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.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
THE CITY I HATE
Jin: Its such an irony fergus. Me a KLite not wanting to stay in KL. You a johorian likes KL lifestyle so much. Why ah?
Fergus: No. I hate kl. I hate it to the bone.
Jin: Then why are you still here? Answer me.
Fergus: I can't answer you. I dunno how.
Jin: :) You confused yourself. Everybody wants to come to KL. I wonder whats so good here.
yeah. what's so good here anyway? not the roads, not the buildings, not the pace, not the cars, not the noise, not the food either. why do we all come here?
and if kl sucks so bad, why the hell am i still here? moaning and moping about it every day? gosh, i should just stop being such a miserable bastard and make some decisions in my life. if it's city life that i hate then maybe i should start being honest about it and actually turn my back on it. cut it all off once and for all and start a new life where my delusional head thinks will make me happy.
but i won't. i'm not brave enough. and i don't know if i'll ever be brave enough to live that kind of life that i keep daydreaming about.
i'm just chicken. a boy with lots of dreams and none of the balls to back them up.
the movie? didn't i do the movie?
this year, i learned the difference between courage and bravado. going out there and making a movie because you dreamt it can be brave. but it can also be bravado.
but making a movie about how cruel the city is, and still live in it, and mope about it, now that... that's a 21-piece kfc barrel full of chickenshit.
Labels: defeat, dialogue
6:14 pm ]
Monday, March 26, 2007
THE MALAYSIAN DREAMI'm all lost in the supermarket
. I can no longer shop happily
- The Clash
That's The Clash critiqueing the culture of consumerism and loneliness. shopping for a life can be fun when you start out. the world is a blank page for you to write on. but after a while, it gets tedious. you realise that the world is not really a blank page, but more like a multiple choice paper. and all the freeform ideas you have don't really fit into the templates for an urban life.
the malaysian dream. what would i do for it?
see, if that were a hyphothetical question, i'd be in good hands. but it's not. and essentially what i'm going through now is the phase where i count the cost of the malaysian dream and consider if it's something i really want to add to my cart. i don't know how they marketed the malaysian dream to you. to me, it's a condo, two japanese cars, a wife and 2.5 kids, a college fund and some investments tucked away somewhere. it's the life that everyone seems to want. everyone except me.
i've seen enough condos to know that after a while, they all start looking the same. i've seen enough japanese cars to know that they're all approximations of each other. and i've met enough young families to know that all of them are chasing after the same pie in the sky, wife and kids and dog all in tow.
why would i want something like that?
security? camaraderie? the part of me that actually wants it, is it responding to some intrinsic need for these things or is it just years of social programming? picket fences are only nice if you know what picket fences mean. until then, they're just a bunch of white sticks. so why am i so torn between buying into this malaysian dream and the opposite - living a life of sheer abandon, anarchic and impulsive, unshackled, adventurous and free?
have you ever met a guy who had pre-wedding jitters eventhough he wasn't about to get married? yeah, that's what it feels like. i always say that a man isn't ready to marry until he experiences pre-wedding jitters because it's only in pre-wedding jitters that a man properly considers the absolute finality and fullness of his commitment to the girl he's picked. and after considering it fully, and going ahead with it, you know he's in good hands, cos he's counted the cost.
the same thing stands before me. this looming, constraining life of rigid routine that i might grow to love one day, this arduously mundane back-and-forth populated with cute lovable loved-ones, this repetitive, self-sacrificing, self-controlled tedium, this boredom, this... this... normalcy.
Labels: growing old, melancholy
9:09 am ]
Monday, March 19, 2007
we went to eat kari chicken today. it was fun. we talked about nonsense. and the tea was too light when i poured it out. the curry was redder than usual. and the yao char kuai wasn't warm and wasn't soft. but we laughed a lot. and somewhere in the middle of lunch, though i didn't say it, i wondered if we would get together and do something like this when we all grew older. on the way back to the office, we talked about holidays. and i wondered if we would ever all go on a holiday together. it's weird. when silly lunches make you think about the rest of your life.
