A day without wine is just like a day without sunshine.

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To: Us

Who are we to one another?

To what extent are we defined by our circumstance, and what comes after?

The past week has been revolving around me being in school much more often – catching up and studying with my university friends, except for the one to two perpetually busy ones, and how I’ve missed them. I’ve not spent much time with them over the past 2 months, between my internship and climbing sessions, and I suppose these 2 weeks of break have been pretty incredible. Funny thing, this group of friends. I’m not sure if they know this but we were all (10 of us) sorta put together by design. Even then, I wouldn’t go so far as to give all the credits to design.

I chased after one of them, accosted 2 others, was somehow in the same group with 2 others, and somehow, one by one, we picked each other up through the course of our first year. Now there’re 10 of us. Real relationships have been destroyed, insecurities have been exposed and many truths remain unspoken. And yet, despite these, I think we’re going to be more than university friends.

I don’t think they know that I know things. I suppose we are all barrelled with demons of our past – some more than others – and yet, for some particular reason we’ve made the decision to choose to be friends despite some very strong opposites in character. Which begs the question – how the help is this entire thing working?

There’s one guy who has carried the weight of the expectations of his family of scholars and intellectuals for a great 20+ years He’s in a relationship with someone of different religion, and yet despite his mental and spiritual freedom, there are several impenetrable problems that can only be solved by compromise. Even then, it’s not a compromise to be considered lightly. He’s a genius though; incredibly retarded. He has a problem, though, that is, he lives in between his mind that I think is beautiful, and a harsh reality that he is struggling with.

There are several other people who has gone through things I would probably never have to experience in my life, but their pasts are not mine to share. It’s incredible how little pockets of silent moments that we share with people can tell us so much about each other. And to this extent, the little pockets of moments we have with random people are equally incredible.

To my friends, although you’d probably never see this, I might sometimes behave and indulge myself in unusual mannerisms that come off wrongly, but there is always a bigger picture in our minds and in our hearts. I suppose that is how we generally genuinely care for other people. I apologise that I am extremely self-centred; even the essence of this group of friends that we share many things in common stem from my self-centredness. There is always a bigger picture, and it always starts with someone seeing it, even if that someone isn’t you. Let’s see where we go.

P.S. I really need help with econometrics.

Well I’m home. Was writing this on the way back so I best get to things I need to do. Guess I’ll continue this another time. Work tomorrow, more planning more studying more wushqgsgsushegeufhfieisjcjdifieurhwud and the USD is giving me a headache.

Goodnight.

Class Categorisation (and its subtleties)

Well I’m awake – not wide awake, but just enough to have the drive to write this and nothing more.

I was thinking about today’s job fair and I thought I might write this out just to construct and clear what’s in my head (among many other things that have happened in the past week). So here’s a thought:

The whole point of human categorisation is power, and dialogue is simply an exchange of interpretative viewpoints to assert your dominance.

Imagine how ridiculous it is to be dressed in an office attire, in school, with temperatures ranging from 31 to 34 degrees and humidity at 85%-90%. And then imagine going through all that effort, finding something that fits you nicely from your closet, and if it doesn’t fit then force fit it because you don’t have anything else, and for some reason it is so important that you dress up because… it is a requirement.

It is a requirement because you’d like to be part of an entire batch of graduating students who are either only starting to look for a job, or have had tough luck finding one. And then imagine having a conversation with these professionals only to realise that:

  1. You don’t really want this job
  2. You don’t really know if you’re qualified, either
  3. If you do like it, send in your resume, because you’re the only one out of these few hundred people who attended the same fair, being subjected to the same few professionals who have been talking to people like you the entire day, and then think, even for a moment, that your resume matters.

(If anyone reads this, I apologise if I come across as a condescending pickle – I really am not.)

But here’s the real problem. We pride ourselves on the progress we’ve made in gender/education equality, as well as our political/economical achievements in achieving peace. And despite our efforts to be beyond these problems, violence remains to be the solution to age long issues. Why do we continue to have these problems?

What we’ve done with dialogue is not to make violence obsolete; we have instead increased our tolerance for violence by now exposing ourselves to emotional and psychological violence (through power play and reasonable discussions). Violence is, in fact, still happening. Physical violence is a result of our incapacity to tolerate any further psychological/emotional violence, so we’ve in fact extended our boundaries for violence.

In simpler terms, your inferiority is asserted on to you through your own conviction. Education and intellect has allowed us to tolerate a much higher degree of abuse and violence than before, and yet we see this as maturity, growth, or the capacity to take punches. A relatable example would be the decision for a Malay President to be nominated. You can imagine the enormity in the levels of critical thinking and reasoning required for this decision to come through – some statements floating around these discussions are “qualifying criteria (..) must never be lowered” and “many (..) raise their hands (..)”. If this was a move to ‘further exemplify’ racial equality, then what we have done instead is to show that ‘privilege’ still needs to be given to a community that is seemingly still less privileged so as to ’emphasise’ commitment to a more balanced and equal society. This is a fine example of what dialogue does; it is simply an exchange of interpretative viewpoints to assert individual or collective dominance.

The real danger is, however, not in these macro-level watermelons. I’ve discussed how dialogue or communications in general have stifled communities. The real danger lies in all the micro-instances in our daily lives. History is only written by winners, and we have, for the longest time, been subjected to class categorisation. From classification based on job environment, fashion, and the social media rabbit shit, all the way down to a simple conversation with a potential employer, we are constantly being blasted with inputs on how we should behave or when to speak, to an extent that we are continually seeking for ways to self evaluate and raise our social value. What we fail to see is the psychological impacts of our day to day conversations that continue to affect the way we think of ourselves, as well as the things we do.

The fact remains, however, that you could’ve instead just emailed them instead of going all the way down to school in an attire you’re probably not very comfortable and filling up the foodcourt and school area especially when you’re going to get the same results. OR ### scan around for the company that you’d probably be interested in, then write to them privately because they’re less likely to care about you when they need to talk to 109237124 other people and knowing they’ll have to queue up for lunch.