Thursday, December 13, 2012

Self-esteem, pride, jerks, and the meek.



"I don't know how everyone else feels...but I definitely go through periods of extreme self-confidence, feeling like I can do anything. Perhaps a fan will sense that, like in a performance, and the hero image creeps out. But then someone will say something, however insignificant, or I'll get something in my head and, all of a sudden, I'm plummeting in the opposite direction, I'm a piece of shit, and I really can't do anything about it. That's where "Outshined" comes from, and why I'll never consider myself a hero."
Chris Cornell 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mortality - getting old, fear of death

We're getting no younger by each day. And someday, we are all going to die. This is a fact of life.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Taqwacores




Not really a proper review per se, but felt like giving a few thoughts on the movie.

Summary of the movie goes as such:


Yusef, a first-generation Pakistani engineering student, moves off-campus with a group of Muslim punks in Buffalo, New York. His new "un-orthodox" house mates soon introduce him to Taqwacore- a hardcore, Muslim punk rock scene that only exists out west. As the seasons change, Taqwacore influences the house more and more. The living room becomes a mosque during the day, while it continues to host punk parties at night. Ultimately, Yusef is influenced by Taqwacore too, as he begins to challenge his own faith and ideologies. The Taqwacores deals with the complexities of being young and Muslim in modern-day America. Written by Eyad Zahra


My impression of the movie is that it tries to throw out all the 'fuck yous' to the oft stereotyped (but not far from truth) orthodox Muslim values. I don't know, I'm leaving as confused as the main character. Something as in 'and what points are they trying to make?'

Personally, I'm not in synch with much of the punk scene/idea (I'm more in tune with the rock/metal scene - and even in this I can be an outsider... but enough about that). The ones more accustomed with the marriage of punk and... liberal and open interpretation of Islam (?) might see a point out of this movie. But yes, I don't really get it.

I'm pretty secular when it comes to music, yeah. Yes, music is all about expression and emotion and whatever it is you're trying to say. But there's just something a bit... off about putting the Muslim label, from my eyes. I mean, music are music whatever form they are right? But... I guess the whole idea of the movie is more on the various interpretation of the religion rather than the whole punk/music thing, so yeah.

It's pretty hard for me to relate with this movie. Coming from Southeast Asia, even the more orthodox Muslim values shown in the movie (alluding to the Middle Eastern culture which they have been exposed with - more on that in a moment), I couldn't fully relate with their point of view on what Islam really is.

Is it as hard as it's supposed to be? Are we to just bend the rules where we see fit? Can we just cherry pick points that we view as 'right' and throw out the 'wrong' ones?

Unfortunately that is something which I don't have the answer.

Now about the culture thing, sometimes you have to wonder if our understanding of the religion is really backed up by our own understanding, or the values that we have been brought up with. Take the character Yusef - there are several instances where he protested against actions which was deemed as wrong in the traditional sense of the religion. And that would have gotten you thinking, why do others see no qualm in doing said acts then?

Is it because of the values that they are brought up with? Or is it all just a big rebelling against what they viewed as being narrow minded sets of cultures that they are brought up with? And if so, on what basis does their understanding of Islam based on?

Is it based on understanding, or is it all just a case of 'fuck everything'? Because it does seems to me that the second one seems more likely. There's a lot of nonsense going on in my opinion.

Of course, the ultimate decision depends on for you to watch this on your own. Don't take my words for it - just as it is with any case when dealing with religious matter, isn't it? You gotta find out on your own, even if it doesn't sit well with your own set of values.

Because the world isn't as clear and black and white as we'd like to make it. Far from it - it's very messed up.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Singapore trip and Anime Festival Asia 2012

Post-event post is overdue, as it is with how they usually does hurrrrr

QB: Derp


Perhaps by impulse, I've decided to travel on my own down south. In part because I had some friends I'd like to meet during AFA, and because I've never went to Singapore before despite its close proximity to my country.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Going lone wolf

"A lone wolf is a weak wolf, because wolves hunt in packs. A lone wolf would not survive in the wild for extended periods of time because they have evolved to exist in a social structure."

(From this very short blog post) 

Sounds just like good ol' human society huh?

With all the talk of 'no man's an island', we highly call forward for a structured society in our everyday life. Everywhere we go, there's that hierarchy to follow - the leader, the followers, the ones in between... and then there's the outlier, the outcast, the ones who doesn't take sides. The lone wolf.

