Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.
On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.
On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?
On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.
Friday, September 29, 2006
She may not be beautiful, but the composition is. She is interacting with her shadow. The arc of her back. The languor in her eyes and posture. Utterly captivating.
5:49 am ]
Monday, September 25, 2006
"When I say architecture is neither here not there, what I mean is this: architecture is neither purely specific nor purely abstract, neither purely social nor purely formal, neither purely local nor purely global. Architecture, all architecture, is here and there, specific and abstract, social and formal, local and global. It is only a question of how and to what degree it attepts to enact this here and thereness, this specificity and abstraction, this socialness and formalness, this localness and globalness, in the work itself, in form and content...."
then proceed elaborations on
(on mimicry and dwelling)
"...architecture, and you, and I, are neither here nor there, but always here and there at the same time. After all, there it is, now, years hence, and somehow these words have managed to migrate...here, into your hands and your eyes, wherever and whenever in the world your hands and your eyes may be."
-Mark Rakatansky, Why architecture is neither here nor there
2:30 am ]
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I am sitting at my work desk reading a printout of the latest debate in the architecture scene- Design Intelligence (explanations in later posts). All my housemates (one German, one Icelander, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, one Chilean) are all bundled up in the German's room watching Juwon (correction-Ju-on). They finish, and my German housemate walks down to the living room where my workstation is. I ask him how the movie went.
"So la la."
It took a fraction of a second before the bubble of laughter got out of me. Oh, you mean "So, so lah."
It must be my Malaysian housemate who tried to teach him Manglish. Or the Singaporean who tried to teach Singlish. And when a German says it with utter German seriousness, colloquialism attains a new level.
Rate this article: So Lah Lah!
5:26 am ]
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Goodchristianboy, this blog, is about to enter ice age. Like the cold old days where snow was everywhere, extinct animals ruled the earth and people got frozen in blocks of ice, this blog shall enter an equally prehistoric phase of existence.
It shall be an existence where Fergus had no reign over this blog but a more fearsome creature altogether - an architect childhood friend of his called Jan.
In this ice age, Fergus enters a period of confinement where his daily routine will revolve around rehearsing with actors, making phonecalls to crew people and then going on set and shouting "cut!" in the middle of perfectly good takes. And while this change of weather takes Fergus away from Goodchristianboy, the blog will be overrun by his jaw-dropping fiend of ancient famy.
Jan is an architect and we've been friends since we were six. She has been so kind as to step in and blog here while I'm away, to feed you with her inane thoughts on inane things. She's the one person who reminds me that my blog is set out to be about "ideas" and not "events" so let's see how far she breaks those rules. She's wonderful and my only fear is that you'll be so entertained by her, you won't love me so much anymore when I return.
And so, to the buddy I call my "fellow critical thinker of the arts" (it's on her friendster testimony), run riot over this snowy wasteland. The blog is all yours. I shall return when the heat melts away my cubic icy encampment and inspect the carcass of your sabre-tooth tigress.
Labels: 00moo, housekeeping
4:49 pm ]
I'm dreaming of a quiet night in. No, i'm dreaming of many quiet nights in. Night after night after night that can be spent whiling my time away at home, doing all the things i like to do. i could be working on my comic strip, the thought of which is my chief channel of escapism in the midst of making a film. there are all these books that i have that i want to read, or books that i don't yet have that i want to read more. if i had quiet nights, i would read them. i've been lunching a lot with adrian and chris and if nothing else, eating with these guys reveals to me how few films and tv shows i've not seen this year. if i had night after night of quiet, i could catch up on all of those films.
but will i ever find those nights? i'm so intrinsically driven into projects and activity, i can already see myself going to a hundred and one places to do a hundred and one different things even after the film is cut. even where it's not film related, i think i'll propel myself into one form of engagement or another. it's always like that. but actually, i like being alone and doing my work best. i actually don't know why i get involved in so many things. i like to be alone and i like to work on my things. i wish i had amoebic qualities insofar as i could divide myself and lead two divergent lives - the first, a social maniac, God's little soldier in church, and the second, quiet homedweller, seldom heard and more seldom seen.
when the movie's done, i'm gonna force myself to take a holiday. i actually dream of holidays. but i also wake myself up too much.
