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.