There is a certainly a tradeoff here. In the first place, the way our society is structured would mean that these lone wolfs would certainly not last much long on their own - or even if they could, there is just that sense of under achievement, or maybe something of being marginalized.

But for some, this might not be a bad thing at all. Because when in a group, when we are subjected to collectivism instead of individualism, individuals can be swayed to to things which are, to put it bluntly, stupid. There's the whole thing about picking sides and being blind followers. The sheep mentality. The way we have to kowtow to some of those brainless leaders. The way we have to compromise, but at the same time it's only from our side. Maybe it has come to us doing whatever the hell as we please.

Me? I'm a lone wolf, but I come and go with people as I wish. Because in the greater scheme of things, we need each other to move on in our lives.

At the same time, we should remember how we're actually alone most of the time, and how we should start to get comfortable with the idea of being on our own.

To be alone, yet not alone, eh?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Self improvement is masturbation



This is one of the line which I remember from the movie, but I haven't given it much thought until now.

What does it means when Tyler said that you're just wanking when you self improve? I always thought it was something being negatively implied... that the whole self improvement thing is just like, well, jerking off. That you're missing a much more bigger thing.

Or is it? Could it also be implied that the whole self improvement thing is something nonsense when you try to impress others? Think about it - how many of us actually fall into the trap of actually trying to improve ourselves for the sake of others? For trying to impress others?

Maybe that's where the whole 'self improvement is masturbation' idea came from. Because really, we know all it is about jacking off. OK, except the literal sense of the word means you're not really out to tell others about it... But, if you actually go for some telling, then I have no idea what you're thinking man. Always out to tell others, eh?

Bullshit.


One of the best comment on this section of the movie is probably:

in the end of the movie, tyler durden dies. The dead is symbolic because tyler is the "ideal self" He died and the narrator survived because this means that you should kill your ideal self. The ideal perfect being you wish to be. You do that, more then by self-destruction, by self-acceptence! Accept yourself the way you are. Fuck perfection. Accept all the bad shit in you. None of it matters. All that matters is you and what you fucking are! A self-accepted man, not scared to show it!

Well. Maybe you could say self-destruction to self-improvement is like sex to masturbation.

I don't think self-improvement is necessarily a bad thing (if you take the similarity... ahem). But you have to look at the fact that we would usually destroy something in order to reach a bigger goal. The only question is, just for what purpose and to what extent we're willing to go for destruction? Is it out of anger? Dissent? Frustration? Are we trying to get the attention of others? Or are we trying to reach enlightenment?

Sometimes, maybe all we need to push forward is some good shakeup. And we ain't need to be impressing others whose perception truly doesn't matter.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I miss You


It was the year 201X. Communication is dead. Humans have finally removed the need for interaction and moved for self-sustain. Humans are now hooked up to portable devices which cut them the need for face to face interaction. Days passed by for the humans, with them living a peaceful life. For without interactions, there is no need for getting hurt. No egos stoked, no hatred arisen - every man's an island.

But somewhat, there arises a faction that felt that this was not how things should be. That there is something missing...

One man, who shall be referred to just as You, belongs to this one group of lonely people. Except that lonely is not the right word. For no one is truly alone. Loneliness indicate the need for others - and You know how humans have no need for each others now. 'Each man's an island', he always repeated... Except that deep inside, he felt that the phrase was something else...

And then one day, it him hit. Literally.

Picking up the object that bloodied his head, was a rock. Still reeling from the pain of the impact, he turned the rock over, and he found the words 'I miss You' scribbled on it.

And then he knows what it means when it hurts to miss someone... Except that he wished this someone wouldn't be so literal. And such a stalker. Now he's scared... but that's a different story.

Elsewhere, hands begins to throw rocks out of the shadows... all with the same words on them...

End of story? Missing someone may brings you heartache, but it's not cool to maim someone with a rock. You can't get close to people without getting hurt. It's the parcel of the whole thing. Embrace it :)



...Yeah I have no idea why I wrote this. Doesn't really make a lot of sense heh.

Dug out from my continous spam of tweets at one late night yo~

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sense of self control

I ain't even mad! 

Isn't it sad how easy we are to lose our self control over the tiny space that is between the keyboard, and the internet?

One day we're gonna look back and realize how stupid we were to act like jerks there, and how insensitive we are with our words. How we forget that others can be hurt by those little act of insensitivity.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Opeth - Hope Leaves


In the corner beside my window
There hangs a lonely photograph
There is no reason
I'd never notice a memory that could hold me back

There is a wound that's always bleeding
There is a road I'm always walking
And I know you'll never return to this place

Gone through days without talking
There is a comfort in silence
So used to losing all ambition
And struggling to maintain what's left

And once undone, there is only smoke
Burning in my eyes to blind
To cover up what really happened
And force the darkness unto me


This song can gives me the blues, but strangely at the same time, some optimism. It's a beautiful song.

