We Live In Grey World? Or We Just complicate It

People say we live in grey world. The line between wrong or right is getting blurry nowadays. It’s not as simple as black & white anymore. But is it really the case? I remember when I was smaller, things don’t get as complicated as today. There are guidelines and rule that works as simple as it get. Obey it, you’re fine but broken it, you’re wrong and there’s a consequence. As simple as that, so what went wrong? How come the world is filled with grey matters?
Probably people will said, the world isn’t as big as your house. There are different rules applied in different houses, in different families, even in different countries. And that’s where the problem lies IMHO. We try to applying too many rules or try too hard to please everyone.
Let me put it this way, in Indonesia, there’s an old saying “Di mana bumi di pijak disitu langit dijunjung” which means that we have to honor the culture or rules of the place where we are at the moment. If you’re in a place where Islamic culture is applied, dress yourself accordingly to the culture. If you’re a Moslem who came to other countries that don’t have the same culture as you (e.g. Germany with Beer culture or Chinese with pork food as a common thing), respect that culture! Avoid the things that doesn’t suit your culture (beer, alcohol, pork, etc) just be vegetarian or cook your own food, don’t force your so-called needs just to make a statement that yours is “needed to be heard” while what you’re doing is just bragging that yours is better than them.

So true
 

This difference among us should’ve taught us to respect others and unfortunately this is where people used the so-called self righteous or superior complex or whatever you called it to act above the local value and force that what they believe is the right one. I guess deep down we all just a self-righteous b@$tard he he.
Sometimes some group of people try to forcefully adapt foreign value that seems beneficially, or grant them permission to be “different”, the extreme sample is where LGBT try to make their way of life accepted in country that forbid them, especially in Islamic country or where the population is majority Moslem. The non extreme case is probably what we see in the social media right now, free sex, bragging rights, excessive life, etc.
This is where the so-called modern age makes things hard because in this digital age, internet, TV, makes the so-called border or boundary of some culture is, well vanished. My parents always wondering where did the good old fashioned value that once a well known traits of our country went into, probably just like “chivalry is dead” because we killed it. I hates when people thinks that my good manners is an act of flirt (if it’s the opposite sex) or try to licking someone’s @$$. Is it so hard to be a good person? Or we just accept the fact that we bound to be failed to be decent because these are an indecent time we living it? We were supposed to be the people that live in modesty, honest, back to nature or even well-known for hospitality. Right now I saw Indonesian as a culture that were swallowed by globalization and the clash between traditional & modernization (that not always compatible with our core value) is creating quite a schism.
Honestly, there are things called mere exposure effect that explains that if we are exposed to something for some period of time, we will be familiar to it & accept it. Like if we spent time with junkies, prostitute, killer, etc (without keeps in touch with other people that supposed to be the “normal”) we will “understand them or even agree with them. Like some twisted Stockholm Syndrome. That’s why Islamic countries very concerns with the depiction of free sex, liberal life or anything that doesn’t in-line with their believes, people tend to influenced by it (or corrupted in extreme way of saying it).
Either we abused the so-called empathy and human rights or something, but since we tried to understand why people do something (really bad) or maybe they just @$$hole, the thin line becoming more & more blurry as time goes in. Or probably people just wants to corrupt more people the way they are corrupted ha ha, as in misery loves company, the more the merrier. Or we just wants to have easy way to enjoy life, hedonistic is a human traits. This story about an Islam immigrant that exposed to American culture is a food for thought, I’m not saying he is wrong, but this is the mere exposure effect if you ask me he he. But that’s the tricky part about “justifying” things that you shouldn’t do, it leads to another he he.

Sure we have to be “open-minded” for new things, culture or everything, but I believe we have to maintain our identity, our core values or our default believes. After all, in order to judge something is better or not we need a comparison that in this case our default norm. Either we like it or not, we need someone else to judge or to asses or appraise ourselves. True we live in a grey world, but it’s because we complicate it with try to adapt with many things that sometimes doesn’t even compatible with us. Sometimes we just have to stick with what we believe, no matter what other people say, it may cost us some friend, but friend of anyone is friend of none if you ask me. If someone hates you, that means you stood for something he he, for better or worse.

