the importance of conversation in our present climate

About two months ago, circa Pink Dot, a certain article published on Medium was circulating: I’m a transgender in Singapore, and I don’t support Pink Dot. I’m always intrigued by less popular schools of thought / perspectives that contrast with what’s typically anticipated of millennial liberalism, and the title certainly sounded promising — the article itself, unfortunately, was not. This fantastically written response piece sums my dissatisfaction up appropriately: “the [original article’s] writer’s views are not wrong, only incomplete and perhaps myopic.”

Continue reading “the importance of conversation in our present climate”

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moon river

prologue

a fortnight ago [redacted] & i spoke of love and loneliness. we always do, and for good reason: we understand each other. she knows what it’s like to get so pointlessly, absurdly, intensely infatuated for months on end it becomes unhealthy and borders on obsession (or maybe the latter bit is just me… two times too many). she both panders to, and rejects, the gripe and thrust of that infatuation the way i have before, and presently, as a preventive measure, refuses its Entry Into Being the way i do and would now, lest either of us remotely entertain its jarring company and have it disrupt our current internal state of affairs — hallmarked by peace. she’s been through the turmoil and experienced firsthand the Clash of the Titans (Feeling and Rationality), and is, or will be, more cautious now, when entering the court.


i. loving

can you love?

—intimacy scares me, i said.

me too.

Continue reading “moon river”

Tearing Down Walls

Wrote this article a while ago. I don’t think it ever got published so I’m putting it up here because it’s a little glimpse into the fashion world I’m slowly trying to understand, hehe. No images, just in case.

What’s in a name? For Gosha Rubchinskiy, it’s an entire eponymous brand, built upon a rich foundation of youth culture, social scrutiny, political tension and religious heritage. What Rubchinskiy has observed and continues to observe, he constructs into a tangible narrative of design, outlined by an artistic vision fixated on his Russian roots.

For his Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Rubchinskiy pushes cultural boundaries even more, highlighting that streetwear is no longer under unstated American ownership, but has instead become a crucible of international interpretation. Continue reading “Tearing Down Walls”

champagne socialists

August 4th, 2014 — title reads, “success”: 

I envision erecting monuments of affluence, stapling mountains onto pinboards of lands I have conquered, doing feats of a lion in the body of a fish, so that I can tick things off my checklist (that has too often been dipped into pretentious dreams; it’s an unfavourable flavour). I won’t lose sight of these unrealistic goals but I just had an epiphany that struck me in the form of a wishful (?) daydream:

I took my daughter to Disney World over the 4th of July. And seeing her face as those fireworks went off gave me goosebumps. She looked so amazed. It just really made me feel like I’d accomplished something.

Made me so happy and I am at peace.

 i’m posting this today from my old blog (and it’s so weird, scrolling through the archives, feelings pangs of emotion paralleling what i was trying to articulate, but blocking them out before any memory fully pieces together, because i’m happy where i’m at and i don’t want these old thoughts converging with my new life) because i made two babies laugh today and my heart really felt so full and warm even though the moments were so fleeting. and two weeks ago i was also suddenly overcome with impatience and anger after hearing about all the heroin cases in the US — i.e. parents passing out or completely overdosing, foaming at their mouths, in front of their children — and just the overall thought of kids being orphaned at such tender ages or shoved into foster care (and props to social workers who do their jobs well and help ease the mounting pressures and heavy hearts dumped on these kids’ backs, but i doubt anything will fully compensate for what they have to go through, although yes! help matters! patience matters! faith matters! a sturdy support system matters so much, sometimes even for the better, but there’ll always be a missing why and what if my life was different, you know?).

so many things to consider when parenting, because giving in to your children isn’t the hard part; disciplining them is. and, of course, always that moral dilemma if your kid isn’t in perfect health. always the pressure to say and do the right things. always the precariousness of trying to maintain a good role model image. always the fear something will go wrong, that you’ll mess up, and your kid won’t have a happy life when you’re gone or will be misled. maybe not always in an explicit sense, but surely the nagging voice remains. it would for me. not overconsumingly, not to the point of not being able to love and appreciate and enjoy the beauty and indescribable soulfulness of being a parent, but i’ll likely think about it in some effort to constantly better myself as a parent.

it currently costs an additional $1,500 just for a home study to assess suitability and readiness for adoption of a foreign kid. and there are still laws imposed by individual countries in re overseas adoption that must be considered. the way i see it, do i want to try to provide a better life and a supportive environment for a kid from an LEDC or someone local? does it make a difference? will a choice to go for the latter hold me somehow morally responsible for the opportunity cost of not helping a kid out who might otherwise end up in poverty or child labour, because in general local conditions and trafficking aren’t as prounced as in places like, say, Sudan or Venezuela (Tier 3 under the 2016 Trafficking in Persons report)? if i end up adopting a kid am i indirectly responsible by some extended, confounded ethical negligence for all the kids i didn’t adopt, simply because i am aware of their suffering, so that somehow holds me accountable to a little extent?

