Sunday, 2 April 2017

Dear Diary [tag: feelings]

Edit: why do I have to write another melancholy as fk existential post. I've written too much now and I don't want to waste it, so I'm posting it. lol.

Last night, I had the weirdest pang of nostalgia. It hit me so hard I started getting super emotional and reminiscent about pretty much all the strongest and best cyberpunk/friendship memories of my entire life. Yeah, it's a weird combo, but it really defines me so well.

A montage of me from when I was a toddler, till now, started playing in my mind like an old school vaporwave film reel with the grungy 80s style music and flickering effects across the screen (yes, 'vaporwave', don't fucking judge me). It helped that I had just finished watching a video on Facebook celebrating the 18th anniversary of The Matrix's release, which is one of the earliest movies I ever remember watching as a kid, and it was undoubtedly a huge influence on me and my imagination growing up. Seeing those clips of The Matrix, and being in this particular sleepless, slightly tipsy (I was drinking), introspective mindset, really set me off.



So I'm laying in bed at 5am. It's still dark and I'm fully awake, scrolling aimlessly through my Facebook feed. I had just finished a two hour long video chat with a friend I've only known for a month. So far, he's one of the greatest persons I've met. He's super friendly, interested in everything, has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, consumes 'mass media' en masse as he claimed, he's funny, and I generally get along so well with him that I feel like we've known each other for way longer, and would be very close friends if we kept this going. We don't even really talk about 'deep' things, you know. We just talk about books, and films, his love and my avoidance of sports, and dealing with creepy people.

I have been making a lot of friends of this calibre in the last year and a half, and it is honestly shocking. Because I think for most people, it is so rare to make so many new friends in such a short time, and to make such great friends with people... Yeah.

By the way, I fucking never do video-chats. Or web-cam. Whatever you want to call it. It's just not something my friends and I have a habit of doing, so being asked to video-chat with a guy I've only gotten to properly know for the past three weeks is a little daunting. He does it a lot with his friends so it's nothing to him, though he clearly knows how much I was reluctant about it.

Anyway. Damn. Like. Snuggled up in my bed at ungodly hours, having a really good conversation with someone, feeling totally relaxed... it was so nice. And I just feel like I haven't had this particular experience with a friend in a long time.

I definitely have other friends that I talk to till 3am sometimes, but the mood and atmosphere is usually very different. Tonight, I had other friends sending me videos of them getting wasted on a beach alone to 90s sex-pop-RnB anthems blasting through their phone, and another by default of his personality, sending me dank memes and joking about penises (mostly about how his penis is the biggest in the world and would rule all other penises etc. - he's two years younger than me and understandably immature). Altogether though, it is reflective of what a beautiful and quirky mish mash of friends I have.

After I hung up the call with the first friend, I sighed and even started feeling sad that he was an international student, so would only be here two years. And you know, I'm leaving for China to work after June, so I won't be here for the rest of the time. Then he'll fly back to Pakistan or wherever he'll be going. And staying there. Like, forever.

This made me a little sad. And bear with me - after I watched that Matrix vid (which was after we hung up), I started thinking about my childhood, including of course that time I sat in front a friend's massive home cinema in 2001, being five years old, and watching Neo and Trinity kick ass for the first time.

In my mind, I could really clearly see myself  -  the tiny figure of this little five year old kid, sitting cross-legged in the dark with bright flashy images of latex clad gun-wielding action heroes, having me in silent rapture. I even reminisced the screen projecting a flurry of light and shadows on my probably half-agape, awestruck face.

Then I started thinking about my adolescence - walking to the high school gates under the glaring morning sun, passionately reading Dan Brown (which we talked about), having lunch at the local food court with friends, watching anime immediately after I got home, making public announcements about how much I wanted to marry Edward Cullen, and staying up super late on MSN chatting to A and H, two really good high school friends I had at the time but don't speak to anymore.

And having this existential montage, I just got this fucking lame as thought... like - damn. Who am I? What am I but the sum of all these weird, unique experiences? What am I but the product of those I am closest to? These experiences have all shaped me so distinctly, and given me my current sense of identity.

I suddenly started getting super nostalgic, and really acute memories of certain sensations, smells, tastes, sounds, atmospheres - bombarded me.

e.g.:


  • getting the Scholastic Book Club catalogues and spending ages picking out new purchases
  • the smell of sand on a hot summer's day. Sandboxes. And young, sweaty children
  • linoleum corridors
  • that slight damp smell at the locker bays in high school
  • staying up till 4am to watch a football match with A while we chatted on MSN
  • going on MSN and the satisfaction of getting a message notification beep at you
  • MSN
  • watching Bleach (an anime) and neglecting all homework
  • going to M's house after school once and being introduced to mando-pop
  • making a paper crown with the word 'Hitler' written on it and wearing it in Chinese class because I don't fucking know
  • the smell of new school books
  • having TVs that were still three dimensional and not flat
  • watching Godzilla under the table cos I was scared 
  • school bathrooms (ew)


 ANYWAY. Most of all, I started thinking about H, whom my new friend reminds me a lot of due merely to the fact that we seem to be able to talk about anything and everything until 4am. And that made me even more sad, since H left for Canberra when we graduated high school and though we were in the same country, we drifted apart.

I haven't really seen or spoken to H at all since then. One time, he made a surprise visit to my uni halfway through my first year, and I actually cried when I saw him. We hugged for a long time, and though it's not like we actually hung out a lot during high school, it was the connection I felt with him that was special.

S-special.

