Oh my, I don’t mind being the other guy

[Little Of Your Time – Maroon 5]

I went shopping with Jen today, and she took me around a lot of stores. At some point, my enthusiasm to help her out boiled dry, and I was left a burning whistling mess, making fun of every piece of clothing I saw…

And one thing that it led me to notice was that store mannequins NEVER seem to stand/sit in normal positions, especially the female ones. Ignoring the fact that if an actual human was that thin, they’d just drop dead, the poses that those mannequins pull are not ones you’ll find yourself in when wearing the clothes that they model.

I don’t know, man, if I’m going to fork out that much money for clothes I won’t look good in slumped low on a seat, but rather would need to pull a gravity defying yoga pose, is it actually worth buying?

Alex.

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The stars at night aren’t as big and bright as you made them out to be

[I Fell In Love Without You – Motion City Soundtrack]

Day 03: What you think about love.

Oh dear God no.

My thoughts on it waxes and wanes depending on how lonely I feel at a particular point in time. Sometimes I believe love at first sight that lasts a lifetime, and sometimes I just think LOVE STINKS WOAH WOAH WOAH.

It’s a very big and sweeping question to ask. I don’t really know anything about romantic love, but I do think I know some about friendship love, and I think that friendship love is great and warm and all, but it really doesn’t fill holes that romantic love fills (yes, yes, that is indeed what she said). That is not to say you can’t live without those holes filled (and it continues), but all – or, well, most – of us at some point yearn for that hole to be filled (voila).

It’s hard to put into words moments of love – it really does seem to be a phenomenon that only exists as an ongoing awareness, but I suppose if I had to pinpoint moments where I really felt that tug at my heart that wasn’t the copious amounts of junk food I eat, I’d say when I get one of those not-exactly-quiet-but-eventless moments where I think about the things someone has done for me, and realized the amount they’ve actually put up with me, and a moment that made me laugh, I get that gurgling warm feeling in my stomach which I think is called gratitude…or…love.

As you can tell, to me, love is an abstract idea which people have over-simplified to make their life more meaningful.

Alex.

I could die lying in her arms

[Little Joanna – McFly]

Day 02: How you introduce yourself to new people.

While I like to say that I try to move as much fakeness as possible, I think, if anything, I put on an extra show of not putting on fakeness.

For most of the people who met me in person, I think it’s safe to say that they all thought I was outgoing if not slightly loud, and that I have an easy-to-like personality. Oh look at me piling modesty upon my good looks. And I think, at the core of things, that’s the kind of person I am – I like making other people feel comfortable but not bored, and make them smile.

But that’s also me putting on a show of being easy-to-like. I am making a conscious effort to be pleasant and make jokes and smile more. There are times when I either am not in the mood, or simply don’t feel the necessity to make nice – most of the time when I do this I’m with someone else, or it’s one of those momentary meetings that doesn’t require me to ever see them again. So I don’t actually talk or even make much eye contact. I have a friend who noted that there are times when I seem to have a “fuck off” sign plastered all over my face.

It’s not a matter of if I think you’re worth the effort, it’s really just what I interpreted social protocol to be.

Alex.

Let me ask, would you like that?

[Diary Of Jane – Breaking Benjamin]

Day 01: Your views on death, how you cope, etc

Clearly I forgot to do it yesterday.

I haven’t really been faced properly with death that affected me personally and on a great level, so I really can’t say – the only deaths that I’ve been near were the deaths of a friend’ father, and my maternal grandmother when I was 7, so the emotional ties really weren’t strong.

I’m not religious enough/at all to believe that there is a heaven after death, and even after watching 6 seasons of Supernatural which straddled between cynicism and Christianity given your interpretation, I still don’t think there is a heaven after death. But do I think that when the heart stops beating blood and the brain stops firing off electrons, there marks the end of something? No, I think that a life goes on even beyond the clinical death – but I do mean that in a symbolic way. Any sentence beginning with “Remember when Rod…?” or “As Rod used to say…” is a continuation of that life.

