February 28th, 2006

happy girl

substantial versus insubstantial.

First, a plug:


In association with the V-Day 2006 College Campaign,
NUS TSSOC is proud to present,
a benefit production of Eve Ensler's

Directed by Loretta Chen
to be performed at the NUS University Cultural Centre, Dance Studio
ON 3rd, 4th & 5th March , 2006, 8pm
Tickets $8
To buy, call Cindy at 9 366 3693 or email nustheatre@gmail.com.

Mel's acting in it which means it'd be damn good which means you'll miss out if you don't go so you have to go. Period.

Second, I haven't decided which issue I want to do for the moot. My tutor is under the assumption that I'm doing the common law issue because I presented that in class yesterday, but the truth is, that was largely due to the fact that I had a three-page section for the common law in my memorial and I didn't want to write a completely new argument for the statutory issue (I can't rely on my memorial because I did that statutory part a couple of hours before the deadline and thus, it's shit). The arguments for the common law issue seem to make sense to me right now BUT there are too many damn cases to familiarise myself with and I don't want to do that. I'm also paranoid about being nailed to the chopping board by impossible-to-answer questions from the judges during the actual moot and I would like to avoid putting myself in such a compromising position as much as possible.

On the other hand, the statutory issue is only slightly easier.

But that's something I suppose. Better than nothing.

We have another opening statement + strongest argument practice tomorrow and it's immediately after Contract tutorial.

Speaking of which, save for the question I had to hand in, I haven't done my tutorial. I shouldn't have watched those two Season 1 episodes of Veronica Mars just now.

But then again, I totally deserved to reward myself for paying 90% of attention to the Contract lecture on duress today! God I'm so damn proud of myself. And I was typing down notes during Criminal too and only opened Internet Explorer 60% into the class and that was when some random people were engaged in some ludicrous argument about something-or-other that I couldn't bring myself to listen to.

Seriously, some of the things that are said in class are appalling at worst. Do people not have compassion anymore? Can you really hold a person a hundred percent responsible for killing someone else if that person (the killer) is crazy? MH said that the way we look at such things are rooted in our optimism, or the lack of it. He, like me, believes that people are essentially good; "I'm optimistic," he said.

I suppose that makes me optimistic too. It's hard to reconcile one's world-weariness with such idealistic convictions, desperate as they may be. In some ways I think it's a reaction, perhaps a knee-jerk one, to the shit that I've been exposed to, all these years. There has to be some sort of hope left; otherwise, life isn't worth living. Granted, there seems to be a fine line between a characterisation of a person who commits grisly murders without any sort of motive as crazy, and a mere delusion of self that the person is crazy...but why would anyone normal even kill someone else in the first place, let alone grossly mutilate or torture his victims?

MH said that he thought Adrian Lim (a notorious local murderer who kidnapped children, tortured them and sacrificed to some warped idea of a god of his in the 70's) was somehow sick. I had that distinct impression too, when I read some book on his crimes a few years back. Are these people mad or are they just bad? Somehow, I find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to believe that people can simply be bad.

There's also something icky about Section 84 of the Criminal Procedure Code (I think it was? I can't remember 50% of the stuff I read) and how it's difficult to prove unsoundness of mind (at least, it's either this or diminished responsibility; I can't remember again) and how a judge brought it up in this case in which a mentally-ill, unemployed, kin-less 50-something man killed a friend-cum-flatmate while the latter was sleeping and how, despite the man's history of mental illness and bouts of paranoia, the judge still sentenced him to life imprisonment, where the man would get treatment but, as the judge rightly pointed out, would probably be quite meaningless if he were cured and still had to spend the rest of his life in prison. But I don't feel like going into it right now. Suffice to say, though, that all the talks in legal theory about whether or not law is necessarily connected with morality and if so, manifestly unjust laws are not laws is making me wonder what 'manifestly unjust' means, and also why a section such as Section 84 derived from some archaic, 1800's English ruling on insanity as a defence is still law.

Some things are just weird. Actually, they are more than weird. Attempting to figure them out and make sense of them? Absolutely tiring.

Well, in other news, I came home from school and found a letter from Durham University in my mailbox. Another unconditional offer for Q300. Durham has a grant scheme and they mailed me the flyer and so I was under the impression that I could apply for it...until I actually read the thing and found out that non-UK students are not eligible to apply.

WHAT?? Then why did you send me the flyer and got my hopes up? For a while there I think my mom was considering letting me go if I wanted to.

I'm convinced that the people who have the opportunity to go overseas are either really smart and on scholarships or simply have filthy rich parents. A few of my friends in law were also accepted in UK and American universities and all did not go because it's too expensive.

Before any of this, I subscribed to the school of thought that such opportunities to further your education in a reputable overseas universities should not be subject to money considerations. I was all, Money isn't a factor; if my parents really gave a damn about my education they'd find ways to pay.

But oh, how wrong I was. Money is the sole factor. My parents can bullshit all they want and say they don't want me to go because I'm too young to live overseas without them yadayada but really, the only consideration is the money. And I don't blame them, not at all; in fact, I totally see where they're coming from. Dad's tired from commuting across the causeway every day and Mom doesn't make a lot from her freelance work. If law school weren't half paid for by the government, I probably can't go either.

Money's a bitch. That's all.

Anyway, I finished Julian Barnes's Metroland quite a while ago and needless to say, I love it. I love the first part especially. I love the rebellion against the norm and the snotty elevating of Art and putting it on a pedestal that ordinary, undeserving people cannot reach. I just love it because it spoke so true and so honestly to me. I love the thumbing the nose at the established, conventional habits of the average person, two adolescent boys totally buying into what Art represents and stand for, the exciting quest for something Alternative, the asserting yourself as someone blatantly different, not one of you.

How can a writer write things that are so damn true and still be human? God, he amazes me, every single time. He doesn't compromise his honesty and eventually Christopher (the protagonist) ends up living the life he rebelled against, while his best friend Toni, becomes a a writer of unreadable and un-sellable books. He presents you with these two extremes and asks you to pick. I don't want to end up like Christopher, married with a baby and a garden; but if my alternative is Toni, bitter and promiscuous and pompous and rude...I think I'll pick Christopher. At least he ends up appreciating the simple pleasures in life, as opposed to his adolescent quest for something larger-than-life.

Man, I can so fucking relate, I'm almost salivating right now. Julian Barnes is a genius. He's also a best-seller now with Arthur and George. So much for my claims that I don't read best-sellers!

I always make exceptions for people that blow my mind, however.

And besides, Julian Barnes is firstly and chiefly and primarily a literary writer, and secondly a best-seller.

I have lots of work and despite that I just spent almost an hour writing this entry. Talk about a waste of time. I was going to jog today (I'm so sick of my ugly body) but 1) work beckons; and 2) the weather sucks. So, another time.