*echoes inside my brain*

Damn. This is fucking sad. Time to go listen to Drake.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Back to uni, smelly people, and my dad singing

Today was my first day back at uni for the year. The sky was blue. The sun was out. And our campus centre building wasn't completely gridlocked by sweaty first years or, as we super cool geriatrics like to call them, 'jaffies'.

Speaking of sweaty people, last night I went to see Madeon and Porter Robinson live at Hisense Arena, and it was the first time I had ever been in a mosh pit. It was great being so close to the stage and being surrounded by people who were just as passionate about electropop/house as I was, but the worst thing about this was the Body Odour (BO), emanating from the overwhelmingly male crowd. it was absolutely terrible. It just reminds me that hey - yeah - there are people (lots, in fact) who actually suffer from BO and need to use, like, chocolate-candy-nutella-pot-pourri-pheromone-laced-smelling Lynx deodorant. Thank god I don't have a BO problem. I don't think I'd allow myself to exist if I went to a concert and people were forming a 2m radius around me like 'ew, you smell like weed, used socks and maybe gangrene' (lol idk).

I also learnt another thing about being in the mosh pit. If you're tall, you can get a great vantage point, but shorter people are going to freaking hate you. And if you push in through the crowd and 'inadvertently' block some poor girl's (i.e. me) view, I will hate you and abuse you. See, last night, two to three guys were pushing right in front of me, and they were ALL much taller than me. So I sarcastically remarked 'wow guys, this is like the Great Wall of China right here' *gesticulates to theirs truly*. Never mind that one of the guys was actually Asian and therefore this might have come off somewhat racist (?), they actually graciously tried to move out of the way and I even thanked them. Wow. Just goes to show, you gotta be assertive af. Show them who wears the pants in this mosh pit.

Anyway. So now that I'm back at uni, I'm going to have to change my sleeping cycle... at least a little. During the last four months of vacation, I legit slept at dawn and woke up at anywhere between 2 to 5pm. I am positively nocturnal, still is, and having to get out of bed at 9am this morning killed me. Because I literally just didn't sleep. I lay in my bed until 9am, at which point I actually started feeling sleepy, and then I had to get out of bed and go to uni. Fucking terrible. What's even worse is that I immediately bought a can of Mother energy drink and just consumed that one thing until 3pm, whereupon I bought a pack of sushi at campus centre for the ripoff price of $12.50. And now, I can't sleep, am quasi-bulimic, and almost always destitute because I keep buying exorbitant sushi (and clothes).

What else happened?

So my second and last lecture for the day was Law and Social Theory, which is more like a philosophy unit than a law unit. While we were waiting for the lecturer to arrive, this girl sat down right next to me as opposed to one seat away like I had done to the girl on my right. You know, I'm in sixth year. I'm tired. I'm not really into being all cheery and 'omg hi what's your name?!' and repeating five years of the same dialogue. What I would be up for is a simple:

'Hey, know anybody in this class?'
'Nope, I'm a loner. You?'
'Nup. Let's be study buddies.'
'Okay. I'm *****, add me on Facebook'.

End of discussion. But obviously, smalltalk does not happen like that.

In the end, I didn't say a word to her, at least not orally. My empty stomach, on the other hand, was clearly in a different mood and felt like it was a good time to do a full-blown ่‡ชๆˆ‘ไป‹็ป before and during class. I hate when that happens. I feel like a freaking whale, warbling this echoey song loud enough for the soundwaves to carry across the fucking Atlantic ocean, and then these two Australian marine biologists in a submarine pinpointing my exact location on some beeping sonar radar, which they point to and go 'yes there she is, starving in lecture theatre E5, crying out for help, how melancholy'.

Onto the topic of singing. For the last two months, my dad has been singing karaoke at ungodly hours in the house. Wait, not just at ungodly hours, but almost ALL THE TIME. He discovered this Chinese app that grades and lets you record your singing, and then share it to your friends. You can also live stream yourself or watch live streams from other Chinese singers. IT IS THE WORST INVENTION IN THE WORLD.

3am AND HE'S STILL SINGING TRADITIONAL CHINESE BALLADS. WHY? DOES HE NOT UNDERSTAND THAT SOME PEOPLE LIKE ME NEED TO QUIETLY CONTEMPLATE THE MEANING OF LIFE AT SUCH TIMES OF DARKNESS? If he sounded like Pavarotti, Helmut Lotti, or hell, even Michael Buble on a Christmas loop, I'd be okay. But when he sounds like, well, him, just NOOOO.

I cannot stand this anymore. In fact, nobody else in the family can't stand it and we've all complained in one way or another, but unless you fully yell at him, it seems the temptation to blast us at 5am with bad operatic yodelling about the Tibetan plains of western China is simply too tantalising.

Ugh. Ok. End of post.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A long-winded recount of valentine's day

1. SEEING MY DENTIST
Today, I went on a triple date with two other couples. Before meeting them though, I had a dentist's appointment at 10am. Now this is probably going to sound gross, but I can't actually remember the last time I went to a dentist. Like... early high school? Which must have been around eight years ago. I actually told my friends this at an Australia Day party we had last month and they were obviously shocked that my teeth weren't rotting and falling out. And I was just thinking - dude, I guess I brush my teeth pretty rigorously and have generally good hygiene? And I don't freaking eat chocolate fudge fondues with whipped cream and nutella or whatever the hell white people like to put in their foods these days. Also, I don't drink coffee (only energy drinks because that's the closest cardiac-stimulant I'll ever get to cocaine level strength without doing illegal shit). And fortunately for me, my teeth have always been naturally well aligned so I've never had to get braces, and neither have I ever grown any wisdom teeth.

