As the number of days left in the unsatisfying year of 2007 are reduced to a mere two, I would like to take this chance to enter a swansong entry, summarising my thoughts about what has happened in the span of this unbearable 363.5 days.
Junior College Year 2 and GCE A Levels were what was facing me from the early part of this wretched year, of which I relentlessly pushed myself on mentally, pscyhically and emotionally through that guantlet of challenges and academic setbacks. One particular memorable setback I dealt with immense will and strength had great impressions in me. It was the first common test of the school year. I got back my results shortly after, it was the greatest impact thus far in my academic life - I only passed one subject which is General Paper, of which I topped the class. However, I failed all the others, even my most trusted Biology. Extremely traumatised and reeling from the intense hurt, I was very tempted to withdraw from junior college and give up, but I didn't. I took a few months to get back to my confidence and optimism. Working doubly hard and continuously for the rest of the JC 2 life, I pulled my beloved Biology grade from a U (ungraded) to a B in my Preliminary exam, which is considered a quality grade in JCs. Hard work, routinised essay writing practices, exam paper practices ruled my life. Plus, the hectic long hours in school made me so desenitised and delirious. It was a hard path. And, I walked all the damn way through it. It left a bittersweet imprint within me. It's pretty hard for me to relish everything altogther in a single moment, the feeling is just pretty overwhelming. A triumph for 2007 - surviving JC? Haha.
Metal music. 2007 has been a rather fruitful year for the general metal scene here, and I am not counting on the randomly massive amounts of local pseudo black metal wannabe bands. Haha. Let's see. Slayer, Megadeth, Dragonforce, Heaven and Hell graced Singapore with their live performances this year, if my memory serves me right. Not too bad. But not good enough! We need more and wider exposure of metal here, thus Darfina and me has started a hopeful petition for Asia's first and only Pagan Metal Festival here with Lamc productions. I just hope it will come into fruition. =)
Flourishing-wise for 2007, nothing really exciting happened, to be brutally honest. Apart from knowing who's your ally and who's not, I am just rather contented at the rate I am creating moves and how I evolve as a flourisher. Bleh, flourishing gets so dull nowadays. Maybe it's just a thing when you get when you have been in it for 3 years and counting, everything gets repetitive and monotonous. But, it's still a nice thing to do when you are watching TV/movies, they prevent you from falling asleep. Heh.
2007. A year of my serious actual Buddhist practice, albeit on my own. I became rather closely acquainted with the Dharma and read closely to it all year long. Needing an alternative release of stress from school and whatever crap that comes into my way, I experimentated with meditation, found it to be useful and has an extremely healthy effect on my emotions and concentration. I believed I have progressed in that abovementioned subject. It feels quite good to self learn a subject all by your own, I guess.
Other than that, 2007 came and went, it seemed alot quicker than most years. Maybe I was just in a constant blur between consciousness and comatose. Maybe it's because I was busy with school work so much so time lost its tracks.
Whatever it is. 2008, you little bastard, be good and well. Bring no troubles. Thanks!
Monotony because I have started work, and my work consists of scanning stacks of papers into a weird looking machine that could miraclously convert papers into .jpgs at a nifty speed, typing in even weirder looking series of numbers and looking at people's identification cards, and silently commenting on their names and protraits. What a damned voyeur I am. Haha.
Boring, and very monotonous it is, but it is rather good money, partially because I have unwittingly signed a bloody 2 month long contract with the company whose name is Aviva Limited. So, I shall be designated at that hellhole of an office until late Feburary 2008 AD. Bless me, Loki. For my intellect and social life shall plummet sharply to unsightly low heights. To prevent that, I have intended to call upon friends for my hour-long lunch breaks, replay jokes and movie scenes in my head and I shall set a different philosophical theme to ponder deeply and aimlessly each day, until I am driven to irreversible insanity.
The only good thing is there's a Subway outlet in the vincity of my workplace, so cheerios at that.
I am so tempted to bring a camera there to snap at the skyscrapers.
Monotony, perhaps, because, I have wrested my way out of the stale mundane schedule of residing in my own house all day long, refreshing Decknique every 3 minutes and typing lol repeatedly at MSN. That's not a bad point, at all. Now, at least, I get money out of sitting continuously in front of a computer and not getting nagged at.