1:04 am ]
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
This is Wu Tien. his Tien is spelled with an e, and he is one of few genuine grammarians i know. (for a subeditor, i know too few.) i met this guy while i was yet to fully appreciate his friendship, though that has been corrected in more recent years. you can count on wu tien. he is also quite a klutz with spatial matters, and parking his car, as this picture shows. his car was eventually extracted from the aforedisplayed awkward position via what i heard correctly as reversing and lifting the car at the same time.
Wu Tien is a true blue academically minded geek of the highest branding, and he can be easedropped describing books on the phone as "erudite". he owns a copy of fouccault's pendulum that is missing its last page: an equally eccentric friend of his ripped it out, but it doesn't faze wu tien because he's already memorised the last page of fouccault's pendulum.
Earlier today, he (again) began work in singapore and i suddenly feel like paying tribute to him. he hosted me and a ton of actors when i went to singapore to do casting for my film, and he brought me three times to eat the most incredible porridge, not just in singapore (because that might not be saying much) but just about anywhere that sells porridge. he is quite like that porridge. an old fashioned kickass guy who's got sting where there ought to be sting and comes in large servings. by servings, of course, i am referring to both his verbosity and unending number of wicked stories which he tells with said verbosity.
he's damn funny. and he's a damn great guy.
2:49 am ]
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
You know, it feels so good and so rewarding when this happens:
You've been working on the same product for months now, and many updates have gone through your hands. You open up new commentary and scan through it. All the judges names are in roman, all the spans are joined by ndashes, all the housestyle is in place because you took the trouble a few updates ago to go through the black stuff and fix it eventhough you didn't have time and you never have time.
And when you see some of that nice, clean copy and you remember exactly when you fixed that commblock, and you remember a night you spent in the office doing that, and you see it now all fixed, it's particularly rewarding. And then you know all you need to do is look at the new stuff. Cos it's your product. And your products all look good like that.
And then you feel so proud.
I don't feel proud when my boss' boss' boss' boss' boss comes from sydney to tell me i'm part of a larger structure or how much money we turn around and how many SMEs we're eating up internationally. i feel proud when i look at my commblocks and they reflect my image, my diligence or hard work. so i really, really, really don't want to sit in for any more of that corporate propaganda garbage, i'm so sick of it. please, boss' boss' boss' boss' boss, don't come down anymore. i just want to sit at my desk and work hard.
i'm just a simpleton like that.
Labels: defeat, happenings
5:00 pm ]
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
People teach their kids too much fear nowadays. so fine, there are tons of psychos out there who are trying to murder your 11-year-old, but when people mistake me for one of those psychos, i secretly feel insulted. especially if that person is the kid himself.
I was in the lift with this kid, chinese boy, about ten plus. just came back from school. i entered the lift with him, so he pressed level seven, which is my level. so i started a conversation with him.
Fergus: So you must be the one who lives next to me.
Kid: I live on that side (pointing at an indistinct direction).
Fergus: Ah, ok.
Lift door opens.
Fergus: So what's your name?
Fergus: Matthew. Hi, I'm Fergus.
I offer him my hand. He shakes it lightly.
And then, he begins to walk ahead of me like we're playing police and thief. step-step-step-stepstepstepstepstepstepstep. and before you know it, this kid, matthew - with a nice gospel name too - is plodding clumsily, unnaturally fast, to the grill gate one house from mine. i slowed down my step for his benefit, so he knew i had no intentions of throwing him into a gunny sack and selling him to the siamese mafia. all i wanna do is to make some friends out of my neighbours.Cue the theme song: "neeeighbours, should be there for one anooooother... that's when good neeeighbours become gooood friieeeeds...."
