The 5 Main Issues of January

The last few days saw me at my nadir of intellectual and physical productivity; I did however, manage to salvage some very interesting issues to keep my mind from rusting. So, I shall just post this — so at least I accomplish something. So behold! These are what occupied my mind in January!

In no particular order, mind you.

* * *

01 – “Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth” is awesome

This is a replay.

I don’t do this to kill time, this is serious business. Valkyrie Profile is among the finest games ever released in the late ’90s to early ’00s; the Golden Age of JRPGs. Comparatively, if we observe its peers, the title is God damn highbrow.

Any of you played or beat this game? It was quite a must-play for the early 2000s PlayStation generation…

And this is one fiiiinne lady.

02 – I put pr0n under scrutiny

WordPress forbids an explanation further than this. Consult me should the need arise (e.g. curiosity).

A dude showing off
his new boxers.

03 – Brian Eno is awesome

Have you listened to Music for Airports? Do not die before you do.

04 – Seeing the Arts getting massacred is amusing

See how science beat the crap out of the arts.

It is fun in a twisted way to witness the broad enterprise of the Arts getting butchered mercilessly by Science itself. That stoic, robotic, dangerous-to-our-anthropomorphic-well-being motherfucker! To think that the whole achievements and study of aesthetics are but a bloated, self-celebrating collective subjectivity preached in a vacuous mass masturbation is, while depressing, very thrilling.😀 If there’s anything postmodernism got right, it will be this.

Somewhere a Shakespeare fan is crying and sobbing existentially. Boo hoo.

I approve.

05 – That cell phone vendor is a sun of a beach

In short, I have this cell phone I bought for RM 850 in October and I have problems operating it. I plan to have a trade it for something else and this bloke said he’ll buy it for RM 200.

It has non-tactile iPhone-ish buttons just for the heck of it.

Though to be fair, Samsung’s price does drop easily.

* * *

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to play some games (see point 1) while getting depressed at how kitsch it actually is (point 4).

42 thoughts on “The 5 Main Issues of January

  1. Lezard, you… did her in, didn’t you?
    — Mystina, Valkyrie Profile

    Well, I’ve always thought that art is a lie, an interesting lie.
    — Brian Eno

  2. Ah Valkyrie Profile’s storyline is damn confusing (only sending people’s souls to heaven?)…I was feeling empty when playing that game…and the most difficult game was easy to finish.
    The visual art and battle system were great though😀

    …d00d, the finest games in that era are surely Chrono Cross and Xenogears!

  3. @ Xaliber von Reginhild

    Ya, IMO memang lebih megah.😕

    @ joesatch yang legendaris

    Dicoba saja.😛

    @ lambrtz

    Maybe you got the wrong ending? I think the game is infamous for that; there’s a good ending and a bad ending, and they packed EVERY aspects of the real storyline into the good one. I did the bad ending thing once: you send souls to Heaven in preparation for war, the war commenced, you fight the final boss, the end. Lots of empty rooms.😆

    Xenogears was great. Epic and majestic to the highest degree. I never touched Chrono Cross.

  4. @ itikkecil

    *mengamini*

    @ Catshade

    Ah, you picked the more interesting issue.

    The conflict is not in that sense. Two words: haunting subjectivity. I (and I presume, a significant chunk of the Naturalist enterprise) subscribe to Hume’s projectivism, which declared that beauty is not an objective property.

    I short, this deprives me the right to proclaim that Brian Eno is a better artist than Miley Cyrus.

    I believe that it’s all meme. There is no such thing as art; only things that are beautiful or provoking and things that are not. Look here, a sentient being developed a “taste” shaped by his or her cultural upbringing and personal experiences through memetic associations. When that “taste” is shared by the masses then it’s “universal”, when it’s niche it’s a “fetish” or something alike, when it’s shared by the upper class and academics it’s “fine art”. This is why I drew ire at art theorists who engaged in sophist talks with big words trying to elevate some brands of “taste” to a higher, mystical plane.

