Jonk.

I really am too easily bored

Twenty Facts

1. I’m staying in London for three years to study and I already miss Singaporean food (it’s been two weeks since I arrived).
2. I study law, although I’m frankly quite impartial and my higher education could really have gone in any direction (I flipped a coin to decide between law and business/economics).
3. Impartiality doesn’t mean I don’t like law. It just means I like law equally with other areas of academia - including but not fully representative are: economics, technology, philosophy, politics, business, sociology, psychology, science, maths, architecture and design.
4. Fancying those subjects doesn’t mean I’m automatically good at them (I liked the idea of chemistry but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it in secondary school).
5. I ended up not attending my chemistry O level examinations because I didn’t see a point.
6. I don’t do things I don’t see a point of doing. Which was why I didn’t attend classes much in secondary school and JC. I learn more and better without having to be harassed by the plague that is the opinions of Others.
7. Times when I step into spotlights/positions of leadership were never solely by my own will. It usually involves someone coaxing me into reluctantly taking up a post, or me foreseeing my life being significantly more miserable if I let somebody else do it.
8. I have a working theory that I have problems with authority, although it hasn’t been tested to its limits yet; I always find some way to escape the grasp of the institution before it becomes a showdown.
9. I like my school, UCL, because it was the first secular institution in England to accept students based on merit as opposed to beliefs, as well as the first in England to accept students regardless of gender. Even now, it manages to take a middle ground in terms of community involvement between the likes of Oxbridge (highly academic but less participatory) and SOAS (highly vocal and active in community but less intellectual) while maintaining its academic standards.
10. Although I appreciate UCL very much I would still prefer to be in Oxbridge because UCL is just too full of distractions, intellectually and otherwise.
11. My friends think I’m good and I win at anything I want to do, and that the desire for victory is inherent in my personality. But I don’t desire victory, I desire superiority. And I only take action to assert my superiority when people annoy me. You can take as many free wins from me as you want as long as you don’t ruffle my feathers.
12. When in a group of people I like to talk to the ones who speak the least because they usually have the best things to say. And I feel a personal sense of reward when they become more outgoing.
13. I like to believe I’m neither a pessimist nor an optimist but someone who measures in the truth. Pessimism and optimism are states of mind and thus have no influence on physical reality. Only action matters and I want to be about action, not about emotional weather forecasting (which is essentially what I deem both optimism and cynicism to be).
14. I am paying for my own education and am therefore realising that it is indeed a motivating factor in studying harder because now I measure the money I spend in terms of the opportunity cost of prematurely owning a sports car.
15. I am a fan of food and drink in general (gastronomy, if you will) and I think it’s a supremely beautiful affair that few other things in life can beat.
16. Some people say I drink too much although I beg to differ. “Too much” indicates that the pros and cons have been carefully weighed although I honestly doubt the person making the offending statement really did so.
17. I derive little to no pleasure from sports and view my body predominantly as an organic mode of transportation for my brain. In summary, I’m a fat lazy bastard.
18. I think I am terrifically lucky in the sense that everything in my life is turning out pretty well. Although I am aware that it is entirely possible that I make wrong moves resulting in the instant disqualification of my life from the “good life” list. I am therefore in fact rather cautious and wary about what I do and how I do it (contrary to some people’s opinions of me as one without a care in the world).
19. Although this is number 19, it really is pretty much at the top of my list most of the time - my girlfriend is a very very good thing that happened to me.
20. I always fall short at the last moment when it comes to things, that’s why my essays usually have crappy endings and this last thing-about-me is what it is.

Orwell is without a doubt essential as a cornerstone in the literature expounding personal liberty and thought in an increasingly institutional society. However, interestingly enough, I find that it is not truly the personal creative insight or fresh ideas that he has presented that have had an impact on how we perceive and value freedom today, but instead the sharp wit that he employs to do so. The Orwellian reader is not led into logical, rational action as a direct result of reading his works, the Orwellian reader is  roused into action full of gusto and emotional support for personal freedom. In a sense, quite ironically and perhaps contrary to Orwell’s intentions, he has created works that are not dissimilar to the propaganda pamphlets of his time. The aim is very much the same — to convince and impress upon the reader his motivation and stand. That is precisely why I fancy Orwell the way I do (and admittedly in a different way from other more common followers of Orwell) — despite the kind intentions of informing the public of the dangers of surrendering one’s personal freedom to a general scape of writings poised to brainwash and dull, his works have the same effect, albeit possessing an opposite goal.

For me, the best part of university really isn’t meeting new people. It’s being able to stay in your room, undisturbed and reading Orwell, before taking a 5 minutes walk through a beautiful park to learn about the law with a distinguished academic. Call me a nerd, but I fancy the academic aspect more than anything. Who needs a social life when you have bottles of whiskey in your room??

For own reference

I’m Burlington Bertie,
I’m short, fat and dirty,
My college portrays my high class – high class.
I walk down the Strand,
With my cock in my hand,
And wave it at King’s as I pass — I pass
Oh Bert, Bert,
I come in my shirt,
At least I go to UC – UC.
There’s one thing I’m sure of,
Strand Poly are wankers,
I’m Burlington Bert from UC
And him, and her, and him, and her

  • Guide: While I was still in the special forces, this guy tried to pickpocket me.
  • Me: Is he dead now?
  • Guide: *shrugs* Debatable.
  • //
  • Guide: Ali Baba had 40 thieves, but that's nothing. Our Parliament has 300.

Conversations with my Portuguese private tour guide/driver

  • Guide: We as a people are quite conservative. We don't get many weird circus acts here in Portugal.
  • Me: Oh you see many weird acts in London.
  • Guide: There are many circuses in London?
  • Me: Don't need to go to a circus to meet weirdos when you're in London.
  • //
  • Guide: (excitedly) My favorite ride of all time was my Harley-Davidson. But now I drive a Polo.
  • Me: What happened to the Harley?
  • Guide: (silence)
  • Me: You sold it when your daughter was born didn't you.
  • Guide: *nods sadly*
  • Me: You poor, poor thing.