我选择介绍的一本书叫‘献给阿尔吉侬的花束’（Flowers for Algernon），是美国作家丹尼爾 凱斯 (Daniel Keyes) 的一个科幻小說。
故事叙述一名智障碍者, 他的名字叫Charly ; 他在接受脑手术之后，智能由白痴改成了很聪明，无人可及的天才，而后又因手术，智能衰退回变到白痴。小说的特色是故事是哪个人的日记。所以他写的事，一开始好像小孩写的，但是他随着改成了越来越聪明，他的看法，语法，问题，用字，思维，都变了更聪明。
(阿尔吉侬)是一只老虎的名字。这只老鼠是以前接受脑手术，所以人人可以比charly 的进步跟阿尔吉侬的。过了时间，阿尔吉侬的为人开始变奇怪，因而charly 当了恐慌，他就跟阿尔吉侬逃脱了。
他快当了很忧伤 和内向，他去看他的家人因为他从小没看到他们。他受到很可怕的恶梦，他心里有两个人，一个是他以前笨蛋的，别的事她现在很聪明的。而且这两人总是冲突，所以Charly 有很多心理问题，他很怕看她的家人和爱上女人。在他的日记里面，我们发现他的看法，语法，问题，用字，思维，都变了头脑的笨蛋。
这个故事有两个人物，一个男生 : 小王，和一个女生 : 小兰。
因为家人施压她，这两人常常吵架。虽然小兰深深的喜欢小王，她总是问他 : “你对我的爱有多深？”
两年以后，小王终于毕业了，他决定了要去外国研究学。离开之前，他告诉他的女朋友 : “我知道有时候我很怕羞，但是肯定地爱你。如果你允许了我，我想永远照顾你。
在医院的时候，她都无声地哭。 回家之后，他每次听到电话，很怕是小王因为她不想也不能告诉他她的声音丢了。她想保密自己的秘密。躲着很长时间以后，她终于决定了要写一封信给小王。 在这封信里面她说还不想等跟多，他们一定要分手。
小兰特别可怜。她快受到了一封信，是小王给她写的一封信， 所以他不想开信封。很多朋友来安慰她。她终于开这封，发现了这封信是小王请她来他的婚姻的。 但是她继续看信，发现新娘是她！
在小兰的朋友中间突然出现了小王。 小王用了手语跟她说 ：“我懂你的悲，你可能只想一个很孤独的生活，但是我很久以前爱上了你。而且我还爱你，和我没忘我的诺言。我用了一年学手语。如果你同意的话，我能变成我们两个的声音。我还不怕羞”
This article is by Joel Stein from the time.
In the pre-internet days, neither of us would have even thought of calling each other friends. We'd have called ourselves friends of friends who met once and yet, for some reason, kept sending each other grammatically challenged, inappropriately flirty letters with photos of ourselves attached. Police might have gotten involved.
This is hard to say to a friend, but our relationship is starting to take up too much of my time. It's weird that I know more about you than I do about actual friends I hang out with in person--whom I propose we distinguish by calling "non-metafriends." In fact, I know more about you than I know about myself. I have no idea what my favorite movie or song or TV show is. Last I checked, they all involved Muppets.
Also, you're a bit aggressive in our friendship. Would a non-metafriend call me up and say, "Hey! Guess what? I have a bunch of new pictures of me"? Or tell me he'd colored in a map of all the places he'd ever been? Or inform me, as Michael Hirschorn did in his Facebook status update, that he "is not making decisions; he's making surprises"? It's as if I suddenly met a new group of people who were all in the special classes.
The horror is, I can't opt out. Just as I can't stop making money or my non-metafriends will have more stuff than I do, I can't stop running up my tally of MySpace friends or I'll look like a loser. Just as money made wealth quantifiable, social networks have provided a metric for popularity. We all, oddly, slot in at a specific ranking somewhere below Dane Cook.
I'm sure social networks serve many important functions that improve our lives, like reconnecting us with old friends and finding out if people we used to date are still good-looking. And social networks all have messaging functions, which would be an excellent way to send information if no one had invented e-mail.