Maybe though
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Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name), An Almost Perfect Movie IMHO


So yeah, it’s been late but I finally watch Kimi No Nawa or Your Name in english translation, a 2016 surprise hit of Japanese animation that created such a fuzz in the otaku world and even gain positive reviews by westerner reviewer such as Rotten Tomatoes and even Chris Stuckman, a YouTuber that gain my respect and approval for reviewing movies. This movie even also aired in Indonesia in CGV Blitz (a cinema franchise that usually more “indie” than 21 cineplex, another franchise that focused on Hollywood blockbuster). Seeing all the hype, this movie should be good right?
Well, to make it short. YES!!!! This is a movie that I would call almost perfect or flawless IMHO. It’s been a while since I saw a movie that makes me appreciate the details. I love the animation, the soundtrack, the background music, the pace, the simple yet convoluted plot, the bittersweet story and the very generic Japanese themes that somehow manage to stay interested from the beginning to the end. Damn this movie is really something and even if someone read this stupid review, it will be just like preaching to the choir, you’ll agree with how great this movie is he he.
If this is a review, where would I begin? Well the story started kind of familiar if you love Japanese animation, especially romantic love story. The plot, to make it simple is the story about a boy & a girl that somehow gets their body swapped for some period of time, hence they learn about each other, their life, their town and finally falls in love with each other. Sounds simple and so Japanese right? Well there’s a plot twist that makes me wondering how this movie should end he he.
Seriously, Japanese story is well-known for the “consequences” in their story. Their so called happy ending usually had the protagonist sacrifice something, or in order to gain means to an end, usually there is a high price they should pay. That’s why I mentioned the bittersweet story but man oh man you have to see this movie to appreciate the simple things in life, the coming of age, stupid youth story that you’re going to tell your offspring. This movie plot made me shed my manly tears and appreciates the simple things ha ha.


The story itself is already good (based on novel that Makoto Shinkai wrote before the movie & released before the movie), but the animation is so good but not topnotch. The graphic is a combination of traditional hand drawn and (probably) cell-shaded background that seamlessly makes the animation so beautiful. You can appreciate the beauty of nature when the story takes place in the girl hometown but also wowed by the ambience of modern Tokyo. And they say this movie is kind of low budget indie movie? Seriously?! The graphic is AWESOME!!!!!!

Beautiful graphic

The music also worthy of praised. The soundtrack by the band RADWIMPS created specifically for the movie, which makes the soundtrack itself worth to buy (even if the music that contains lyric is only 4 song, there’s actually 5 songs but another 1 is another version of one of the 4 song). The music blend beautifully with the dialogue, not as annoying like some movies where the soundtrack kicks in and the dialogue doesn’t seem important (even when the music contains lyric). I’ll guarantee you’ll be humming the song even if you don’t know the lyric he he. This movie ignites my old love to Japanese band after a long hiatus and no new J-rock band catch my attention.
The voice acting is good, just like any other Japanese animation you’d expect. Japanese had their own level regarding the voice acting, even if someone not accustomed to Japanese animation might find the voice or how they reacts is too cute or comical sometimes. But I guess no complains here. 
Well (I use many “well” in this review somehow), what can I say? Just watch it. It’s a good movie that you’ll remember for years to come. I have a blast watching it, even if I watch it in my office while work and using earphones and small screen to avoid suspicions. I’ll watch it again & again & again that’s for sure & that’s how I love this movie so much. I hope when I watch it again with my wife she’ll appreciate it as much as I do. This movie is almost perfect IMHO. I love everything about it. Give it a chance & I’ll bet even if you swore you hate Japanese animation, you’ll either smile a little or even shed a little tear watching this movie.

Sausage Party, Filled With Hidden Agenda?

 Recently, I just watched Sausage Party, a 3D animation movie that, if you’re unaware, you might think that this is a kid movie. But seeing who voiced the character (Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Edward Norton! Etc) also the cover mentioned “from the guy who brought you “This The End” and “Pineapple Express”, I guess this is going to be one hell of a ride ^_^. Oh, forgot to mention that I watch it on bootleg DVD since this type of movie will probably never officially released in Indonesia. Oh, spoiler alert, some of the story or even ending will be told, so in advance I urged you to watch this movie he he.

