Ah Q?

Ah Q is probably the most "beloved" character in modern Chinese literature.

Well, in later popular adapations of Lu Xun's 1918 work The Story of Ah Q, Ah Q is sometimes portrayed just as a simpleton, or a man whose delusions are, at worst, just laughable. A mere clown or a fool - to be ultimately pitied.

But Lu Xun's intention is less generous. A poor and illiterate man, Ah Q often deludes himself in thinking that he is from a wealthy family or, later in the book, a victorious and heroic leader of the revolution against the Qing empire. Even the smallest setback, and however ridiculous his logic, Ah Q would find a way to claim a victory.

When his delusions are exposed, Ah Q would nonetheless find a way to claim moral or spiritual victory...thus walking away satisfied. If Ah Q's behaviour is read as symptomatic of the Chinese people at that time, then Lu Xun is levelling a very severe criticism that China continues to fool itself with its false revolutions and victories, when it has - in fact - merely ignored the political and social realities of poverty, corruption and its weakness before Japanese and western powers.

Ah Q - and by extension China in Lu Xun's time - is not only to be pitied, it should be rebuked - its moral/political delusions and cowardice exposed!

Over the Chinese New Year break, J and I was at the house of one of my colleagues - well, my boss - in genteel Katong. A new penthouse with an outdoor rain shower, a 2-door fridge for wine, a room just for keeping paintings, and lovely timber sundecks. Even in our wildest daydreams, J and I would not even think of ever living in such a place (ok, maybe there's been some daydreaming about a room for paintings).

I guess that visit made more real how J's plan to take a break from work to study in the next couple of years will set us back financially.

Perhaps in the last few years, we have both grown too used to the financial and material comforts (yes, all our consumerist indulgences, ampulets do like pretty things!) Slowly, over time, these cloud our judgement, and we let fear of losing them dictate our actions and decisions, confusing fear for contentment, confusing pleasure for joy. So I hope we are not being Ah-Q in concluding that J's plan is the right thing to do - because once we did decide, I felt wonderfully free.



ampulets said…
Yes. It has been years since I have been thinking of doing this - to embark a dip/ deg in design/ film. It is definitely not the best time to do this now (due to financial), but then again, It never seems to be a good time to do this.

Work has been quite very tiring the past couple of years, and have gotten really bad last few months. So perhaps, this seems to be a good time in that sense to take a break from work, and chart out another career. Actually, I am also not that sure where this will lead. Life is full of uncertainties.

So if you guys out there need any designs or short film done, or model for any shoot - basically, any possibilities of freelancing, do let me know. It will be definitely be quite helpful to have some income. :)-TOHA
tcn afen said…
hey maybe you can consider just going straight into the industry by assisting or starting at a basic level? I am not sure how much need there is for a degree in design and film, you probably can get your education cheaper if you make friends with designers and film makers heh heh
ampulets said…
true, true...I did considered that also. But also wanted to take the time to zoom into what area of design/ film that I really want to concentrate on. So maybe things might be clearer, after a year of study. would see. Thanks. :)- TOHA
sUdkeOki said…
aaah ah. i really would like to tok to u abt this. u guys r making such daring but worthy switch! makes me feel like i shld take the risk n go for wat i'm more passionate abt too.
: |
ampulets said…
sudkeoki - sorry, missed your call. was watching a dance! but it'll just be J hoping to make the career switch. Me, I'm just going to move along where I am now, and scribble and doodle after work. But you know, if you are young and are just starting out, always do what you are interested/passionate in if you know what it is. Then you will have no regrets...because as you get older, it will only get easier and more attractive (there will appear more reasons to) to compromise!

tym - yes...until we find a new reason to worry and fret :< Guess we have not completely resolved some issues.

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