All entries tagged 'egocentric'

Saturday, April the 21st, 2012

A few months ago, there was a wonderful episode of This American Life—#454: Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory—in which the show featured the experiences of one Mike Daisey’s visit to an Apple contractor in China. The show was an emotionally super-charged look at the deplorable conditions that workers in electronics factories endure every day, to produce the shiny gadgets that you and I enjoy Angry Birds on.

Recently, This American Life released another wonderful episode—#460: Retraction—after discovering that Mr. Daisey had fabricated many of the details making up the heart of the previous piece. This episode, rife with awkward pauses, attempted to separate fact from fiction as the host and correspondents of the show confronted Mr. Daisey.

Huzzah for journalistic integrity, if that is something you care about. But that’s not how we roll here on actuality.log, where the story is always more important than the facts.

I leave you with a select quote from Mr. Daisey that adequately captures my feelings on the matter:

“I think I was terrified that if I untied these things, that the work that I know is really good and tells a story, that does these really great things for making people care, that it would come apart in a way where it would ruin everything.”

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Saturday, July the 4th, 2009

I come from a small immediate family, but my extended family more than makes up for it by being exceedingly large and well knit. I come from a community where everyone is overtly curious about everyone else, and consequently does what they do to keep abreast of each others’ lives. I can’t believe I’d forgotten how boisterous they could be, and how much their behaviour got under my skin; my hypersensitive, introverted skin. It’s no surprise that over the years, I’d avoided most of these folk—along with their questions, opinions, judgements and their noise—first blaming the rigours of grad school, and later living far away from them all in some remote part of Europe.

But even that can’t keep their strong tentacles from roping me back in. Here I am, right back in the thick of things: a cousin’s wedding that everyone’s invited to.

As I’d mentioned earlier but did not harp upon, I’ve spent the past few weeks gallivanting across the U.S. And while the first bits of my trip were fun and relaxing—featuring nothing more than tranquillity and intimate moments—subsequent legs of the journey have been steadily spiralling out of control. I’m being overwhelmed by just about everything and everyone, and have this intense urge to flee to somewhere secluded and peaceful. It’s almost as if every bit of news, every offhand remark, every even-if-innocuous question, even the slightest of babels—everything—causes me anguish. I’d spent so long calming down, opening up and realising how it felt to be contended and happy. I can feel it all coming undone.

I really am happy for my cousin. I’m sure it mustn’t have been easy for him to get to this point—is it really easy for anyone?—and I’m excited for him. Sadly, all I’m waiting for is to get back home. Away from all of this and retreating into my own cocoon.

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Thursday, November the 27th, 2008

I wish I could be a little less self-centred and show some compassion toward the folks reeling after yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Bombay. But they’re not whom I am concerned about, it’s the rest of us I’m losing sleep over. I just hope that the people (government) don’t succumb to their understandably fear- and outrage-filled emotions and do anything rash. The last thing we need is the hasty passing of rules that invade civil liberties, amplify the fear-mongering allowing for few to profit from it, inconvenience and financially burden millions of regular people hoping to snare an errant handful, or start any unnecessary wars with anyone.

“No ma’am, you may not take that bottle of milk on the plane to feed your baby. No, it doesn’t matter that he’s already a little bit cranky. He just has to man up and deal with it like everybody else.”

Sound queasily familiar?

I am not what one would consider worldly, and I don’t claim to have any of the answers, but I think a valid approach to curb terrorism is to understand and reshape the sort of environment that leads people into thinking that blowing up buildings is the only way to have their voices heard.

People need to calm down and think about that a little.

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