gambitch - now available in blue Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
You know, with all the attention firmly focused on the fields in Germany as the World Cup matches play on day after day (or here in Asia, thanks to this thing called time zones, night after night), it's easy to forget that there are all these other dimensions to the World Cup that people do pay attention to, some of which is totally dead serious. I'm not meaning to say anything that belittles or insults the action on the pitch - for the most part it's good - but it's always interesting and sometimes very thought-provoking looking at something else.
Try this news story from BBC's health section for instance.
McDonald's has always inspired a certain kind of emotion in me, largely because, once upon a time, I was an active practitioner in "the profession", where we absolutely loved to talk about McDonald's in fully scornful terms. And I'll never forget this really funny incident where we put something up about suing McDonald's, and one very smart bunch of boys came up to talk about McDonald's serving all these really unhealthy foods (Supersize Me anyone?). And then this girl, in her infinite incredulous innocence, came right up and uttered the courageous retort:
"But... but McDonald's offers apples!"
Yes, for 50 measly cents, and even then it's not listed formally on the restaurant menu, just tucked away into some vaguely-visible rattan basket. And it's not even as if the apples look fresh and bright. Most importantly, I'm not sure one apple can counter all the negative effects of one packet of fries, to say nothing of the equally calorie-rich burgers and saccharine-filled carbonated drinks. Oh, they stopped using saccharine, sure, but those soft drinks? Are still really loaded with sugars.
Ah, yes, those were the days, when we used to argue and enjoy arguing over these really fun things, whenever we were not talking about globalization and putting people on trial for old war crimes. It was a really thrilling time, getting the adrenalin rush up every time we had only half an hour or even 15 minutes to decide what to say, and having to cram it all within a standardized period. We'd run out of time more than we'd run out of things to say.
It was, in short, a fun time.
But back to McD's and the World Cup. The doctors have a point, seriously. You can't deny that any form of sport that requires some level of clear physical exertion (darts don't quite count, for example) can be interpreted as some symbol of a healthy lifestyle. Football, swimming, athletics, even gymnastics, these are all really sweat-inducing activities, and in that way they all represent health through exercise.
To then have McD's, Coca-cola and the like become major sponsors of the World Cup does seem a little bit strange. Yes, I know, it's in a way the companies' way of earning some karma points, while at the same time trying to further their domination of the market through good ol' sponsorship and advertising. You can't blame them for doing what any half-sane business would try to do.
Are there alternatives? Perhaps, but perhaps not. It depends on what's available.
So how does this apply back where I am based at the moment? The domestic football league here, fortunately, isn't actually sponsored by a fast food restaurant (although one of the clubs has the backing of Tricon - the Pepsico spinoff that runs Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and the like - as well as Coca-cola, I think), and among the other sponsors, there's one that does mineral water, and one that does isotonic health drinks. Has that helped push sales? I don't know. Is the image healthy? Sure, it's not too bad.
But I'm a quiet proponent of securing one particular sponsorship that has yet to happen. The company in question? Subway, of whom I'm a frequent customer. Subway does sandwiches. Ian McG no doubt knows them well back out there in America, but here in Asia it's gradually getting some kind of popularity as well. It still can't beat McD's, but McD's has this ubiquity about it, so I don't really care.
But I think the local football guys should really look at securing Subway as a sponsor of some sort. Subway does sandwiches, not burgers, and the big difference between Subway's sandwiches and burgers you find at fast food restaurants - well, actually, there are two big differences. One, you find less meat, and usually not in fried patty form. Two, you actually also find more vegetables in their place. All the lettuce, capsicum, olives, and the like. All of which makes for a very, very healthy meal.
Oh, and they don't do fries for set meals. They do dry potato chips (I'm cool with sour cream), or my personal favourite, cookies!
They should really think of getting them for a sponsor. Why? Because Subway has enough outlets around the place, but they could use a little more local publicity. Plus it'd be an actual step in getting people to eat healthier, if someone has the ingenuity to figure out how to go about trying to do it. It's not up there in terms of world-class ideas, but I think it's a cool idea. They already have official water suppliers and health drinks, why not push this healthy alternative to McD's?
