Archive for the ‘Firing neurons’ Category

The loudmouth goes to the dentist

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The new blog is taking time to take shape. Yes, I want abandon this one, for the embarrassment of, let me be honest, of the URL. How unoriginal. And WordPress don’t have the option of changing the URL as you like, unlike Blogger or Tumblr.

So yeah, I went to the dentist, just, after Goat knows how long. Since primary school I think, when they have those dentist, sponsored by Colgate, to come over and give us teeth check. Which surely don’t need much fixing back then. I mean, how bad can your teeth be at that age right? Unless your mom gives you candy buffet daily at home, or you goes by the name of Hansel or Gretel.

Cheek-y (about to be ripped open) bastard me answered, when asked by the receptionist, the purpose. I told: Overhaul. Which painfully (later and soon) proven to be true. So I told the doc: you give me a overall check and we’ll see what needs to be done. Of course I don’t go to a dentist without a reason, I was feeling piercing pain already while consuming cold drinks since sometime ago-it comes and goes. I have already wanted to go visit teeth doctor when I was at the Motherland, but as I’m stuck with the whole transfer back to the West-syde hullabaloos and gobbledigooks that I need to attend to, I didn’t. Till now. Another sharp pain last Wednesday, so I know something needs to be done.

Dentistry has the unique characteristic of being BOTH ‘medical-live-saving’ and cosmetic at the same time. You can’t say the same to, say, many other fields- plastic surgery or oncologists for e.g. ..Ok, there are plastic surgery to work on disfigurement from untoward accidents, but you know what I mean. Some say that if you can’t be a ‘real’ doctor, you become a dentist. Well, what do I know, I’m just a guy with teeth problems.

The chair. Now, I have heard all these while how the chair is a symbol of status. My friend who use did fine art used to do an art installation about chairs. And of course, from the tale of how the term ‘Chairman’ of how it first came about, back when they were wearing togas and the fella who is sitting on a chair having the most ass-kicking status. I wonder the giant chair at Geneva is actually some holier-than-thou status of those guys have being the place where the ‘Chairmans of nations’ gathers. But it only have 3 legs. Why eh Ayuk?

Yeah, sorry, I digress. The dentist chair however, for me, symbolise a totally  different thing altogether. That chair is a chair of trust my friend. Sitting on the chair is a contractual gesture of giving all your faith to the dentist. Where the dentist is God (or Goat, to each it’s own), looking down on you, with a bright halo (from the spotlight), deciding your fate, when for you to have your pain and when to have your (seemingly paradise) pauses.

I did filling for four teeth. Some ngilu induced drilling and some patching up. I actually visualize in my head slabs of plaster of paris being putted on my holes. The drilling a bit painful, but that, I believe, is nothing compared to what I will further encounter. The doc said that I need to remove, not one, but TWO of my wisdom teeth. But that is for the next visit.

Filling for four teeth: RM 195.00 (I hope that can be claimed)

Other incurring price: The shrilling pain

The experience: Priceless (as in, who the hell wants to pay for that kind of experience?)

Afterthought:

1) If I can sit through 4 hours of pain getting my tattoos for cosmetic purpose (yes, I lied about the whole practicing the culture thing! I am just vain.) there is no reason to not to sit through my wisdom teeth removal. I rest my case.

2) The title is written so as a kind of self-imposed sentence, albeit necessary from medical point-of-view, for all the sinful things that came out from my mouth.

Next Friday 4pm: Wisdom teeth removal appoinment. Check. The removal would be on two separate occasion, one for each. Can’t I just let it rot till it fall off?

Written by yuenkokleong

August 1, 2009 at 11:51 am

Love and Hate

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Let’s see, it has been almost two years I work as ‘some sort of’ academic.

(some sort because they say that till you have your PhD, your career in academia have not even started yet. Well, according to those with one anyway. What a bunch of self ego-stroking creatures! Have them poor souls not heard of the Oracle who flew with a golden starlet? The Guardian of Infinite Wisdom?)