But really, these sites aren't about connecting and reconnecting. They're a platform for self-branding. Old people are always worrying that our blogging and personal websites and MySpace profiles are taking away our privacy, but they clearly don't understand the word privacy. We're not sharing things we don't want other people to know. We're showing you our best posed, retouched photos. We're listing the Pynchon books we want you to think we've read all the way through. We're allowing other people to write whatever they want about us on our walls, unless we don't like it, in which case we just erase it. If we had that much privacy in real life, the bathrooms at that Minnesota airport would be empty.
And like the abrasively direct ads for tinctures and cleaning products at the beginning of the advertising age, our self-branding is none too subtle. We are a blunt lot, in our bikinis and our demands that our friends go right now to check out our blog postings. We've gone 40 years back, to sales tactics predating irony, self-deprecation and actual modesty. We are, as a social network, all so awesome that we will soon not be able to type the number 1, because we will have worn out the exclamation point that shares its key.
Until we can build some kind of social network where we can present our true, flawed selves--perhaps some genius can invent something that takes place in a house over dinner with wine--I say we strip down our online communities to just the important parts. With enough venture funding--by which I mean the volunteer services of a dude who knows how to build a website--I hope to launch TrueSocialStatus.com on which users are allowed to submit only their name, their occupation, a photo, the square footage of their home and a list of any celebrities they happen to know. Then other people can vote, on a scale of 1 to 100, on how awesome they are. At the end of the year, the ones with the most points are made homecoming king and queen, which, if I remember correctly, should immediately send their scores plummeting. If nothing else, it should finally rid us of Tila Tequila.
First of all, I'm sorry I haven't posted anything lately, it isn't always easy to live up to this promise of regularly updating my friends and family on what's going on. Especially when I'm overwhelmed with events and when I settle down I'm either too tired to do anything but sleep, or have some class assignment to catch up on.
So what's been up ? I've been climbing a lot, we went to a party on a beach last friday that reminded me of Jim Morrisson's American prayer and I talked in verse for a long time. As in :
Shake dreams from your hair
My pretty child, my sweet one.
Choose the day and choose the sign of your day
The day's divinity
First thing you see.
A vast radiant beach in a cool jeweled moon
Couples naked race down by it's quiet side
And we laugh like soft, mad children
Smug in the wooly cotton brains of infancy
The music and voices are all around us. Choose they croon the Ancient Ones The time has come again Choose now, they croon Beneath the moon Beside an ancient lake Enter
Aikido and Judo are going on as usual. My camera got stolen on a ferry. So from now on photos will be scarce. We had a Halloween party and made the news : http://singaporeseen.stomp
Make sure you read people's comments, some are racist on an unexpected level.
I was dressed up as Andy Warhol, check it out :
Okay here we go : last week end. How shall I start…. “I adore Singapore. I idolize it all out of proportion”… Or better, "I romanticize it all out of proportion.” Hmmm… mhya, let me start over, “I am overly romantic about this place as I am about everything else. I thrive on the hustle...bustle of the crowds and the traffic. To me, Singapore means…” Nah, no...corny, too corny for my taste. I mean, let me try and make it more profound. "I adore Singapore. To me, it is a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity to cause so many people to take the easy way out..." Naaah, this is way too preachy. Plus let’s face it I think I want you to read this till the end. "I adore Singapore, although to me, it is a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. How hard it is to exist in a society desensitized by government advertising, television, authority, and overwork." Ah, maybe that’s too angry. I shouldn’t be angry. "I am as...tough and romantic as the city I love.”
Right. Let’s go : I am as tough and romantic as the city I love, inside my Q-tip head, I thrive on the unpredictability of what I do, hopping from place to place like a hormone-crazed jungle cat. Take our lame Thursday evening Judo practises for example. Mike suddenly proposed we go to Kuala Lumpur for a four day week-end climbing trip. “When would we be leaving ?” I asked… “half an hour later.” We grabbed our bags and left the moisture of BoonLay for Johor Bahru, met the Iowa-climber-fraternity guys and took the night train to Kuala Lumpur. We climbed inside caves on Friday while it rained ouside, it felt great to lead and do an overhang after a year or so of no climbing. That exhilarating, death-defying activity has infected me once again. I’m looking forward to that “never more alive than when most at risk” feeling, and actually did a solo climb. We had no route descriptions, but using the Flora was fun and secure in case we messed up. We also used it to speed-climb the routes. Sweeeeeeeeeet.
