December 21, 2016
i was thinking Roderick but typed Richard instead by mistake. I don’t want to be accused of spreading post-truths.
December 20, 2016
they showed the Christmas classic, Die Hard last night. I rewatched it because I like the movie. Too bad most people know the late Alan Rickman only as Severus Snape and aren’t familiar with the iconic villain, Hans Gruber. I really like the film (as evidenced by the number of times I’ve seen it – I’ve watched all sequels which, IMHO, fall way short) but I prefer the book on which it was based: “Nothing Lasts Forever” by Richard Thorp. I’m such a nerd.
December 15, 2016
November 29, 2016
we are born with two ears and one mouth – having difficulties speaking has led me to listen more (but that deserves another entry of its own). Common practice dictates that you should hold off for 24 hours on sending an emotionally (or alcoholic) induced e-mail, text or tweet (much like counting down from 10 or taking long, deep breaths can aid in dissipating excess emotion). If you still think it’s appropriate later on then go for it – I guess making it difficult to type has its perks and writing a post over a few days helps me to reflect and reevaluate more. Despite my Vulcan-like demeanor, I exhibit more human behavior now. If I still really feel strongly about something, I can blog about it. That said, my words need to be tempered by the saying: “it’s easier to condemn than to convince.” Sure, sometimes it’s hubris but at times it’s simply therapy, expression or observation. This is not a “manifesto” to abstain from commentary, it’s just one should be able to distinguish what one’s true purpose is. Having a combination of these factors is not necessarily a bad thing: it’s being conscious of what’s subjective versus objectivity that’s important. Intentions (and motivations) need to be transparent.
A “wise” editor once told me that everything is political and that being apolitical is a political choice. I’ve since embraced this tenet – after all, our thinking is not only a function of our genes but also of our experiences. Sometimes it can look like I’m fence-sitting when I just don’t have enough facts or am considering the nuances – the devil is in the details after all. The question I ask is how, if at all, does this affect me or my family? Sure, I’ve got opinions about many things but does it really matter in the grand scheme of thing or is the motivation so that I feel better.
I used to think that it was “simply” a matter of quality over quantity. But to paraphrase the Pulitzer-prize author, Jennifer Egan, one needs to write regularly, even badly at times, to be able to ultimately write well. In this vein, I pour my writing into one document – not everything makes it to be published under my blog; not everything is meant to be shared with the rest of the world (some are best left as “inner” dialogue – look at the trouble Homer’s gotten into throughout the years). That said, perfect can be the enemy of good so it can also be helpful to get something out there and not “oversanitise” or self-censor everything. From experience, some comments can be constructively critical and useful for refining your thoughts and others you need to consider with a grain of salt (public spaces can be a great boon but also a huge bane at the same time – wisdom of the crowd vs. trolls and haters).
November 26, 2016
i’m not exactly a die-hard fan of Nigella (it must be because I’m watching episodes of her shows lately on DVR) – guess I’ve never really held an individual or a team over the rest (maybe it’s just my nature or how I was brought up). But like an artist who releases a seminal record; her “Bites” series I truly applaud. I’ve seen her other series (“Nigellisima”, “Forever Summer” and parts of “Feasts” and “Express”). I’m not really obsessed with her but can understand why some are (and why individuals with OCD or with time to spare might not).
I think it’s her love of books, cooking “philosophies” and her dry sense of humour I find alluring. It’s not only her volumes of cook books but her hand-scribbled notes and her ability and willingness to make a recipe her own that differentiates her. Our mutual fondness for chilies and thyme does not hurt.
Maybe it’s the Asian in me (political correctness aside) that agrees with her that French cooking tends to be about the chef and Italian cooking tends to be about the food. I tend not to discriminate based on the cuisine: tasty is tasty I, generally, will try it first before I form an opinion. Bizarre foods (I’m Filipino after all) are not necessarily a deal-breaker but previous pets or experiences (like most) delay or inhibit my gastronomical adventurousness.
My palette is a result of my overdeveloped sense of smell and the ability of my tongue to differentiate (it did not hurt that my father exposed me to a lot of “unusual” things), it’s simply a fact and not really a result of other things like snobbishness. I can be very particular about how something tastes; it’s not be difficult or uppity but simply being a “slave” to that reality.
I can see why my “niece” says that American cooking shows (by and large) seem artificial and contrived to her. There is something authentic about Bites. Like the shows of Anthony Bourdain (in my mind, it’s a travel show with food in it to better understand the culture – I would probably still watch it even without the food due to the writing ), maybe it’s the “naturalness” that lends itself to being genuine. The kitchen should not be like a display home (unless one is a neat freak): in my mind, there’s nothing wrong with it being orderly but it should feel used and not antiseptic.
I consider Heston (and Alton Brown – perhaps it’s the geek in me but as a student I wasn’t fond of Chemistry) a star but pretence is a result of creativity (and not vice-versa) but not only is Nigella a “domestic goddess”, I find her very practical (as evidenced by the “shorter” time most of her recipes take). In a world of food snobs and food porn propagated by Instagram, I still believe that the proof of the pudding (the pun was unintentional), is in the eating. Sure, presentation is vital (as we also eat with our eyes) but taste is still paramount.
September 19, 2015
i originally enjoyed The Newsroom because of the dialogue and I’m a fan of Aaron Sorkin’s writing. But contemplating on it more, I can see much more value in it.
In a world of sound bites, the 24-hour news cycle, and social media, it is understandable to take things at face value. It is also useful to stop, digest, and see the big picture, as well as, merely absorbing the facts and figures presented to us.
I appreciate that it tackles major events in the past – it is sometimes speculative for dramatic purposes but as long as you are aware of this, it should not be much of an issue. Like everything, you need to consider the source. I enjoy The Daily Show and Real Time; and liked The Colbert Report but I’m conscious these are comedy shows.
I like how the main character identifies as a Republican and gives a different take on how I usually see things. You know what they say about opinions. In a truly civil society we can agree to disagree and afford people with the respect they deserve. That said, I’m sometimes tempted to shout at individuals but this is a futile measure in bringing them around to your way of thinking. Understanding what matters to others can be very insightful.
I think it was a good idea to end the series after a few seasons. I have similar thoughts to Gervais and Merchant. There is a tendency for some shows to grow stale and to milk it purely for purely financial gains. That said, I don’t believe there is a universal formula that can prescribe a set number of years – as long as its purpose has not yet been met, there is some merit to keeping it on the “air”.
It was great that they referenced the book: The Man from La Mancha by Don Quixote. In a world where screens are preferred to pages, it’s good that the written word can still be highlighted. People need to make a deliberate effort to read in this fast-paced world where individuals are time poor. It’s not always practical nor is it realistic to expect people to read so we need other, more clever ways to imbibe this knowledge – we sometimes need to bring the mountain to Mohammed as the expression goes. We need to make it more palatable and accessible to everyone – it’s about making things simpler but not too simple like Einstein said.
This is not just about the television show but serves as a jumping off point.