So yeah, I'm lucky af.

Anyway. So last month, my friends were like 'wow, tell me what your dentist says about your teeth'. You know, because they were obviously expecting some epic shit to go wrong. And guess what??? My teeth were FINE! No problems at all, though the dentist was palpably not pleased that I had skimped out on a decade of dental care, and got all pissy about me needing to floss every day.

Welp. I guess I will try flossing every day if I can muster the energy. I already brush my teeth three times per day most days due to a personal need to feel 'fresh' after meals. This is also why I am obsessed with mints and always carry packs of it with me when I go out.

After the wash, which was really fucking uncomfortable and made me ominously gag twice in the chair, I texted my boyfriend and told him how "I finally understand why people hate going to the dentist". And then he texted something like - "LOL it was just a wash! #toothprivilege".

Sorry, forgot to check my privilege.

2. BRUNCH AND GOING TO IMAX
After the dentist's, I had to go meet up with two other couples for brunch at 11.30am in the city. Note - I never ever do brunch. Brunch is a goddamn luxury that I cannot afford either monetarily or time-wise. I mean, I sleep at 4am and wake up at 4pm a lot during the holidays, so it's just practically impossible. Today though, I actually had to meet with them that 'early' because we planned to go see a 3D space documentary called A Beautiful Planet at Imax, screening at 1pm.

Yeah, I know. Absolute nerdfest. But I love it. I love that me, my friends B and L, and my boyfriend are so unashamedly into nerdy science things. Last year, we all went out to 'Astrolight' at Scienceworks, which was a night time astronomy festival (yeah, those exist) filled with star-gazing and astronomy-related games and activities. We even got our picture taken by a sneaky Scienceworks photographer and had it posted on their Facebook page! #famous

Today was great. As we were waiting for our bus to IMax, I was joking about how I loved showing off our nerdiness on social media because "it just shows everyone that we're nerdy, intelligent and most importantly, smarter than them" as well as "the bona fide liberal progressive elite everyone loves to hate". And we all laughed uproariously with a totally inbred haughtiness.

When we got to Imax, the blonde middle aged lady who was serving us at the box office was a complete bitch. Proceed to imagine the sort of character you'd see in a British sketch comedy show - the fat old checkout lady with the horn rimmed glasses, staring at you with pursed lips while filing her hideous red painted nails. That was her, but mostly in personality. She was really curt with us when we bought our tickets, and when we all finished coming out of the bathroom to head over to the cinema at 1.04pm (four minutes after the scheduled 1pm screening), she shouted at us from across the room "IT'S DOWN STAIRS TO YOUR LEFT! MOVIE HAS ALREADY STARTED!" And I swear she 'tsked tsked' at us too.

Wow. I would definitely would have thrown a copy of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People at her actual face if it weren't for the fact that she's a fucking checkout chick and would never need to truly utilise social strategy in her vocational life. Though I do feel kind of sorry for her family.

A Beautiful Planet was very short. $17.00 ticket for a 50 minute documentary. I mean, yeah, it looked good, but I was honestly expecting so much more. Jennifer Lawrence narrated the doco and I couldn't help being annoyed at her raspy voice, as well as thinking about how dumbed down this documentary actually was.

We were the ONLY adults who were in the cinema out of our own volition, as opposed to the thirty or so primary school kids that were obviously there for a school excursion. They also stank. Or maybe it was the cinema itself. But yeah, it smelled like feet and betel leaves.

3. GOING HOME
Immediately after the movie, we all parted ways, and my boyfriend and I bused back to his house. Surprise surprise. He popped out of his room with a bouquet of roses! What. a. sweetie. I really wasn't expecting it because he is NOT a morning person, and he also NEVER does brunch. The fact that he even woke up in time for brunch, let alone get up to go buy roses in the morning, was much appreciated.

Then we took his car back to my house and we napped for a billion hours.

4. BLOGGING RIGHT NOW
It is now 4am and I am blogging. My boyfriend is sitting 4 metres away, playing a console game on his Mac. We are both incredibly awake.

Tomorrow, I have to go to a police station and get a Justice of the Peace to sign some documents. Then, I don't know. Maybe I'll blog more. Maybe we'll finish season 1 of Luke Cage. Maybe, I'll play 10 more hours of Invisible Inc, or more probably, start binging on Homeworlds 2. Maybe, I'll accidentally drink water out of a cup that previously held milk and gag because of residual milk taste and have to wash my mouth out for three hours...again.



Thursday, 29 December 2016

SAVE ME FROM ADULT LIFE PLEASE

One day, I'm going to leave university.

In fact, that day will come in approximately six months.

By the 22nd of June 2017, I will have finished my last exams of my double degree course and be thrust into the deep end of the corporate pool, swimming among the flavescent faeces of other terrified millennials as we, packed like hungry rats in a tube, collectively rush towards a sad and abysmal reality.

Death by adult life.

Working in an office 9 to 5. Being a desk-bound indentured slave. Having to smile at old people you don't like. Discussing credit ratings and having to do tax returns. Smiling at more old people as they exercise their corrupt authoritarian powers, asking you to retrieve their bi-hourly caffeine fix then forcing you to fix their computer or some other tech shit. You stare at your watch, then back at your screen, then back at your watch, and start imagining what it'd be like to commit hara-kiri in front of your boss, blood spurting out of orifices like NYE fireworks, eyes bulging like Steve Buscemi, mouth agape like a man whose soul just got sucked outta him by the latest Dyson machine.

