in my skull like it has bounced for the past 2 weeks.
I say this cause I don't want an exploding head.

So here I goes:

In the past we lived in the Age of Religion. Myths, legends, tales of gods and men and monsters. Worship, cults and churchs (some will object to me using the three in one sentence). Belief, for all it was worth, in deties, in a higher power.

Then came the Age of Science.

Facts, experimentation, hardcore data recording. Mathematics found a whole new friend, and the world lapped it up. Religion? Pah! Just a bunch of unproven, superstitious nonsense. Science is the new stuff! Besides, what's the point of having a thunder god if you can't get him to power your shiny new fridge?

For centuaries Religion pursued science, its practionors shunned or killed, burned as heretics or witches or possessed. Later on, it gained respect, yet there were always the great, held high and mighty, and the insane; some of whom became great on their own.

And what have we now? Science is losing its edge.

Horrors I suppose. But this is something I think many would agree with.

Strange as it seems, people are losing their faith in Science.

They ask: Must things be proven to be real? What is the point of proof anyway? And above all, how do you define proof?

We live in a time of soft soil, its foundations and bedrock pulled away for the houses and temples of Religion and Science. And what have we left?

Now, I believe, is the time of definations. Of speech, of stories, of communicating your point rather than proving it entirely. It is, so to speak, the science of the Soul.

We are in the Age of Words.

Just like science had always played a part in religion (or religion a part of science), so has words and language been a part of both. Scientific documents use language to communicate, to define, to argue. Religion used it to teach, to record, to inspire.

But what have we now? People are looking into the words themselves. It is a time where not knowing the word means more than just a language deficiency. It means that even faith can be twisted, and facts been distorted, by careful use and application of the right word, right phrase. People, many people, have taken up the art of wordcraft. And have either become famed or shunned for it.

See a pattern here?

We reach a point where multiple cultures meet. Where knowledge becomes an issue of what he means rather than what he says. Facts can now hold extra meanings, are no longer netural. The internet age, the creation of languages, and above all, the writers.

I cannot claim to be able to discuss this topic to its fulless extent. There are too many ideas, angles and I am but a 16-year-old student. However, this is just my observation, one that I feel others are soon to make.

Perhaps, in the future we might have a society that worships the Word instead.

Age of Words indeed.


PS: I realise the tone of this post is in no way neutral. Treat this as an example as how language permeates everything. Frankly, this was a pure observation and not intended as a major debate or anything. If anyone wishes to discuss this with me, or theres anything in this post that upsets you, feel free to contact me. Else, I would rather get these thoughts out of my head and get on with other things in life. Like EE.

Good day and good night.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

George Tesman

Pay no attention to the title. It has absolutely no literary reference at all. I am not currently emoing about my inability to break free of societal conventions, nor how Ibsen is some sort of mind-reading prophet whose works transcend space-time just to mock me in my sleep. Nope, none of that at all.

So someone tells me I emo too much on my blog. Or rather, I get the impression he was telling me I was emoing too much. Okay, fine. I think I emo too much.

And you know what, I think he is wrong. I mean me is wrong. I is wrong. know what again? Forget it.


I might type emo stuff about myself on the blog, and talk to my friends about emo stuff, but they're not emo stuff! They're not I tell you! NOT!!!

I'm just...reflecting. Yes, that's it. Reflecting. Like you know, in a mirror. With cracks.

Besides, I only post on my blog when I'm sad. Which is why all my posts seem to be emo. Its not as though I post everyd- wait crap I do post every single day.

Erm, you know what? Forget this whole post. The bottom line is: I AM NOT EMO.

Now go away while I get the scissors.

(Not an Emo-tard)

Monday, August 11, 2008

To Transform Literature

One of the areas of Fiction that I enjoy the most is the Transformation Genre.

And by that I usually mean Fantasy Transformation. Things like Werewolves, Vampires are the most common. Other more interesting transformations also bring about certain rather intiguiging thoughts. A werewolf has to contend with instincts, but how would a two-headed chimera work?