  5. 01 – “Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth” is awesome

    Bought a Valkyrie Profile PS2 disc a way back (forgot which series), but the damn pirated crap won’t load on my PS2slim!!!👿
    I bought-and-returned the same game on 3 different shops, but all those DVDs turned out to come from the same pirating home industry!!👿
    I was sooooo aching to play it😥

    @sora9n
    Let this be the first time in my still-short-lived personal blogosphere history that I openly agree with you, mate.:mrgreen:

  6. @ Amed

    Nerd!😈

    @ sora9n

    That’s your issue, not mine.:mrgreen:

    @ Fritzter

    Is this Lenneth (i.e. you’re trying to play it on PS2) or its legitimate PS2 sequel, Silmeria?

    If it’s the former then the last resort would be to download the .ISO online and burn it DIY. Of course that counts as dirty, dirty pirating.:mrgreen:

    @ Nenda Fadhilah

    Windows Mobile sucks!👿 Yang dipake sekarang ya ini.

  7. What!? How could that wasn’t on your mind? Blasphemy!!😈

    Every football fan and anti-capitalist youth have since given deep thought. And YOU *only* write about art, cellphone, and pr0n scrutiny and such?? UNBELIEVABLE!!!1111!!😈 😈 😈

    *bikin huru-hara*

    *ditembak gas airmata*

  8. @ Nenda Fadhilah

    You wish.

    @ sora9n

    What, the Manchester City fiasco? What a shallow thought! What most people failed to comprehend in that it wasn’t a good deal. Sure he could have gained more money, but there will be a dramatic decrease in popularity, and he will spend the latter half of his career in such a club with a bad reputation; not to mention City is in deep shit this season. Robinho taught him that much.👿

    It’s not like he shunned the better opportunity as an act against moneyism, it’s just that it’s a bad deal.😈

    anti-capitalist

    Am I an anti-capitalist all of a sudden? Just so you know, I despise the Marxist take on popular culture…😐:mrgreen:

    Now pray begone Sir! I have pr0n to attend to.:mrgreen:

    *ditaburi merica*

    @ p4ndu_454kura®

    They don’t. Download it.

  9. Artists never care about what scientists say. They never will! And, anyway, post-WW II artists have rejected what the early 20th century expressionist/impressionist/abstract painters and sculptors called “Arts”. Look at what people today call contemporary arts or new realism; they’re so not artistic in many ways. I won’t say it’s thrilling, but it does make me uneasy. Btw, what does science say about literature? The sanctuary of those who despise science’s claim of truth is poetry. Some people, mostly philosophers, even attack science with poetry.

  10. Brian Eno…hehehe

    Menggilai Musik Ambient nih…hehehhee

    Hmmm..”melihat koleksi album Eno+Fripp”

    Musik ambient yang tidak bikin pusing maxudnya..ehhehee…

  11. Pingback: Lima Soal Yang Saya Pikirkan « Catatan Gentole

  12. @ gentole

    Artists never care about what scientists say. They never will!

    True, true. I just read C. P. Snow’s famous (infamous?) paper on this issue recently (“The Two Cultures“, read it?), and it’s mostly like that, yes. The two hated each other. In short, artists are too feely; scientists too emotionless.

    Personally, my impression would be; the Arts enterprise reeks with pretension and cultural hegemony wrapped in big poetic words. I find myself hating the obscurantist style of art criticism.😕 On the other hand, Science can get very reductionistic. And at times, cruel and politically incorrect.

    Still, I choose to lean towards the latter. At least they’re honest and direct. They’re not hiding anything. They’re not being defensive.:mrgreen: And, ironically, they’re more open to the idea of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” than the Arts’ share of snobs.

    And, anyway, post-WW II artists have rejected what the early 20th century expressionist/impressionist/abstract painters and sculptors called “Arts”. Look at what people today call contemporary arts or new realism; they’re so not artistic in many ways.

    I am not exactly a fine art enthusiast; what’s the trend now anyways? As far as I know, more modern arts like cinema, pop art, computer mod art, and, God forbid, conceptual art are all lambasted by the traditionalist?

    I heard Damien Hirst was even physically threatened.

    I won’t say it’s thrilling, but it does make me uneasy.

    Why, I am thrilled!😀

    Or maybe you have to possess some degree of nihilism to appreciate it.