Knowing that whatever moment you're experiencing right now, and how you'll never truly return to the moment no matter how hard you try... that thought gives you a greater appreciation of the present innit?

When the moment is gone, and when you leave the memory in the past - that is when hope leaves. Memories may hold us back, but don't ignore it - acknowledge it. Even if the wound keeps on bleeding, you walk the path. When saying nothing is the best thing to say. Even if all ambitions are gone, you've got to go on with your life. You may decide to burn it all up to cover the past, but it doesn't change the fact that you yourself could never go back to that place.

Even if we're never to return to this place... life goes on. This too shall pass..

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What happened to the good ol blogging?

After a couple announcement from other regular blogs which I follow, that they're going to go on hiatus for an indefinite time - and by an observation by one of them - I realize how this blog itself has suffered a blow in terms of activity way back in the halcyon days of the blogging circles that I follow way back in 2010...

In fact, one of my friend had remarked that he 'used to like what I write in my blog'. Which had got me thinking just why is it that there's a lack of input from this good ol' blog (as well as other blogs - and I see a disturbing trend of blogs going dead, slow, or running off the track)... and I could think of a few:


1) The other bloggers have stopped or posted very rarely - which decrease the motivation for blogging

Back then, it seems like everyone had something to tell. It goes on to what it seems that by reading others' blogs, one would be tempted to give a few pennies for thoughts as well. So i view it as a two way process - both reading and writing. Feedback, it is.


2) Social media took over the function of blogging

With the infamous Facebook and Twitter, everything is handed out in a rapid-fire and straight to the point manner. Want to share something? Post it on Facebook or Twitter - and watch those likes, comments, retweets slowly tick up... if it fancies others, that is.


3) We don't get two-ways communication now

See 1). Of course, I'm guilty for this, seeing as I'm very slow in updating, and commenting at others blogs now... Sorry.


4) Everyone has something else that take their mind off blogging

Perhaps too general an answer - but I see this as a big reason for people to go slow or stop on blogging.... but then again, doesn't those kind of things go on even when they were more active?


5) Not much/no more interest in blogging

Combine all the other points above with this, and you're sure to get a dead blog(s).


Well. I'm still sticking around here to write things now and then. Only time will tell where this blog will go after this - whether I'm going to stick around with random updates, or buck up and get back to regular writing spree. We shall see...


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

End of Music Myths & Legends column




I picked up The Star last Sunday to find out that one of the regular fortnightly column, Music Myths & Legends by Martin Vengadesan is finally closing its 10-years long chapters. I've only picked it up for something like... 4-5 years perhaps, the early 2-3 years or so back when I was a regular of the newspaper (with emphasis only on the weekend issues... ahem). 

I enjoyed reading the column, in spite - or maybe because of - the generation gaps between the featured artists and songs here. I don't know, I just like the concept of retro and older things, even if they might be deemed obsolete, irrelevant, or dinosaurs... 

But with music, the song keeps on playing, and generations continue to enjoy them for years to come. Generations might argue which songs of the era is better, but it is of my opinion that music truly transcend generation barriers - as well as language and culture. It's truly something to be shared - and it's great that there's people like Martin who does so. 

It's been a real treat reading about all those legends of old, and it's equally heartening to hear his music life here in this final article. Thanks for the memories Martin - keep on the Rock 'n Roll spirit! 



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jrock no Tamashii 3

After my forage into the event last year, it's time again for a concert where japanese music aficionado gather! And this time, they even gotten an act from Japan itself as the headliner - the alt rock quartet, Haku. And we get some of the previous acts to return this year, along with a handful of new ones.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Touhou - A Summer Day's Dream OVA 2

It's been 3 years already since the last one? That'd mean it was in existence even before I actually gotten into the series. Wow.

And anyway, I once again underestimated the tenacious fans. Not only about the effort put behind this short series, but also the speed in which it is available online...



Without going too much on review, the animation is better than what I remembered from the last one. I personally am not too crazy about the loli voices... but to each his own.

I'm actually curious to see how this would affect how the Touhou series is viewed by newer fans. 'tis always a tricky business eh? Them derivatives... But lets just put that for future pondering and just watch the thing.