All the movies that were mentioned on the cover of that DVD never really hits cinema in Indonesia, or made a big splash in the box office. But if you lucky enough to see it, you’ll understand why it was considered as cult movie or something he he. Those movies tells a theme that rather sensitive, especially in Indonesia, drugs, sex and religion. Seeing the pattern of this, you’ll probably somehow guessed where this movie will led to.

The plot of the movie is rather innocent, about the life of unanimated object in Supermarket such as fruits, jams, or even non-biological object like, and dust bin or liquid container. This objects believe that their goal is to serve God(s) which is us, human that walk in the supermarket hallway and pick the lucky object to (purchased) sent them to a better place (they thought we take them to heaven or something). Everyday they sang and praise us human so that they can be chose to be taken to the “better place” until some item realized the horror or cruel reality that God(s) isn’t take them to a better place, but rather to “kill” them, consume them and throw them away. That’s the main plot idea of this wacky, rather genius movie.

Either this movie had hidden agenda to promote atheism / humanitarian or probably just a joke about religions, God(s) or any sort of believes that meant to create a conversation or debate or something, but this movie will trigger a question that most people try to hide or deny, what if what we “believes” or dogmatic teaching is wrong? This movie hits major religion such as Abraham religions (Islam, Christianity) as the main area of jokes he he. So, if you’re type of people that offended easily, this movie isn’t for you.

Those supermarket products actually worship the same God(s) but they worshipped it differently, according to their culture and background (in this movie, according to the type of product they are, ready to eat, packaged, liquor, produced from, etc). The difference between them makes them hates each other, such as Germany Bratwurst hates juice (this is an analogy of NAZI hates Jews, clever ^_^) or Kebab bread hates hotdog/bacon (an analogy of Middle East country hates western culture). Even the Kebab bread believes that after they died, God will grant them 77 virgin oils (jabs of Islamic believe that if a person who died in Allah’s way/jihad will be granted with 77 angles/virgins in the afterlife). Or how men & women shouldn’t get “physical” before marriage (in the movie, the bun and hotdog shouldn’t get together before God(s) take them and put them together.

Besides religion, they also take a jab on social value, such as cannibalism (the product gain more strength after they consume other product) or social class (the product that don’t have expired date such as liquor or honey get the top class, even held the responsible to create the teaching to worship human). This movie is really something.

The movie is one hell of a ride, but if you watch it you knew that this won’t end well. And it is ended abruptly insane. The supermarket product, In This Case a sausage, guided by the immortal chewing gum that stuck on Stephen Hawking’s desk thus makes him super intelligent, found a way to communicate with God (human). The sausage was bought by a junkie & when the junkie gets, high, he somehow accessing the ability to see through 4th dimension and see that the sausage and other object is an intelligent sentient being (just like the scene in “Interstellar” where the dad can see the daughter but can’ contact or interact with her). The junkie freaked out and submits to the will of the sausage & gave them the upper hand, until the junkie sober and thought that it’s all just a dream and thinking to eat the sausage. The sausage is freaked out and somehow by chance or the grace of God (the real god probably ^_^) the junkie is fell by accident and get beheaded by sharp object and dead. Thus they know that the God can be killed, they aren’t immortal, and they are just like “us”.

With this knowledge and the disappointment that what they worship and doing all this time is wrong, the products is rebelling against human by making them high (inject a needles consist of the drugs the junkie used) so they can move freely and kills God. Suffice to say the mission was a success, they manage to make the supermarket as their own, and then came the WTF part.

What would you do if you realized that what you worship is false, your believe is a lie and etc? In this movie the products did the most cliché things, they “rebel” against what they once believed with the act of orgy, homosexual, interspecies sex (if there are such things in supermarket product) and everything that once condemn or forbid. A Hollywood cliché or something. Either this is a hidden agenda to promote free sex or something, but there other things to rebel if you disappointed, you could kill, steal, or do any other 7 deadly sins but it’s always sex.


