Sunday 30 December 2012, 2.40pm HKT
2.33pm local time, 10°C (50°F), chilly but sunny
THE YEAR is fast coming to an end — and a new one begins in just a bit more than 24 hours.
Christmas Day came and went, but we’re still in the middle of Christmastide (which ends on 6 Jan 2013).
Here is what I wrote to an erstwhile friend as food for thought:—
“I hope you’re having a nice time during this holiday season — having some kind of actual ‘time out’ and not holed up on your own.
“Next year is a new beginning — a new life, as it were — for each and every one of us. I’ll leave this thought for you as the new year approaches:—
“Life is a mystery to be lived in, not a set of problems to live through or some motion to live out. Our time in the world is finite and short, and our useful lives are even shorter than we could possibly imagine. Too much of one thing or the other is never a good thing — it warps and robs us of the ability to make a good balance for ourselves.
“Many of us spend — or waste, depending on how we look at things — an enormous amount of time on conventional ideas or displays of success. It’s like that TV commercial (rather before your time) about some kid chasing after some cornflakes for his entire life. In the end, it’s just cornflakes — one of many kinds of food.
“Over these years, you’ve shown you have a great penchant for rationalising many things, yet not very capable in that ability. Even if you were capable, one doubts whether rationalising about anything actually helps — after all, rationalising is really about shoehorning something ‘to make things fit.’
“Fit into things, not make things fit into oneself.
“Have a good new year.”
In the sordid business of life, everyone should need a variety of experiences in order that we may TRY to reach some sort of balance of contradictory and self-contradictory things surrounding us.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image by thoughtjoy.com via c4c. (B12489)
Thursday 29 November 2012, 3.59am HKT
2.08am local time (Wed 28 Nov 2012)
IT’S WONDERFUL WEATHER right now. Rain. Low temperatures. Middle of the night. Feels alive, man.
Artist friend of mine just force-fed some badly needed inspiration down my hatch to revv up this sordid unhilarious excuse of a blog.
If you could switch with someone for one day (say, job-wise),
who’d it be out of the people you know?
Like the friend says,
“…it’s one of those questions I’m sure people have asked others many times but I think sometimes … that would reveal what people secretly desire from life.”
Too bleedin’ true.
A quick backgrounder. Friend says on those social networking sites I probably wouldn’t want more of the ‘drama’ that I’m already getting from my honest living working with crooks like bankers, lawyers, accountants and assorted government regulatory officials. I said that if I ‘retire’ (read: crawl into a corner and die) I might as well let my friend have my company, lock, stock and barrel (along with the fish in the barrel for shooting). Friend says, “LOL, I don’t think I could handle your company … sounds majorly stressful” (translation: Me no chopped liver).
Printing’s a great business — no money in it, sunset industry, total and constant drama, insane faggotry, high costs, no sleep — all from congenital morons who are overpaid, oversexed, over the top and over here. You name it, we’ve got it. What more could anyone ask of an honest living?
THE CAROUSEL OF POSSIBILITIES
a.k.a. “The Naked Listener’s Merry-Go-Round-The-Bend”
Right about now, my funk soul brutha, I shall speak with perfect clarity and vision whilst eating French pork tongue in aspic (jellied pork tongue) suitably washed down with cheap made-in-China German lager that from this point onwards, I’ll be The Naked Listener no more.
For the duration of this article, I’ll activate my alter ego, Sir Dystic.
(Sir Dystic, sadistic, geddit??? No? Never mind, we’ll carry on.)
Sir Dystic here is going to give things a twist. Instead of just laying on you, Gentle Reader, lameness like I would like to swap places with (say) Zarathustra or somebody divine, famous or notorious (or even a notoriously famous divinity), I’ll go through EVERYBODY one by one and rule them out, or not.
Here are the possibilities (all real-life characters from my unreal life, with aliases to protect the not-so-innocent among you from actually back-tracing and contacting them for ‘fun’):—
The Naked Listener
Why the hell would I want to swap places with myself???
Right about now, my funk soul brutha, I’m Sir Dystic.
I’m divine enough in my mind.
