Friday, May 27, 2011

The green, green grass of home

I have been back at work for around a week, after having a staycation of nearly two weeks. I'm still at the stage of my career where I cannot store up my annual leave to take it all in one go. The longest time I can take is one week plus any extras I get if I'm on duty on public holidays.

Did I use my time creatively? Of course not. I spent most of my time festering at home, going on the Internet and sleeping. I was not productive, which meant I was not reading any books, studying any medical material or preparing for the two presentations I had to give when I returned to work. I give two reasons / excuses for staying at home.

1. My dad was away on a conference in Northern China, leaving my mum to take care for the two dogs we have. Naturally being a loving son, I had to stay at home to keep an eye on our two adorable mutts.

2. Since late April, the decorators have been disassembling our house to renovate certain portions. The smaller bedroom, the living room and the garage are getting a new look, meaning most of the furniture and items within those three rooms have been shoved into the two remaining bedrooms of the house. My bedroom looks like it belongs to an obsessive-compulsive patient, as most of the open space is occupied by small cupboards, dining chairs and storage units.

I will be thankful when the decorators leave. Not only is it tiresome having to wear slippers all around the house since most of the floor is carpeted with a thin layer of plaster dust, like a really sick version of an indoor Christmas, but I really don't like having all these items in my room. I do miss my open space, and so do my dogs since they have less floor to lie on.

I do miss the open space, which is a reason why I live out in the suburbs. It's also a reason why I don't go out that often. I don't really like the crowds of Hong Kong. All that jostling and pushing in the streets leads me to yearn for large pastures and wide fields.

Now I'm not only counting the number of on-calls I have left (five including the one I'm on now), I'm waiting for the decorators to leave so I can finally have my room to myself instead of sharing it with my parent's ornamental furniture.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The bottom half of the internet

Many events have taken place in the past week: the royal wedding of Prince William Windsor and Catherine Middleton, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the introduction of the statutory minimum wage in Hong Kong and Arsenal finally beating Manchester United to blow open the Premier League title race. I wanted to write about these momentous happenings but I thought better of it, as there are far too many opinions floating around anyway.

Everybody has an opinion of everything in the world, whether you think you do or not. Some choose not to express them, which can be a good or a bad idea depending on the issue that is being commented on. The people who do express the opinions have now more ways than before to make their ideas heard. I'm not just talking about the internet, with the comments section that appears at the end of an article and blogs, but other types of media want people to interact with them, such as the news asking people for pictures taken on the day of the royal wedding or radio programs who have listener phone-ins regarding whether it was lawful to the moral leader of al Qaeda.

For the most past, having this medium to express oneself creates more good than bad. The common person has the ability to influence events on par with the giant news corporations. Just look at the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. The governments of these two Arab nations were not brought down by arms or companies but by the average Joe (or would that be Muhammed) in the street with Twitter accounts, Facebook messages and blog entries like mine, although they had much more influence than my blog.

Yet there is that minority who are no longer silent but start to type away in the comments section to prove to us they are either idiots, racists, fascists, xenophobes, etc. The internet and social media allow these people to have a voice, which is detrimental to the human race. Yet sometimes it is a good thing. If we didn't have these avenues for them to vent their spleen, we wouldn't know they thought Hitler was a hero, black and white people shouldn't mix or that the woman's place is at home. It does weed out these people into the open and gives us the opportunity to ignore them in the long run. If we didn't have these ways of people allowing to express themselves, they might try to express themselves in more physical rather than verbal ways. Think of the mass killing sprees that people go on - usually they had posted a video or a diary entry expressing their views.

You don't need to think of the bottom half of the internet as a place for lunatics or morons, just think of it as flytraps or a red flagging system to warn us of these idiots.