March 28, 2008

Amazing snow, tumbling down!!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:03 pm by changisme

I was so exhilierated by the brief but breath-taking snow this morning. When I went into a building for photocopying, the air was still the routine of halfwoken morning air. Being somewhat preoccupied, I didn’t lift up my head until I almost opened the door into another girl’s face, only then did see the gigantic snow flakes size of a third of my palm. Not just a few among many, but almost all of them were like marshmallows. The trees and flowers on campus have started sprouting and carry a newness in their green spring outfit. The snow curtained between me and them were like small dandelions and willowfluffs, not a breath of winter in them. It was a really strange feeling.
 
The large flakes didn’t last very long, maybe because it’s just too warm. I wonder what made the snow linger up above for so long that they became such big balls of yarns. I’m actually not sure if that IS the reason the flakes were so big. Maybe there was just some fast wind from the mountains. Maybe it’s a new interpretation of the passover: let the snow passover the mountain and come to us, except, this time around the snow feels to me more like a blessing. I wonder what the jews were feeling when they survived and their neighbours’ windows were swollen with ghostly cries, although we are not much better, how many times in the past year have I heard people counting their blessings when they see people living in substandard conditions. On a slightly different note, I saw another one of those postors with pictures of some darker people in their clothing, and next to it some slogens about giving your money to the poor and pitiful. I get really annoyed with some of these pictures, because in a lot of them, the people are not even unhealthy, they were just darker and taken near some rice fields. I feel that the frequent exposure of these pictures make the "type of look" or the ethnic facial and body features almost reflexively otherly and ugly. So many pictures, for example, make people feel that darker girls with hjiab must want to be___ fill in the blank. If the pictures functions were supoosed to make us feel more connected with people of differnet ethnicities, I don’t think they are doing a very good job.

March 26, 2008

The smell of vanilla nut cream tea

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:58 pm by changisme

You smell like the 20oz paper cup,
You smell like the rough texture
   of hot beverage paper jacket,
You smell like the streets and hall ways 
   I walk many times a day,
 
You smell like a walk 
   away from the wooden chair,
You smell like an episode of Jane’s last night,
You smell like command window execution
   line by line
 
The smell of sweetness and smell of cream,
The smell of fading winter and infant spring,
Shall I leave you with my love
or shall I bring you on the train?

March 25, 2008

unfair criticisms on the PRC government

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:40 pm by changisme

I get really irritated talking about politics with my mom. She believes that PR China is so strong and powerful that hardly anything can hard it. "Just think of how much struggle Mao and his followers had to go through to get the leadership, and how little people these days can endure!" She would say. "Just look at how those puny little invasions from Vietnam and India ended in the ’60’s!" She even goes as far as to say that "Those somewherians (racial pronoun) have low IQ, or are just ex-slaves. What can they do?" She strongly believes that the government will have no harm come to the people, it may not give us a lot of freedom of speech or massive information, but safety and wealth, that, she believes, is there for the grabs.

Even though I try to convince her that China is much more vulnerable now because of its economic connection with the rest of the world, I do have to say, I agree with her. People in the west rave and rave about how the Chinese government is controlling, how it bans the internet, but really what does the people want? People want safety and wealth. As much as the Chinese culture has converged to the west, this part is still quite different from North America. There is not as much desire for the concept of individuality as there is here. (I really don’t think either way is necessarily health.)

For the Tibetan riot, people say to me that how the government is shutting out western media, and they believe it’s because the government wants to do something scary. I get very impatient when others just biasedly think that way about a government. I personally don’t think that’s really what was intended. The Chinese government is really into stability, any factor that could cause unrest should be eliminated. A bunch of western reporters running around (possibly being kidnapped by or encouraging to) to the rioters, should not be there. It’s really less about the information that goes out than what happens within. The government is not stupid, everyone knows masked mysteries is more scary than true information. The same goes to SARS. The government didn’t release the information (a very bad thing to do I have to agree) because they didn’t want people freaking out and starting to run each other over. This is dangerous in a country so densely populated.

All this pertains to Tian’anmen Square in ’89. People in the west are so sure that the whole thing is about the students being on the right wanting to correct the government, which is so evil and totalitarian to massively killing them, but really, I actually don’t believe the Chinese government was more in the wrong than the students. The government was corrupt, and when they first started the protest, many rounds of negotiation went, and the students were not giving anything in their conditions. If you learnt anything about Chinese history, to completely change a government’s nature, you need violence, otherwise, you just have to change it a bit at a time. Not giving any compremise was either clearly stupidity or self-heroism. After two months (TWO MONTHS OF SITTING THERE AND GETTING FED YOGURT AND BREAD BY THE PEOPLE WHO TOTALLY DIDN’T EVEN THINK THEY SHOULD BE DOING THIS) the leaders still refused to lead their student followers away. It was then the government called on the army to come in. Obviously (to anyone), something so public was just to scare the students away, but some had to rush out of the city to stand in front of the tanks. Duhh, aren’t you forcing the bullets into your own body? People in my parents generation, about 5 to 10 years older than the protesters told me that, at the time, they really thought these kids were doing wrong, but they were so young and almost all the ones who went were from outside of the city, because they had no parents to drag them home. So my parents generation felt sorry for these kids and even worried at the end. They went to Tian’anmen and wanted to see if they were actually being gunned down, but so stupid it looked, because there was no gunfights (I think some people actually wanted the excitement), and the students were in lines, excorted out of the Square. The only place violence happened was outside of the city where some students went to stand in front of the tanks.

