Skip to main content

Tales From the Down Under: #18- Maddening

Ever since relocating in Auckland to complete my university education, life has become more or less pseudo-vagabond. The whole year can be chopped into numerous portions, with me traveling tirelessly between Taiwan and New Zealand, neither of the two places in which I spend for a considerable period. A change of pace is essential but a change of ‘accelerated’ pace might appear overwhelming. Thankfully I do not have any glaring symptoms of disorientation.

It is overtly pretentious for some to divine their ceaseless traveling as a cause leading to a subliminal consequence of ‘calling every place home,’ which is equivalent to ‘calling nowhere home.’ And a prolix of how they find their vagabond lives dreadfully lonely and inconceivable for human beings is expected to follow thus. As the intensity of my traveling increases, the first thing I perceived was how everyone seemed sulkily lonely or mad. Yes the whole world seems to be pervaded with extreme madness. I feel peculiar and dull of being one of the rare ordinary ones.

When I was still in my elementary years I once went on a camping trip with a horde of giggly brownies. I must be so obedient by then, for a trifle cold was nagging my throat. A mother of one of the brownies’ who were accompanying her daughter on the trip and was promptly appointed by my mother to watch over whether I partake my daily intake of medicine. I dreaded the bitter aftertaste of my pills so I flushed them down the toilet. My supervisor found out eventually and told my mom. Nothing happened in the end, since when I returned I was utterly recovered so pills were in no necessity then. How the world has changed since these days the mothers are the ones who drop the pills vehemently into the toilet and the children will still doggedly dredge them up and surreptitiously savor the ecstasy.

I picture a maddening world like a tumbling roll. Everything toils over in such revs that nobody cares to stop and mulls over his footprints or the next steps. People rally with each other for unnameable cause, I rally with nature for can never rally with anybody.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Honore Daumier

“If you shut up truth and bury it under ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”- Émile Zola
Exited HonorĂ© Victorin Daumier, 10 February 1879, in an impoverishment that many of his contemporaries, especially his foes, would have thought was his long overdue retribution- the painter was blind, heavily in debt, and later relegated to a pauper’s grave. His friends, upon visiting his resting place, would, I imagine, see it a chance to admonish their children: “Now that’s a lesson for you cheeky devils whose tongues rattle off things that should better stay unspoken.” But Daumier devoted his life in revealing those “unspoken things.” His lithography ink proved sharper than most writers’ pens. He vented his rage and stigmatised others’ infamy in his satirical and, oftentimes, side-splitting cartoons. The tone was relentlessly acerbic but only because Daumier was exposing truths that, in the time…

Review: Late Spring (1949)

As a storyteller, Yasujiro Ozu insists on an implausibly objective stance that refrains from direct commentary or criticism; his camera customarily assumes the role of a detached observer, to whom the characters in the film, staring or talking straight to the camera, occasionally address, with an intimacy akin to that between a host and his guest, a closeness that is underpinned by a mutual recognition of the psychological distance that separates the two. The audience, whose perspective, in this case, conflates the camera’s (the director’s), an invisible character’s in the film (to whom the other characters address) and their own, is thus situated amidst this spatial complexity which, as a rule, every work of art necessarily creates.
In Late Spring (1948), the camera serves in part as an underlying comment to the story, which is noted by its economy of details. A prolonged shot of a departing train, on which the father and daughter travel to the city for a one-day excursion, prefigures…

Review: Gaslight (1944)

Despite its varied forms or narratives, all Gothic fictions revolve on a fundamental contrast: that between the tenuous comfort of an isolated self and the dangerous fascination of an intrusive otherness. The Victorian is an age characterised by its obsession with the supernatural – poised on the verge of modernity, with scientific advancements like Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species inspired missions to unlock the myths of the natural world, people began to take notice of what lay outside their limited knowledge of things, of anything that is external to the closed domain of humanity. This curiosity for the unknown provoked an appraisal for the known – the immutable social system was revealed as hostile to the cultivation of individual minds, and time-honoured ethics such as that dictating a woman’s role in a traditional domesticity a menace to the preservation of personal integrity.
The negotiation between the old and the new, the internal and the external, is the dominant theme of V…