Labels: dialogue, friendship
3:11 pm ]
THE SURF DREAM
Over this weekend, i met a guy who was a diver. his name was alan and he told me tons of diving stories, about aquatic life, all the things that's bitten him, all the scary fish he's seen, and all the great and wonderful times he's had 20 metres underwater.
that got me thinking... earlier this year, i said that one of the 207 things i wanted to achieve in 2007 was to learn how to surf.
now i'm thinking of a weekend with some friends by the beach with a surfboard, evenings staring out into the sun, and when the waves come in, we ride out. we can drink at the beach and sit in the sand for hours. crash into a chalet and wake up in the morning to head out to the water again. one day, i will make that happen. one day, i will get some surfing lessons, get myself in shape, get myself swimming better and really go make that happen. i don't even know why, of all the more aquatic, slightly more extreme sports, it was surfing that got me. i look at surfers and i think it must be such a nice life. and while i know that, like the waves on which they ride, the whole thing is extremely momentary, today i long for that kind of momentary joy.
i wanna be able to do what alan did - meet someone new and have a story to tell. to be able to say i held it off till one day, i realised that life was too short, and so i took five days of leave, headed out to the coast and did it. i don't know if i'll ever do it. my parents just came back from new zealand and they watched people bungee jump. with some people, you can always count on them doing it. with me, i dunno sometimes if it's all a lot of hot air. maybe i'll never do it. maybe that's all i am sometimes - a daydreamer with a blog.
2:31 pm ]
Friday, March 16, 2007
"Change is the only constant lah!", charlotte said as i quietly contemplated news of one of my favourite editors leaving the office in sydney.
"I can't live in a life like that. you know", i said back to her. "i can't live in a life where everything keeps changing".
i just can't. it saddens me too much to consider a life that is constantly in flux, forever renewing, eternally pursuing the next better thing. why do we do that? keep changing.
i'm really happy for my editor in sydney. she's getting what looks like a really ace job. and fair game to anyone who's getting good gigs lined up for them. some people will say that i've got a pretty good gig lined up myself, and that'd be true. but i just don't take to change so well after all. a few weeks ago, adrian asked me if i was someone who took to change well. at that time, i told him i get excited with change. and while that is true, i can't shake off this insecurity that's tailing me everywhere now that what looked like my golden season in my present office seems to have come to an end.
my lunch squad is dissolving. my favourite product was axed. i've changed seats so many times and i don't know anyone's face in this office anymore. some days i think i'm doing okay but if i really face up to it, i think i can say for certain that my happiest days in this office are behind me now. maybe another chapter has closed and i'm just not dealing with the fact that i'm smack in page two of the next storyline. maybe i'm mistaken in my assurance of where i think i am. people around me are moving on.
why am i still here?
when will i pick my bags up and get out of this one, very long airport holiday? you know when you're in transit, the airport bookstores become your best friend. there's something familiar in all bookstores: road maps, travel guide books, coffee table pictorials... there's something reassuring about seeing all these same things no matter which airport bookstore in whatever country you're in.
but my transit is not in an airport and there is no bookstore with all that familiar paraphernalia to remind me that some things always stay the same.
Labels: growing old, identity, melancholy
1:48 pm ]
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
It's that time of the year again. Late enough so your vision is clouded by the fog of cynicism, but early enough to look at the rest of the year and reassess what you want to fill it with. for me, this means dreaming of a holiday. and today, i wanna go to the westernfront.
i wanna go and be alone in the desert. i wanna see the red earth and yellow rocks and all their purple skies at sunset. i wanna set camp and barbequeue wild meat like they do in the pictures. you know those pictures? those old westerns. rocky mountain westerns.
i want to smell the sand and kick the dust at my feet. i want to squint in the sun and drink out of those bottles. i'll have a horse named whiskey and a ten gallon hat. we'd ride all day into town where i saddle into a saloon and chat up naive redneck girls whose fathers keep shotguns under the counter. i'd make them laugh and leave before anyone starts any shit. and in the evenings, i'll stare at the desert and wonder what kind of life lies beyond the rocky plain.
a city. a job. a girl.
i'd lower my hat and sleep by the fire. the moon looks so beautiful in the desert.
Labels: dreams, melancholy
1:37 pm ]
Monday, March 12, 2007
300: FATHER OF ALL TITANS 300 has to be the most raw, limb-chomping depiction of historical/mythical epic battles to ever grace the cinema, and get this - it doesn't even try to be epic. gone are the sweeping shots of tens of thousands clashing in some poetic war, 300 has no intentions of serving up that drivel. Instead, what you get is the harsh collission of bodies and steel in a battle for honour so brutal, it makes 2000's Gladiator look like puppies falling over each other on a flower patch.
Gone also are bronze men with sunsilk hair in skirts, engaging in intricately choreographed swordplay while exchanging smartalec jibes. the horribly gay attempts at Greek history - Troy and Alexander - while possibly accurate (300's King Leonidas calls the Athenians boy lovers) just didn't cut it when juxtaposed with brute machoism. 300 solves that by giving you a bunch of blokes so bent on decapitation, there is barely any room nor time to breathe, or speak, much less exude wit and sexuality.