Anyway, I digress, what I think is that the government wanted to maintain an order, because what people really want at any time is safety. I have asked numerous Chinese people, those who are young, those who are old, whose who love the government, and those who hate the corruptness, all agree that the government did the right thing during Tian’anmen Square. No commoner in my vicinity wanted some riot in exchange for some abstract human rights.

Personally, I do value my freedom of speech and I do think Canada is a better place but this preference was established after I was brought here and educated to love this social system,  I also think that criticism from the west, the belief that the government oppresses the people and has no concern of what people want is unfair and uninformed. It’s really because they don’t know what Chinese people want, they only know what they themselves would have liked.

March 23, 2008

When you try to put almonds and water in a blender….

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:00 pm by changisme

I probably should be modest, but I *think* I have a pretty good ability to understand why people behave the way they do, and hence accepting their behavior even if I wouldn’t do these things myself. The times when I can’t hang around these people are when they somehow make me do something I would hate myself for, say becoming rather judgemental or impatient or whatever. Anyway, so I always think this is one of the very few absolutely good things "intellect" or "awareness" was providing me.
 
Who could have known, well, actually I wonder why I didn’t know, that having a fuller life also brings inconvenience. I somehow could not have imagined that people I’m close to can be so different and just can’t blend. I really do understand each of them, and I really don’t think either party handled the situation better than the other. I basically loved them both and hated them both. I was apologized sincerely by both party not to ech other, but to me. They still hate each other, or think the other indecent, but I know they both are, almost equally, and somehow they fail to understand. I’m sad about that, but it’s once again understandable because they haven’t known each other very long. Aye.. probably nor would they have the opportunities to.
 
I think understandings give me a lot of these struggles in life. Life is so mch easier if I just take a stand in everything and have a clearly defined type of people I like to hang out with. I can then praise the same kind of praises with my group of friends and together with them I curse the same kind of things. My niche would be the third cave on the second floor, with a pink carnation hanging on the door.  However, if you understand and accept different people and think them both good and lovely, but they thik each other mean and substandard… you have to feel bad, or even hurt.  It gets tougher when you entertain the silly feeling that people you love must be so wise that they don’t make mistakes, but I guess it’s a good thing to realize everybody makes mistakes. Not just realizing it… but really accepting it. It’s really okay.

March 21, 2008

candles of death

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:34 pm by changisme

I sat in the pew, the simplicity of the anthem the Garden of Gesthsemane made my who being churn. It was a time when I didn’t know who the different parts of my body were arranged. I guess the one thing that struct me the most, in a rather sickly way was when an elder smuthered a candle after his reading. That candle just died, the flame became non-existent. It was really disturbing. It was like  body without a head, a face without eyes and sockets. it reminded me of when Lyra first saw a child without his Daemon. The candle was white and slender. They were the pure and elegant kind of candles. I suppose they were the candles of death afterall. it is during moments like this, I want to cry out loud, how could some people say that they believe in Chritianity because it makes so much sense? It so does not make sense! Think are cruel and loving at the same time, beautiful and horrifying at the same time, disturbing and comforting at the same time. Life entertain contradictions all the time, I really can’t just accept them though, which is why I never feel like I’m at equilibrium, however smooth my road of life is at the moment.

March 19, 2008

Have we become less religious these days?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:56 pm by changisme

I was reading Neil Gaiman. I really think what he calls "gods" reall just faeries. "Gods" should at least care about the well-being of a group of creatures. They can’t be so free as to have no subjects. Gods might well be doing things for their own reasons. What they do might well be frustrating, but they protect their peoples. I think people these days have become more polytheistic, in fact, I think most people have alsways been polytheistic, and it’s a really natural thing to believe in. I feel bad thinking this… but really, I can only feel it would be so nice to be completely sure about monotheism, but I really just believe in it with a leap of faith.
 
People say that people nowadays have no such concpt of a protector, because we believe in individualism and collective powers such as in voting and the justice system. I don’t really think so. I really I have a hard time believing people a thousand years ago would believe a king can protect them any more than we can believe in a policing department.
 