    Btw, what does science say about literature? The sanctuary of those who despise science’s claim of truth is poetry. Some people, mostly philosophers, even attack science with poetry.

    Don’t really know. Maybe: It’s just culture, transmitted through social means.:mrgreen: Anyway, I don’t think Science has anything to say about literature, other than it can trigger people’s aesthetic sense in an arbitrary way.

    @ Magister of Chaos

    Wah, Eno+Fripp saya cuma punya yang Evening Star. Di situ ada musik drone. Agak bikin pusing.:mrgreen:

  13. I believe that it’s all meme. There is no such thing as art; only things that are beautiful or provoking and things that are not.

    Jadi… maksudnya, keindahan, estetika, dan seni (let’s not delve into ‘what is art’, ok?) itu adalah subyektif belaka menurut kaum naturalis… begitu? Interesting… karena cabang psikologi evolusioner (yang IMHO sangat naturalis) belakangan ini banyak menemukan faktor2 obyektif dalam ‘kecantikan’ pria/wanita; but maybe that’s a different kind of ‘beauty’ we’re talking about. ^^;

    Dan ngomong2 tentang apa kata sains mengenai literatur, ini saya ada artikel: Poetry Comes from Our Tree-Climbing Ancestors, Neuroscientist Says

  14. @ Catshade

    karena cabang psikologi evolusioner (yang IMHO sangat naturalis) belakangan ini banyak menemukan faktor2 obyektif dalam ‘kecantikan’ pria/wanita;

    Betul, saya tahu. Saya juga sudah dengar. Contoh paling sederhananya, manusia cenderung menyukai simetri, dst. Juga ada diskusi-diskusi soal estetika van Gogh yang dibahas secara psikologi evolusioner.

    Tapi itu bukan “obyektivitas”!😕 Hanya semacam cetak biru saja. Jadi ya semacam kompas saja. Mungkin bisa disebut seperti least common denominator buat selera.😕

    1) “Selera” dalam praktek itu ‘kan bekerja di kompleksitas yang lebih tinggi ketimbang yang sekelas “simetri-tidak simetri”.
    2) Dan paling jauh, pola itu hanya bekerja secara antroposentris saja, sehingga tidak lantas menjadikan nilai estetika yang ada menjadi properti obyektif.😛 Kalau misalnya ada setelan-genetik-atau-apalah yang ngawur dan menyalahi aturan cetak biru di atas, bukannya lantas “selera” mereka jadi tidak sevalid “selera” orang banyak.

    That, and the fact that from what I heard, evolutionary psychology is a controversial discipline. I support this discipline BTW.

    Dan ngomong2 tentang apa kata sains mengenai literatur, ini saya ada artikel: Poetry Comes from Our Tree-Climbing Ancestors, Neuroscientist Says

    Wah, menarik!

  15. you should check out Dustin O’halloran if you like Brian Eno. They’re not exactly of the same genre but they share that minimalistic character.

  16. I am not exactly a fine art enthusiast; what’s the trend now anyways?

    I don’t know about Europe and the other parts of the world but Indonesian artists are now so into what is called “new realism”. Curators, gallery owners and art investors also call it “contemporary arts”; it’s hard to define, or maybe it’s not to be defined for it transcends genres and media. It’s like mixture of everything; painting sculpture, video, photography, realism, hyperrealism, abstract, etc. Jim Supangkat (a renowned Indonesian art critic, fyi) has his own definition of Indonesian (fine) arts. He calls it sagacity. He argues that Indonesian arts have never been modern. It’s always been a cultural expression and far from being “objectively artistic”. Raden Saleh, Basuki Abdullah or Affandi are no different than the Majapahit artists who made keris and batik.😀 I have always been confused when reading art reviews or curatorial writings. Art is not science. Don’t expect clarity, or consistency.:mrgreen:

    Anyway, I don’t think Science has anything to say about literature, other than it can trigger people’s aesthetic sense in an arbitrary way.

