23 January 2006

Utopia and We'll Bugger You No More

Today I thought I saw my old man until that guy turned around, talking to his wife and son. His son looked like his old man. I suppose he would look like mine when he's at his age?

The other day I also saw another guy who looked just like him. And yet the other day too, and the other, and the other, and the other, and the other... How strange, I wonder why they all look alike? What surprises me even more is that they even sound the same.

My conjectures: they are either long lost brothers or they're coming out of the same mould.

19 January 2006


A couple of years ago a professor of philosophy through chopsticks launched the question "why be humble?" at me.

In the not so long past, by divine chance, I learned from the uni that he was already pushing up daisies.

Quite a shock actually, the first thing that came to mind was that question he made, sitting right in front of me.

Finished on Tuesday the paper on Oedipus Tyrannus and for the next 5 weeks in hibernation are the students.

Was in the library, staring at the Herodotus in my hand, then I looked around, and a sense of lost came through me.

A sense of lost, lost in the sea of books. Lost, lost in realities. Lost, lost in decisions. Lost, lost in three ages.

12 January 2006

Where the Heart Is

I shouldn't be blogging now, should be reading essays on Sophocles and Greek philosophy instead. It's due in 5 days and am having an extraordinary amount of stress and I'm moving this Friday which makes my head hurts even more, great timing huh. Just went home from the dinner with the head of the department and was just checking out some friends' blogs to chill a bit and Ting says about the story of Claire Brownsworth, a 21 year old aussie girl, and her courageous life of following her dreams despite all the bankrupts and mishaps and shits that would normally put one off.

Actually, I wasn't intended to read the whole post because it's packed with a shit load of words and the sight of that big chunk repulsed me somewhat, I was just trying to find some mindless crap to paralyze my brain for a while, so I decided that I was just going to browse through the whole thing real fast, but when I read about how she was like, how she loved the wild and how she stayed true to herself. Upon getting her degree on physiotherapy, she decided to go to some remote clinic in Mt Isa in the outback rather than staying in the city and fighting for a well-paid position in the best hospitals because of reality bites. Anyway, it's a long story, but the thing is, quoting Ting, that she was still trying to find the meaning to her life, the place for her and the only thing she knew was that she didn't want to go back to the comfort of home.

Ah fuck, I want to buy that book. I've got a long list of books for the 5 week long winter break, Sophie's World, El amor en los tiempos del cólera, Nada, all the plays of Sophocles, books I bought last year in OZ, books for my thesis... Jesus. Fuck, think it must be the stress.

I'm dreaming of living like that all the time, trying to see where my life takes me, especially more so when all I see around me are putrid waters, can't live like that, refuse to live like that. I have everything, computer, flat, cds, vehicle, whatever, but I'm not having a good time. Don't get me wrong, I do love my books, reading them brings me great pleasure, I love to ponder over philosophies, I love the metaphors in Borges, García Márquez and tons of other writers, and I love writing but I do also love to leave this place and not return for a long time to come.

Someone asked me what I wanted to do in life and I replied, just being a wise man. But it's not a job so my other ideas are teaching in the uni or writing or maybe both of them. The thing about uni and writing is that you're still learning intellectually (of course, this also varies from person to person) and I don't want to have a fixed job which works hand in hand with the Medusa-TV sets that would suck my brain dry, turn me into a statue and be filled with all that modern consumption crap and its byproducts. To achieve this requires more studies and above all, in the scenario of teaching in the uni, a PhD degree. But that's ok, I like studying anyway, plus I'm studying something that interests me greatly and I think it's important stuff.

But the thing is, my yearning to live the way she does means I can't follow the current plan. But I don't think that I can live like that my whole life either, won't be satisfied, need to learn, read and write. Think that's why I'm planning a big trip after the army and before I continue my future studies. Well, think I'd better run now, it's already past one o'clock, I'd better go read something before I go to sleep.

10 January 2006

X, or: An Unknown or Secret Variable

His misgivings ended abruptly, but not without certain forewarnings. First (after a long drought) a remote cloud, as light as a bird, appeared on a hill; then, toward the South, the sky took on the rose color of leopard's gums; then came clouds of smoke which rusted the metal of the nights; afterwards came the panic-stricken flight of wild animals. For what had happened many centuries before was repeating itself. The ruins of the sanctuary of the god of Fire was destroyed by fire. In a dawn without birds, the wizard saw the concentric fire licking the walls. For a moment, he thought of taking refuge in the water, but then he understood that death was coming to crown his old age and absolve him from his labors. He walked toward the sheets of flame. They did not bite his flesh, they caressed him and flooded him without heat or combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he understood that he also was an illusion, that someone else was dreaming him.

Borges, The Circular Ruins

The original short story in Spanish can be found here and also the translations in English and French.

03 January 2006

Years of History

Ramón told me where they went celebrating on new year's eve. They went to Taipei 101. He said that it was so crowded that there were literally no place to even turn around, they tried to walk back out of the mass, but instead, they were squeezed back powerlessly and had no choice but kept going forward towards the highest building on earth which goes nowhere, but the great flow insisted on drifting towards it incessantly. "It was crazy", said one of them. And I wondered where were those in the front?

Luckily, at one given moment they spotted a hole in the abyss of human flesh and they escaped successfully from the stench.

It reminded me of something, but I couldn't pinpoint it at that moment. Then while I was sorting my stuff because I'm moving flat, I found a postcard which I sent to myself a couple of years ago from Germany. It was George Grosz's To Oskar Panizza (1917/8). And I realized that he was not only an artist but also a prophet.

01 January 2006

Zona Desnuclearizada

Finished the paper on One Hundred Years of Solitude last night before I went out with some friends to celebrate the new year, good, only two more to go and nine days left till the deadline. This has somehow become an established semestral event, working against the clock, oh well, guess I just like the adrenaline rush, the sportive element, gives me some direly needed excitement.

Despite the fact that I'm having a minor academic crisis here, I'm feeling not that bad because she tortures me no more. I don't like the way she acts as if nothing had happened and I'm so tired of waiting for an answer, it's very simple, yes or no, clear things up then we can all move on. Far more superior than having it suspended there and giving someone a hard time. When I looked at pictures of smiling faces of her and my uni classmates I suddenly was enlightened and realized that we lived in totally different worlds and at that moment doubt emerged, I wasn't so sure whether hers was the one for me. As a matter of fact, none of my friends my age here lives in my world and vice versa, I simply can't lead a life the way they do, makes no sense to me. I don't actually feel anything when I'm among my friends, it bores me to be honest. Don't know, just don't feel anything, different perspective on life I suppose. Hope that it doesn't make me one of the Buendías. So then I had no doubt. I'm not here to stay. They were not and are not part of my life. It's not that pleasant thinking about it, that I've wasted a good part of my life in nothing, but well, at least I've figured that out, at least I know what I don't want.

Well, that explains why I'm always by myself. It becomes a habit which is probably not that healthy, but don't have a solution to that yet.