Sunday, May 16, 2010

Officially closed

To all who come by here, I'm sorry to say that there won't be any new content here any time soon. Nonetheless, feel free to browse. If you're still interested in reading what boring ol' me has to write on a personal level, though, don't hesitate to visit me at The Psyche of Mikey.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Q&A - Michael answers questions about ending DYHIT.

For everyone reading this, I'm frankly going to tell you that I am formally ending this blog within the next month. I'm a frank kind of guy, so I speak frankly - or at least, I want to be a frank guy - and that's that. I may be a little optimistic and presumptuous here, but I'm thinking there are some questions that people want to ask about this move. A good friend of mine agreed to create a Q&A session with me addressing these questions, and here I am, hoping that my answers will satisfy.


Q: So, Michael... are you just ending this blog, or is it all of your blogs?
A: I'm ending all four of them.

Q: Okay... why?
A: I'm going to try and make this as clear and simple as I can. When I first started blogging, I was seventeen years old, going to high school. I'm now nearing nineteen years old, studying at university. I've moved to another country, the company I have around me has changed, and quite frankly, my character has changed to adapt to what life has presented me with.

Q: Are you saying that the pressures of school have given you less free time to write?
A: That is a factor, but it definitely is not the main one in this decision. I have a lot of free time actually, probably a lot more than most of my readers, but what I want to do with that spare time is up to me, and I'd rather use it to treat myself to what makes me happy. I think that the premise of Do you hate it too? was fun, helpful and easy for me in Oct. 2008, but as I've grown up and gone through some major transitions, my personality has changed, and I no longer see the need, or the humor, in complaining.

Q: You don't complain about annoying people anymore in your daily life?
A: Heh, well, let me rephrase that: I no longer see the need, or the humor, in projecting my annoyance on a designated public forum. Blogging is a tricky ordeal - you want to be honest enough so that people feel that sense of connection, but you also don't want to be so opinionated that you upset people. I can still chuckle to myself if I should hear someone using the word 'irregardless' for example, but I'm just not comfortable anymore being the one pointing it out.

Q: Would you be open to letting people continue the fun on DYHIT by offering guest posts to be published here for your readers' entertainment?
A: This blog is fun, and wouldn't be the same without all the feedback I've received from the readers, but in the end, it is all me and I'd like to keep it that way. Quite frankly, I still don't believe I'm actually a writer - what I wrote at the beginning of this was the essence of the 17-year-old me. I'm sure there are many a talented writer who could help carry on this blog, but I would be much happier reading their thoughts on their own blogs where their creativity and professionalism can really shine on its own.

Q: Perhaps a writer could do you...
A: ... yes, like as a character! That would be great... to have a character in a book be based on misanthropic me. Hah!

Q: Speaking of books, what happened to that DYHIT book you were planning on publishing next month?
A: I may still do one at some point, but I guess there is a reason you don't get a lot of successful teenage authors these days. We, as a group, are still figuring ourselves out and have no idea what the heck we want in life. We're so impulsive, and haven't learned yet how to learn what we really want in life. I'll just say that the idea is still looming, and it may still happen - next year, the year after that, five years later? - I don't know. I'll be sure to get the word out there, though, to those of you who would be interested.

Q: How would you let us know?
A: Well... (thinking) here's what's going to happen. I want to create a new blog to replace the old four. If I shall have any thoughts of publishing a book, or doing anything else exciting in the future, I'll let you know there. I plan to launch the new blog some time next month. Beforehand, I will save everything I've done in a trusty hard drive for safekeeping, and
give you all about a week's notice or something before I shut these ones down.

Q: Wait a minute, you're going to delete these ones?
A: You see, all the best things that have come to me have come at times where I went through a major transition, from one thing to a totally new, different thing. Wiping the slate clean allows for me to move on more easily. I wish I could just give these blogs a remake or something, but I feel like the fact that I'm not happy with its current state, indicates to me that I didn't do it right the first time. Hopefully, this new blog that I'm currently molding will feel 'right' for at least a longer period of time, will need no changes, and will be more flexible for my usage as I continue to grow up (unfortunately).