I went for it again just now. coming back from dinner, i ended up in a lift with three ladies from my floor, the three who live directly opposite me. they too struck my lucky number sleven before i had a go, so i knew they were the ones. as i got out of the lift, i started.
Fergus: Do you live opposite me?
Lady 1: Yes.
The rest plough ahead.
Fergus: I've never introduced myself. Hi, i'm Fergus.
I offer my hand. She shakes it.
Lady 1: Ni ke yi jiao wo Y. (ok, i'm kidding)
Lady 1: I'm Regine.
Lady 1: Regine.
Fergus: Oh. Virgine?
Lady 1: Regine.
Fergus: Ah. Regine. Nice to meet you. And you guys?
The other two had covered much ground while i was busy greeting the soft-voiced one. By now, they were giggling among themselves like a teenage girls. but these were 30something women. why would they be giggling at a 26 year old kid, by what must be their standards, who's just trying to be friendly?
Then it hits me. possibly, when i mistook Regine's name for Virgine, what came out of my mouth might have sounded like Virgin. at least, of course, to the untrained or uninitiated ear who may not have picked out the ~een sound from the ~in sound. dammit. another neighbour who might think i'm a deviant.
But i'd already gone so far. i walked up to the other two. they were polite.
Fergus: How about you guys?
Lady 2: Ng.
Fergus: Hi Ng.
Lady 3: Debbie*
Fergus: Hi Debbie. So it's Regine, Ng and Debbie. Is it just the three of you?
Lady 2: No, there's another one.
Fergus: Ah. cool.
*Debbie is not her name. i forget what it is. it's just what i think it sounded like.
We reach our doors and go in, perhaps never again to exchange words.
Living alone is really nice, and quietness is its number one commodity. but while being alone is nice, being lonely sometimes isn't. and sometimes, all you need to beat loneliness is to know the name of the person living next door. so to little matthew, regine, ng and notdebbie, sorry for scaring you shitless or giving you the tickles. i'm just a lonely boy.Cue the paul anka song: "lonely and bluuuuee. i'm all alooone. with nothin to doooo."
10:54 pm ]
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Wars are bad, right?
People get hurt, innocent lives are lost and nobody comes out a real winner. This is undoubtedly the current attitude towards war, but there was a time when wars were not morally condemned. Wars used to be good. Wars used to be fought without the media guilt-tripping everyone into thinking that it was the root of all evil. Wars are what got us our world today and when they happened, it used to be for glory, for honour, for protection and sovereignty. Today, the smallest skirmish is blown up on our tvs as horrific crimes against the sanctity of life and reasonable standards of human rights.
How did we get here? How did things change so much? My gut answer now says that Resnais Descartes is involved. Resnais Descartes? This dude? Well yes. This dude. When he hammered his dictum, cogito ergo sum
or I think therefore I am
, on the banner of enlightenment philosophy, he kickstarted a major shift that has lead to our skeptical attitudes to the battlefield.
Wars used to be seen through national eyes. People used to take to arms to defend nations, and it didn’t matter if people had to die, it was always for the greater good. It was always for the big narrative: the life and death of nations and kingdoms, and with that, ideologies, ways of life and hope for futures. These were the real players, not individuals making up an army but an armies, armies and armies. Fullstop.
But when Descartes came around and said I think therefore I am
, he stripped the entire meaning of existence down to the solo person’s solo thought. Cartesian philosophy says simply this: because i can think, i am meaningful. Countries don't think. Nations don't think. I think. I am. Are countries and nations and kingdoms "am"? Maybe not. One writer puts it better:“Descartes’s philosophical method led to a new conception of the human person. Descartes himself ended by defining the human being as a thinking substance and the human person as the autonomous rational human subject … In establishing the centrality of the human mind in this manner, Descartes set the agenda for philosophy for the next three hundred years.”
