Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I have been going to the same hairdresser for years. Some of his clients find him weird as he likes to propound his views which can come across righteous or strange. I enjoy having a conversation with him though I may not necessarily agree with all the things he puts forward. During my recent visit, he told me that two of his  friends said they had been feeling depressed after having a sudden  epiphany about humanity. Apparently, it had dawned on one of them that she had been a very mean, cunning  and terrible person all these years while it had dawned on the other woman that people generally are mean, cunning  and terrible. I had to agree with him when he said that all of us had this mean streak lurking in us. He then said something he had said before, “I cannot even trust myself, how can anyone trust me? How can anyone trust anyone? ”

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that  there are always traces of vanity and cruelty in our characters. Often we do good deeds, make donations and contribute to some social or charity causes to make ourselves feel better. If we  examine our true intentions, we will note that we might be doing things for ourselves even when we are being thoughtful and generous. I get disappointed time and time again whenever I neglect to follow my instincts about certain preferences or somehow make decisions to my detriments in the name of diplomacy, I feel unwise.

I try to do things sensibly and act justly. Perhaps when I was a child, my response might have been more spontaneous but as I grow older, I find that I must have been so conditioned to acting  politically correct  that I am inclined to act appropriately. I often question my true intentions. I feel bad if I do not act kindly or  behave badly or omit to act sensibly. Just like everything else, you are who you are, doesn’t that sound familiar? 
I  watched Birdman this afternoon.  These days, I dread going to the cinema due to various reasons. You have to be mentally prepared to go to a crowded place . I do not mind so much in a foreign land. Perhaps it is because in a foreign place, the chances of bumping into someone you know is slim. I never know what to say when I bump into an acquaintance . Having said that, I did meet a couple of friends from home when I was queuing up for Monmouth coffee in Covent Garden.

Birdman is one of the main contenders at the Oscars 2015. It is superb. There are times when you  read about certain films and their rave reviews, you are in for a disappointment. This time, I am not disappointed.   I love the alternative title : The Unexpected Virtue of Igorance. I was so glad that I got up from my butt and head to the cinema and caught the film  on the wide screen. Great screenplay, acting and dialogues. I was moved to tears when Sam, Riggan’s daughter, said to  Riggan Thomson:  "That means something to who? You had a career, dad, before the third comic book movie, before people started to forget who was inside that bird costume. You are doing a play based on a book that was written 60 years ago for a thousand rich old white people whose only real concern is going to be where they have their cake and coffee when it's over. Nobody gives a s*** but you! And let's face it, dad, you are not doing this for the sake of art. You are doing this because you want to feel relevant again. Well guess what? There is an entire world out there where people fight to be relevant every single day and you act like it doesn't exist. This are happening in a place that you ignore, a place that, by the way, has already forgotten about you. I mean, who the f*** are you? You hate bloggers. You mock Twitter. You don't even have a Facebook page. You're the one who doesn't exist. You're doing this because you're scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don't matter and, you know what, you're right. You don't! It's not important, okay? You're not important! Get used to it."

 Birdman is about Riggan Thomson, a washed-up  actor who once played an iconic superhero in blockbuster movies and he has to battle with his ego as he is about to launch the Broadway play which he directs and acts in. Riggan hopes to reinvent his career  by writing, directing  and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. He meets influential critic, Tabitha Dikinson, who tells him that she  hates Hollywood celebrities who pretend to be actors and she intends o kill his play by giving a poor review.

 The film reminds me once again why I enjoy black comedies-dramas.It is not just actors and celebrities who want to stay relevant after their prime days and have tendencies to be ego-centric , ordinary people are the same too. I suppose ultimately it is ourselves that we have to be accountable to. We remain prisoners to ourselves so it is ourselves that we have to break free from. 

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