"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, October 23, 2002


Firstly, I'm glad that *someone* else is saying what I've been saying for the last few years - angst as an art-form is terribly irritating. Sometimes, if I had my way, I'd just post my few journal entries as txt files and let whoever wants to read, plough through the Courier New font at their own leisure.
Unfortunately, technology does have little benefits, such as that funky comments link, so it's an acceptable trade-off, I guess...

But since we're on the topic of angsty journals, I would like to point out that there's nothing wrong with angst per se. It exists. It's a condition that's impossible for a rational human being to avoid, particularly in this world we live in. A lot of us cope by focusing on getting rich - which, if we succeed, means that we end up as very intelligent people who never have to make difficult
choices - a condition that is arguably far worse than being a moron.

However, it is not angst-as-emotion that ticks me off, but angst-as-fashion-statement. A badly written journal describing pain and suicidal tendency does get cliched after a while, but it at least has a modicum of sincerity that a slick, polished blog with elegant colour schemes and lyrical depictions of world-weariness over the most picayune of observations kind of ...lacks. I don't know - I mean, God knows, on a rational benchmark, most of the issues which I bitch about here are fairly, post-modernistically trivial, when
considered against the larger framework of human suffering that a great deal of the world endures. We no longer have to eke out the balls-to-the-wall starvation/survival type of existencee our forefathers had - but.. something else is lost with it. Something that died when we got to a stage when we didn't have to worry about the Japanese occupiers anymore; when our biggest issues were
exams, fashion, shopping, and careers.

Lacking that Great Struggle, we turned inward. We grew smarter, hipper, more self-assured and more empty. Every single trivial gratification these days has to be orgiastically enhanced. An in-grown toenail becomes an epic paean of loss and betrayal. We lost our gods and found MTV. We look to great movies as artistic expressions of the intensity and grittiness which our lives now lack.
We watch on CNN the suffering of those still mired in that deeper, fundamental quest for daily survival in the Third World as substitutes for the suffering that we wish we had, on some subconscious level - because that primal state of being is all we, as a living organism, are genetically built for. When you take that away - when those survival edges are ground away by the lapidary effect of yuppiedom & consumerism - what's left?

Where do I stand? I don't know. Sometimes I want to be immured in the little cocoon of gratification I create for myself - hiding in my swathe of movies, anime, computer games, and books. Fuck the outside world. Forget such thoughts. Delve in a daily haze of fine graphics, proxied emotions and manufactured sensations. What else is there?

And here I am, guilty of the same haze of confusion, hypocrisy, and ego which I denounced earlier:)

Perhaps the problem with intensity of emotion is that we live in a world where intensity of emotion has become another commodity. We can't help feeling it; but we can't help feeling cynical of its manifestations. These days everyone wants to be angsty, but everyone wants to have a disclaimer that goes, "oh, i know i'm being angsty, ha-ha, insert-self-loathing (as I am doing now).". All of those
kiddie blogs (myself included, ha-ha - more hypocrisy) with the funny titles for entries always - *always* - talk about how amused/confused they are their own emotional situation - at how they realise that its pathetic and what-not but "hey, that's the way it goes. Now let me suffer in style."

I blame it on Nirvana:) On that similar note, Kurt Cobain's diaries are about to be published, and I'll probably pick it up. Here's an excerpt:
"I like punk rock. I like girls with weird eyes. I like drugs. (But my Body And mind won't allow me to take them). I like passion. I like playing my cards wrong. I like vinyl. I like to feel guilty for being a white, American male. I love to sleep. I like to taunt small, barking dogs in parked cars. I like to make people feel happy and superior in their reaction towards my appearance. I like to have strong opinions with nothing to back them up with besides my primal sincerity. I like sincerity. I lack sincerity ... I like to complain and do
nothing to make things better. I like to blame my parents generation for coming so close to social change then giving up after a few successful efforts by the media & Government to deface the movement by using Mansons and other Hippie representatives as propaganda examples on how they were nothing but unpatriotic, communist, satanic, inhuman diseases. and in turn the baby boomers become the ultimate, conforming, Yuppie hypocrites a generation has ever produced."

See?:) A whole generation reared to believe that revelling in equal doses of self-love and self-loathing are de rigeur.
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