Grenz, Stanley E, A primer on postmodernism (Eerdmans, 1996), p 64.
If nations and kingdoms don't "am", do their interests matter? No. Whose interests matter? I. Mine. And yours. We are the autonomous rational human subjects.
Wars used to be fought by nameless, faceless armies. Now they are fought by sympathetic three-dimensional soldiers who cry and feel and fear. Well, now that you mention it, of course we want the war to stop. How can anyone support the continuation of a war when innocent helpless lives are killed, when those soldiers who sometimes get photographed carrying cute kittens and whatnot are slaughtered on the battleground? Stop the war! It’s too sad. Stop it now!
But some wars need to go on. Some nations need to fight and some nations need to defend themselves. Some wars are necessary and some wars are even righteous. And when war breaks out, maybe sometimes we should step back from all that media sentimentality and think about the larger picture before we shoot off and say it’s bad and not know how to defend it apart from saying “wars are just bad”. Who is "am"ing in your worldview? If nations and kingdoms didn't "am" before, do you think today we can live in the peace and comforts of our online-everything generation? Nobody likes the idea of conflict, but sometimes we need to think more multi-dimensionally about wars before we throw our hat into the peace bandwagon.
So the next time you hear a news channel or anyone condemn wars altogether, think of Descartes and a time when people saw wars differently. Then think about this: if how we see war changes over time, is our attitude towards it an issue of morality or fashion?
Labels: philosophy, society
12:16 am ]
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I'm having one of those strange days.
First, i do my routine stop at Adrian's blog
and i read this."For a change, I would like to meet someone who is actually living in their 'moment'. The moment where nothing in the past nor the future could compare."
Then, i try my luck with a Liverpool FC writer, Paul Tomkins
, and i get this."Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (the 19th Century Danish existentialist philosopher, not the promising Brondby reserve left-back) spoke about living in the moment: how we don't appreciate life while it's taking place; that we only fully understand or acknowlege the true significance of events when we look back – sometimes doing so years later, when we're old, and regret the lateness of our epiphanies."
And then, i decide to stop by Sivin Kit's blog
and the very first thing i read is this."Thanks Stephen Sheild for this great quote. "Here is what I think God is saying to each of us, 'Abandon your plans of escape. And Be where you are. '"- Kyle Lake (1972 - 2005)"
I think someone's trying to tell me something.
3:27 pm ]
Nobody likes to lose a champ. But we've all lost one.
I've just seen a few other blogs do this so in an act of global solidarity, let's pay homage to a first class tv entertainer and all-round great guy.
Take care while you're away, Steve. See ya in heaven.
2:36 pm ]
If Malaysia got invaded by some neighbouring country, say a fictitious enemy called Singonesia ... will you fight?
If you fight, will it be for the land? the people? the malaysian way of life? If you don't, is it because you're ready to live under someone else? ready to sing the anthem of another nation? or maybe national conflicts don't interest you. will you buckle down and live on or will you hatch a migratorial plan?
I think it'll be good if i joined the national reserves. not only will it teach me some discipline, i would be exercising my verbal patriotism. i could be proud of having been in the army. i could stand up tall and sing "tanah tumpahnya darahku" without feeling like i feel whenever i sing "Jesus, i will go to the ends of the earth for you".
But is the national reserves the answer? am i just trying to compensate for some kind of foreignness in me? the way i speak? the way i think? the books i read? my taste in things?
If Malaysia got invaded by some fictitious neighbouring enemy called Singonesia, i would fight - probably to my death, whether or not that death is down to heroism or sloppiness. i told david this morning that i'm quite happy to be the lay-soldier who goes to war under the spell of nationalistic indoctrination, as long as i don't think too much about it. problem is, i'll start to think about it.
Labels: identity, society
9:39 am ]
Friday, September 01, 2006
oh look, i'm one second older ... oh look, i'm one second older ... oh look, i'm one second older ...
Labels: growing old
3:27 pm ]