Some others say that we have so much information and wealth that we could potentially become our own gods by thinking we can protect ourselves. I don’t really think that’s true either. Even though we have more information, we are also more specialized, and we out source our work. How many of us actually try to mix our own herbs nowadays? Even though we don’t think doctors are gods, we somehow still rely on them, sometimes even with blind religiosity.
 
I really don’t think people have become less religious than before. Maybe people think that way because they don’t really have a high resolution version of the past. There might have been less diversity in view points simply due to the smaller total population, but even this I can’t readily conclude, because fewer words were recorded fromt he past than we have written down today.
 
One thing that I can’t ignore i that we might have become less communal, because of easier communication and transportation. That expands our social network. It certainly has some influence on how confined we are to our local community, but does it stop us from quickly finding ourselves a nest that we think we belong? In one sense that we are less bounded by our inherited beliefs, but really, a lot of times what we believe is also bounded so much by influces around us, these influeces might as well be equivalent to an inheritence. I’m not saying that beliefs are not personal choice, indeed they are. It’s just that inherited or dragged along by your friends, it might not be all that different.
 
Some also believe that our social structure have been changing so fast in most places in the past century that people feel insecure about any one set of belief system. They end up being more short-sighted. I am tempted to agree, but I wonder if our society is really any less stable than before. Lords and land owners fought all the time. Churches split, and religious leaders argued. Why would the old time be more peaceful? In fact, we have more material luxury to have a longer vision, eg we invest so much more on education these days than before. Of course, I don’t really know if we ARE really more far-sighted than people from before, we might have just become more needy and haven’t become any richer at all!

March 13, 2008

world wrappers

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:54 pm by changisme

Though I often say that I don’t like big glass buildings, maybe because of the way it looks from the outside, and how it sometimes makes me feel enclosed in a bubble and disconnected from the outdoors, but whenever sit inside… I just can’t help but gazing out, at the clock tower, beyond which, the sky  full of clouds that are webbed by their own silluet. The sunlight has become mild and gentle in this cool winter evening. Maybe she is shying away from the struggling spring crew of life? I occasionally like the sky to be webbed by tree branches better, because somehow it makes me feel mroe in touch, or… I’m more "in the trajectory".
 
The lining of the clouds are more glamorous, and it carpets and stretches the heavens to make it look even bigger than it would have been otherwise. It makes me wonder how many people share the same sky gazing with me at this point. Maybe some sea creatures are wondering abou tthe samething through the rolling waves that treds the Pacific. It’s really too bad that as a human I’m so poorly adapted, otherwise I would love to poke my head out into outer space, and feel with my bare skin what it’s like to not have the air molecules hussling and bussling in their Brownian motion. Some fishes are luckier that they can do that. The surface waves must be just like a lower level clouds for them, just like us fascinating over the high and low clouds. Maybe some birds think us silly to call those low ones "cloud". These are just our fogtub where we take our daily bubble bath, they’d say.
 
It might be unholy to say this, but I really wonder if the sun would be interseting at all if there are nt all these layers of "things" through which I’m looking. They dull the light, deflects the rays, smuggle so much colour, and yet… I really much rather have these patterns and imperfection. Obviously God does’t want it to be just himself. Well… I guess I can’t really automatically conclude that having other things around make the world a better place, because maybe whether or not God creates other things, "it" will still be interesting. One doesn’t have to be better than another.
 
I sometimes feel that all these layers wrapped around me, between me and God are like contour in a map. I don’t always get depressed by the fact that the numbering my contour around me is low, because these contours themselves are quite pretty to start with. Sometimes they look like giant peaches with a core!(Okay, that’s not really funny, but it was when I looked at my math simulation, when I gave a stimulus, the picture looked like a giant peach…)
 
So anyway, the buildings with windows somehow feel like another contour. ON the one hand, it creates more distance between me ad the other levels, makes me feel like the sunken Queen of the North. On the other hand… At least I can gaze out in a cold winter day like this, while otherwise I would be just sitting there and imagining with my palm under my chin. (Did you know that I used to be afraid to hold my chin like that because a popular girl in my youth told me that if I rubbed my chin too much it would be stimulated and grow very very long, and I didn’t like those teachers who had long and solemn faces, and that was almost all of them because I felt all solemn faces looked long and I think Chinese school teachers must have taken a course that make you look solemn.)

March 7, 2008

fate are desires.

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:03 pm by changisme

I used to strongly believe that we are not subjective to fates. The closest thing we have that is like fate are also choices made by other *things*. Even these circumstances, we can choose how to face them. Now, I feel less and less certain.

I’m someone who’s quite conscious about not taking forever making choices, and I usually know what I want. However, it is desire that really drive these choices. These desires are not necessarily all bad ones. I can shout as loudly as I can that my choices should be channels of God’s will, but really, the best I could do is to make my better desires dominate the worse ones.

