A Reminder of What We Truly Want

Sometimes we need to remember what we’re all here for, we need a reminder or a nudge in the right direction, especially when times are tough and darkness seeps around our pupils.

We’re here to make the world a better place for each other and for those who will come after. Or at the very least, not make it worse for your fellow human.

So let’s create a better world together, one step at a time!

And not let fear creep into our minds and poison our hearts.

It’s probably true that there are some people out there who just want to see the world burn, but those people just need to be kicked into an arson hole where they can simmer for all eternity.

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The One-Eyed Beast Watches

The One-Eyed Beast

The one-eyed beast shines upon me from its perch beyond the clouds, its solitary cry ringing within my hollow cranium, the voices of a thousand wailing teenagers echoing like metal in a spinning barrel, endlessly turning and ringing and sounding out across the galaxies of forgotten times, making me crave the simple silence and a swift end.

An end to the intolerable rise of the tides within my temples when I hear the half-arsed murmur of a lacklustre human, a zombie with no will of its own but an undying hunger for pills and processed junk food. An end to the meaningless screeches of the bourgeoisie, trying to fill their fat pockets with breadcrumbs of the pigs that tower above them, resigned to their impotent destiny, powerless to change their own fates.

With a sword I shall end it all, put an end to these soulless ghouls with a satisfying stab through the midriff, muddying my blade in foul mists of coagulated humour. And not the mirthful kind.

Ever deeper I wade into the sea of rotting carcasses, bodies piling up all around me as blurred, unseen faces of ex-people pass left and right, tumble and spill beneath my blade. This never-ending torrent is but a test, a test of wit and will, for the undead can never truly harm me unless I let them, unless I let them inside my mind and let their black greed and pessimism infect my soul.

My fortitude and forebears protect me, allowing me to swing my bastard sword again and again, keeping the enemy at bay. Offense is the best defense, as is oft observed, and by defeating these beasts I am not only protecting myself, but the days of the other living.

And yet these mindless marching zombies do not appear to mean me any harm. They appear to be shambling beyond my bitter frame, despite the harm I am bestowing upon their brethren, lurching towards an unseen ledge like the lemmings of legend that rush over to their doom (it’s a myth, by the way). I begin to question my quest, my bloodthirsty hacking journey. What do they really want? Where are they marching?

Perhaps they are merely following a road laid down for them. Perhaps they are all in my mind…

Who really knows where the roads in our mind will lead us?

It is a contorted, distorted road that I walk, one with more twists and turns than life itself, this weathered imaginary flagstone path that I follow. Much like the foul beings that march all around me, I have been conditioned to follow the path, condemned to stick to the safe passage crafted by those that came before me for all eternity.

But then I realise that within my own mental realm I am free, I am imagine a road of my own, a path less travelled, or many forks snaking away into the abyss that the likes of man (and woman) knows not!

How do I access this lofty world of freedom where I can go wherever I want and be whoever I want to be? Where dreams can be dreams and be truly imaginarily explored and fulfilled?

I must escape the undead hordes, release myself from their grimy clutches, not just on my figurative physical form, but also on my mind. Their mind-numbing march is not my own, their misdirection is their own folly and I choose not to walk the murky, trodden path that their decomposing feet trample.

I must find my own freedom and break free of these ethereal shackles, fiery brands and twisted daggers scorched upon my wrinkled dome. I want to break away, I want to break free.

And I’ve realised running is the best way to free my mind, to free the spirit. Dashing out from between these sedentary lumbering corpses with their guts hanging out of their tattered apparel.

The one-eyed beast watches over me as my feet pound the pavement beneath its gentle light, beneath the towers of stone and sand built by man, beneath a steely sky that glows from within, a fire in its belly that never sleeps.

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Strings of the Past

Do you like acquiring new things, keeping them, stashing them away like a little squirrel furiously caching acorns?

Do you feel the rush when you find the perfect place to store that handy little morsel you managed to salvage from the wreckage of the parking lot of your shopping trip? Do you enjoy playfully patting it to sleep in its new home and staring longingly as you close the cabinet, sealing your new friend away for eternal slumber, never to be seen again until the world calls for it, summons it by its very name?

Perhaps you enjoy…hoarding?

Do you feel personally attacked? Don’t worry, this isn’t an attack. I’m personally something of a hoarder at heart, although I know a few people that could certainly give me a run for my money.

There’s something of a line between saving up for a rainy day and hoarding the heck out of your humble home, but regardless the joy of acquiring new materials and toys to call your own is undeniable. And there’s more to it than that.

I just had a thought – when we squirrel things away for future use, no matter how practical it is, we develop an attachment to that thing on some level. We deem it to have some form of value, even if the value is not immediately apparent or obvious to others (or even ourselves).

And when we develop an attachment to something, we tie a little strand of our mind and emotions to it, so wherever we go there is a string we keep attached to the back of our mind for us to yank back into action should the need arise.

However, as we bring in more and more materials and goods and gewgaws to our neat little nest, we create more and more strings, many a strand to our mighty stash as it swells and grows, like our pride as we gaze upon our treasure trove.