Also they try to promote the idea that man can do anything if they acknowledged there is/are no God(s). Like in this movie, after manage to “conquer” God(s), they try to conquer another dimension on which their alter ego exists (the protagonist sausage try to meet or kill his voice actor Seth Rogen, etc). Well it depends on how we see it honestly.

IMHO, this is a weird movie that somehow triggers me to over-thinking it. Maybe they just do this movie for fun (like “This is The End” or their other movies) or just for the novelty of it. But I wonder what kind of studio willing to funding this crazy story without an agenda ha ha. But I guess if you manage to just not over-thinking things, this is a fun, crazy, wacky and silly movie that worth to watch if you looking for an unconventional theme movie. Hey, even if you over-thinking this movie, it could grow an interesting debate or thoughts.

Trying Fake @$$ Rolex

Following my previous blog about how I really enjoy my built your own Vostok amphibian zissou. I always wonder if Vostok its cheap price tag can stand toe to toe with giants like Rolex, Omega, SEIKO, etc. What if cheap automatic watch from China is actually good and could also held their ground compares to the giants?
Sure people already try to compare it and the verdict is always the same; don’t wasting your time and money for fake watch, save some money buy the real one. It’s cheaper on long term and it is an investment, unless you probably just need the fake watch for parts or something.
But the itch to taste those cheap watches is so tempting because of the prize. I mean, my Vostok is only 289 K (approximately $24) but it was made in the 90’s. The cost to face lift it into Zissou amphibian cost me (plus the price of the watch) 459 K (approximately $43). The most famous Chinese watch is Parnis, and their dive style (5 bar water resistant, 50m) it cost just like my face lift Vostok. And there are other Chinese watches that even way cheaper like SOKI, Winner or Sewor with $15-$20 price tag.
I manage to make my friend buy a fake Rolex for 169 K ($14), that’s even cheaper than SOKI, Sewor, etc! Could you believe it? Well, the watch came and we unbox it (yes it came with a box, Rolex box, cheap though) and IMHO, this watch has the same quality as cheap SOKI, Sewor, etc. How did they manage to sell it cheaper than those brands? Because it is actually slapped Rolex on it? That’s actually makes people more interested though.

Cheap box
Well, the watch feels cheap, has water resistant though (probably 3 ATM or something), has functioned bezel (unidirectional), has awful steel strap (even Seiko SKX stainless steel strap is cheap though). 

The transparent back case reveals the cheapness 😅
Compared to my old Seiko, the shining chrome on the fake only makes it worse

All in all, I think you should spend more time with affordable but original stuff rather than this cheap fake one. Honestly, it might be better if you even buy SOKI, Sewor, etc rather than this one. At least it has the dignity to be themselves rather than claiming as other brands he he.

As cool as it may looks. I won’t wearing it ha ha

If It’s Makes You Happy, It Can’t Be That Bad? The Vostok love story

I already wrote my love for Vostok on my previous blog, but somehow I just can’t get enough of it ha ha. So, I sell my old Komanderskie for Rp. 300.000,- (approximately $25) and bought another Vostok, this time the well-known amphibian for Rp. 321.000,- (approximately $25), but somehow some Komanderskie also look just like this, the Vostok Men’s Komandirskie Automatic Wristwatch Russia Watch Submarine # 921163. But yeah, the back case on this watch showing amphibia logo though, and it’s a Vostok anyway. So I guess this is a win-win bargain.

The watch is “good condition” with minor defect such as dirty spot on the glass, scratch here & there, also the water resistant is “weird” or inconsistent sometimes it seal tight but the other time leaked. But compared to my previous watch, this watch is waaaaay better.

 

Amphibia writing on the back case
Amphibia writing on the back case

I decided to fix the watch, clean the glass & tighten the seal. But somehow I stumble on the net about “legendary” amphibian that wore by Steve Zissou in the movie “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou”. The movie is weird & not for everyone, but it’s a cult classic, also the watch wore by him is very nice.

