Thursday, 29 December 2016
In fact, that day will come in approximately six months.
By the 22nd of June 2017, I will have finished my last exams of my double degree course and be thrust into the deep end of the corporate pool, swimming among the flavescent faeces of other terrified millennials as we, packed like hungry rats in a tube, collectively rush towards a sad and abysmal reality.
Death by adult life.
Working in an office 9 to 5. Being a desk-bound indentured slave. Having to smile at old people you don't like. Discussing credit ratings and having to do tax returns. Smiling at more old people as they exercise their corrupt authoritarian powers, asking you to retrieve their bi-hourly caffeine fix then forcing you to fix their computer or some other tech shit. You stare at your watch, then back at your screen, then back at your watch, and start imagining what it'd be like to commit hara-kiri in front of your boss, blood spurting out of orifices like NYE fireworks, eyes bulging like Steve Buscemi, mouth agape like a man whose soul just got sucked outta him by the latest Dyson machine.
Fuck. It's so depressing.
And hey, it might not be that bad. I have plenty of friends who work in corporate and haven't killed themselves yet, but you never know... some of them are, for sure, mentally flaying themselves.
I know. I'm being unnecessarily pessimistic/nihilistic. It seems every third post on this blog is me complaining about corporate life and my own career path.
I can't help it. I'm at that stage.
Years of dealing with tyrannical bosses has left me a broken shell of my former self.
Oh why oh why!!
I can already see myself slumped over an office desk, dreaming about the good old days when I'd be in an Asian Studies lecture, seated with a pen and notebook, eagerly jotting down WWII stats in the Asia Pacific theatre, looking at old sepia photos of Japanese soldiers, or listening to the professor describe the exploits of Jodhaa Akbar. Analysing maps of Asian Empires and legendary military strategies. Watching Korean pop videos and explaining the success of the Korean wave. Discussing anime films and dissecting Asian pop culture.
Not just that. But...
The physical & emotional sensations of being in a history lecture.
When it's so unbearably hot during the summer that even the asphalt looks like it's sizzling underneath the sun's gaze.
But stepping into S4 - it's dark. There are no windows. The aircon billows cool breezes onto your face. You immediately feel the respite, and relish that almost as good as Lipton Ice Tea feeling as you relax in a large airy chamber sparsely dotted with students.
Soon, the sounds of retractable wooden desks being opened with a soft 'bang' against its metal fulcrums heralds the lecturer's arrival. She's a Swedish-Australian with a quirky accent, and an expert in Japanese history.
For the next hour, she relays graphic stories of wartime heroics and betrayals, of internecine rivalries and incompetent governments of the Japanese Imperial Empire. You listen intently to some of the most interesting and compelling stories you have ever heard. The battles, the soldiers, their families, their friends and enemies -- you are transported there. You experience it, and feel what they felt. Love, loyalty, anger, shame, fear, sadness.
Then the hour is up. The lecturer says she will see you next week.
You get out of your chair, brain reeling with indescribable imagery. Again, the sounds of wooden desks being slammed back into its retracted position fills your ears, and as you stand there for a few more seconds to process how much you fucking loved the past hour of your life, you realise you're the only one left in the lecture theatre, and that you need to get out.
You step outside, back under the sun, and breathe out deeply, with happiness, inspiration, enlightenment and fulfilment. Then, you take your wallet out and head off to go buy some salmon sushi from the cafeteria.
Saturday, 5 November 2016
Friday, 28 October 2016
Last year, when my boss
After I walked in, I sat down at the table with my boss and two other female colleagues. He got off his phone a few minutes later and something incredible happened. As soon as he started speaking, compliments about our beauty/femininity were thrown at us left, right and centre. These were half-ironic statements about how young my boss was for her age, how he was flustered being surrounded by beautiful women etc. etc. They ate it up. He even asked me why I didn't enter the Miss Chinese Melbourne beauty pageant, to which I internally grimaced and wanted to say: 'because pageants are stupid, sexist and embarrassing tools perpetuating the objectification of women for commercial and patriarchal value'. I obviously didn't say anything as scarily feminist as that, but I still said 'I think pageants are stupid', to which he presciently and again half-jokingly added 'ahhh yes, well that makes sense as I wouldn't expect an ambitious law student like yourself to enter something like that'. I grimaced again.