Fuck. It's so depressing.

And hey, it might not be that bad. I have plenty of friends who work in corporate and haven't  killed themselves yet, but you never know... some of them are, for sure, mentally flaying themselves.

WOW.

I know. I'm being unnecessarily pessimistic/nihilistic. It seems every third post on this blog is me complaining about corporate life and my own career path.

I'm sorry.

I can't help it. I'm at that stage.

Years of dealing with tyrannical bosses has left me a broken shell of my former self.

Oh why oh why!!

I can already see myself slumped over an office desk, dreaming about the good old days when I'd be in an Asian Studies lecture, seated with a pen and notebook, eagerly jotting down WWII stats in the Asia Pacific theatre, looking at old sepia photos of Japanese soldiers, or listening to the professor describe the exploits of Jodhaa Akbar. Analysing maps of Asian Empires and legendary military strategies. Watching Korean pop videos and explaining the success of the Korean wave. Discussing anime films and dissecting Asian pop culture.

Not just that. But...

The physical & emotional sensations of being in a history lecture. 

When it's so unbearably hot during the summer that even the asphalt looks like it's sizzling underneath the sun's gaze. 

But stepping into S4 - it's dark. There are no windows. The aircon billows cool breezes onto your face. You immediately feel the respite, and relish that almost as good as Lipton Ice Tea feeling as you relax in a large airy chamber sparsely dotted with students. 

It's quiet. 

Soon, the sounds of retractable wooden desks being opened with a soft 'bang' against its metal fulcrums heralds the lecturer's arrival. She's a Swedish-Australian with a quirky accent, and an expert in Japanese history. 

For the next hour, she relays graphic stories of wartime heroics and betrayals, of internecine rivalries and incompetent governments of the Japanese Imperial Empire. You listen intently to some of the most interesting and compelling stories you have ever heard. The battles, the soldiers, their families, their friends and enemies -- you are transported there. You experience it, and feel what they felt. Love, loyalty, anger, shame, fear, sadness. 

Then the hour is up. The lecturer says she will see you next week. 

You get out of your chair, brain reeling with indescribable imagery. Again, the sounds of wooden desks being slammed back into its retracted position fills your ears, and as you stand there for a few more seconds to process how much you fucking loved the past hour of your life, you realise you're the only one left in the lecture theatre, and that you need to get out.

You step outside, back under the sun, and breathe out deeply, with happiness, inspiration, enlightenment and fulfilment. Then, you take your wallet out and head off to go buy some salmon sushi from the cafeteria. 



Saturday, 5 November 2016


Thing I've experienced lately: 

It's one thing trying to reason with people so stupid, xenophobic and racist that they can't be reasoned with. 

It's another thing trying to reason with intelligent, educated, or at least generally 'good' people that possess minimum standards of compassion and respect towards others, and find that they are willing to support a man like Trump. 

When I hear friends, invariably white male friends, talk about how Clinton is so corrupt or that the status quo is so bad that voting in Trump, a complete idiot, or the other idiotic third party candidates, is actually a better option than voting in Clinton (because 'even if he's shit, at least he'll change things up and force everybody to reevaluate', I just want to slap them. 

And I don't even think Clinton is an ideal candidate. I think her foreign policy stance is really aggressive and worrying, but all else considered, she is NOWHERE near the level of 'corrupt' that many people make her out to be, and though she seems corrupt to some extent, there have been previous Presidents and other men in similarly high-up leadership positions that have done much worse and were never called out on it the way Clinton has. 

If you're going to argue that Clinton is corrupt, don't you fucking use that email scandal, or her changed stance on gay marriage. These are BOTH things politicians have done FREQUENTLY - i.e. deleting emails, leaking classified information, changing their stances on key issues. So if you're going to use these as justifications, FUCK NO. 

If you want to put her in jail for the email thing, put David Petraeus in jail, and thoroughly investigate Bush as well. If you want to attack her for changing her stance on gay marriage - remember that people change. I've had friends who used to slut-shame other girls in class, but are now staunch feminists who fight against this very mentality. I've had friends who were Christian and strongly pro-life, but having grown up, met different people at university, and learnt about the real consequences of pro-life policies for women, and are now pro-choice. When I was 15, I didn't think climate change was worth combatting compared to other issues, and was an anthropogenic global warming denialist. Obviously, I'm not now.  

If a person has changed, and is willing to fight for the right position now, how in the world is that a bad thing??? Even if, yes, Clinton is 'strategic' about her stances - this is not necessarily the worst thing. Being strategic is fucking necessary. People talk about idealism like it's actual realistic. No. 

Compromise is what's realistic. Being smart is what's realistic. And these. Aren't. Bad. 

Overall, Clinton is no Obama, but she is by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar the most qualified, and the least harmful for America. 

To all the friends who would vote for somebody else just because they don't like Clinton - firstly, you have bought into the hyperbole. You are brainwashed. She isn't THAT BAD that TRUMP is the better option. You're fucking crazy if you think otherwise. 

And now I'm going to use that word that white males hate - 'privilege'. 

You know why I can't support Trump/Stein/Johnson (remember that a vote for a third party candidate basically just gives your vote away to Trump)??? 

Because I'm a minority. You might have felt prejudice once or twice in your life, but for me, for women, for gays, for Mexicans, Muslims, Indians, Blacks and other people who will certainly bear the brunt of the hate that will no doubt explode in massive ways as Trump rises, and which even he will not be able to control, is why I can't take the fucking cop out option of voting for Trump or somebody else other than Clinton, no matter how much we dislike Clinton for other reasons. 