I would like to think that there is a plane where the consciousness goes after death, but what is consciousness I cannot begin to define. Or fathom. I cannot even imagine being dead – I think of that last moment right before, when I become certain that I am going to die. I think if I will regret it, “Oh the things that I will never experience”. But why would I regret it? If my personal consciousness really is going lights out in the next moment, I won’t exactly go on to notice all the things that I’m missing while missing it. My “legacy” lives on through the connections I’ve made whilst alive – the experiences that I “have” are for their own spiritual satisfaction and benefit, I personally wouldn’t and couldn’t care less. If my consciousness reaches another plane – whether that be whatever my own equivalent of heaven is (because I am not going to the Christian Heaven that’s for sure), or reincarnation, or I haunt the crap out of all those people spiritually benefiting from experiences I will never experience, I doubt I’d be in a position to envy, be aware of, or care about those experiences.

As to how to cope – I honestly cannot answer that without having to cope with a personal death myself.

But any loss is something difficult to get over, isn’t it? Whether it be a close and horrific death, or something comparatively trivial – the feeling of loss hurts all the same.

So how do I deal with loss? I suppose I can fool myself into believing that “they’re in a better place now”, or living happily as a much loved puppy dog, or simply watching me wonder if their consciousness is okay. Or I can focus on myself – which I do most of the time, anyway. I can tell myself that they are gone from my immediate reach, and that sucks, and I’m allowed to be very sad about that for a while, but at some point I should manage that sadness into healthy respectful doses, and move on with my life, spiritually satisfying myself by doing all the things that the person now can’t.

Alex.

I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad

[Mad World – Gary Jules cover of Tears For Fears]

Here’s something to get the post counts flowing again:

Day 01: Your views on death, how you cope, etc.
Day 02: How you introduce yourself to new people.
Day 03: What you think about love.
Day 04: Write about someone you love.
Day 05: A list of things you fancy doing.
Day 06: Recommend some books to read.
Day 07: Write about the arts (music, art, dancing).
Day 08: Write a poem.
Day 09: Photo of your favorite pillow.
Day 10: How you wake up in the morning.
Day 11: Write about your sibling(s) or what it’s like to be an only child.
Day 12: Your relationship with your parents.
Day 13: Write about what you believe in, be it God, yourself, etc.
Day 14: What you do for Valentine’s Day.
Day 15: Write about the best gift you’ve ever received.
Day 16: Write another poem, about the weather.
Day 17: Post your favorite gif.
Day 18: Your plans for tomorrow.
Day 19: Write about something you fear.
Day 20: What did you eat for dinner last night?
Day 21: Your favorite thing to drink.
Day 22: How you take your coffee or tea.
Day 23: Your favorite thing to wear.
Day 24: Another poem, about the shoes you wear most often.
Day 25: Write about where you live.
Day 26: Your favorite smell.
Day 27: Your thoughts on the internet.
Day 28: Write about how you feel today.

It’s 2 am now so I think I’ll go to bed, but when I come home from seeing an old high school friend later today, I’ll start.

Alex.

Sniffing bottled you again

[Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet (Does Your Husband Know?) – Fall Out Boy]

So here’s an unpopular opinion that I only recently came to start mulling over: why bother fighting for gay marriage?

Aaaaand elaboration.

Most of my arguments here will be based on reading of Michael Warner’s The Trouble With NormalΒ (The Free Press, 1999), especially Chapter 3: ‘Beyond Gay Marriage’. Yes, it came as a result of my paper for Sex and the Screen, and I might be reiterating many of my arguments from the paper, but at least here I’m not restricted from rambling.

To very much summarize Warner’s points, the crux of the argument is that marriage itself is an exclusive and discriminatory institution – that it exists purely because it needs something to be compared against. By having a “married” status, there is automatically a “not married” status, because otherwise what separates a married couple from an unmarried? So, right now there is much campaigning for equal rights, such as the right to marry for gays, but Warner points out that if these campaigns were ever met, another group of “unmarried” would appear to contrast the new “gay and married”.

And then we’d go through it all over again. Equal rights for the “new gay”! Maybe they’re sexual dissidents; standing outside of whatever the new sexual norm is – maybe they like tying each other up. And why does that make them illegible for marriage? They can tie each other up in the privacy of their own home, they’re consenting, right? It’s not like they’re tying you up or teaching your kids how to tie each other up. Every year they’ll have a pride march where all these people who are tied up roll down the street, and they’ll pass by the front lawn of this lovely and upstanding lesbian couple, who would subtly try to cover their sperm-donor kid’s eyes because they’re secretly ashamed of what society has become these days. Ugh, can you believe that my child’s teacher was caught with bondage equipment in the trunk of his car? Parked in the very carpark that Jimmy walks through! The nerve!

