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Monthly Archives: January 2007

Coolest flash app ever  §

Okay, normally I hate Flash apps and Flash in general (not to mention big international Energy companies) but this is Flash used with imagination. The romance of this front page and the way in which the interactivity convey it is quite amazing. I’m almost sold.

Weird moment  §

Okay, I woke up at 5.00. Odd. Feel a little surreal. Hitting the sack again. 1, 2, 3…

The problem is that life  §

is not a novel. You can’t skip all the way to the last page and see how it turns out because the last page is your own death. For those of us without any patience or proper sense of time, it’s a singular sort of frustration.

We’re so busy trying to get on to the next thing to get them all done and finish up the entire story that we forget to do whatever it is we’re doing now at every step along the way.

Gotta smell roses. Gotta smell some fucking roses.

The best thing about getting older  §

is that you start to laugh at yourself a lot as you realize all the ways in which you’re a total dork. D’oh. 😉

Kang  §

A strange and remarkable class. I don’t quite know what to make of it yet. I was so preoccupied when I left that I got on the subway and came halfway home before realizing what I was doing. I suppose I’ll just read at home tonight, though it isn’t my favorite thing to do.

I really want to keep reading for this class, to the exclusion of all the others. That is, I suppose, indicative of something very worthwhile being here somewhere, either in the subject matter or in the instruction. Very strange. Very historical in an odd way. We were talking about Marx in the context of 19th century haunting parties and magic lanterns.

The insight of the night is of course something that is more clear to me now—that for Benjamin all mediative technologies are really simply facets of the core of mediation itself, which is none other than the negative space of urbanism. In something strangely reminiscent of Derrida, for Benjamin mediation is nothing less than the presupposition of the “empty” (yet to be “filled” in each instance) proximal encounter that population density by its nature implies. Mediation at its core is thus not a technological or instrumental process, but is a categorical allusion, a deconstruction of the lexicon of assumed mutual presence in urban being.

I like Benjamin. A lot. I’ve always loved the critical theory guys, but the more I read Benjamin the more I think he alone was really on to something prognostic, as opposed to merely proscriptive. It seems as though Benjamin’s new historical ethos points to postmodern epistemology as a kind of willfully (skillfully?) dishonest anthropology of mediative unreality (the negation of the negation, as it were), which is precisely what the study of any modern topic can be called if one engages in it at a sufficiently deep level and indeed the only way to arrive at a sustainable claim in this epoch of universal (dis)information in which empiricism has run amok and gotten lost in a saturated wilderness of paradoxes and dominating-yet-orphaned efficiencies.

It is I think the sort of praxis Horkheimer and Adorno were trying to engage in with Dialectic of Enlightenment, only Benjamin’s got it properly (and, perhaps just as important, consistently) theorized. Do I have a paper here?

Yeah, looking back, I don’t understand anything I just said. I suppose that’s why I rarely make academic posts. But this class inspires me.

Why am I smarter at some times than others? So often I feel as though I’m walking around with a cloud around my head and all the thoughts have left me forever. People ask me questions and I look at them blankly. I go to the bookstore and I can’t figure out what I’m looking for.

Then, every now and then, I have a night where I feel as though I need to add sixty pages and a hundred notes to the monograph I’m working on, only there’s no such project because of the aforementioned cloud that’s usually around.

This is definitely an age thing, I used to be able to pass any exam on any day of the month with a six pack in me and no sleep for a week. Now I need six weeks’ notice, four naps, and a breath mint. Bah.

But at least I look cooler now that I’m older, hahahaha. Okay, not funny.

During class I heard a mobile phone vibrating (i.e. it was on silent and someone was calling). The sound came from the back of the room, approximately where my stuff was laying. I was sure it was my phone and it was someone from the family calling. I was incredibly annoyed that they were calling again and again, since even though it was on vibrate it was a bit loud. I was making mental notes about telling them not to call back if I don’t answer since it probably means I’m in class. When class was over and I got back to my phone, it turned out that it hadn’t been my phone that was ringing after all and suddenly I was a little let down and disappointed for no reason. And when I realized as much, I felt a little idiotic as well.

A nice little evening story.