Otherwise this week-end was Hari Raya, also known as the Malaysian new year. There were many fireworks in town, firecrackers to buy, and party people. Mark and Bill got kissed by a gay Chinese man who gave them drinks, Mike and I hung out on top of a lamp-post and the gang forgot about us. We also fit six guys in a taxi, almost did a multi-pitch, threw firecrackers at mark, celebrated Manki’s birthday, went to a Korean restaurant, had free drinks at a club, messed around. The gang is awesome. Tank god Mike asked me to join them.
For them that must obey authority,
that they do not respect in any degree,
who despise their jobs, their destinies,
Speak jealously of them that are free,
Do what they do just to be nothing more
than something they invest in
故事要从王小的时候讲起，他因为要证明他的勇气，要一个人在森林过夜，那样在才能成为国王。他在独自站着的时候，看见一幅神圣的景象。圣杯从火焰中显现，这是神力的标志。 一个声音对他说 : “你应成为圣杯的保护者，让它医治人们的心灵。” 可是小孩没有看到的是，一个更强大的神迹，即一个充满着力量，光荣，和美丽 的生活。在异常的状态下，他在瞬间感到自己并不是一个小孩儿，而是象神一样，不可战胜。于是他把手伸进火里，去拿圣杯。可是圣杯消失了，只留下他的手在火里被严重烧伤。 随着他的年龄增长，伤口越来越深，直到有一天他的生活失去了意义。他不信任任何人，甚至他自己。他不会爱，或被爱。 他开始死亡了。 有一天一个笨蛋闲逛进了城堡。因为它是头脑简单的笨蛋，看见国王，却以为只是一个痛苦而孤独的普通人。 他问国王 : “你怎么了，朋友 ？” 国王回答说 : “我很渴，想喝水”。于是笨蛋从床边拿起一个杯子装满水，递给国王。当国王开始喝水他发现自己的伤口被治愈了。他看自己的手，那座他搜寻了一辈子的圣杯出现了。国王惊奇地问笨蛋 : “你是怎么找到这件连我都找不到的东西?”。笨蛋回答说 : “我不知道，我只知道你很渴”。
It begins with the King as a boy--having to spend a night alone in the forest to prove his courage so that he could become king. While he was standing there alone, he's visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the Holy Grail, the symbol of God's divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, "You shall be the keeper of the Grail, so that it may heal the hearts of men." But the boy was blinded by greater visions, of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement, he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible...like God. So he reached into the fire to take the Grail. And the Grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire, to be terribly wounded.
Now, as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper, until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn't love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die.
One day, a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. Being a fool, he was simpleminded, he didn't see a king, he saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, "What ails you, friend?" The king replied, "I'm thirsty. I need a some water to cool my throat." So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water, handed it to the king. As the king began to drink he realized that his wound was healed. He looked at his hands, and there was the Holy Grail that which he sought all of his life! And he turned to the fool and said in amazement, "How could you find that which what my brightest and bravest could not?" And the fool replied, "I don't know. I only knew that you were thirsty."
Went to the prime minister's talk at NUS. As expected, great orator and very likeable guy, “make more babies for Singapore” he says, “one for him, one for her, and one for Singapore” he says. Split for the study room to attend the garage party. Drank lots of Vodka red bull, wrote NUS with glasses of beer. Students here act really prude but are really wild underneath. Woke up with a head ache and fell asleep under the shower.
Took a charter flight to Hanoi with Loic. All in all, 3.5 kg of luggage in our backpacks. Took a cab to the train station but the driver wanted to rip us off. We stop in the middle of nowhere and hop on a bus. Got ripped off over our dinner. Don't let people lie to you: hostels are for the ugly. We're worse. Took a night train to Sapa, which is in the mountains next to China. Just like the alps without the chalets. Hard seats in Vietnam are actually worse from those in China, packed with loud and dirty peasant smokers on wooden benches for ten hours. Got a cheap Hotel room with a gorgeous view, had breakfast, red bull. Hired a guide to visit local Hmong villages. Spent the day with the locals in the countryside. Tried out the rice-peasant lifestyle. Went to the market, took photos of maggots and dog meat.
Had a barbecue in our hotel room. A typhoon hit the coast and we woke up to rain. Hired two motor bikes and went up to the Laotian border, got covered in mud, saw some waterfalls. A Vietnamese woman ripped us off and Loic got pissed. Felt cold, had a few hot showers. Too many lame markets, so we split for Hanoi Hard sleeper night train: vietnamese-sized wooden bunks with a pillow. A man spat on Loic’s shoes. Wandered in Hanoi from 4 am to 8, went to the perfume pagoda with a group of tourists. There was a French girl who looked like a leprechaun.