(Or the plumber looking apek who reign all the research. The “Con-sultan”?)

Insider joke, korang yang lain tak paham.

Who says that they have Pee-Haight-Dee? Nasty-Pee?

So I was thinking, not exactly evaluating, because my leg is already deep in. About the feeling of me being the ‘some sort of’ academic. Geez susahnya nak cakap.

I love knowledge, people. I am sure that has been in your knowledge, if you know me well enough. Hearsays, folk stories, gossips, myths, speculations, eavesdrops- I take it all in. Sambil minum Genius Juice, untuk menjadi Genius! I like reading it. I love to hear it . But when it comes to listening to it, I have a little problem. I mean, I love to hear it from villagers and people from the street, but when I hear an academic talking, I feel nauseous. I came with the realisation today.

What is wrong with me?

I feel like puking in my mouth and then drink it back as I have to appear respectable in a ‘seminar’/presentation (ala Jude Law’s character in Eternal Sunshine on a Spotless Mind salah movie daaa..- I <3 Huckabees, thanks sourmilk). The name-dropping (my guilty pleasure too, but not when other people’s doing, or doing it unsolicited) and the verbal outburst that always seems could not be fitted in the time slot- be it 20 minutes or 20 hours. Again during Q & A.

I will end up feeling dizzy after the whole fracas, padan muka la, because usually I invite myself there. So dizzy that I would skip my favourite roti jala with delicious kuah kari.

So now the question is- macam mana mau jadi akademik ni?

Written by yuenkokleong

July 17, 2009 at 1:25 am

Free Range Kids

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Recently there have been some coverage from BoingBoing.net, a site which I frequent on Free Range Kids. It’s basically an advocacy for parents to raise their kids without fear- letting their kids play outdoors- ‘free range’- not too different to think of chickens or livestock raise in such manner- organic, natural and with a greater sense of freedom for movement.

The thesis is kids should be let out to explore the world. The current trend, with the culture of fear permeating the society expecially in the ‘western’ country and commonly in the urban areas in the world, of parents cooping up their kids in the house, preferring their kids learn through TV channels and playing video games as a means of recreation under their careful eyes- or sent to a nursery/daycare.

My take on this is what parents are doing is delaying the release of their kids to the world. As kids grow older and eventually moved out and stay on their own, or starting their own family, the ‘release’ is something eventual. But by delaying this release, the kids found themselves unable to adapt to the ‘outside world’ as they have been delayed their relase. The age of learning is over, so there are not mch leniency to learn and by a certain age they are expected to function fully as an adult. which bring us to our problem.

EDIT ADDI: And then the same ones who did this would also group as those complaining that “Owh the kids nowadays are not like how we are used to.  We were tougher back then. And street smarter”. Kembang anu aku mendengarnya. Memanglah bodoh. Dah kau tu yang sangkarkan anak kau dalam rumah tu memang la diorang tu jadi dungu. Kawan diorang komputer. Antibodi lemah nak mampos pasal tak pernah kena cacing kerawit (tak macam si langkau di bawah). Lepas tu kau nak membebel cakap diorang tak macam kau dulu. Dah cara kau besarkan dia macam Tamagochi, takpun watak game the Sims.  Apa yang kau expect?

So let your kids roam the streets.

Further reading here and here.

Written by yuenkokleong

May 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Posted in Firing neurons

Second Level Representation?

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legoabughraib

legowaterboard2

If the Situationists says that the world is perceived through it’s representation, i.e. photograph or video or audio, then would these Lego models create a need for the differentiation of first level representation vs second level representation (since these models are created according to the pictures/diagrams available on the press, already a representation itself..). So, on the deeper level, would there be more meaning lost in this second level of representation? As reality is already distorted with the availability of Photoshop editing and its contemporary rendering nothing much worth believable anymore, what does the future holds in terms of the perennial seek for the ‘truth’?  Does the search for truth then is just a futile attempt?  Or since there is not absolutes, do we make do with the closest thing to the truth that we could get?  The would this actually shoving us further and further away from the truth?

