"Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign." - John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Thanks to Charles Dickens' Hard Times, I thought the utilitarianism philosophy was bad. Too much focus on what is productive denigrates the more intangible aspects of life - namely, feelings, emotions, art, love, happiness, poetry, prose - and as someone who is instinctively scornful of the word "practical" and all the considerations that fall under it, I applauded Dickens for slamming a stupid philosophy, nevermind the sentimental characterisation of Stephen Blackpool and Rachael I-forgot-her-last-name (if she had one) and their saccharine and wholly unrealistic love story. (Besides, James Harthouse is still one of my favourite literary characters ever. He's so sexy.)
So, being greatly impressed by Mill's 'harm principle', I was disturbed to find that Mill was, in fact, a utilitarian himself. But since Wikipedia solves pretty much any questions one has in mind nowadays, a quick scan of the info on the site kind of cleared things up. Apparently, he argued that intellectual and moral developments and pleasures were superior to mere physical pleasures. Also, I don't fully get it but I do like his writing style, especially the dedication he wrote to his late wife - so bloody beautiful that you could just weep at its poeticness (is that a word? Well, yeah).
Anyway, out of all the theories I've tried to read and digest and failing miserably half the time, guess whose theory is my favourite? What an easy question, I know. If it were up to me, I'd take the harm principle ("...only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.") a step further and advocate anarchism. By that I don't mean the stereotypical, pseudo-anarchy that some punk bands seem to believe in that involves violence and explosives and bloodshed; what I mean is a state (for want of a better word) without authority, without a government, without a legal system, in which people co-exist peacefully with each other based on "individual self-determination and personal involvement" (to quote Wikipedia). How nice it sounds, don't you think?
Of course, utopias are inherently impossible and so anarchism is another grand example of Time Wasting because people are too stupid to co-exist peacefully without the threat of sanctions so I should just pull my head out of the clouds.
But well, I've always disliked authority and I guess that's where my attraction to anarchism stems from.
Anyway, I wasted more time today and I found out that the woman who created Gilmore Girls is leaving at the end of the current season. More interestingly, I found out that she passed up US$5 million which she would've been given if she'd stayed for the seventh season.
FIVE BLOODY MILLION US DOLLARS. FOR A YEAR, MAXIMUM. Whoa, indeed. That's roughly 8 million Singapore dollars and I will never see that much money in my entire life, even if I worked as a lawyer for...ever. And even if I do roughly make that much money if I worked as a lawyer from the day I graduate until the day I die, it's still nothing compared to getting the same amount by doing a year's worth of work.
Such possibilities are infinitely more tantalising than the apparent S$4200 (or somewhere) starting pay of a lawyer. Seriously. You get paid so damn much to write, nevermind that it's an essentially commercial enterprise and you're basically selling out. She can take that money and retire! Or work on a novel, a screenplay, a new TV show, anything!
I can't even imagine what 8 million dollars look like in concrete terms. It's ridiculous, the amount of money people in the entertainment business get. I mean, Joaquin received, like, US$2.5 million for his role in The Village and he had about 40 minutes screentime and said about 10 lines in total. Okay, so the preparation for that role took away three months of his life, but still, the fact remains that he received 2.5 million in three months while normal people barely get 0.1% of that amount within the same time frame.
All this is telling me that being a lawyer kind of sucks because you work your ass off and you're not really paid enough, contrary to what the public thinks. It's a sad world we live in.
Anyway, I should go back to trying to study. I don't even care anymore, to be honest. Right now my gameplan is to just go in and wing it, react to the questions, write whatever I know and think and feel and hope TSH is impressed enough to give me a B. I'm not even memorising anything, you know (well, except that Mill quote I began this entry with, but only because I really like it), and I'm skipping quite a substantial amount of the materials.
I'm just so TIRED of this bloody stupid exam period. Ugh. I've been stuck at home trying to make myself study for the past bloody week and I'm sick of seeing nothing but the interiors of my bloody small-as-shit condo. I'm even looking forward to the exam tomorrow, purely because I'd get to leave the house!
Seriously I'm going to shut up now.