Loic took care of the small talk. We were taken by boat to some mountain, ate gargantuan amounts of weird Vietnamese food. Hiked up the mountain to a massive cave that had a Buddhist temple inside, which was trippy to say the least. Spent the night out in Hanoi, but there’s martial law, like the war still isn’t over. Ended up in an apocalypse now-style café that played Jimi Hendrix all night. The rain chucked down. Drank red bull. Got out at 3h30 am, went to a bakery where I fell asleep. So did the waitress. Loic took pictures.
Split for HaLong, took a three day package. Two irish drunkards got on the bus and talked nonsense really loud. They stank of alcohol and kept me from sleeping. They got on the same boat as we did. We had lunch two German girls, once again there was no limit to how much we ate. Halong bay is just like it’s postcards. Beautiful. We contemplatively wandered on top of the boat. Visited a big cave, took a kayak to an Island and ran up a to a temple on the summit. Enjoyed the sunset. Went down to the beach and swam. Took the kayak back to the boat and everybody was pissed off at us for doing something while they were getting bored on the boat. Mostly it was the two irish drunkards and their retarded Australian friends. They spent dinner insulting the English. Went to sleep on the boat. Got up and went to Catba Island. Had a three hour hike and picked wild bananas and berries, got stomach-ache. Had a large lunch, went kayaking to a deserted island, water there was as hot as a bath. Tried rock-climbing but cut my feet and hands, went to monkey island and looked at monkeys. Got back and had dinner, watched Tim Burton’s Willy wonka and made a fire by the beach. Burned a carpet. Had breakfast while a brittish girl complained about ants in her bed. We ate her breakfast too.
Got invited to stay at some friends’ place in Hanoi so we caught a ride back. Jumped off the boat and sang Vietnamese karaoke on the way. Saw the BoonLay Americans in Halong city and said hello to Stephanie, which felt very awkward. Hanoi. Bought two T-shirts for 1.65 euros, crossed a street and almost became road-kill. Met The-Anh and the crew, none of them spoke English so we stuck to Chinese. Cruised the city on scooters. Went out to different places and ended up in a karaoke. I feel like the ghost of a total stranger. Went to The-Anh’s house and met his parents, his dad is a high-ranked military. The next day we saw some ruins, Hochimin’s mausoleum, a bunch of Chinese diplomats, a military procession and hochimin’s body preserved in wax. His mustache looks fake. Our cameras and phones were confiscated. Saw Dat’s brother and nephews and had weird stuff for lunch. Bird beaks and tongues, frogs, dog feet, and other ineffable stuff, drank lots of Vietnamese liquor. Picked up a parcel for Dat. A Vietnamese guy tried to sit on me on the bus to the airport. We opened up the parcel and found chewing gum inside.
Loic took a flight to Hanoi with the BoonLay Americans who just happened to be there. Went to Kuala Lumpur, slept in the airport, woke up at 4h30 am and took a bus to the city, made my way to Puddhuraya and took the 7h15 bus to Singapore. Slept. Arrived in Bugis at 12h30, met Abdul and made it to Boonlay around 14h. Home sweet home.
Total cost : 100 euros in Vietnam, 105 euros to get there and back.
Nothing much has been happening, I'm happilly preparing my Chinese midterm exam on thursday. Yesterday however, for the first time since I've been here, I witnessed Singaporean racial hatred in a surprising way. I didn't expect it since Singapore is well known for being a functioning multi-ethnical society; moreover, NUS seemed like the most likely place to witness this.
Anyways I went to the toilet in the middle of the afternoon, closed the door, and turned around. This is what I saw :
"Fucking Malays : My point now here is : Get the fuck out of NUS and Singapore. You PIGS have not enough standards, potentials, capabilities, qualities and what it takes to study here. Mind u that your gardes are fucking low & can never compete with our top student! Conclusion : The chinese are always the top, the best when it comes to academic & work fields! Understood ?? Thanks..."
I thought it might be some sort of experiment from a psychology student who wants to test our reactions; but it most likely is sincere. I sure hope the cleaning staff quickly takes care of it.