Thought Experiment #58

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Death smells like birthday cake.

Maggie Stiefvater

Just over a week ago – Friday, April 15, to be precise – something happened. For the first time in his life, Walski got to experience what being 58 years old was like. Strangely enough, it felt exactly like being 57.

There was no fanfare, no ticker tape parade… just another Friday in an increasingly decrepit Malaysia suffering the ravages of a pandemic without a known cure: performative piety. The more outwardly moral we pretend to be, and in the process force everyone to adhere, the worse off we seem to become.

As Walski once upon a time said, “In Malaysia, Islam is more than just a way of life, it’s an institution; and the last thing Walski wants is to live in an institution” (with apologies to Groucho Marx).

But, enough about this hellhole called Malaysia that’s becoming more of Hell as we get Hole-ier… the country’s getting uglier with every holier-than-thou asshole getting his 15 minutes (and it’s almost invariably a he).

So what’s this about a thought experiment?

In a wave of depression and feeling less than worthy, about two years ago, Walski thought up an experiment to prove once and for all just how forgettable a person he really is. The experiment he devised was simple:

  • Turn off the visibility to Walski’s birthday on Facebook (he forgot to do this for LinkedIn, so maybe next year)
  • Disallow anyone to post anything to his personal page on Facebook (Messaging remained allowed)
  • Sit back, and enjoy the depressive melancholy as more and more people Walski thought he knew be oblivious to to him celebrating another trip around Sol.

Did anyone remember? Well, only close family members (the Mrs, parent, an uncle, a cousin, his sibs, a niece, etc.), and two friends; one in Brazil and another in Pakistan. Okay, to be fair, a handful of people did wish him happy birthday on LinkedIn, but only because Walski forgot to turn it off there. Plus there was Walski’s WhatsApp group of old school friends, but only because they completely forgot last year until the following day.

And what did this thought experiment prove? Two things:

  1. We have become too reliant on technology to remind us of important dates. Not that Walski or his birthday are important to any degree… but you get the drift
  2. Walski’s existence doesn’t really matter. He could keel over dead tomorrow and most people wouldn’t even notice it. But in reality, that’s how much importance an ordinary Joe like yours truly really has in this world, big-picture speaking.

Truth be told, Walski does use calendar and scheduling apps to remind him to do stuff, too. And it would be safe to say he’d lose track if it weren’t for these apps, both online or on-phone. A long time and in another lifetime we’d have used a diary, but that era is long behind us.

More importantly, Walski is now convinced how inconsequential he is in the bigger, medium sized, and small scale of things. Maybe come Thought Experiment #59 he’ll disappear altogether. The world will probably not even notice… and who knows, the world might even be better for it.

Have a good life, and see you in the next post… whenever that might be.

Happy New Year 2022

What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.

Anne Frank

Ok, so Walski is a day late. But still, with another 364 days to go until the next cycle around the sun, it’s not too late to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

From all of us here at myAsylum, a very happy, prosperous, joyous, and productive New Year…

The year we’ve just left behind, 2021, was a tough year for many. For Walski, it was a rather topsy-turvy kind of year, that brought with it measures of good, of bad, but fortunately just a smidgeon of ugly.

From a work perspective, suffice to say there was a lot to do. Mostly online, however, since Malaysia was subject to a variety of Movement Control Orders (MCO) for most of the year. That said there were a few collaborative projects with entities outside of Malaysia, primarily in the Philippines and Taiwan.

As for life in general, being confined to the home with one’s significant other can be taxing on each others’ nerves. But we persevered, nonetheless.

So yeah, as Walski mentioned, a bit topsy and a bit turvy…

Unlike the eve of 2021, there is greater optimism for 2022 on Walski’s part. Provided, of course, the Omicron variant doesn’t wreak havoc in the country. Fingers crossed… Walski has a feeling that this will be a better year, something everyone could use after close to two years being held captive by this horrid COVID19 pandemic.

There is one thing that Walski hopes to see happen, sooner rather than later, and that’s being able to travel beyond the country’s borders without hassle. From an average of ten trips abroad annually to zero is a big pill to swallow. But Walski thinks we’ll get there, eventually.

Before we end this post, Walski thought he would share this awesome thought, in pictorial form, from one of his favorite writers, Neil Gaiman. This image is courtesy of the Mrs, by the way:

And on that note, hope that y’all have a wacky awesome year ahead…

Happy New Year 2022!