In the torrent of life, I’m pushed, twisting and turning, by these feelings. Sometimes I’m numb, floating down stream with my eyes closed. At other times I look over to the banks seeing the blur of white from birches and bends of gren grass and red soil. They tumble in my window of vision, making me realize my lack of control.Isn’t my fate embeded in my desires? What I want and what I don’t, aren’t they the ones that really make me a puppet?

Lenting makes me extremely conscious them. I can feel that my heart and hands are not my own at times. I suppose that’s why people say you have to pray to let the Good Guy take over. Is it really that somebody’s gotta take over, so you might as well choose someone good? That doesn’t make life sound very appealing does it?

Anyhow, the reason I feel my desires are my fate in the first place is because I feel I can hardly not follow it, so I relaly am not *choosing* to submit to fate. I can tweak it maybe. Does it count as lying if I somehow make myself desire something, like telling myself ten thousand times that I like magenta the most? I think eventually I could convince myself to actually like it… I hope I won’t need to try. Magenta.. ewww…

March 3, 2008

prejudice

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:23 pm by changisme

I had a bemusing and slightly embarrassing conversation with some friends this weekend. In the context, I sad that I think a friend of ours should go into academia. Other people at the table was greatly offended for him by this comment. I guess I under estimates the amount of prejudice there is between small business runners and academics.
 
Personally, I’m so pathetically involved with both groups of people that I forgot there is actually a big barrier still between academia and the rest of the world in many people’s perceptions. To me, academics ARE small business owners. They really do the same kind of things. They manage a bunch of products or services and try to sell them to people who have money; they neeed to take initiative in a stream of management issues; they hire cheap labours to work for them; they can be brutally involved in their little craddle of work that they never come home (or move their office home entirely). I guess the biggest difference is just the specializations could be quite different, though not necessary.
 
I think those people who can’t invision themselves being a small business owner, wouldn’t make a healthy academic either. On the other hand, as an unhealthy academic, you might still have food on the table, because there are probably more a little more support for pathetic weirdos, but then I don’t really know. Actually, that’s kind of the reason why I’m not sure if I can totally immerse into academia, because though I could manage a small business maybe, but I wouldn’t be very good at it. I’m not very good at delegation LOL. My dad on the other hand, is actually quite alright with both. Maybe he’s just more mature and practiced. I think ten years ago, if you talked to him, it would have been hard to say which stream he was in, because he really just that same type of person. He could have been either. Then, since he liked computers better, and computers is good with private businesses, he’s in for that, but really there’s not that much barrier. He could have easily gone into physics or something. I would have thought him less if he became a physics nerd.
 
I guess there’s also the genearl perception that people with more letters behind their names are more intelligent. That’s just completely BS. I know that especially after working for some certain individuals. Most people in academia I know actually know the fact quite well, some choose to cage themselves with lies, most don’t. On the other hand, people who don’t know academia somehow believe themselves to be looked down upon. It can’t even be explained by the money factor, because small business owners don’t get paid any less do they?
 
It’s hard to get mad over something like this. All it takes to fix it is to get to know people better. It reminds me of my own subconscious prejudices against people from certain places aroudn the world. It was difficult to fight it by telling myself that I was wrong. The best way is to just make a friend or two.

March 2, 2008

winning and losing.

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:33 pm by changisme

Now we are back from Calgary. I believe people are happier this time around, because we actually won some games. I’m a little happy because we only lost to Saskachewen by 2-0, but I really find it difficult to feel happy about beating the Alberta girls. They are afterall just Juniors, mostly. I reallyt hink we shouldn’t been as hard on them as we were. On the other hand, they have this spirit that they are not good enough, and all the other teams should be much better than them anyway. It makes it harder for me to respect the sportsmanship. When Sask played easy on them, I had a mixed feeling. I feel that, true, we shouldn’t trash junior players and make them feel bad, feed them some balls and be nice. At the same time, that kind of condescension is not something I would wish for myself.
 
When you think of it. In any situation when you want to serve the other person, do you consider what they would like or what you think they should have? If in any other context, people would be quite readily confess that we should consider what they like, but in this case people are not as open. One can argue that sports is a little different because there is more of an overall community one would want to preserve, as opposed to healthy eating and anti-smoking. I guess I didn’t dwell on it so much also because those girls didn’t seem to care as much.
 
I guess overall, I just find it a little hard to feel happy about winning those games. In fact, I’m probably almost unhealthy in that way. I find it not so exciting to win. I get… somehow… addicted (I wouldn’t say smiley happy) to just lose by a litle bit, or a tie. Even in school situation. I recall being quite happy with getting a grade that ranks something like.. the 2nd or 3rd. Somehow these positions make me feel more in place.
 
So I guess, it’s not just about being a good person treating youngsters well, but also my selfish psychs.