I’m famous enough because you’re actually taking time to read this crappy ‘drama’ of mine.
I’m notorious enough because my blog name has the word ‘naked’ in it.
Why shouldn’t ANYONE want to be The Naked Listener?
Not the ice hockey fetishist in the movie “Friday the 13th.” Instead, this personage (notice: not his real name) is much, much worse.
‘Jason’ is a
wanker banker with a major-major investment bank with tons and tons of IPOs (initial public outrage offerings) to his résumé.
He’s loaded, he rakes in wads of filthy lucre, and pays virtually no taxes.
By all standards, ‘Jason’ is a supersalesman who can sell vacuum to outer space. (I think he’s done that once or twice before.) With him, everybody loses, big time. He himself wins, all the way, all day, every day, in every way.
Will swap with, if for no other reason he’s got good taste in chicks.
Ultimately, rule out: guys like him are gonna get cleaned out shirtless. One fine day, his type will fall for that highly innocent-looking local girl who’ll turn out to be a right moneygrubbing monstrous whore — and end up moneyless to buy an unmarked gravesite to be buried in.
Nicknamed this personage for the “Halloween” series of slasher films. He’s a lawyer by profession, so he’s trained and licensed to wear a mask.
He (like me) has an IQ higher than Einstein, but that comes to naught because ‘Michael’ is an imbecile.
He fails to understand that, in the grand scheme of Life, rubbing people against the grain does not friends make.
Any other detail about him is superfluous and irrelevant. So rule him out too.
He’s rude, he’s offensive, he’s unpleasant.
You guessed it, this guy is an academic. He teaches something connected with education and English, not very well, but in a bigheaded sort of way. He’s in love with his own voice.
Unfortunately, he’s got tenure (I think), so everyone’s stuck with him.
I once had the misfortune to have been in one of his courses — and that’s saying something, coming from a person already in the misfortune of the printing business.
That being said, would actually swap with, merely because he has access to an incredible number of pouting, under-imaginative but over-promiscuous chicks with jumpers, glasses and heavy
Ultimately again, must rule out, though, because he’s so wrapped up in his sense of superiority that he doesn’t even notice the chicks around him.
This specimen is one of two relatives of mine who together kept their dirty little mortgage swap secret from me, so I ended up unknowingly paying off HK$300,000 (US$38,000 or £24,600) on a superseded mortgage.
He’s also pretty creative too, inventing some pretty vicious slander about me that actually cost me lots of reputational damage and actual health problems.
Despite that, would trade places with for one day (or even a little bit longer). He’s got a good business line going and could actually make millions of dollars from it, so that at least would be worth the stretch.
Thing is, must rule out because his longtime girlfriend is exactly that — a longtime girlfriend. That’s a red flag that the person has some serious character faults.
Sir Dystic has never, ever, needed to unfriend or block anyone on those srsly and totally online social networking sites — until this unbalanced lady materialised and became my friend.
This erstwhile lady guitarist is twentysomething, reasonably well educated in comparison to the general run of people in Hong Kong, and her folks run a thriving family business.
I actually know Bubbles in real life. My only regret was that it was real life. Of the literally thousands of people I know or come across in work, rest and play, Bubbles plus two other personages are the most difficult people I’ve ever known — and all three from Hong Kong!
I’ll restrain my brutality here. Of all possible people, you’d think a guitarist would be more ‘with it’ than the rest of us. Instead, Bubbles comes across like 40-something woman living alone with two grumpy cats, one with arthritis and the other diabetic. She has a mind-boggling fixation on analysis and rationalisation, but without the commensurate skills to match.
On Facebook, she has disabled practically every possible privacy/publishing functionality there (write to Wall, status updates, photos, etc) “in order to be humble.” Don’t ask me how that works in her mind. One of my colleagues last night gave me the perfect comeback to people like her:—
“Be even more humble! Leave Facebook!”
Hahahahahaha! That’s a good one. Thanks.
Would swap with for one day (just one) because her in-born ‘drama’ can outgun any of the crap I get from professional faggoteers (i.e. my customers).
