One-upmanship

What do you do when every update on Facebook feels like a game of one-upmanship to you?

When posting photographs of an event that you’ve been to feels like you’re trying to one-up another person.

But what if you are not. Or worse, what if you cannot tell which is which. What do you do then?

Again, to relate to another blogger, am I taking photos for the sake of taking it, to prove my existence has been so on and so forth, that I have existed in another dimension in another time.

I might be over-analysing things, that the rest of the people won’t feel anything. If they’re my friends, they shouldn’t.

At least that is what I like to hope.

If all things fall…

There is always hope.

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Gibberish

Once in a while, I just feel like typing gibberish.

Typing out stuff that people wouldn’t understand. For instance, I would go like this: arbe godb opovadf ptowetmb wfjpgt rgkl.

How does it feel, I wonder?

To just type gibberish, to not rush around with a sense of urgency or purpose, belabouring every second that the lift is taking, every second too long for you.

To go through the morning-hour rush as if it was nothing at all. Stuck in a jam? Nah, no worries. These things happen.

But we curse and swear. We mourn for every second, every millisecond lost, effectively trapped in something of our own creation – Time.

I know I do.

adgjk kvm’lk kglkfb mvgg

Then also, when I’m typing gibberish I’m typing for the sake of feeling the keyboard react to my fingers, the tactile feeling. At that point in time, there is nothing I want to communicate.

IMG_1246

Empty: The famous castle of Prague

Random (3)

  • I probably should place my language acquisition skills on hold until I can sort out my work schedule. I have too little time for myself at the moment.
  • In a sense, passé composé refers to actions that are already completed while imparfait refers to past actions that have no specified ending.

I regret a decision made in a dream

For no reason, today I dreamt of my ex again.

Obviously it is not the first time.

I could remember how real the dream was, that smoke in the streets, that cross of pale-green and lime green eye shadow she applies, that tiredness in her eyes, that limp smile she gave me.

That limp smile was certainly no mark of recognition. I doubt anyone would have recognised me on the streets. That limp smile was more of a “Hey traveller, how’re you doing?”

The streets. At first, I thought I was in Bangkok. They look like Khao San. But then why the hell would she be carrying a pail of clothes and toiletries? Then I conclude that I could be in Japan. She’s actually going to one of those public baths.

I remember her entering the female bathhouse.

Then I woke up – her limp smile and green eye shadow firmly burnt into my mind.

What would I have done if I had not woke up? Wait outside the bathhouse for her?

Why print still holds sway over internet

…and what can internet journalism do to gain a foothold?

  1. The majority of advertising dollars still goes to support print journalism. What the internet makes in a month, the print makes in a day.
  2. People think print is authoritative. Take for instance, our only national broadsheet. With over 150 years of history (it was established in 1845), the common man tend to take it seriously.
  3. The internet is like a flippant boy. It’s hard to take him seriously because he blabbers about anything. Democracy works like a double-edged sword.
  4. The majority of readers – or at least the people advertisers are hoping to target – are still entrenched in print. Everyone still flips the ST papers every morning with their coffee. From page to page.
  5. Which brings me to this: reading habits are different online and offline. We tend to read from page to page, getting black fingertips in the process. Even if we read quickly, we still browse through all the ads. This does not happen on the internet. I click on the article I want to read, bypassing everything else.

How then can internet journalism survive? How can we progress to the next stage without stagnating (and without killing print in the process)? Surely journalism is not a zero-sum game? We’re not tapping the internet for its potential if we’re only cutting and pasting articles from print.

Of pencils, notepads, Discmans and a Razr

…a 400-hundred word response to why I would like a wooden pencil. Overkill.

At heart, I’m not the most modern person. I have been using the same handphone for three years now, a hand-me-up from my brother. I couldn’t be bothered to buy a new one when my Motorola Razr turned stinky on me. I only like clam shell phones. And the reason why I’m not buying a new phone is because there doesn’t seem to be any beautiful clam shells around anymore. Nothing like the first-generation Razr which made me open my wallet and splurged on it. To think I was worried about looking ostentatious after that. The Razr wasn’t exactly the cheapest phone in town. A year after, Motorola released the second-generation Razr and the third and the fourth. Primary school kids started carry Razrs and my phone gradually lost its allure, physically and mentally.

I use a Panasonic Discman instead of some MP3 player. My Discman is already falling to bits – it’s not exactly new, having been with me for more than six years. The metal cover – I remember it was fashionable then – is covered with scratches and a faded Gakuto sticker, a reminder of my younger days when I spend hundreds of dollars on CDs from HMV. I would have to preorder those CDs, those limited edition, first-press Japanese CDs that cost me many lunches. I love the sensation of inserting a disc into that round player, hearing that satisfying click, feeling the physical labours of the bands I love. I’m probably deluding myself, but hey, what the heck. It’s an emotional response.

How do you rationalise an emotion?

Sometimes when I get tired of typing on laptops – as my job often requires – I go back to scratching on notepads. I insist on only using Pilot’s V5 – either black or blue. And proper paper that does not allow the ink to bleed through. More often than not, the notepads my office provides are too thin. I then end up using only one side because the other side would be unusable as the ink tears through it. But because I crave the physicality of writing, I continue my task.

For that same physicality, I sometimes pocket the pencils they have at Ikea. Those pencils with their insides exposed, turned inside out. Naked to the world except for a layer of lacquer. No hard mechanics there. The wood grain feels good against my fingers, cooling. I ought to know better but it just feels natural…no MP3s, no iPhones, no laptops, no Internet. Low-tech, the way I like it.

Which makes me kinda stuck in a conundrum.