I am amazed I am not as freakishly tired as I were when I was incarcated at Trusted Hub last year, partially because Aviva Limited is a not a sweatshop, the other half is due to the fact that I am a skilled practicioner of thoughtcrimes from my continual (self-imposed) isolation back in my JC days. So, I can easily entertain msyelf and refresh myself with my (unbridled, maddening) thoughts. =D
I rant too much about work. Not too good!
I have nothing else to say except a big thanks to Kevin for his Christmas gift which is aptly allocated, as it is titled as "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce. Other Giftmas gifts include Stephen King's Everything Eventual from Leon and a funky cloth-covered notebook from Jaspas. Thanks people! My first time receiving gifts on Christmas. =)
On the other hand, Matyn gave me an equally satisfying gift of sorts by merely conversing with me in our own queer, deeply arcane language and subjects which consists of things that your Mom would strongly opposes against, the dark, the profane and everything msacrabe. I enjoy your company alot, Matyn, if you ever reads this dingy blog of mine. Haha.
Self-Imposed Essay Writing.
I spent around 3 hours doing this essay last night, this is my first try at a Buddhism essay. The below is a link to the full essay posted over at my deviantart. Hope you enjoy it!
The Need for a New Enlightenment
Just finished with reading Hitchen's god is not Great. The introductory quote of the final chapter deserves much applause. Here it is:
"The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his life only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand. "
~~ Gotthold Lessing, from Anti-Goeze, 1778.
Also worth mentioning was Hitchen's penultimate paragaph in this book, epic-sounding it was, but it's rather inspiring too, at the same time.
"However, only the most naive utopian can believe that this new humane civilisation will develop, like some dream of 'progress', in a straight line. We have first to transcend our prehistory, and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection. "Know yourself', said the Greeks, gently suggesting the consolations of philosophy. To clear the mind for this project, it has become necessary to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it."
~~Christopher Hitchens' god is not Great, In Conclusion: The Need for a New Enlightenment, 2007
Life seems better, by alot, actually.
"What's up?", you might want to ask. Instead of the ubiquitious answer people usually offer like "Oh, nothing much, really." *insert yawns* I shall attempt to give a more exciting peek of "what's up".
Firstly, I have reached the ending few chapters of Christopher Hitchens' god is not Great book. One particular chapter - There is no Eastern Solution, irked me to a certain and significiant degree. The way he slams Buddhism is rather severe and unrelenting. He has given himself a serious concession by trying to pin everything possible to its end, in this case, it might not be neccessary. I would love to meet up with him. Over a nice cup of Ceylon tea, I will try my best to explain Buddhism and its pragmatic nature to him, and I only hope he will listen to it. Lol. Ugh. In his own words from the book: "A faith that despises the mind and the free individual, that preaches submission and resignation, and that regards life as a poor and transient thing, is ill-equipped for self-criticism." I could find so many misunderstood statements in that one single line. Not going to prosetlyze here, in case people think I'm a fanacial Buddhist-facist. Hahah! I just think the western mind is not receptive to Eastern way of thinking to grasp the gist of our culture accurately. Ah wells. Not going to be pissed by a single paragraph in the book, anyway. =D
Next, Kev will be back here in Singapore on Wednesday. Everyone will be happy. I cannot wait to resume the film-watching sessions with him. I reckon we should have a movie-stayover or what not. It will be a blast. Speaking of card flourishing friends and card flourishing, I have finally stopped procasinating and went out to film my footages for the video last week. I'm fairly satisfied at the output, considering I was constantly threatened by the volume of the incoming rain this monsoon has to offer. Yeah, if you even bothered to infer, my video will be an outdoors video. =) Now, it all boils to the editting problem. Being technologically challenged of myself, I have encountered many hinderances with the Sony Vegas 8.0 I downloaded. Half-discouraged, I think it's still better if I were to ask help from Jaspas or something. Haha.
My article on local politics has rendered some online retialiation. Haha! :P
Christmas is coming. As much as I cannot be bothered about this festival of consumerism, I must thank Jaspas for his gift - which is a nifty fabric-covered non-lined notebook. I foresee many deviant things and imagery in that book soon, but I will have to overcome the "I don't bear to write on clean resplendent notebooks" syndrome. Haha. Thanks, Jaspas! Oh, J, after almost 2 years of calling you "Jaspas", it seems vaguely strange that your name is Justin. Lol. Hmm, back to Christmas, I have 3 events on stimultaneously. A) KTV session with Justin (I make it a point), his girl, Leon and perhaps Kev. B) Family/Relatives Gathering C) Movie outing and monologue-giving/listening with Count. Drasula Matyn and his acquintance, we should be watching 30 Dazes of Blight. We will have to book tickets in advance or choke on the ropes of hope (I just love this maglinant foul word play of his, extremely sensual, eh?), if we were to take a gamble on that wretchful day itself.