No last name here, please.
We went to school together in the UK. He’s a well-to-do, centre-right Tory (Conservative Party) politician who’s got his head screwed on the right way and Does The Decent Thing, political conditions permitting.
And for those reasons (Tory, politician, decent thing) alone, I’d kill to swap places with Jeremy for a whole year.
Real name. Fabio is an Anglo-Italian (or Italo-English, if you prefer).
His nunchaku skills are eye-opening. (Stand close enough, and it’ll be head-opening too.)
He’s tall, he’s srsly handsome (absoeffinglutely supermodel looks with a body to match), and he’s srsly getalongwithable with anyone.
Definitely swap with for a lifetime, if only just for his looks and chick-skills.
I can’t name him. He’s a top-level healthcare scientist working for the Spanish government, and has no-waiting-necessary direct access to the Spanish Cabinet. That spells i-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t.
He’s brilliant and has patents to his name from here to there. He literally speaks half a dozen languages fluently and flawlessly. He drives a Lamborghini or Ferrari or something of that sort. He lives in a super-luxury house with a long, long driveway and everyone in his family look like they’re from some fairytale. Swap with for a lifetime.
That’s his real name. We went to prep school (private elementary school) together, but for just under a year before I had to bounce to someplace else with my folks.
Wurm was a brianiac: 10 years old and the wisdom of a 50 year old without the middle-age attitude. Will swap for three days — his wisdom in those mere three days would last a lifetime.
Hottie classmate at Uni.
There’s no damn way I’m going to show you a full-sized picture of her on her own. You’ll have to figure out which is which. I need no drama from my own wilful accidence.
She didn’t look that hot at Uni. Since leaving that sacred institution of mediocrity called Uni, Val has become the very definition of hawtness. Now living in a certain Southeast Asian country previously dubbed “The Red Dot,” Valerie is not for swapping with — she’s for moving in with. Enough said.
Facehunter (sometimes Face Hunter) is a public figure: Yvan Rodic, a professional photographer hailing from somewhere in Europe (France? Switzerland?).
I’ll swap my present and future lives with him anytime. He travels the world every week and takes pictures of the divine, famous and notorious, and parties with them.
By my reckoning, Facehunter must’ve clocked up at least one million flight miles.
His Facebook is [HERE].
The British actor. I happen to know him personally (at least back in the 1980s), not well of course, but personally. He’s great playing nasty, sardonic, aloof characters. One day in the life of him will do me just fine for kicks.
He’s probably gone now because he was already in his late 50s or early 60s when I knew him in the 1980s.
He was a London society photographer for Tatler, Harper’s & Queen and other ‘society’ magazines. Very professional, very graceful with the subjects, extremely fast, and secretly knew all the society gossip that gossip columnists would have killed for.
If he was alive today, I’d swap with any day.
This guy’s from my ancient history when I was only yay-high and somewhere in Latin America. HIS ancient history was even more colourful and sinister.
My folks nearly had a mental blowout when some two-by-four-bit hack newspaper revealed our dentist was an ex-Waffen SS combat officer.
From our personal point of view, that wasn’t exactly believable. We knew the man personally, socially and professionally. He DID admit he fought in the German Army in the war, but so’s a ton of other ex-Germans.
I tell you, man, this guy didn’t have a shred of racism or Teutonic assholery in him. Srsly, he was the kindest man we ever knew. I tell you too, man, Mum could spot anyone who’s pretending or lying a mile off, and Mum said this man was a good man. He taught me such good oral hygiene techniques that I have never needed fillings.
I can’t recall exactly now, but in one social gathering, he said to me:—
“You are still a young boy, so this is the perfect time to learn the right things, and with those, do the right things, even if everyone else are [sic] doing everything wrong. Read your history books, and count the number of things done wrong, and ask your father and mother to teach you how to do the right things.”
And my folks told me to write those words down, so I may remember and understand. So I did. Took me a helluva time to fish that one out from my storage bins.
He died shortly after we left that country, survived by his Iranian wife and two grown-up children, one of whom we heard married a half-Jewish dentist.
