Greetings and Salutations!

Welcome to the longest-running* yet least-read** blog on the internet! Here you'll find me writing about all the things that I write about, which strikes me, just now, as somewhat recursive. In any case, enjoy :)

* not true
** probably true

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

X finds my blog

In refection of your e-mail, and upon my start of John Gardner’s Art of Fiction, I can’t help to think that your advice is pointless and shallow. Everything a writer starts is the beginning of something, and it is this – this reason, that I keep everything that I have written, and at times I go back and re-explore all those old ideas… and sometimes I find treasures there. And after all, wouldn’t you just love to see all that I’ve written thrown away – maybe that would in fact make things a little more equal. Well, to that I say, Fuck you... to atone for your words… like you were free from any wrong doing – where is your apology or your remorse? I may have been the physical embodiment of the furies but by no means were you a saint. It was your constant ignoring of me, your constant self absorbed nature and your solitude that left me in longing – that I was just so damn bored and acted out for something to get excited about… and the best you can do is a lonesome e-book out there in the dead space of electrons - to be forever bounced between diodes and nothing more. And selling out, at that, by whatever sells. You may think it funny now, but the future holds my last laugh. I will earn my place at the table and then some, but it is the seat of your lowly table that I will refuse because there is something greater out there – a true pulse; one of flesh, blood and all things devoutly human with all the pleasure, pain, ecstasy, and disgust to be found therein. There will be no little boy tales of dragons, or sorcerers conjuring spells to propel heroes through the mire of a writers’-workshop-generated-plot. …oh what good fortunes to be taken under the wing of one of the best writers of our generation (the world just doesn’t know this yet). Don’t get me wrong – it is not by this association alone that will allow me success at such a lofty feat, but one must consider where Kerouac would be with out Ginsberg, or Ginsberg with out Burrows… But I digress on so many interpersonal blah-blah-ings related to encyclopedias, last names, and forecasted descriptions to be found with in. AND WHAT THE HELL DID YOU KEEP THE SCABBS OF MY TATTOO IN YOUR JOURNAL FOR ANYWAYS???? Where is your pushcart prize nomination, MM??? It was all just the means to justify an end. It was all just the means by which my heart grew little harder and my skin a little thicker… to conjure fictionally certain shapes and shade of a destruction more extraordinaire…

gravity

So E@L asks me the other night if I'm getting tired of blogging, and I say, truthfully, 'no'. But I am getting tired of the nature of this blog-which is to say I'm getting tired of my own nature.

The sad truth is, I envy Xiaxue and her ilk the ability to blather on endlessly about nothing, just as I envy her staunch readers the ability to find entertainment in posts with so little substance. But the truth is, Xiaxue isn't the disease; she's just one of the more obvious symptoms.

The truth is, most times I disappoint myself. I feel like some schizophrenic clown, a bizarre entertainer tap-dancing through cartoons and sardonic asides, and occasionally stopping the music for a moment to reach for something profound, important—something better, more meaningful. And every so often I manage to touch something approaching truth… and then it's back to the conspiratorial wink, the friendly nudge, the ole soft shoe.

Does anybody know what the hell I'm talking about? Does it matter? Maybe only to me, to the editorial voice at the back of my head that constantly yells 'Clarity! Clarity!'

Maybe the Xiaxues of this world have the right of it. Maybe it's all just about bread and circuses and this week's object of derision. Maybe all this time I've been struggling to break through to the other side of…nothing.

But there are those times, brief, far too far between, like the Wright brothers' glorious thirty-odd seconds at Kittyhawk, where I break free. I soar.

Trouble is, I cannot stomach a few seconds here and there. I am not content to count achievement by the word or paragraph, only to fall back to mediocrity, to serviceability, to – clarity.

I cannot stand the pull of my own gravity.

Monday, January 30, 2006

wanting

My earliest memories are of wanting. A toy, a sweet, for my mother not to leave for work, a pebble from the gutter—want colored my world as it only can for someone who is powerless. Want was a spike pinning each day to the next. Want would overwhelm reason and accountability in an instant, leaving me shaking, sick and in tears. The lack of my object of desire was as the death of millions; ghastly, intolerable, shattering. I had absolutely no coping mechanism, no armor, nothing that would shield me from the rending effects of want left unsatisfied.

And yet, somehow I survived. Slowly, over the course of years, of decades, I learned to manage my wants, to minimize them, to trivialize them down to a level where they were always easily satisfied. A cup of coffee, a cigarette, a book. Just the act of lighting a cigarette can be, for me, a deeply satisfying experience. It's like magic: I snap my fingers and flame appears, as if by magic, burning away the specter of want. Instant gratification. It has so little to do with the physical addiction, and so much to do with the emotional one.

