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:
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
Do you consider yourself a modern citizen in a modern world?
Enlightened and elevated above the base thoughts and needs of our carnal progenitors? No longer slaves to our lowly instincts and vices and shortfalls of our ancestors?
Were you brought up to believe that you could do anything, achieve anything in life, as long as you put all your heart and soul into it? You could live your childhood dreams, be whoever you choose to be, do what you love for the rest of your life?
And then you wake up twenty years later, groggy, alone, an electronic device dictating your life, your every waking and sleeping moment. Having spent the majority of your life lying on your sides or studying something you were only mildly interested in. And then your basic instincts kick in, creep into the back of your mind – you need to eat, you need to drink, you need to get laid.
Those around you do not see your plight. Day after day your parents and relatives inquire about your marital status, or if you’ve had the good fortune to shack up with someone permanently then when the 贵子 are going to arrive.
Your friends are “moving on” with their lives, most pairing up into units to continue on the evolutionary necessities and satisfy some societal requirement, signing the contract everyone craves, ticking off the big box of life, preparing to tick the next big item.
When will you tick off the big box of life?
Which one, you ask?
Are there that many to choose from?
And so we toil and slave, and if we’re lucky not so hard because our parents or predecessors saved up some for us. And we continue our hunt – our hunt for meaning, for purpose, for life.
We put our hearts and souls into our careers, into creating things of value, of meaning, into keeping our bodies healthy and fit. All by our own choice, our own cleverness, staving away the primal instincts that gnaw at our minds, either from sheer will or fear of rejection.
But at the end of it, we always come back to the same things: continuing on the family name, the bloodline, under the guise of finding happiness, achieving success.
Of course one cannot deny that happiness is intimately tied to interpersonal relationships of some spread or depth, being the deeply social creatures that we are.
But we have overcome that, have we not?
We are intelligent, able to control our urges, our innermost instincts with rational, logical reasoning!
We can overcome widescale devastation, largely initiated by our own hands, but still avert physical crises through reasoning and communication. We avoid nuclear annihilation, natural disasters, global pandemics with the power of logic and science!
And it’s true, we have adapted and conquered and overcome. And in the madness and chaos, we have sought out our clarity; in our desperate isolation, we have learned the meaning of togetherness; in the darkness we have learned to treasure the light.
And yet, as adversity unites us, as we fight illness and loss with logic, we realise that we are but base animals. When all is said and done, it is the same driving force and motivations that drove our forefathers thousands of years ago.
Are we that different from our ancestors? Have we changed?
Is it hardwired into us?
Making babies. Do people still need to do it?
I mean the process is great and all, but is it still necessary in this day and age?
Well, yes of course, otherwise who is going to take over once the elders pass? Who will care for the aging population of our broken world?
Perhaps procreating has been painted in a negative light with all the recent talk of climate change and overpopulation, of unsustainable living and dwindling resources.
While reproduction is evolutionarily obligatory, and to be fair it is the entire purpose of evolution, where exactly do we see ourselves in the evolutionary scale of things?
What is the point of continuing to spawn and evolve exactly? To populate the earth? Colonise beyond our borders, beyond our planet?
For what exactly?
Are we not akin to drops of bacteria in a petri dish full of nutrients? Akin to a virus let loose within a thriving, healthy host? The world is our oyster, and we will take all we can, multiply as far as we can reach.
Until our resources run out? Then let’s find some more!
Is there an end? Should there be an end?
Like a creeper plant stretching its limbs into the sun, across the soil, growing and growing until it reaches the boundaries? And then…going up, and up, like a beanstalk to the sky?
In the end, is it not all just a circlejerk, a fun little game to keep ourselves busy as our cells reproduce and rupture and return to dust?
So shall we get back to making babies?
So let’s talk about babies.
Say we yield to the fundamental cause of our species, of being alive, our supposed purpose and destiny – of making the babies and keeping the wheels turning. Say we decide we’re DTF and churn out a good one, we lock ourselves in with a bundle of joy with no refunds, no takebacksies.
Congratulations! Now what?
I can honestly say that evolution has not been kind to us sapiens. Seriously, how difficult can babies be?
Ask any parent – they’ll be happy to share with you their processes and their experiences of bringing up a child. Yes, I’m sure the whole thing is fun and full of fulfillment and satisfaction and new lessons in life. But it’s a fucking full time job, mate.
Evolution/intelligent design/the one true deity has not been kind to us humankind. Think about it – have you seen a new parent that is well-rested? Then they’ve clearly got lots of help.
Most new parents do not make a good case for having babies. It is a costly, cumbersome, challenging thing to bring up a baby.
From a business perspective, the ROI on these things is astoundingly low. They’re expensive, they’re time-consuming, they’re fragile, they’re high risk. They require a lot of attention, a lot of training; you don’t get to interview them beforehand, and you certainly can’t fire them from the position.
People tell you kids are an investment, a priceless asset. Well okay, what’s the appreciate rate on kids? You have to sink in at least two decades to get these starving sponges up to speed, not to mention countless dollars and sense, all while maintaining a happy facade lest the darn things develop a sour disposition or take on your bad values.