In a way, its the dissection of myths and the concepts behind them. On one hand I'm filling this little well of emotional angst with stories of alienated characters, lonely little half-breeds (half demons, half orcs, half whatever) and attempts to fit in. I find it interesting. I'm not sure if everyone shares similiar sentiments though.

It says something about me, and modern society to an extent, that we as a people seem to be humanizing our demons. In ages past the werewolf and vampire were considered the height of mortal evil. What was there not to know about Vampires and how they suck blood? The evils a beast-man might bring to his family and friends? What is happening is a look into the psychology of such monsters, to the point it becomes a little...unrealistic.

Humanisation of characters are an interesting thing. Just look at the recent Twilight phenomenon. A book about a vampire romance. Then we have the huge assortment of half-demon, full-demon, werewolf, were tiger, were bird literature. Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Inuyasha, Harry Potter even. All these contain evil characters or mythological figures with identifible characteristics. And what does this say?

Is humanity opening up to its monsters? Are we becoming, to an extent, so alien to the primal instincts, to our fears and inner demons, that we must humanize them? Or could it be the reverse? Are our so-called human characterstics becoming more like the demons and evil we once feared?

Three hundred years ago Good and Evil were two opposite sides, with a very large and clear line drawn between. Now we have so much grey, a metaphorical "no man's land", that our morals, lack of morals and self have in a way, merged.

Going back to the topic of transmortative literature, I find it interesting that a vampire can have human feelings. But what about vampire feelings? Does a werewolf really think like that?

An alien should have alien thoughts. An alien that rides a bike and walks about in shorts is, while amusing, not very alien like. To an extent, sterotypes and classifications exist for a reason. To defy the sterotype is one thing, to go to the extent it becomes ridiculous is another. I for one, highly doubt that a fire-demon who is a afraid of fire would have any use short of amusement.

By all means, be creative. But creativity is defined by walking new paths, by seeking new roads, not travelling the same one backwards. Show me the difference between a werewolf struggling with his instincts and a man in a wolf suit. Why do Vampires need to feed on blood?

The greatest merit, I feel, of transformative literature, is its ability to present different viewpoints, different characters. It questions our society: why do we react to this like this? Why do certain people behave like this? What would happen if...etc

Which brings me to my point: From a single sub-set of Fantasy, we already have a large number of potentially Philosophical questions. What defines humanity? What defines society?

I enjoy reading stories. Emotion and humor, plot and action are all part and parcel of a good story. Yet for a story to truely have worth, it should have a point.

To heal? To encourage? To uncover the writhing darkness of humanity? To present some new idea or perspective?

Just because the concept of a bat-winged, red-eyed, armored w/e a tail girl dressed in strangely form fitting yet invunerable armor is bloody cool, it should not form the basis of your tale.

Fantasy has always been for me, the exploration of new ideas. New horizons, not twisted reflections of the old lands.

Perhaps I'm being a little harsh, but after reading a large amount of fanfiction, stories and such, I felt the need to write something about it. Many a good idea hath been marred because the author failed to pay enough attention to his intent.

To blend a realistic character, one that can allow the reader to identify and understand him, along with using such a character almost like a tool to present ideas - this is the challenge of a good Fantasy writer. His stories must be human, yet more than human. They must be realistic, yet reach beyond the limits of reality as well.

Many a person has dubbed Fantasy a useless waste of time. I beg on the contrary. True Fantasy, in its highest form, is potentially the hardest and most thought-provoking literature that can exist.

So give us a Sci-fi or Fantasy book to analyze for literature already.


HJ (A rather sleepy, lit-overdosed fantasy fanatic)

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I don't like him much,
Perhaps I never did.
He was an alien to me, a blight
from times as a foolish kid.

Throw the ball, miss -
mistakes we humans make;
I hated him for that, for being
a human for my sake.

Right now I look at a picture,
Framed in smiles and laughs-
A little boy, all glitter
unsoiled by muddy paths.