Q: I look forward to that one then, as I'm sure your readers are too. Maybe for old time's sake, let's go over where this all began?
A: Well, great idea. I said that in the span of a single post each day, I would consider one thing that was a nuisance to me. I was raving to another friend about how I hated it when people invited you to events at the last-minute, and he suggested - blogging. I got seriously pissed everyday during that time, and I had no idea why, it was just my character. I don't know if I was actually writing to the best of my ability, but all I was trying to convey was a voice, a style of humor, easy reading, and a dash of truth. I always knew it would be funny.

Q: And now it's not funny anymore?
A: It's hard to say. I think it's always funny to point and laugh at things people do, but funny also has to come from the heart, because otherwise, you're just a sadistic person. I'm not sure why exactly, but I'm just not feeling it in my heart anymore. I have my long days, I get sick and tired of some people, but when I get to sit in front of a computer now, I don't feel like typing it all down. It portrays me as a negative person, it makes me feel like a negative person... all of a sudden, it isn't so funny anymore.

Q: You've written over two hundred entries since Oct. 2008... can you select five favorites?
A: Impromptu invitations, throwing things in the bin, vulgar mispronunciations, having to reach into the tissue box for a tissue, and holding grudges.

Q: Any last remarks?
A: To anyone that eagerly follows me, there is a phoenix that will rise from the ashes - a blog that will just be a personal one about me, that may still feature some of the classic annoyed-at-the-world me, I promise. I take with me from these four blogs, four different lessons in how to approach the blogging world to maximize what I get from it. I assure you, all is not forgotten. This has been amazing fun for most of the past eighteen months, and without this one, I wouldn't have met a lot of great people that genuinely want to listen to me. I'm so happy I touched your hearts, made you laugh, and/or turned you on, or whatever else I did for you, but it's time to move on and I hope you can understand. I'll be back in a month or so with the new blog, so I'll catch you then.

I just want to finally thank Stuart, for this all would never have happened without his prompt. Thanks Sarah, Ariel, my mother and all 23 of the FIS-ers for providing me with many an idea for the blog, and also Elizabeth, Cindy, Michelle, Melvin, Jen, Eve, Amanda, Arthur and Graham for your expressed encouragement in the real world.

Thanks to J.J., Douglas, gaf85, Marcy, Jacynta, Gabriel, Ruchi, AV, Liz, and Madame DeFarge for sticking by since the early beginning, it's been a pleasure getting to know you. 

And shout-outs to Louise, Eugene, Larissa, Joebs, Logan, Shimmer, Chris O, Steven, Nilu, Madeline, Evelina, Robyn, Amanda, Pavitra, Chun, Yolanda, Chricel, Ren, Bindu, Eura, Naomi, Stephanie, Mike, Adora, Rachel May, Charis, Randa, Shanne, Ares, Daphne, Vincent, Jill, Vlado, Alan, Kimmy, Fish, Vivienne, Kate, Eura, KMcJoseph, Neen, and the people who follow me on Facebook, on Twitter, via my RSS feeds, the Hong Kong Blogs Review, the Standard, CNNgo, and whoever I forgot but actually contributed to it all in some way! Thank you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

237 - 'Talking up' a movie and ruining it for me

I remember going into a cinema without having any preconceived notion of what the movie I was about see would be about. Now, with instant texting, instant messenger, Facebook, Twitter (seriously, why did I get Twitter...), blogs updated every single day, and a general acceleration in word of mouth communication, I find myself going into movies already knowing whether the acting will be amazing or subpar, whether the plot'll be good or not, and what happens at the very end (and maybe even after the credits).

It effectively ruins the films for me, films like Wall-EUp, and Avatar, just to name a few. Great 3-D movies, I understand the digital wonderfulness of them, but hey, let me just watch it and judge on my own accord, because the more you talk about it, the less impressed I can and am going to be.

Take the Oscars for example. I haven't watched the ceremony yet. But I already know which film wins Best Picture, and apparently, everyone is mad at George Clooney. Demi Moore and Sandra Bullock seemed classy and looked beautiful.