Apart from that thing about beauty pageants, he was saying a lot of very flattering bs that I admit, did make me feel good about myself. And I could see how much my boss and colleagues were enjoying having a handsome young man swathe them with witty, well-timed compliments. I thought to myself - wow. This guy is amazing. I mean, yeah, he's a stereotype, but that's what makes him so great at his job. He works with a lot of Asian businesses here, and with people who must be much older than him. I don't doubt for one minute that his Mad Men-esque charisma, where he can at any time switch on that rare old-timey gallantry and joke around with 'the boys', makes him a likeable character in a male-dominated industry where trust, connection and relationships can make or break a deal. And honestly, I didn't judge him too hard for the things he said because I knew he operated frequently if not completely within Asian business circles, and Asian business and networking culture is very different to what we young people would expect in more progressive western environments. So I understood completely if this was the sort of personality it took to win over his clients.
Anyway. So the second time we met, I still had no idea exactly how 'accomplished' he was, and faced with the existential throes of taking the bus home, I unashamedly asked him where he lived and whether it would be convenient for him to give me a ride home. 'Yes! That's fine!" he said eagerly. He said his car was parked close by. 'Maybe a 10 minute walk if that's alright?' He asked. That was definitely okay with me, since I would have had to walk 10 minutes home after taking the bus anyhow.
It was deception. Trickery. A trap.
Since he told me his car was 'parked' close by, I naturally assumed that he lived somewhere else. NUP. He took me to this newly built apartment complex a short walk away from my office. I was like 'uh...what?' And he's like, 'oh yeah, I'll take you down to the underground car park later. I'll just go up to my apartment and get some stuff.'
Apartment? He lives here? The fuck is happening?
I was slightly horrified that he was then making such a huge effort to drive me home. Horrified - not that I was uncomfortable, but because I didn't want him to be inconvenienced. He kept smiling and reassuring me that it was absolutely fine, and that I should just 'wait there', down on ground level. So I stood at the foyer for what felt like forever, until he came back down, and was like 'okay, let's go'.
We took the elevator down to the underground carpark, and before we stepped out, he's like 'so I drive an Aston Martin' or something. I'm like 'yeah ok haha'. And he went 'No, I really do.' And now I was like, LOL?!?!
We walked pass an unmissable yellow Ferrari. He said, 'that's my friend's car. Sometimes he goes overseas and gives me the keys. It's fun. We race a lot.'
Okay, so these weren't his exact words. After all, it's been a year since this happened. But for the sake of story-telling, that was essentially what he said.
Then finally, he led me to this obnoxiously shiny, conifer green Aston Martin DBS.
At this point I was still like no....
But then he pressed his keys and the lights lit up.
Then I was like oh...
Of course, he opened the door for me on my side. I crouched in, proceeded to fall with a thump into my seat (they're really low), for which he apologised for not warning me about, and then I'm like. Holy shit. I'm in an Aston Martin. Internally, I was like WOOOOOOOOOOO! But externally, I was like, 'um yeah this is cool lol thanks.'
I vowed to myself not to be one of those girls. Because that was OBVIOUSLY what he expected.
We're sitting in his two hundred thousand dollar supercar, and he started scrolling through music. He settled on some super loud RnB track with heavy as fuck bass, and asked me 'do you like this music?' I almost burst out laughing, how ridiculous this shit was, but I'm like 'yeah, this is fine', playing it ice cool.
As we made our first turn out of the carpark, he gave the car a few good hard revs. And it's extremely, ostentatiously, hilariously loud for a semi-suburban street. It also felt fucking good. You can feel your entire body vibrating. It's that sensation when you're out a club or concert, the music is just blasting so loud the entire floor quakes beneath you, and this heavy narcotic sensation envelops your entire physical and spiritual being. Yeah. For like five seconds, that's what it was like.
Then he's like, very very unsubtly, 'You like that?'
I'm like 'What's not to like about this?'
And he goes 'Girls love this stuff, don't they? The fast cars... the noise... the music'
Inside, I was fucking dying. Dying of laughter. I couldn't believe how cheesy and contrived this entire dialogue was. Obviously, he didn't know me well enough to understand that I'm way too sophisticated and hyper-aware to be swayed by this sort of fuccboi flirting (unless of course, I was actually into it). I tried not to smile so hard.