I miss him now, sometimes;
But that doesn't change a thing.
Perfection's just round the corner,
Demmand has made me King.

Today I look at the window
and see him once again;
like a ghost, transparent
yet looking behind,
I find that no one came.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sign Post

Some time now, a dusty road
Where footprints trod with lines untoed
And no wind blew - a sign
Did mark its face
upon the world so bold.

Still it was, despite the cracks
And graffiti-signed, rust-worn back
With names all over, hearts intwined
with promises, crosses-
but names? No sign.

"End of the Rainbow", that's what it said
the words are Just
like the cheque we paid
into the pot, which where they laid
at the foot of the arc,
For now we head

Towards our fortunes, so says the sign
But along the way, t'was none to find
Of animals or birds
just twin yellow lines
By the borders, marked the signs

Some time now, a dusty road
Where footprints fade on paths untold
A fresh wind blew - but yet
there was no face
needed to point the flow.


Zee great big cloud of emo has passed, although it still hangs around sometime.

This poem...speaks of some of my views, I guess. On what and on which, Let's just see how clear it is. Feedback is welcome, very welcome indeed.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Found it

I found the problem with me: Its jealously

I'm jealous of how others are able to balance their time with their work and at home with play so well

I'm jealous of how each person seems to have this incredible level so stamina and focus when approaching any task - this passion and drive which I lack.

I'm jealous how everyone seems at least as perceptive, if not more wiser and intelligent, than me. That all my thoughts seem so shallow - so...stupid. Just a bunch fo emo rants.

And finally, I'm jealous of how each person seems to be able to live each day coping with their stress, their worries, their obstacles, without succumbing. While I, weak of spirit, falter at the mere sign of "stretching myself"

And the worse part is that I cannot bring myself to change myself. Its just that I'm not sure why: Is it because I cannot do so, or because somewhere, subconciously, I don't want to?

I've always been disillusioned with life - yet people always represented to me a strange kind of potential; a hope if you will. What I've lost all faith in now is myself.

I no longer have anymore courage to continue forward. In fact, I wonder if I ever had any at all.

Signing off. Good night.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rant about Change

Bureacracy. Not everyones favorite modus operandi, but arguably the most efficient. Done properly, Bureacracy can ensure things get done, information gets dissemilated, and people actually produce quality work.

Its a sad day when we have to resort to such tactics in BB.

A sad day indeed.

Its not that I can complain though. IMO, this was a needed move. We, in a sense, brought it upon ourselves, in our complacency, lack of fore-sight and general laziness.

It is strange, sometimes, how an entire organisation usually runs on the spirit of a single person. It is something that is so common, its never noticed, because the efficiency of the spirit that is designated to such a last is such that it never needs to be noticed. It is like the wind in the trees, or water flowing downwards. It just is.

We dont notice these people. But they notice us. They watch us all the time, and think. See the problems, the crooks, the little loose screws that might come undone sometime in the future. And with care, concern and utmost silence, they tighten the screw.

Until there comes a day when they're more screws to be tightened than screwdrivers. Or hands to hold the screwdriver. And when they fall, it all comes crashing down.

We never notice them. So we take for granted things are working as they are. Nothing's changing - the pressure is the same. Who cares that the pipe over there is channeling three times more steam than pipes one and two? As long as the overall pressure is the same, it should be fine, right?

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Our spirits have not left. They have not snapped yet. We, as a group, have more spirits than most organisations have. And in a way, it has caused the spirits themselves to lose focus. When so many spirits exist, more and more would begin to retun to rest. And eventually, we would be left with no more spirits, to tighten the screws again.

Such people...I admire. In a way, I wish to become like them. However, it is one thing for a rock to mold itself into a pillar, and quite another for fragile clay. It is when the clay breaks that people do take notice. And that is something that must never happen. Never happen at all.


Change of topic, I went to type-logic (Myer-briggs) again, and looked around the types. And somehow, to my amusment and somewhat horror, I found I might have switched types.