Brute carnage. Carcasses stacked up in walls. Intelligence. Passion. Raw violence and fiery patriotism. And this is just the 300 Spartans. A hero is only as heroic as his villain is villaneous. And what better villain than the self-professed King-God Xerxes himself. Xerxes is the Persian king found in your thrusty bible in narratives circa ezra, and in 300, he is seen in his full opulence, boasting a brilliant throne enamoured with lions and phoenixes, carried by a sea of slaves. Xerxes himself is adorned in the full campness of apparent immorality - there are traces of all sorts of moral vices surrounding this guy, from lurid dancers to witchcraft and animalism - here's a villain so corrupt, so gross, so dirty, it will make anyone, much less a Spartan king, look like a right-wing conservative with a mission to clean up the filth. xerxes' personal bodyguards is a troop of masked leporous monsters and there are a few heroes in their ranks too - most of them semi-human mistakes of nature, these freaks are gathered from the "darkest corners of his Persian empire" to show the Spartans that Xerxes can.
But the Spartans are the Spartans - bred for war, they take anything in their stride - from massive elephants to magicians to a whole sky filled with arrows. These Spartans are almost non-human themselves in their unquenchable zeal to defend their nation's freedom. meanwhile, the movie flits from the battleground to the dirty politicking going on in the background as Leonidas' queen attempts to get the whole might of the Spartan army unleashed by a superstitious and corrupt senate.
300 is the war movie to end all war movies. when i said earlier that it is epic without trying too hard to be it, i meant that it manages to show such a big heart, such a large courage, and so much passion for their cause without resorting to the giant widescreen shots of big battles that have become so common in movies of the genre, it's also become so tame. director zack snyder has opted to keep our eyes in the thick of the carnage, preferring to dish us torn-up limbs rather than seas of soldiers melding. for this, snyder deserves credit - not only for sticking true to the ethos of the frank miller graphic novel that preceded the movie, but also for resisting the urge to play the game on the same terms as larger flicks like LOTR. and by so doing, snyder succeeds in dipping the viewer's eyes into the bloodsoaked grounds and bring the brutality much closer to home.
so if you're tired of epic movies that unneccessarily exaggerate heroism for only a moment's sake, if you're tired of super goodlooking godlike actors with their hair all in place when they fight, if you're tired of wimpy losers pretending to be toughmen, and if you're tired of sensitive caring soldiers who spend equal amounts of time concerned about puppydog emotions as they spend executing enemies, then 300 is that angry, out-and-out feet-stoping, throat-roaring cut-their-heads-off father of all titans movie that will remind you that killers kill, soldiers soldier and bloodthirsty badass heroes give the enemy nothing but take from them everything.
Labels: arts, gender
2:13 pm ]
Thursday, March 08, 2007
HENCEFORTH I SHALL BE CALLED DIVITAE VOCIFEROR
Eevon: wah! there's this bird in the book. it's job is to save people at the nick of time and it's called Deus Ex Machina (that's is professional name!) how cool is this book!!? And I'm only 100 pagees into it.
: YA MAN. deus ex machina. shit, why da hell can't i have a cool latin name like that?
maybe i should give myself one.
Eevon: i gave you one already wat.
what's my latin name?
i downa! dowan! Henceforth, i shall be known as Vorax impenetrabiilis
: gluttuneous and impenetrable
but cannot. you'll no longer live up to that name.Fergus
: ok. so i need a new name
Fergus: Divitae vociferor
: wealthy shouter
Why can't we all have cool sounding latin names? i'm not really satisfied with what my new label means, but i think it sounds real fine. i mean, chinese names don't make people sound important. you want important sounding names, it's gotta be latin. heck, not just important, these names make you sound like some kind of deified creature or some giant monster or something. and you tell me, who doesn't want to sound like a giant monster?