Also, the sunflower motif had me anticipating Yuuka to be hanging around somewhere... but, o well...




(The first one, if you've missed it the first time around) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mandatory Ramadhan post (2012 ver)

This time, a haiku:

From dawn until dusk
Restraint your inner demon
'tis be Ramadhan!

So yea, happy fasting... and less the fussing.


I'm out of idea for any content


Monday, July 16, 2012

Northern Music Festival 2012


Last weekend, after making a short trip down south to Kuala Lumpur, I decided to stop at Penang to check out the Northern Music Festival 2012 after being invited over by my bro and a couple of his friends. 

The name might be slightly misleading to the uninitiated. The festival has been described as 'Northern Music Festival 2012 is the next platform for local independent bands to showcase their music and talents. Featuring over 40 bands in two days, audiences will get to enjoy a mix of music from local indie bands from all over Malaysia'.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

回路-kairo- - Way of wonderful suicide




I didn't know the existence of this album until I found it being mentioned in the passing. Bloody hard to find it, too.

Way of wonderful suicide (gosh, what a title) is 回路-kairo-'s second original album, after 夜明けのセカイと思考回路 (their other 5 albums are Touhou arrangements). This album was released during M3-29, which would somehow explain its obscurity - never mind the fact that this circle don't get much mentioning most of the time...

If you are expecting some screams ala Foreground Eclipse here, then look elsewhere. The music is more post-rock and ambient than the stuff you'd hear from their Touhou arrangement. 556t sure have went slower with her voice in this album - to be honest I kind of prefer her vocal in previous works, as her voice here come across to me as somewhat flat in some of the tracks.

I have no complaint with the music though. There's more piano this time around compared to their previous works, and they even included violin in one of the track. This album reminds me of their last original work, and alone, but never alone. If you enjoy their slower and ambiance sound, then you'll love this one.


Favourite tracks: Love song, Answer, 風の香り, Way of wonderful suicide

Electric Red - Celestial Wizardry ~ Magical Astronomy


This is some awesome shit man. 24 minutes of prog metal from Electric Red, fk yeah!

To be honest I would usually equate these guys with distorted, heavy and somewhat progressive metal sound, but this is a  surprisingly good exception.

Progressive metal, do you dig it?!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Money spending

"Money’s paper. I wipe my ass with paper, you know. It’s not… it’s not that essential for my soul, you know. Can’t take it with you if I die tomorrow, big deal. I’ll have a lot of money that I didn’t spend." - Matt Pike, Such Hawks Such Hounds

I'm not interested on the ranting on how we can never seem to have enough money, and how some are lucky kids for being born with a silver spoon shoved up in a golden tray or whatever. Rather, as the deliberately chosen quote points out, it's more on the issue of spending them.

I was struck with the question on WHAT exactly do those rich people do with their money. For those with families, you could immediately see them spending like nothing, putting a temporary dropped jaws everywhere at just how much they spend on something in sum unimaginable.


So perhaps the way you spend your money is proportional to how much you are making. Well, fair enough. But the question then resolves on the stereotypical Scrooges everywhere - the ones who hoards on their wealth, shown in the form of vaults of gold bars (or in modern day, properties and amount of zeroes in their bank account).

Yes, saving is bloody important and everything, but where are ya going to be heading if you just stash up your wealth without spending them?

In the end, I think it's better to spend and save just enough money for the thing that matters. Spend them on something worthwhile. Invest them in something, I don't know. It's how you spend that matters, it seems. 'cause just letting the money sitting there ain't gonna turn them into something else.

Of course, us poor dudes are still poor dudes.

$
Coincidentally, the bass on this song is fantastic too

Monday, June 25, 2012

Forget Me Not (Foreground Eclipse)



Hope doing well somewhere
And I’m still here looking at the sky
From my room on my own

You’re not here by my side
But your smile is still in my mind
I won’t say I miss you


This song always manage to make me smile. 

I'm in the mood for Foreground Eclipse and  回路 -kairo- now. I might write a bit about these two later.


ADDENDUM: Given the right mood, this song does seem to either make you cry or smile. Or maybe even both.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Such Hawks Such Hounds (2008)

Actually I've watched this documentary ages ago (last year, even!), but I've never really thought about it until recently, when I've revisit the journey into the sound called Stoner Rock/Metal.

So I've rewatched it just now, and I'd like to put down some short thoughts on what I think about this documentary:

The download links are all pretty much gone now, so I settled with the Youtube one instead


Thursday, June 21, 2012

On being miserable

You know, with my recent attachment to Twitter, I find it hardly necessary to ramble around here. And then there's Fagbook. We know the drill...