I say types because no one should or can be classified into a single sterotypical role, and no number of paragraphs, systems or descriptions should ever be considered to fully define a person. Psychological was never meant to be a precise or accurate science, and it still isnt. Very good estimates, yes, but precision? No one can be sure of that.

Anyway, I find myself falling into the catergories of thinkers. People whom, as some say, are capable of good insight and forethought. Granted, I am capable of thought, but how does that make me any diferent from the billions of other possible type combinations out there?

Do I really possess as much insight as my ego thinks it does? My inner voice says no (if it is my inner voice.)

I just don't want to think of it that way. Else I'll probably go crazy. A friend told me, in response to the previous post, that we all "analyze a byproduct of lit". Granted, that was paraphrased, but the meaning was generally there.

And once again, I ask: Do I analyze deeply? More than others? Why should I be concerned about wheter it was more than others?

Subconciously, I'm a competitive jerk, that's why. And subconciously, I really, really want to be someone special.

Then again, don't we all?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Analyzing (the act of) analyzing

The writer who cares more about words than about characters, action, setting, atmosphere is unlikely to create a vivid and continuous dream; he gets in his own way too much; in his poetic drunkenness, he can't tell the cart- and its cargo- from the horse. -John Gardner

Perhaps something I need to consider more.

Watched Dr Horrible at last. I feel...inspired.

There was something about his thoughts and way and acting - the psychology behind the character, that made me think. Or rather, reflect.

So strange how fictional characters always seem to embody our ideals, thoughts and dreams? Like a magnifying glass, enlarging what was a mere fleeting thought to an image - something more. I suppose this is how symbols are made.

Friends tell me that I analyze books and movies too much. Its so strange - whenever I read or watch something I analyze it a little; its almost subconcious now. At least, I'd like to think I'm analyzing it. Me thinks I merely enjoy the movie for the references and ideas behind them. In a way, its no longer just the plot and show - its what the author is seeking to achieve.

Is it wrong, to view a movie through critic eye? In fact, is it even accurate to say I view the world through a critical eye? Perhaps I'm merely looking at the surface, stating yellow as yellow and air as air - what others feel and absorb and learn from I study with a fascination that makes them seem so much bigger. Yet it is all the same message in the end.

So many many thoughts. Someday I will have the time to share them. Develop them and let them grow.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bird Spew

And who am i? What shall it be
Well-trained horn or bird set free?
The noose is made
of coils unseen
too late for us,
some may deem
To run-a, fly-a, spirit ourselves
From bird-seed; fed
till bloated
each day.

Young sparrows wonder
what the great robin may be
So to check they shoot
with arrows - and flee
Question is, these archers
are they in forts or moats?
Either way the breathing
is difficult without boats
to surf the rotten seed
without thought or wonder
down the dead robin's
swelled gut.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ink and Oil

The miners dig and dig they do
Each and every last shard of oil,
that when they strike they throw the spades
and cry out loud "oh, what a spoil!"
"Yet it seems" the workman say,
"they may be more beneath this clay,
More oil to dig, more sights to see
of promises past and what's to be."
And so it seems, these fields of oil
will seep beneath the endless soil,
While we chase after, for fields of gold
or the wonders that lie below;
more oil to mine, more ink to know-
to clay and paper our lives are sold
till we hit the bedrock, a pit so deep
that no more does the oil do seep.
A pit in them and in us as well;
to climb out now? Only time will tell-
if this pit we dig brings gold and oil
or empty pools, once filled with joy.


Exams results were bleh, need to work harder in the future

Currently drafted into physics and chem olympiads, question
for self is whether i'm biting off more than I can chew

Always remember what mining does to the fertility
of the land

Friday, July 4, 2008

Reading Glasses

"...And when Hercules was saved
By the intervention of Zeus
the Critics did cry
"'Plot Armor! Plot Armor!'"

In seeking all knowledge
and learning all things;
the scholar shuns the candle
the writer shuns the strings.

No more is it enough
to merely forge for fun,
nor jump-joy, make-merry

Instead all people,
yes, all people of "Wisdom",
of clarity and reason,
of realism and thought.
Must first purchase, before all else
a pair of blackglasses.