Now, you can lay the blame back on my own shoulders, for I signed into Facebook and Twitter and surfed the web extensively for the past few hours, denying what I know to be true, that when I watch the Academy Awards, it will be spoiled if I keep clicking from page to page, but hey, it's Monday morning, 9:30am. I just had breakfast, and I don't have a lesson until eleven.. this is what I do every morning, every day, like the Pinky and the Brain trying to take over the world. I have no time to blog or tweet or check my e-mails later, this is my routine.

Hollywood news just spreads so quickly, and movies get so hyped up, to the point where it's just not impressive, worthwhile or simply news anymore.

If everybody could not talk about Alice in Wonderland, that would be appreciated. I am a fan of Johnny Depp, and of Tim Burton, and of Lewis Caroll, and well, I don't want this to be another Wall-E sort of disappointment.

Bah, how can I blame anyone for talking about it, though, if they've seen it? What am I really asking for - that everyone conform to my own timetable and calendar before talking about certain TV shows, music albums, or top grossing blockbusters?


Saturday, March 6, 2010

236 - Relying on someone and they don't pull through

Have you ever asked someone to do you a favor, promise they will be there to lend you a helping hand, and then have them retract their hand, and along with it, their invested interest in your well-being? It's hard enough that the circumstances have brought us into difficult predicaments, but it's worse to have the light shining on us be suddenly eclipsed by a person's resignation of his/her's consideration, understanding and cooperation. It's like saying, "You were worth it at one point, but now, not so much."

I was put in this situation a couple of days ago. I asked for aid in my life, and the person abandoned me. If he couldn't have possibly performed the favor, mightn't it be easier if he had just said so in the first place?

It's a slap in the face if you ask me. I thought we were family... I thought we were friends. But I guess the feeling's not mutual.

Don't you hate it when you depend on another person's help, only to find out that it hurts you even more in the end?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

235 - The idea of inheriting personality

Right now, I'm in a really, really bad mood. There is very little that would not irritate me at this very moment...

I remember there was one time my mother said I inherited my bad temper from my father - I would just burst into a big explosion of upset whenever I didn't get what I wanted.

The very idea that I inherit my irascibility from my dad is something I strongly do not believe in. I understand eye color, and hair color, and general fitness, and the size of my nose being inherited. To resemble your parents in terms of these particular phenotypes is fact, and fact that means something because when others see you with them, they recognize you are part of the same family. But with personality traits and non-physical characteristics that make me who I am, I refuse to believe anything these scientists are saying...

...about how they have found a 'gay gene' or a 'criminal gene' - that's just plain nonsense. I've read quite a bit into this area of research, and yeah, it sure is interesting to read about how the people that we are is partially environmental and partially genetic. It's just wonderful that these researchers have spent all this money to find out that the same part of the brain that controls testosterone levels in the body, also has an effect on the lengths of your fingers, and that both of these factors correlate to homosexual behavior - but hey, it's just a simple correlation, it's not like the results a hundred percent positive, so what does it matter anyway if there's always going to be a minority that don't fit the rule? Why don't you explain that minority to us instead of shoving our faces in the majority that fit your hypothesis?

You want to know why?

Because it doesn't mean anything! Who cares if there are biological indicators of the people we will turn out to be?! What, am I supposed to go chasing after men just because the length of my fingers say so? Am I supposed to drop out of university and mug people on the streets just because I share similar genetic makeup with felons locked up in jail?


Because we live life in a dynamic environment, with obstacles that we are meant to face and that demand choices from us, chocies to be made with logical reasoning and a degree of risk assessment. There is no 'nature' versus nurture. Personality is purely a result of environment and personal choices. You can't inherit good business skills. You cannot inherit arrogance. You cannot inherit a good work ethic. You cannot inherit a criminal record. Your life is in your hands, and you have the freedom and the ultimate power to choose who you want to be. The only thing you can get from your parents is good looks, and that's just if you're lucky. And if you're unlucky, there's always plastic surgery, which you can afford if you work hard, and train yourself to have a good work ethic.

Good day, sir!

Bah! Humbug!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

234 - Noise

There are very, very, very few times in your life where you will hear the sweet essence of silence. I love going to the beach or the swimming pool and diving into the water just to drown (pun intended) out all the sound in the world for as long as I can hold my breath. It's amazing how much noise can come out of one simple action - for example, each instance my finger pushes a key on this keyboard. Even if I try really hard not to make any noise, there's an inevitable sound emitted when the key rebounds back upwards.