(I realize it has been a long time since I wrote anything like this. To be sure, I kinda miss those days. But I haven't had issues to dirty my hands with for quite a while. And I don't want to talk about Jessica Alba revealing that dolphins get horny seeing her swim - not naked. There's just nothing in that.)
(So I guess some of gambitch's regular old analytical self is still around after all.) gambitch [
Friday, June 16, 2006
It's happening all over again. Not in the exact same manner, but it is definitely happening again.
I'm feeling my touch, my energy, my everything drain rapidly away through my fingertips. And that's really sapping, depressing and... I've run out of words.
I could perhaps work at the flick of a wrist, but it's going to start feeling like a drone real quick if I can't find it back.
And I'm losing it because my heart is beating weaker and weaker by the second. The arrhythmia is really getting to me now.
Even my facial muscles are screaming out.
Why is this going on?
And more importantly, can someone help me to stop it? Because I'm trying and failing to do it all by myself...
Does anyone even realize this? gambitch [
Thursday, June 15, 2006
So, I just finished writing a news item that actually caught me by surprise. No, it's not a very big news story, at least not big enough to affect the cosmic balance of the universe (I hope). But it caught me by surprise.
As did, by the way, the fact that I got to write it. Just when I thought some things had happened that weren't working out, too...
And funnily enough, I got the job just when I was out there shopping for second-hand CDs. In the end I didn't buy any. But I don't care. I just feel happy.
You really can't imagine the timing... gambitch [
Monday, June 12, 2006
Too many shackles. Too many secrets. Too many words that must remain unsaid.
Maybe it's the fact that I might have a bit of an inferiority complex. Maybe it's the fact that I don't feel secure without personal, in-my-face affirmation. I just have a tendency to want to feel acknowledged, even though I know how sometimes that can be unhealthy. But it matters to me, that people tell me this once in a while.
I don't want you to just say I'm not bad. For me, being "not bad" is not good enough. It means I'm still too far short. And it means I'm left still searching and groping in the dark, wondering where the light is. If you've ever been there, you'll be frightened to tears.
Yet at the same time, knowing that I'm good is worrying. Because it's okay if I'm good. What I'm afraid is that I will become "too good", so much so that you all look at me with respect and fear, not love and acceptance. I can't live with that either, because it means there's always going to be a distance, a gap between us, only because you think I am "too good".
As the Chinese poet Su put it, "you cannot take the cold when you are high up". Or, as some modern people say, "it is lonely when you are too strong".
I want to be good. But I don't want the feeling that I'm getting "too good", so much so that everyone shuns me because I've hit some level. I've problems dealing with that. And I'm already getting that feeling.
Please tell me I'm wrong. Please tell me I'm not "too good". I'd rather be told I'm not good enough.
But if I'm good enough, I want you to know that you're good enough too. You can be. You just aren't believing in yourself enough. I believe in you. And so do others too. So step up to the plate by all means, and show us your touch.
You ask me why I have the faith? I don't know. I just do.
It's a gut feeling thing. I can't claim women's intuition, because I'm not female. But I've that gut feeling, and it's rarely been wrong.
You have much more in you than you ever knew. You can show much more than you currently do.
So what's stopping you?
I guess what I said that day didn't go down perfectly with you. You might have forgotten, but I remember. And I stand by what I said, at least the in-principle meaning of what I said. The flowers are not in full bloom in your garden just yet. Not that I think they are in mine. But I'm trying to get them to grow.
It's not just because this is supposed to be my line. It's primarily because I want to express to the maximum. When I dance on stage, I dance for all of you, so I want to give you the best dance I can present. Good money or no money, that doesn't change.
And when it's your turn, I want to watch with all the admiration of a captivated fan, and maybe more. I want to be struck and charmed by the beauty I know you are capable of presenting. It's the same whoever's on stage, but with you I just believe it is possible and well within reach.
But I apologize if I came across as arrogant or excessively proud of my work and my abilities. I love my abilities; they're all I have. But I don't want to keep them to myself. I think we can all get there. And I've still got plenty of growing and experimenting to do.
I meant no malice. I meant no harm. But we don't always mean to do the things we end up doing.
I just want to see your works grow, because I have the faith.
What is it like to be moonstruck...? gambitch [