Even funnier, after we turn out of the carpark, he completely and illegally speeds down the entire 300 metre or so stretch of the street, revving like Jamie Whincup in a V8 Rally, but not really because this was actually a part of Australian suburbia lined with Asian groceries and inhabited by lots of old Chinese women with shopping trolleys. I said nothing. We kept going.
We had a relatively tame conversation about work, saving money and financial success. The whole time, I tried not to show any sign that I was even remotely impressed by his wealth or being in an Aston Martin, which just made everything about this really funny to me. I was just like, yeah cool, I'm just a person having this totally mature discussion with you i.e. ain't gonna fawn over yo shit.
At one point, he was implying that if you work young, start saving early, you too can be like me. And I was like, but I just spend all my money on food. And he tells me to stop having brunch and dining at expensive restaurants, which he just totally assumed I was doing. Inside, I was like - um, I literally never do brunch and when I mean 'buying food', I mean spending all my money on Hungry Jack's 6 chicken nuggets for $3.00 and my favourite KFC original tenders box, with a special large potato and gravy upgrade cos I fucking love potato and gravy. I really should have said that, now that I think about it. It would have destroyed any fantasy he had of me being an easily susceptible, uber superficial, uber fit, Heston Blumenthal-crazy, Michael Kors-toting, pretty girl.
While I was being completely cold to his attempts to impress me, I did do this one thing that I couldn't help - I'd look at the people in the cars next to us and see whether they were looking back at us with envy/aspiration. Because if I were sitting next to a car as sexy as his, I'd want to see what the person driving it looks like. Usually, it'd be some fifty something year old white dude wearing a branded cap of whatever car he was driving. Ferrari? Ferrari cap. BMW? BMW cap. But here we were, two Asian kids - me, 21 wearing tank top and jeans, and him, suited up and looking barely over 27.
Anyway, for the rest of the trip, he had deliberately rolled down all windows, with music blasting pretty loudly. It was hard not to notice us. And then he dropped me back home. The thing is, at the time, I had been holding down a couple of jobs, and most of my bosses had expensive cars. They all drove some recent model of Porsche and Mercedes SUVs/sedans, and so for the last two months or so, I had been continually dropped off at my front door in these super expensive obsidian black, metallic blue, glossy automobiles. But an Aston Martin DBS was a major step up.
I wondered what my nosy as fuck Asian neighbours thought of this (they once dobbed me in to my parents after seeing me with my Sri Lankan (ex) boyfriend).
Outside my house, I said 'thanks for the ride', keeping the effusiveness on the down-low (usually I'm extremely grateful for a ride home from anyone), and he was like 'no worries' etc. Then I went in, and he left, visibly disappointed by my down-to-earth attitude.
Sunday, 16 October 2016
Thursday, 13 October 2016
Even though I say I hate people and that most people are generally dumb and lacking in basic introspective qualities (i.e. they're immature), it's only because of a few certain experiences I've had recently and Donald Trump. Apart from that, life had been pretty good because I was feeling really grateful about how many amazing new friends I've made this year. And I'm talking about friends you really click with. Friends you can have three hour conversations with about anything - life, politics, how dumb even 'smart' people are, (hating) law school, familial pressure, self-inflicted pressure, Trump, sex, romance, movies, books, science fiction, cyberpunk, 80s music, Snake Plissken, the history of hentai, astronomy, the singularity, AI, anime, feminism, drugs, money, marriage... we have a lot of shared interests/experiences. And I'm not kidding when I have had conversations where almost all of these topics have been covered within the time frame of an hour.
I love that I have these friends. In fact, I'm grateful that I have a lot of these friends. Sometimes it's not immediately obvious, but these are the people who keep you grounded. They're you're backbone. They bring a lot of joy and you know they'll be there for you, or more likely, weeping with you, when you start freaking out about life, careers, internships etc.
Probably like three people even read this blog. But still. Thanks guys.
Every single fucking day I read any comment thread on the internet, it's like watching real-time retrogression of humanity, and the imminent end of our evolutionary vector, because god knows - Trump, a guy who advocates non-consensually grabbing women 'by the pussy', is that close to getting his hands on America's nuclear missile launch codes. But not just that, despite myself being aligned with left-wing principles, I am physically disgusted by the increasing aggressiveness of other left-wing activists ('social justice warriors') for yeah, living up to the stereotype of being absolutist and sanctimoniously shutting down any argument that doesn't adhere to their own superficial values. Some of the things vomited out by both the left and right wing have been... ridiculous. And it's fuelling each other.