So right now we’re all fighting for equality – to be equal, or the same, as all these lucky heterosexual people. We’re trying so freaking hard to clamber onto that same step so that we can see the same view and have the same tax breaks, but boy is that step small; boy is that step a fragile and, well, intangible ideal. The very institution of that little step will be destroyed if we let too many people step on it, so we can’t possibly let everyone step on it – someone has to be left on a lower landing so that we can look down at them and say, hey, you should probably try to reach where we are because up here it’s so much better.

Is it really better up there? You look down at your feet and realize that you’re not actually standing on a step, you’re standing on the expense of someone else.

Wow, you’re wearing a ring on your left ring-finger, when did you get married?
Oh, no, I just like wearing a ring on this finger.
Hmm, maybe you should change fingers, after all, we don’t want someone to think you’ve achieved a right when really you haven’t.
But I just like wearing this ring on this finger, my girlfriend gave it to me and I like it.
Oh, so you’re gay? You really shouldn’t wear the ring there, then, lest someone mistakes you for being straight and married. Only they get to wear the ring like that, you know.

So what is my ultimate point? That gays should stop wanting to get married and get equal rights? Kind of, but not really. Call me crazy, and I’m sure I won’t be able to stand my ground should floods of critical comments pour in, but I feel like the whole idea of marriage should just be demolished with a jackhammer and chalked up as a really bad phase that humanity went through. Lots of people say that the reason they choose to get married is because they love each other – and that’s perfectly fine and romantic, but do you really need a piece of paper to remind you that it’s true? You love each other so love each other together, ceremony or not. Oh, right, but you need it to be official and permanent, because if it’s not, the law doesn’t see you as one entity. That’s why I say scrap the whole marriage thing – if two people actually love each other enough to not want anyone else, they should just start loving each other together whenever they feel like it, and banks and courts and schools and hospitals should just say “oh, cool, good for you”.

Oh my, look how I’ve simplified this argument. But where is the religion in all this mix? Marriage is an institution based on the fundamental beliefs of…that’s great, I’m slightly envious that you can have so much faith in something you cannot perceive. If you believe so firmly that a ceremony is the way to officiate your love for each other, then by all means get a bunch of your family and friends together, dress up, say a few words, and have a mad party afterwards where everyone makes speeches. But let’s not make that ceremony the necessity for two people to be recognized as a legitimate couple, okay?

I think I’ve been sufficiently sarcastic and condescending. I’ll stop now.

Alex.

L-O-V-E’s not what this was

[Starstrukk – 3OH!3 ft Katy Perry]

Should I go meta and explain why I haven’t been writing? Nah, the truth is I have just been plain lazy.

I finished my assessments for Semester 1…last week, and despite the fact that it became a last minute rush, I finished to some degree of satisfaction. And now I am living in that blissful constant, where whenever I feel like I should be doing something, I don’t really have to do it.

Except, of course, I really need to get my exchange process going. Yikes.

So yesterday I watched The King’s Speech finally (obviously not in the cinemas), and I know I probably missed all sorts of auteur references and all that stuff, but the one thing that really struck me about that movie was how Helena Bonham Carter played her character’s love and support of Bertie. Without overusing physical affection, she managed to convey how much pain she was in to watch her husband stutter through his first speech, and how his victory is as much hers as Lionel’s. I think it’s a very succinct way to depict how, when it comes to monarchy, the Queen is usually pushed to the sidelines, when most of the time it’s her love and support that makes the King who he is – Helena Bonham Carter played her Queen with a quiet and determined dignity, never questioning her husband’s decisions, but always supporting him when he starts to waver.

And that’s my rant on that movie.

In other news, my friend Clem helped me get the game Portal, and I’m learning how to play it properly – kind of stink at solving the puzzle, but I think it’s a good game to get me used to FPS games.

Got my midnight tickets to HP7.2 already, and very excited to be going! I should probably start deciding if I will dress up, and if I do, how.

Alex.