My son the pornographer

An evening to spare led me to a candid documentary called “My son a pornographer”. It was classified into “sexuality” column due to the word “porn”, which is not so true.

My son the pornographer

 

A journey of a guilty father looking for his son now working as a story writer and pornographer in Prague. I don’t know if he makes this documentary to reconnect with his son or to release the guilt inside him (for not being a good enough dad, in his own terms). Some people even criticize the father for being selfish. Either way, what I truly value in the documentary is how candid they are in trying to communicate with each other.

The journey is very personal to both son, dad and eventually, the sister. A war of emotions in each person, leading each from self-denial to self-expression, acceptance, connection.

The dad, despite feeling disgusted with porn, still decide to explore the son’s work ground no matter what. He even tries playing a small part of his son’s movie (which dad is clearly not proud of). For many days the son and dad spend many hours a day watching actors and actresses fucking, with the father’s disgust and the son’s disinterest.

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They are all trading off the vulnerability to challenge themselves, trying to make a sense of the connection. More than the tie of family and responsibility, humane concerns emerge out of the surface, giving the film so beautiful conversations:

A moment that kept staying in my head is when the dad came to meet Kole and was given a razer:

What is this? To shave your head off ?”

“You can shave harder”
“This is gonna be crappy with the haircut”
“Okay now we go to the symbolic moment, what role does it mean?
“Well if you don’t understand then there is no point at all”
“Well, I mean it means you are turning over a new leap or what does it mean?”
“No. Just my gift to you”

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And moments like that stay in us, audience’s head, the one with not much understanding of their father-and-son life, but can feel some humane moments that speak so loud.

 

Some ask the stepfather to “look deeper into his motives”. Well, at least he is trying and at least Kole is responding at some level. Despite of whatever motives, both are open to make a sense of something, resolve something that matter to them internally. As the comment of a 77-year-old watcher:

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“Yes, they are fortunate they can talk together, something I never really achieved either with my father or my children”

Reading this makes me feel guilty myself. I can’t help thinking about my dad and mom, in which there is no effort from me whatsoever to share or truly communicate what I think, assuming they would never empathize.

WHAT FOR?

and then if that is figured out…

WHEN ?

HCM or Sai Gon – what’s the point?

A map showing a comparison of HN and HCMC, and from then, a never-ending topic of Sai Gon this and Sai Gon that. Many also take pleasure in immersing in a Sai Gon in the past, an elegant and prosperous city that even Singapore ex-president admired before, let’s say “Communism comes and destroys everything”. I am not sure if they really hate HCM now or if they hate themselves.

One claims: “Give our name back !!”, As if the name caries a symbol. A heavy role, poor you, that 6 l-e-t-t-e-r.

It’s gone, men.

So tiring.

Being skeptical is turning your radar to the bad side of things.

Even when those bad things are true, it really distracts our focus.

Our perspective is never complete (objective) anyway, why waste our energy trying to defend them like they are solid facts?

Acknowledge the bad side yet at the same time focus our energy on what we can improve.

With or without you

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My cousin needs some books. I have many I never read, yet I was lazy. Didn’t send anything. Now he is laying on his bed reading Harry Porter. Me not sending? Doesn’t matter.

A man on the boat needs to learn English. He insists me to give him some lessons. I was tired and arrogant. I said “NO”. I just wanna surround myself with smart people, I hate teaching English.

He is still working hard all day long and spare 1 hour at night to study. I was around but he has apps which are better.

My roommate wants to buy a shoe holder. I thought it was useless. She bought it anyway, and now we can’t live without it.

Realize one thing: if somebody really wants something, they will find a way.

A bit of help along the way may speed up the process. Without it? They still keep going.

Just relate about those people when I myself today found a great WordPress theme. Without resort to my IT friends.

http://thachpham.com/wordpress/themes-wordpress/top-25-themes-mien-phi-cho-blog-ca-nhan.html

Đời bạn chán đến mức nào?

Lượn lờ WordPress. Lượm được một bài dịch đáng đọc

 Đời bạn chán đến mức nào?

Cuộc đời mà lúc nào cũng sôi động, náo nhiệt là một cuộc đời mệt mỏi; sự kích động trở thành một phần tất yếu của niềm vui và người đó luôn thèm khát một cái gì náo nhiệt hơn nữa. Một người quá quen với sự phấn khích giống như một người thèm ăn hạt tiêu đến mức bệnh hoạn, đến nỗi ăn một lượng hạt tiêu đủ làm người khác nghẹn thở mà cũng không thấy cay miệng tí nào.