That paragraph was roughly 500 characters, which means there were roughly 500 soundwaves that came out. That's just one action, repeated over and over again, by one person. Now imagine the computer room that I'm in. It's seven in the morning. There is only one other person in the room aside from me perusing a computer. He's typing right now, and it annoys the life out of me. Of course, I'm typing too, but here is why I believe I'm not a hypocrite here.

The other person doesn't only make typing noises. He fidgets too. He thinks he's being quiet, but he's not. I can hear the wheels at the bottom of his chair make slight moves, shifting a little bit here and a little bit there on the hardwood floor. I can hear him inhaling quickly, almost desperately, and then letting out each puff of air steadily, with an air of relief. I can hear him scratching, and I know that the slow, but determined reptition is him scratching his forearm, and that the gentle, fast itching is him scratching his back. I can hear him move his mouse along the surface of the desk. I can hear him sniff.

I am fully aware of the fact that it's impossible to be completely quiet all the time. However, one can strive to be, especially when it's fairly obvious that others in the vicinity are trying to get some work done. This is all almost second nature to me, but I make sure that I'm comfortable in my chair when I first sit down. I see no need for any noise to be made when breathing, and I see no need to scratch at all. I hold in my sneezes, I hold in my yawns, and I sniff only when I'm alone.

And even though some noises are inevitably to be made, I try to do it in a way that is pleasing to the ear. While I'm typing this, I type full paragraphs continuously until the very end, and take longer intermissions between paragraphs. There's no need to stop if you learn how to organize thoughts in your head. Why is there any need to be so sporadic and choppy when you type, that's so cacophonous.

Trees rustle, coins jangle, doors creak and printers sound like they're about to explode. But hey, we have controls over our own bodies. So what if other people are making more noise than you? So what if it's just the sound of you tapping some keys? The fact that it's a small amount of noise doesn't mean it isn't pollution. Who needs to graze the floor when they're walking? You're going to make all that noise just so you can get some gum out of your bag? Who needs to hear rap music come out of your phone when you get a call? No, not everybody wants to hear how you flirt with girls over the phone. And explain to me this: why the heck is it that I can tell the difference, when you're scratching your damn arm, and when you're scratching your friggin' back?!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

233 - People who think foreign food is disgusting

As I was growing up, I was always encouraged to try new foods. With having travelled quite a bit too, at this point, I very rarely refuse to try any cuisine, even if it is a bit out of the ordinary.

Being brought up in Hong Kong in both Chinese and international contexts, I learned very early on that consuming things like duck's liver, bird's nest, shark's fin, and turtle shell jelly (pictured above), was pretty weird to some people - specifically those that weren't local Chinese. But to me, my beloved grandmother, and the rest of my Chinese-side family, it was perfectly normal. (And yes, I've tried and love all of those things.)

Recently, I've been listening to a lot of people give China crap about eating things like dog, because they're a creature that the Western world has domesticated. Or things like scorpion or tarantula, because they sting and they're poisonous and they look too different from us humans. Give China a break, man, it's a big country, with the largest population in the world. I'd be surprised if all 1.3 billion of us were only eating cow, chicken and pig, animals we're 'supposed to eat'.

What, like the French don't eat steak tartare, escargot, or frog legs? The Spanish eat bull testicles. And the Texans deep-fry rattlesnake. Australians eat kangaroo, crocodile eggs and ostrich. The Americans use cod liver oil as a vitamin A supplement. And the English feast on pig's blood every morning in the form of black pudding.

The Americans invented chewing gum - I mean, if you really think about it, that's a pretty weird idea for someone to come up with.

Foreign food should not be looked at in disgust. I respect whatever your personal preferences are, or what you feel about certain animals - I really do. I mean, some things I find weird, too. For example, I find it weird that Ukrainians eat bear, Filipinos eat chicken fetus, Alaskans eat raw fat from whales, and Icelandic people eat puffin. I'm weirded out by it, but I would never feel disgusted by any of these things because it's just what different people in different parts of the world have become adapted to eating. If you're an animal rights activist, well, good for you for trying to conserve different species. If you hate spiders, that's fine as well.