And once they’ve matured, what do you get? Some may pay you back in cash, buy you some nice things, or sometimes just in gratitude. But can they ever actually repay you for all you’ve done for them, all the sacrifices you’ve made?
Perhaps I’m missing the entire point of parenthood. Yes, parenthood is about pouring yourself into your offspring, so that they may have a better life than you ever did, so they can gain grander, greater things, surpassing all you’ve ever achieved. You shouldn’t care about getting anything in return, because the return is seeing them healthy and happy, right?
You will give your all, expend your time and energy, disburse your dividends all to them, because they deserve the very best, right?
Well what about you? Is it selfish to consider, to think about yourself for even one second? Our genes are selfish, are they not?
Oh, so our genes are alright with us giving all without any expectation for anything in return? Unconditional love, as they call it? That was a pretty clever marketing campaign. Generations of filial piety set in stone.
Well, even if our genes are gladsome and full of glee at the prospect of us popping out a few new ones, what about our logical selves? Our thoughts and feelings? Are we really alright with going through physical and social transformation and turmoil just for the privilege of hearing a little genetic mishmash of ourselves squeak out the words “mama” or “dada”?
What about spiritual children? What about having non-genetically related progeny? Pets? People love pets!
I’m not saying we should all get pets and forego having children. I’m just curious if there are people out there who have found a greater purpose in life than spawning children.
Yes, I’m sure creating pieces of art or music, or an app or software that changes our virtual landscape, or a business that benefits billions is a worthy cause, a righteous reason to fight and live on. But can it truly replace that evolutionary call, that urge deep within our souls, to replace something that we can biologically call our own?
Do I have an answer for you?
There are many, many answers out there, and in this day and age there are many voices and stories vying to be heard and adored.
All I have to offer are questions. Simple questions that you and I will have to answer for ourselves.
Up until recently I had not heard of this sullen, dry-witted boy named Adrian Mole. He’s not as charismatic or action-packed as other protagonists his age, but Adrian certainly makes up for it in wryness.
So it seems like every book is a number one bestseller at some point in time. And apparently this sequel is no stranger to the spotlight.
Alas, I had not heard of Mr. Mole until his four installment was plonked into my hands by a local admirer of his. Can’t say I feel like I’m missing out on all that much, really. That said, Mr. Mole’s inner thoughts and secret desires are an entertaining read all the same.
This is a teenage book like no other – no sweeping romance or arduous adventure of discovery and life and death. Now that I think about it, does Adrian even make any progress in terms of self-discovery?
Adrian is a boy, a typical coming-of-age boy on the cusp of manhood (or whatever the limbo phase is called after the horrible things called puberty and college take place). A boy finding his way in a bizarre changing world, changing on so many levels, from his relationships to his relatives’ relationships to his countrymen and whirlwind of events that encapsulates them all.
And through it all, Adrian’s stalwart spirit of apathy remains.
Adrian is nothing if not relatable – his story of perceived lower class hardship and mundane working class upbringing is a tune many will sing, albeit with slightly less exciting and embarrassing antics. I mean Adrian’s, not yours.
Surprisingly one should not expect major twists and turns in the book, no wildly embarrassing moments or cathartic revelations.
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years is a story of a boy wandering through life, trying to find his calling, his dream, and surviving in the meantime. His mind is set on becoming an author, and while his efforts are valiant, they are overpowered by his overwhelming sense of self-delusion.
Is he wrong for trying? Should he be mocked and embarrassed for pursuing what he deems to be his passion in life?
Sure, his methods may be highly humourous and misguided, but I for one applaud his actions and efforts, a creator after my own heart.
I found myself drawing parallels with Adrian’s experiences, strangely coincidental with events in my own life. Perhaps that is the power and the appeal of Mr. Mole – instead of otherworldly occurrences and supernatural savoir-faire, Adrian’s struggles are so very human.
No matter your age and stage in life, you’ve likely gone through or are experiencing something similar to Adrian. Crushing on the opposite gender, secretly judging and making fun of more successful folk, being disillusioned at a world that doesn’t care about one’s existence.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, since you totally did not ask for it, here is a timeline of all the Adrian Mole books!
And voila! Here is the book cover devoid of vandalism.
Right, now on to another book that doesn’t revolve around the annoying inner musings of a dry-witted young man.
I mean, I don’t imagine immediate sweeping changes to the landscape of the country, but I do imagine if our nation were more dog friendly then many other things would naturally fall into place. Like the economy, for starters.
I’m just dismayed that the Australian Dog Party doesn’t have an adorable (or regal, whichever you like) dog icon in the logo. I mean, that could be New Zealand for all I know! I wonder if New Zealand has a dog party…
What would the Australian Dog Party stand for?
That’s a great question! I’m glad you asked.
The Australian Dog Party will stand for:
More dog facilities e.g. parks, paths, drinking trowels
More laws to protect dogs from unethical breeding and abuse
More jobs for dogs
More dog-friendly media
More dog translation services
Implementation of National Dog Day
Rename party to Australian Dog Paw-ty
Include a longer item so the bullet points ascend in length
It’s the leash we can do for our furry friends!
Anything is paw-sible!
Vote for the Australian Dog Party!
P.S. They really missed the chance to call to it the Australian Dog Paw-ty.