Archive for March, 2009

Belief

I’ve been poking around a lot of atheist blogs lately, hence this run of posts. I found this (Christian) comment on an old Pharyngula post and was quite surprised by it.

I know men and women who say God does not logically, spiritually, or otherwise exist for X, Y, & Z reasons… But always they struggle interally. They had to prove to others and themselves that God was not real, or active

I can see how the journey from religion to atheism could be hard; people are sometimes letting go of a behaviour pattern that has permeated every aspect of their life. But the idea that someone who calls themselves an atheist could harbour secret doubts seems pretty unlikely.

My response:

I believe in myself.

I’m pretty confident the world I live in is real. It’s necessary to believe that in order to function as part of it, although I enjoying contemplating the possibility that I am wrong.

I do not believe in any gods.

As a teenager I briefly treated the Christian god as an imaginary friend (Jungian animus?), but my prayers always started “Dear god who I don’t believe in.”

I liked going to mass and accept that churches can be beautiful, but I have never accepted the bible as gospel.

Heaven does not exist. Hell does not exist. I have not had to convince myself of this – it is my natural state. I have never wavered from or struggled with this view point.

I’ve heard that Christians can suffer crises of faith, perhaps confounded by the conflicting and confusing stories of the bible.

I have crises of brain chemistry, recreational chemistry, and sometimes my shoes don’t match my outfit. Faith plays no part in my life. I see no reason why it should.

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Twilight of the gods

The existence of multiple god-based religions is a good argument against any of those gods being real.

Read the rest of this entry »

ZenLou is zen

I’m not sure what’s going on with me at the moment. I’ve become all… rational.

I’ve already posted on the S’pore blog about feeling a claustrophobic homesickness but not being freaked out by it.

Anyway, yesterday I got frustrated at work. I had to redo a copydoc a number of times to get it right, and didn’t work with my boss as well as I could have done during the process.

RegularLou would obsess over something like that and feel like it should have been perfect straight off, especially as it’s the first thing I’ve written here and I want to prove myself.

But for some reason ZenLou stepped in and reminded me that it’s fine to make mistakes when I’m new at something, and actually, it’s fine to make mistakes anyway as long as I don’t make ‘em repeatedly, and hey, I’m a smart cookie who will soon get the hang of it all.

WTF!

When did I get so freakin’ sane?

36% of my waking life

New job… hum.

I wrote the post below last Thursday, and I’m now feeling way better about the situation. The simple act of putting my thoughts on paper helped me see things more calmly, as did talking it through with J.

He pointed out that this is the first time I’ve NOT gone into a company as the bright young thing, so proving myself is gonna feel harder but should be a good process to go through.

Plus, I finally have some work to do; not much and not very engaging, but it’s at least a chance to get to grips with standard operating procedures.


The main issues:

I’m bored!!! I’m frustrated!!!

Bored because there is very little work to do. Frustrated because when work comes in, it seems pretty unlikely that any of it will be creative. The way the company is structured, I’m not sure creative work would even come my way; I think it might be cross-charged to the guys downstairs.

I did a lot of promo work in my last job – sales aids, websites, conference stands – but that was the boring bit. The fun bit was working on new concepts, and I did a reasonable amount of that too. I never did any med ed (the really, really boring stuff where you write monographs and key opinion leader slides).

But I’m worried that here med ed is gonna be the bread and butter, and the promo work is gonna be *sigh* the fun bit.

I’m trying to be grown-up about this. I know that sulking because the job isn’t what I expected isn’t going to help me, and it certainly isn’t going to encourage anyone here to help me. Complaining about what I don’t have is the perfect way to miss what’s under my nose, and I think this job could offer some great experience, just nowt creative.

I need to be proactive and create a system I’m happy to work within, but I’m not very good at that. Plus the junior writer, who joined two months ago from uni, is awesome at everything. This is great for the company, and she’s a lovely person, but it’s making me feel threatened.

The fact that she is so young, already so good at her job, and so freakin’ smart makes me feel like a charlatan. Like maybe I’ve been lucky so far, but next to her it’ll be obvious that I’m not that great.

So, positive, sanity-affirming plan of action:

Stay open-minded
Throw myself into stuff
Be proactive
Be humble
Let people teach me
Look for/create projects that involve concept work
Reassess portfolio in six months’ time

If I haven’t done any work I’m proud of by then, or alternatively grown into a position where doing creative isn’t so important, it’ll be time to hit the classifieds

I watched the Watchmen

Finally! And it was… Ok.

I didn’t hate it. Some of the dialogue was great (although a lot of it was poorly delivered) and the art direction was amazing, but these are attributable to the comic.

The movie was certainly the most faithful adaptation of Moore’s work I’ve seen, but is that enough? You can trace over the Mona Lisa and produce something almost as good as the original, but will it have that je ne sais quoi that keeps the staff of the Louvre in new shoes and crème patisseries?

Why Zack, why? Where was my giant squid?

I felt that instead of adding to a great book (or taking a story and creating something new but enjoyable), the movie lost a lot of the grittiness that leaves first-time Watchmen readers reeling. The cold war, post-‘Nam anger and 80s yuppie bleakness are reduced to freeze-frame images and an artfully choreographed riot.

I enjoyed seeing frames from the comics writ large in technicoloured, dolbied glory. However, the fact that Snyder reproduced them with such fetish but still changed the ending made me a little fidgety (plus I’m bad with long movies, attention span measured in diehards (SI unit)).

On top of that, the soundtrack was jarringly eclectic, and a lot of the performances were dialed in, especially Malin Ackermen and Mathew Goode, although Jackie Earle Haley redressed the balance.

Come to think of it, lacklustre omigod-I’m-so-bored-we’ve-been-green-screening-for-12-frigging-weeks acting was my main complaint with 300. Maybe Snyder is just really bad with people.

So yeah, not a bad effort, but not the film to make Alan Moore accept that screenplays from books are a valid medium.