But I'm not pressuring you to like these things. Just accept that others eat these things, just respect that others may even love eating these things. Nobody's trying to force-feed any of these 'disgusting' foods down your throat, so we shouldn't have to swallow our feelings of embarassment when you say that they're disgusting.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

232 - Dislike of rice

In my life, I've only ever met two people that actually said, 'I don't like rice.' When I hear this sentence, there are three things that tend to go through my mind very quickly:

1. The biggest export of the Phillipines is rice.
2. China consumes and produces more rice than India and Indonesia combined.
3. I am Filipino-Chinese.

I have probably eaten more grains of rice than there are people in the world. I don't understand what there is not to like. It's a staple food, just as potatoes are to the Irish, just as yams are to the Central Africans. Apparently, this peculiar disfavor may be due to the granularity of it. Small particulates bother people because they don't feel wholesome, they remind one of tiny insects or bacterium. Lots of tiny little things going into one's mouth... IS disturbing...

Some people also say that rice and couscous and similar foods make them choke easily. Yeah, that doesn't make you sound stupid at all. Others say they never know how long to cook it for. That doesn't sound cretinous either.

Another reason people tried to justify their dislike of rice was that it was difficult to finish it all, in that they couldn't possibly get every grain of rice off the plate. They're using spoons and forks, and are apparently people of modern civilized origin, so it amazes me that they are unable to clear the plate with the silver cutlery they are so accustomed to, solely because the foodstuffs are small. They guffaw as some rice is still leftover on their china and say, 'Imagine if I was using chopsticks instead!'

Ha. Ha. Ha.


I have three other blogs, you know. Please, if you have the time, visit Holy Holism!, uTube & iShare, and "If you're going through Hell, keep going." And follow me on Twitter and Facebook if you haven't already!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

231 - Forgetting familiar faces

Eleven days ago, my mother flew from Hong Kong to come visit me here in the UK for her Chinese New Year holiday off work. We spent half the time in Canterbury, where my university is located, and the rest of the time in Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands and Londontown. Before the 10th of February, I hadn't seen her for more than 4.5 months, and to be honest, I had sort of forgotten what she looked like in person. Right now, her physical appearance is fresh in my mind as I only saw her off at Heathrow airport last night, but it'll be another four-and-a-half months before I see her again, and I know I will gradually begin to forget her semblance again until the day I embark on that 16-hour journey finally.

Of course we have all this technology that allows us to talk to each other and see each other with the click of a button or two. But it's just not the same, if you get what I'm saying. This experience of moving away from my home in Hong Kong, to a place where I have to pretty much make it on my own in all aspects of my life, scares the living crap out of me all the time, but it has really shown me what fears, discomforts, and individual strength can be brought about inside me by something as simple as geographical distance.

I do have two or three close friends staying here in the UK, who I've known for a long, long time. The more I thought about it on the train back to university from London, the more I realized that I actually forget people's faces and voices very easily with prolonged absence. There are actually many people in my life that I have forgotten the faces of, and the mere voices of. Sure, I know where they go to university now, and sure I hear things about what they're doing. Sure, I talk to them every now and then, and sure we play games online together, and we look at each other's photos, and it's pretty much like spending time together in the flesh...

...but it's not. There really is a difference, one I cannot find the words to explain adequately. It means something to be in one another's physical presence. It means something to hear the sound of their voices, and their distinctive laughs. And it means something to see each other's expressions, to feed off each other's gestural and facial reactions, to see each other's 'thinking face', or 'eating face', or 'waiting-to-cross-the-street face', to walk side-by-side, and to hug and kiss, and hold hands, or interlock elbows, as you're walking.

I miss home so much. And the familiarity of people's faces and the geography of Hong Kong is probably what gets to me the most.

Well... except the food perhaps.


Food definitely trumps the faces... and everything else.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

230 - Panting after running

Now, after a good long jog, or a hike up a steep mountain, or a 100m sprint at Sports Day, I know it's healthier for you to bend your back, place your palms on your knees, bow your head down, and pant, after such rigorous exercise increases your internal temperature, and makes your heart pump so fast. I agree, it's a useful physiological adaptation. But right now, I'm complaining about how unattractive it looks.