Continue reading “champagne socialists”

still, this trajectory

today I came to the final realisation that my different Selves contradict — it’s no wonder I can’t ever reconcile with my reflection. I put a palm out against the glass, lay my fingers against the surface in different curvatures and rhythms, but always delicately, softly, playing dinner jazz instead of rock n roll, so I can see the light mimicking lucidity, and, tips pressed against the coldness, I always notice the thin gap between reflection and self.

what am I looking at — these eyes, nose, lips, teeth, chin, neck, breasts, skin? pores, scars, spots, vellus hair, gums — specimen bits of microscopic scrutiny more striking and obvious than the wholeness of body parts. I look into my eyes, although they’re not really my eyes (oil on canvas, René Magritte: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”), yet I can’t see anything but eyes, and I think if eyes really are the windows to the soul, it’s no wonder there are atheists in the world. and I appreciate the complexity and intricacy of our anatomy, of the biological foundation we are built upon, and of the art & grace of our supposed free will, of this beautifully enriching human existence, of conscious thought & awareness of self… but these thoughts are but thoughts, and if I were to be authentic they are not thoughts I derive from observing physicality, but thoughts that are drawn from a deliberate, abstract decision to be realised, to acknowledge depth, to appreciate. it is a grapple for meaning & a sense of self. it is illusionary, and I say this with the basest neutrality; no shame, no remorse, no anger, no pity, no gratitude, no joy, no relief — but untainted truth, free from any external reality but itself.

my mind is indifferent to this knowledge, to this irrefutable reality, to this recognition of illusion, and thus disillusionment. hence my personal conclusion: to not interfere with states of existence — my basis of adoption instead of having my own kids, because just as I do not have the authority to take a life, what gives me the authority to give birth to it?

my soul is cold to this truth. and it craves a sense of understanding it can accept. but it hates to be lied to as much as the mind, and it knows there is no explanation or objective meaning, and thus it is left cold. not a good thing. not a bad thing. just a thing.

but then my heart. it insists on meaning, on fulfillment, on growth. and that’s okay. it is why I am not Meursault yet. because the heart is my fragment of belief in this elaborate illusion thrust upon my being. and I appreciate it, because it makes it impossible for me to completely detach from the ground and fall into theory, but then, with the absence of black & white, neither detachment nor indulgence (in the illusion) is necessarily good or bad, just silently grey and factual. and I appreciate my heart for making me human, for leaving me a layman to acceptance of the illusion, but at times I detest it too, for contradicting my mind & soul, for making me hover at the border of ignorance and knowledge, seeing the abyss of realisation but hoping to still somehow find bliss in oblivion. because that’s what it is: satisfaction in feeling vs enlightenment in indifferent truth. and neither is the right or wrong choice. and I hate (but simultaneously love… I hate these contradictions) this position I am in, sometimes, when my heart grows weary and falters in conviction.

because other times physical needs and material wants and the illusionary persuasion of emotion & promise of fulfillment engross me and I temporarily forget the dilemma. but now I am stuck in it again. and I am tired — though neither painful nor pleasant; merely matter of fact.

re-examining self

is difficult. is painful. is like a fresh cut you deliberately pour salt in.

I am shaking. and it hurts. but that’s okay, because then I’m also thinking. and again, this process of recalibration. this reminder to self to not slip up because I want to minimize my hypocrisy. I want to not unwittingly become the sort of person I find difficult to respect. they’re there, sometimes — the judgment, the malice, the darkness. and I am in constant rebellion against them. I don’t want to know my efforts have gone to waste. but I want to know I’m slipping when I get lazy and cave into these fucking vices (of ill intent, of senseless critique, of unnecessary drama) because I fucking hate that they’re there at all and I want them suppressed as much as possible. because fuck, these immoralities will always be there. self-righteousness? as if I even have a legitimate moral compass, I know I’m not on any moral high ground, I’ve never claimed to be and I will deny misconceptions if raised; I am degenerate, scum of the earth, aren’t most of us, although that justifies jackshit? all that’s in my hands is effort, and I swear to God I will continuously strive to not let the one thing I have control of falter.

(I spent forever trying to decide if I should delete the cuss words to preserve image for possible future scholarships / employment, even, but then — artistic truth? honesty in expression? I dunno, but this post felt empty or somewhat false censored. so voila, leaving it raw & genuine.)