Silently Decaying Inside

It is through suppression that hells are formed in us

Susan Glaspell

When you have lots to say, but you’re told time and again that what you think doesn’t matter, that in the scheme of things you’re as significant as that last crumb of toast that got left behind in the toaster, your confidence as a human being will slowly erode. Crumb by miserable crumb.

Perhaps it was foolish of Walski to even think he mattered half as much.

Decay is so underrated. But when decay consumes someone so insignificant, giving it any kind of rating consideration would be a futile waste of resources.

If Walski dropped dead in the woods without making a sound, would it have mattered if he even ever existed?

Once upon a pandemic…

“In one hundred meters, make a U-turn…”

something most Waze users hear with some regularity

Greetings sports fans!

So, by now you’ve kind of figured out that this is Walski’s new blog, a sort of second lease of live for the old myAsylum blog that’s pretty much been abandoned since February 2014. Just over seven year ago.

For those of you who know him personally, Walski hasn’t been in the wilderness per se, as far as an online presence goes. He’s been busy doing other things in real life and pretty much didn’t have time to write as much as he used to. In the meantime, myAsylum has been posting sporadically via Facebook, and of course, Walski’s other venting channel, Twitter.

And he’s done his fair share of writing, albeit about things completely non-political and non-socio related (i.e. work)… long story short, things have been relatively good in Walski’s life. It’s just that there are only 24 hours in a day, and sometimes real life has to take priority.

Be that as it may, Walski’s decided to blog again. And what better time to start when we’re right smack in the first pandemic mankind has seen in close to a century, right?

The COVID-19 situation, as of June 12, 2021

As Walski writes this, we’re almost at the end of MCO 3.0 – aka Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) – which come June 15 will be extended by an additional 14 days until June 28, 2021. The FMCO is almost like the original recipe MCO instituted last year beginning March 2020, with a few tweaks here and there, and the allowance of manufacturing and other “essential” businesses to operate.

And as we have been seeing with some regularity, the SOPs associated with this round of MCO were once again subjected to some U-turns. But that’s been the story of SOPs for the past year – implement, then retract. Walski does not want, however, to get into the nitty gritty of the countless U-turns we’ve seen. Simply because it’s TIRING.

Be that as it may, here we are… COVID-19 has been with us for over 18 months, and thus far, like the houseguest who’s overstayed their welcome, isn’t showing any signs of leaving. In fact, the death toll to-date for 2021 has just breached 1,000 today – and that’s just over 6 months into the year, making it 3,884 casualties in total.

On the political front, the Sheraton Coup Government is still in charge, but this week the YDPA called all the party heads for a pow-wow, to be followed by a Conference of Rulers meeting this coming Wednesday, June 16. In theory, the current Administrative Emergency (read: No Parliament) will end in August, so Walski reckons this big time meet will decide whether or not there will be an extension once the Emergency order expires.

Perhaps the biggest news that’s emerged from this week is Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Malaysia’s two-time heavyweight political champion former Prime Minister, proposing the institution of an NOC (National Operations Council) to govern instead of the Cabinet. And no surprise has proposed his own good self to lead it. You can read more about it here (via The Malay Mail). The NOC proposed would be similar to the one that ran the nation back in 1969 post-May 13. The latest news on this today is that Dr. M is proposing an alternative name for it: National Rehabilitation Council (via The Malay Mail).

So, Walski reckons after the Council of Rulers meeting next week we’ll know what to look forward to next…

In the meantime, Walski still hasn’t gotten his vaccination date yet. He tried to sign up for the Astra Zaneca jab when it was offered on a first-come first-serve basis the second time around, but the massive glitch experienced on the registration site meant that “computer said, NO“. So, it’s back to the regular waiting list… which seems to not be moving fast enough for his liking. Incidentally, Walski registered on May 6, just over a month ago – and as of a minute ago, still no appointment set yet. And so we wait… some more.

And so there you have it… stuck at home for the most part. The only saving grace is that the Internet works and there’s a lot to read online, and a lot of other online work to do – not just this new blog, but also working on the business website. In other words, Walski is keeping himself occupied.

He wishes that the art business is what’s keeping him occupied more, but with the overall business environment really sucky at the moment, there’s not a lot to look forward to on that front. The good news is that we no longer run a physical gallery space, meaning no monthly rental to worry about; which is a good thing. The bad news is that business is excruciatingly slow, and selling online isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Too bad Walski isn’t selling tudung or other articles of typical consumer wants. But that’s another story for another posting.

Hope you folks take good care, and stay safe always…

Bye for now.