Often, people who do exercise can be quite visually unappealing, as their faces are flushed, their hair dripping with sweat, their body odor radiating throughout the vicinity. Panting only makes it worse, nostrils all flared up, thorax pulsing up and down, mouths gaping wide, like a blackhole. Looks reeeeeal unattractive.

Monday, February 15, 2010

229 - Hiss-laughing

Do you know how Ernie laughs on Sesame Street? It's kind of like that. Seriously, what kind of a laugh is that? It's like you have too much saliva and want to expel it from your mouths, like you have phlegm in your throat you want to get rid of. I can't even let you borrow the newspaper without ruining the material... but then again, why would you laugh at the news? So a joke book, perhaps. Argh.


By the way, I've opened a new blog with a good friend of mine named Jessica. We launched uTube & iShare just half an hour ago, and we're proud to present it. Feel free to just click that link to reach it. And follow me on Twitter or Facebook if you haven't already. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

228 - Tripping my grandmother

When I was eleven, our entire family, around twelve or thirteen of us altogether, went to this amusement park in Hong Kong called Ocean Park. The park has rollercoasters, animal exhibitions, dolphin and sea lion performances, carnival stalls, and a four-story aquarium containing over 2,000 fish. We had just finished having a buffet lunch at the seaview restaurant they have there, perched up on the side of a small hill, and as most of my relatives had to go to the washroom to avoid having to find one elsewhere later on, my grandmother and I walked out of the restaurant first, and strolled down the hill.

As we were walking down, it started to get crowded as we were gradually entering the general park area, and this woman who was talking on her phone walked right in front of us. Somehow the woman's foot had made contact with my grandmother's foot, and my grandmother had suddenly fell down face first. The woman on her phone took no notice of it, she had no idea, and she just continued ambling aimlessly, zigzagging along the path.

Luckily, my grandmother had stuck out her hands in front of her to cushion her fall and prevent major injru to her face, but there was still a tiny sliver of skin that had come off the bridge of her nose on account of the glasses she was wearing. Her spectacles had basically scratched her nose, and this made her dorsum bleed. It was a very small wound, so don't let your imaginations run too wildly.

I helped her up, brought her to a bench, got out some tissues and water, and helped her clean it up. By the time the rest of my family had arrived, the bitch (if I may use that word... read my last post) who tripped my grandmother was already gone. My aunt asked me where the woman went, and I shamefully said, "I don't know".

From that day on, I never ever give a damn about what public civilians feel or think if they do me wrong. Before that day in that park, I was always very submissive, and didn't mean to cause any dispute should someone run into me hard in the streets, or if a cashierlady gave me the less change than I should receive. These things need to be called out on, and next time someone trips my grandmother, if there is a next time, the perpetrator is going to pay.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

227 - The big deal about swear words

When I was a kid, maybe around five, six or seven years old, my mother used to tell me to 'Stop that crap!' when I misbehaved or said something incredibly heinous. This was the first 'bad word' I can remember myself being exposed to, and since I had the vocabulary of a seven-year-old, I took the word 'crap' and associated it quickly to the most accessible word that sounded the most similar - 'crab'. I literally, for a couple of years, thought my mother was telling me to 'Stop that crab!', thinking it was a combination of her non-native accent that interchanged the 'p' and the 'b' sounds, and that crabs had notoriously demonstrated naughtiness in some ancient Chinese folktale.

See, the word 'crap' isn't so bad, right? I haven't offended anybody, have I? (Actually, seriously, have I?)

Often, it can be awkward though when you're cussing, especially when you're on Facebook or on these blogs and you know your family or your teachers are following. But why does it have to be awkward? I mean, words like 'cock', 'bitch', 'boob', and 'ass' can all mean things unprofane, and don't forget the name 'Dick'.

I think that it is right to discourage children from using these words, as they don't know the implications of them... however, I don't see what the big deal is when we're older, so long as we don't use them maliciously, or lazily without other words at our perusal to express our vehemence, joy, pain or surprise. I guess often these words are used derogatively, profanely, in a socially disrespectful manner, but it just irks me slightly because they're only words, sticks and stones...