You know what. At this point, having the earth bombed to a charred, ashen, marshmallow of a planet and toeing the line of human extinction might be the purgatory we all need. That earth needs. Fuck, I don't even care anymore.
I have a lot of sympathy with Adrian Veidt of Watchmen, and I have no problem sanctioning certain 'methods' against certain people that I know some of you more admirable and morally pure-hearted would never agree to,
I literally ranted about this in my previous post about how, because I've been exposed to a lot of shit (in life and in the news) when I was young, I am able to take the more realistic approach to certain issues. And of course, there are some issues so complex that I acknowledge it is impossible to take sides, but what we can do and should do is calm the fuck down and look at the facts. And here's a fact I want to reiterate: human nature is not a 'blank slate'. We're fucked. Admit it. Things like jealousy, insecurity, suspicion, anger, compulsiveness, truculence - these are the things that lead to conflict, potentially massive conflict. And frankly, these are fundamental human characteristics, and as with positive traits like altruism and empathy, they will always exist. You can never make it go away, except try and strike a balance. Unfortunately, however, it's the negative traits we all embody that result in greater consequence for society. Trust me, I'm not being cynical. I'm just being an adult. And it's why we all miss the blissful ignorance/innocence of our childhood.
And since I'm ranting....
Ever heard of Peter Scully? The Australian man who engineered a paedophile ring in the Philippines and for years trafficked young girls and raped babies in dungeons to produce content for his subscribers? I remember reading about this when I in high school, when some of the material he produced were merely 'urban legends' of the dark web.
Well, he deserves death. And not just death. But a slow, tortured, excruciating death. If I had the ability to carry this out myself, I fucking would. I would ... I shouldn't even type out the things I'm thinking because it is literally so despicable that I almost feel just as fucked up. But sometimes, I look at my friends, who have never experienced huge prejudice in their lives, or the friends who make cheesy posts about the Paris Attacks but ask them about what's happening in Istanbul or Pakistan, and they're like 'what?'... and you can't help but think - People. Don't know. Shit.
Even me, ranting about problems like lack of Asian representation in the media. Yeah, I get frustrated at people who use the cop-out justification 'Hollywood is a business'. They clearly recognise there's a wrongness in whitewashing, or white saviour tropes (when you explain it to them), but because they've never felt it from YOUR point of view, they feel no need to speak up the way I do. So their automatic subconscious response is to kind of dismiss the petitions and rants they see popping up on Facebook, because it just doesn't affect them.
Now. Imagine. Being a black person in America. The problems they're facing. My problems almost seems like a goddamn privilege compared to the shit THEY deal with, and the dismissiveness THEY have to fight and have been fighting since they were goddamn shipped to America as slaves.
Anyway. Adulting. It's fun.
Friday, 7 October 2016
Sunday, 2 October 2016
I just watched two episodes of Madam Secretary because I was procrastinating revising for Evidence Law. Damn, this show is great. It's so good I'd put it on par with The Good Wife, which was an excellent show (save for the terrible finale that caused richter scale waves of disappointment among the fanbase) and similarly featured a lot of contemporary social issues and dramatic office politics. So yeah, Madam Secretary is a smart and highly relevant show. It makes me instantly want to become a politician and just smack every opposing party member in the face with a charming smile hiding a cobra-like sting of coercion. I definitely recommend the show for anyone with better taste than Suits or Agents of Shield, the latter of which features such cheesy acting and can stoop to such unbelievable dumbassery that I was like - yeah, that's definitely Joss Whedon directing.
Can somebody invent a line of cocaine that will help you stay awake and prevent epithelial outbreaks resulting from unhealthy circadian rhythms? I think L'Oreal needs to get on this shit. There's a huge market to be capitalised on and it's of way more social utility than the current trend of thick flagellum shaped eyebrows that have now progressively become:
If I stay up any longer my skin is going to burn.
Saturday, 24 September 2016
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
That is the price one pays for reading.
Well. Not that I'm too fussed about it. Reading fiction, especially from profound science fiction writers like Asimov, has been a much greater cognitive adventure than anything I've ever found at law school. Which in fact, is setting the bar quite low, because all the things you've ever heard about law school 'stretching the mind' and teaching you 'how to think' is spectacular grade A bullshit.
