Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Sense making

Sense making.
I like the word. Although I am not so sure if there is any use in embarking on such an endeavour, because the most important things in life don't really make sense and frequently won't matter either way.

Be it broken hearts, war or  irresistible attraction to high calories.  Life sucks one day and redeems itself on another.

Perhaps our human need to explain the universe is the one thing that propels us in the opposite direction. The more we learn, the less we know and we can either drive ourselves mad in trying to figure out if is it us, or if it's karma or if our marionette strings are being yanked randomly by some higher power.

I suppose what really matters is what are we going to do about it.

Postscript :
Having a change of mind after lunch  ( Tempe and  ikan kembong  I'd have you know) would warrant a rewrite of the above but I admit that I am lazy.
The left brain was a little disturbed that its counterpart suggests all abandon of dissection and critical thinking to obediently  accept the pronouncements of the fates, and just wing it as it comes along.

Surely our study of history is testament that we look upon the past to find out why we did what we did.  Sometime we even learn from it.
E.g. Don't arm dictators.
Don't buy hillside properties.
Don't drink beer and durian in same sitting.

It just occurred to me (with rare optimism) that we are on this never-ending quest of connecting the dots  all for the sake of avoiding more conflict, generating more happiness and to  finally finally arrive at the point when after the 1001th attempt, the  lightbulb will not blow out and instead shine true.

It's the mother of invention, catalyst for creation and even basis of absolution.

So do I make sense?
So in the spirit of randomness here is a picture of a  dog

Mainstream misogyny

Now, I am not one who would call herself a feminist by any traditional sense (long story, buy me tea and we will talk). Yet I am very disturbed by all the trash talk that is directed towards women in the public sphere. I can't even read the comments in stupid sites like 9gags even without leaving feeling deeply offended. Sure infantile humour is the nature of the beast of sites like these but I refuse to think that it makes it justifiable.

Having a sense of humour and a sense of decency ought not be mutually exclusive. And what is troubling is how it is flourishing across numerous online forums and communities, and unsurprisingly based in first world countries where gender equality and mutual respect have claimed their highest victory. Greta Christina has an interesting discussion on misogyny and the firestorm that was over the threats of rape of the 15 year old girl who posted on Reddit. You can read it here

Of course of course I am neglecting the numerous others which have little tolerance for such crude behavior and as the world will always have fascists, child molesters and murderers, there will still be jerks who don't know better. I am ashamed to say that I personally know a few too.

As it is terms such as bitches, whores and hoes have become increasingly mainstream. The sexualising of women remains and as new derisions creep into our daily lives through the power of language, it gives those references credence and implicit acceptance by the collective.

I feel so strongly about this that I am herewith even going to plagiaries Oprah. She derided young women from calling each other bitches, hoes and what-nots because by calling ourselves that, we are telling men what to call us. I refuse to believe that anyone will not be insulted if she was thrown a humiliating and degrading remark, and by not standing up for another woman it's sheer betrayal.

And guys, although you may think it scores points with your other mates and would make you sound street/ghetto/ whatever cesspool you think would matter, it speaks volumes of your own upbringing and strength of character.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Power of Introverts

I am not sure if it's providence or coincidence. Perhaps it's just a matter of seeing what I want in the random wilderness.

It was on Twitter I think that I first stumbled upon the fine line that read,"better write for yourself and have no audience than write for an audience and not be yourself." which of course resonated with me much since I have no audience to speak of anyway. So that kind of works out.

And today I came across Susan Cain making an excellent arguement for introversion on one of the latest TED Talks. I will post it up soon. The fact that I could related to everything she says provides affirmation that I am an introvert surreptitiously passing off as an extrovert, albeit with varying success.

Yet throughout my life I have found myself surrounded not by just any extrovert but of the most outstanding pedigree. whether it is my feeding off their gregariousness or just living vicariously or perhaps even a misplaced sense of personality envy, I find extroverts make great companions to introverts. Them whose boisterous presence and experiences give off just enough excitement but not too much that we can't later return to our comfort zones of solitude.

Yet is it true that society treasures the extrovert? Well they get heard for one. We engage the world through mediums that accommodate and propagate millions of voices. From the Internet to cable tv, the noise is deafening. Our cities are expanding, classrooms increasing, competition rising, impatience growing. On the surface speaking softly and quiet contemplation don't seem to sit well with this brave new world.

I would end this post with my favorite quote from Ms Cain's presentation - I wish you the best of all possible journeys and to have courage to speak softly