    Well, poetry has a lot to say about science.😀 Literature is different from the other forms of arts. The Arts that you say are now being massacred by science probably refer to the “sense of beauty” in visual arts, which include painting, sculpture and performing arts like dance and theater. Literature is bigger than those kinds of art.To quote Oscar Wilde, literature is the “perfect expression of life”. A painting is actually a poetry on canvas. A sculpture a poetry in three-dimensional objects. You know, art is not always about beauty. It’s also about revealing “the Truth” of our life. Well, the word “Truth” is perhaps too lofty here, but yet it does reveal something that science is incapable of, chooses not to bother with or even regard as non-sense. Language — utterances and the alphabets — is the most important element of civilization without which we are virtually the same as rocks. Science itself uses language to describe and explain reality. Taxonomy in biology is the perfect example for this. And poetry, as we both know, is the art of language. Poetry provides meaning (not answers) to those who think that the universe is way too incomprehensible (how and why did it start?) or that life and existence are too precious to be seen as products of evolving genes or matter. Poetry is not logic. It defies logic! But then again, I think it’s natural for anybody to resort to poetry when the big questions of life such as “why is there something instead of nothing?” or “does time have a beginning or an end?” have never been answered satisfactorily by logic. Life to many people is inherently illogical, and science so far provides us only with conjectures with regard to the great mysteries of life. We can never know, we can never believe.

    It’s not that poetry or literature are giving us a different kind of reality other than what science has presented to us; it’s just that they help us see the world differently. As Zizek said, religion, and poetry as well, has become the sanctuary from the certainty of science. I am a refugee in the land of the poetic to escape from science’s determinism and nihilism.

    Wuih. Panjang juga nulisnya. Sori kalo agak membingungkan. Ini isu besar buat saya dari dulu sampe sekarang.

  17. Itu mungkin the language of art bukan the art of language. Ah, sial, bahasa Inggrisku kok gak maju2. Tapi you know what I mean lah.:mrgreen:

  18. @ gentole

    I don’t know about Europe and the other parts of the world but Indonesian artists are now so into what is called “new realism”. […] it transcends genres and media. It’s like mixture of everything; painting sculpture, video, photography, realism, hyperrealism, abstract, etc.

    I read about this Stuckist movement that condemn conceptual arts and Dadaist elements. My impression is maybe “art” is a bit orthodox there than in our country. After all, it took almost a century for film to even be considered “art” (which is a pretty vague term whose existence I am skeptical of, like “god”).

    Raden Saleh, Basuki Abdullah or Affandi are no different than the Majapahit artists who made keris and batik.😀

    Whoa, really? Our country’s definition of art is very progressive then; as a more Eurocentric legitimate (“high”) art, as I know it up until now, constantly begs to be differ from the crafts, the sports, and public entertainment.

    I have always been confused when reading art reviews or curatorial writings. Art is not science. Don’t expect clarity, or consistency.:mrgreen:

    The fact that you actually read those already impresses me.:mrgreen:

    Well, indeed. When one preaches about “art”, it’s almost like a bogus discipline for me. I have a love-and-hate relationship with this kind of attitude. On one hand it seems like empty rhetorics, on the other hand, some of them signal cultural and intellectual independence.

    Literature is different from the other forms of arts.

    I think I disagree here. Sure, literature, which is a discipline that utilises purely language, is “different” in the sense that it is vastly more ubiquitous and critical to every aspects of human culture. You can even argue that it is the backbone of Arts.

    But it seems to me that if it channels its influence by provoking human feelings, sense, and/or intellect, than it is by no means free from the shackles of subjectivity, e.g. cultural upbringings, personal experiences, Zeitgeist, or political atmospheres.

    People may find it offensive, but from all praises of the Arts that reached me, the only information I am able to digest would be: these people love the respective works/aspects that they are praising. Big words like “it challenges your sense of beauty”, “the work judges instead of being judged”, or “delights in intoxication and peers into the abyss”; they mean nothing to me. Maybe it has to do with me being of a plebeian, non-sophisticated taste, but let me offer my interpretation anyway:

    Most of the times they do not lie. Their words scarcely mean anything, but they are honest. They bullshit me but they do not mean to deceive. They feel strong emotions — honest emotions, and they wish to express this sensation, yet the limitations of language forced them to produce strange language.