Law school teaches you how to think - adversarially - systematically - within the boundaries of a legal system. It narrows the scope of your lens so that everything you interpret must either be legal or illegal, right or wrong, black and white. Grossly manichean. Any grey areas are glossed over with whichever perspective best suits the interests of your client. Then - proceed to pursue that line of argument with the zealousness of a stereotypically (and often romanticised) hawk-eyed and ethically decrepit hot-shot lawyer.
On the other hand, the best and most life-changing fiction I've ever read have been firmly focused on challenging systems, questioning the world or society's expectations, and exploring those very real and sensitive grey areas. In exploring grey areas, these stories also describe with great eloquence the unbridled power of emotions and relationships. At the end, it encapsulates the best and worst of human nature, and alerting the reader to the critical importance of empathy.
Yes, empathy, something very lawyerly. *rolls eyes*
Bleh. I'm sorry. Every time I blog now, I end up ranting about how I look down on law students and well, people who are mentally incapable of idolising anybody other than Hugo Boss clad investment bankers or senior law firm partners. If that's you, please fuck out of my life right now. Or better yet, complete mandatory volunteering at homeless shelters and refugee camps so you'll have something to think about when you're sitting behind your antique mahogany desk at Barclays, signing off on a lucrative account with some corrupt as fuck billionaire Chinese CEO. Because I damn well know some of you idealise that lifestyle lel.
P.S. just wanted to say that people have every right to worship power and money, but don't expect me to entertain you with my time if you're such a person.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
I just put all my songs on Spotify to play on shuffle.
How apt that the track to come on right now would be Logic's City of Stars.
The first time I heard that song, I felt like Spike Spiegel, leaning handsomely against the large window of their interplanetary fishing trawler (The Bebop), slow-burning a cigarette, and staring out into a swirling mass of glimmering stars, an insouciant expression hiding deeply felt pangs of existential awe. Spaceships hover in the distance, infinitesimal dots of colour interspersed among the hugeness of the universe. Words cannot possibly describe the feeling, but it tugs profoundly at the heart, and at the parts of the brain which process pleasure.
When I first heard it, I asked my boyfriend to take me on a drive. It was late at night, and with City of Stars pounding through the car's speakers, I felt a strong hedonistic need to see the city lights. We ended up doing a slow drive down Yarra Boulevard, in Kew.
You know. I've never done any drugs (unfortunately). But there are times where I certainly feel like I am on some. This usually occurs when I come across some exquisite concept art, or watch a really visually striking film. Blade Runner. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Tron Legacy. Dark City.
A conglomeration of colours, evening textures, restrained pacing, and haunting music will make for an overall atmosphere of psychedelic paradise. And I wasn't kidding when I said it tugs at the heart. A physical weight comes over me. The experience, for me, is both extremely cerebral and wonderfully somatic. In other words, it feels fucking amazing on every possible level. #betterthansex
So we're driving down this winding boulevard next to the Yarra river, and I had turned City of Stars up to dangerous volumes. I had obviously never been down the boulevard before (apparently it's a popular meeting place for drug dealers), and didn't even know such a scenic drive existed.
For a while, we were just driving in darkness. There weren't any lights because the boulevard was technically, located within the Yarra Park reserve. All I could see on either side of the car was bush and shrubbery. Well, black lumps and shadows that swayed against the crepuscular, purplish shade of the night sky.
Then. All of a sudden. Boom.
There it was. The Melbourne skyline, rising majestically above the jagged outlines of the foliage that festooned the entire length of the boulevard. It was like watching an 8-bit cyberpunk city come to fucking life.
The skyscrapers appeared to shoot out of the ground right in front of us. From our elevated perspective, the city indeed looked deceptively close. As the car continued forward, I would crane my neck back, admiring the blue, red, silver lights. And the crane! A brightly lit construction crane, with the construction company's name emblazoned brightly across its shaft, positively glowed against the city backdrop.
Yep. It was like drugs. Or how I imagined MDMA might feel.
Even reminiscing this night is making me feel all sorts of awesome right now.
Oh, and it turns out that Logic's album - The Incredible True Story - the one with City of Stars on it? I could not fucking believe it when I found out.
The entire album is a fictional story set in space, on a spaceship, with a rat-pack crew of friends. One of the characters that speaks before a few of the songs? Is the actual fucking guy who voices Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop (Steve Blum). AND it turns out that Logic is a huge Cowboy Bebop fan.
This is why that album will always be one of my favourites. Or even my favourite album of all time.