878543d1353138760-fs-vostok-amphibia-steve-zissou-still-bill-murray-life-aquatic-steve-zissou-large-picture
The sighting of the famous watch he he

So I bought a new dial that exactly looks like Zissou’s, and I can’t be more happy he he. I buy it on a great seller on ebay that you can find here.

 

Just like my previous blog, Vostok basically is “just” a watch, a mediocre or budget friendly watch to be blunt. But it’s a good watch, a great beater watch with a distinctive style of its own. Many people love this watch for what it is. A watch that tells time, reliable, tough, quirky and cheap.And you can modified it any way you want it, because its cheap. I already saw custom bezel, custom dial, or even put the machine into other watch body. Go crazy, surprise yourself.

Switch strap. Makes it bad @$$

If you can find a new one with good quality, I urge you to buy it, you won’t be disappointed if you’re a watch aficionado, or just wondering what diver watch you should buy for the sake of curiosity. This ain’t Rolex, or even Seiko, but if its makes you happy (and its not a bad thing), it can’t be that bad he he.

Awesome little watch

Gundam Barbatos Lupus 1/144. Worth Every Penny of it!!!

So, I always have a soft spot for Gundam. But those figures are damn expensive and takes time to built. So all of my Gundam is their cheapest one, the 1/144 scale. And I lost interest in modern Gundam. I stopped watching Gundam after Gundam Wing (too many pretty boys with lame story). I tried Gundam SeeD but that series is kinda…not my cup of tea to be polite. And Turn A Gundam is…a blasphemy or insult IMHO.

My last Gundam figure that I bought is Gundam Astray Red frame, the first one with that big Samurai sword. I love it, even paid someone to painted it ha ha. After that, I have a long hiatus of buying Gundam figures (and also the favt that Zeta Gundam is nowhere to be seen, I don’t have any bucket list left).

 But, last week I stumbled a Gundam is bargain bin, this Gundam, Barbatos Lupus. For Rp 200k. Very cheap for a Gundam figure. And it has a big damn sword. So I just bought it ha ha

Damn cheap!!?

And it’s even got further reductions. So the price is actually Rp 150k. WOW!!! I honestly don’t have any expectations but even if the figure turned out disappointing, I won’t have any regrets ha ha.

So yesterday I just built it. And see how it goes.

Standard features so far

But as the figures reached it final form. I just realized how long I was  away from Gundam figures that I just shocked to see how detailed they’ve become. Even in 1/144 figures.

Wow, no paint or glued required but the details…

The finished figure is so awesome, it didn’t looked like an assembled figure if you don’t look at it closely. A damn good manufactured figure.

Look at this beauty!!!
And that humongous sword

Damn. Even if the foot is looked weak and wobbly. It managed to stay stable, even posing it with its humongous sword.

Don’t a need a posing stand

Wow. This figure makes me want to buy more Gundam figures ha ha. Just to see how far they’ve come in assembling plastic into such a great figures. And this Barbatos is also a great figure. Buy it just to taste how great and satisfying to build and play with Gundam figures he he.

Oh, sorry for the $hitty image. I just so excited that I posted this immediately he he

Why Do You Still Wear a (Dumb) Watch in This Day & Age?

Maybe it’s just me or something, but I found less & less people wearing watch these days. People even use their cell phone for checking time rather than use their watch (even when they wear a watch ^_^). I guess this so-called trend cemented in that movie, “The Internship” where the main character realized that their job as watch salesman is over due to that trend and their acknowledgement that wearing a watch is dying breed.
I’m glad that somehow I manage to “infected” my friend to became watch aficionado he he. Even if it means that they just buy one watch, the fact that they happy with their watch is, at least for me, the sign that watch is not going to died and disappeared. Maybe it became a niche or cliché market but it will survive. There are lots of watch club out there, and the fact that Google, apple, etc try to made smart-watch is undeniable fact that watch is here to stay.
Honestly, I don’t see the importance of using smart-watch, or even android gear, or any kind smart-accessories. Well, I’m not a fitness buff but I don’t see any benefit for an accessories that drain your phone battery (connected via Bluetooth), doesn’t stand alone (even if it’s stand alone, limited function) and also poor battery performance, besides it probably looks cool or show how rich you are he he. Maybe smart-watch is in premature state or something that will be better in the future, but I don’t need a distraction from my phone if my phone could do it all anyway (that’s why people look at their phone rather than watch, why not use it also for notifications, or use their phone for fitness applications).
I guess this is why I’m wondering, why did I still used (dumb) watch in this day & age. So far, this is top reasons why:
1. Time reminder or checker

