anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

i am not what i am.

"I found law school to be intensely boring. During my first and only semester of law school, I found that it required a great deal of extremely tedious study of the most boring material. I also questioned: "what's the point?" The law is a farce. Government is so completely lawless that it's just absurd to pretend that there is any such thing as law. Every level of government consistently violates constitutional law and tramples upon human rights without any accountability. There was a phrase from Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland that I think would fit here, but I can't quite rememer it. Something like: "When I use a word, it means just what I want it to, no more, no less." Laws only apply to those who lack the wealth or power to ignore them."

Truer words have not been said. (Okay, maybe I exaggerate.) It pretty much sums up why I cannot stand being in law school sometimes and can only halfway tolerate it on better days. Of course, there are other forces pulling me in an entirely opposite direction, but 'boring', 'tedious' and 'pointless' are more or less sufficient adjectives to describe all the angst I've been feeling ever since the second week of semester 1.

But fuck it, yeah? Got exams, must study. And for what? Who knows, who cares, what does it matter. The law is a farce, yes, but life is the bigger farce and to some extent I think I'm resigned to that.

Anyway, I messaged some dude on OkCupid! after I did a "are you a thought criminal test" to say that I liked it. He read my crappy profile, found out that I'm in law school, told me that he dropped out after the first semester, I asked why, and that was his reply. I scored Thought Criminal, by the way. I was happy. Scoring Brotherhood would be better but hey, at least I didn't get Prole. Haha, like I would ever get Prole. The average Singaporean is a Prole (that, by the way, is an insult). Read Orwell's 1984.

That test made me think of JC and Utopian Lit and my class and Tubby and Mel and my glory days and how the hardest thing I had to face was the A Levels and more than ever I'm looking forward to crashing Jurong in our uniforms with Mel the day after the Contract exam. And, to be quite frank, a huge reason why I watched V for Vendetta is because it follows in the dystopia tradition (if I'm not wrong, John Stuart Mill was the first person to use the word 'dystopia'. But don't quote me on that), though I have to say it did a pretty mediocre job of realising its dystopic ambitions but since V is sexy and I liked it despite its faults, what the hell.

Okay, crap, my VM is crawling at an average rate of 1 kb/s. Ugh. Piece of crap. It pisses me off to no end; it really does. I tried to make it faster but I didn't know what the username and password for my router were.

I wonder if I can still download stuff if I decide to go to England? If I can't, it'd be a huge reason to stay home. Yet another indication that yes, I'm obsessed with Veronica Mars, to the extent that I'm willing to plan my life around it. It's crazy, isn't it?

I read an article in Time magazine about second-generation Asian Americans and their difficulties growing up being stuck between two different cultures. And I think, you don't have to be Asian American to identify with some of their problems, because stories about how some of them rejected their ethnic roots during their teenage years only to grow up to proudly embrace their roots when they're older resonated with me anyway. Maybe it's just me, but being Chinese in an environment that is more Western/English than not, speaking a language that you can never really claim as your own, and having only a shaky command of the language that is your own...it makes you wonder who you really are, what your identity is. For me, nationality is a mere incidence of birth and it's what it says on your passport; I don't quite identify myself as a Singaporean. I look at the people around me and I don't see much in common between us apart from our accents and our tendencies to lapse into Singlish, theirs more frequently-occuring than mine. They are willing to stay here forever, willing to subscribe to blind patriotism, while I scoff at these notions and roll my eyes at chest-thumping declarations of jingoistic love for the country and think, Hell they have no idea what they're talking about, and the thought of being stuck here forever is enough to make me wish I was never born.

And yet, if I'm not Singaporean, who the hell am I? I'm Chinese, but I hate the Communist Party in China and I've only been there once, many years ago. Taiwan has claims to half of my childhood but those days have long since passed and they have since acquired the intangible wispy vagueness of distant memories, the stuff that dreams are made of, not quite something real. I see strangeness in familiar places whenever I go back to Taipei. The home that was mine is no longer mine, because I left it behind and it moved on without me. It's what society does - it moves forward, and if you're not there to move along with it, you simply have to settle for always trying to keep up. If you want to keep up at all.

It's not just that. It's the Mandarin and how my accent differs and how a local can instantly tell that I don't belong; it's how I received curious looks from people when I read Julian Barnes' "Flaubert's Parrot" in a crowded mall when I was in Taipei in December 2004; it's people's expectations of you to be able to speak your own language, understand your own language, and to speak with fluency and without resorting to the use of English phrases to act as substitutes for the Chinese ones that never come to your mind. It's my ineptness at Chinese and my above-average command of English that don't make any sense. It's also how being Singaporean isn't enough for me, because I want more than 40-something years of independence and a cacophony of distorted Mandarin accents and incomprehensible English, and Chinese people saying that they don't care about their own culture and their stupid stupid STUPID defensiveness when I call their bullshit and point out how sad they are, and the same four walls that stare at you which have been staring at you throughout your entire life.

The Asian Americans interviewed for the Time article said that they felt ashamed of their own culture while growing up and wanted nothing to do with it, just to fit in. Reading that, I suddenly remembered how I felt something similar in secondary school. I wasn't ashamed of Chinese, but I certainly rejected it and didn't care very much for it. Writing in Chinese was an alien concept, thinking in Chinese was not even a concept, and I spoke Chinese only when I had to.

I still speak Chinese only when I have to, but if I had things my way, I would go back to the year 2000 and slap some fucking sense into the 14-year-old moron who was supposed to be me. I can't express this properly enough, but the thing is, your ethnicity is a part of you no matter how hard you try to deny it and say it doesn't matter. The bewildering feeling of belonging in neither culture isn't monopolised solely by Asian Americans; I'm living in Asia and I've been feeling it in varying degrees over the past couple of years now. It's hard to reconcile two distinct worlds, each trying to lay claims to your identity and come out triumph.

Needless to say, I don't have any answers and I doubt I would have any anytime soon. Suffice to say, I'm still neither here nor there.


**

Edited to add at 9.30 p.m.:

It took me about ten refreshes to get the stupid edit/delete entries page to load.

American Idol just ended and I cannot believe how sucky it was. I hate love songs and all the songs - except maybe the last one - sucked so much ass I don't even have the words to describe. If I have to listen to another stupid, soppy ang moh love song, I will chop off my own head.

The next time someone decides to sing Barbra Streisand, I should be given a heads-up so that I won't have to put myself through the torture. Today's theme ('greatest love songs' or whatever) was so much more torturous than your standard issue country music theme. Seriously. My ears are still bleeding. Even Taylor didn't do it for me; it was only towards the end that I felt something. And Kellie...just die. That's all I have to say.

And you know what's even worse than listening to soppy love songs? There's only ONE MEASLEY TORRENT for the new VM episode and not only did it download super slowly, THE EPISODE IS INCOMPLETE. Oh my god, my heart is on the verge of stopping. What the hell is wrong with the pirates, huh? How can you share something that's bloody incomplete? Some moron left a comment at mininova.org saying that the first scene is missing but it doesn't matter and I'd just like to say that IT BLOODY MATTERS. How can you watch an incomplete episode of Veronica Mars? It's just wrong, simple as that.

Argh I'm dying. I so don't feel like studying right now. And I have about ten million more things to cover. I HATE EXAMS.

Tags: american idol, angst, being chinese, friends, junior college, law school, literature, personal, singapore
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