WE. CAN'T. AFFORD TO. 

Already, there are Trump supporters hanging Black dolls from their trees in the front yard, simulating the lynchings of the 1950s, when the KKK was at its peak. Already, there are Trump supporters gearing up with an arsenal of guns and other weaponry, ready for a civil war if Trump isn't elected (this is true btw, there are undoubtedly people doing this and it has been reported). Already, even non-Trump supporters are goaded on by the blatant racism revealing itself on screen and in the streets, and in fucking New York, we recently had two Muslim women get kicked out of a restaurant, get verbally abused on the street, another Muslim woman get set on fire outside an upscale Manhattan boutique, and a Chinese-American man (who was an editor at New York Times) get told by a wealthy-looking white woman in the city centre to 'Go back to China!' and some other racist epithets. 

SO REALLY? ARE YOU BLIND??? ARE YOU DEAF??? Do you not SEE what's happening? Do you not UNDERSTAND what will happen and what is already happening? 

I feel the fear. Do you? You can't. You don't know what it feels like, do you? To have your family and your parents always feel insecure about being subject to racism. To be scared of walking home alone at night. To have friends care more about French people than the suffering of people in countries that many Australians come from. 

OF COURSE NOT. You're white and/or you're a man. You literally cannot feel how we feel. You just don't have to deal with the same problems. And I'm not being a crazy SJW here, but honestly, if you can still support Trump at this stage, or even justify him with a 'oh Clinton's worse' or 'he'll change things' sort of bullshit argument - get the fuck out. I am fed up with how blind you are. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

That time a guy lured me into his Aston Martin and was all like 'Do you like it?'

Please relish my true story of which I am relating due to intense procrastination that will probably result in me failing at least one of my upcoming law exams. 

Last year, when my boss pressured asked me to assume the role of MC at the company's charity ball, I got to meet Aston Martin guy - my co-MC. When I walked into the office that day to meet him for the first time, he was already seated at the table, talking business on his phone. He was very young, greatly resembled Andy Lau in physiognomy but much shorter in stature, his voice and manner of speaking exuding the sort of charismatic joviality you'd expect from someone who closes multimillion dollar sales in property (I wasn't aware of his day-job until much later), and wearing an extremely expensive, well tailored suit. He had neatly styled hair that was spiked up in a very trendy early 2000s way, otherwise known as an anachronism, and which I thought perfectly suited the caricature of himself as a garish thirty-something year old upstart in the alpha position of CEO at his own real estate company.

After I walked in, I sat down at the table with my boss and two other female colleagues. He got off his phone a few minutes later and something incredible happened. As soon as he started speaking, compliments about our beauty/femininity were thrown at us left, right and centre. These were half-ironic statements about how young my boss was for her age, how he was flustered being surrounded by beautiful women etc. etc. They ate it up. He even asked me why I didn't enter the Miss Chinese Melbourne beauty pageant, to which I internally grimaced and wanted to say: 'because pageants are stupid, sexist and embarrassing tools perpetuating the objectification of women for commercial and patriarchal value'. I obviously didn't say anything as scarily feminist as that, but I still said 'I think pageants are stupid', to which he presciently and again half-jokingly added 'ahhh yes, well that makes sense as I wouldn't expect an ambitious law student like yourself to enter something like that'. I grimaced again.

Apart from that thing about beauty pageants, he was saying a lot of very flattering bs that I admit, did make me feel good about myself. And I could see how much my boss and colleagues were enjoying having a handsome young man swathe them with witty, well-timed compliments. I thought to myself - wow. This guy is amazing. I mean, yeah, he's a stereotype, but that's what makes him so great at his job. He works with a lot of Asian businesses here, and with people who must be much older than him. I don't doubt for one minute that his Mad Men-esque charisma, where he can at any time switch on that rare old-timey gallantry and joke around with 'the boys', makes him a likeable character in a male-dominated industry where trust, connection and relationships can make or break a deal. And honestly, I didn't judge him too hard for the things he said because I knew he operated frequently if not completely within Asian business circles, and Asian business and networking culture is very different to what we young people would expect in more progressive western environments. So I understood completely if this was the sort of personality it took to win over his clients.

Anyway. So the second time we met, I still had no idea exactly how 'accomplished' he was, and faced with the existential throes of taking the bus home, I unashamedly asked him where he lived and whether it would be convenient for him to give me a ride home. 'Yes! That's fine!" he said eagerly. He said his car was parked close by. 'Maybe a 10 minute walk if that's alright?' He asked. That was definitely okay with me, since I would have had to walk 10 minutes home after taking the bus anyhow.

It was deception. Trickery. A trap.

Since he told me his car was 'parked' close by, I naturally assumed that he lived somewhere else. NUP. He took me to this newly built apartment complex a short walk away from my office. I was like 'uh...what?' And he's like, 'oh yeah, I'll take you down to the underground car park later. I'll just go up to my apartment and get some stuff.'

Apartment? He lives here? The fuck is happening?

I was slightly horrified that he was then making such a huge effort to drive me home. Horrified - not that I was uncomfortable, but because I didn't want him to be inconvenienced. He kept smiling and reassuring me that it was absolutely fine, and that I should just 'wait there', down on ground level. So I stood at the foyer for what felt like forever, until he came back down, and was like 'okay, let's go'.

We took the elevator down to the underground carpark, and before we stepped out, he's like 'so I drive an Aston Martin' or something. I'm like 'yeah ok haha'. And he went 'No, I really do.' And now I was like, LOL?!?!