What do you think? What makes a word into a ‘bad’ word? How bad is too bad when it comes to normal, everyday conversation? Does it depend on who you're talking with? Where do we draw the line when writing in a public space, such as your blog?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

226 - Not knowing the difference between 'unconscious' and 'subconscious'

I'm sorry if I sound like an English/psychology professor, but this is a mistake that really annoys me and I come across more frequently than I would expect. The difference between the words 'unconscious' and 'subconscious' is actually not that difficult to decipher if you just think about it and recall the meanings of the prefixes un- and sub-.

un- implies 'not', 'the opposite form', 'the reversed action', and/or 'deprived of'. This can be seen in words like 'uncooked', 'unknowable', 'unassuming' and 'untidiness'. So the adjective, 'unconscious', means the inability to recollect information to the conscious mind. It is not defined primarily as the notion of being 'knocked out'. The man who suffered a traumatic brain injury and entered a comatose state can be described as unconscious, because while he lies there, unresponsive to external stimuli as he is, he cannot mentally recall any information, because he is not awake to consciously share it. If he were to wake up, he might still not remember what happened to him as the trauma clouds his memory and represses the facts. Although he is awake, he would still be termed as 'unconscious' of the information in question. The term 'the unconscious mind', as applied by Freud, Nietzsche and other 19th-century philosophers, can encompass not only the memories of trauma, but also simple untraumatic memories, desires and logical thinking that all remain far outside the conscious mind. We cannot 'pick it out' of our heads, even if we try really, really hard.

sub- means 'under', as in 'subway', 'subcategory' and 'submarine'. So the 'subconscious' is the collection of information that lies just beneath the conscious mind. Things like your full name, your password, your phone number, your e-mail address and your bank details are part of your subconscious mind. Unless you're filling out a form or talking to another person that asks for such information, this information is not consciously being perused, but subconsciously retained in your mind until you should need to 'pluck it out' for your conscious mind to ponder.

So say we're talking about the story of Hansel and Gretel. Now you're consciously thinking about it. But the fact that you can easily recall the tale of two children, the breadcrumbs and the witch demonstrates how that information is in your subconscious mind.

If I were to ask you how you first came to know that fairytale, did someone tell you that story, or did you read it, then that would prove to be a bit more difficult, wouldn't you say? This information therefore lies in the unconscious.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

225 - Not showering for days

Today, for some reason, I seem to be a magnet for filthy slatterns who do not shower. Since I woke up this morning, I have seen nine slobs - oh, wait a minute, that's the incorrect verb - what I mean to say is, on nine different occasions, I smelled particular stenches, looked up, and then found slobs present before my eyes.

Nine times, I've seen long, slick hair sweeped backwards carelessly behind a head all greased up by the owner's own natural oils, and if you were to look down in search of comfort, you would unsuccessfully find instead, moisture, soil, and God knows what excrement, darkening the shade of denim blue at the ankle hemlines, and should you wish to look back up again, you will regrettably observe a great abundance of earwax, shades of yellow and orange, formally watery, initially runny enough to ooze down to the mouth of the ear canal, but on exposure to the air, now dried and viscous enough to adhere to the rim of the concha and remain there as an unslightly spectacle for those unfortunate enough to have caught a glimpse of it, and assuming you draw your eyes downwards again to avoid further analysis of his aural secretions, you will discover sweaty, clammy hands, with nails fraught with rubber shavings-like clumps of dirt, and finally, on the occasion you may look upwards at his face once more, in some morbidly humorous way, for a fifth demonstration of sickly squalor, you will notice a horrifying dentition, teeth ruined by poor oral hygiene and persistent nicotine smoking, yellow like Dijon mustard, reeking a breath reminiscent of grandpa when he used to lean towards you to tell you one of his most valued secrets.

I swear one of them even smelled like vinegar - his sweat was so old and musty that it stank like expired milk, reeked of rotten eggs, funked like decaying meat, the pH level decreased so low that it was caustic, unbearable for me to even stay near him for ten seconds longer.

I'm not asking that people shower everyday like I do... I'm not even offering my hygienical recommendation. If you smell bad, take a shower, because you're upsetting one of my senses, in fact the one that gets disturbed the least, which makes the crime all the more depraved. Otherwise, please, do us all a favor, and don't leave the house at all.