Blackglasses; that's all we seek
stained from stains upon the others-
Even the brightest of lights
is throughly absorbed; no smile
shall shine through
the blackglasses tint.

All words of joy
are the Medusa's gaze-
turn our hearts to stone;

Like moths to flame, we gather-
around the fiery innocence
of the neighbour's child,
born yesterday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Self-Analysis (Well, sort of)

Not really a self-analysis. More of a random thought.

Those of you who have played Resident Evil: Something games should know about zee Herb System. Basically something involving three leaves: Green, Red and er, Blue I think.

Green basically heals you of HP. 25% or something. Red cures poisons and status problems, while Blue is, Blue.

Thing is, you can mix herbs together to get more effects. The Blue Herb in particular, is useless on its own, but can be mixed with Green to get something like a 75% Heal.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm like this. I know one or two people who might be Blue Herbs. People who, on their own, appear useless or otherwise weak, yet when working in a team, boosts the overall performance immensely.

I like people like that. Part of this is the reason why I'd like it if I was that sort of person. Part of me thinks all this is just bs****.

Not quite sure whether I'm a supporter or a lone wolf. Frankly, I think most humans are somewhere in between. Caught between the desire for independence, and the comfort of friendship. The need to belong and the need for freedom sometimes clash head on-with painful results. Most people usually lean more towards one side or the other, and hence get the differences in behaviour and such (its in reality alot more complex I guess, but this isn't meant to be a sociological essay)

Green leaves...I guess most of us are Green leaves. I'm probably a Green Leaf too. But should I, and do I, want to change my color?

What is my true color anyway?

Blue leaf or Red?

Or Perhaps its always just been Green after all...


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


And it was in a cloud of impatience, rage, confusion and sadness that a single lone voice spoke out;

Temperance, it said, Temperance.

Who was that voice? God perhaps. A spirit? My conscience? Who?

I'm not sure, but voices like that...are like ice on a hot day.

Suddenly the cloud vanished. A few deep breaths, and everything seemed so much clearer, so much more at peace.

Perhaps in my period of sadness, wondering why I was sad, and whether I should be feel more sad, I began to translate some of that sadness into anger. I never was that close to her, yet there was a strange sort of protective pride - a duty, if you will. As one whom spent the better 16-17 years of his life in the same house as her, watching her doing her morning excercises and drinking that tiny cup of coffee from that same chipped little mug.

Hearing her pray for me, to the gods of heaven, each day and each hour, when I had exams, when I feel sick, when I went overseas, when I went with my friends.

Hearing her words, even as we grew older and she grew sicker; even when her mind was ill it still thought of us - Most hallucinations are of dangers happening to the victim, but her greatest fear was of danger happening to us.

The phone rang every day for six months straight.

And then the phone calls stopped.

Visited we did. Us to her, or vice-versa. All smiles and laughter, yet still it seemed strained. We knew, she knew - everyone knew, but no one said. No one wanted to say. And still I don't know whether it was true.

Of course it had to happen. The bump only sped it up, they said. Only sped it up.



And she lay there, on their bed, and we went every day, and sometimes I cursed at being interupted in my own activities, then cursed myself for cursing, and then saw her on the bed and threw all curses aside, they had no place there, there wasn't enough room for more.

Only blessings were needed. But blessings, unlike curses, never come often enough.

It got worse, she got worse, and so a decision was made. And so five days were set aside, while there they cleaned the bed.

It happened so fast. I didn't know what to say.

Cry? Scream? There wasn't anything like that. So I just kept quiet, wondering why I didn't cry and didn't scream and didn't feel anything; and grew sad at not being sad, and angry at not being angry and slowly, the cloud built up amongst the fog of fever, among the pains of cough.

And then, just when I was contemplating shouting at the blasted priest with his cane and lantern and endless chanting--

The voice spoke out


I still want to know who it was today.


And so I'll remember that word, and remember that day.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Sometimes I wonder...