(Taken from and) more lego models of Abu Ghraib and waterboarding here.

Written by yuenkokleong

April 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

Posted in Firing neurons, Wow!

Life imitating art

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Watched this two video:

And it got me thinking, and this thought is not new to me, but basically I sum the obeservation into two:

1) People have a lot of time in their hands

Yes, think about how many videos that you have seen that people have been devoting time to make videos that needs a lot of time to choreograph?  The time that these people took to perfect their presentation?  What does it say about the pop culture these days?  Is youtube fitting perfectly amongst the boredom beleagured suburbians?

To view it from an economic/non-economic motives POV- it will always boils down to, yes, economic ends.  People might write something/chereograph a dance or whatever in the beginning for self-interest.  However, there will always be a need for recognition and fame, which directly or indirectly will bring to economic benefits (refer: Yuna, Kokokaina)- record deals, DIY tote/plush toys, website Tshirts, ads etc etc.

*Which captures the basis of how Web 2.0 would be successful- self-serving selfish needs that bring upon collective benefits (e.g. Rabiah Amit contributing an article on Kek Lapis Sarawak and later on attaching external link to her Kek Lapis website)- which made articles on Kek Lapis available with the motivation provided by ambiguos economic benefits.

2) Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 in Web 2.0

This thought is still a thought-on-progress, about a few things- the evolution of the appearance of video sites especially youtube, analogical to the evolution of the Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 -that the contents become more and more user oriented as the time goes by. How in the beginning the function serves more to exhibit corporate produced- funny/banned ads, music videos, excerpts from World’s/Animal Funniest Videos (masses oriented, but produced by corporation nonetheless) contents to be more ‘people’ produced contents (Lonelygirl 15 phenomena).

*- marked paragraph above applicable here as well

Same same but different. Internet did not provide what the marketers/corporations thought it would be in the beginning, thus brought the fall that results in Internet Bubble Burst.  However, it morph into something else.  It provides the window to the masses thought for one, for corporations to exploit later. It wasn’t as straightforward as they thought it would be, as the internet fuctions differently from the traditional one way media (read: TV, radio) but slowly but surely, the wolves are learning their ways to make use of this new tool.  One more video that is related:

David Gaunlett’s Participation culture, creativity, and social change

More readings at http://www.theory.org.uk

Digressing again. Enjoy the video.  Sorry if you have read till here.

Written by yuenkokleong

April 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Hari Ini Atau Tidak Sama Sekali!

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Vivez sans temps mort!

Muntahan kata retorikal ku bukan omongan kosong.

Guy Debord telah menyatakan ini, bawah cabang fahaman yang diberi nama Situationist, kita sebagai the Society of Spectacle, massa yang menonton segala  bagaikan telenovela.

Kata-kata Shakespeare yang klise bahawa dunia sesungguhnya adalah satu pentas manggung dan kita semua, hanyalah barisan dramawan dan dramawatinya.  Kata itu mungkin adalah antara ide terawal yang menjurus secara langsung ataupun tidak kepada ide yang didukung oleh golongan avant garde Situationist International.

Seringkali kita terbawa oleh ‘berita’ arus perdana, ianya dikonsumsi tiada bedanya dengan tontonan rencana-rencana lain untuk hiburan massa.  Yang seringkali penglihatan serta pemikiran kita dikaburi, sehingga apa yang benar dan tidak dicampuradukkan.  Pada azalinya gunaan kata itu sendiri telah menghalang kepada penyaluran maksud dan tugasan tersebut disukarkan lagi oleh manipulasi media oleh autoritas.

Break the spectacle.  Apabila Black Bloc menghumban bata ke stor-stor korporat besar, ianya dikatakan bukan untuk membawa kepada kerugian finansial toko tersebut karena sudah tentunya ongkos pembaikan semula itu itu boleh didapati dari penjualan dalam masa satu jam.  Ianya bertujuan untuk menghancurkan spectacle, tampang luarnya. Massa adalah bagaikan biri-biri yang terpegun, serta hanyut dalam gaya hidup konsumerisma.

