Friday, April 21, 2006



Someone once mentioned that the biggest flaw of Darwinism is its inability to explain altruism. If the main goal of life is to perpetuate your own genes and the only way to ensure that the best genes carries on and on is to subscribe to the simple law of the jungle - the survival of the fittest - why then some people who clearly have better genes are willing to sacrifice themselves and save the weak?, blow themselves up even, just for the sake of the good of the community which is full of useless humans for most part anyway??

Now, I’m not one of those bible thumping creationist crazies but there is no way of avoiding GOD! Though I sometimes wonder…just like one of those agnostic fleas which sighed “sometimes I wonder if there is a dog”….

The flip side of altruism is of course the senseless criminal acts….and yesterday we heard the news of yet another example of this…I’m referring to the murder of a young executive who was gagged, hands bound behind her back and raped and strangled to death in her apartment and found half naked from the waist down. This is just another of the daily occurrences in many big cities and one has become used to it…one doesn’t feel a thing hearing this kind of news anymore…but this time it hits closer to home… this young lady happened to be a daughter of my next door neighbor in my home town. I felt sick the moment I knew that poor Siti was my quiet and polite neighbor…how can anybody do this kind of thing to her?? why?

If you need justifications for having heaven and hell this is one of them. It is just too terrible to pass this up as just another one of those “too bad, she’s at the wrong place at the wrong time” and it’s just her bad luck….and worse if you subscribe to the philosophy of fatalism as quite nicely depicted by one short hindu saying (anonymous) … “every action if traced far back is inevitable”….which incidently was the quote I included in my thesis for my B Sc a very long time ago….and it was quite appropriate to my findings, or any scientific findings for that matter… and I shudder…we see all those beautiful documentaries… lions chasing wildebeests or a deer…and we see the poor victim killed in cold blood…what have these poor animals done to the lion to deserve this? …same with the killers of Siti…you can say that he’s just a lion killing a deer…and that terrible ingersoll’s famous quote… “in nature there are neither rewards nor punishments –there are consequences”…no wonder some people can become rapists and serial killers and keep the dead bodies under their homes’ crawl spaces for good measure…

Thinking about this make the black dog of depression stirs up again…but that’s churchill’s expression I believe… and if I’m not wrong whenever he has his black dog he goes painting his not too good water colors… but I visualize my depression as an ugly comodor lizard lying quiescent in a pool of mud in the depth of my stomach…and when he stirs up this miasma of fume rises up and causes me to get gloomy…ah that reminds me… I recently read something about the color blue and how it associates with melancholy in the July 2005 issue of Harper’s magazine – one of my favorite American publication incidently (NOT the glossy Harper’s Bazaar). It was from a book “Field guide to getting Lost” by Rebecca Solnit….a small excerpt…

The blue of distance comes with time, with the discovery of melancholy, of loss, the texture of longing, of the complexity of the terrain we traverse, and with years of travel.

What a melancholy and poignant sentence that is… when I get depressed instead of following mr churchill’s example I go book buying …(thank god I have this addiction rather than some others)… and that explains in some way how I end up with around 2000 books now and still accumulating….

And yesterday I went to Skoob and as usual asked the reedy Thor Ka Hong if he has any cheap art books for me and as usual he always said that he has a lot of books but still unpacked, I was too busy with this Harold pinter’s play see, you can come next weekend and I say next week end I’m going to ho chi minh and then to shanghai and Beijing and in august to kobe…and oh I just came back from nongkhai…drove all the way up from Bangkok and also had a short hop from nong khai to Vientiane …and I see his face gets greener and greener…(everytime I comes to his shop he always ask me where did you travel lately? )…that’s my way of getting even with him for not opening all his box of goodies for me…but in the end I came home with two coffee table books, one on Rembrandt’s paintings and another on popova…popova’s book looks very sumptuous but her paintings were just derivative cubism but quite beautiful though I can’t claim that I know anything about this movement….ah that reminds me of this great Chanel 4 production, a 4-part documentary on Picasso which I bought at my favorite pirate DVD shop at Lido Beijing last year…..but that’s for another time may be…

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