Would not swap, because I’m chickenshit scared of that kind of background of his.
Yes, she’s an artist, and I sometimes shanghai’ed her into contributing to this blog.
C’mon, peep’l, she’s a professional artist doing something most sane people would like to do professionally even for one day.
Swap. Why ever not? At least she jolted me into doing this blast from the past.
Tell me who you’d like to swap places with for one day.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. (B12430)
Images: Aspic and beer by the author | The Naked Listener by the author | Jason Voorhees via Geekscape.net | Michael Myers via Wikipedia | Girl with Blackboard Question Mark via AskVelazquez | Head for Cover via Videojug | Big Ben via ChurchNewspaper.com | Nunchaku via Wikipedia | Microscope via Morehouse School of Medicine | Notebook by Problemchild via Dreamstime.com | Val from author’s collection | Face Hunter profile picture via Facebook | Harper’s Bazaar via Found in Mom’s Basement | The Boys From Brazil via Wikipedia | Ophelia’s avatar from author’s collection.
Wednesday 14 March 2012, 2.58pm HKT
10.57pm local time / 13°C (55°F) rainy and cold that was the day before 10.18pm local time / 15°C (59°F) drizzly that woz yestahday
1.12pm local time / 17°C (62°F) f@#king ray of sunshine coming through
YOU’VE GOT THE MEMO about my furloughing this blog already.
So some people at lunch with me
today yesterday Monday got to hear my side of the story and why I got so blazingly livid recently.
It’s generally easier to explain things out face to face about all the crap that has turned me into a High-Velocity Ballistic Rabbit.
Naturally, not all of the reasons for my ballisticality are related to the blog — but the blog crap “tipped it” for me, as one of the lunchmates put it rather well.
What you need to know is this: I’m not entirely unpersuadable. Frankly, judging from the words I got on this blog and from people in real life, it might actually be better for me not to furlough the blog.
My aching chest and still-wet cowboy boots would disagree. Then again, I am (semi-)famous for my horrible habit of not budging from a decision made in anger (even if it’s a bad decision). Not changing my mind — THWACK!
(Thumping on my desk right now, kicking the proverbial invisible cat, and chucking the proverbial invisible brick at the TV set.)
So I’ll be going ahead with the furlough regardless, just to prove a point. It’ll be temporary (if I’m going to be in a good mood) or something else (if I’m not).
Anyway, my lunchmates
yesterday on Monday might have made some good points, I think, but I’m not in a proper frame of mind to listen properly.
Judge for yourself for me (names are just placeholder names):—
Anne: “[…] I suppose [deactivating and reactivating the blog] could be a bit of a chore. How many articles have you done so far? Nine hundred eleven?! How long did that take you? Erm, maybe —”
It took me since August 2008 on WordPress.
Bob: “— maybe you should tell these people to just [STFU]. It’s not like you’ve ever done anything to them […]. You’re pissed off, you’re tired, your pelvis is giving you pain again — this is not the time to make big decisions.”
Ya think? Bob said those 911 posts are represent an investment in time and effort, and shouldn’t be scrubbed just because a bunch of people managed to anger me (online and in real life).
Charlie (a lawyer): “I mean, Rob, I know you’d prefer to do something else more constructive, given the choice. But how about doing something less constructive for a change, and really step on them later?”
Anne: “Actually, he might as well just — what was the word you used? — furlough it for the time being, instead of accidentally putting out something that could get you sued or something.”
Me: “Or be mysteriously silenced because [my] knowing some sensitive and illegal practices of these bankers, lawyers, accountants and officials from work.”
Anne: “You see! This’s exactly what I mean! You’re gonna end up in a war with them precisely because you’re gonna be f*ck-it-all angry enough to shoot your mouth off. Rob, the way you write, no one could tell whether you’re actually angry or not.”
I’m crazy — not that far-out crazy.
Charlie: “Plus he’s not afraid of anything when he’s mad, which doesn’t f@#king help sometimes.”
Anne: “Just ignore these peep’l. Ye’aaah — those blog peep’l and the otherrrsss. They’re just jealous. You’ve been living in Hong Kong a bit too long for your own good. You’re starting to take on their bad habits.”