Okay, long post already. Probably a way of keeping myself from reading, now that I’m at home and don’t really want to. Final aside: recently I keep running into people on the subway. This didn’t happen all last semester. This week alone at varying times of evening I’ve run into three separate people on my floor at I-House and two people with whom I have a class—not just passing-by meeting, but turning around in a subway car and saying “Oh, hi, it’s you, I didn’t know you took this train!” and then making smalltalk for the duration. Strange. I wonder what the hell is going on.

Economists  §

I’m sitting here in economics because (of course) they have the gear: tables, couches, lots of space, etc. And of course they are utter bastards. I’ve been watching these people “socialize” for twenty minutes. Cut each other off, ignore each other, act insensitively and narcissistically and generally seem like assholes. Sure I can be self-important and sure I can be a bastard, but dammit I’m sensitive or at least self-aware while I do it. Or I look better while I do it. Or something. I’m positive I don’t come off like this. What is it about the culture of economics departments (and MBA programs, too) that makes people like this? It’s been that way at every university I’ve attended.

Nevermind, I suppose that was rhetorical and I don’t actually need an answer.

Meanwhile, I cannot for the life of me stop smiling like a fucking Cheshire cat.

Preposterous.

Lovely.

For a few minutes now I have been reflecting on how much happier I have been here than I was there. The farther east I go in this country, the more happy I become. I should absolutely never, ever, for any reason, go back to California, and I should avoid Utah except for in emergencies. Christ.

Blah, blah, my posting right now is clearly a way for me to postpone necessary acts of work.

If I had brought one of the cameras with me today, I would skip class and take the ferry to Ellis island, just because. Dammit I gotta carry these things with me at all times.

Smiling…  §

😉

I came back to the place last night in the wee hours and felt absolutely compelled to write something, yet I wasn’t (and am really still not) sure about words right now. Every now and then, without warning, life forgets itself and its usual (often infuriating) sense of discretion and it allows you for a brief moment to feel that what is happening to you, or that what you are doing, or that what you feel about someone—is right. It’s a little amazing. Yeah, the words are fighting me. Nevermind, some things are better left unwritten anyway. I just feel good this morning, no need for anything more articulate.

I gotta go to work.

Here’s to the possibility  §

of an end to some of these rituals that are slowly killing me. Seriously, I sit here tonight thinking there’s gotta be less of a few vices in my life because I do actually like myself with a brain and no, I don’t want to end up chewing on my tongue in public like GWB, the dirty frat-boy bastard.

The reason I hate life so much is that I love life so much. You can’t feel a lot and not get hurt, but of course getting hurt is the same as getting angry. I do love life, despite cheap-and-easy appearances. And by God, I really hate it, too. 🙂 Same thing again, I suppose, actually, and yes, I am fully in love with the contradiction as well.

I feel good tonight, as it turns out. I’ve felt good for the last several days, but I’m not gonna say why just to be a bastard. And yeah, it’s true, tomorrow will suck a little harder just because it begins with work and ends with reading, but at the same time, it’s always nice to feel tremendously transparent and (more importantly) tremendously edified. I’m so much less conflicted than usual it’s almost bewildering, like I’ve been granted some kind of absolution.

I’m old enough now to know there’s not a chance in hell that it’ll last, but for a brief flash now and then it’s nice to get a living-life-and-it’s-actually-sorta-swank-no-yeah-fuckin’ high.

“‘Well, and the moral of the story?’ I asked Severin, placing the manuscript on the table.
‘The moral is that I was an ass,’ he cried without turning toward me—he seemed embarassed.”

I think the most optimistic scene ever committed to film is the one in which Marlon Brando is talking to Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, before the latter bludgeons the former to death. It paints, more perfectly than any other scene ever has, the process of redemption, at that moment demonstrating through the very act of representation that such a thing exists, if only as a conceptual program.

All programs can, however (in theory), be implemented.

Only the correct tools and some measure of jaw-setting are required, the latter available anywhere age, booze, or fatigue are sold.

Shit, wait, what was I saying about vices?