Is it my fault?

When people cry, or rail at the heavens

Is it somehow my fault?

For not helping when I could,
For not trying harder-
For not simply being there...

And when they shout and cry
and scream anger at the shadows

I wonder-

Who are they yelling at?


Just a sinner, nothing more

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Tis the matchstick, the first flame
The Light that God let be;
The catalyst, source-point

The still-sketch, wax-sculptures
Little things we see;
Great speeches, great figures
The Cross on which lay He.

The Symbols, sweet Music
Dreams and not-quite-dreams;

All this
and more--
That turn the locks of life;
Our key.

Empty Space

Just wondering: What do people think of my blog?

A warehouse of emo poetry? A webpage of stories and thoughts?

Or just a collection of angst by some 16-year-old teenager with mental insecurities?

What is the point of this blog anyway?

Do people even read this blog?

Perhaps this is all my blog is.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


LDC was for me, a stressful experience. For the first time in my life I found out the kinds of pressure leaders undergo. The stress and constant need to watch out for not only yourself, but everyone as well. I learnt that in LDC.

Funny how the Leadership Development Camp for the Year 2s turned out to be one for me as well.

Guess it was 3 years late.

I never really felt comfortable in the front. The Year 2s stand around, staring at me during the hike, going "Primer, where to now?"

The sheer feeling of helplessness when I(We) got lost. The worry and anxiety when Year 2s and Year 5s started falling sick. When people went missing, only to show up later (having been involved in 'other business')...the feelings are hard to describe.

Perhaps there is more to being a shepherd than just standing in the front. Or perhaps I am getting this all wrong.

I am not a leader.

Yet somehow, somewhere, I find myself in BB Steering Committee, the "leading" body of the Boy's Brigade. Granted, I am but a mere secretary, yet it would seem I am still considered "Steering".

By the grace of the Officers, God, and the rest of my Peers, I made it through LDC without dying from stress. (Thanks to one Officer in particular, your words really helped me through). Life really is about people. The relationships, the bonds, and as a certain person likes putting it, all about politics. People Politics.

I have Dreams for myself. Dreams I would like see through. I suppose everyone has them as well.

Somewhere, somehow, there must be a balance. Between the dreams we wish to have, and the dreams others wish to obtain. The middle ground, where we walk the same path, diverting sometimes, getting lost sometimes, yet still work together towards the same destination, although our goals may be different.

Responsibility and Ability.

Duty and Dreams.

Each and every person, living with what they have, seeking the life they want; always chasing, always looking, walking the thin line between selfishness and matrydom, the tightrope of society.

Perhaps thats what life's all about.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reflections from over the Sea

People are such strange things.

Gone on a trip to a remote island. Got heatstroke, vomitting, and shat my insides out. Nearly got typhoid too.

And at the end of the whole thing, what did we get?

Joy. Happiness


For some reason, that's what people do. Even as we sat in the hostel, groaning on the beds, as the people outside suffered twice as much and hurt four times more, we still found the energy to laugh, crack jokes, and make remarks about each other's waste dispole units (both of them)

Singapore really is a bubble, isn't it? A little, tiny bubble, of order and peace and education.

And in closed bubbles, there's always stress. That someday the bubble will pop.

When that happens, will we still have the strength to laugh?

I hope we do.

I really hope.


On the trip, a few things came to my mind. Chief of this was somewhat of admiration. I think I know what I want to be when I grow up.

If only I had the nerve to chase it. Or the legs to run.

Strange how hard it is to accept what you want, when you know you can have it?

The doctor asked me what I wanted to be. I didn't dare to tell him. Why was I embarassed?

Perhaps I was scared of being shot down?


At least I'm quite sure now. There's one thing I know I love.

Worlds and people. Ideas and things. Crafting, creating and always dreaming, always thinking, no matter what kinds of s*** life throws at you.

Idealist? Perhaps.

But that's what writing's all about.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Come in! Come in good sir! Take a seat; now what may be your problem?