On domestic issues. I have been having fun with my mom (oh, don't give such bad, boring notions about mothers) at home. She's getting cranky and really comedic on almost every action she does. It's quite funky. ^^
I want to buy "Kampfar's Kvass" album, but I am pretty much broke. Hate school-less life, no regular allowance.
Speaking of metal, yours truly and my friend - Darfina Carlito, has attempted to do the impossible - to initiate the First Ever Metal Festival in The Entire Span of Asia. To be even more amazing, we are focusing on the rarely-discussed and almost entirely-unheard-of Viking/Folk metal genre, we intend to bring in bands such as Korpiklaani, Kampfar, Ensiferum, Moonsorrow, to name a few. To make this concrete, we decided to use an online petition. Metalheads and Pagan-lovers, if you happen to chance by this blog, leave your mark at Pagan Metal Fest in Asia Petition. Thank you! I can't play shit in terms of music, but hey, I am creating opportunites and making history. I think it's very kvlt still, don't you think? Haha.
My sister <3
Just look at it. On the freaking front page of Youtube. I am so very much impressed and proud of her. Sister ftw!
And, if you happen to be in the Esplanade region on 20th, drop by the Powerstage in the evening. Your very chance to hear Larkin Step live! *ZOMGWTFBBQ!!!* Yes, grab that chance and be at Esplanade. =D
Kitaro in Singapore I just got back from my first non-metal/rock live concert experience, it's New Age this time, surprisingly. Haha. The artist is above-mentioned and as you have probably realised from my past entries I have ranted abit about him and his work and wisdom.
Now, about this concert today at The Indoor Stadium.
I was in an extremely delicately good mood at this evening, feeling at ease and full of the positive energy or metta, if I were to use Buddhist terminology. Haha. So yeah, the show started. There were more camera flash lights than the stage lights at first, that was rather annoying. After the first song which sounded totally alien (it's probably a new song, when I discussed with my father laterwards in the car). Then I wished there was the Song Name flashing out like how you would see from music DVDs. Haha.
I wasn't very sure of what song it was and in whatever chronological order, due to the fact that most Kitaro songs sounded fudamentally similiar. But I was very much sure they played Heaven and Earth, Koi (with a weird twist), Kokoro (not sure) and Matsuri. Of the last, I went totally ectastic and grinned like a total motherfucker and closed my eyes in total auditory rapture, my fucking dream coming true. It was my favourite meditation tune and my A Level De-stressor before I head to school for exams, besides Maha Kali, anyway. Haha. Rapture it was, I could almost ran down to the stage like what I did for Rudra, but I restrained, *reminds: not a metal gig!*. Sigh they didn't play Silk Road, it was quite a pity. They played around 2 to 3 new songs in total, and around 10 songs in grand total, in the span of 2 hours. I am quite taken aback by their rendition of a famous Hokkein song, originally by Soong Sisters.
Pretty darn sweet and tight sound. Cool lightings. A rather uncomfortable seat I had (it was quite hard). And one fucking briliant musician/composer/artist/thinker/peace-adovcate - Kitaro. I hail you, Kitaro. This tour was aptly titled! Love and peace everyone! Metta! Metta!
So fucking good to see old, epic songs being played again. This one is Mourning Palace, by Dimmu Borgir. In a studio of 80 people as audience. Small and tight performance!
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The human destiny is forever limited by the idiocy of bureaucracy and the excesses of social expectations. - LingNemesis, 2007 C.E.
Metal-Listener. Card Flourisher. Aspiring Philosopher. Selective Mugger. Ubermensch-to-be. Inspired by Dharma. Nihilist. The Almost Misanthrope. Yogini. Film Enthusiast. Into everything Occult and the Esotercism. Anti-Pretentious Social Situations. Anti-Religion. Anti-Normal. Observer of This Fucked-Up World. Autodidact. Philomath. Capricorn Cusp Aquarius. Leo Ascendent. Taurus Moon Sign. Economic Left/Right: -1.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.05.