Sunday, June 21, 2009

Before Tomorrow

Previous week, same Monday. Empty stomach, sleepy face. Later on: 2 eggs, 2 slices of bread, tuna fillings. Everyone was working like some pre-programmed, futuristic machines they were. A promo intern asked a good question at the most precise moment when every designer was exercising his "logo-resizing" routines: Does anybody know how to change the toner for the printer? It was a pathetic situation. Almost. But that’s not the point. The point is we were just too lazy to read manuals. Do people still read manuals these days? For a start, is the manual informative enough to be understood at the first place? Designers who designed manuals don’t really read manuals. Printers without toners are unable to print manuals. Designers need printers need toners need manuals (the circle of life).

Previous week, decayed Tuesday, same binary form in a similar A-B-A structure. Chop-chop and jarring, the day flashed by to the melody of John Adams’ Short Ride In A Fast Machine (and I must be the metronomic woodblock player). Early lunch, same heat, the weather is suspicious. Nasi goreng kampung with one mata lembu, iced lemon barley (not in the mug with a Carlsberg logo, surprisingly). A sudden crave for paddle pop while ruminating on the ideas of career change, but one that is still under Arts. A lecturer wants me to consider teaching.

Previous week, broke rules and denied all consequences. Wore t-shirt to work and met CEO by chance in the elevator. I am calculating the odds.

Previous week, same cologne. Same tops. Same bottoms.

Previous week, same Wednesday. Same stoic eyes, unsorted thrusts. Motivation: 28% plus minus. Inspiration: Very minimal. Black turned me on and white get dirty easily (ref: my Jack Purcells). Someone’s unit half-crashed, and everyone archived their data as if the next day is the dawn of apocalypse. And about then someone shouted: FREE FOOD OUTSIDE THE AUDITORIUM! Reaction: 70% of them went crazy with whatever’s left on the plate while the others were either (1) archiving, or (2) resizing logos, or (3) on diet and secretly semi-napping. I realized that my dreams were evaporating at breakneck speed. The illuminating, white-on-green EXIT sign hanging haphazardly above the backdoor was trying to twit me a message or two. This happened before.

Previous week, different time. Different atmospheric pressure.
Different galvanic skin response.

Previous week, same mails, same spams.
Same coffee stains. Different patterns.

Previous week, old Thursday, same password, old me. On desk was the month’s copy of Marketing magazine showcasing 25 rising stars from Singapore's media, marketing & advertising community, everyone under 35; all of whom are making waves, going places. It sort of set me thinking instantly, but momentarily. There are no ifs and buts about what she had to say: Do not mould yourself with what the media wants you to be. Who shaped you? Who tells you what to do? Who said you are not good enough to be good enough? You are not Alyssa Milano; does that make you ugly? On desk, another book just completed: Frank Kafka’s translated version of Brief an den Vater (Dearest Father). Expressive emotional content with witty insights; an intricate relationship magnified (note to self: must read twice). On desk was also Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy. Yes, it's official, the book is not easy to digest. But funny nonetheless.

Previous week, same phone rings. Same dial tones.
Same old numbers. Same wrong numbers.

Previous week, two news. One: a friend’s father passed away. Two: a friend won lottery. Previous week, big bosses loved the mock-ups. Previous week, someone brought you down. Previous week, mirthful. Previous week, morose.

Previous week, the standard Friday, a brief cloudburst, a nuance of hope. They began the day by sending Youtube links of crazy Thai TVCs, done without ends. Buddy bargained for lower camera prices but concluded with no deals. A friend ripped the seven bonus tracks in the 2008 special reissue of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Someone contracted flu and fever that is unrelated to H1N1. Might be the weather, might be something else. Previous week, same epilogue.

Same dialogues. Different sign-offs.
Not like this. OK can. Maybe no. Sure, of course.
People spoke, people listened. Who knew? Who don’t?

They knew?
I don’t.

Do you know how to change the fucking toner for the goddamn printer?

Don’t tell me that it’s easy. Show me!

And you. Yes you. Stop judging me. Please.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mambooing The Champs

Back in 1957, it lost to Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. It swept 10 Oscars out of the 11 nominated with its ambitious (read ‘apocryphal’) film version in 1961. 52 years later, the Romeo & Juliet inspired, thoroughly Gershwinesque, street style choreographed and Spanish-infused musical that is West Side Story lost the Best Musical Revival title to the greasy, revolutionary Hair at the 63rd Tony’s. It was expected, sure as sun, but I was stumped.

Maybe TIME got it right after all:,8599,1887470,00.html

Yet still, I want to mambo, one sway or another.

At the very least, Karen Olivo's turn as Anita did not go overlooked. And when you have four out of four casts nominated for top acting awards, it's safe to say that it wasn't a miscalculation when Yasmina Reza's satiric 'God of Carnage' grabbed Best Play. But no Best Revival of a Play nomination for David Mamet's comedic 'Speed-The-Plow'? Peculiar indeed.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mystikwerks XXVIII

Underneath the exuberant affection lies a little uncertainty. Place this life under scrutiny, you’ll unearth its conformity. Expanding thoughts not in brevity, trust in all simplicity, there’s a new rhythmicity ready to stew your curiosity. Feel the electricity in its entity, you are what that makes the city. The things you cherish knows nothing of mortality; judge not its authenticity for it’s not one's liability. Go define your personality, go refine your reality. Yet pity, humanity – governed by his insecurity. Always questioning dignity and their dimensionality. Actuality sync and sinks, while we walk in duality, heavy eyes getting misty, insulting one's integrity. You’ll survive in time to see (even though now in disparity, with your offbeat oddity and your ridiculosity) that despite your diversity and your warm humility, you will end up in the trough of singularity. So recheck your eligibility, your credibility, before you reach declivity and hit that elusive numero thirty.