September 18, 2011

On a slightly sad note…

Posted in Life at 12:44 am by changisme

Life is mostly great, but I’m slightly sad today, for several reasons.

For one, it’s midnight, and September 18th, 80 years ago is seen as the day the Sino-japanese war officially started. Many people died and fled, and many Chinese hated the Japanese for years to come. What is more tragic, is that over shadowing the loss of life and general human suffering of war, this day is often portrayed as the symbol of patriotic embarrassment. People seem to care little about the nameless populous who had to spend their life savings (if they had any) running around trying to obtain strips of cabbages, while care more about the fact that the great Chinese race has lost its face on the world stage.

Every year of this day, people talk about 国耻. What does that even mean? It’s like being offended when someone uses a dollar bill to wipe their ass. It’s not like George Washington will actually awake from the grave and get E. Coli. I know people adore a sense of spirituality and pride, and it gives them something to hold on to, but why do we need to entertain thoughts of embarrassment? Feel bad about the current sustained poverty of the people living in the provinces that supported the Communist war effort the most! Feel their abandonment. Feel bad about all the broken families because of the Japanese invasion, and further separated almost eternally because of the tension between Taiwan and the mainland.

It sometimes makes you wonder, what did it mean to have won the war? The war was just like a bloody street fight, where everyone came away with broken bottle stuck in their head. Except the Chinese would jam their broken glass even deeper into their skull and call it a trophy.

Enough of the big things, I also saw a play today, called Amy’s View. Not the ideal play for a dreary day such as this. The play is about the life story of Amy and her relationships. Her life is so dominated by what she thinks others think of her and it’s so tragic. The sad thing is, the whole story is just so real, and everyone else’s lives are also tragic because the fact that we all depend on each other so much. It reminds me of the slow and constant loss of control I perceive to have on my own life. There has been a time when I felt I can do anything, stop anything, and my life is all in my own hands, but really it’s not. What song was it that says life is like a rollercoaster. I feel it’s not so much the ups and downs that’s difficult, but rather, I can see more and more how little what I do really matters.

I think that’s why people are into positive thinking, because it’s so much easier to put on a pair of rose colored glasses and say your life is great than actually have a great life. I can’t complain about the actual quality of my life, because it’s really much better than many people’s. Nevertheless, I don’t feel like the driver, and it’s scary. Many years ago I asked God to let me live fully. I guess that’s what people mean by, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

On a lighter, though not so light note, the play also heavily discussed the notion of films and TV killing stage theatre. Whenever I ask someone, they always like to say that stage theatre is great because it’s more intimate or more interactive. I feel these are all from the point of views of the actors. Most of the plays I’ve been to are not that interactive or intimate. I see Edward Olmos’ wrinkles much more intimately than I do any stage actor however old they are.

You know what I think? I think the reason I like theatre is because it’s so limited. Creativity completely without restriction isn’t always great. For example, there is so much facial expressions in movies can’t be seen in stage performance, so the actors talk so much more. I can get much more brilliant dialogues in a play than in an average movie. It’s like drawing, I love black and white drawings, often more than those with full colours.  

The birth of any piece of work, arts or science is like an escape artist untying hir own handcuffs underwater, full of adrenaline. I guess this is what I’ve decided to view the tragic human existence, a six pack of adrenaline rush, head on with the future.

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