This is the basic function that works just right. A watch is a machine that exactly tells you what time is it. Even if some people would say that the definition of time it self is only a concept that was created by men to coop with changes of sun or moon movement, or just to standardized daily schedule, but that is the point, a machine that tells you what time is it.
Sure people would say that a watch, analog watch to be exact, the automatic machine, tends to be faster or slower within weeks or months, thus it’s inaccurate. True, but that’s what I enjoyed from using automatic or even hand winding watch, set the time early in the morning before activity. If you want accuracy, you should used quartz watch or digital watch. Problem solved he he.
2. The good old days

Ah, the good old days, what I mean with this is the fact that in the good old days, you don’t need to do everything, just do one thing good and it’s good enough, or even a job well done. That’s what a watch really is, a machine to tell time, everything else is an extra or added value.
This is also why I don’t jump into smart-watch bandwagon, that thing trying too hard to do or to be everything. They should focus into a watch first and everything else later instead of try to do everything, that’s why the only smart watch so far that I recommended is only pebble.
3. The history, prestige and all that jazz

This is the extra and added value of a watch (besides the number 4 below, style) that the wearer can get benefit from. Wearing a watch isn’t really just wearing a watch for watch aficionado. You should know the history of the manufacturer, the type of movement, water resistant, material, etc. Because a watch isn’t really a watch for people who really like watch. It’s a culmination of human engineering, seriously, just look at automatic or manual winding watch and you’ll realize how damn ingenuity human really is. You’ll appreciate the history of the manufacturer or the progress they made in conjunction with the method of modern days watch.
If you buy a cheap watch and then buy an expensive one (even not Rolex or Omega but something like Seiko or Orient) you’ll realize how fancy, authentic, and luxurious those watch compared to the cheap one. That’s why the prestige of wearing luxury watch sometimes can’t be compared by using smart-watch or affordable watch.
Wearing watch also shows your preference or in some level shows what kind of person you are. If you prefer automatic watch, you’re the type that loves hassle free or simple things. You don’t need or don’t bother yourself to change battery. Vice versa if you prefer quartz, you’re also a simple man that might not be devoted because you can change your watch without the hassle of setting the watch when the power reserve is done. If you love digital watch, you might be a highly adaptable person that embrace changes and loves technology. Sure this preference might be biased, but it might be an indicator, just like in your preference of shoes, women, etc.
4. Style

Ah, this is also an added value or extra, but for some people this is the most important stuff. A watch is a versatile accessory that could easily adapt to your style whenever you needed it. Even small modification like changing strap can really change the watch into something else entirely different. That’s why sometimes people could only use one watch but different straps just suit it with the occasions.
5. Battery life

Smart watch, at the moment I wrote this, had a maximum battery life of 6 months (but with normal battery not li-on). The li-on maximum life is approximately 7 days. That’s why wearing them is such a hassle, at least for me that is. Wearing a dumb watch doesn’t required the mundane charge your battery activity in order to use it. My automatic watch only need date and day setting after inactive, my manual winding just like that but need a simple winding (but if you wear it as daily driver, you just need winding and then it’ all system go, quartz watch can withstand 5 years of battery cycle (my G-shock last for 10 years!).
So yeah, maybe I’m old school, and my love for watch is probably a sign that I’m remnant or relic of the past. But I don’t think watch is going to be dead & forgotten. Smart-watch is the answer to the question whether wearing watch is a dying breed. Just like wearing shoe, or choose a car or cell phone, what type of music we listens, a watch showing what kind of person we really are I guess. And as long as people have their unique traits or ability, I guess watch will always be needed.