Mm. Mhm. Ah. Loneliness with a touch of angst I see. No worries, no worries, its hardly dangerous. Just make sure to have a good dose of Humor, and some Idealistic Hope as well. For this I recommend reading a few comic books. Just take two pages a day, three times daily. Also, don't forget to give this presciption to the nurse outside; she'll be more then happy to supply you with a bottle of heroic quotes as well. Just be careful not to overdose...


Hmm...a tricky case, I do believe. Have your been reading right? Thinking well? What has your daily consumption of skeptism been like? Mmhm. Mm. Oh, I see, I see. Not enough cultural depth in your diet, I believe. Just watch your morning newspaper intake; more "Local" and "Life" articles and less "Sports".

You seem to have an excess of self-confidence as well. Have you been swallowing your pride recently? No? I know they taste bad, but its good for you. Here, I'll prescribe you a few doses of "pridebeforefall" articles. Two articles a day, prefably after meals. That way, they'll be easier to digest. Just be sure not to read more than the recommended intake. See you!


And what have we here? Tsk. Tsk. Fantasy Overdose I see. Who does want to be this time? A superhero? Oh dear, a really large overdose. Too much idealism and dreams in his system I believe. Might be a little tricky purging the excess hope from his soul.

Didn't I give a presciption for this? What, No? Tsk, youngsters these days, what with their illegal Fantasy traffiking and day-dreaming. This is why we have presciptions and guidelines for reading! But don't worry madam, just let me give him a quick jab of Reality and he should be as right as ra-

Oh? He's afraid of needles you say? Fine then. In that case, just give him some critcal feedback. Make sure he consumes it all too. There are a few critic clinics outside that will give you some. Here's the prescription. Oh, make sure he eats them with a pinch of salt as well; There's a chance he might be allergic to disappointment.


What? What do you mean our stocks of Creativity are low? Prepostrous I say. The factories should be more than capable of-

Not effective? It can't be uneffective! It's Creativity! There's no other drug stronger than tha-

Yes, yes I know the natural producers are extinct. We wiped them out ourselves! All we had to do with isolate the relevant genetic structure and the precious chemical could be havested without all that stupid hassle and chaos and-

Failed? I thought they worked! Weren't those experiments a success? The simulated creativity and pseudo-inspiration were proven to have an effec- No longer any use? All our drugs depend on that thing! I don't care, we need to find some other way to simulate Creativity; There's almost none of it left.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lanterns and Fireflies

...And so shine your light foward, and by doing so, we give permission for others to shine their light as well...

Wouldn't it be nice if humans were like Fireflies?

Each and every single firefly carries its own light. Whenever darkness falls and silence reigns, the lone firefly will shine its light, a tiny beacon in the darkness.

But no! The firefly is not alone. Whenever one firefly sparkles, the rest of its swarm shall shine as well. And so a single fly can start off another, and a billion lights can result from one.

Wouldn't it be nice if humans were like that?

I hope they are.

Because that means we won't need the candle at the back anymore.

When hiking, the hike leader is always the one with the lantern. A powerful, wide-beam lantern that pierces through the fog of night, blazing a path through for the others to see. By the leader's light the group shall steer, and by the leader's light so can others see.

Too bad not everyone brings their own torchlight.

Of course, that is not to say nobody brings a torch. There's always at least 1 man at the back. 1 man with a small candle.

Not very large, a candle. Compared to a lantern, a candle barely shines at all.

Yet just as the lantern points ahead, so does the candle point behind. And around as well. The lantern always shines in front, blazing the trail, marking the future. The candle simply illuminates whatever's around.

What if a Boy was lost? What if a man had vanished?

By whose light can he steer?

Will the lantern turn its light from the future to search for the man? Perhaps. Perhaps all lanterns should do that someday.

But until then there's always the candle. The light at the back.


Different people give different lights. The strong beam of the torch, the soft flame of a candle. The flashes of a camera, the glow of a lumiscent screen. Different lights, different people.

Different purposes too.

What's the use of a light that shines in the day?