Everybody wants. Everybody has said or felt or thought, 'If I don't get ____, I will surely die." It is, as they always say without actually thinking about what it means, human nature. We are the ape that wants, and will go to extraordinary lengths to have. We are the creature that will desire the fruit from the highest branch, when there are plenty of edible bits lying right there on the ground, unnoticed as we trample them underfoot in our rush to climb the tree.

I still don't know which is worse: wanting too little, or wanting too much. The want, however, is inescapable.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

sg blog awards, redux

a little anonymous bird tells me that the Sg Blog Awards are chugging ahead at a stately pace. Inside sources indicate that the winners could be announced as early as March 1st. Inside sources also indicate that time to nominate blogs is running out...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sticky Issues: Ye Olde Mother Tongue

Too small? Can't see? Click on pic, then click on 'all sizes'. That should do the trick.

Sticky Issues: Baby Steps


Sticky Issues: Baby Steps
Originally uploaded by MercerMachine.
Too small? Can't see? Click on pic, then click on 'all sizes'. That should do the trick.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sticky Issues: The Sweet Hereafter

Too small? Can't see? Click on pic, then click on 'all sizes'. That should do the trick.

Monday, January 23, 2006

the man who drew stick figures

Dear Tomorrow Editors-

It seems I've made some of you upset. I wish I could say I was sorry, but that would be pretty silly, since that was my intent.

Why would I want to do such a thing? Not because I dislike you. Quite the opposite. I have a huge amount of respect for most of you, and at least a certain amount of respect for all of you. Which is why I felt it was important not to let this whole issue just drift away quietly.

You don't have to agree with me. That's not what this is about. Right now I'd be happy with just the discussion, open and honest, about what Tomorrow.sg really is. We've all heard many times that Tomorrow simply isn't some sort of focal point to sway public opinion, and is certainly not the drumhead for political change in Singapore. You're just boliao guys trying to do boliao things. Which is rather like saying you just keep that gold bar around as a paperweight. What you use it for doesn’t change the fact that it's pretty damn valuable.

So I made some of you upset. What I really wanna know is, why do you guys even care what I think? If you're just boliao guys trying to boliao things, then hey, I can be just a guy who draws stick figures, right? Why should it matter? In the grand scheme of things, I'm just one blogger. On a daily basis, more people read the back of dog food labels than read my little blog, and probably with more attention.

So let me ask again, because I really wanna know: Why do you care what I think?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Meme of 4

Okay, okay, for dubdew and mr miyagi. Ask me another day and you might get different answers, though.

4 jobs you've had in your life
Soldier
Bookstore manager
Bowling alley pinboy
Marketing manager

4 movies you could watch over and over
The Salton Sea
Braveheart
The Crow
28 Days Later

4 places you've lived

San Antonio, Texas
Muncie, Indiana
Austin, Texas
The Little Red Dot

4 tv showed you love(d) to watch

Firefly
Stargate SG-1
Survivor
Battlestar Galactica (old and new)

4 places you've been on vacation

Bali
South Padre Island
Bintan
Bangkok

Four websites you visit (almost) daily

Tomorrow.sg
Die Stunde Null
Crooks and Liars.com
Michael Moore.com

Four of your favourite foods

Cheese enchilada plate- Casa Rio, the Riverwalk, San Antonio
Frito-bean-and-cheeseburger, Ironhorse Café, New Braunfels, Texas
#3 Breakfast (cheese and mushroom omelette, hashbrowns, bacon and toast with a big glass of milk), the Family Diner, Muncie Indiana
2 roti prata and iced milo, RK 24 hours eating house, Serangoon Gardens, Singapore

Four places you would rather be

Spiderhouse café, Austin, Texas
Mojo's Daily Grind, Austin, Texas
The Metro, Austin, Texas
Tahiti

Four tagged

No tagged. Do if you want, lah.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sticky Issues: "A Dream Deferred"

Too small? Can't see? Click on pic, then click on 'all sizes'. That should do the trick.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sticky Issues: Once upon a Tomorrow

Too small? Can't see? Click on pic, then click on 'all sizes'. That should do the trick.
(For those of you interested in such details, this cartoon has been viewed on Flickr 1,655 times as of 8:05pm, 21 January 2006. It's my experience that only nude photos get comparable traffic. So I think the question of whether the public at large cares about this issue has been answered with an emphatic YES. They sure ain't in love with my artistic ability...)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Xiaxue makes an ass of herself (again)

Surprise, surprise. What disturbs me most about the whole sad, sordid little mess is that her fellow editors at Tomorrow are curiously (some might say ominously) quiet on the whole affair (excepting, as always, Agoooga). Perhaps they've learned something from the gahmen after all: when one of your own shows their ass, pretend it didn't happen.

I'm actually quite disappointed with Tomorrow. My opinion of Xiaxue couldn't have gotten any lower, but Tomorrow's editor's actions and inactions in regards to Xiaxue's Durai-esque blunder make me question whether Tomorrow is worth my continuing support. Or yours. Or anybody's.

C'mon, guys: the silence is killing you.