We walked pass an unmissable yellow Ferrari. He said, 'that's my friend's car. Sometimes he goes overseas and gives me the keys. It's fun. We race a lot.'

Okay, so these weren't his exact words. After all, it's been a year since this happened. But for the sake of story-telling, that was essentially what he said.

Then finally, he led me to this obnoxiously shiny, conifer green Aston Martin DBS.
At this point I was still like no.... 
But then he pressed his keys and the lights lit up.
Then I was like oh... 

Of course, he opened the door for me on my side. I crouched in, proceeded to fall with a thump into my seat (they're really low), for which he apologised for not warning me about, and then I'm like. Holy shit. I'm in an Aston Martin. Internally, I was like WOOOOOOOOOOO! But externally, I was like, 'um yeah this is cool lol thanks.'

I vowed to myself not to be one of those girls. Because that was OBVIOUSLY what he expected.

We're sitting in his two hundred thousand dollar supercar, and he started scrolling through music. He settled on some super loud RnB track with heavy as fuck bass, and asked me 'do you like this music?' I almost burst out laughing, how ridiculous this shit was, but I'm like 'yeah, this is fine', playing it ice cool.

As we made our first turn out of the carpark, he gave the car a few good hard revs. And it's extremely, ostentatiously, hilariously loud for a semi-suburban street. It also felt fucking good. You can feel your entire body vibrating. It's that sensation when you're out a club or concert, the music is just blasting so loud the entire floor quakes beneath you, and this heavy narcotic sensation envelops your entire physical and spiritual being. Yeah. For like five seconds, that's what it was like.

Then he's like, very very unsubtly, 'You like that?'
I'm like 'What's not to like about this?'
And he goes 'Girls love this stuff, don't they? The fast cars... the noise... the music'

Inside, I was fucking dying. Dying of laughter. I couldn't believe how cheesy and contrived this entire dialogue was. Obviously, he didn't know me well enough to understand that I'm way too sophisticated and hyper-aware to be swayed by this sort of fuccboi flirting (unless of course, I was actually into it). I tried not to smile so hard.

Even funnier, after we turn out of the carpark, he completely and illegally speeds down the entire 300 metre or so stretch of the street, revving like Jamie Whincup in a V8 Rally, but not really because this was actually a part of Australian suburbia lined with Asian groceries and inhabited by lots of old Chinese women with shopping trolleys. I said nothing. We kept going.

We had a relatively tame conversation about work, saving money and financial success. The whole time, I tried not to show any sign that I was even remotely impressed by his wealth or being in an Aston Martin, which just made everything about this really funny to me. I was just like, yeah cool, I'm just a person having this totally mature discussion with you i.e. ain't gonna fawn over yo shit.

At one point, he was implying that if you work young, start saving early, you too can be like me. And I was like, but I just spend all my money on food. And he tells me to stop having brunch and dining at expensive restaurants, which he just totally assumed I was doing. Inside, I was like - um, I literally never do brunch and when I mean 'buying food', I mean spending all my money on Hungry Jack's 6 chicken nuggets for $3.00 and my favourite KFC original tenders box, with a special large potato and gravy upgrade cos I fucking love potato and gravy. I really should have said that, now that I think about it. It would have destroyed any fantasy he had of me being an easily susceptible, uber superficial, uber fit, Heston Blumenthal-crazy, Michael Kors-toting, pretty girl.

While I was being completely cold to his attempts to impress me, I did do this one thing that I couldn't help - I'd look at the people in the cars next to us and see whether they were looking back at us with envy/aspiration. Because if I were sitting next to a car as sexy as his, I'd want to see what the person driving it looks like. Usually, it'd be some fifty something year old white dude wearing a branded cap of whatever car he was driving. Ferrari? Ferrari cap. BMW? BMW cap. But here we were, two Asian kids - me, 21 wearing tank top and jeans, and him, suited up and looking barely over 27.

Anyway, for the rest of the trip, he had deliberately rolled down all windows, with music blasting pretty loudly. It was hard not to notice us. And then he dropped me back home. The thing is, at the time, I had been holding down a couple of jobs, and most of my bosses had expensive cars. They all drove some recent model of Porsche and Mercedes SUVs/sedans, and so for the last two months or so, I had been continually dropped off at my front door in these super expensive obsidian black, metallic blue, glossy automobiles. But an Aston Martin DBS was a major step up.

I wondered what my nosy as fuck Asian neighbours thought of this (they once dobbed me in to my parents after seeing me with my Sri Lankan (ex) boyfriend).

Outside my house, I said 'thanks for the ride', keeping the effusiveness on the down-low (usually I'm extremely grateful for a ride home from anyone), and he was like 'no worries' etc. Then I went in, and he left, visibly disappointed by my down-to-earth attitude.


The end.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

We are currently in a Seldon Crisis

To all Isaac Asimov fans:

We are currently experiencing a global Seldon crisis. Trump. Conflict in the middle east. Physical cuffs between India and Pakistan. That whole thing in the South China Sea.

But it's okay. As with all Seldon crises, we need only let the course of nature run its predicted route. And that is to let Trump win the presidency so he can get his hands on America's nuclear launch codes and bomb the earth back into reset mode. Make America great again? No man, he'll make the world great again. Start afresh - except this time, without humans and sprawling megalopolises. Finally, all of our planet's forests and animals will be free from the violent yoke of humanity.