    In short, I and my seemingly dehumanising thinking do not mean that the Arts are meaningless. They mean exactly what they are, to each of us. What I protest is that we mustn’t elevate it to a nonexistent mystical realm. This is like love, or, hell, sex. Most of us can write in great lengths about how our girlfriend of boyfriend is a paragon of beauty and love; or how G-string is really *the shit*; at the end of the day often we’d even feel that our words don’t do them justice. We all acknowledge this value, this meaning, even though the origins of these marvelous things are so low: simply the work of the genes, a primal sex drive whose goal is naught but to make us reproduce. I find it very depressing that there is nothing divine about fishnet stockings!

    And, I don’t think I’m some kind of philistine Science geek who seeks for the Arts to be obliterated and/or but a waste of time either — my knowledge of (what people would consider as) Arts vastly encompassed my scientific awareness (seriously guys, WTF is cold fusion again?).

    Well, just my two cents, not a Word of God.

  19. And BTW, while I do not condemn honest, platonic love of Arts, I’ve always despised the effort to organise it or make it somehow “canonical”. It’s like what organised religion did to natural religion or spirituality. Face it, one person’s Schubert is another person’s Jonas Brothers, and the value is all in your mind. A little depressing, but one look at the record for the Nobel prize of Literature should show us how fragile the effort is.

    Also, one word: disumbrationism.:mrgreen:

  20. @Abu Geddoe

    Oke, got your point. I agree with you; organized arts, like organized religions, should not be taken too seriously. It is perhaps even inimical to the very notion of art that I comprehend. I won’t argue further. I think this is all about your being a naturalist and my being someone who wants to believe that there is more to life than what appears to the senses. Art, or let’s say poetry, enables me to sense that “thing” that is beyond the senses. It might be mere illusion or non-sense, as you often preach. But then again, if that thing (be it God, art, love, good/bad) exists like this earth exists then the whole thing will be different. I don’t know; It’s a personal choice I guess. Some people think that non-existent entities matter, and some other don’t. That’s all.

    and the value is all in your mind.

    What mind? What is mind?

  21. @ gentole

    Well, I fear it’s all just some kind of sports anyway. I won’t lose anything if you were right, and neither would you suffer anything if I turn out to be correct.

    Maybe it’s because I approach the Arts solely for aesthetic reasons, and you have that “sanctuary” need that you need to attend to?😕

    What mind? What is mind?

    Some odd property stored in the cerebral cortex?:mrgreen:

  22. Talking about poetry…kapan ya ada inaugurasi Presiden di Indonesia yang di’hiasi’ dengan pembacaa puisi, mungkin pas jaman (alm) Bung Karno ?

  23. @ oddworld

    Talking about poetry…kapan ya ada inaugurasi Presiden di Indonesia yang di’hiasi’ dengan pembacaa puisi, mungkin pas jaman (alm) Bung Karno ?

    Kalau… Sutardji CB naik status jadi presiden beneran, mungkin?:mrgreen:

    Anyway… saya memiliki persepsi tersendiri bahwa elit pejabat publik di RI ini tdk banyak yang memiliki selera pada sastra, tdk seperti di masa awal/paska kemerdekaan sampai Soekarno tumbang. Soekarno dulu pidato-pidatonya kan “terdengar nyastra” dgn kata2 yang membuatnya dijuluki singa podium. Juga Sutan Syahrir, M. Natsir, bahkan kalangan ulama level tinggi macam Hamka. Mungkin karena era idealisme yang romantis dan revolusioner sudah dianggap lewat? IMHO, yang terlihat di layar televisi dan terdengar radio membosankan diksinya, memang. Biarpun itu seorang SBY yang bisa bikin puisi dan malah hobi nyanyi😛

    Pendapat pribadi saja sih ini:mrgreen:

  24. “Your sins lay heavy upon you defiler of souls… Prepare to be cleansed!”

    Best line ever! I love Valkyrie Profile.

  25. Obama as a tool of censorship? That’s way weird *heh heh*
    never played game, I can’t even operate a merely simple PS! /(>_<)\

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