Forest of the Dead – Thoughts

Spoilers ahead for “The Forest of the Dead” – Doctor Who. Although, if you haven’t watched it yet, what kind of Doctor Who fan are you? I’m still doing penance for being behind, what’s your excuse?

After watching “The Forest of the Dead”, I’m not sure I actually like the Doctor anymore as a character. For some reason, I had a feeling that the future Doctor did not actually love River Song. River was in love with the Doctor, as all his companions are recently, another very irritating and contentious point for me, but I kept getting the feeling that the future Doctor did all those things: the sonic screwdriver, telling her his Name (so mysterious, it deserves to be capitalized) that he did it because it already happened.

And it really gives me this terrible belief, that the Doctor is willing to care and indulge his feelings on a companion when he knows exactly what was going to happen to them i.e. in this case, death. Which makes him an incredibly selfish man.

About the Writer

Strangely enough, for someone who is often so fiery and opinionated, I recently, well, not quite recently, have figured out that I am very much afraid of voicing out my opinions. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it really had to do with my previous job where my self-esteem was completely broken by my boss. My boss was emotionally and mentally abusive, frequently calling into question my integrity and my intelligence.

Not a day would go by without him actually humiliating me in front of my colleagues by dismissing my work or my opinions as “childish” or, the one that haunts me to this day: “You’re asking stupid questions.”

For someone who had spent 21 years in a very nurturing family and had gone to schools where I am expected to question and demand an explanation, it was more than a shock. Three years in one of UK’s most prestigious universities and four scholarships later and suddenly, I was stuck to doing data entry work with no possibility of going further than data entry because “she’s inexperienced and we don’t think she can do anything.”

That was almost 2 years ago and I am still shaken by my experiences. I cannot write anything without worrying that it would offend anyone or that my opinions are stupid. And I start to realize that I start not having an opinion on anything and that I’m just indifferent to anything that goes on around me.

It’s hard for me to write anything without fearing that someone would “judge” me. I’m taking baby steps all around, from the play to writing classes to overcome this fear. Yet, the scars remain and despite the number of times I’ve told myself to get over it, there are nights where I still cry myself to sleep. It’s easier to not have an opinion, everyone will just leave me alone.

But the thing is, I do have an opinion. I love my Doctor Who, I love writing, I love murder mysteries and to an extent, I still love politics. If a close friend asks for my opinion, I can share them and be open about it. However, it’s not the same when it comes to strangers. I rarely share my opinion with people I don’t know, certainly a bizarre trait for a writer. Writers are, by nature, egoistic and opinionated. It’s what fuels us to write, we want to share what we feel and what we experience because we cannot contain it within us. We want people to read and dammit, agree with what we say.

However, humanity isn’t so kind as to always agree with what the Writer says. If I want to write, I have to accept that there will be disagreements. The question that I have to ask myself very strongly is: am I brave enough to stand and say what I believe? From my scathing review of P Ramlee the musical, which I disliked for being indulgent and for its greatest failure: failing to capture the zeitgist of an era that I adore to even my very bizarre interpretation of Malaysian society, it’s my opinion, it’s how I see it. Do I dare stand and be criticized and to a greater extent which I’ve experienced here, be ridiculed for an opinion that is different?

If I don’t, the alternative is to go back to what I was doing, go back to getting a “normal” job: an office job which I can get and then suppress whatever desire I have when it comes to writing. The thought of going back to “normality” frightens the hell out of me. At the same time, pursuing this dream of writing makes me feel like it’s some form of a dirty secret. I wrote blogs but to openly admit, I want to write for a living and not as a journalist was like admitting I wanted to have deviant sex. Lots of hot deviant sex.

I still have a long way to go to be able to chase this dream. I still need to build the strength and courage to be open and to write without fear. One writer commented that writing is a lot like standing in front of the mirror naked. I need to be able to stand in front of the mirror, bare naked and all and stare at my body, all it’s imperfections and love it. Not squirming and being embarrassed, covering my bits and tits with my hands.

There are days where I can pursue with confidence and know that this is the life that I have chosen and this is the only way forward. These are the days that I treasure, where I can write openly and write whatever things I feel inside of me are terrible and be open about it. The days where I want the world to see what I see and feel what I feel.

And yet, there are days, where I wonder, if I am indulgent and I wonder, what right do I have to pursue my dreams when I have a life to lead and live?

Home

I’m back and feeling like a million bucks after the trip to the US. I had an incredible amount of fun and now, looking forward to the future. As opposed to dreading it like I usually do.

But oh, the jet lag. It’s killin’ me.

Probably won’t write too much about the US trip because it’d probably take too much of an effort to write out everything that went on.  For the most part, it was sight-seeing but the fun really came from spending time with the family and doing things we usually wouldn’t do. Surprisingly, I might add, the five adults in the family DID NOT strangle each other despite the close proximities we shared for four weeks.

I learned a lot about the South and a lot more about the Americans. AND, I did not come out jaded from the US, I still came out of the country with a deep-sense of admiration for the Americans, the same kind of admiration I had for them the last time I went there.

So, Savannah, Orlando, Atlanta and Savannah again. Now I know what they mean by Southern hospitality and I watched America made history by nominating the first minority as a Presidential candidate. This is a country where anything can happen and I understand why so many people are so easily seduced to staying on.

Fantastic stuff.

And I’ve been writing. Lots of writing. Will be posting some more fiction stuff soon. For now, I’m off to lunch and to sleep. Jet lag.