Dịch từ “The Conquest of Happiness” của Bertrand Russell, câu chữ đụng đến vấn đề mình quan tâm, vừa đọc vừa bật ra một số suy nghĩ ngẫu nhiên tản mạn.

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  1. Mạng xã hội có góp phần gia tăng cảm giác nhàm chán?

Trên những trang xã hội như FB hay Instagram, mọi người có xu hướng cắt đi hết những khoảnh khắc tủn mủn tẻ nhạt thường ngày. Nhìn vào thấy ai cũng sáng loáng rực rỡ, đầy thú vị. Để rồi khi ta nhìn vào đó và so sánh với cuộc sống của mình, tự hỏi “Mình có vấn đề gì?”

Không, chả ai đang có vấn đề gì cả, vấn đề là ai trưng ra cái gì và mình nhìn nhận điều đó (để nó ảnh hưởng) như thế nào mà thôi. Những Timeline trên các mạng xã hội là những timeline đầy méo mó, để rồi chính chủ của chúng cũng phải tự ghen tị với bản thân mà mình trưng ra.

Từ việc network để biết, có thể dẫn đến network chỉ để tìm kiếm sự chấp nhận, yêu thương, cảm thông, thán phục nhằm giảm cảm giác bất an nội tâm. Càng dành nhiều thời gian cho mạng xã hội thì cảm giác nhảm chán và cô đơn càng tăng lên.

Cũng giống như uống nước ngọt khi khát mà thôi.

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Comment của chị Hương chạm đến một vấn đề khác mà anh Paul Jarvis đề cập có tên “No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are”, để dành cho một bài viết khác.

2. Bi kịch của những kẻ tìm kiếm sự hoan lạc và kích động.

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Những life-drifter mà mình biết, vốn luôn quen với lối sống tràn ngập điều mới lạ, chịu đựng sự nhàm chán với họ là điều vô cùng khó khăn.

Không thể không nhớ đến bác Keith (hơn 40 tuổi, người Mĩ, đang đưa con nuôi sang Việt Nam thăm quê) mình gặp hôm nay. Suốt 12 năm chu du trên những con tàu viễn dương, hưởng đủ khoái lạc trên đời, và đến một lúc bác vẫn quyết định rời bỏ lối sống đó để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc bền vững hơn.

“Có những người đến tận 25 năm sau vẫn nhắc đến những con tàu viễn dương đó, vì đơn giản với họ đó là khoảng thời gian đẹp nhất đời. Nhiều người không kết hôn”

“It’s fun. Everything is the best. But, it’s just not real life”

Liệu có nên xem trải nghiệm, hưởng thụ và những điều mới mẻ là mục đích sống hay không? Với những người không thể chịu nổi sự nhàm chán, liệu nó có dẫn đến trầm cảm hay không? Mối tương quan giữa nhàm chán và trầm cảm là có thật.

http://evolutioncounseling.com/boredom-and-depression/

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Liều thuốc tránh sự nhàm chán không phải là ngủ để quên đi hay tìm kiếm sự kích động để lấp đầy. Bởi vì những vấn đề nhức nhối nội taij gây nên sự nhàm chán đó đang cảnh báo ta “có điều gì không ổn”.

Thay vì tiếp tục lăn đi, có lẽ nên đứng lại và suy nghĩ xem điều đó là gì. Khi nhàm chán, nhìn vào bên trong thay vì hướng ra bên ngoài có lẽ là giải pháp tốt hơn?

3. Và để thêm một quyển sách cho vào list Goodreads của mình:

The Conquest of Happiness” của Bertrand Russell. Từ happiness, cũng như mindfulness được nhắc đến quá nhiều làm mình không còn chút hứng thú nào để chủ động tìm kiếm những quyển sách này.

Có lẽ mình đã lầm.

What to watch when I am bored with TED

After a tiring day meeting too many people in a hospitality context (aka smile when u don’t feel like it), I put myself in a secluded space and at that moment words like “focus”, “rest”, “multitasking” popped up.

Browsing Youtube gave me a TED video about multitasking topic. After 5 mins I feel so bored and tired. TED speakers try too hard sometimes, I think.