And wherever we go, those strings follow us, give us a sense of pride and accomplishment, a sort of satisfaction that we are fulfilled and moving up in the world, climbing upon our pile of material achievements, one trinket at a time.

Beware the strings of the past.

Here’s the thing: perhaps we might use those objects and bring them back into the land of the living at some point. Perhaps we won’t. If we never touch or look at those objects, they basically becomes items of our past, objects that used to bring us joy but now leave a dull feeling of nothingness. And living like that is akin to living in the past.

Not akin to – it is living in the past. Living vicariously through the lives of our objects past. And every time we come across them items of our past, we can’t bear to be rid of them, because we developed a past attachment, and we tell ourselves that these objects are still of value, still of use to us, if not now then at some point in the future.

So we are living in the past, for our future. Never in the present.

And so we continue to search and to hunt and to find new things to bring us that brief joy, that brief rush, more retail therapy, more things to fill our homes with and to bring us closer to…what exactly? Fulfillment? Fully filled to the brim, for sure.

Is it wrong to want to acquire things, especially useful or pretty things? Useful pretty things?

Well, certainly not. Isn’t that part of the human experience?

We obtain objects through our travels that mean something to us. Maybe because they mark a momentous event in our lives. Maybe because they were given to us by someone we cared about. Maybe because they remind us of someone we used to be.

So we are living in the past, for our future. Never in the present.

These objects have power. They all have a power over us, whether big or small. They tug at the strings in the back of our minds, summoning the memories and emotions that we associate with these objects.

And it is certainly not wrong to want to cling to those things that matter, those memoirs of a life well lived, of the journeys we have been on.

Then why are there orders and doctrines that dictate a life devoid of attachment? The Jedi Order certainly deems it so, and yet they all run around with throbbing tools attached to their waists.

I guess we have to ask why do people hoard?

I imagine hoarding brings a sense of achievement, a sense of satisfaction like that of a magpie finding fresh fleshy shiny things to adorn its nest with, to beautify its interior and bolster its external walls. Hoarding is a form of control over an otherwise uncontrollable world of crazy people and crazy events and crazy concepts of conquest.

Should our attachment be solely to living objects then? Is that healthier? Does it prevent the hoarding mentality? Does it give us a better sense of control in a world where most people feel their sense of control slipping between their buttery fingers?

Hoarding is basically living in the past, but with objects. Letting past presents tear you away from the present, letting worn out weapons weigh you down, letting anchors drag you back into the undertow, deep below the surface where no one else can reach you.

Often we don’t realise it as we accumulate stuff that we don’t need and don’t use, and we get to the point where we have to force ourselves to do things or use things so as not to allow them to go to waste. Especially when we acquire things that have an expiry date.

Yes, things in the freezer still go bad, mum.

I swear everyone has the misconception that things in the freezer will last forever. Or at least, out of sight out of mind.

This is the sort of old baggage that doesn’t just make you mentally sick, but has the potential to make you physically ill as well.

I’d like to think I’ve improved from my hoarding ways, like to think I’ve cleaned myself up and sobered up. But perhaps I’ve just gotten better at shuffling things around, or better at pretending to utilise the unwilling objects I’ve lugged home.

I guess it’s good to have a balance, to tether between being amply stocked and resourceful, and excessively cluttered to the point of being unproductive. I don’t have a three step plan to declutter your life, to Marie Kondo-ing your world. You can go check out Marie’s Kondo for that.

The irony is not lost on me

Just take small steps, one thing at a time, one dime a day.

You can do it.

Start snipping those strings of the past.

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An Age Old Message

This morning I was browsing Reddit and came across this 80’s movie called They Live by John Carpenter. Although one would assume it would be a relatively dated film, it contains an age old message that is surprisingly relevant to today’s modern society.

I had never heard of the film up until today, so I suppose this was not some culturally significant or aesthetically outstanding movie, albeit with a slight cult following.

Or maybe people just don’t want to be woke.

There is a famous scene in the film where the protagonist first puts on a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see the subliminal messaging that is prevalent in all our media, with luridly straightforward messages like Obey and Reproduce!

They Live (1988) dir. John Carpenter | BOSTON HASSLE

I found it rather apt and timely considering our modern generation still has a screen addiction, albeit a slightly smaller, more compact one. We take comfort in anonymity and virtual validation, find pleasure in mind-numbing experiences through our eyes and ears in the safety of our homes.

And so we should all stay home and remain the obedient, conforming consumers, rendering our service for the good of society and reproducing to continue contributing cogs to the machine.

Thank you for your attention. That is all.

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An Afternoon With An Olive-Backed Sunbird

Today I saw an olive-backed sunbird!

Olive-backed Sunbird Birds Malaysia
This little dude! (Photo credit: Internet)

It was flitting and hopping about alone right outside my window as the rain gently gilded the green boughs of my pink bird flower plant.

And so I stood there and admired it meticulously going from flower to flower, bird poking bird flower in some strange silent pantomime.

