Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'd like to start this post with a conversation between Chris, his friend Nik, and I. In my tired-mind, it makes sense to.
CHRIS: You have a blog?
ME: Because this isn't the 20th time you've asked me... yes. I have a blog.
[CHRIS hunts down blog, craftily using Facebook.]
CHRIS: That's a strange name.
ME: It made sense at the time.
CHRIS: Hmm. Well, I don't like blogs.
ME: What? Why? 
CHRIS: Besides the fact I hate reading, blogs are very opinionated.
NIK: Well, that is the general point of a blog.
CHRIS: If I want someone to tell me their opinions, I will talk to myself in the mirror.
I guess my point here is that I have opinions. Far too many, one may theorise, but they exist. Joshua told me recently that he believes this to be the case, as proven when he asked me my opinion on black ties with red polka dots and I immediately vetoed the entire concept of said tie.
And my opinions may not be your opinions. That is not really my concern, as harsh as that sounds. I love your opinions, I cherish their general opinionated nature, but life is more fun when you take opposing views. (Do an essay disagreeing with the question just for the sake of it sometime. It's fun. Especially when ripping your English teacher's favourite novel to shreds... slowly yet surely...)
But I assume some people value these opinions, as they continue to provide my blog with hits. Huzzah!

On another note, I saw Shaun Tan last night. It probably makes more sense to put this at the beginning - it's far more interesting than a quasi-rant about my opinions, as fuelled by 5 hours sleep, an all-day high tea in support of breast cancer, and stomps around the city - but it's here. Anyway, the uni occasionally does stuff where famous authors come for a bit of a show and tell, explaining their work and whatnot. Shaun Tan is the genius behind such works as The Arrival, The Rabbits, The Lost Thing and The Red Tree; his artwork is positively astounding and he can convey so much through it.
Heck yes to the humble picture book, I say.
Shaun's illustration is quite surrealist, and as a bit of a surrealist fan, I was inwardly cheering when he cited the Spanish surrealist movement as being influential on his own pieces. Just looking at The Lost Thing, it is hugely obvious. Dali, my favourite surrealist, is apparent here to my eyes.
A couple of examples of Shaun's work:
From The Arrival; Shaun made up a sort of language
which he said had no translation, but instead
was just whatever he felt like cutting and
pasting together.
Another image from The Arrival. The concepts,
rather than the illustrations, are
more surreal here.
From The Lost Thing, and an image of Shaun.
The thing feasts on Christmas decorations.
It was also influenced by a whole lot of other

The amazing thing about Shaun was that he was one of those authors English teachers assure you exist - each and every tiny detail of his work had been thought out, to the very minute details. He was telling us his views on immigration stories - that they are the peoples' stories, and simply exist as a metaphor for the search for identity in life, for we're all simply immigrants to this life from wherever we've come before. We're all dealing with being tossed into a 'train', or life, to deal with our surrounds as best we can. I was gaping and nodding excitedly; my view on immigration (though it seems fail to say it now) is very similar, and with my background, it was also something that I am constantly thinking over. The point is, identity is something we all search for, no matter who we are or where we've come from, no matter age or wisdom or education or money, we still hunt for this concept of who we are.

I will be back, I am getting ready for work (10.19am now).

And I guess this is the end of the blogpost. I have a rant I want to go on, but that's another blogpost for another time.

Oh wait.
Shaun Tan's brilliance lends itself to what he signed in the book:
"Dear Gloria + Xavier Catholic College,
Happy Travels! 

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