Charlie: “You shut down — hey, they win, you lose. That’s what they’re hoping for. You know this. Stay on it just to get in their face. Be a goddamn obstruction. The blog, just publish their names and details — I don’t know — pictures, whatever. Get them to sue you even. Sue them back. Just tie up their resources forever with one lawsuit after another.”
Yeah, riiiight, Charlie, like I’m loaded like you for a string of lawsuits. As if I don’t have other things to do.
Bob: “You don’t have to that [furlough the blog] because those people have been giving you a hard time. What? Your blog, it’s not a major part of your life, right? […] Tell me you’re not one of those people […] who can’t get laid and have to do it online with one hand on the keyboard. Shit.”
Shit. That puts it rather well, actually.
(No, I’m not a single-hand keyboarder, thank you very much.)
Bob: “Like I said, just lay off it for a while […]”
Charlie: “Actually, there could be a case for just shooting your mouth off, in fact. I suppose — and I’m only imagining this, by the way — it could be argued as [prima facie] evidence that their conduct have led to your angry state of mind.”
Thanks a bunch. I don’t want to be prima facie’d as going out of my mind. Defence by reason of insanity usually doesn’t compare too favourably with being executed by firing squad, very slowly shot by shot from the kneecaps up, from dawn to midday.
Bob: “This guy wants revenge — don’t you, Rob? We can practically taste it in the air from here. He damn quiet now because he’s bouncing ideas off us.”
Charlie: “Why don’t you keep a running count on them? They seem to be doing that on you.”
But. I. Don’t. Want. To. Keep. Feeding. This. Goddamn. Anger. With. A. Running. Scoreboard. Got that?
Anne: “You know what I think. Rob’s got all these rules for the rest of us, but he buggers them whenever it suits him. You need to follow your own advice.”
O rly, Anne? You calling me a hypocrite now?
Anne (looking at me): “No, actually, you’re pretty good following your own rules. Just that, you know, you break them pretty quickly too.”
No, not really, Anne. Not really.
Perhaps I have been vague…
Accidentally ran into somebody I know (geddit?) who told me something.
The words were originally Chinese, but you gotta read it in an East End London Cockney accent for them to gel.
“Dun wanna know noff’ing ’bout your stuff. This blog ff’ing is for you educated types, innit?
“Why dontcha just do naice pictures from everywheah — no words — while you ff’ink about wotcha wannna do next? See ’ow long ff’ey could put up wiv it, roight? They’ll ff’ink they’ve shut you up good ’n proper.
“But they’ll be coming back, justa see whatcha up to — just to find out if yah evah back on yer game, wroitin’-like.
“Do the same ff’ing for them otha peepoe. Dun go blowin’ off on ’em, know wot I mean? Do it all sportsman-like, y’know.
“So quietly, you let ’em ’ave it in the goolies. They’ll know it’s you — but they can’t prove it — ff’ey got noff’ing on yah — but they’ll know ff’at you could ’it ’em again ’arder next time around, couldntcha? Then smack’em again even before the next time needs comin’ around.
“D’you know, do you know, I ffink you’re too polite — domesticated-like. Rough ’n tumble is wot these smarmy little pricks can’t ’andle.”
Determination. Passion. Insanity. Ballet.
Who sez them Chinese can’t speak Cockney?
Enough of this claptrap
I’m not going to hear any more of this claptrap from friends and foes alike about not putting the blog on leave of absence.
They got good points. But my cowboy boots are still sopping wet.
It all just sounds too much hard work.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.
Wednesday 28 December 2011, 2.34am HKT
“I do not believe in the notion of objectivity. I think that’s essentially horse shit. Everyone has biases and any scientist will tell you that. I think rather than trying to be objective, you need to be more upfront about your biases and be rigorous in terms of fact-checking, context and history.”
— Arun Gupta, Indian-British-American journalist and co-founder of The Occupied Wall Street Journal, the mouthpiece of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement with a print run of 75,000 copies.
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011. Image powered by Zemanta/WordPress.