Labels: dialogue, eccentricism
3:51 pm ]
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
CREATURES OF STRANGE HABITS
some people are creatures of habit. some people are just creatures.
i'm a creature of strange waking hours. i've done all the weirdshit hours in the office you can think of. twice, i stayed overnight in the office and showered circa three (in the morning). i've returned to the office at midnight after cell and i've sent a friend home at night near cyberjaya and decided, what da heck, i'll just go into office now instead of tomorrow morning.
and so today i showed up at six in the morning, having driven out at 5.30am with adrian, a creature of normative habits. the culprit was a european cup tie between liverpool and barcelona, and as pleased as i am that adrian got the version of happy driver 1.0 at the end of the game, i'm even happier to have achieved what seemed like the unachievable: to break the routine of a creature of habit.
i grew up doing all these weirshit hours, and i say that with the full measure of loving as i would if i were talking about puppies prancing in meadows. i remember staying up and piecing jigsaw puzzles with ernest. those were fun days. we would finish the puzzle and leave the finished thing lying around for our parents to see when they wake up in the morning. other kids didn't get to do these things. other kids had bedtimes. like i said. some people are just creatures with strange habits.
Labels: happenings, identity
11:41 am ]
Monday, March 05, 2007
I'm gonna lay off the misery because all i've been recently is a miserable git. and my life really isn't so bad so i'll just knock it off. and so, in its place, something completely menial.HOW DO YOU SEDUCE?
I was in a conversation recently about seduction. and the question going round was "what will you do if you want to seduce someone?" it's a valid question. some people will dress a certain way, some will turn on certain charms, and others might even go splash the cash. if nothing else, knowing your modus operandi helps you know when you're unconsciously trying to spin some chick when you're not supposed to.
"I will turn on the geek", that's what i said. i'll find something in the conversation and geekify myself over it, in a supposedly hip display of inane expertise. after all, everyone likes inane expertise, right? well, maybe not. nonetheless...
i think i can be a geek over some aspects of music, like the beatles, britpop, and sixties. i'm even better at film - and i think i can hold up pretty well on almost any genre or film movement since the Lumieres. but what i think i'm best with is world cup history. there ain't nothing like world cup history for me, and i recently also told my friends that i'll take on anyone who's watched the world cup from 1966 onwards.
actually, i doubt my seduction strategies will yield much. who da heck turns to the legendary 4-3 1970 semi-final between Italy and Germany when he wants to seduce a girl? well, granted i've no business seducing anyone right about now (or, like, whenever), i don't think my ridiculous approach to social allurement is gonna get tested very much.
"oh, but i know this girl who knows her music, and she knows her films, and she's really
into football", one of them said.
then you better keep her far from me.
Labels: gender, identity
11:26 am ]
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Do you remember when you learn new things?
i remember learning a figure of speech when i was young. someone once called me the black sheep of my family. i didn’t know what it meant, so i went to find out. no prizes for guessing how i felt when i found out. man, i was just a child.
all my life since then, i’ve lived with that black sheep complex. i went on to become the most problematic one in school, and my friends turned out to be the kind mothers got a bad vibe about. at home, i became notorious for breaking things, not taking initiative with housework and generally being an irresponsible boy. and though they’ll deny it today, i remember my parents saying they were afraid that if any of their kids were to end up as a “bad hat”, it was me. as if i needed to underline my credentials further, i went and became a christian and came home toting my exclusive God. what an asshole.
maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. you know, tell a 9-year-old he’s the black sheep of his family and sit back and see how that millstone around his neck weighs him down by the time he hits 27.
i came home from work yesterday and fell asleep. i woke up writhing in bed, slamming myself against the wall and sobbing my eyes out.
why do they say these things to me? where were you? why did you let them say these things to me? i was just a child. i’m not a black sheep.
i’m your little white sheep.
i’m your little white sheep.
Labels: defeat, identity
9:50 am ]
Thursday, March 01, 2007
SHAME AND FAILURE
I used to tell my dad, "don't look at them. look at me". he likes to dig up the spanish inquisition and cruel missionaries to discredit christianity. not knowing how to point him to Christ at the time, i pointed him to myself. little did i realise the insurpassable hurdle i placed before him, nor the unbearable millstone i placed on myself.
for better or worse, this CNY put the spotlight on one thing in my life - my gross failure to be a contributing member of my family. i've been a shameful example of what a christian is like, and for that, i don't think i know how to even call myself one in front of them. it is not the Christ of my faith that i am ashamed of, it is myself.
the irresponsible thing for me to do now would be to draw even closer to my adoptive family - the church - and comfort myself with convenient truths, like how God's love cannot be earned by good, responsible conduct. and i could very well balm myself with that kind of unconditional love but no... the real cost of my christianity demands more from me than escapism. it demands that i reimmerse in my family and start being a functioning cog in my earthly father's house.
in the meantime, i just feel heavy. my dad doesn't need the spanish inquisition or cruel missionaries anymore. he's got a boy who discredits christianity all by himself.
Labels: defeat, identity
10:45 am ]