D’oh.

moments  §

I love it when you yawn so hard that you tear up and it looks like you’re crying. Only I can’t figure out whether I love it because other people think you’re probably crying or because you almost believe it yourself. Whatever.

the nihilistic epoch  §

Sunday morning at Cosi. Here we are again. Strangely familiar. After the coffee, I will go to the school and read. Then I will take then train home. Then I will go to work. Then I will go to school. Then I will go home. I can perhaps add in some hobbies. Maybe I become a Zen monk and also a crack photographer. So these will be added to the cyclical list. Huzzah? No.

There is nothing to any of this. The usual complaint is to say that it’s all smoke and mirrors, but it’s not even that. It’s just a möbius loop covered in scurrying ants. Sometimes I really love this, but mostly I really hate it—or at least I wish I had been born in a different time, place, and context so that I could have at least enjoyed the kind of vacuous sensuality that so many seem to be amused by on their way to the coffin.

Me I’m just sitting in a coffee shop at 11.00 on a Sunday morning with nowhere to go and no particular desire to talk to anyone, friend or stranger. I am the void, as usual.

ich gehe jetzt  §

Years now after its release it remains the most perfect musical composition of any kind in existence.

How do I feel?  §

A bit silly. A bit crestfallen. Nothing new.

Tired. Very tired, as always.

As though I have a mountain of work and a long slog ahead of me, since of course I do.

Upside?

I don’t know. Hard to say. I often still don’t know whether this is where I’m oughtta be or not. No Alaska. Didn’t stay in Chicago. Hated L.A. Didn’t see much interesting in Portland. Don’t belong in Salt Lake City. Here it’s not that I’m happy so much as that the days pass quickly and there’s nothing really pissing me off so it’s easy to get into a groove.

There’s gotta be someplace.

I don’t think it’s New York.

I don’t know how much longer I’m willing to travel around and look.

I don’t know how many more people I’m willing to talk to, dammit.

Stupid fucking modernity.

  §

The answer is:

No.

They fall like:

Dominoes.

They will fall until:

The end.

better  §

Better to be a free man that wants to die or a slave that wants to live? At least the latter isn’t a prisoner to his own being.

These days I routinely feel as though I’ve jumped the shark. Gotta find a more friendly time slot. Need an infusion of blood amongst the writers. Gotta get delivered in HD. Somethin’.

eight years  §

You don’t think about it much anymore. It’s almost like it never happened. But then every now and then, as if from nowhere, it lands in your lap again. And there are nights like tonight, when you can’t stand people and in the twilight of the twilight zone it comes back to you. And it’s true, you can’t fucking stand them. It’s like a maze. You’re trying to do the right thing and not hurt people while you’re trying to take care of yourself and also trying to be honest. Well you fucking can’t. There is no way to do all of the above.

And in the end it’s you who will take the heat for all of the heat you created. In the end, you will stand alone and people will think less of you either way, whether you stay or go. In the end, life requires planning, and a social life doubly so, and some of us can do it and some of us can’t. You are among the latter.

Fuck ’em. Fuck ’em all.

Lonely? Yeah, I’ve been lonely. And just by saying that, in part because I’m a man and in part because this is fucking America, there are a dozen or a thousand or a million people out there ready to say, “get over yourself, you asshole, you think you’re the only one?” and if you do something about it, even if you do everything about it, they’ll still make fun of you, disrespect you, act like you weren’t human.

I hate this culture. I hate it. I fucking hate all of the hate, all of the cynical, we don’t care, we’re too ironic and too cultured and too cynical and too post-psychoanalytic to listen to you say you’re lonely you spoiled-brat-could-fix-it-in-a-second-or-at-least-I’ll-pretend-you-could- so-that-I-can-say-get-over-yourself-dammit hate.

Anybody wanna care about everyone else? Does anyone actually wanna care about everyone else? I do. I want to. But i can’t fucking do it alone.

Yeah, it makes you uncomfortable to hear it—so uncomfortable you have to turn it back on me? Fine. Hear it anyway, dammit. I’m lonely and I’m tired and nobody is on my side and I feel sorry for myself and I wish I could hug everyone, both for them and for me. So go ahead, feel self-righteous. I’m calling you on it, ’cause you ain’t perfect and you know you’ve been there too, loser.