Social networking is a big vacuum. It really is. Even more so if you're a self-professed procrastinator, ahah.

But man, I really miss blogging around here. Even if it's not much. I also missed reading all those blog posts. Now, let's try and get back into the groove shall we?


So, being miserable. It is a perhaps weird subject for me to comment on it, seeing that I'm more or less involved with it now and then. But in my moments of calmness, I then wondered why I spend that much time - and energy - on staying that way. It left me spent, really.

And it becomes such a way that the longer you stay in there, it becomes a feedback - you make the feeling grow.

But then, it's a normal part of being what we are. We have our days of high and low. But self depreciation goes a long way in making it no better. But, really, I don't know; this feature has been long ingrained in myself that I now have to make an extra effort NOT to think of myself in such a light. Because it's been eating me from inside, having storing it for so long. No kidding.

This is not by any means a new revelation. It's just at times I thought, 'why do I act in such ways when I could be the other way around?'. Not as radical as not being true to yourself, mind. It's just for my own betterment. Feel good and all that. Hey, being a pessimists doesn't necessarily mean being in suffering... does it?

Anyway, as I've said, everyone has their days. Don't let them get the better of you tho. Stay cool! Also, have a Patche~

I'll get back to blogging soon. Take it easy, blogosphere! 


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2 years of eating danmakus

Perhaps of some curious interesting numerical coincidence (well... almost), the 2nd and 22nd of May marks the milestone in my inception into the Touhou series - the first being having listening to the first three work by CROW'SCLAW, and the latter being coming across an article at one blog.




Never forget!

(Which I'm sure I've mentioned a few times before)

I've discovered that my intelligence have taken quite a beating lately (procrastination and laziness can do that)... but rather than a review or anything, this would be more of a commemorating post than anything. I really could use some exercise when it comes to writing, eh?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Flowering Night 2012!

It's back again for this year!


Also, I'm back. Procrastination + laziness + feeble attempt to do some work = inactivity. 





Thursday, April 5, 2012

So, I'm alive

I don't think half a month of no posting and usual dropping by at other blogs count as a long period of time, but sure felt so to me.

It's been about two weeks in Master program, and nothing much is going on really. I'm still in the process of setting out the direction of where my research would be - so I don't bumble along in the dark and all that. I've also applied for a demonstrator position (something to replace the tutor position - one which the university had removed, strangely enough), and will probably start working next week or the week after that.

So back to the student life I go, with the uncertainties of whether I could have enough to eat tomorrow, and the rush to finish reports and other works (I might exaggerate on the first part, but there never seem to be enough to spend for when you're studying, innit?)

I'll probably spam a random post very soon. Take it easy 'til then~



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Milestones!

It's finally here!

I'll be enrolling in Master program soon. Have to go through the usual registration, and on top of that, I need to move out from where I'm currently staying. Lots of moving around, so I'll be all over the place in the next couple of days, so to speak.

I'll never get tired of this scene

Also, today's my birthday. Didn't really do anything, since it's working day and all. Went and treat myself to lunch this one restaurant which I don't usually go on normal days. I'm also thinking of going to this other restaurant which I've never went to - just for the heck of it.

I'm getting older, but am I wiser? I hope so.

I wish that I won't be regretting anything I've done presently in the future. There's a few disappointment and regret about the past, sure, but I guess no one is truly satisfied about his past.

This one too

Well. Take it easy guys.

:T

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Those backlogs...

I checked around my drafts here at blogger, and at present, there are twenty two posts being drafted, with the oldest one going back to October 2010.

Some of the posts are merely random rants and rambling which were written to kill time, while a portion of them I had no mood to publish them later (no matter how well thought they were) as I had ran out of the drive to go through the subjects.


Do you have as much backlogs, or do you delete them if they're sitting in there for too long? Or do you post them as they are? - i.e. you don't keep the ideas from being 'fermented' as it is



(yeah, I don't really have much to write about lately)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We are all monkeys, crazy for bananas


I have this one excellent - but admittedly, a little too much for my lazy mind to process in one go - book that I've been meaning to finish for a long time (since last year!): Robert Fisk's The Great War For Civilisation.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Expectations

Been a while since I've been around here isn't it?

I would like to say that I've been extremely busy all this while, but in all honesty, it wasn't until very recently that I've been preoccupied with work and (almost there!) preparation for Master level entry. So, what's it all about?

Monday, January 2, 2012