Archive for September, 2007

On writing

September 23, 2007

Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis

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(x) things about my parents

September 16, 2007

I’m reasonably sure, or if not reasonably hopeful that most people (read, adolescents) argue/disagree/quarrel etc with their parents at least once in a while, and that’s likely one of the many things that allows me unimpeded sleep at night.

Sometimes I can’t stand my parents, but all the same, I’m quite sure I love them. I’m just not so sure about it, or perhaps, showing it. But, this, is a rant that hasn’t had very much time to cool off yet, so here goes.

In no particular order:

1) My mum (apparently) intentionally (often) misreads the time to ( or so i take it) coerce or falsely persuade me. ie, (at 11:30) “it’s midnight already, can you go and sleep!!”

2) My mum inexplicably finds my behaviour “unacceptably rude” at random intervals for no reason whatsoever and then starts scolding me…

3) She assumes I’m incapable of self-management and feels it is her duty to “guide my actions” by telling me to “stop sitting in front of the computer” and instead to “do chinese”
(wtf, that’s not even grammatically correct. And even if it was, what, pray tell, am I supposed to do?)

4) She apparently delights in pointing out obvious flaws (of mine) that I myself am painfully aware of, instead of offering any constructive criticism or just shutting up.

5) My dad’s idea of love is providing shelter, food, clothing, and education

6) My dad apparently thinks that everyone shares similar tastes as him regarding various things such as, most obviously, food

7) My parents believe that simply as my parents I do not deserve to be treated as an equal

I’m sure that if I tried hard enough I would be able to produce a longer list, but hopefully the rant is pretty much exhausted now. So, bad air out, good air in. Done. Apologies for the horrible centre alignment. I think it’s CSS related and I can’t work with CSS at all.

Self-pity can go to the dogs for all I care

September 14, 2007

Now that would make a great title for a song. A song written by a bunch of twenty-something year old men with adolescent hangovers performing for teenagers who protest their oppression, extol their depression, and resolutely fail to make an impression. (And that was far too tempting to let go. Pfft.)

So this song would involve lyrics like “I’m shrouded in the shadows of my making, my only company the demons of my past” and “You can’t see me, I’m just a ghost, you killed me so I’ll haunt you”.

Irony isn’t it?

Depressed guy kid teenager 1: “I don’t have any friends, my parents never understand me, so perhaps I’ll go back to that guy who offered me glue to sniff”
Depressed teenager 2: “I’m an emo boy; I can’t keep up my grades in school, I don’t have any “real” friends, I can’t see any point or focus in my life. Blah”
Depressed guy: “I’m 45, my wife and I barely speak because I get home from work at ten, my children are struggling in school and office politics is driving me nuts”

*-jx goes to ponder his point and the objective of his illustrations

September 8, 2007

I’ve realised something about many problems that we face. On every level, from the macro level to the micro level, from global affairs to personal relationships, we mess things up mostly through our own selfish decision making.

Which leads me to ask (myself included) the Black Eyed Peas’ question, where is the love?

Take for example, poverty. Why do we have millions of people living under the poverty line in some places, subsisting on less than US$2 a day and not sure about their next meal and where they’re going to rest their head for the night? Perhaps, just perhaps, because of government policy that emphasises economic growth and industrialisation, taxing the poor to lure multinational corporations? Perhaps because of increasing pressure from the chairmen of these MNCs and the burgeoning middle class?

And then, overpopulation and AIDs orphans in Africa. How many Africans have heard of birth control or family planning? Why? Again, a lack of effort in lending that hand to care. It leads one to wonder where the billions pledged during the G8 summit have really gone.

And of course, Mr. Gore’s new gripe, climate change. American oil drilling in Alaska, coal power plants opening weekly to support Chinese manufacturing, need I say more?

Of course, all that has been written can easily be dismissed as unedited, unprofessional, unproven, unsupported, arguments, the nonsense regularly spouted by the New Media of the Internet. I do not purport to be an expert, I do not claim that all of my facts have been cross-referenced. What I do do is to state my opinion, regarding the problem and the cure. Although, there will always be some who would prefer the quick, easy, painless and plain better solution of nuking a few countries and occupying a few others.

Now then, let’s zoom in. Society’s longstanding problems include theft, overliberelism (read drugs, sex and rock n’ roll), murder etc. What do these stem from? Greed, self-gratification and giving in to our coarser instincts. Let’s give it a try and love someone the next time we steal a car or feign sleep in an mrt train seat.

People. Backbone of our nation, no man is an island, etc. Again, the next time we do something, let’s think about it, and when we do, let’s love someone. EDIT: Far too much I’ve done things I shouldn’t have, stuck my nose where it dosen’t belong, and paying hurts too much. Being a busybody or a meddler is something rather selfish isn’t it?

So, call me naïve, clichéd, simple, stupid or hypocritical, but I’m writing what I think.

-Straight from the ass’s mouth, unadulterated, unedited, and definately not thought through.