Sadarlah dari mimpi mu itu.  Yok kita Tantang Tirani.

Written by yuenkokleong

March 31, 2009 at 10:32 am

Posted in Firing neurons

Firing Neurons (a amateur sort of tribute to Foucault)

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This blog turned out to be the personal blog that I would be embarassed about should i read my past entries.  It is funny how you are detached by the things that you have done.  The things that you create, either a work of art, a piece of writing, a song, lyrics, poetry, is always embraced as YOU by others.  Like how record companies would issue your ‘Ultimate Collection’ or ‘Best Of’ if you are an aging band, but then again, the trend of record companies now is to issue a “Best Of..’ album after you have done only three.  Well’ to milk the cash cow while it still has a market influence.

Two purposes of writing this post:

1) The detachment from your work

2) I didn’t write a thinking piece (as opposed to personal entries) for so damn long.  I miss the Weltanschaung (AKA cigaretteburns) days.

Human life goes along the timeline.  As cliche goes that the “only thing that is constant is the change”- what we produce at a certain time freezes ourselves in a timeframe (imagine a long timeline with years and months starting with our birth and ends with our death, illustrated below with the Microsoft Pain(t) application ).  It is no longer representing us, though it did on the time of creation.  We have no claim on it, it has a life of it’s own.  The moment that you stop writing/producing is the moment that it detached from you.  That is why when you are doing something, you have to stick doing it until you have finished.  If you leave it too long, the tendency to rewrite the whole thing again is there.

You have to write on and on at the spur of the moment to keep the spirit at that time, not unlike Jack Kerouac claimed method of gonzo writing.  You write it when it is fresh on the surface of your mind, ready to be release to the world.  Keeping it makes it stale.  The work represents you when you are writing it and the detachement happens right after you have stopped and more and more so from the time you stopped till the PRESENT.  (The three language representation of the timeline of the PAST, PRESENT and the FUTURE).

the-timeline

Even when you are writing about the PAST in the PRESENT (the present here is ALWAYS the time when you are writing), it reflects your PRESENT (at the time of writing) thoughts on the past.  That is why people always say: “Looking back to those years…” and the present their thoughts in the PRESENT terms not in the past because it sure felt happy/sad/exciting/confusing back THEN in the PAST that they are referring to.  That is why you can still think of the time that you got your ass kicked as funny even to the fact that you certainly didn’t think of it that way when you were going through it.

So my work don’t represent me, though it did some time ago.  I might be a racist/homophobic/vegan/Chinese/Buddhist back in the past, sometimes marked with my artwork/song/poetry, but that doesn’t reflect me in the present.  Such is the complexity of human beings.

Seeing things in this perspective collects a lot of real life situations that we face everyday, other that the mentioned ironic recollection of past experience above, there is also a lesson of not prosecuting people over their past disdemeanor.  This is subjective to the timeframe of when was the last offence was commited, but if a reasonable amount of time have passed since the offence and the verdict has not been announced, there should be more leniency, especially there are signs of repentance and change in the individual.

Even among many prominent writers/thinkers/social scientists would change their perspective and ideologies along thier careers.  An ultra right could switch to being a Left vice versa.  Humans are subjected to different stimulis and experiences.  The point here is just for us to understand that people change and though most of them unmarked, some greater humans marked it with their works and perceivable by the world.  The imporatance here is to stop treating people like they remains the same, or have any claims to their work that they produced throughout their life.  With this, the abolishment of copyrights- because nothing is really original, everything that you thought have been thought of anyway- destroy the idea of (intellectual) property- the pencils you write on, the electricity you use, the people/nature/flower/animal that you captured in your photograph, the language that you use does not belonged to you.  It belong to EVERYBODY.

(Hahaha padan muka baca tulisan melilau aku.  Oops, bukan aku, korang semua yang punya)

Cheers

Written by yuenkokleong

November 4, 2008 at 11:11 am

Posted in Firing neurons