On the other hand, having such a blatant threat of mass mutually assured destruction (MAD) could also result in the unification of the rest of the world, a need to defeat the monster called Trump, who may as well be the alien squid monster from Watchmen. Toeing the line of human extinction will be the wake up call we all need. We'll get rid of Trump together, and establish world peace.


So really, whichever way this goes, earth wins. Oh and I forgot to mention, you and I (the rational ones), will already be on Asgardia setting up our new Foundation. Once earth convalesces from nuclear MAD (if it happens), we can come back down if we so desire, and set up a new technocracy. Until the next Seldon crisis, we'll all enjoy about 100 years of peace.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Can't sleep

Okay.

Even though I say I hate people and that most people are generally dumb and lacking in basic introspective qualities (i.e. they're immature), it's only because of a few certain experiences I've had recently and Donald Trump. Apart from that, life had been pretty good because I was feeling really grateful about how many amazing new friends I've made this year. And I'm talking about friends you really click with. Friends you can have three hour conversations with about anything - life, politics, how dumb even 'smart' people are, (hating) law school, familial pressure, self-inflicted pressure, Trump, sex, romance, movies, books, science fiction, cyberpunk, 80s music, Snake Plissken, the history of hentai, astronomy, the singularity, AI, anime, feminism, drugs, money, marriage... we have a lot of shared interests/experiences. And I'm not kidding when I have had conversations where almost all of these topics have been covered within the time frame of an hour.

I love that I have these friends. In fact, I'm grateful that I have a lot of these friends. Sometimes it's not immediately obvious, but these are the people who keep you grounded. They're you're backbone. They bring a lot of joy and you know they'll be there for you, or more likely, weeping with you, when you start freaking out about life, careers, internships etc.

Probably like three people even read this blog. But still. Thanks guys.

The goddamn truth: people are f*****


I seriously might have to delete this post in the future. 

Every single fucking day for the past two months, I have been constantly disappointed by the sheer number of fucking retards that I've had to deal with. I'm not even angry. I'm just 

Every single fucking day I read any comment thread on the internet, it's like watching real-time retrogression of humanity, and the imminent end of our evolutionary vector, because god knows - Trump, a guy who advocates non-consensually grabbing women 'by the pussy', is that close to getting his hands on America's nuclear missile launch codes. But not just that, despite myself being aligned with left-wing principles, I am physically disgusted by the increasing aggressiveness of other left-wing activists ('social justice warriors') for yeah, living up to the stereotype of being absolutist and sanctimoniously shutting down any argument that doesn't adhere to their own superficial values. Some of the things vomited out by both the left and right wing have been... ridiculous. And it's fuelling each other.

You know what. At this point, having the earth bombed to a charred, ashen, marshmallow of a planet and toeing the line of human extinction might be the purgatory we all need. That earth needs. Fuck, I don't even care anymore.

I have a lot of sympathy with Adrian Veidt of Watchmen, and I have no problem sanctioning certain 'methods' against certain people that I know some of you more admirable and morally pure-hearted would never agree to, like downright assassination (but surreptitiously, of course).

I literally ranted about this in my previous post about how, because I've been exposed to a lot of shit (in life and in the news) when I was young, I am able to take the more realistic approach to certain issues. And of course, there are some issues so complex that I acknowledge it is impossible to take sides, but what we can do and should do is calm the fuck down and look at the facts. And here's a fact I want to reiterate: human nature is not a 'blank slate'. We're fucked. Admit it. Things like jealousy, insecurity, suspicion, anger, compulsiveness, truculence - these are the things that lead to conflict, potentially massive conflict. And frankly, these are fundamental human characteristics, and as with positive traits like altruism and empathy, they will always exist. You can never make it go away, except try and strike a balance. Unfortunately, however, it's the negative traits we all embody that result in greater consequence for society. Trust me, I'm not being cynical. I'm just being an adult. And it's why we all miss the blissful ignorance/innocence of our childhood.

And since I'm ranting....

Ever heard of Peter Scully? The Australian man who engineered a paedophile ring in the Philippines and for years trafficked young girls and raped babies in dungeons to produce content for his subscribers? I remember reading about this when I in high school, when some of the material he produced were merely 'urban legends' of the dark web.

Well, he deserves death. And not just death. But a slow, tortured, excruciating death. If I had the ability to carry this out myself, I fucking would. I would ... I shouldn't even type out the things I'm thinking because it is literally so despicable that I almost feel just as fucked up. But sometimes, I look at my friends, who have never experienced huge prejudice in their lives, or the friends who make cheesy posts about the Paris Attacks but ask them about what's happening in Istanbul or Pakistan, and they're like 'what?'... and you can't help but think - People. Don't know. Shit. 

Even me, ranting about problems like lack of Asian representation in the media. Yeah, I get frustrated at people who use the cop-out justification 'Hollywood is a business'. They clearly recognise there's a wrongness in whitewashing, or white saviour tropes (when you explain it to them), but because they've never felt it from YOUR point of view, they feel no need to speak up the way I do. So their automatic subconscious response is to kind of dismiss the petitions and rants they see popping up on Facebook, because it just doesn't affect them.

Now. Imagine. Being a black person in America. The problems they're facing. My problems almost seems like a goddamn privilege compared to the shit THEY deal with, and the dismissiveness THEY have to fight and have been fighting since they were goddamn shipped to America as slaves.

Anyway. Adulting. It's fun.

Friday, 7 October 2016

When people tell me Hollywood whitewashing is a commercial necessity...