Of course most of the talks are very inspiring, presented by experts in particular fields. However being an expert is way too different from being a good presenter. Sometimes the talks are just too polished and speakers are so stiff trying to be natural.

They try hard to lead in with a supposed-to-be captivating story and end up with a bold supposed-to-change-the-world sentence. Audience kinda expect that too. We know we are gonna be “wowed” so when that actually happen we don’t feel a thing.

In a sense that’s like a film spoiler: it makes things less fun).

So I turned to this video from Business Insider channel. Loved it

Why?

Short, practical tips and analysis to apply in work and daily life (more of a white collar US working context, yet still useful).

Travel nomads, therefore, may not like the channel. But whatever who cares?

Goodread: The 4 agreement

High season. Constant touring can be very tiring. The thought of work drains your mind and make you less exciting. You feel more or less a robot.

Unless:

Sometimes if u meet a person who seems so calm and content, don’t miss the chance to interact more deeply.

Ask your guests:

1. What are their favorite books?

2. What is the person that have the greatest impact on them?

3. What are their priorities?

After the “what” questions, ask why. Damn the conversations can be so natural and interesting.

With books, read then discuss about it.

I realize that short term interactions may leave long term effect if we know how to approach it. Forget about com & tip (guide’s main concern hahaha), guests can be our great teachers. Remember that they are traveling aka in a relaxed state of mine when sharing is easy and abundant.

In return, try to be more frank. Interesting reactions and more candid talks will come after that.

Hah, I love this question. Okay, this is a book for today, a short book recommended by Keith, USA.

On the way back, when I discussed the book with Keith, he said:

“The most important agreement to me, personally, is “don’t make assumptions”. When you follow this agreement, other agreements flow out naturally.

“Everytime I get confused, I remember 4 steps in the four agreement”.

Review comes later.

Being cynical is being smart?

Being cynical means being smart enough to see the other side of something…

But,

If saying that skeptical thing doesn’t improve ourselves, somebody or the situation, then better shut up?

Being cynical doesn’t attract any good thing either.

 

P/S: Some thought from reading an article of Trang Ha. She is very famous in Vietnam for criticizing men and marriages.

From sharp articles, now reading her writings just give the feeling of pessimism. Really, what are you trying to prove, lady?

Are Americans fake or not?

After interacting with 2 groups of American today, I can’t stop myself of having the impression that they are so fake.

Damn it, fake smile, fake posture.

Other than people working in hospitality and service industry (me included) then fake smiles become annoying over time.

I realize that the job I am doing gives me perfect chance to believe in all kinds of stereotypes, due to short-term interactions.

Btw, this is how an American defends American smile, using all examples of people working in service industry.

http://francistapon.com/Travels/Western-Europe/Defending-the-American-Smile

Imagine: If we can blend all the bad traits or good traits of peoples in the world into a perfect “global citizen”, how would he/she be?

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P/S: Reading this again makes me laugh. Anyway, this is how I used to think, just let it be ^^

 

My writing rituals

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Yep. Doing just that. Read this one year ago and when I dig it again, it turns out I didn’t read properly, at all.

View story at Medium.com

Now my writing rituals are:

Read. Listen. Observe.

1. Take a pic and/ or write some notes. (I use Evernote to have instant synchronization)
2. Micro blog in Facebook (fast, easy, habit, instant water testing).
3. Get interactions (or force friends to read :))) )
4. Move it to personal blog (word home). Polish words and presentation. The more beautiful it looks, the more inviting the word home is. I will feel like to stay.
5. Delete the post in FB. Develop more candid reflections which FB is not ready to accept.
6. Cross post to a public space (such as Medium). (or force strangers to read) Create publications in Medium.

Done. Let’s see if those writing rituals work and let’s learn from other writers, consistently.

Philosopher: Christopher Hitchens

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This post was basically forgotten until last night, while I was hanging out with Gijs and he suddenly said:

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“I remember one man, Christopher Hitchens. Saw that on your FB the other day”

“Wow really? You know him too?”

“Yes, he was really good. Can express himself very well. Died of cancer a few years ago already. An alcoholic, though”

So I decided to dig deeper

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Okay. Will see how it progress. Samim followed his rabbit hole reading and be wowed. I think it must be worth a try