Didn’t have my phone on me, and because I didn’t want to spook it and I didn’t wish to miss a moment of it, I stood there for what felt like an hour just gazing out at the energetic little warbler. So I didn’t take any photos, just the memories in my mind of that magical moment in time when I came close to feeling like some Disney princess.

And I was perfectly fine with it.

Listening to the little passerine let out a few chirps and tweets, I wondered what Mr. Trump was up to these days. Then it was back to work.

Here’s the pink bird flower plant I mentioned, and a brief shot of the rain today:

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The Consumer Is Always Right

Do you consider yourself a consumer? A healthy, wholesome consumer?

Aren’t we all? All our lives we are taught to be jolly, obedient consumers, fulfilling our duties and our every need with the necessary stuff, the good things in life. Supporting our local companies and stimulating our national economy and making the world go round.

Well, I don’t want to be a consumer all my life.

I mean, of course part and parcel of living in a humankind society requires interactions of a fiscal nature, requires transactions above the basic social exchanges. There requires an exchange of money and goods and services. A comfy capitalism society.

But what about creating, producing, adding value?

Isn’t that what our jobs are for? Contributing and creating value for society? Let me ask you a simple question: do you feel your job directly contributes to adding value to another person’s life?

In our modern day and age, sometimes that feeling of contributing to our fellow human, to our society becomes blurred in bar charts and graphs, beautiful spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. We see numbers instead of names, KPI and targets instead of people.

What does that have to do with being a consumer?

Well, when we’re in the mindset of the consumer, we only see what we can get out of someone or something, what’s in it for us. We focus on the boons and benefits and how does this further my goal of a lifelong dream of hedonism and pleasure?

We become laidback and languid, waiting for the world to pander to us, to provide us with sustenance and entertainment at our beck and call. All we have to do is wave our credit cards and phones, and voila – we have it all instantly! Or if it’s not instant, we get mad.

In a way, consumerism promotes self-centeredness and materialism. I mean, that much is obvious, but what about the effects of it on the rest of our outlook on life? Is it the reason we have become so entitled, so self-righteous? Because we believe the adage that the “customer is always right”? Customer, consumer – they’re basically the same thing.

I’m not saying that we should deny all forms of consumerism; I’m just saying we should create more, inject more of ourselves and our gifts and our craft into our lives and our work.

People often lament about their lack of talent or God-given gifts, but I believe that if you look long and hard you will find many things that you can do well or have a knack for, if only you gave it a good hard try. Or maybe two or three.

Deep down we all have a yearning to do something good with our lives, do something noteworthy, something memorable. We yearn to create something or contribute in a meaningful way to the people around us. And perhaps you disagree with me, but that’s alright, because at least you’re thinking. Keep it up!

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Twilight Tunes & Nighttime Rap

What, now in the nighttime?
When the day is past prime?
Sneaking away like a crime
Just getting into my pasttime
As the corporate ladder we climb
Dragging us through mud and slime
And you wonder where all the time
Has come and gone…
Nah to truly rap you gotta rhyme.

And all our days we slave away
So that our fears we can allay
But as we sleep our minds betray
Our well-laid plans begin to decay
Hurts and shame our heads replay
Angry things that we can’t unsay
Our parent’s dreams we must obey
No this ain’t no jolly reggae
It’s all just another workday.

As my aircon gently blows
The tropical air swirls and slows
And mosquitoes poke their nose
In places where anything goes
Deep down we all know
That like our wabi-sabi shows
And as our ice creams unfroze
We just want to wiggle our toes
And forget tomorrow’s throes.

Ok, maybe some of this rap rhymes.

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Dear Fishball

Sometimes you’ll see something on the internet, about a person you don’t know, by a person you don’t know, and it stirs you to action.

fishball malaysia sad condolences

It may not mean much, but is human connection through the interwebs, through electrical impulses under the ocean (not unlike the electrical impulses to our brains) not equivalent to some level of real human connection?

Anyway, Fishball – here is a poem for you:

There are some things that words cannot mend
Some things for which tears you may expend
And through your art messages you send
Your story and feelings carefully you tend
I feel so much that is unspoken
Across the internet on this end
From a fellow Malaysian to another
Only my heartfelt condolences I can extend

I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Sam’s Copywriting Sample

Whether you’re looking for a casual clause, professional prose or a humourous haiku, look no further! For starters, I can tell when to use “your” and “you’re”. 

Generally most of my clients look for something to put a snooze in their reader’s step with standard bombastic buzzwords and robust compositions to set themselves apart from the riffraff and their commoner colloquialisms, with extended expositions and circuitous sentences that have more secondary subplots than a Saturday afternoon soap opera. Hold up, nobody watches television anymore! 

Oh but I digress, 
Let’s talk about you and just
What you need right now. 

I put the “Sam” in “Copywriting Sample”.

Perhaps I could use a better buzzword for the tagline.

I put the “Sam” in “Copywriting Samurai”!

And just what is Samshu?

三燒? Seems to be an antiquated term for Chinese rice wine.

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