This is basically me repeating the same arguments that I've made in the past few years towards anybody who says that:

jameseparsonsWhat are your thoughts on the new live-action remake of cult sci-fi anime classic Ghost in the shell? Have you seen the very short teaser trailers? Think Scarlett is right as lead?#ghostintheshell #anime#scarlettjohansson #manga#ghostintheshellmovie #scifimovies#MinervaCentury #scifi #movies #films


cincity2404Many comments on YouTube and from my friends show that people are generally very unimpressed with the aesthetics of the teaser trailer. One of the biggest complaints is that this window scene is extremely bland and completely lacks depth of field, losing the sense of awe conveyed by the anime. Most people are scared that it will come off as a cheap remake ala the Last Air bender or Dragonball Z. At this point, I am beyond ranting about opportunities to cast more Asian actors, or the fact that the studio tried making Scarlett's face look more Asian with CGI. Now I just hope Scarlett does a good job and that the movie turns out well


  • dora_the_explorer80Love the look of it. Looks creepy and more importantly it spiked people's interest who have no idea what GiTS is. Having a movie with a +$170 budget and a niche story - you NEED a big name to able to sell it globally. Unfortunately only a handful of actresses can sell a movie nowadays. So Johansson was the right choice imo.
  • dora_the_explorer80@cincity2404 the studio tried CGI to alter extras/ people in the background appearance not Johansson's. You think that they paid $20million for a big start then they go and change her face? SJ's look is one of the keys for her success.
  • cincity2404@dora_the_explorer80wow. Please actually READ and make an empathetic attempt to understand what I say next. If by SJ's look being that she's basically a white person, then yes, she would be a 'key' to success. Superficial 'Financial' success. But are you seriously going to sit there and deny that in the film the Major actually looks more Asian as opposed to white? I know there is a debate about whether the Major's body is even Caucasian but that is beside the point, and nor is it an excuse. Here, there was an opportunity to cast someone with an Asian appearance and Hollywood took great lengths to avoid it. Us Asians-Americans or Asian-Australians will still have to be subject to the insulting defence of Hollywood's 'commercial reality'. For many other films, studios have bothered to hold world wide auditions to cast the right actors. If they didn't take that risk, we would not have Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in Harry Potter, who were unknowns with little to no previous acting experience. But suddenly, when it comes to Asians, Hollywood refuses to take the same risk. In maybe a decade, things may change. Yes, Hollywood is a business and they answer to consumer demand. And you know what? We're not going to take this bs anymore. Look at what happened to The Last Air bender. Dragonball Z. Even the new Bruce Lee biopic got fucked up. And we have a right to speak up about Ghost in the Shell precisely so Hollywood will not take the cop-out and circumlocutory justification of 'oh but casting an unkown Asian won't draw in audiences and make money'. Fuck that. I will virtually pistol-whip anyone who actually can't see how wrong that is. Do you have any Asian friends? Do you know what we've had to accept growing up? My friend and I, when we were young, would dream about dating some handsome actor or celebrity (e.g. Daniel Radcliffe). But in our ACTUAL subconscious dreams, we imagined ourselves as blonde white girls, as it became unthinkable to place us - as an Asian girl - in a scenario where we would be deemed attractive for the leading man, who would invariably also be a white guy. So don't give me bs about financial reality. This was and STILL is OUR reality.
  • cincity2404@dora_the_explorer80oh, and any quick googling of the CGI incident will tell you that sources very close to/within the studio were the ones who leaked its occurrence (and that it had been used on SJ). The Studio had to respond to this specific leak, and denied doing anything on SJ's face, yet admitted they did do it to background actors. How the fuck does this make it any better? The wrongness of it still stands. And I apologise to @jameseparsons for the cussing, but honestly, certain responses I and the entire Asian community have had to deal with have been, as you can imagine, infuriating.
  • dora_the_explorer80@cincity2404Harry Potter took zero chance. They casts all british all white leads. The book was already a massive hit when they started the movie. The same with the new Star Wars - cast a white british woman for the main character. They could have choose anyone but they didn't. And these are the biggest franchises in the world. I'm not questioning how you feel that wasn't my intention. This is the ugly truth unfortunately. People need to go out and support smaller movies with diverse cast. Until then...๐Ÿ˜” Also the Last Airbender and Dragonball Z was a piece of garbage that's why they bombed at the box office.
  • cincity2404@dora_the_explorer80well thank you for saying that. I appreciate it. We both admit that Hollywood movies are primarily in it for the business and I'm not going to force unreasonable expectations on the industry. I am a balanced person and it is why I acknowledge that the only reasonable way to get it to change is for us, as the audience and consumer, to demand change. This is why you and I should not just be like 'yeah ok financially it's the only way to work'. Or to take an otherwise complacent attitude. As your later comment illustrates, you also recognise that even what I think are 'risky' castings nowadays are still for white actors. At least Star Wars cast Boyega! Kudos to them cos we all saw the depressingly massive racist backlash/jokes on social media. Only when we start casting more non-white actors will 1. people get used to the idea and 2. actually have big name actors to cast in the first place!
  • cincity2404Big name non-white actors★
  • dora_the_explorer80@cincity2404 yes, Hollywood has been slow to catch up. American television has way more diversity for sure. But I have high hopes for Disney's new live action Mulan. It should give audiences / world a young talented asian actress. Just like Jungle Book found Neel Sethi. She could & should become a big star ⭐️! Known globally.
  • jameseparsons@cincity2404 and Dora thank you both for your own very personal and honest views about this film project. Sadly there can be many questionable issues with big films like this but yes positive change should happen with opinions put forward